Amazing, thanks! Is does first imply more chapters? Let’s hope so.
July 12th 2013
Everyone laughed. I never took it to heart, of course. I laughed along with the rest. Believing it could happen. Rationality telling me it probably would never. But still, I planned and I read and became absolutely fascinated with the Hollywood world of the undead. Specifically, zombies. Zombies! It seems absurd to write it, weirder still to say it aloud. It seemed people in movies never knew what they were. But I did. Sooner than anyone, my paranoia skyrocketed. I sang the apocalyptic anthem to all I knew and loved. My mother shook her head and smiled a what-am-i-going-to-do-with-you kind of smile that mothers often give children with over-active imaginations. My father never listened at all. And my brother… he was too young. He couldn’t understand the gravity in my voice, or argue with my parents’ dismissal. In his mind, I was joking – crying “the end is near!” and telling tales of a ghoulish end, but never with any real urgency.
To the rational, developed world, zombies were the stuff of scary stories and exciting movies. For most, there was never a chance this threat could materialize in our world. A world of sterile efficiency, security alarm safety. But when the news reports started to surface, I became alarmed. A whole family, murdered and devoured.
“As if that weren’t disturbing enough,” a blonde news caster droned, “autopsy reports found no indication that any weapons were involved in the killings. It appears that all victims died of blood loss as a result of multiple wounds inflicted by human teeth.”
As we were watching, my mother had said “Oh, look Meg, zombies!” and laughed at her own joke. I laughed with her of course, but tidal waves of anxiety began to rise from my stomach.
That night, I did some research on the incident reported on the news. The scene of the crime was in Belleville, Ontario, less than half an hour from my old town. I was living in London, 5 hours away at the time, but took no comfort in the thought. The descriptions were grisly, and they chilled me to the core not because of the brutality, but because of the… inhumanity. It was unlike any murder I had ever heard of, and I was familiar with the most brutal of serial killers (anomalies of the mind had always fascinated me). Autopsies of the bodies revealed that the dental imprints matched three different people. Three people eating their fellow man alive. My stomach turned upon reading this. The thought of a single person being cruel enough to commit such acts was bad enough, but the suspicion budding within me was much, much worse.
I hugged my family with fervor that night before bed, and every “I love you” was delivered with an intensity I’m surprised nobody noticed. I’ve always had a hard time falling asleep but that night was the worst of my life until that point. I relentlessly tortured myself with images from the hundreds of zombie movies I’d watched, passages from the millions of zombie books I had read. I eventually relented to the tearing claws of exhaustion, and fell into a restless sleep.
This is the only kind of sleep I get now.