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“Afraid not,” Ashley said. She followed Victor in and took a seat at the first stool of the counter. She removed a glazed donut from the covered pastry stand in front of her. The occupants of the diner stopped all motion and stared into space as a lonely and faint train whistle cut the night air. Ashley turned to Victor and wiped her mouth with a napkin then said. “Sounds like the Spirit Train is only five minutes away.” Victor twisted his head and was looking at the clock above the cash register, it was eight till three. He looked at Ashley and said. “I’m about to prove you are wrong.” “Maybe, we will have to see. I may be collecting your insurance money once they find your body with a severed head at the Spirit Train crossing.” Ashley said with a smile then took another bite of the donut as a waitress was pouring her a cup of coffee. “Explain this to me. My car is the only one in the lot. How did all these people get here? I’m betting there are more now than when we were here ten minutes ago.” Victor began looking around the room. His eyes got big as he started backing toward the door.” See I was right, I hope we don’t have to fight these zombies.” Ashley said as the waitress placed the pot back on the maker. That waitress along with the cook came from behind the counter. The cook was wielding a butcher knife and leading the pack, the waitress and the customers who were not there before fell in behind the cook and began slowly approaching Victor. “Get away from me you coon-asses,” Victor hollered as he was picking up a metal napkin holder. He hurled it striking the waitress in the shoulder. With a pop her arm flew off, hitting the customer behind her. The progress of the waitress toward Victor never changed or the blank expression she had on her face. The customer behind her was now spinning the severed arm over his head while he continued to march. As he got closer he threw the arm at Victor hitting him in the face. Victor stumbling backwards spotted a cup of coffee that was still steaming. Once he regained his balance he pick it up and dashed it in the cooks face. The cook never screamed as the coffee ran from his face so did his skin. Victor dropped to the floor and with a sweeping kick tried to take the knife bearing cook off his feet. A snap echoed as the cook’s upper body separated from the lower, at the waist. Two thuds echoed through the diner as both sections hit the floor. The cook continued swinging the knife at Victor with one hand while using the other to pull himself across the floor. Victor shouted, “Ash you are right I believe you - get us out of here.” The diner began to shake as the squealing of the train coming to a halt reached the ears of Victor. He looked up at the clock that displayed three o’clock. “You came to that conclusion a little late Vic.” Ashley said. The zombies stopped moving and those that were still standing fell to the ground. Their spirits rose and began swirling through the diner. Victor made a dash for the door. He was sliding to a stop as a tall skeleton figure wearing a black hooded robe glided through

the door on a cloud of mist. The figure had burning red eyes and carried a scythe in his right hand. “Back up Victor and let Mister Grim Reaper in.” Victor didn’t respond as he lost consciousness and fell to the floor. Grim Reaper was floating over him as his red eyes were fixed on Ashley. The hooded figure gave a nod and in a voice that rolled like thunder across the sky spoke. “You grandma is worried about you. She figured your husband here was going to be trouble. Shall I spare him?” “Only if he remembers this night and that the dead zone exists. He needs to start respecting its purpose in moving spirits from one realm to the next. I would also like for him to understand the roll my grandma plays in keeping the balance in the dead zone. But that may be asking for too much. I would also like an apology however for the names he called her.” “I shall consider your wishes.” Grim Reaper stated as Victor was coming around, fighting to get to his feet. Grim Reaper reached down and lifted Victor to his eye level then released him. Victor was suspended in air, his feet dangling above the floor as Grim Reaper spoke. “Ashley you know about the diner, train, and engine 666 along with the time frame. If you get caught in the ...” “Yes sir, I understand you can’t guarantee my safety as I will be trapped in between realms.” “Your grandma taught you well.” The voice rumbled. “I’ll let her know you approve sir.” Ashley said as she was walking toward the door. With a smile on her face she paused in front of Victor. “Don’t worry, I’ll fly your body back home for a funeral then collect the insurance money. That’s how this marriage will end. After that I will keep my voodoo Cajun heathen ass that you like fucking so much tonight on my side of the tracks.” Ashley began laughing as she began walking to the door. “No Ashley don’t leave me. You were right and I was wrong.” Victor whimpered. Ashley didn’t stop walking as she said. “Vic although I feel somewhat responsible for this we can’t turn the hands of the clock back. We can’t change the natural order and timing of life and death. The moving of spirits must run on schedule, not waiting on anyone.” Victor’s eyes became wide, his forehead pouring sweat as the sharp edge of the scythe pressed against his throat. Victor with tears in his eyes was frozen as he was watching Ashley walk out the door. “Ashley please come back. I’m sorry about what I said about you and your family. I now believe. Please come back and get me.” Victor pleaded. Once she was in the car the Grim reapers eyes began glowing brighter. Victor began hollering for Ashley once again as Grim Reaper raised his left hand and sentenced Victor to death. A plop was heard as Victor’s head hit the floor, then a thud followed as so did Victors body. Ashley with tears in her eyes was maneuvering the BMW around the curves at sixty plus miles an hour with one eye on the road and the other on the clock. She

Profile for The Corral

The Corral - Online Magazine Issue: 1 Edition: Halloween 2019