Yeah, I always think I’m much busier than I actually am. 😦
The twins’ birthday, while rendering them slightly more interesting (and also made them into bears!), ushered in an air of hushed anxiety. “Remember the last one?” Bridget whispered in Benjamin’s ear, laying in bed beside him. “I almost died, and you spent the rest of the day talking to yourself.”
Benjamin wheezed, easing himself out of bed. For once, he had nothing to say.
“You’re awfully quiet tonight,” Bridget said. “Besides the coughing, anyway.”
On the floor, Bender had prepared himself to learn about the wonders of married life. He was to be sorely disappointed, however-another lesson had been planned for that evening.
“Corn Nuts!” Benjamin choked out. A man’s last words are always said to reflect the profoundness of his soul; Benjamin’s had the depth of a bag of over processed snack food.
I couldn’t resist. His death just reminds me too much of my favorite black comedy ever: Heathers.
“Fuck me gently with a chainsaw-do I look like Mother Teresa?”
See the resemblance? Okay, enough with the Heathers gushing. Moving on.
Bender Belue was unaware that his father was dying. Just a game, he thought. It was “toss the baby” or “tickle me purple.” This was only an elaborate setup.
Benjamin had different thoughts on the matter.
He stumbled forward, thrusting a hand forward to catch himself, only to crash to his knees, hands still clasped around his throat. Sweat beaded on his brow. More words choked at his tongue, but he couldn’t speak, couldn’t even breathe. Benjamin Belue’s world was slipping from his fingertips.
A single thought ran through his mind. In the afterlife, he didn’t want any of that cheesy goodness crap Bridget loved to ramble about. All he wanted was a bag of Corn Nuts. And maybe to get some visiting hours with his wife, but mostly, he wanted Corn Nuts.
“Benjamin?” Bridget said, voice growing fainter by the word. “Please don’t twat out on me, please?”
She could handle grief, Bridget told herself. Grief was a part of life. Grief was a part of death. She could wear grief like a rich woman wears strings of pearls. When her father had died, she had gone straight back to class, marching like a sex-starved soldier, to memorize a frog’s anatomy. She would do the same for her husband, she knew, if she could allow him to die. However, this was not possible. Bridget and Blair shared his disease, Bridget knew. In time, the caretakers of the household would each succumb if not for one incredible cliche.
As the Grim Reaper was, um, reaping, Bridget pulled him to the side.
“Listen, Grim,” she began, “I know you love reaping and all, and I would have let you finish, but I really think you’ve got better people’s souls to harvest.”
“I’m well aware,” said Grim. “Keep going, I’m liking your start. I want to see some more emotion, though. Give me some feeling, girl!”
Bewildered, Bridget fell to her knees.
“Now, Grim,” she pleaded, “I really do love my husband and stuff, even though he can be a self righteous git, heart wrenchingly dismissive, and a major ass, but even so, we’re married, and we’re in love. He has two babies, neither over the age of three, but he loves them dearly, maybe even more than himself. You can’t just a take a man from his children or his wife with so many years left to go. Grim, that’s wrong.”
“You are into this!” cheered Grim, waving his scythe about. Bridget only hoped he didn’t hit Blair. “Girl, you are a profess-ion-al. I am loving this monologue, absolutely loving it! I’m going to be telling my kiddies about this one, sure as hell!”
“Is Benjamin coming back?” sighed Bridget.
“Only if you give me a hug first, little girl,” grinned Grim.
Hesitantly, Bridget obliged.
“Benjamin!” cried Bridget.
“I am back!” grinned Benjamin. “And would you look at me! I look like Han Solo over here! I feel like a million dollars!”
“Well you should,” huffed Grim. “Fuck this, I’m out here. See you again, girl.”
“It was much too boring down there,” Benjamin said, burying his face in Bridget’s neck. “I was simply at tears! I’m afraid I must thank you for this whole lifesaving ordeal. You’ve been rather wonderful about the whole thing.”
“Still a twat,” smiled Bridget.
All the while, Zombie Nanny faced a great moral dilemma. She could eat the child, Berkley, who had missed all of the death and other related fun, and forfeit her paycheck, or feed the child, and be payed slightly below minimum wage. This was a very difficult decision for a zombie, who rarely makes above poverty line, and rarely eats more than a meal a week.
It was very difficult to be a twenty-first century zombie.
After sending Zombie Nanny back to her grave, Benjamin set up a bed in the office. He couldn’t risk catching ill again. Another brush with death wouldn’t leave him untouched, he feared, which was odd. Benjamin rarely feared. Well, he supposed dying was a good place to start.
The morning was hardly more calm than the night.
“Hey! You look a lot like me!” wheezed Blair.
Oh, right. I’d forgotten that she and Darren have never met. What a lovely first impression.
Darren, frightened by what he assumed to be a bear, sprinted away.
“You look fierce. Loyal. Handsome. And you hate Darren Dreamer,” said Benjamin, kneeling in front of the dog. “I like that.”
What he liked even better, however, was the fresh, pure air flooding through his lungs. His body hadn’t been clean for years, he felt. Near death experiences were the cure, he thought proudly. Maybe he should get into this more often.
While Benjamin and the dog bonded, Bridget worried. Blair’s birthday was tomorrow, and she remembered the last one vividly. There would be no party thrown. Parties brought only disaster. Birthdays, only misery. How she wished someone would turn aging off!
Well, Bridget, you are shit out of luck on that one.
That evening, another ill omen struck.
Oh, hey, Benjamin. I forgot about your birthday schinding.
“Still spiffy! Spiffier when I can get this DAMN UNDERWEAR out of my ass!”
The next afternoon had arrived. Having halfheartedly set out the cake, Bridget now halfheartedly called Blair to the table.
“I’m busy coughing, Mom!” shouted Blair. “But I’ll be out in a minute!”
Two hours later, she emerged from the bathroom. Eying the cake, she said, “I’m fine just the way I am, Mom.”
“Nature doesn’t seem to think so,” sighed Bridget. Coughing she added, “Just blow out the damn candles.”
Happy fucking birthday, Blair. Now Benjamin’s sick again.
I hate the flu. 😦
Blowing out her candles, Blair was not quite sure what to wish for. Forever young? Live life to the fullest? YOLO?
Seemed like a good start.
Adolescence hit her like a gunshot to the genitals.
She promptly fell over and died.
“I HAVE HAD IT WITH ALL OF THESE MOTHERFUCKING DEATHS IN THIS MOTHERFUCKING HOUSE!”
“That zis too bad,” said Einstein. “Listen, Bridget. You are the conqueror of death. You have done zit once, you can do zit again.”
“Listen up, Grim,” hissed Bridget. “I am well aware that I smell like a hospital morgue and am half dead myself, but guess what, Grim? I know your weakness: love. And I love my daughter, and she’s laying there, dead, on my floor, in my house, and you had better damn do something about it.”
“Yo, girl, no need to be so serious! You are giving me one hairy eyeball!”
“I feel so shiny and new and alive!” cried Blair.
And in desperate need of a new haircut. Off to the mirror you go.
“Lalalala, I am Bridget, conqueror of death, lalalala, fuck you Grimmie, lalalala, I’d be getting laid tonight if I wasn’t deathly ill, lalalala.”
Well, that’s just dandy.
“I didn’t even say anything!”
Hopefully less death! Hopefully less zombies! Hopefully less disease! And hopefully some werewolves!
I leave you with this:
“MHM MAMA, YOU WORK THAT OUT.”
Every single time someone uses the bathroom, Bender watches them pee. First I laugh, then I freak out, and then I just laugh again. I love this kid.