- it’s urban fantasy
- dave and karkat share an apartment
- karkat is a broke college student and dave’s just your standard broke millennial
- they met because karkat and rose work at the same library
- dave is a necromancer and he likes to reanimate tiny animal skeletons and take care of them in little jars - karkat has weird unexplored blood bond magic - both of them think the other is normal and they spend 90% of their energy trying to hide their magical shenanigans from each other - one day rose shows up - she’s dripping mysterious black goo on the stairs - her hair is wild and unkempt and she looks panicked - she’s holding a shovel, which is covered and dirt and another unidentified substance - “Dave, Karkat, I need your assistance.” - both boys’ immediate reaction is “rose no he doesn’t know about the magic thing!” - rose is like what are you talking about never mind i don’t care, there’s an undead vampire in my trunk and i need both of you - moment of confusion and then a drawn out series of explanations - DAVE: so vantas you were out being a blood magic dude the entire time and you just never mentioned it huh - KARKAT: I’M SORRY? YOU’RE A NECROMANCER? A FUCKING ***NECROMANCER***? SO THAT TIME I SAW A SKELETON MOUSE RUN ACROSS THE LIVING ROOM AND YOU CHASED AFTER IT AND THEN TOLD ME IT WAS A “PERFORMANCE PIECE”, THAT WAS––? - ROSE: Perhaps we could have this conversation at a later date. Possibly a date where there is not a dead body in my car. - the body is kanaya, of course, and they resurrect her just fine - karkat ends up as kanaya’s regular blood supplier - dave never gets rose to explain what the hell she was doing - eventually dave asks karkat out via dancing mouse skeleton troupe - it fails hilariously - karkat spends half an hour yelling at dave before he says yes
“Alright stop playing now and help me find a leather jacket.” I laughed pushing Caiden away from me as we shopped together in Zara. We had become a lot closer in the last couple of weeks due to him hanging around the crew more and he had come with me to pick out clothes for Marcus’ surprise birthday party that I was throwing.
He placed his hand on my waist and came up behind me once more. “How about that one ma?” He asked pointing at a really nice jacket hanging above us on the wall. I immediately moved his hand from my waist and tried to brush off his actions as nothing more than friendly.
I shook my head no and scanned the wall for a different jacket. “He’d say that one is too girly for him, you know my baby is a thug. He needs a specific kind of leather jacket.” I said adding in the my baby part to get him to back off. That was the only issue with Caiden, he was a great friend but at times he was such a big flirt and I hated it.
“Oh word?” He asked as he placed his hand on my waist again. I spun around around to glare at him and when I had turned around he was already smirking at me, he laughed before removing his hand.
“Caiden stop it.” I said forcefully as I walked over to where the jacket was and reached up to try and pull it down. I felt Caiden come up behind me and press his body against mine before pulling the jacket down with ease. I glared at him again and snatched the jacket out of his hands.
“You good Rich?”Quis asked coming up behind Caiden and I with Dej wrapped around his waist. I nodded my head and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, blushing almost immediately. I had forgotten Quis and Dej and come with us.
It was strange but once I said Caiden and I were going shopping Quis all of a sudden wanted to come along with Dej. Marcus had nothing to say however. I didn’t understand their group dynamic. It didn’t seem like Keem or Quis were cool with Caiden at all, it all seemed very forced.
“What do you think of this jacket for Marcus?” I asked quickly changing the subject and holding up the jacket for him to see. “With these jeans and then I was thinking about getting him some flyknits.”
“That looks very him ma. You know my bro or nah?” Quis asked with a chuckle as he nodded his head in approval. I smiled happily, satisfied that my choice was the right one. I never really got to spend time with Marcus’ friends one on one so the times that I got to I took serious. I wanted them to know that I was worth their friends time just like my friends felt like he was worth mine.
“Can we go eat now y'all? I’m starving.” Dej said rubbing her little belly and causing me to laugh. She was so cute pregnant, it really fit her as crazy as that sounds. It’s just that she was so sweet and gentle and being pregnant definitely added to that.
“Yes we can go eat with your little hungry ass.” Quis said with a chuckle before leaning down to peck Dej on her lips. I smiled at the sight, they were so cute together and I couldn’t wait to see them as parents.
