12. Born-again Zombie (8)

By this time, the doctor had recovered some of his aplomb. “This is amazing,” he whispered, his eyes running the length of my body, pausing at my breasts slick with apricot-colored puke. “This girl was pronounced dead two days ago. She was scheduled for autopsy this evening. I know who she is. I worked on her case. It’s astounding.

“Are you all right?” he asked stupidly, staring into my face, which I’m sure looked absurd, plastered as it was with its corn-cob grin.

Do I look all right, moron? I wanted to yell. I can’t move my face or my body.

Then he began that stupid twisting of my head from side to side again. I gave up trying to change my expression. I let him move my head around, let it go limp. My eyes closed and the idiotic smile fell, thankfully, from my face.

Suddenly, I felt tired, very tired. Not in danger of passing out, as I had before, just exhausted in a slumber-hungry, sleep-heavy way. I don’t know exactly what happened next, but I believe I was put on a gurney.

Then there is quiet and darkness and then I remember a man—no, more like a very bad smell, one that I recognized vaguely and found in some way repulsive—fussing over me, pulling up my hospital gown. I am freezing, and the presence from which the smell emanates seems to be stroking the inside of my thighs with something cold. More force, and he spreads my legs and pushes something up deep inside me. I feel a sharp pain in my gut, as if some vicious creature with pinchers has crawled up into my body and set my organs on fire. Then the hovering form puts its face close to mine. A familiar gesture—where have I felt it before? The voice is smooth, sugary and disturbing.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 12.8/Born-again Zombie

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