I call Mo from the island of my bed. There are two kinds of fish that can save us. We just have to reach down into our floors when the time is right and they turn to liquid, catch the fish, and suck the life juice out of them. I’m nervous. I have a huge fish phobia but if the world needs me, I step up. I ask Mo how she does it. She tells me that she just bites them around the spine, near the tail. She asks me if I’m going to do it. Of course!
I lean over the bed. My floorboards are teeming with fish. How do I know which fish are the right ones? I ask. She describes them to me, one dark gray, the other bone white. I catch a white one and lay it on my bed. I want to vomit. The fish smell is going to be soaked into my mattress now. But when i look at it closer, it’s just a tiny thing. How is enough life force going to come from that small thing? We’ll have to catch thousands! I don’t want it suffering out of the water so I make myself look at it again and prepare to kill it. It’s already dead. It sits there like the dried candy fish we got at Epcott that one year, that Gracie found and destroyed the bag so I came home to glittering bits and eyeballs in the carpet. I poke the siphoning tube through its side and suck out green-blue liquid. I don’t know how many more I can catch. It’s too much for me. I reach back into the floor anyway.
Sitting in some kind of sit-com. I’m with a friend. We’re talking with his parents who are on the television. My friend asks why they want to talk, is it bad news? Is it some sort of chronic disease? His father deadpans “No, I’m not seeing Dr. McArthur anymore.” The studio audience roars with laughter. Suddenly a warning system alarm sounds and yellow letters appear on the screen telling us to stay in place and await further instruction. The television goes to static and zombies burst through the door. We run into the kitchen but my friend is bitten. He lays on the counter to die and tells me to run, get out of here before he becomes one too, I’m in danger if I stay. As I’m trying to talk him into coming with me I bump against his zombie bite and I notice something. I dip my finger into it and lick it. He’s absolutely horrified but I am laughing. “It’s frosting.” I tell him. “You’re not going to turn into a zombie. This is some sort of prank your parents set up. They must be in on it.” A zombie comes into the room and I recognize him as a neighbor. He approaches like he’s going to bite me. I saunter forward, pushing the strap of my tank top down, batting my heavily shadowed eyes and knowing my 80’s glam hair is perfect. My cutoffs are short and i turn my knee out, showing thigh to this modest man. “Paulie, I know it’s you. C’mon Paulie, are you really gonna bite me? Your wife wouldn’t like that, would she? I’ll tell all her bridge partners.” I lean forward and lick frosting from his bewildered face.