“My Zombie Ex-Girlfriend and Me” by Geoffrey Philp
Akashic Books is proud to introduce a new flash fiction series, Duppy Thursday. Though we’re based in Brooklyn, our location envy of the Caribbean is evident throughout our catalog. One aspect of Caribbean literature that appeals to us is the integration of folklore into contemporary stories—a perfect example being Jamaican author Marlon James’s debut novel John Crow’s Devil, which we published to great critical acclaim in 2005. Whether it be the spider Anansi, the devil woman La Diablesse, the Soucouyant, Mama Dlo, or Papa Bois, these mythical beings have injected life (and death) into the literature of the region. As with our other flash fiction series, we challenge you to tell your story in 750 words or less.
This week, Geoffrey Philp learns that zombies make awkward bedfellows.
You might think that she was a monster, but she really wasn’t.
I met her at Fiction last Friday and the sex was nonstop. Well, if you don’t count my routine of getting up at four in the morning to work as a security guard: checking my flashlight, putting on my uniform and dark glasses, smoking weed, and doing nothing except watch other people live their boring lives. And then, smoking more weed, buffing up at Spartans, showering, and afterwards, heading to Quad where I have another job as security.
On the night in question, I wasn’t working, so I went to Fiction and I was looking like a real star boy.
I had been scoping her out from when she staggered into the club and started waving her hands in the air. She was a regular, so the bartender kept ringing up her tab. But after five drinks, I could see she was in trouble. Everything was spilling down the front of her dress. I pretended to help her–my way of picking up hataz in the club. I wait till they are high and sneak them out the back door. And then, like the dance hall riddim goes, “A yah so nice.”
We did it doggy-style behind the club. When I told her we could go to my house and do it some more, she came along. It was a good thing my mother was in MoBay for the weekend. I had “borrowed” her car that night. I strapped the hataz in the passenger’s seat and we were off.
I tell you, that woman wanted me. On the way to my house, even though she was wearing a seatbelt, she kept reaching out to grab me and I could only say, “Yes, baby, me love you too,” and kissed her fingertips.
When we got to my house, we did it with handcuffs. Underneath the tattoos and the pum-pum shorts, I guess she was a nice girl who didn’t want to hurt my feelings, so that’s why she nodded in agreement. She was the only girl that I didn’t have slip a pill to do it with handcuffs. The others that got away called me a pervert.
But she was different. She did everything I asked. And even though she smelled bad (I thought it was because she didn’t go home to shower), I doused her with my mother’s perfume and went at it.
The only thing that I didn’t like about her was that at every chance she got, she kept trying to bite me.
“Me no inna de biting thing, you hear me?”
But she still wouldn’t listen. So the next time she tried to bite me, I stuffed a rag in her mouth and went at the mosquito net again.
Except for the biting thing, the hataz was perfect. She didn’t eat anything and she had a killer body: 36-24-38. And what was even better? She never talked back. The only thing she ever said was, “Uh-huh” or something like that. Who wouldn’t want a girlfriend like that?
But the next day, I had to break up with her. It always happens. She was getting serious. When I came home, she was waiting in my room. All right, I locked her in.
I told her I didn’t want to do it with handcuffs. I wanted to make love. I even broke with my pattern and let her get on top. That’s when she spit out the rag and came at me. To this day, I really think she was trying to open up to me, so I told her she had to leave.
“Gwaan bout you business,” I screamed and picked up my flashlight. All she could say was, “Uh-huh.”
But you have to understand, I felt so used, so misunderstood. I had to take a shower. To think, she only wanted me for my brains.
GEOFFREY PHILP was born in Jamaica. His short story, “Dawn of the Dread,” will be published in The Haunted Tropics (University of the West Indies Press, 2015). Geoffrey teaches creative writing at Miami Dade College.
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a Caribbean location and incorporate some aspect of folklore, whether centrally or tangentially.
—Include the location and the referenced folk tale or figure of the story with your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Please include a short bio with your submission.
—Accepted submissions to Duppy Thursday are typically posted 2–4 months after the notification date.
—E-mail your submission to [email protected]. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Oct 8, 2015
Category: Duppy Thursday | Tags: Caribbean, zombies, flash fiction, short story, Caribbean Literature, short fiction, Duppy Thursday, duppy, Geoffrey Philp, Kingston Jamaica, My Zombie Ex-Girlfriend and Me
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