Acupuncture After The Apocalypse

Very Much At Home

The previous owners of this house must have had a large dog because there was a giant dog bed in the living room when I arrived. Griffin weighs all of twelve pounds and stands less than a foot off the ground, but he makes himself very much at home on the huge pillow.

Yesterday evening, I caught a zombie leaning over the fence in the front yard trying to coax Griffin to come over to him. I took a metal spatula and banged on a garbage can lid, and eventually the zombie went away.

It’s on all of our minds—all of us survivors—to wonder what these zombies eat. They seem uninterested in human flesh. If that is, in fact, what they eat, they’re timid about acquiring it. They don’t crowd around me and sink their teeth into my thighs like zombies in the movies.

Would the zombie have eaten Griffin if he’d caught him? I have no idea. For all I know, the zombies live peacefully on fish they catch in the Chicago River. Or feed on flower nectar like butterflies. Or perhaps they eat tiny beetles specially evolved to live in lichens on the bark of certain trees. Or maybe they chug bottles of highly caffeinated energy drinks, left over in the storage room of some abandoned convenience store.

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.