My Ghoul


Suggested Audio Candy:


[1] The Temptations “My Girl (Instrumental)”

[2] James Horner “Nash Descends Into Parcher’s World”



I’ve only gone and bagged myself a zombie. It was only a matter of time when you think about it logically, with millions of these undead freaks roaming the Earth, there had to be one that endeared itself a little more and Bub, as I like to call him, is one such dead head. What a charming fellow he is, cut from a slightly different cloth than his brethren, he is far more genteel and adaptable to learning than so many of his flat-lining friends and actually makes a rather delightful pet. I found him wandering around an underground bunker and instantly took a shine to him. Ordinarily these reanimated corpses are a little dead behind the eyes but Bub just seemed a little less one-dimensional. From the very moment he gave me his salute from across the way, I just knew that we would become firm friends.


They say that you can’t teach an old zombie new tricks but I’m determined to prove this theory wrong. It just takes a little perseverance is all, once you show them that you mean them no harm, they ain’t so bad. Having said that, my last failed pet project almost ended in tears as I attempted to liberate one of these ghouls straight from the canister. Tarman, as I liked to refer to him, was anything less than cordial and very nearly made off with my brain so I showed him the door fast. It would have been too easy to become bitter at that point and tar my new arrival with precisely the same blackened brush but something in his eyes set me at ease. I wasn’t about to take any chances and chained him up just in case he came over a little peckish as I’m only too aware how cravings can manifest but, bizarrely enough, he appears indifferent to meat.


I put this to the test and took him for a McDonald’s breakfast and he tucked into a sausage and egg McMuffin like he hadn’t had a bite in weeks. Considering the meager meat content I decided to rear him as a vegetarian and he didn’t object. While I gnawed away at my buffalo wings, Bub was content with a lightly dressed Greek salad and chowed down merrily. It has been three weeks now and he hasn’t so much as licked a rib so I consider this a resounding success. Of course, now that I have him domesticated, it is imperative I keep him segregated from his brethren as a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips and he strikes me as the kind of fellow who would be easily led. However, last night, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and released his shackles so that we could enjoy a Re-Animator marathon together as he has a thing for Barbara Crampton. I even fed him finger foods at one point and not so much as a nibble. Bub and I are getting pretty tight.


Getting him dressed each dawn is providing a most laborious task if I’m honest. It’s all fine until I attempt to pull the sweater over his head and he gets a little disoriented and grows impatient. Moan as he may on occasion, he takes things mostly in his stride and doesn’t let much faze him. One tool which I have found priceless is audio; I dusted down my old Sony Walkman and introduced him to the arts and he adored his introduction. Michael Jackson’s Thriller album has become a personal darling, although he always skips to the title track, and he has been perfecting his moon shuffle for days now. I cannot lie, twinkle toes he most certainly isn’t but I’m teaching him the slide and he has it pretty much down to pat already. If things carry on to plan then I shall teach him the art of grabbing one’s crutch but I’m determined not to push the envelope. All in good time, I’ll purchase him some brogues once his athlete’s foot clears up.


Bub is evidently a lover and no fighter. A Beautiful Mind had him in floods of tears and I’m going to take him to see 10 Years a Slave for our one-month anniversary. He simply adored Titanic and even tried to bust out an impromptu rendition of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On but it didn’t really go to plan. “Near far, aagh” is a start I suppose. You keep trying Bub, I’ll always support you. Sometimes when I turn out last lights I can see in his glum look that he craves the companionship of one of the fairer flesh. This provides something of a conundrum as he’s a bit of a one-off, it truth be known. Fortunately technological advancements put the whole world at our fingerprints so I signed him up to a couple of zombie dating sites to give him a feel for social networking. Alas, he has a little trouble with keyboard navigation and can’t get his head around qwerty but he points at the belle he wishes to schmooze and I play cupid on his behalf.


Must love dogs. That’s his main pre-requisite as, ever since catching Marley & Me on Netflix, he has been groaning for a dog of his own. I really don’t wish to be mean but there is so much more to a pooch than simply throwing the odd bone and I know that I’ll end up the putz walking it every morning. He has three dates lined up courtesy of social media and I’m praying that this keeps him occupied; hopefully he will find love and I’m more than happy for him to have sleepovers as long as it isn’t a school night. If this is the case then it’s lights out as he is currently way behind on his curriculum. Home schooling has its drawbacks and it would be nice sometimes just to get him out of my hair for a few hours each day but integration is not his strongest suite. To be fair, it’s not him, but others that cause the headache. However, peer pressure is a bitch and I’d prefer to teach him right from wrong rather than him learn the art through playing truant to hit Grand Theft Auto V with the local deadbeats.


The stench is becoming something of an issue and, no matter how many showers Bub has, he never comes out smelling of roses. Roll-on antiperspirants are wasted on him as every orifice appears to let off its own foul toxin. Emulsifying ointment doesn’t cut it either and it seems that his sclerosis of the skin is only getting worse over time. Personal hygiene is so important if he is to make a desirable impression on his upcoming date but I have half a bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier which I’m considering donating so that he doesn’t strike out after so much hard work and expectation. Bless him, he even attempted to shave, although I think next time the electric razor may be a more astute plan. I’ve laid his clothes out on the bed and reminded him to scrub his testicles thoroughly and he grunted mirthfully so I think he’s aware of just what is at stake. If all goes well he could be sowing his wild oats before the evening is through and I’ve taught him all about his special purpose should the opportunity present himself.


Thankfully rigor mortis has provided him with one long streaming erection although I have purposely chose against his pleated slacks for this rendezvous as the last thing he wants is to come across too eager. Instead I strapped it to his belly, alongside his portable music player and covered it with a fanny bag just to keep it low-key. He practiced his stroke on a home-baked apple pie and did remarkably well considering his lack of rhythm. I whisked the remains into a smoothie as reward and he guzzled it down. That’s 1 of his 5-a-day right there, we’ll have his skin lustrous in no time at this rate. I think he is ready; it actually brings a tear to my eye, seeing him all dolled up to the nines as he is. Think I shall snap a photo or two, although he hasn’t perfected his winning smile just yet. Never mind Bub, a salute will do just fine.


The stars aligned when our paths crossed for the first time. I’m not eligible to pay taxes as the government have no record of him. He’s very self-sufficient and, should I wish to conserve electricity, then he’s more than content with sitting in a darkened chamber staring at the wall. Conversation may be limited but our understanding of one another stretches far beyond one governed by prose. It’s all in those dead looks, that faint glimmer of humanity. As we kick back and watch Jack and Rose sliding along the deck attempting that french kiss, I glance to my side and he is looking over too. It’s unspoken in that respect. Okay so he smells like a barrel of festering fish heads and is currently 58-3 down at Rock, Paper, Scissors, but he’s my ghoul. That counts for something in a world overrun by brainwashed bumblers. There is hope for us yet.


Click here to read Shuffling with Zombies





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