Here’s another excerpt from Dead Guy, my experiment in Nanowrimo.
She was hideous. There was no other way to describe her. Colorless, almost transparent, skin. No nose. Blood red eyes. Pointed teeth. Just enough thin hair on her head to be not bald. Dangerously thin, like a bundle of sticks brought to life.
“Are you the dead guy?” she asked.
“I am,” I said.
She smiled with her crooked mouth, chewed on a cigarette tucked between barely there lips. “You don’t look very dead to me.”
I didn’t. Not compared to her. Compared to her, I was the picture of health. If the two of us went walking down the street, side-by-side, I wouldn’t be the one people noticed. I wouldn’t make babies cry and grown adults recoil.
“I’m dead,” I said.
“So am I,” she replied, as if I hadn’t guessed already. “Sucks, right?”
“Sucks,” I agreed.
She came closer. There was a way she moved, like she was stalking something. Her long thin limbs swayed like snakes attached to her torso. Her skinny jeans weren’t skinny enough, held in place by a belt she’d had to punch holes in. I got the impression that, despite it all, there was a hypnotic presence to her walk. Like a tiger’s steady stride as a gazelle stood transfixed by the coming doom.
“You don’t talk much, do you?” she asked.
“What’s to talk about?” I replied.
“Aren’t you scared?”
“Should I be?”
“You? No. You’re the dead guy. Why would I hurt you? Not that I could. Nothing hurts you, right?”
“Nothing so far.”
She chuckled. “What’s it like? Being invulnerable?”
I shrugged. “Can I help you with something?”
“Just thought I should introduce myself, seeing as how we’re neighbors. I’m Rhonda. Like the song, if that’ll help you remember.”
“Oh, come on. You have to know the song. Everybody knows the fucking song. Beach Boys. Help me, Rhonda. Don’t make me hum it.”
She waited for me to say something.
“Aren’t you going to introduce yourself? It’s the polite thing to do.”
“Charlie,” I replied.
“Like the song?”
I nodded like I understood.
“Charlie Brown,” she said. “He’s a clown.”
“I thought he was a comic strip character,” I said.
“He can be both.”
I stepped inside my apartment. Rhonda glanced over my shoulder. “Nice place. Are you going to invite me in?”
“I don’t think so,” I replied.
“Come on, Charlie. Two dead people. We should hang.”
“Maybe some other time,” I said as I closed the door.
“Sure. Some other time.”
The door clicked shut.
“See you around, Charlie,” she shouted from the other side of the door. It sounded like a threat, and somewhere, deep down, where a little piece of me was still human, I dreaded it.