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Gavin Perri
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salt.jpg
Art by Kevin Duncan

Salt
 
Gavin Perri

I enter the tavern and approach the bar. Even though my back is full of rock salt I am suffering more from the dryness of my throat. It is the rock salt that makes me thirsty and it is the rock salt that has made me a desiccated corpse. At the bar I notice the familiar barman with her nice frontal bossing, which hides her juicy frontal lobe, her succulent grey matter, her . . . wait . . . the barman is pouring me a beer. I grab the glass in my two cold dead hands and take a long draught.

*

I wake, I am so thirsty. I push up through the salt-cracked earth and emerge into the balmy evening above. I have to get to a bar. I pass an old abandoned mine on my way and am reminded of the shrapnel of rock salt that peppers the back of my body. I tell myself that there are dead people a lot worse off then me, like the guy who urgently needed to use the bathroom and was killed on the way. After he became a zombie he was in constant need to relieve himself but his faculties to do so were removed in the accident that killed him. At least I could relieve my thirst, albeit temporally.

 

I trudge along the age-worn path to the familiar tavern and enter once again. Everyone stops and stares when I enter the room. Their optic nerves send messages to their occipital lobes, their nice fat occipital lobes, their tasty big . . . wait . . . the barman is handing me a beer. I take it and finish it in two gulps.

*

I can drink the ocean, I am so thirsty, but the ocean is full of salt. Salty earth fills my mouth and lungs, I can do with a drink. I crawl up through the earth reminding myself that there are dead guys heaps worse off then me. Like the guy who got on the wrong side of the mob and was buried alive under eight feet of concrete; afterwards he was made into a zombie by being in the vicinity of an incantation but could never escape his tomb. I am luckier: I was encased in loose earth after a dynamite accident in a salt mine.

 

Salt isn’t all that bad; it preserves my body and naturally mummifies my corpse, keeping me all together. I once heard of a guy who had a nasty accident in a timber mill and after he was turned into a zombie, he had bits and pieces he had to carry around with him everywhere he went.

 

I make my way up to the tavern and meet two people on the way in; both look at me with eyes agape, and one puts both his hands on either side of his face, nice sides, they encapsulate the temporal lobe, delicious temporal lobes, luscious . . . wait . . . a beer.

 

*

The green luminous light is the first thing I see when I wake. I was created as a zombie in one of the more traditional methods, scientific experiment gone awry. Years after the explosion that killed me and riddled my back with salt, some government officials buried barrels of green fluorescent liquid beside my body, which animated my corpse. I didn’t feel violated though, there is this guy two hundred miles south of here who was reanimated by voodoo and is made to do all kinds of nasty work on behalf of his creator. At least I can think for myself.

 

There is an irony in a salt miner turned zombie, however, as desiccation by osmosis has made me very thirsty. Whenever I wake up I need to find a bar, and whenever I drink, I mobilise the salt in my mouth. Zombie folklore states that a zombie who tastes salt needs to return to the grave; unfortunately my resting place is right beside that green goo. I follow my age-worn path to the bar which I have trod more times then I can count. I remind myself once more that there are dead guys who have it heaps worse off then me. I once heard of a zombie who became animated due to his lust for revenge. Unfortunately when he woke each night, mad at how he died, he speared his brain on a spike within an iron maiden, killing him once more.

 

Gavin L. Perri is a relatively new writer from Australia. 'They' have threatened to publish him online once before but the government gave into 'their' demands, it seems this time he has slipped under the radar. He spends most of his time studying early hominid migration patterns into Southeast Asia.

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