Jake Slater was standing outside my house. In his boxers. Shirtless. Six-pack abs and toned biceps. So freaking hot.
Missing half of his face. Okay, not so hot.
The one time my high school crush dropped by for a visit, and he’s a walking cadaver. My life is a romantic wasteland.
That morning was a scheduled supply run with Finn, and I didn’t want to be late. I made my way to the front door, and quietly descended down the steps towards the street. The cable car is too loud and slow so I leave it parked up top, by the house.
At the foot of the stairs, I stayed behind the barb wired concrete fence to assess the threat level. What use to be Jake was looking at me with the calm disregard of a goldfish in an aquarium – nothing has changed since high school. I could shoot him in the head, like one of the guys from a forum site suggested — this was before most servers went down — but I didn’t have a gun. I don’t even know where to get one. All those movies with people doing zombie head shots? Obviously, not set in New Zealand. We mainline coffee and dairy here, not bullets. The most I could do was pelt him with coffee beans, but that would’ve made him angry. And I was going for stealth, not suicide.
I gripped my crow bar, and cautiously moved it in his field of vision. Reaction, zero. I crept out of the gate slowly. He might have lost his sight, but his hearing was another matter. Any indication of my presence, and he’ll be on me like a piranha.
I placed a good 3 minutes of distance between us, before I ran like I was going for gold in Rio.
When I reached my destination, Finn was already there. He gave a little wave, accompanied by a smile that was tainted with gloom and doom. I’ve never seen him in this much despair since The Black Keys removed New Zealand from their Turn Blue World Tour.
Finn and I go way back, we’ve been friends since we were 9, bonded by our mutual hate for piano class. As teenagers, we got hooked on alternative music, and made a pact to rock our guitars until we’re 70. Sort of like Anvil, minus the really depressing documentary. We’re only in our 30s, so assuming we make it through all this, we’ve some years left.
One of the few times we had a major disagreement was in Uni, when he dated a girl who preferred Bon Jovi over Nirvana.
Hey, I was 19, and you have to admit that was ridiculous.
We walked to a row of empty buildings that use to host garage sales during the pre-undead era. One warehouse was a trading post, restricted to a small group of people that catch up every fortnight, looking to barter goods or exchange information.
I recognized a dark-haired dude, hoisting a bag filled with packs of frozen pasta. The sight made me extremely happy.
The brunette was pretty to look at, but I was actually after the ravioli. Those were from Merkato Fresh. Besides serving fantastic pizza, the proprietor use to sell artisan pasta using fresh ingredients and unicorn meat, with a side of rainbows. Magical. The chef must have graduated from Hogwarts.
Cook the ravioli until al dente. Drain the water, then toss in some melted butter and Parmesan. Maybe a dash of pepper or two.
Each bite, a taste of Rome in all its glory.
Well, before the slobbering zombie assholes ruined it for everyone.
Shop 2, 37 Miramar Ave,
phone: 04 388 2138 or 021 161 2189