12. Born-again Zombie (6)

Yes. Absolutely.

I could feel him beneath me trying to crawl across the floor.

“Slobbering corpse,” he yelled. “Lemme go. I’m only the jan . . . i . . . torrrrr.” He rose to his knees. “Oowww. Get your fingers out of my eyes. You devil! Ow! My face!”

His struggle provoked a strong physical response in me. I could feel my consciousness gaining ground, coming back. What a rush! Clawing at him, I threw my arms around his neck, my legs around his waist, rode him like a pony as he careened toward the door. He stumbled and twirled, trying to unclasp me, but I clung like a lamprey to the back of a fish, like a cutworm to a tomato, a fluke to a liver, like a kid to his seat on a carnival ride. It felt good, much better, at least, than a tumble into oblivion.

Together, we crashed through the door and into to the corridor.

“Help,” he managed to choke out from the collar of my forearms. “Heeeelp!”

Feet running, sprinting toward us; hands pawing, trying to pry me away. Two, four, six—I could feel them tugging at my arms, my legs. Their pinching and pulling finally delivered me from darkness. I could breathe again. Sputtering, I filled my lungs with air and I surfaced. I’d managed to hold onto existence. I was safe. And I was alive—a creature of warm flesh and blood, not some dead, rotting thing.

Now there were four of us riding the pony. “I’ve got her,” screamed one of them, his voice lusty with victory, arms clasped hard around my waist.

Yes, you do.

I relaxed completely.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 12.6/Born-again Zombie

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