A roving reporter, Sullivan McPig was able to snag this excerpt from a zombie novel work in progress by his owner...
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The first time I saw him was when I was called in on a zombie assault incident. He was newly undead, had to be to still look so ‘fresh’. He was deadly pale of course, but he didn’t smell and didn’t suffer from gross decay as far as I could see. He was quite the hottie I had to admit: muscular build and a movie star face. His only problem was a nasty wound to his head, which bled sluggishly. That and the fact he was tied to a dumpster with what looked like a laundry line.
I shook my head and turned to the old lady and her granddaughter who stood a couple of yards away from the zombie, the younger woman holding on to her grandmother’s arm as if to hold her back. It wasn’t the first time I ran into this particular couple.
A few weeks earlier I had been called out to this same apartment building when the old lady had poured boiling water on an unsuspecting zombie. Going by the look in her eyes I bet the old biddy hadn’t learned anything from my lecture back then and she would most probably learn nothing from anything I would say this time either.
“Wasn’t I clear enough on the rules we all need to live by?” I asked sternly.
“Bah,” the old lady spat. “It will be a cold day in hell before I listen to crap like ‘be nice to zombies’. How can a nice young girl like you take the side of those things? If I hadn’t hit him and tied him up he could have attacked and eaten someone.”
“You don’t know that,” I countered. “Because some zombies eat human flesh doesn’t mean all of them do.”
The old woman shook her head and pursed her lips together, throwing me and the zombie a look of disgust. I shook my head and wrote her a ticket. It was bigots like her that made my job necessary. When would people understand zombies had the same rights as humans and should not be hurt or killed just because of what they were?
I saw him again two nights later when I returned from my shift. Somehow he found his way to my home and he was digging through the trash looking for something to eat. The wound on his head hadn’t healed and looked infected, his skin was getting a greyish tint to it that made him look miserable. His clothes which had looked presentable two nights ago now looked muddy and torn. When he heard me he lifted his head and he turned towards me.
He moaned softly and he squinted his glowing red eyes before he slowly moved towards me. Did he recognise me? I had the feeling he did. I smiled at him and beckoned him to come closer.
“Are you hungry?” I asked and pointed to the dumpster.
“Did you look for something to eat? I got food inside. Want me to get you some?”
I walked to my front door and unlocked it. For a moment I considered inviting him in, but what did I know of him? I might feel pity, but that wasn’t enough to let a stranger enter my house however much he looked like Orlando Bloom.
“I’ll be right back,” I told him and closed the door behind me and ran to my kitchen to get the steak I bought earlier that day. I went outside again where he was waiting for me a couple of yards from the door and when I offered him the steak he snatched it from my hands and immediately started to chew on it. I watched him as he ate. Clearly he hadn’t had something to eat for some time, He tore at the steak with his teeth like some kind of wild animal.
“You want more?” I asked when he finished the steak and he turned his glowing eyes at me and nodded.
A jolt of energy ran through my body. He had nodded at me! He was communicating. I had always known deep in my heart that those opposed to equal rights had been wrong! Zombies weren’t brainless beast, they were just like every other humanoid, they just didn’t have the ability to speak.
I ran inside again to raid my fridge, this time leaving the door open, but the zombie stayed outside, squinting slightly at the bright porch light while I defrosted some meatloaf.
From that day on he kept close to my house and each night I fed him. As he ate I talked to him about my work. I think he enjoyed it as much as I did. He did seem to flourish, the head wound closed after a few days and even though he kept that greyish colouring he stopped decaying. I felt proud and elated by this as all zombies I had encountered before kept slowly decaying from the time they rose from death.
All my zombie had needed to stop his slow decay was to be treated like a human being. As the weeks passed I dreamed about how I would tell the world about this discovery almost as much as I dreamed about how he would learn to talk again and tell me how much he appreciated my friendship.
I’d been lonely the last couple of years, my best friend had died of the zombie fever and was killed by a zombie hater the day she arose from death and I had lost myself in my work after that, trying to talk sense in people or at least writing out stiff fines so they would think twice about abusing zombies in the future.
Having Orlando, as I had named him in honour of his likeness to Orlando Bloom, to talk to I felt less lonely and I never felt happier than when I came home from work to see him waiting for me.
After a couple of weeks I invited him into the house and after some shuffling and moaning he entered the house and followed me to the kitchen. He slept in my living room from that day on and slowly I tried to re-educate him in acting like a normal human. It was a proud day for me when after much struggle I convinced him to sit at the kitchen table and eat his meat with a knife and fork. And don’t even get me started on the trouble I had getting him to shower and getting him dressed after his shower. Let’s just say it was a good thing it was summer and that he was so good looking.
The most trouble I had was getting him to talk, he seemed to like to listen to me speak, but all he ever did was moan, growl and grunt while he kept his eyes on me with an expression on his face that held both fierceness and a promise. My failure to get him to talk didn’t bother me much because of that. Just having him in my house, having him look at me like I was the most beautiful thing he ever saw was so exhilarating I couldn’t care less if he never learned to talk again. He was able to nod his head or shake it so that would have to be enough.
It was 2 months after he moved in with me that I decided to act upon my feelings for him.
“Orlando,” I said as he was finishing his ribs. “I love having you around and I think you know how I feel about you and, well…. I wondered if that feeling is mutual or if I’m mistaken in how you feel about me.”
Orlando looked at me with that fierce look of his, cocked his head and moaned softly.
“Does that mean you got feelings for me too?” I asked reaching for his hand.
He grabbed my hand, covering it with his own and looked at me, his eyes squinting as if in thought and finally he nodded. Joy flooded through me and I got out of my chair to be able to hug him.
“I knew it,” I whispered. “You love me.”
Again Orlando nodded, lifting one hand to touch my face in a clumsy attempt to stroke my cheek. I hugged him even tighter, thoughts of marriage and how we would be the talk of the town being the first human-zombie couple ever flitting through my head. Orlando let out a sound somewhere between a moan and a sigh which sounded excited and needy and which send electricity up and down my spine. I hugged him once more and then turned my face to his for our first kiss only to discover as our mouths met what exactly Orlando loved about me as he bit down hard and ripped a large chunk of my bottom lip.
I screamed in pain and tried to push him away, but his arms were around me and held me captive as he continued to savage me in a totally different way than I had anticipated.
After the initial pain my feeling seemed to leave me, my face started to feel numb and I felt myself sliding towards unconsciousness. The last thing I saw before everything went black was Orlando lovingly smiling at me while he chewed on my tongue. At least I had been right about one thing: he did love me.
Zombie Brains or Orlando and Me by Carien, Sullivan McPig's owner (meet McPig here)
Based on character from WIP. All rights reserved.
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