Thursday, October 6, 2011
ZOMBIES! Part 2
ZOMBIES! A brief history lesson and a very short story
In the beginning there was voodoo. A strange cross breed religion based in African Diaspora and Catholicism. Living people were turned into zombies, living slaves that would do the bidding of their masters. Enter Bela Lugosi and the film White Zombie, the 1932 classic. Enter Frankenstein, and his monster made of human parts. Not really a zombie, but not really a monster. Fast forward to 1968 and the George Romero classic Night of the Living Dead.
Our modern history is a fertile ground on which we built our newest monster, a creature that not only feeds on the brains of the living (as popularized in the 1985 film Return of the Living Dead, Written and Directed by Dan O’Bannon) but also our fears of a world out of control. Zombies are more than the living dead, they are a symbol of the problems we as a society ignore and let build until they become something monstrous and unmanageable. They are the stockpiles of nuclear weapons we feared during the cold war, they are communism, poverty, and class war.
We gave our socio-political fears a face, a rotting, withered face with bulging eyes and tattered lips. Since none of us can walk out into the street and kill living people (as so many of us would LOVE to do) we chose to fill those very same streets with walking dead. Killing the zombies is more politically correct than killing the so-called leaders who fuck up our economy and drive our infrastructure into the ground.
Writers and Directors paint a world crumbling based on a virus, a plague in which good people turn into mindless hordes and attack the living. It’s easier to watch the dead walking through a decimated cityscape as they hunt for survivors because Zombies aren’t real. If we put Chinese soldiers into the same scenario it becomes a depressing possibility. Zombies are the perfect bad guy because they aren’t real, right?
I’ve asked a few friends of mine to create something I can share, a little fun tidbit of Zombies! That you can read, lose yourself in, and enjoy.
Today’s selection comes from Alyn Day. She has already graced my dark little corner of the Internet once before with a killer story, and I am happy to announce that she once again delivers a terrifying tale to us. Her writing career is well on it’s way; she is published in an Anthology amongst some of the biggest names in horror, but I’ll let her tell you all about that when I publish the interview I plan on doing with her next month.
Check out her blog at http://alyndayofthedead.blogspot.com as well as her twitter persona @z0mbiegrl. Keep your eyes on her (which is easy cause she’s pretty fucking hot) cause she’s going places.
She opened her eyes slowly. Her head throbbed. She was lying on a sidewalk in a pool of congealed blood. How long had she been here? Why had no one helped her? Her mouth felt like it was full of graveyard dirt. A man in a blue blazer and a bloodstained tie raced past her. She reached out to him, grasping at his ankle as he passed but he eluded her grip, not even slowing down to give her a second glance. What the hell had happened? How badly was she hurt? And then the thought that shot through her like lightening – Where was her daughter? She stood up, dragging herself to her feet despite the protests of every bone and muscle in her body. She felt like she’d been beaten. She took a clumsy, off balance step forward, then another, slowly finding her bearings. She had to find Ariel! But where was she?
Looking around, she noticed that her surroundings were very familiar. She was at her ex-husband’s apartment, standing just outside the main entrance. One of the huge double doors had been removed from its hinges and she could see straight into the foyer. Bloody handprints and smears coated the walls, the floor, the doors, and the bank of elevators. Herbert had to have Ariel. She needed to find them; she had to get Ariel back! Ignoring the horrible pain in her extremities, she forced herself forward, picking her way around baseball bats, broken bottles, clothes, and other debris. She tried to remember what had happened the previous night, but all she could recall was the man on the highway. She had stopped to see if he needed help, rolled her window down and waited for him to approach. He had smelled funny, as some homeless did, and there was something odd about his eyes, but he was bleeding and Rachel considered herself a good Samaritan. The man had come to the window and…
ARIEL! Where was Ariel? She needed Ariel! Through the foyer, into the hall, up a flight of stairs. Herbert’s door was open. She pushed her way inside, dragging the more injured leg as she went. She tried to call out, but all she could muster was a weak moan. She came around the corner into her daughter’s second bedroom. ARIEL! She lunged forward, reaching within herself for strength she didn’t know she had, her wounds and injuries no longer seeming to matter. ARIEL!
The click of the twelve gauge being cocked as Herbert came up behind her. “Rachel. Know how long I’ve wanted to do this?” he leered. She turned as the barrel of the gun belched fire and thunder. Bits and pieces of her coated the walls.
“Are you alright honey? Did she bite you again?” Herbert slung the gun behind him and knelt down next to his daughter’s bed. She was pale and trembling, burning up with fever. Her right forearm was bandaged where her mother had bitten her last night.