DEADbeat Dad

Willy Tombs was a strong contender for deadbeat dad of the year award on the day his ex-wife came to visit. He certainly looked the part, for one, wearing just an undershirt and shorts, neither having been washed in quite a while. Willy also had an underbite with several teeth missing from both his lower and upper jaws.

Today his child support payments were officially overdue, not that Willy cared much. He didn’t have much money, and there was no reason in his mind that he couldn’t skip one little alimony check to afford a little something-something for himself. This something was a brand new computer, not the most high-tech model but serviceable, especially for Willy’s needs. He was sitting back on his worn out and floppy couch, dirty clothes strewn upon it for added cushioning, using his computer as a way of watching television without cable. Willy needed only to log onto his neighbor’s unsecured internet and watch pirated movies to his heart’s content. It was his day off from working at the local soda bottling factory and he intended to make the most of it.

“Heh, today’s labor requires much less competence and is much uninteresting,” Willy said while viewing a documentary about the advent of machines in the workplace. He loved using big words he didn’t fully understand and watch poorly made documentaries to appear smart, often even fooling himself.

Before Willy could make any further grammatically incorrect assertions he was interrupted by a knock the door.

“No one’s home!”

This just made the knocking intensify. Willy sighed and got up, grumbling to himself all the way to his door. “Whadd’ya want?” He shoved the door open and came face to face with the person he had least hoped to see that day, his ex-wife Sheila.

“Where’s the money?” Sheila asked, glaring at Willy and his unkempt state of dress.

“You’ve got plenty of money, and now you’ve undoubtedly come to rob me the hard earned leftovers I need to live by. Looks like virtuousness really is a term that no longer plays a role in society,” Willy said.

Sheila knew her ex-husband’s tricks however. “Stop hiding behind your big words, that you don’t even use correctly, and give me what you owe.” She thrust out her open palm and glared at Willy.

“If I did owe you, which I unverifiably do not. I don’t have any money for which I could portend to pay you with,” Willy turned and waved his left arm around at the interior of his house, “see, nothing in here of value.”

Unfortunately for Willy, the glimpse he provided Sheila also revealed his new, expensive looking computer.

“You… you,” Sheila struggled to get say it as anger boiled inside her. “You used my alimony to buy yourself a computer?!” She forced herself past Willy and into the living room, her eyes set on the computer. However, Sheila also could not help but gawk at the state of the room. Several long dead plants drooped down from their pots by the sofa, while the walls were covered in a sickly off-white shade of paint that she was positive had not been their original color. Either that or Willy had bought the cheapest paint he could find, both situations were equally probable in Sheila’s mind.

“Hey, stay away from my property you irascible woman!” Willy said. He grabbed Sheila by the shoulder but this did nothing.

“Yeah, your property,” Sheila had made air quotes around ‘your’, “Your property that you bought with my child support money, which your son needs.”

“Don’t bring Willy Jr. into this. We both know you want that money to enter deceitful make-believe realms to substitute your flimsy reality!”

“Huh?” Sheila was at a loss for words.

“I said you’re just gonna’ use that money for drugs.”

“How on earth does ‘make believe realms of flimsy whatever’ mean drugs?” This farce was going on too long for Sheila’s tastes, and she jerked out from Willy’s grip and crouched down to unplug the computer. “I think this would be fair collateral, don’t you?” She smiled and yanked the plug out from its socket.

Willy looked like he was about to yell ‘Nooooo!’ but thought of better of it. But while he was contemplating a more appropriate response, Sheila had the computer tower under one arm and the monitor under the other.

“See you in a month,” she said with a mock-cheerful smile.

This affront was too much for Willy, he hadn’t even finished watching his documentary. Without thinking, Willy swung his right fist outwards and it smashed against Sheila’s face. She toppled over, dropping the computer parts in the process.

“Don’t just lie there, get up and fight me.”

Sheila did not respond.

“I said get up and fight me like a  ma-… woman!” Willy realized she was not going to answer him. “Sheila?” Willy nudged her prone form with the tip of his foot, to no avail.

“Oh no.” For all the intelligence he claimed to possess, it never occurred to Willy that he should check if Sheila was still breathing or if she had a pulse. Willy immediately jumped to the worst possible outcome. His day off was ruined.

Willy acted fast, picking up Sheila by the shoulders. He planned to drag her out back and dispose of the body in a garbage can. After moving only a few feet though, Sheila began to stir from her brief period of unconsciousness.

“Uhhh, wha-, where?” Sheila groaned out, her head feeling like a watermelon split in two. Willy froze, and Sheila looked up at him. “Huhhhh?”

There was only one possible explanation for this in Willy Tombs’ mind, and he yelled it to the heavens. “IT’S A ZOMBIE!” He dropped Sheila and ran out the front door, screaming as if possessed the spirit of a howler monkey.

Sheila, utterly confused and still a little dazed from the blow, stood up and surveyed the now Willy-free living room. To her luck, the computer had not been damaged in the fall. She picked up the tower and monitor once more and headed out. This would fetch a fine price at the local tech store, just enough to get Willy Jr. some braces.