Is there anything better than Fall, that magical time of year marked by the crunch of fallen leaves, the autumnal hues of a pumpkin patch, and the cozy scents of ginger, cinnamon, and clove? Fall is the season that awakens my soul year after year… and I mean that literally. Every October, my reanimated corpse rises from the earth, so that I may properly celebrate the season with Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Zombies such as myself are enslaved to overwhelming desires that dictate our every move. Some of us desperately devour human brains, while others have an irrevocable yearning for flesh. As for me, my mortal soul possessed a passion for pumpkin spice so strong that even death could not quell its siren call.
Climbing out of my grave, I savor the crisp autumn air before dusting off the outfit in which I was buried: an oversized cardigan, plaid scarf, Uggs, and Lululemon leggings. I complete the look with my favorite Chanel sunglasses; like an Egyptian pharaoh, my most prized possessions were buried alongside me. They’ve proved quite useful over the years, since baristas grow visibly uneasy when they notice the maggots residing in my right ocular cavity.
Lumbering past Pure Barre and Williams Sonoma, I finally arrive at Starbucks. I grunt as I pull open the door, taking extra care not to rip it off its hinges. The sickly-sweet, artificial aroma that greets me is truly mouthwatering. Propelled by unearthly desire, I hastily stagger into line behind a woman on her phone, who wastes no time throwing passive-aggressive disdain my way.
“Seriously, the woman in line behind me has both arms sticking straight out in front of her, like she has no concept of personal space,” she says loudly into the receiver. I want to tell her this posture is necessary for balance due to my brain’s ongoing cerebellar degeneration, but if I’ve learned anything from the Real Housewives’ franchise, it’s that some confrontations aren’t worth the battle.
At long last, it is my turn. “Welcome to Starbucks, what can I get started for you?” the chipper, blonde barista asks. I attempt to order a PSL, but unfortunately, all that comes out of my mouth is, “RAAAAUUUUGHHHH!”
The barista wrinkles her forehead in confusion. Frustrated, I point a yellowed fingernail at the menu. I know it’s challenging to understand zombie dialect, but still, I had been expecting a better customer service experience.
Finally, my order is up. Another customer at the pickup counter looks me up and down, and then leans in with a smile. “I know how you feel… I’m the same way if I don’t get my caffeine first thing in the morning,” he says with a conspiratorial wink.
In no mood for small talk, I stumble over to a table. At last, the time has come for me to quench my great thirst! I lift the cup to my mouth, moaning in ecstasy as the spicy flavor passes through my lips.
The warm liquid cascades through my exposed ribs before spilling onto the floor in an amber-hued cocktail of espresso and embalming fluid. I howl with satisfaction. Other zombies may feel compelled to sink their teeth into human flesh, but I find that the fiery ginger flavor of a PSL gives me all the bite I need.
Though I’m very quickly asked to leave Starbucks on the grounds that “the stench of putrefaction is bothersome to customers,” I am cheerful as I hike through the woods and back to my grave. On the way, I can’t resist making snow angels in a pile of crimson leaves, doing my best to ignore both the fragments of rotted flesh I leave behind and the stray dog who happily laps them up. Satisfied, I tumble backward into my earthy bed.
Happy Fall, ya’ll! I think with a smile, crossing my arms, and returning to my eternal repose. As the little cerebral function I have left begins to shut down, I make a vow that next year, I’ll live a little and splurge on extra whipped cream.