CHAPTER 47

EPILOGUE

Anna (me):

As I now reenter to bring our story to a close, allow me to expound further upon the fruits of both Chloe’s and Mr. Spellman’s labors, as their mutual efforts make it possible for me to exist today, albeit in a condition I will politely call anomalous. Whilst I was indeed revived as a capably operating brain, retaining all powers of feeling and thought, I was hindered in my physicality, a rather obvious result of my decapitation. In short, I had no connection to the other parts of me that would facilitate communication, and this most vitally included use of my vocal chords, for the manner in which my head was separated from my torso rendered my voice inoperable, a condition that persists to this day, and which I imagine will continue until my eventual demise, should that moment ever come (there are conflicting theories as to whether or not I will ever indeed die, but that is grist for a different tome). My vocal handicap became quickly apparent to both Chloe and Mr. Spellman, but we surmounted this by the simple and elegant solution of blinking — one meant yes, two meant no. In this way I was able to respond most decisively to both their queries, and maneuver my own fate with a freedom afforded, despite my malady. Initially they asked about my state of being, so utterly unique as it was. I assured them that I felt no pain, and that I understood what had become of me. Mr. Spellman posited that I had become so familiar with Life and Death that the process held no mystery for me, so that I could pass through both without the terror tremors that had afflicted all my victims. I heartily gave a single blink, and made sure my countenance, as it were, matched. He then asked me if I could control or move in any way any of my severed limbs. I blinked twice, for no matter how hard I concentrated and delivered the thought, I couldn’t raise a finger, or kick a leg, or twist my spine. It was clear that my brain needed to be connected to my extremities in flesh, that mere thought alone wasn’t enough to cause my body movement. That’s when Mr. Spellman, the blessed man of science that he is, suggested that he perform a sort of connective surgery. While he proclaimed that he wasn’t a doctor by training, he thought he was proficient enough in skill to mend my parts back together, though he admitted he knew nothing of the finer points of it, of linking vein to vein, tendon to tendon, and such. No, my joining would have to depend on the innate magnetic qualities of flesh, as they were, and we thought ourselves supported by the fact that we were already well beyond any of the known sciences, which was why introducing a traditional physician might prove futile, as well as risk unnecessary public exposure.


I must say that Mr. Spellman’s bedside manner was impeccable. He made me feel very well attended, as if he was driven and honored to assist me. His honest desire to make me whole again touched the very heart of me, and made it quite difficult for me emotionally when I had to communicate to him my true will regarding my reassembly. Though it took some time and process of elimination, since all I could do was affirm or deny, I was eventually able to precisely indicate to him my vision for my future self. I did not want legs, for I had no longing to ever leave my room again. My torso too was of no use to me, for it held my base desires, and wasn’t that the source of all my troubles? I could think of no constructive use for my left hand either, for mostly it just dangled there unappreciated, so why not let it go. But my right hand, that was my writing hand, and thusly the proper extension of my brain. I fantasized instantly at the brutal integrity of it — distractions forced out, energy focused at the nub — and from that moment I reveled in its inevitability. Mr. Spellman was initially quite shocked, and I suppose rightly so.
How uncommon it must be for a creature to will itself to mutation, though I saw it not as penance, but as gift, and no matter what Mr. Spellman said in defense of the whole body, I was resolute. There was the practical matter of the probability of outcome — would I be able to effectively control my hand connected directly to my brain? Mr. Spellman convinced me that a small piece of torso that included my right shoulder would assist me in maintaining proper motor function down my arm to my hand. He advised not to deviate too greatly in anatomy from the natural balance of the hand, and his argument most surely resonated with me, as we seemed to have already done enough to corrupt the native resting state of the body, and we could at least honor its birthright in some small way. The procedure would require an additional cut to be made, splitting a small V-shaped portion of my torso from my left inner clavicle in a line just above my right breast and around my back. I still find it utterly remarkable that Mr. Spellman could perform such an unholy operation, and do so with aplomb. It is no overstatement to say that he indeed fathered me into my second, and present, existence.