“I’ll just buy these things real quick and then we can head to lunch.” I said gesturing to the different articles of clothing in my arms. I had picked out three different outfits for Marcus and figured whatever he didn’t like he could bring back and exchange.
“Aigh bet, we’ll wait for you out front.” Quis said before glaring at Caiden and grabbing Dej’s hand, the two of them heading towards the front of the store.
“So clearly the two of you aren’t best friends.” I said to Caiden as we walked to the register.
“Yeah not really. Only reason why we’ve even been hanging around each other is because Marcus needs some shit done for work and I’m the best guy to do it.” He said with a shrug as I laid the items down on the counter for the cashier to ring up.
“Work meaning the shop or work meaning…?” I asked letting my question trail off letting him know I knew that he participated in both legal and illegal activities.
“Both actually. I’m the best customizer in the shop and when it comes to the other shit let’s just say I’m the only nigga besides Marcus has the heart to get shit done.” He said. “When I want something I go after it and I don’t stop until it’s mine.” He added, looking at me as he spoke, he was looking at my so intensely that I was forced to break eye contact and look away.
“Your total is $235.00 ma’am.” The cashier said giving me the distraction I needed. I didn’t know how to respond to Caiden it was obvious that he was talking about more than work and that wasn’t somewhere I was trying to go, especially not with him.
“Thank you, here you go.” I said smiling at the girl and handing her my credit card. She was too busy staring at Caiden to notice me trying to pay. “Um excuse me?” I said waving my hand at her.
“Oh sorry…” she muttered taking my card and swiping it before handing it back to me and smiling at Caiden. “Have a great day.”
“We will thank you.” He replied with a wink before grabbing the bags and waiting for me to put my card in my wallet. I don’t know why but him winking at her irritated me a bit, I wasn’t sure if it was because she was so obviously thirsty or because he was such a flirt.
I shook my head and turned around ready to leave, almost immediately I made eye contact with Quis who was standing not that far away from us. He raised his eyebrows at me before turning to exit the store. I groaned inwardly knowing how bad this entire scene had just looked and I gave myself a mental note to keep distance between me and Caiden from now on.
“Keys you sit here kay?” Zora said grabbing my hand and sitting me down on the couch. We were supposed to be having a work meeting but Marcus couldn’t find anyone to watch Zora so we were at Richè’s house and she was supposed to be keeping her busy but that wasn’t happening.
“Okay lil mama.” I said with a chuckle sitting down and taking the teacup she was holding out for me. I watched her move around the living room in awe, she was such a little person and I couldn’t believe that in a couple more months I’d have a little person crawling around my place.
“You good Keys?” Keem asking mocking Zora’s name for me.
“Keemy you hush.” Zora said frowning and stomping her foot in his direction in an attempt to scare him I guess. I laughed and she shot me a dirty frown and I immediately shut my mouth. Zora was just like Marcus and it was funny to see her try and act like he did.
“You wanna fight shorty?” Keem asked kneeling down so that he was eye to eye with Zora. She nodded and balled her small baby hands into two fists and held them up Keem’s face. I tried my best to hide my laugh, before she could throw a punch Richè came into the living room and scooped Zora up throwing her over her shoulder.
Zora screeched gleefully and giggled loudly as Richè tickled her while holding her upside down before turning her right side up and placing a big kiss on her cheek. “Lil mama you wanna spend some time with me and watch Frozen?” She asked to which Zora nodded in response.
“Okay say bye to Keemy and Keys.” She said laughing at Zora’s nicknames for us.
“Bye Keys, bye Keemy!” Zora called out as she waved to us before disappearing around the corner with Richè.
“Marcus is a lucky ass nigga. Ion know that many girls that would look after another person’s child the way Richè does.” Keem said, I nodded my head in agreement. Although I was nodding, I wasn’t really listening. I had a lot on my mind in regards to Dej and our future child, along with the fact that my future was pretty much in this nigga Caiden’s hands and he can’t even keep his hands to himself.
“Yo you good?” Keem asked me raising his eyebrows. I shrugged not sure if I should speak on my thoughts or keep them to myself. I wasn’t like him and Marcus, I was a private ass nigga and I pretty much handled shit on my own always. But for some reason I decided to speak on it.
