Cara Gallahan loved rainbows. She loved tennis shoes, men's pants, and dabbled in rugby as well, but none of these held her attention like psychedelic skies. In fact, nothing could pry her attention from the purple, red, blue streaks overhead. Her fingers tightly gripped the steering wheel in her delight as she stuck her head out her window and turned her face upwards. Long red hair flipped back in the breeze of 20 mph, wide green eyes fixed on the heavens, lips curved in a smile of pure delight, and her foot pressing down down on the gas petal. This wasn't an unheard of occurrence in the tall tomes of Cara mishaps. So, when the lapping of wind through her hair suddenly ceased, and her head jerked into the rearview mirror, she didn't shriek or carry on like the woman she back ended.
It was a van this time, sea green and covered in 'My Kid Can Beat Up Your College Student' bumper stickers. The woman leapt from her car and ran to inspect the damage, yelling all the way. "What is the matter with you?" She was bright red in the face, the color of lipstick worn by woman of fresh old age. The ones crying out, 'I'm not dead yet!' It was evident that the bulk of the damage belonged to the red Escapade with the red-haired girl hanging out the driver's window. The mother yelled and screamed, pounding her hand on the girl's windshield, not understanding why Cara was staring upwards, still smiling, with a thin trickle of blood slipping from her forehead.
The time is November 23rd, 2004, 13:05. The world is a throne room, with Britain and Russia kneeling as the grand throne, and all the other nations rolled into the long red carpet. On the throne sits the President with his advisors draped over his shoulders, the Houses grumbling as the banners at his sides, and the Free World regalia delicately balanced on his grey-haired head. The President crawls on the floor, clicking his tongue and making convincing faces at the hissing cat cornered under his desk. Down the street, window wipers dance on the bar, clicking their heels and sloshing beer in brief escape. Mrs. Ross's fifth grade class loses consciousness and finds their heads slipping from their hands and slamming down upon their desks. Outside the school, Cara Gallagher stares unabatedly at a rainbow while policeman and soccer mom shake her to the moment. She wakens at 13:08.
"What the fuck did you do to my car?!" the woman yelled, pushing Cara and policeman away and pointing furiously at her crushed car.
The policeman looked from her finger to the dented steel in surprise. Cara looked on in anger and shook her head.
"You're kidding! The light was red! You back ended me!" the woman yelled.Cara jumped up on the hood of her car. She knew the blame was hers for sure; she was young, she drove a red sports car, the light was red, and there was a gorgeous rainbow just above her. It called to her. She fixed her eyes on the wreck.
"Ma'am. Ma'am, calm down." The policeman gently wrapped his hand around the woman's arm, holding her back from stomping over to Cara and indignating further. "I need you to swap insurance, address and give me your telephone numbers. License, please, ma'ams. Oh yes. And names.
"The rainbow sang in her ears. She could only hear his voice barely over the colors. She couldn't hear the other woman, even as she yelled her name. Roscalyin.
"Ma'am?" the policeman turned to her.
There was a pause. The policeman sighed. "Alright. I need Miss Gallagher to ride with me. Miss Roscalyin may leave for home...."
She barely understood why he was taking her hand, why he was leading her from her Escapade and the rainbow dancing overhead. They reached the police car. Cara slumped down in the seat, resting her head back against the cushion and tentively touching the blood pooling in the crease of her lips. She barely understood why it was there. The radio flipped on to Life As Lived By The Undead and she found her smile again. Suddenly everything cleared. She could see his profile through the metal cage. He was young, like her. But sturdy, permanent. Had she not found his shoulders familiar she would have faded out again.
He started the engine and turned around. He winked.
Her eyes brightened. "JACK!"
"Believe it, baby. Some number you did on your car back there. Why did you say your real name?"
"You're here to save me!"
"Don't know if I did, babe. She heard your name. You think she'll chase you down?"
Cara threaded her fingers through the metal. He touched the tips with his own. The song fell into an instrumental reprise and she was more solid than ever. "I know you can save me, Jack. That bitch'll whine and gripe, but you can feign ignorance. You weren’t the policeman she met. But you have the case file right here in your hands and it says there was no driver in the car when the officer arrived. A Ms. Roscalyin is quoted here, saying that the driver was a young male, and fled across the highway."
"You rear ended her at an intersection, not a highway."
"They're just as dangerous. The driver of my car was a stunning young bodybuilder with a cape and tights. Defying death and courageous, a hero."
"That wasn't your car."
The police car rolled forward, passing an infuriated soccer mom with hands on her hips and glare full-blown. Cara pressed her nose against the glass."
Where'd you steal it?" he asked.
"7-11. Some people still leave their cars running."
She settled back against the leather and tapped her fingers to the tune of gimme gimme poison licks and I'll live undead with you. It was a sweet song, really, of the lover of a zombie, who, while unable to contract the virus despite frequent attempts by her lover, decides to live life in a lie, ever pretending to be a zombie to remain by the side of her dearest. Gimme gimme fingerpricks and I'll live undead with you.
"Will you drive me home?"