It was a morning like all others: Clara sat on the couch, a cup of milk curled around the fingers of her right hand while she sucked on the middle fingers of her left hand. Big Bird filled the television screen as he searched a farm for any sign of Ernie. Suddenly Clara heard a sound from the hallway. Her eyes darted toward the door, the rest of her body remaining very still.
Not a foot off the ground, the tip of a bald head came into view. It was just as Clara feared. The bane of her existence approached slowly, ever so slowly. It was the slowness of inevitability. One hand forward...pause...opposite knee forward... pause... other hand forward. The zombie baby was on the move.
Clara dared not move for fear of attracting attention. As of yet the undead little one was unaware of Clara's presence. Perhaps the zombie would be distracted by the television, or the Dora van, or the Mr. Potato Head. Oh no, Clara thought, not the dolphin, not the fuzzy dolphin! It was near the doorway - the reanimated devil child had only to look left and she'd see it. No! She saw it!
The zombie reached for the dolphin and Clara couldn't help but jump at the thought of what that thing would do with it. But the enemy saw the movement, and now had Clara clearly in her sights. Zombie Kate's eyes widened, and she smiled that drooly smile of the damned. On she came.
"Noooooo!" Clara cried. "Kate! Nooooooo!" Maybe her dad would hear and come to save her. She could hear him in the kitchen. Why wasn't he protecting her?
Clara jumped up and ran to the end of the room, crying. Zombie Kate smiled and continued toward her. She's taunting me, Clara thought.
"What's the matter Clara?" Her father yelled from the kitchen.
"Kaaaaaaaaate! Kaaaaaaaaate!" Surely he would come.
"Oh sweetie, just share your toys with her." Share? Toys? This clueless man thinks I'm crying over a toy? I'm crying for my life!
She had nowhere to run. She had backed herself into a corner and Kate showed no signs of stopping. She kept smiling and drooling and grunting that zombie grunt. Realizing she had little choice, Clara ran at the little zombie and, keeping herself out of arms reach, ran around her into the hallway.
"Daddy!" She sobbed. He was in the kitchen putting dishes away. Why did he choose today to start doing that?
"What's the matter sweetie?" What's the matter? The matter is that your "sweetie" is going to be zombie food if you don't do something quick!
From the entrance to the living room came a grunt, a tip of a head, those dark, dark eyes, that smile, and so much drool. Nowhere was safe!
"Kaaaaaaaaate!" Clara cried.
"Oh sweetie," her father said in that condescending tone. "Kate just wants to play with you."
Oh what a clueless man. Yes, she wants to play with me, like a cat plays with a mouse, Clara thought. Clara was giving up hope with every inch the zombie baby crawled. Clara held tight to her father but he did nothing! The end was here. At least she saved her stuffed dolphin from certain doom.
At last Kate made it to her and Clara's life flashed before her eyes. Goodbye mommy and daddy. Goodbye dolphin. Goodbye giraffes at school. Goodbye trains. Goodbye Clarice. She closed her eyes tight.
Her father moved, picked up the zombie child, and deposited her in the high chair, pouring cheerios in front of her. The nightmare was over - Clara was saved! Hiding behind the cabinet, Clara peered around the corner at the zombie child. Kate reached for a cheerio, saw Clara there and smiled her drooly, crusty smile as if to say, "this isn't over."
(the last we saw of our dog)