Post-Post-Mortem Delights
rating: +43+x

Karina steps into her apartment and finds it corpseless. Closets devoid of potential cadaver contents, refrigerator lacking all forms of gutted organs or rotted skulls, computer monitor not tracked with flaking blood. Not even a stench of the damned.

This makes her very nervous.

She runs her hands between the cushions, shoving her head under the sofa, looking behind her shelves, hoping she'd see some sign of a practical joke. Nothing is found.

"Fuck."

Hands in pockets, she idles as her brain attempts to process this lack of decay. A moment of internal screaming passes and she pulls out her phone and dials.

Beeep, beeep— "Hello, this is Disembodied Spirit 12 of the Graverobbery Tips and Tricks Helpline. How may I—"

Wrong number.

Beeep, beeep— "I can smell your fear. I am under your floorboards—"

Wrong number.

Beee— "Heyo, Karina, how's it going?"

Right number.

"Walt."

"Yes?"

"Did you steal my corpses?"

"…I …I don't follow."

"My corpses are missing. You were the last person in my apartment. Did you take them?"

He sighs. "Why on Earth would I want to take your corpses? Nothing to gain from that. Besides, I was in and out of your place too fast to even take your wallet. Can't take… how many corpses did you have?"

"I've seen you rob graves faster."

"C'mon. Look, if it makes you feel any better I've been at the party ever since, and you think these guys'd appreciate some human dragging a sack of bodies in here?"

Resting by the wall is an aged shovel with a gold trim, a champion among graverobbing equipment. A swift kick knocks it off, sending it clattering onto a cushion of assorted tombstones. Karina doesn't feel much better after it.

"You're still at the party?" she asks.

"Well duh, have to pretend I'm better than some boring mortal, eh?"

"You're with literal demons."

"And they're lovely people! My pal Baron's been doing volunteer charity work with the Council for over a decade now. C'mon, Karina."

Her eyes take to the window. Retracting the phone from her ear, she winds up her arm like a baseball pitcher, set on throwing the device right through the glass. She clenches just before she can let go, slowly bringing it back to her head. "Would they approve of stealing the dead?"

"Probably not."

"THERE. See?"

"Oh come the fuck on, they wouldn't steal your corpses. I'm sorry this happened but it could be anyone. Hell, maybe the Foundies did it. I don't know but could you stop implicating me in this shit?"

"Sorry but it took me years to perfect this and now it's all gone and—"

"Can't talk anymore, some guy with more horns than eyes is calling me over for another round of sulfur booze. Cya." Beeeep.

"Walt!"

She dials again.

Beeep, beeep, beeCRASH.

The phone soars beyond the now fragmented window with all the grace of a concrete-laden eagle, dropping out of sight in seconds. She regrets this decision immediately. Fists trembling, she punches the wall. She also regrets this decision immediately.

Beeee… Crunch.

"Oh. Fuck. Fuck…"

The crunch is unmistakable. It is the wet sound the human body cries out when skin and bone gives way, letting an object stab into places of vital importance. Like a stabbing. Or a phone falling from a 9th story window onto an unsuspecting bystander. It wasn't the first time she'd accidentally killed someone but even now she still felt the emotional numbness guilt instills.

. . .

Wait.

They're likely dead. Freshly dead, too.

. . .

NEW CORPSE.

She throws her coat on and zips out the door. Several flights of stairs and a side door later, she's inspecting the body of a formerly drunk thirty-something year old man, standing in an valley of trash bags and grime between two apartment buildings. Her phone is deeper in his skull than it ought to be. Screen is cracked beyond repair, too. Shit.

A few looks around: sky has a faint morning glow, nobody on the streets, nobody else in or around the alley. Additional glances are spared on the corpse, on the street, on the corpse, on the stree— oh fuck a person — false alarm, mannequin in the clothing store window was too convincing in its disguise.

Toronto is not yet awake. She's in the clear.

Wrapping a trash bag tight over the body's head to prevent excess blood splattering, Karina drags the dead man over the concrete, letting out a stream of "sorry, sorry, sorry." By the time her arms are begging for relief she's made it to the dumpster. Her dumpster. The one with the happy sticker of a top hat-clad skeleton next to the bullet hole who's origin she dares not question. She runs through her unlocking incantation — a set of phrases carrying about as much depth as lorem ipsum — and she hefts the lid open.

It's an abyss inside. Well, not an abyss. If you took a long enough look you'd see the inside of Karina's closet at the bottom, but she's been through these motions enough that she doesn't care to look nor care to be too careful with heaving her new corpse in. She groans, wishing for the first time she hadn't stopped going to the gym.

"Sorry but… hng… I can patch you up. Faustus is out of business but I can… gah… Get you back together."

The man is dragged up a makeshift stairway, assembled from trash bins and trash bags and trash in general, and his head passes over the dumpster's rim. Karina loses her balance, giving a last push before the stairway gives way and violently collapses. The body falls out.

"Okay, fuck you, fine then!"

A poorly trained thrust spell leaves her lips and the corpse bounces skywards, falling back and banging neck-first against the rim. Said neck crunches.

"Eh, it's fixable."

The head sloughs off. The rest of the body falls down to the underworld of Karina's closet while the head bounces against the ground, landing just right to push the phone in deeper. She shouts and kicks the head up in a closet-bound arc before it sprays too much blood to be an issue. It drops into the dumpster.

One corpse in. One of one total corpses. One of what was formerly just under a hundred corpses.

Karina leans against the side of the dumpster and hits it with her fist. "Didn't flunk out of ICSUT to be the most incompetent necromancer in history, goddammit," she mutters to nobody. Of course all of this had to happen today. Of course it all did.

Jerking footsteps approach behind her. She spins around.

"YOU SEE NOTHING—"

Rot. A pyramid of the dead, raised on legs of spinal columns and distorted appendages, tangles of hands for feet scratching into the concrete. Faces push out, the ones with intact jaws prying their mouths open to release guttural, soundless screams. The darkness of vacant eye sockets bleeds out, the grim amalgam obscured by the shadows of the alley. There's more bodies churning inside but only the periodic shifting of limbs on the surface gives any sign to their existence. Karina staggers back and collapses against the dumpster. The pyramid piles more flesh into its legs to shamble forward, bones cracking as it does. Liquid decay drips with each heavy step.

Two arms slither out from nets of intestines, carrying a pristine blue box wrapped by a white ribbon. Pristine except for the note on its back, crudely written in marker.

hap borfday :))

Karina stares at the note, a grin widening on her face. Carefully undoing the ribbon, she opens the box, uncovering the gleaming silver and wood frame of the Pocket Ouija Board Model III.

"Holy shit. Holy shit!" She jumps up and hugs the nearest protruding torso, careful to not tear the strands of cartilage keeping its head together. "You left to get me this! You remembered! I didn't know you could remember!"

Its response is miscellaneous groans.

"I was so worried about you and— Wait. How did you get this?"

Quieter groans.

"Ah. That makes sense."

A dozen arms point to the dumpster.

"Ready for the birthday party?"

A dozen hands give a thumbs up.

Raising the dumpster lid again, Karina watches as the pyramid worms in and descends like liquid down a drain pipe. She jumps in after and the lid slams shut. Before the unlocking incantation switches off, the sounds of the undead and electronica echo through the alley for hours.

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