Zombie Prosthetics
By Linda Courtland

“Get lost, you one-armed loser,” the zombie girl said, flipping what was left of her hair.

Jim shook his bloody stump at the decomposing bitch, spraying green goo and plasma into her Piña Colada. Then he trudged toward the door.

Jim was tired of trying to pick up girls in zombie bars. They all wanted someone with sculpted muscles and a full set of limbs, like in the movies. Sure, they said they wanted brains, but when it came to finding love, looks were all that really mattered. Still, zombies have needs. On the way home, Jim stopped at a Redbox and rented a girlie flick – Zombies Gone Wild: Barely Undead.

On the back of the DVD case, Jim noticed an ad for fake limbs. He dialed the toll-free number.

“Zombie Prosthetics,” a cheerful voice said.

“How much for an arm?”

Jim made an appointment for a fitting, and two weeks later, he felt complete again. The new arm looked great in his ragged plaid Western shirt. Jim brushed his three remaining teeth and set out to find true love.

At the zombie bar, girls swarmed around his big bilateral arms. But Jim’s attention was fixed on a sad-looking blonde sitting by herself. He bought her a drink and took her home. During their lovemaking, her leg fell off.

“I’m so embarrassed,” she said.

Jim stroked her hair and told her he loved her.

“I’m falling apart,” she said. “With all your limbs, you could have any girl you wanted.”

“I want you,” he said, and measured her stump.

On their next date, Jim handed her a present. She opened the box and a polyurethane leg rustled in pastel paper.

“It’s just my size,” she said, hugging him.

Jim helped her attach the new leg. That night, their lovemaking was sweet and gentle, and uninterrupted by loose limbs. She moved in with him that weekend, and one at a time, Jim replaced the parts of her that she had lost – a toe or finger every Friday, a new breast for her birthday, an eye or ear as needed.

She was packing a suitcase when Jim came home with another present.

“I need some time alone,” she said, touching all the plastic parts of her. “I don’t know who I am anymore,”

“I gave you everything,” Jim said.

She stared at him through flawless glass eyeballs, unable to really see. “I have to find myself.”

Jim opened the new box as she shuffled toward the door. “Wait,” he said. “At least, take this.”

But she limped away, without looking back.

Jim held the fake body part, clutching their one last symbol of connection. And he watched his true love leave, while holding her prosthetic hand.

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Linda Courtland is the author of Somewhere to Turn: stories, a collection of flash fiction that features telecommuting dolphins, an amorous GPS system, and treadmill-running doppelgangers. She lives and writes in Los Angeles. Contact her at Lcourtland@gmail.com
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