Even in the midst of a pandemic, there is a future that’s worth planning for and looking forward to—and it’s on us to make that the best future we can. Read more →
Zombie rats had overtaken the city. The mayor had called the piper to lead the rats out of the city, but the rats ate the piper and only left a pile of bones with a flute broken in half. The red and orange flames from the fire lit the dark city. Hours before, the use of high explosive missiles was authorized. They rained down on the city like diamond tears from falling stars. The Grrrat, grrraaat, grrraaat of machine gunfire could be heard throughout the city.
I am a school bus driver for the Shinty Education Boarding School. I had just dropped the kids off at the pool, when shit started to go down. Air raid sirens rose above all other noise. I kicked the door to the bus open, looked left and right, tiptoed out and ran as fast as my peg legs could carry me. I juked and jived my way through the alleys and even low crawled under fences to get home. I hurdled trash cans like an Olympic runner. I just wanted to get home to rest my legs. I got to my house on top of the hill, took one last gander back before I shut the door. The whole city burned. My home sitting pretty, made of stones like a castle from the medieval times. The walls were three feet thick. In the living room there was a glass coffee table, a red couch, and a fireplace with a bear rug in front of it. There was a seventy-two inch T.V in the corner and a wall of books. The kids I drove had made me a card that said, “Thank you, Mr. Friday, for being the bestest driver ever!” It hung on the wall.
I lived with my cat, Mo. He is black, white and mute. When he hides in the shadow and puts his belly low to the ground, his eyes dilate and become black pearls. A pure killing machine. When he was a kitten, I locked him in a cage with a rabbit and did not let him out until he ate it. If I never made it home, I know that he could feed himself.
I sat down on my couch, took a deep breath because I was finally safe at home. I turned on the T.V, Rocky 3 was on. Mr. T was in the middle of his speech, “I bet you stay awake late at night wishing you had a real man.” All of a sudden, as blood entered the Vena Cava, Mo let out a loud scream like a miniature mountain lion. He started to have a fit. He bumped my leg as I sat in my lazy-bones chair. I told him to chill out.
I looked at him to see what his problem was and he fought with a Zombie rat. He bit the rat on the back of the neck and severed its spine. “Good boy,” I said. Then another teared at me from the darkness. “Get ’em Mo!” I said. He went at it with the viciousness of a 400 hundred pound pit bull. I grabbed the samurai sword over the fire place. Another zombie rat jumped on my back and sank its teeth into my neck. I whipped myself around and the rat flew through the air and I chopped it in half with the sword. Mo fought three rats. He clawed one, bit another. The other rat was on his back biting him. Blood spewed from the wound, blood covered the rat’s face. More rats rushed us, as I swung my sword back and forth, cut and diced, for seventy-five hours. Mo and I were knees-deep in zombie rat corpses. Our home dripped blood. Mo fell over and started to scream and shake. My vision went black and I fell over.
I opened my eyes and called for Mo. I looked at him, but he did not move. I called again, “Mo,” but he was dead. I tried to scream, “No!” but only a roar came out. A light filled the room and the most beautiful angels came from heaven. They held their arms out and called for Mo. His spirit got up and ran to them. They hugged him and kissed him and they left with him.
I stood up. I was sad that they took Mo. I caught a reflection of myself in the mirror. My eyes had lost their color. I had become a zombie. I looked at Mo’s once dead corpse and he began to move. I could hear his stomach rumble like the thunder. He picked himself up and looked at me, having heard my stomach grumble too. We both looked at the card on the wall that said, “Thank you, Mr. Friday” and smiled. I kicked the door open, and we left.
Damien Moore (Navajo) attends the Institute of American Indian Arts and seeks to evoke “an emotional response” in those who read his work.