Friday, August 17, 2012

ARQAZ #3


A Redemptive Quality About Zombie:*
Cooperative 
~~~
Walking outside brings steam from your coffee mug and the realization that no one is yet cutting grass in your cozy, cul-de-sac community.  That’s odd.  These people are obsessed with short grass.  Whatever.  Right now there are more important things to worry about.  The morning sun threatens to burn away your retinas so you shield yourself from its searing glare with the sleeve of your faded house coat and trudge toward the end of the driveway in fuzzy slippers.  You arrive at the sidewalk.  Where’s the newspaper?  There’s Brenda walking off in the middle of the street; also in little more than a house coat.  That’s odd too.  She doesn’t step foot out of her house in less than three layers of make-up and three inch heels.  Did she steal the newspaper? 
                “Morning, Mrs. Kadatsn- Kadsta-”  You never could pronounce her last name.  Why are you trying?  “…Brenda.  Did the paper come?”
She turns.  Too slowly.  Is she drunk?  Why is she standing in the middle of the street?  The surrounding quiet becomes obvious… and heavy.  Why aren’t the Madison kids playing kickball in the yard.  It is Sunday isn’t it?
A glance at your watch.  You aren’t wearing a watch.  But it must be Sunday.  Yesterday was Saturday.  Brenda is moaning.  That’s awkward.  You look up at her.
She’s turned to … face you.  Her left cheek and entire jaw are gone.  Bright blood, gleaming in the morning sun, spills down her chest.  Oddly, of all the thoughts that flood your mind, the one that stands out is, I see you lost that final pound.
You don’t say it.  Instead you inadvertently relinquish your hold on the coffee mug.  Looking down, you watch it fall to the paved sidewalk.  It shatters and coffee splashes your bare leg.  The pain does nothing to distract you from the fact that Brenda is shuffling toward you with less than half a face.
                “…Brenda?”  You say.  Did you really expect her to answer?  She barely has a mouth.  She moans again.  That’s not moaning.  It’s breathing… minus the subconscious ambition to do so in the least obtrusive manner possible.  From behind you comes more breathing.  You turn.  There are the Madison kids.  All three.  And they’re covered in blood, from gaping mouths to untied shoes.  You don’t know why they approach but staying to find out seems ill advised.  Turning, you step quickly back down the drive.  Your neighbor, Cleary, comes out from behind his house, shears in hand.  Thank God.
                “Cleary!”
                Oh wait…  Those aren’t sheers he’s holding.  They’re a loose forearm, complete with dangling fingers on one end and two long, splintering bones on the other.  The radius and the ulna.  Wait… You knew that?  Apparently so.  It’s interesting; what comes back in a time like this.  What kind of time is this?
He’s shambling.  Just like Brenda and the Madisons.  And now he’s aware of you.  The Madison kids are closing in.  The youngest boy runs headlong into your mailbox with a clanging splat and falls down.  Usually that would be hilarious.  While you're distracted, Cleary manages to penetrate your personal space.  He’s opening his mouth wide.  Does he want to kiss?  His eyes look wrong… like they’re full of milk.  That he isn’t blabbering on about the office is currently his only redeeming factor.  He’s really going in for a kiss, isn’t he?  Wait… a bite?  Is that blood pooled in his mouth?  Was he chewing that forearm?
Despite how aware you are of the collective breathing, the dragging feet, Cleary’s erratic gasps of anticipation, you are reminded in an instant just how quiet it had been.  A gunshot blasts from your doorway, its ringing echo resounding so loudly you're sure you’ve partially lost hearing.
You turn.  Alex stands in the doorway, magnum revolver smoking in shaky hands, looking toward what had been Cleary’s head.  It’s now nothing more than a flowering stump.  His body crumples like a banana peel. Where on earth did that gun come from?  The in-laws?  You’re eyes meet Alex’s.  Tears well up.  Was that… murder?
“Don’t worry… I think he’ll be alright.”  You say.  It seemed like the thing to say.
The shot has alerted your other neighbors, the Maxwells, who seemed to have been examining someone sleeping on their front yard.  They stand and begin to approach.  Ok, they weren’t examining… they were dining.  From between them you can see, sprawled in the grass, a blood stained torso, its protruding ribs stained black-red.
Somehow, despite that this can’t truly be reality, fear has dictated that you now run inside.  You do.  Slamming and locking the door, you peer out the window and are able to see the crowd of … those aren’t people… but they’re approaching from every direction.
“Shut the blinds!”   Alex says.  
 Really?
Your neighbors close in by the dozen.  That gunshot…  Alex may as well have yelled buffet.
Soon enough they surround the house.  Their lifeless limbs pummel the walls, rattling the vinyl siding.  Their moans and cries rattle your mind.  The doors and windows give way to their combined weight.  You and Alex are no longer alone, standing in the kitchen in a trembling embrace. 
Your eyes converge on the revolver.  Two epiphanies occur at once.
The horde outnumbers the remaining bullets… but the bullets outnumber you and Alex.

~~~

Cooperation. 
If it were only one or even a few zombies, you and Alex may have lived. 
There’s strength in numbers.  That’s why us writers flock together on blogs and forums and websites, exchanging information and offering feedback.  Strengths are thrown in as a collective and those who are willing are in a perfect place to learn and grow.
Unfortunately, like the scarcity of meat on you and Alex to the zombie horde, there aren’t as many available positions as there are writers… But, in our combined efforts and cooperation, that SOME of us make it through, should be a point of pride for us all and should keep us working in that direction.
After all, you never know when your turn will come.

This post has gone on long enough.

Hold on to your anatomy!

*entire subject matter of this and any related post is hypothetical and therefore validity of statements herein has never been proven in a scientific or any other manner.  If you attempt to argue with me on this or any related topic, you are acting outside the bounds of logic and may be ignored.

7 comments:

  1. I don't frequent zombie stories, but this ranks pretty well in my experience.

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    1. Oh Tony, you're holding back :)
      Thank you though.

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    2. Well thank you sincerely.
      I love reading your take on the WRiTE entries. Always cracks me up. I think the other voters shower enough praise that voters like you (and occasionally me) can give them bad news.

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  2. What a great post!

    Fantastic comparison. Well, except for the suicide part.

    Writer on Fire

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    1. Thank you!
      And I agree about the suicide part...

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