The moment I meet Cyrus isn’t through hard work, inspiration, or some stroke of luck.
The moment I meet him is fate. It’s the first time you meet a future close friend. You just have a feeling when you see them. You know right away, they’re here to stay and you’re glad for it.
I’m sixteen years old. I’ve been reading The Zombie Survival Guide and finished it for the third time. The sun has set but that ambient blue light only dusk knows bathes my room. I have to squint to read the last few pages. I’m too consumed to turn on a light. It doesn’t even cross my mind.
Then, as I sit there, gazing out the window at the darkening sky, picturing hordes of rotten undead pressing against the house to get me, I meet Cyrus.
We’re sitting on the floor of his apartment looking out the sliding glass door at the shambling hordes. It’s that same blue light. It makes his already pale skin look translucent. Ghostly. He’s squinting to see the swarm in the Seattle street below, undulating in the shadows.
When he sees me, he grins. He offers a Sour Patch Kid. He doesn’t need to ask what color I want, because red is our favorite.
“Lots of them down there,” I say.
“You aren’t afraid.”
I don’t know everything about him, I never will, but in that moment I’m glad fate brought us together. As we eat the sour candies and listen to the hungry groans of the undead, I know we’re in this together.
“Hey, Eloise?” he asks.
“What’s the V stand for?”
“I don’t know,” I say. “You tell me.”
I’ve been working on a lot of personal narrative pieces for an English class in school and have been in that mindset for the past few months. While working on some pieces a memory came to me of when I first “met” Cyrus. I remembered it like it was yesterday, and since I’ve been through two books with Cyrus I thought it would be fun to share this vignette with you.
The opening scene of The Undead Situation when you first meet Cyrus in his apartment was written right after the moment I described above.