Flash Fiction: Drop Dead Gorgeous

“You know I’m not dead, right?” she says and I answer,
“Yeah, I know you’re not dead,” but I don’t mention the grave dust on her blouse or the four-inch hole where her left eye ought to be.
“Because if I were dead,” she says, “I wouldn’t be moving like this, right?” and I answer,
“No, you wouldn’t be moving if you were dead because you’d be…dead,” and she says,
“So, in a way, I’m more alive than a coma victim, right? I can move. I can think, I think, so I must not be dead,” and I answer,
“No, you must not be dead,” and there’s a pause where I hope she doesn’t notice I’m staring at a fat white maggot taking a picnic on the tattered edge of flesh around what used to be her eyelid and she says,
“You still think I’m pretty, right? Like this, right?” and I answer,
“Yeah, babe, I still think you’re pretty, considering…y’know,” and that’s where it goes wrong and she says,
“Considering I’m dead! Right?” and I answer,
“Yeah…yeah, considering you’re…uh, dead.” And then she’s crying (at least I think that fleshy goop oozing out of her good eye used to be tears) and I’m thinking,
Man, flowers and chocolate ain’t fixing this, and she says,
“Can I have a hug?” and I answer,
“Yeah, babe, just don’t bite me,” and the maggot hangs on for a joyride when she throws her arms around my neck and she says,
“Just a nibble?” and I push her off, like,
“No! What’s wrong with you?” and she says,
“But, baby, I’m hungry!” and I answer,
“Baby, you can’t be hungry, you’re dead!” and she says,
“But you said I wasn’t dead!” and I say,
“Well, yeah, but you said you were, and I thought you were, like,over it!”
And then there’s more of those fleshy-goopy tears and I say,
“Look, look, if you’re hungry, we’ll go and buy you a cheeseburger or something,” and she says,
“I can’t go anywhere like this. My hair’s all a mess.”
and she sits down on her gravestone (Maggie P. Williams, 1987-2009, May You Rest In Peace) and says,
“I won’t be like this forever, right?” and I answer,
“Well, no, you’ll probably rot away in a year or a few,” and she says,
“Besides, you should like me like this. You like those kinds of movies,” and I answer,
“What movies?” and she says,
“The ones with the zom…the ones like me,” and I answer,
“Well, yeah, but I never wanted to be in one” and that maggot is trying to wriggle up her nostril and she says,
“What are you staring at?” and I fumble for an answer with
“Hey, at least you’ve got your figure!” and she says,
“Now you’re making fun of me. I bet you think I’m fat,”
and just before she bites my throat, I answer,
“Nah, babe.”
“…I think you’re wasting away.”