Acupuncture After The Apocalypse

To Entice Beefcake’s Zombies

“They don’t have names.”

I’m trying to entice Beefcake’s zombies to eat some of my cookies when Beefcake walks right in. I am, I suppose, trespassing by being in the back storage rooms of what was once the Omaha Steak shop. I drop the cookie I’m holding. The zombies scurry away from us and hide behind the crates of Special Sauce.

“And they can’t eat carbs.”

“What do they eat? I’ve been wondering about that.”

Beefcake takes another two steps toward me and strikes the bottom of the cookie plate. In the plate tectonics of the cookie world, it’s like a seven point earthquake—the cookies are tossed off the tray, hang briefly midair in a cartoon-like fashion and then drop to the linoleum floor.

“Five second rule,” I say. But there’s no way I’m crouching down to pick up the cookies; he’d kick me in the head with one of those repulsive boots.

“Five seconds for you to get the [nasty curse word] out of here,” he says.

Beefcake’s face is sweaty and the muscles in his neck are taut, as if he’s prepared to engage in a brawl. If we actually fight, I will lose, I realize that. But now is my only chance.

“I hear you’re running for Mayor. Do you need a press secretary?”

Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.