Sylvia was a recluse. She was just eccentric some would say, others would simply term her as "odd." She definitely was an interesting case study at any rate. She loved to speak in foreign languages no one else could understand, paint drawings with a realism and depth that drew an eye in to something quirky and strange, and beards. She only ever dated men with beards.
Fat men, short men, smart men, stupid men--didn't matter as long as he had a beard.
Sylvia didn't know how to explain this fascination. It was just one of her many quirks. Her mother once joked that she would have married the bearded lady had she been a man. She just might have.
Bruce was a zombie. He wasn't born that way, no, but in the aftermath of one of the many zombie apocalypses of 3048 A.D. he had been turned by his brother of all people.
Human Bruce had been angry about that, but the zombie Bruce couldn't care less. He only had one thing on his mind. Brains.
Sylvia was sitting alone listening to slam poetry with a shot glass in her hand. Just as she was about to take a swig she caught sight of Bruce.
Bruce was tall, lean and bearded. It was the longest beard Sylvia had ever seen. Without even giving him time to register what was happening, she walked over and kissed him full on the lips.
Bruce blinked. That was the first time anyone had approached him since he had become a zombie. It confused him, it horrified him. What kind of weirdo was this? "You're weird," he responded before running out the door.
"No, wait, you had the most beautiful black beard," Sylvia pouted. "Oh, damn, I even scare zombies away. Mother's right, I am going to die alone." She downed her shot. "Oh well."
Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvania native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks, A Mermaid Crashing into Dawn (Fowlpox Press -- June 2013) and Less Than a Man (The Camel Saloon -- January 2014) were published. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. Her novel Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015.