The place where she rested was dark and silent.
But, strangely enough, she could watch and listen to everything.
She could listen to her aunt as she spent every day in her workplace, forcing the fleeting thoughts of her disappear because they hurt too much. She could see her cousin give lingering looks to childhood photos of them some nights, before he'd go and join his obnoxious but trustworthy boyfriend on their bed. She could feel the imperfect bliss of the man who scorned her, as he argued with the woman that he chose over her.
She knew that her punishment was to be lost in oblivion forever, and she didn't mind anymore. It was what she deserved for a life of petty deceipt and lies. She had accepted that.
But there was one thing she was not going to accept.
"...for now, she's dead to me."
No, not to him, not the only person who ever trusted her, who forgave her again and again even when she did not really deserve it.
The only way to make up to him and get her soul to rest, was to keep the last promise she gave to him.
And tonight, on All Hallows’ Eve, she would have her single chance.
She started fighting the suffocating darkness around her. Her fingernails broke as they digged upwards in the dirt. Her sapping skin got torn as she scratched and punched her way into the constricting substance that killed her. But tonight, such a menial thing as a nameless grave had no power over someone who was already dead.
The dirt and the concrete around her resisted. She felt some of her bones cracking, parts of her hair unrooted by the friction of the ground, but finally she made it.
Her left hand found no resistance anymore, as it broke through the final layer of concrete, and she could feel wetness on the wounds on her fingers.
It was raining outside.
With a last effort, she snaked her other hand outside, too, and used both arms to pull herself upwards. The cement around her cracked as the ground gave birth to the unholy creature she had become.
She took a minute to look around. The works that were being done on that place seemed to be completed for quite some time now. Lots of grey cement and futuristic chrome and glass features around her.
She dared not approach the glass and have a look at herself. She already had an impression that she didn't look like what she once did, and she had no time for self-pity right now.
Tonight was all about revenge.
She grabbed a bench, broke the legs of it -which were deeply rooted in the ground- and started destroying everything that seemed newly built around her.
"Fuckers. That will show them for not putting up a "Caution" sign." she thought, as she vandalised everything the construction company had done to the area.
She finally stopped when she saw the ad.
A much prettier version of herself was looking at her from the giant ad on the wall. She looked so beautiful, so classy, so full of aspirations... never mind the drawn-on mustache, she still looked like a million dollars compared to her current looks.
A drunk teenager passed by with his scooter and drew her attention. "Hey! That's an awesome costume!" he slurred. "What are you doing tonight, babe?"
For the first time in her un-death, she smiled, giving him an evil look with her red irises and flashing him a toothless smile. "You really don't want to know."
She parked her new scooter far away from the castle, because she didn't want to draw attention. A scooter driving zombie, even in late night streets of Dusseldorf, was still a novelty for the people passing by. She always wanted to frequent the street and draw all looks at her, but she never expected it to happen under those circumstances.
It was a piece of cake, infiltrating the castle. She knew her way in from the many times she schemed in there before... in her glory years. Only this time even the dogs didn't bark at her, they were scared shitless, to be exact.
She made her way to Ansgar's private chambers, where his hidden safe was. When she uncovered it she didn't bother with punching in the code... she just punched the safe instead.
"Being undead is fun!" she thought to herself as she threw the shattered steel door aside. Then she helped herself to the money inside. She picked four 500 euro bills, folded them neatly with her non-bloody fingers (so that she wouldn't get the money dirty) and placed them into what remained of her cleavage. Then she pawed the rest of the money and stuffed them hastily in her pockets and her designer purse, which she retrieved with a lot of effor from her cement grave earlier.
She paused for a moment and contemplated a thought. Not a selfish one, but one of... generosity! "Well, it looks like we can afford to be generous" she told herself, and stuffed an extra 500 euro bill in her bra.
As she left the office and approached the top of the central stairs, she encountered something terrifying... and if you think that someone who's already dead cannot be terrified by anything, guess again!
"HOLY FUCK!" Our zombie anti-heroine exlaimed in horror. Rebecca Von Lahnstein was dancing like crazy on the staircase, twirling with a bunch of designer dresses on her embrace and giggling like a pig that rolls around in the mud for the first time. "What the hell are you doing here, you crazy bitch?" she told her old enemy.
Rebecca looked at the zombie and gave her a terrifying look of a devilish dear caught under some headlights. It was creepy, really. "No! It --it cannot be YOU!" she screamed in a ladylike way, grabbing her designer dresses tighter, as if they were about to take them from her.
"Do NOT look at me like that! It's unnerving...!" The zombie pleaded. But soon she got used to that look and it seemed more annoying than scary. "Well... when in Rome..." she thought to herself, and decided to grab the chance to teach an extra lesson to a woman she once (still) hated.
"Since I'm here, I'll do myself a favor..." the zombie said as she approached Rebecca. "...stay the HELL away! I have been peeking in your thoughts, and I know what you want... and you can't have him!"
"I don't know what you're talking ab--" Rebecca started saying, taking one step towards the creature slightly less scary than herself. Only to be savagely interrupted.
