Club Dead

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Frank noticed a change in me.

I did too.

“I’m feeling assertive,” I said to him.

“You’ve always been assertive,” Frank said. “Your eyes are different.”


“Before you looked drugged out.”

“I cried a lot. That’s hard on the eyes.”

“I haven’t seen you cry in two days.”

“I know. I feel much better. Do you know how tired crying makes a person?”

Frank noticed my eyes.

“Tell me about my eyes.”

“They are alert.”


“Like an animal.”

“What type?”

“Not a domestic animal. Though cats can have alert eyes.”

“A lion?”


“A bear?”

“No, nothing so big. Something small that has to know about everything going on around him.”

“Or her.”

“Or her. Like you’re partially on the defensive but partially on the attack.”

“I like the way that sounds.”

“Is that the way you feel?”

“You ask good questions Frank. Is that how I feel?”

The stage at lunch was crowded. Each day more students joined Club Dead. Each day we chanted, wrote some of the play, talked about death and watched Mrs. Stone watch us.

“Why doesn’t she do anything?” Tallie asked.

“She’s planning something,” Emig said.

“She’s after me, right, Brink?” I asked.

“I’ve told you: Your days are numbered,” Brink said.

“Why is she here? She’s spying on us?” Tuttle asked, looking at Brink.

“She’s not in Mrs. Stone’s pocket. She’s interested in our survival, too,” I said.

“What’s up with her and Carrie?”

“Looks like they’re romantic,” Fretwell said.

“I can hear you, dope,” Brink said.

“Carrie and Brink are a formidable pair. I think they run the office.” I whispered to Dawn.

“I don’t know. Something’s not right,” Dawn said.

“Of course something’s not right. That’s the point of school.”


“Dawn Belanger, are you jealous?”

“Gimme a break. Well, a little.”

“For who?”

“Who do you think?”

“But you have a boyfriend.”

“She is tough to resist. Do you mind?”

“Why should I mind?”

“You should see the way you look at Carrie.”

“Oh. Come on....”

“Brink looks immoveable.”

“And tough. She took a beating from Wraithe and what does she do? Throws soup on him.”

“Come on, let’s get this play done,” Tallie said.

“The deadline is tomorrow.”

“We’re getting there,” Fretwell said. “The zombies are stressed out by Stone zombie’s plan to make them super student zombies. They are trying to plan a coup d’etat.”

“You know how I feel Frank? I’m feeling more intensity – about everything. Green is more green, blue is more blue. I ate a slice of Emma’s lemon pound cake. I thought I was going to cry. That’s ridiculous, I’m always crying. What I mean is I felt emotional – over pound cake! This caf doesn’t smell rotten to me anymore – it is aromatic. I feel I’m hooked onto something very special.”

“That’s impressive. This place stinks badly. But that’s good. How did this happen? Time passing?”

“No. I don’t know if there is an exact cause and effect, but it happened after talking to Brink.”

“About what?”

“The topic wasn’t important. It was a passing comment. A dig at me.”

“About what?”

“She assumed that my mother changes my bed sheets once a week.”

“Why should that be important?”

“She was right. My mother does.”

“Again. Big deal.”

“I’d like to say the same thing, but Brink exposed me for neglecting my advantages.”

“I can see that.”

“You can? Is it that obvious?”

“You have a lot. Brink doesn’t. I can see that Brink would make you feel that way. She emanates great resentment.”

“Uncle Grant loved that word.”



“It’s a great word.”

“Brink is okay. She really is.”

“I know. But she got under your skin.”

“I’m feeling grateful that she did.”

“If it dislodged something in you and it’s producing this new CJ, then you should hang out with Brink more often.”

“I’d rather hang with Carrie. But that is unlikely to happen. Do you mind that I broke up with you?”

“There wasn’t much to break.”

“And you’re my new friend!”

“That is not the thing a girl says to a boy who likes the girl.”

“Right. So, back to me. I have to channel this new CJ somehow. This thing that is happening will pass. I fear what will replace it.”

“Maybe ordinary living?”

“How horrible. I can’t go back there.”

“What about the play?”

“Yes, the play is good. But others have that. I need something that is mine.”

“I can be yours.”

“Not like that Frank. I see you. I have you. This thing can’t be seen. I can’t explain it. I don’t know how to form it, make it more mine.”

“Sounds like magic.”

“Yes, something like that. Do you think I’m losing my mind?”

“Didn’t you just go through that? Is this like that?”

“You’re right. I did just lose my mind. This is nothing like that. I have this, but not firmly. I don’t want to sleep. I fear I will wake and it will be gone.”

“You are the most interesting person I know.”

“For now.”

“Oh, if this feeling leaves you, a different you will appear and I’ll like it.”

“You’re full of hope Frank.”

“It’s time to bring Club Dead into the play,” Emig said. “I mean, the zombies must die. We’ve made our point; the school is corrupt and needs to be cleansed. So let’s have Club Dead kill them off.”

“And Club Dead takes over the school?”

“Wouldn’t that be something!”

The bells rang to end lunch. Students got up and staggered to class. Some limp, like zombies.

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