Ruby’s voice is like balm to your ragged mind and you simply need to keep talking to her. Just seeing her has given you a warm buzzing feeling in the nether regions, though that could also be caused by the flame fruits. A man must not deny his instincts, the gnome can wait.
Ruby is an angel with a featherbed voice, an anchor of sound that keeps you somewhere within shouting distance of reality and sanity.
Or maybe she’s just really hot. Whatever.
This is a special case. You need to come up with a line so great that not even a girl as hot as Ruby will slap you. Instead, she will fall into your arms and cry and tell you how much she loves you and how you are her soulmate. And then, after she agrees to be your girlfriend, you will look at her and tell her goodbye and it will be the most tragic and epic and heartbreaking thing ever. It’s going to be beautiful, man. So beautiful.
You lean in close, breathe in her scent of honeysuckles and death, and give her your best line.
“If you were a burger at McDonald’s you’d be called McGorgeous.”
Ruby tries to ban Iliana and Veronica from the spa for some trumped-up reason, and Gunky is tempted to let her because she’s treating him like he’s royalty or something–like a pliable little love-slave just waiting for orders.
“Oh Gunky, you’re just too sweet.”
She smiles and giggles and you think that maybe the fruit just went all FLAME in your pants.
“Oh, by the way, the gnome says you have to come alone.”
She looks into your eyes and you can feel the heat and oh man that fruit is really flaming now and being alone with Ruby sounds like a really really good idea.
You turn to look at Veronica and Iliana. With their eyes all narrow and their mouths straight and thin they actually aren’t all that attractive, really.
You’re very close to telling them to scram. Your mouth is already open and forming the s when you remember the blood in the car near the beach and at the house where you picked up the flame fruit.
No one deserves to be eaten by zombies. Not even Iliana.
“Umm, could they maybe wait in the waiting room so if the zombies come they can yell and we can come save them?”
“The gnome says okay, but tell them not to touch anything! Especially not the green gooey eye cake!”
Your conscience satisfied, you turn back towards Ruby.
“Gnome?” For three long seconds your mouth hangs open. Then you close it quickly before a fly flies in: who knows where it has been in this blood-painted town where non-zombies are now struggling with issues like bladder control?
“Is that Gnome who ain’t listening?” you ask and then you start thinking – which is difficult without a braincap like Ruby is wearing.
Why would you make time for him? You had to talk to a cow because of his earlier lack of interest and that life-enhancing experience nearly made you, the very manly hero of this story, wish for retention nappies. Time is precious and so are your abs (even if you don’t have the money to indulge them and you doubt Iliana will).
And how does Ruby know the lazy bum anyway? Does she give her telephone number to everyone?
You gaze at Ruby’s helmet, admiring it and trying to divine its purpose. Wait a minute. Just who is this gnome and how does Ruby know him? Is she maybe dating the gnome? You can steal her from some stupid gnome, no problem.
The “gnome” can wait, but first things first. You finger-gun your way past Ruby, grinning the sexiest “I ain’t-scare-of-no-zombies” grin, and open one of the lotion bottles to regain your shiny sparkly man-abs.
Because, you know, one look at the full pink skulls of manliness with sparkly man-abs ensemble and Ruby will be at your mercy. Even if you weren’t the only non-zombified guy left in town.
You stroll past Ruby and into the spa, doing your best to nonverbally communicate that you ain’t scared no zombies. You open up a tube of lotion, preparing to amaze Ruby with your sparkly abs. Stupid gnome dude probably doesn’t even have abs, much less ones that shine and sparkle like the tears of the less well endowed.
The gnome. Is that what they call the vertically challenged masseur dude with the unfortunate nose? It’s so not cool for a dude to go to a dude for a massage, but if Ruby says… you go inside and flop up on the massage table.
Now that you think about it, you vaguely remember making an appointment at the spa before the beach party yesterday. And maybe Ruby’s not dating the gnome. Maybe she just has two jobs, waitress and spa receptionist, and the stupid gnome dude is a masseur.
You strut over to the nearest massage table, your abs aglow with sparkle lotion. You lie down, waiting for the gnome to appear.
Are spas generally dark and windowless? Also, this massage table looks and feels a lot like a normal bed.
The gnome will know. The book told you so.
Safe in this assumption, you are drifting off to sleep. It’s so warm in here, and this bed is so comfy.
“GUNKY!!! I AM LISTENING!”