Monday, August 15, 2011

Percy is a Zombie

    The Zombie Elf (my three-year-old) had a very traumatic day yesterday.  I'm embarrassed to say, it's all my fault.

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    He's obsessed with Thomas and friends, dinosaurs and dragons.  He only has three trains, and cherishes each one.  He takes Thomas with him everywhere.  Rosie (the purple engine) stays in the van, and Percy (the green engine) stays at the station.  The Zombie Elf is hilarious and very particular about his trains.
    Now, the "station" is really The Zombie Elf's bed.  But he's rigged a cute area for Percy.  There's a tiny cotton ball pillow and a Kleenex blanket.  My boy sleeps by Percy every night.


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    Anyway, yesterday I mowed the lawn.  Do you remember this post: I'm sick of looking incompetent!  Two months ago I couldn't mow the lawn without someone offering to mow it for me.  Apparently, it's against their beliefs for a woman to do yard work!  Well, I don't know what did it, but yesterday no one offered.  I felt powerful, strong, like She-Ra when she beats all evil.  People drove past and waved.  For once in my life--I looked capable.
    I called Cade and told him about it.  "No one bothered me today."
    He laughed.  "That's because you're getting closer to thirty.  When a woman hits thirty, people know not to mess with them anymore.  Women in their thirties know how to say 'no.'  They stand up for themselves.  They've probably had time to take karate."
    "Really?  Are there any other great ages for women?"
    "Well, when they're thirty they get gutsy, and when they're seventy . . . they get crude."
    I laughed so hard before telling him I had to go.



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    So, I mowed the back lawn.  The Hippie and The Scribe watched the babies.  I smiled as I mowed because mowing and using the bathroom seem like my only breaks.  I've never loved using the bathroom quite so much!  
    Anyway, Everything seemed right with the world until I saw something brightly colored in front of the mower.  I stopped, telling myself to shut-off the engine, but it was too late.  The lawn mower sucked something up, snarled and sputtered.  A few chunks shot from under the machine and then it purred to life again after spitting.
    I ran to the chunks.  It was PERCY.  What was Percy doing outside?  My boy never brings him from the "station."  My heart sunk.  I knelt in the fresh, beautiful grass (thanks to my yard skills).
    Have you ever done something terrible, something so bad you want to hide it forever?  That's what happened to me.  I wanted to visit a priest and I'M NOT EVEN CATHOLIC!  I wanted to pray to Jesus, but didn't think He'd resurrect Percy.  Jesus could cure leprosy; I don't know how He'd feel about dismemberment.  
    I shoved the splintered pieces into my pocket, the messed-up face that looked ghoulish and the broken wheels with missing sections.  That's when I swore I'd never show The Zombie Elf.
    "I'll be out in a few minutes," I said, getting ready to take a shower.  I shoved my pants under the dirty clothes pile and decided Percy would be safe in those pockets.
    While I took a shower, all I thought about was Percy.  I couldn't imagine The Zombie Elf's face when he realized Percy was gone.  I couldn't bear it.  I thought about all that, when a blood-curdling scream rose from my room.
    I jumped from the shower, threw on my clothes, and opened the door.
    "We didn't know," The Scribe said.  "We wanted to surprise you and do the laundry, but when I checked all the pants' pockets . . ."
    I turned to The Zombie Elf.  Big tears filled his eyes.  He held Percy to his chest.  "He died, Mama," he said.  "Percy's dead.  
He . . . dead."
    "Oh, Baby.  I'm so sorry.  When, I mowed the lawn, I ran--" I almost told him about the lawn mowing accident, but then I became a good mother, and lied!  "I ran outside and found him hurt in the grass.  He died fast though.  I think he was sick anyway."
    "It's okay," The Scribe said.  "Maybe he'll come back from the dead.  Maybe he'll be a vampire, or a zombie."
    "A zombie?" my boy asked.
    While I combed my hair, The Scribe and The Hippie told him all sorts of gory details, how zombies are dead people who come back and have a disease.  How vampires are even worse since they suck your blood!
    "He's not coming back," I whispered and hugged my boy.  "Zombies and vampires are just pretend.  Sometimes people go to Heaven.  We won't get to see them for a long time.  That's where your brother, Zeke went.  That's where Percy went."
    "He won't be a zombie?" my boy asked,a bit worried.  "He's not coming back as a bad guy?"
    "No, he won't be a zombie."
    A silence followed before we took poor Percy and had a funeral.  We all said a few words.  The Zombie Elf dug a hole.  He put Percy on a Kleenex blanket, and set the cotton ball pillow to his side."
    "His station's in the ground," The Zombie Elf said.  "He sleeps here."
    I smiled.  "His station's in the sky.  Percy was a good sort. He never talked back.  He never had a bad word for anyone."  I motioned to my girls.  "Do you have anything you'd like to say?"
    "He was my favorite color," The Scribe said.
    "Maybe he can play with Zeke now," The Hippie added.
    I don't know why, but her words hit me.  I looked up at the beautiful clouds.  They reminded me of the cotton ball in Percy's grave, or the clouds the same day I blew Zeke's ashed from a cliff.
    There I stood, at a funeral for a toy, and I was crying.
    The Zombie Elf talked then.  "I love Percy," he said.  "He's my buddy.  He was . . ."  Then a flood of tears came.  His tiny hands shoved dirt on Percy.  When my boy finished, he stuck his dirty hands into his overall pockets, turned his back on that grave and trudged away.  My boy was so sad, my boy, the one who's healthy and I get to keep.
    I called Cade after that.  I told him all about Percy.  We even talked for a while about Zeke.
    Anyway, when Cade got home, he asked if I could keep The Zombie Elf downstairs for a few minutes.  We waited, wondering what Cade was up to.  Then we started playing, and I forgot about it until bedtime.
    "Time to go to sleep."
    The Zombie Elf walked into his room.  Cade stayed in the hall, nearly pulsing with anticipation.  It didn't take long until The Zombie Elf screamed louder than Medusa's prey.  Cade ran to our boy and hugged him.  "What's wrong?" Cade asked.
     "Zombie!  Zombie!"  We went into the bedroom and I saw Cade's surprise.  A new Percy rested near a cotton ball pillow and a Kleenex blanket.
     "We buried Percy today!" Our boy screamed.  "And now he's back in my bed!  Percy . . . he's a bad guy!"
    

    I searched "Percy Zombie," but only found a Thomas Zombie.  So hilarious!
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