“Just thinking about the future and how I hope this nigga Caiden doesn’t fuck us over.” I replied after several seconds. Keem was silent for a bit before nodding his head.
“Yeah I feel you, at least he’s been acting how he should be lately. In terms of work and shit.” He said looking over at me. I made a face and shook my head in response.
“Barely. Plus this nigga been making moves on Richè when Marcus ain’t around. I know you have to have been peeping that shit bruh.” I said adding the next point to my argument. Caiden just wasn’t someone that should be trusted. He didn’t have a sense of brotherhood, I could see him not respecting me or Keem since we ain’t fuck with him. But Marcus? That was his number on advocate.
“Nah I ain’t peep shit but if you say it’s true I believe you. But I really think you’re just extra paranoid because you got a baby on the way fam.” Keem replied to which I responded with a glare. “Not to invalidate you my nigga. I’m just saying, you already don’t fuck with Caiden and wouldn’t trust him with your life. But now you gotta trust him with your life, Dej’s, and your child’s too. I think that shit got you on edge as fuck and so now you’re just picking up on every sus thing this nigga does.”
“Maybe you’re right Keem but ion know. Something just doesn’t feel right and I’m not sure what it is exactly, I feel like Marcus just doesn’t know what he’s getting us all into.” I responded with a shrug.
“About what?” Marcus asked entering the living room from the back of the house where he had been. I looked up surprised wondering how much he had heard, hopefully all of it so I could save my fucking breath.
“Clearly you still tripping Quis. Look fam you gotta chill on Caiden, he’s helping us all out and risking his life. Ion know how much more proof you need that he aint a snake.” Marcus said shaking his head and sitting down across from Keem and I.
“Marcus you know ion say much. I usually trust everything you say when it comes to this shit, but I’m telling you something aint right with Caiden. You’re making a mistake.” I said shaking my head and resting my head in my hands. It was clear to me these niggas were blind to the fact and I’d either have to prove myself or let Caiden fuck shit up for all of us.
“Quis my nigga, you’re under a lot of stress. I think you’re just being irrational right now. I mean just three weeks ago your shorty was in the hospital, that shit takes a toll on you. This is why we need Caiden more than ever, once he secures this territory it’s more money for all of us. Taking the pressure off work a bit and letting you focus on your family.” Marcus explained still trying to convince me. But I knew I wasn’t wrong.
“Look yo I get where you’re coming from but I aint buying it. Don’t worry bout me though, I’ll chill on ya boy like you said. But when he fucks us all over ion wanna hear shit from neither of you two.” I said. Before Marcus could respond the doorbell rang and I stood up ready to go.
“I gotta go check on Dej but I wanted to make sure I stopped by. Just fill me in on what I miss aigh?” I said walking over to the door and opening it, just as the door opened Caiden stepped inside and I couldn’t stop my eyes from narrowing.
“Wassup?” He asked offering his hand to me for a dap. I looked down at his hand and just started at it before chuckling and pushing past him outside. I didn’t care what Marcus and Keem said something wasn’t right about that nigga and if I had to be the one to expose him then so be it.
101 Ways to Kill a Zombie by Robb Pearlman (author) and Dave Urban (illustrator)
2013, 96 pages, 5.3 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches
$11 Buy a copy on Amazon
Fantastic images, diverse humor, and a plethora of nerdy references are the order of the day with 101 Ways to Kill a Zombie. This book came into my possession quite by accident while exploring the independently owned book stores of Richmond, Virginia. When I saw it on the table, that beautiful drawing of a majestic unicorn impaling a zombie, I knew this had to come home with me. It’s a quick, funny read, and it’s my absolute favorite coffee table book. Actually, for me, it’s not a coffee table book. It adorns the counter at the family business, and when parents come in with their children, it’s a life saver. This book entertains the (slightly more mature) kids for at least 30 minutes while their parents talk… and talk… and talk. The drawings are actually phenomenal, and the movie, book, and pop culture references always bring a smile to my face. You might not think zombie killing can be clever and subtle, but take a look at 101 Ways to Kill a Zombie and you will be pleasantly surprised. It’s a winner, for sure.
– Kitty Lusby