Sharon’s note: Noping out of family is hard. How much do we owe them? How much of the problem between us is you? Not you you, a hypothetical or metaphorical you. You know what I mean. Actual you this time. Warning: Author is scatterbrained today.
“Girls!” Dad barked, and we fell in like, just like always. We stared at him because if we looked at each other, we’d just start fighting again. He glared at us before turning back to his brother. “She’s right, though, Bubba. There’s hand sanitizer and gloves in the truck. Use them.”
“You ain’t the boss of me.” Uncle Ray ignored Dad and braced to pull the body up again. Weeds snapped as he pulled, grunting and sweating like an angry pig, until with a fart like squelch the body came free.
“Whoa, full moon.” Penny put up a hand to shield her vision.
Uncle Ray dropped the body face down, and the blubbery, bloated butt rippled as it hit the ground. It was naked from the back. Something had ripped the waders like they were tissue paper, and everything from neck to knees was exposed. More human bite marks peppered the back and buttocks and . . .
“There’s a critter in his shitter.” Ray whooped with laughter at the thick black worm thing that trailed out of the corpse’s rectum and into the water.
“Shut up, Bubba.” Dad crouched by the head, holding a throw-away .38 revolver on the worm thing while he checked the face. “It’s Joe Summers. Shit. I just saw him last night. He was going to that party at the Peterson’s house.”
“That asshole that turned the Gator Shack into a fucking chinese food restaraunt?” Ray’s lip curled and he kicked the late Mr. Summers in the side. “That was a local treasure, asshole.”
“If you treasure food poisoning and burnt coffee,” Penny mumbled so no one but me heard her. “Plus the new place has really good eggrolls.”
As much as I hated to agree with my sister, I had to nod. Too bad it would probably close with the owner dead. Ray kicked the worm thing, and it thrashed. A flood of extra foul smelling brown water gushed from around it and all thoughts of food disappeared from my head, possibly forever.
“What the hell is that thing?” I took a step back. Uncle Ray was reaching towards the the worm, and I shrieked. “Don’t touch it, you idiot!”
“What did you call me?” He stood up, fist balled.
“An idiot, because only someone as stupid as you would touch something that was coming out of a zombie’s ass with your bare hands!” I pointed to the black, squirming thing that was starting to writhe harder.
“Don’t you talk like that to me, you stuck up little bitch!” He stepped over the body and stomped towards me, mud squelching around his boots. “You think you’re hot shit, because you left town and joined one of the big shot ‘organizations’ that you have anything on me? I’ve been doing this job since before you were born!”
“And it’s a miracle you aren’t dead yet.” I sneered at him. “On second thought, go ahead and touch it. Maybe I’ll be able to tell what it is from they way it kills you.”
Ray would never hit a girl, but I could feel how bad he wanted to. His arms bulged with tense muscles and and his nostrils flared comically wide. Apparently, Dad could too, because he jumped between us. “That’s enough! Bubba, she’s right. Go put on some fucking gloves. Jess, don’t talk to your uncle that way.”
I paused for a long second, then nodded. “Okay. Fine. You know what? I came home because you asked me for help. Seems like you don’t need my expertise, so I’ll just go. I’ll leave Rosalee in the truck.”