by Noah Cicero

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Esmeralda drags the zombie into the strip club.

Frankie and Esmeralda look at it.

The undead girl growls a little bit.

The undead girl says, “You fucking assholes what makes you think you have the right to not become one of us. We are the majority. What makes you so special that you think you don’t deserve to be undead? You think we want to be like this? You think this is fun? You are betraying your families and friends by remaining alive! Everyone you know is undead now. And by not choosing to become undead yourselves you are treasonous and unpatriotic. America is an undead free state now. You are anti-America. You are against your own people. You should be sent to Europe with the living.”

Frankie shoots its mouth off.

Frankie drags it downstairs.

Frankie goes over to the undead girl.

Esmeralda is holding it down.

He cuts open its chest and rips out a piece of its lung.

Frankie takes the piece, sits down at the table where the lab equipment is.

He plays with it very scientifically.

Esmeralda sits down next to the table.

“How long is it going to take?” Says Esmeralda.

“No more than two days for it to grow. I’m going to grow a couple and then they will multiple on their own.”

“Do you think it will work?”

“I don’t know. I hope so.”

“I read once that 74,000 years ago there was a Super Volcano in Sumatra it killed most of the human population. Almost made us extinct. And I think of other things like, Polio, the influenza, the black plague, all kinds of shit. Humans have almost been wiped a million times. Maybe it is time. In thirty years global warming will make the waters rise and kill us off anyway. Why not end it now?”

Frankie lights a cigarette, takes random swigs from the bottle and says, “Listen, I don’t give a fuck about that shit. I’m black; I’ve been black all my life. Which means I’ve been putting up with stupid shit all my life. I didn’t kill myself all the times I’ve heard white people say nigger, I didn’t kill myself every time I applied for a job and didn’t get hired, and noticed that there were no black employees in there. I grew up in the Youngstown projects. You think I’m gonna give up now. When I was five momma my used to send me to the store to steal bread and forties for her. All I have known is struggle and suffering. This is just another day to me, perhaps the assholes will be killed. Maybe I’ll have a chance to be just a human for once in my life. And not always have to be the black man. Because you know what, you know who will survive this. Not the rich people, not the white collar pencil pushers. But resilient poor ass mother fuckers like us. You think this is luck, you think this is destiny. No, the reason we have survived is because this culture since the day we were born have beat us into steel, beat us into crazy violent monsters. We are still here, because we also monsters. We are monsters like them. And I’m sure out there in Nebraska, to California, to Maine there are some poor ass whites, blacks and Mexicans hiding in basements together. Because us poor folk are resilient. This society had monsters way before today. Two different types of monsters. Those on top and those on bottom. The ones on top don’t get their hands dirty like we do. But they are still monsters. If those zombies think for one second they have exhausted my rage, my desire to keep living, they are fucking wrong. Listen Esmeralda, this ain’t the end for me. After those fuckers are dead, it’s a new beginning. There’s one thing you’re forgetting, with that Super Volcano, those pandemics, some always escaped, some always made it. We all come from those that escaped. You know how many Africans got killed on the boat ride over, how many got killed by their slave-masters, how many of your family probably died of influenza and tuberculosis. We are the ones that escaped.”

Esmeralda takes a swig from the bottle.

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