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Precious Cargo

I'm in Haitian territorial waters. Destination: Miami.

A patrol boat's coming with sirens blaring. I stop my engines. Sailors with machine guns come aboard. So does General LeHate.

"What's your cargo?" he snaps.

"Cadavers," I say. "For American medical schools."

"Let's see," he says.

I hope he doesn't inspect too carefully. Millions in illegal drugs are stuffed inside the cadavers.

He opens the hatch. Green smog escapes. The stench is nauseating. Suddenly, a female corpse sits up and moans horribly.

"A zombie!" LeHate yells. "You're carrying contraband. Zombies are Haiti's national treasures. They attract tourist dollars. Kidnapping her is like stealing our Big Ben, our Eiffel Tower, our Empire State Building. This crime is punishable by death."

"Don't arrest me. I didn't know she was aboard. Here's $5,000."

He pockets the bribe. "If she were your wife, there's no crime. For $5,000 more Iíll perform a wedding ceremony."

"Okay, I'll marry her immediately," I say, handing him another $5,000. After he leaves, I'll toss her overboard.

We stand in front of him, holding hands. Her hand is slippery. It's leaking green goo.

He pronounces us married.

Good grief! What have I done?

"Kiss the bride," he orders, pointing a pistol at my head.

Her eye falls out as she faces me. She grabs me and bites my lips off. While chewing, she drags me into the hold, and throws me to the floor. I land on squishy corpses.

"Honeymoon time," she cackles.

Story by:

Michael A. Kechula

submitted at 6:59pm

30 April 2009

Michael's stories have been published by 107 magazines and 30 anthologies.