"BACK OFF!" the zombie screamed, and finally fully opened her mouth. She was so disgusted by the sight that she couldn't help puking all the huge worms she had gathered all those months... right on her old enemy!
"AAAAAAAAAIIIIEEEE!" Rebecca screamed as she tried to slap the flesh-eating worms off her precious stolen cloths. She tripped and promptly fell down the stairs.
The zombie put her hand on her mouth politely and swallowed the rest of her puke with grace. "I shall never eat that late in the night again. Makes me feel sick." she told herself.
She might have considered for a moment to visit Sebastian and Lydia too, but she had decided that she did not care anymore. They kinda deserved each other.
So now she had reached her final destination. Her AFTER-final destination, anyway.
The keys were still where they used to be, under the "welcome" doormat. Her cousin should really not be so open and trusting anymore, she thought as she played it in her decomposing fingers. Her cousin's stupid boyfriend still hadn't rubbed off his drama queeny paranoia on him yet. Gotta love him!
She walked in, but didn't go straight to the bedroom yet. She strolled around the kitchen, looking at the pictures lying around. It was okay that Olli didn't have any of her pictures on public display anymore... she kinda deserved it, and his boyfriend would nag him to death if he saw one anyway. But she knew that he still had pics of her in his wallet, and this was enough for now. When she made up to him, she expected a big portrait of her in the middle of the room. Taking a moment to soak in her pride over that last thought, she made her way into the bedroom, which was covered in darkness.
She walked over to the bed, where the queer lovers were sleeping, having their backs turned on one another, but their butts touching and their legs tangled to each others. She remembered reading in Cosmopolitan about the way couples slept and what it said for their relationship. What she was seeing in front of her was telling; both men were independent and doing well for themselves as individuals, but always had each other to support and fall back on, without losing their individuality.
"Well done, Olli, don't be his bitch!" she caught herself thinking.
She walked over to Christian's side.
"Well, Olivia, you're not exactly a good argument for heterosexual love".
That was the last thing he had told her that fateful day.
"Up yours, homo!" she whispered to him, as she really struggled to keep her hand for going for his face and her fingers digging into his irritating eyes.
That man was a hollier-than-you, obnoxious pain in the ass, but he was good for her cousin. He made Olli happy and complete, and she was only pissed at him because he was right in everything he ever said about her.
"Take good care of him..." she threatened the snoring man, "or else you're getting the Rebecca treatment someday!" She wasn't going to kill him. But she couldn't resist leaving him a souvenir for always being a little bitch to her.
Then she walked to the other side of the bed, and she melted at the sight of her serene cousin, sleeping in peace. Well, she was literally melting in some certain parts, but that was not of importance now.
"I don't know what to say" she whispered to her sleeping cousin, "apart from how sorry I am." She composed herself. She didn't want to cry. She didn't even know if she could cry, anyway. Her tear ducts had melted off a few weeks ago.
She pulled the money out of her cleavage and placed them on the nightstand beside Olli, sticking a post-it she took from the castle on it, making sure they would stay in place. "There you go" she whispered, "2000 euros with interest! I told you you'd get them back someday."
"Olivia?" she heard a drowsy voice that she was very fond of say. Olli had woken up and seemed to look right at her. "Olivia, is that you?"
She panicked. Thankfully, it was dark, and he couldn't see the state she was in. "Shhhh.... it's just a dream. Go back to sleep." she whispered shoothingly.
"But... but... I was meaning to talk to you about..."
"Shhhhh... shush. It doesn't matter. It's all okay now." she said, and gently pushed him back to bed. "You're only dreaming."
Olli closed his eyes again, and she couldn't help but bend over and kiss his cheeck with her rotten lips.
Olli smiled before drifting off to sleep again. "You're right. It is a dream... real life Olivia would never smell so bad..." he said, as his nose twitched from the stench Olivia had acquired over weeks and weeks of being dead and buried.
Olivia couldn't help but smile back. "I love you, cousin."
Giving one last stern look to Christian's side, she walked out of the bedroom... and their lives.
The next morning, Olli woke up by his lovers' girl-like screams. It seemed that Christian had woken up, only to find a bunch of worms slithering around in his boxers.
As Christian ran to the bathroom and washed his private parts with every single soap, shampoo, shower gel and disinfectant he found in the apartment, Olli sat up on the bed and wondered who would have the nerve to pull such a disgusting prank on his perfect boyfriend.
When he looked at the nightstand, he saw a dirty post it with a very familiar writing on it, and a hearty amount of money underneath.
Olli brought the post-it in front of him and his emerald eyes lit up as he read it... and a smile crept up his face.
"To you, I always keep my promises.
With the smile never leaving his face, Olli shook his head in disbelief. "You bitch... looks like you finally made it big, after all!" He didn't even bother counting the money.
He got up from his bed and stumbled to the window. As his eyes got used to the morning light coming from outside, he gazed to the horizon and allowed himself to only think good thoughts of his cousin again.
All was well in the world again.
Well, until they learnt of Rebecca being injured and taken to a mental institution later in the day.