“Mason thinks Dingo is a zombie,” Eve tells me.
“That’s just cruel.”
“But possible, right? I mean, zombies have to be people we know—one of them must be—they were people once. Someone must have known a zombie when he or she was a human.”
“How could you possibly know? They really do all look the same. And those jumpsuits don’t help.”
“Mason says we need to consider the facts. Dingo never had any money. He couldn’t have made it so far away that he wouldn’t have been able to make his way back.”
“Dingo might be trapped somewhere. Someplace that got cut off from everywhere else. Earthquakes left crevasses. Lots of roads have never been reconnected.”
“Dingo never went anywhere remotely remote. Not willingly.”
We’ve been over this ground before, or variations of it. Endlessly, actually.
“Do you remember Carter’s agent, that hideous crook?” I ask.
“Mr. Bridges. God, yes.”
“Remember how he sent Dingo away because he thought he was distracting Carter?”
“He said he thought Dingo was stealing from her.”
“That’s what Bridges claimed—it couldn’t be true. Carter was the only klepto.”
“What are you saying? That because somebody wanted to do Dingo in once maybe it could happen again?” Eve asks. “But what are the chances of that?”
“What are the odds Earth would get hit by meteorites, rocked by earthquakes, experience massive flooding, and have three contagious fatal epidemics, all in one particularly unpleasant twenty-two month period?”
“Things happen, Jane. Bad, awful, disgusting, unreasonable things. We know this.”
“You think Dingo is a zombie,” I say. “Dingo. Our friend. A zombie.”
“Something bad had to have happened to him. It’s the only way he wouldn’t be here.”
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.