And more thankfully not with a sick youngest kid anymore... although her Coughing Bowl goes everywhere she does - it's a plastic lunch container with a zip-lock sandwich bag as a liner that she coughs and sneezes into. We invented it because she's associated phlegm in her throat with throwing up and we need to leave the house sometimes without toddler panic attacks at every sniffle. It works.
Have a great weekend!
1. Pros and Cons
Perhaps I should have stayed dead a few moments longer. It's not like the extra couple of seconds would have killed me. The cover story wouldn't have to be so elaborate, either. And I would probably have clothes right now, not just a body bag.
It all started three days ago in a back alley, where a friend was nice enough to shoot me in the gut so that I could be dead for a few days. At least long enough to satisfy everyone involved that I wasn't scamming my insurance company.
I've had to be dead many times now, and every time it gets a little harder. There are all those scalpel-happy coroners out to solve wrongful deaths with their autopsies, each just itching to grab onto any corpse and slice their way to enlightenment. Whatever happened to just getting killed and being dead and buried so your friends can come dig you out later that night? It used to be that a hole in your stomach, a lot of blood, and no pulse meant that you were dead. Now they want to take out the bullet and try to find the gun and person who shot you, confirm if the gun was used in crimes before, and what exact kind of damage the bullet did that you died from it. It's such a hassle.
On the up side, a gunshot death usually means free access to the hospital. In a crappy downtown hospital like this one, all you have to do is make sure you file all your paperwork properly before you go and nobody ever thinks to miss you. They do notice the missing blood from the bank, but it sure beats eating what you can find on the street. People who won't be missed usually have gross eating habits, poor hygiene, and questionable health. It's enough to make you lose your appetite; especially when there's a supply of clean, healthy, prepackaged freezer meals just waiting to get picked up.
I know exactly what you're thinking right now: ugh, vampires. It's not as bad as it sounds. The daylight allergy is a myth, a steak through the heart and the removal of the head kills everything except cockroaches, and the ability to go to church or handle religious artifacts really depends on what religion you did or didn't start with. Personally, I wasn't religious when I was human. Being undead hasn't changed my mind much. Most of us vampires just work dead-end jobs and live mostly regular lives.
Besides, the up side is that you get to have some pretty awesome night vision, a great sense of smell, unlimited years to exercise and live up to that 'super strength' assumption, and healing powers that make earthworms jealous. Also, you are technically dead, so the heartbeat and breathing stuff isn't required. I took up ocean diving without air tanks when I learned that. Undersea holidays are my favorite way to relax.
So, once I get my current state of affairs wrapped up, that's what I'm going to do. Go on a nice holiday. Fish blood is just as tasty as the hospital stuff, and if you don't need a boat to dive from you don't have to worry about people spotting it and getting nosy about you being underwater for so long. Besides, sitting on a beach or drifting around in warm, ocean currents for a week or two is a smart way to lay low and build your latest identity. Tourist locations tend to not care as long as you pay a bill, and low class parts of countries with questionable governments have good places to lose your purse and all your ID. I even have my new ID made and paid for. It's now just a matter of getting clear so that I can go collect it.
If it weren't for the insurance my old me took out, payable to my new me, I'd have just slipped away and made a b-line for the nearest exit. But the fine print in the policy requires confirmation of an Accidental Death for the full pay out, and the dolt who was on shift last night decided to leave me for day shift to write up. Day shift then got huffy about always having to do all the paperwork and left me for afternoon shift. Afternoon shift was sick of doing all the extra crap that day shift and night shift were always pawning off, and tagged a bright green sticky note over my toe tag that told everyone exactly what they thought of the whole situation.
Needless to say, I'd been in the freezer for just over 24 hours. My gut was starting to ache from keeping the bullet hole open – mind over matter, it really does work – and I had the chorus from a crappy pop song by some superstar teenager stuck in my head that was playing on repeat. And just to add insult to injury, my ass had gone numb from lying on the fridge slab for so long. I'd sigh if it was actually worth the effort of breathing.
Then again, from the experience of other sighs I'd indulged during the past 24 hours, the air in my personal fridge smelled like cheap plastic, hospital disinfectant, and dead. If you've ever driven past the wrong side of a meat processing plant, or past road kill that's been on the highway shoulder too long, you know the smell I'm talking about when I say 'dead'. If you don't know, don't try to find out. It's not a good smell. It's the one that makes people on TV puke in the autopsy room. Let's just say that forcing this air across my scent receptors one more time wasn't something I wanted to willingly inflict on myself.
Besides, my fridge door opened at that moment.
Why are Authors crazy? I can't answer that, but I can provide bits of my own thoughts so that you can piece together why I may be.