The Dead Have the Worst Pick-Up Lines

by on March 7th, 2015
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“So. Where you from?” He sidled onto the empty barstool next to mine.

I sighed and ran a few decaying fingers through my hair. Even in the afterlife, the pick-up lines were the same. I’d only been dead for four weeks, and this would be my fifth hopeful suitor.

“Jersey,” I said, hoping that if he thought I’d been at ground zero, he wouldn’t be interested anymore.

“Really? Not many got out of Jersey…” there was a pause while his putrefying mind searched for the right word. “…alive.” He finished lamely. He turned to me and smiled.

He was one of the older ones — still dressed in his funeral best. I couldn’t tell what had originally killed him, but the damage to his head looked like a recent gunshot wound. After he had risen, someone must have tried to take him out, good old-fashioned zombie style with a bullet to the brain. Of course, whoever that was probably didn’t live too long after figuring out that the movies had lied to them. This guy, on the other hand, had probably gotten a good snack, and that’s why he was being so frisky now. Who knew that brains worked like Viagra? As long as you were dead, that was.

I just shrugged. My hair brushed my shoulders. It still hadn’t gotten too matted, and I know I looked more recent than I was. Just a little proper hygiene, like my mother and the filmstrips from junior high had taught me.

“So. Uh. Jersey,” he said when it became apparent that I wasn’t taking an active part in the conversation. “What was that like?”

I played with the shot of tequila in front of me, sloshing it up and over the side of the glass. “Boom,” I said.

He nodded. “Uh-huh. Boom. Just like that?”

I shrugged again. Maybe he’d get the hint sooner or later. I didn’t really feel like re-hashing my last moments on Earth as one of the living.

“So. Uh. Boom.” He put his hands together, lacing his fingers between each other on the bar. I watched from the corner of my eye as he tried to separate them. The middle finger on his left hand got caught and popped off. He brushed it into his lap. Smooth.

I glanced around the otherwise empty, destroyed and dusty room. I had come into the bar to amuse myself, not to be hit on. No other zombies had stumbled in after me, so I thought I might have a few minutes alone. No such luck.

“You seen any survivors lately?” He asked, breaking my reverie, trying a different tack.

I looked at him sideways. Was he trying to poach on my grounds? Nah, he was too stupid for that. He just sucked at small talk.

“Nope, not lately.” Why tell him that I had a small drug store locked up tight with a handful of really nice fat morsels?

“No. Huh?”

I shook my head. “How ’bout you?”

“Nah. Nah. Not me. See. It’s just that –” He broke off abruptly and attacked my arm, gnawing on the sweater.

“Bastard!” I yelled, pushing his mushy forehead away.


“I’m dead, you idiot! We’re on the same side.” I pushed back from the bar and lifted the tattered wool to show the huge exit wound in my stomach. He stared for a moment, then passed his fist through the hole. I smacked his arm. The air was filled with the wet, sticky sound of rotting flesh. It sounded like someone hitting a melon with hammer. He pulled his hand back.

“You don’t have to get mad about it.”

I glared at him.

“I was just. Well. You just. I didn’t think you were really dead, is all. I thought you were trying to pull one over on me. Like you were really alive after all.” He was trying to wring his hands together, but the rotting flesh was trying to slough off, and so he was forced to rub it gently instead.

“Well, I’m not,” I huffed, gulping the shot of tequila. I might as well have been drinking some of the now-contaminated water for all the effect it would have on me, but since I’d died before I was legal, it was my only chance to sit in a bar and drink.

“I’ll just go now,” he said, sliding off the stool. He lifted a pretend hat to me. “Madam, I’m sorry to bother you.” He leaned in closer. “I’m just so hungry.”

He turned to go. I sighed, knowing I would regret it. “Hey, zombie man.” He turned to me before he reached the gaping hole of a doorway. The building hadn’t survived the blast too well. “You need some food?”

He looked at me, hopeful and silent, and nodded slowly.

“C’mon,” I jumped off my barstool, feeling my ankle snap. That would have hurt a month ago. “I know just the place.” I grabbed his hand — the one with all five fingers — and led him from the rubble.

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