Donnie And The Zombie

Donnie was glad when the time came to leave the office behind. Outside, the rain had started to fall, again. He admitted he was tired and dozed on the train, as it hurtled downtown. But, at the right stop, he awoke abruptly and jumped off. Outside, the rain had stopped but the sidewalks were damp-darkened. He walked under trees, their leaves still glistening with raindrops, along sidewalks cracked and covered with dog-do.Nearing his door he walked faster and faster. Collecting the mail, he rode the lift to his floor, at the end of which, his door gleamed, darkly. Once in, he bolted the door behind him, the zombie's words still in his ears. Going from room to room he lit lamps. In the kitchen he filled a glass with ice from the freezer, and held it beneath the faucet. The ice cracked as water filled the glass. Gulping the water down, he belched and excused himself-needlessly, because there was no one near. Just then, the telephone rang. He started to answer, then stopped, deciding himself in no mood to talk. When the ringing ceased, the answering machine chirred on. Shocked, he recognized the voice of the Zombie.

'Welcome home, Doctor. Long day, heh? No matter. Look, I remember what you said. I want to help. In the desk door you'll find a map. Get it, it's important. By the way, you're excused'.

Donnie realized the Zombie had heard him belch.

He sped to the desk in the bedroom and slid open the drawer. Outside, through the window, the sun was setting. It filled the west with a strange orange light that flooded the room. With trembling hands he drew from the drawer an unfamiliar map, made parchment. It had a soapy feel, run between his thumb and fingers. He placed the map on the desk before him and studied it. It had areas of bumpy relief, like braille, palpable beneath his fingers. Other parts were shiny-flat. It was the map of his 'other-life', he knew, exactly as the Zombie said. In one corner of the map was a dark, green zone that read 'the forest of the Past'. In another corner, was a deep blue lake called 'the Waters of Forgetting'.

'Heck', said Donnie, 'I remember now!

by Morgan Michaels

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