Day 55: The Dead Living

Jordan had the sack of urine taped to his belly, with tan plaster caked overtop to look like he just had a bit of a gut. Caesar wouldn’t allow him into the Empire unless he had the disease. So Jordan managed to tie up a never-dead to a chair with a hole in the bottom and a pan beneath it and collect the right urine. He just needed to make a swap.

Unfortunately, a never-dead scientist watched him “provide” the sample. Either Caesar was paranoid or his army of living zombies were just too out of it to conceive of privacy.

With no other recourse, Jordan pissed into the provided cup, in full view of the never-dead, who watched impassively. He couldn’t even try to turn his shoulders without the scientist frowning and stepping closer. So eerie, its movements. They were called never-deads, but their expressions were corpselike. The disease led to immortality of body, not of spirit.

Another factor Jordan had to consider was whether he was making a convincing never-dead himself. A never-dead wouldn’t try to cover their privates, wouldn’t have an anxious bladder. So he had to piss like a robot would piss, if robots could piss. He stared at the wall blankly, wondering on the inside what the hell they would do to him when they tested his urine and found out he wasn’t one of them.

Well, they’d eat him, of course. They needed the energy.

He hoped there would be some cross-contamination with the never-deads that handled his sample. He considered piercing his stomach sack and dribbling a little into the sample, but didn’t think he could do it without being caught. He had hoped he would have enough privacy to dispose of his fake stomach and the urine sack, but that wasn’t the case.

After he finished, he handed the cup to the never-dead scientist. The mannequin-like creature turned around and placed the sample on the table. Jordan had a brief chance.

He swiped a nearby pen and stuck it in the back of the never-dead’s neck, just inside its shirt collar. Lucky for both of them never-deads don’t feel pain. Jordan removed the pen, which was stuck just past the nib, and saw that it was shiny with dark blood. Then, before the never-dead could turn back around, he sharply dabbed the pen toward the urine cup, like ashing a cigarette. A spatter of diseased blood coated the inside rim of the sample, dribbling down and mixing with the urine. The never-dead capped the sample without noticing.

“Wait,” it croaked. Then it left the room, and another two never-deads entered. Jordan stood as zombie-like as he could. His legs felt like they would crumble, but he couldn’t show weakness. Never-deads don’t fatigue, so he couldn’t either. It was hours before the scientist returned.

It said, “The Emperor will see you now.”

And Jordan was in.

 

 

Today’s three prompt categories were, “Urine in a cup,” “The Emperor,” and “Living zombies.”

I’m not sure exactly what never-deads do, but I’m interested. I might have to include them in another story somewhere just to find out.

– H.

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