Following the surgery, which was a resounding success, I began my current residence in my room, and I remain there to this day. Mr. Spellman designed a basin of sorts where my head is properly supported by cushioned pads so that I may nod and turn and glance and otherwise move my head comfortably as one might do normally, if one were normal. The stem of my spine and the wound of my neck rests constantly and clandestinely in a fluid of Mr. Spellman’s invent — it consists mostly of the Haitian poison, the properties of which via experiment were quite known to us, but also augmented with some simple nutrients, which Mr. Spellman claims should help me, and will certainly do me no harm. Who am I to resist his fine judgment. My right arm extends out of the basin itself and onto a small table affixed to it. Again buffeted by cushioned pads, my arm and hand are afforded all the movement one could desire for the critical art of writing, and I am able to grip fast any pen or pencil I choose, and with an array of writing papers also within my reach, stowed in an easily obtained drawer cleverly built into the table’s side, I have everything at my disposal to pursue and record for posterity any words that come to me, any story, any tale, any truth or fiction that might beckon, as I am designed now singularly for that purpose, and I cannot think of anyone in this world more fortunate in their endeavors than I.


In summation, let it be said that Mr. Spellman in time became my mother’s second husband, for his connection to her was quite profound, originating as it did in that hellish basement, where the bonds they formed proved quite robust indeed. I could not be happier for them. He resumed his position at Griffin Hills High, unlike Chloe, who remains to this day a student of the home-schooled variety, which seems to suit her, she admits, for the time being, though I know she’s looking forward to leaving home soon, and attending university on her own, someplace far away. But don’t take it from me. I will allow Chloe here the final words of our story, not as an honor, but as dignity rightfully earned, for I do not begrudge any of her actions, not even to the last. I love her with all my heart, and though you may think that I have no heart to give, you would be mistaken, for my heart is all I have.

Chloe:

Wow, I can’t believe we made it to the end. Okay, let me first put to rest the James thing, cuz I know you’re all wondering what happened to him. After what happened to Anna at the school dance, which of course was like the most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life times a billion, I just didn’t feel it would be right for me and James to keep seeing each other. I mean, I had got my revenge already on Anna anyway just by stealing her dress and going to the dance with James, so I didn’t really feel the need to keep torturing the poor girl by sticking with the guy. Besides, ever since he came back from being killed and all, he wasn’t the same. I guess I was like Anna, I guess I liked his sensitive side too because when he was a zombie that side was gone. He was still hot of course, but just not quite as hot, if you know what I mean. Anyway, he took it pretty well, and I guess he really was my slave, cuz I told him not to be upset, and he wasn’t.


After that, like Anna said, I decided not to go to Griffin Hills anymore. I wouldn’t say drop out, because I understand the value of a high school education and all, it’s just that after all that went down at that school with me and Anna, it didn’t seem right for me to go back there. Not only that, but Anna needed me, or at least I felt that way. I felt that really strong. And I didn’t feel it in the way that twins feel each other, like Anna has described in her story. I felt it for me on my own, not as something Anna felt first then I picked up second. It was mine alone. And I liked that. It’s nice to feel genuine feeling for my sister, and know that it comes from just me.


I can say that over time all that weird zombie shit like super powers and being a slave, all that stuff kinda just fades away, so that after a couple weeks you feel pretty much back to normal. Which is good cuz I’m living now in a house of four zombies! I guess it brings us all closer together as a family, and I’m usually the one making fun of cheesy families and saying it’s shit and all, but I have to say, it feels really nice for all of us to be bonded like we are, we can laugh and make jokes about it and even Anna likes to do that. I mean, she can’t talk or make noises really but she sure can make a funny face when she laughs! She’s just as much a member of our family as anyone, and we treat her the same. That’s the way she wants it. I’ve never seen her so happy, even in all those years when she was whole, she’s better now than she’s ever been. I know it sounds weird but it’s true. She smiles all the time now. And she’s always writing. Some of it is pretty good, I think, but what do I know! I do know that some of the stuff she writes is fuckin’ hilarious. She likes to make me laugh, and I like it when she does.


                                                                   The End