Becoming a Zombie… Alluring?
What makes a zombie scary? Is it that the undead would like to treat you like an item on a buffet? Or is it more visceral than that? I would theorize that a group of the recently dead trailing after your rump roast would be terrifying because there’s a strong chance you remember how they used to be. Maybe it’s your brother shambling after you, trying to make a meal of your more tender parts. Perhaps it’s Mr. Anderson from next door, who, instead of asking you if you’ve seen his newspaper, wants to eat your face. Can you really shotgun Timmy Jackson’s skull into oblivion, when just last week he mowed your grass? I think any good piece of zombie fiction focuses on this problem.
My new novel, Dastardly Bastard, addresses the same issues as most zombie fiction—the difficulty in letting go of your memories and doing what needs to be done to survive. I even have a few members of the undead roaming around inside the book. Memories are the zombies of our minds. They’re dead and gone, over and done with, but somehow, for whatever reason, they still follow us around. Memories, like an oncoming horde of decaying corpses, have the ability to infect us. We can choose to fight back, pop a few caps in their craniums and move on, or, lie down and let ourselves become overrun.
There is a certain allure to becoming a zombie, just as living in the past can seem like a good idea. A zombie’s life is so much easier than what we deal with on a day-to-day basis. The undead only want one thing: to find sustenance. We do the same with our memories. We hover over fond recollections, sustaining them by remembering. We focus on bad memories in the hopes that we do not relive our past mistakes. Unfortunately, a bad memory is much harder to kill than any zombie.
Yet, there is another side of zombie fiction that people hardly ever talk about: the fun part. What if your jerk of a boss were to become a zombie? You’d have no qualms about parting his melon; or would you? Now you’re entering the realm of conscience. There would be quite a few of us who would feel bad for blowing the head off a DMV worker. You know the one I’m talking about, the person who gave you so much trouble when you were trying to procure a picture for your license that didn’t make you look like a wookie. Decapitating the bully at school may not be such a bad idea in theory, but once you have the chance to lay machete to neck, you just might pause. Bad memories have this effect on us. We would love to have them gone, but something makes us keep them fresh in our minds.
In the event of a zombie apocalypse, there will be those of us who do not hesitate to dispatch a quick second death to our friends and loved ones. But what about those of us who can’t let go of the memories—good and bad—that have been a part of our lives? Are we doomed to succumb? I don’t think so. I believe, if it were someone I cared about who was trying to feast on my fleshy bits, I would chose to lock them away. What made them who they were is gone, so I’m not imprisoning them so much as their soulless corpse. I suppose I’d treat them just like my bad memories and shut the door on them. If they break out and become more than I can control, well… I’ll deal with that when it happens.
In summation, I’d love to put a bullet in the brainpan of those memories I don’t want to live with, but they created the man I see in the mirror, so for me, it would be more about crowd control, than zombie-cide.
How about you?
Hmmm… well, I suppose I see what you mean. Although I’d be the crazy chick wielding the machete with reckless abandon during the zombie apocalypse… but I also haven’t ALWAYS been the well adjusted (and gorgeous- *cough*) and uuuum… Okay- I’m so not what anyone would call “well adjusted”. But, I’d never consider becoming a zombie “alluring”.
But, I do agree that while all the *memories* (or rotten, no good @ssholes) did TOTALLY shape me into the
highly medicated and crazy SUPER awesome chick that I am today… I would totally and quite happily shoot the crap out of half of those afore mentioned “memories”.
by Edward Lorn
Published: 5/6/2012 by Red Adept Publishing
When war photographer Mark Simmons is sent to do a promo on Waverly Chasm, he assumes it’s a puff piece, a waste of his talents.
Widow Marsha Lake brings her son, Lyle, to help him heal after his father’s death.
Donald Adams, aka H.R. Chatmon, joins the tour to get away from a sticky situation.
Justine McCarthy consents to the hike to placate her boyfriend, Trevor.
For Jaleel Warner, the tour guide, walking the chasm is just part of his job.
Each of these people must face their darkest memories in order to discover and defeat the secret buried in Waverly Chasm.