The Last Mailman: Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Zombies
Kevin J. Burke
Published by Permuted Press at Smashwords.
Copyright 2011 Kevin J. Burke.
This book is dedicated to my brother, Jeff, known in some circles as Zombie Shakespeare. His cultivation of our mutual love for the undead directly resulted in this book.
I can never get used to the silence. Even my radio playing sounds a little strange when it’s the only noise. Whenever I’m asked what I miss most about the old world, that’s my answer. Noise. Everything now is too damn quiet. Therefore, it fills me with an odd delight when I hear the tires of my truck squeal as I hit the brakes. I pull over and park in front of the house, lean over, open the glove compartment and pull out a spiraled notebook.
Occasionally, a curious person will ask me why I conduct my business using a notebook with Disney’s High School Musical on the cover. They think it’s funny. Or cute. Well, for one thing, I’m not picky, I just need the paper, and I don’t particularly care what the picture on the front is. If I stop and think about it, though, I can come up with another reason.
It’s one of the things I think about when I have a rare moment to reflect on life—which isn’t often. Like maybe when I’m sitting in the truck getting ready, surveying the situation, I will suddenly pause a moment to wonder just what the hell I’m doing out here in the middle of nothing, putting my life on the line for the happiness of strangers. And happiness is not even accurate, really, because seldom do I bring my clients good news. I return home and, nine times out of ten, nineteen times out of twenty, it’s “Yep, they’re all dead. Sorry.” Anyway, my point about the notebook was that it is a reminder of better things. I will study the smiling faces of “Troy” and “Gabriela” and think about what things used to be like. This is what it’s all about, what we’re all working toward. There was a time when the world wasn’t full of nothing but death and silence. Troy and Gabriela on the cover of an old notebook remind me of that.