I sat on the edge of the desk and gestured toward Jean Claude with the gun. “How did you end up with a dead dude as your muscle? I gotta admit, I’m kind of impressed. He’s got a fair amount of autonomous thought going on for a zombie.”
I’d been trying to reverse engineer Jean Claude in my head, wondering what combination of spells it would take to maintain what appeared to be a living soul in a dead body. Most zombies weren’t much more than robots with a highly restricted and specialized programming language. But I didn’t know enough about voodoo-ish magic to even begin to start figuring out what made his dead ticker tick. That kind of magic was as foreign to me as nuclear engineering to a phys ed major.
Vonda glared at me, but a lot of the hate I’d seen earlier was absent, replaced by a hard glaze of sadness. “He’s not ‘muscle.’ He was my boyfriend before he got shot. We were coming out of a bar when a couple of drug-pushing assholes got into a fight. The guy who was getting his ass kicked pulled a gun and started firing. He wasn’t even looking where he was shooting. One of the bullets hit Jean Claude. I got him to the car, but he was dead before we’d gone a mile. He doesn’t have family here, anyone who would miss him. He worked in construction. People come and go all the time, so no one would think it odd if he didn’t show up. I was the only one who would miss him, or cared that he was gone.” Tears glistened in her eyes. “But I love him, and didn’t want to live without him. I’ve had magic since I was a little girl. My gramma taught me a lot. She took me to another woman, a priestess, who taught me more. I used it to bring him back. I did it that night, before he was dead for too long. If I’d waited, he would have lost more and more of who he was.”