Mary Christof, Queen of Hearts

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Night of the Living Dead

"...I don’t understand. I’ve never turned down popcorn or a movie so illiberally before...who cares if I've seen it, Kitty?"

I grabbed the plush toy, looking outside in a mixture of fear and slight wonderment as a shrimpy young lad in a stereotypical monk's uniform stumbled, his look equally petrified and yet cheerful, toward the castle. "Psssst, Princess--are you free? I've missed your radiant face...come, let's leave this dead town, have some fun!"

My face was, by all means, lifeless--someone could smack it and I wouldn't feel a thing--but my eyes were by no means soulless as they familiarized the adolescent prince's deep-high-deep-high--squealy voice. "Prince Royal?! Pardon, hang on--Roy, is that you?" "Shhhhhh...come on, before they see us--aren't you sick of being cooped up in there?"


My eyes widened, a smirk lining my pretty little cheeks...

...give or take a couple hours out on the town, I wasn't dead anymore--in fact, I was so alive that...it turned into Saint Hedwig...Orbach...Flanders. "Oh..." "Crap. Triple crap. Um, I..." "You know, when Mom wanted you to convert..."

"What are we gonna do? They'll see you're not married to Jesus anymore and...we can't Mercy this..."

"Calm down, calm down, it's okay...even though we hoped for a negative...let's spin this into a positive, shall we?"

"The test sort of already did that."

"Mom's going to be so mad at me..."

"Oh, really, and she won't turn me into one of her undead servants?"

"What Book have you been reading?"

"MARY HATES ME, OKAY?"

"No she doesn't...now let's try to think of a plan to hide the-baby-buggy-bump before any of the brothers and sisters see."

"We've already decided its name would be Hedwig Flanders...uhhhh, we could say you were knocked up by a--Mormon farmer/little-known painter?"

A long steady beat of silence before I answered, "--what's his name?"

"Gabe...Gabriel...uhhhh...Ger...win."

"Gerwin? That's not even close to a surname...what about, for an ironic twist, Williams?"

"Fine, scratch the Gabriel name then. Gertrude."

"Gertrude Williams? Isn't Gertrude a..."

"Look, between you, me, and a possible army of bloodthirsty humans at her beck and call, I wouldn't worry about how well the name clicks, just the story."

"All right, all right. So his name is Gertrude Williams, the landowning farmer and painter. He was tending to his cows when suddenly..."

"He spots you, on the road--uh...help me out here..."

"Coughing and sickly from the cold fall nights, having been attacked by..."

"Vampire bats."

"Vampire bats? They don't really drink blood."

"Some of them do..."

"Fine. Vampire bats. So, having escaped their hypnotic gaze--"

"--I stayed behind to attack hell's angels with a stake and some nonspecific--"

"Hold on there, bucko. The vampire mythos is deeply rooted in Catholicism."

"--Bram Stoker's version is, yeah. Anyway, so I attacked them with a set of nonspecific crucifixes and a stake...you ran into the house and explained..."

"--then he sat me down for coffee and croissants. One thing led to another, and--"

"I ran inside, screaming "GET OFF HER, YOU HICK." and brandishing the bloody stake in my hand, pointing it at Gertie...but it was too late..."

"I was already tumescent with...indecency before he had a chance to stab Gertie. He ran off, screaming curses and bloody revenge on the man who stabbed him..."

Exchanging nervous glances, we nodded before he noted the cat toy in my hand. "We need to get rid of that first." "Why?" "It gives me the heebie-jeebies for some reason. Maybe it's because of the eyes..."

"...and he's been spotted, too. At uh...666 Rosemary Avenue. Is our story straight?"

He blushed and smiled, before his eyes glanced over at the Queen Mary statue seated comfortably on the nightstand, making note of how artistically carved it was before expertly hiding the test in his satchel and hanging it on the end of the bedpost, swiftly turning off the light.









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