I am sure Brody has a sense of humor. I can sense it in the twinkle in his eye, the way he waits until his chew toys are nice and soggy before dumping them in my lap. When I’m in a deep sleep, sometimes he rests his chin on the side of the mattress and stares at me silently, breathing doggy breath two inches from my face before I wake with a scream.
He’s full of ‘em.
Last night, with my husband far away, I flicked on the TiVO and watched the latest episode of the Walking Dead. Now, I keep telling people it’s not really about zombies as much as it is about people, but don’t get me wrong- there are a TON of zombies in the show. Scary, well made up zombies, shuffling, moaning, and slovenly, bloodily, violent.
Now I should know better than to watch it when my husband’s out of town, but I really wanted to know what happened in this episode, and I figured, it won’t be that bad.
Well, it was pretty bad. It’s one of those shows that lulls you into a false sense of complacency during a long monologue before a walker bursts through a broken pane of glass and grabs for someone’s throat. In this episode one of the characters was trapped on a schoolbus while the zombies screamed for his blood; we’re talking Nightmare on Elm Street bad, this episode. So now it’s the dead of night, and I’m curled up on the couch rueing my decision to watch this right before I needed to go to bed.
So of course, Brody gets ideas. He strolls, or stalks is maybe a better word, over to the back door. Now, we have no blinds or curtains along the back wall since it doesn’t look onto anyone else’s property, so at night it’s a pitch black wall of window that looks onto whatever emptiness or terrible things might be lurking out there, me inside bathed in a wash of light like vittles on display in the grocery store of the undead. Outside there could be nothing. A stray cat, perhaps. Or perhaps a walker, jonesing for my blood.
Brody stares out into oblivion, and slowly, hair by hair, his hackles raise. And he growls, one of those low, drawn-out growls reserved for “something bad but I don’t know what.”
I look at him. “Brody, stop.”
He swings his head to look at me, stares back outside, and continues to growl.
I say it again, a bit more pleadingly. “Brody, stop. You’re freaking me out.”
He drops his head and presses his nose to the window, continuing his scary growl. Koa goes into the pantry. I contemplate joining her.
“Brody,” I say, backing into the kitchen. “No way am I opening that door. That door is all that stands between us and-” well, whatever it is that is freaking him out, which by now I have imagined is a flood of shambling grey animated corpses dropping over the low wall separating us from the neighbors and slowly, inexorably making their way to the back door.
He keeps this up for a good two minutes, during which I am powerless to do anything except wait. In my mind’s eye, the palm frond brushing the windowsill in the nighttime wind looks strangely like a skeletal finger, an image I can’t erase as my overactive imagination starts wondering just how much it hurts to get devoured.
And then, just like that, he drops it, then comes over wagging and leans into me for a pat like nothing’s wrong. “Good one, huh?” his body language says. I never did figure out what it was that was bugging him, because I immediately went upstairs and set the house alarm.
What a stinker.
Anyone else have a prankster?