DEAD END: Random Stories


          I live among pretentious fools. Eleven families, thirty-six humans total, adults and children. It’s a rather ritzy dead end called Nightingale Place. The cul-de-sac is long and wide. The houses are for the privileged, large and looming, occupied by homeowners whose average income rocks the higher six digit figures. 


          I enjoy my foolish neighbors. I enjoy their guests, their offspring, their friends. I attend high school with seven of their teenage children. We hang together, party together. We’re top-dogs at school. Football and basketball stars who gets away with just about anything. We’re jackasses. Pricks. Bullies who keep the unpopular, the outsiders, out of our clique. Little do my buddies realize they hang out with the ultimate outsider. But I’m their friend. They know me. At least they think they do. But, like I said, I so enjoy them. I thrive living on Nightingale Place, among the elite. I thrive because I eat them and anyone else I desire, and no one suspects a thing.


     I’m a zombie-shape shifter, you see. I never sleep. I just pretend that I do. My father is over two thousand years old but he looks late thirties, thanks to the body he stole a few years ago. My mother is long gone, no doubt morphed into so many others that even her scent probably wouldn’t reveal her. That’s how we find each other–by scent. But she’s gone and I don’t care. We’re not loyal in the least. I remain with my father because it’s convenient and life is easy. I’m a leech in more ways than one. 


          Believe it or not, human females desire me. My kind releases a chemical, pheromones, that attracts them like blow flies to a corpse. But I can’t do anything with a girl. Lustful stuff, that is. But I play with them and string them along until, and if I wish to, I can feed on them. We treasure most the liver and the head and all that the head contains. Father guesses we’re much like bald eagles that relish fish heads. But because we want to keep suspicion down, we eat the entire body. The crunch of the skull is exquisite. We have no problem in pulverizing bone with our teeth. It’s a delightful necessity. Human bones sustain my kind. They make us stronger. Bones are our calcium.


          I had a serious girlfriend once. Father frown upon that and when I refused to give her up, he ate her. He said he doused her liver in soy sauce and found the taste quite delectable. After that I refused all involvement in serious romantic relationships. It’d never work anyway. Sooner or later we have to move on. Cases of disappearing citizens begin to pile up and that attracts the attention of law enforcement. So we relocate. But no matter what, we always live on a dead end street. We consider it a clever joke. Like it should be a hint to those who reside next to us. It’s the end of the road for a few of them, a no exit, unless we allow the exit. And even if we allow it, the owner will be dead because we take possession of the body. The original inhabitant is discarded. And if you are thinking that we are fools because someone can identify the missing person and report a sighting, let me tell you that we only possess the identifiable body for a brief period before trading it for another. We tend to hunt among the homeless, the unwanted and unknown, and even though they might be filthy and skin-and-bones, we look beyond that and pick a being who with care and maintenance will prove to be attractive. We are not into scrawny or ugly, and we are not worried about money. We are rich. Over the years, creatures like me know how to work the system. We steal.


     Dead ends. A word of caution to you. Think hard before purchasing a home on a dead end. I could be your neighbor and you could be my dinner.