The Zombie Chronicles
Life is never like you think it would be and come to find out… neither is death. I’m not talking about being side swiped by an illness or a sudden car crash. Sure those things were not in mine or really anyone’s plans, but at least they are within the normal scope of life. Not like waking up one day and finding out that you’re dead! That’s just not right. No one knows how or why it happened. One day people just died and then got back up and went on with life; or some resemblance of it. It caused panic and fear and a whole lot of confusion, but eventually the undead became a part of everyday life so to speak.
So why am I writing this, well think of it as a guide to all of those who just crossed over and found that yes they are still on planet earth and are now part of the legions of undead. Think of it as a reference to all of you who are still alive and a bit curious into the un-life of the undead. Or you could just consider this therapy on the cheap. Either way, I’m here now and it’s obvious I’m not going anywhere soon so deal with it, I am.
Chapter Twenty Three
Love Stinks, But So Do I
February has never been that big of a thing for me. I mean sure I’ve dated and had my fair share of Valentine’s Day… dates, but ever since joining the league of the undead February has gone from, ‘make sure I don’t forget the 14th or else I’m in the dog house’ to ‘just go ahead and bury me now’.
Dating since Z day has been questionable at best. I mean, who in their right mind wants a romantic relationship with a slowly rotting corpse, right? Because I had a heart attack (or whatever) I am pretty well preserved. Other than close family and those that just knew I never saw the point in advertising my new dietary needs, but that’s one secret I couldn’t, in good conscience, keep a girlfriend. She’s bound to find out anyway and then that would open up a whole new set of problems that is so not worth it. So, I kind of figured that I would be living a rather monkish lifestyle. Besides I had enough to deal with learning to navigate the world of the dead or undead. After moving and finding more acceptance in my new neighborhood I began to ‘let the cat out of the bag’ with some of my friends that I had before. After all, it wouldn’t be too much longer and everyone will be able to tell I’m a bit… different. Mostly I had been keeping everyone at arm’s length after my death. I stopped hanging out and other than my online gaming friends I distanced myself and made excuses as why I wasn’t part of the group anymore.
I decided to change that and I was surprised when, other than a few exceptions, I was just as accepted as a zombie as I had been before. I even began dating a girl that I had been getting to know before I died. She was great about the whole thing, even with my… limitations. Things were going well for a while, until she breaks it off. No warning, no problems or arguing between us. Just a phone call and a message saying, ‘This isn’t working. It’s over.’ My heart may not be beating anymore, but that doesn’t mean it can’t break.
After going through the motions I decided to try dating again. Just because one relationship didn’t work out doesn’t mean I should crawl back into my hole again. It was nice having someone in my life, even if it was only for a short while and I wouldn’t mind one day celebrating my 33rd anniversary like my cousins Christina and Dean. So, I turned to one of those online dating sites and created a profile. A rather funny one if I might add and I met someone. She doesn’t mind that I’m dead, but I’m still a bit gun-shy about dating someone that’s still breathing. Maybe I should stick with another zombie, at least then we’d be guaranteed to have at least a few things in common and going out to eat would be less awkward.
Zombie bars are now becoming popular with many relationships and marriages ending, ‘Till death do you part and all that. I wonder who gets what in that kind of separation? I bet divorce lawyers are all up in arms rushing to figure this out. Talk about a convenient out. I would love to have been a fly on the wall of the first person that did away with their spouse only to have then get back up. Talk about a tense situation. What do you say, “Sorry Honey, I didn’t mean it.” Or maybe, “Oops, it slipped.” Yeah… I don’t think so.
Chapter Twenty Two
New Year, New Zombie
After reconnecting with my brother I decided that it’s time to look at my after life with new… well, life. So, I decided it was time to make some New Years Resolutions. Something I haven’t done in years, but I think it’s time to start.
-Make New Year Resolution (Check, see I’m off to a good start!)
-Eat healthier brains
-Find use for pine boxes
-Learn a dead language
-Review life insurance policy
-Research/invent bulletproof fedora and baseball cap
-Go to Romerofest
-Read more, binge watch cooking channel less
Chapter Twenty One
A little over a week ago I got the surprise of my life; so to say. No there isn’t a cure to being a zombie; other than a bullet to the brain. I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and his family. I couldn’t believe it. I’d barely heard from them since they found out that I’d woken up dead one day. Things had been more than a little strained between us with my brother always coming up with an excuse as to why we couldn’t get together for a barbecue or anything. Finally I just gave up, writing them off as another casualty of my undead life. Then a couple of days before National Binge Eating Day (a.k.a. Thanksgiving) I get a call from my brother. I was so shocked that it took me a moment to answer the call and I half expected it to be a butt dial or something like that, but it wasn’t. As if that wasn’t enough he invited to their Thanksgiving dinner. At that moment I was thankful that my jaw didn’t fall off, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘jaw dropping’.
I asked him if his wife was okay with it. I didn’t want there to be any uneasiness at the dining table, but he said she was fine with it, so I agreed. I was so nervous. Not that I would turn feral on them, but that I’d… well, smell bad. I mean who wants to eat a nice turkey dinner sitting across from a rotting corpse? I mean who sane at least? I didn’t think that I stank, but I couldn’t smell anymore so what did I know? After getting over the surprise of the phone call I grabbed my wallet and made my way to the store. I had asked if I could bring anything and got a resounding ‘No, just yourself’, which I took to mean, ‘we don’t want anything your undead hands has made’. I still didn’t want to show up empty handed so I bought a deli made pie (still sealed in its box), some deli cookies for the kids, (also sealed in its box), and a bottle of wine. I also picked up one more thing. Or I should say lots of one more item… deodorizers. You know those ones you can hang anywhere? I bought at least a dozen of them. I knew I was overdoing it, but I couldn’t help myself.
I showed up on their doorstep right on time with my sealed food offerings in my hand, my trusty dog at my side and my pocket stuffed with apple cinnamon scented deodorizers. Yes, I did it. I opened up those cardboard scented packs and stuffed them in every pocket I could and I don’t regret it a bit! It was pretty obvious that even though she accepted my presence his wife wasn’t exactly bursting with happiness to have back at the table. My brother must have guilted her wife into it. I didn’t miss the fact that she double checked the seal of both boxes that I handed her, but I didn’t say anything. I was just glad to be able to spend some time with my brother again.
The day may have started out a little rocky, but things eventually smoothed out. The kids doted on my new four-legged friend and it was good to be able to see my dog Barney. I explained to them that my new dog was trained not to hurt me because of my ‘illness’ unlike Barney and other than a quick comment about how I smelled like, ‘mommy’s bathroom spray’, and how ‘mommy made a special dish just for my special diet’ the kids were a joy.
We watched the parade, had dinner and watched the game after all as a family. Something I hadn’t realized that I’ve been missing. I never thought I’d be so thankful for Thanksgiving.
I don’t know whether this is hilarious, sad, or just plain terrifying. Maybe it’s a little bit of all three. Either way it’s definitely food for thought. Besides the insurance industry and government another unexpected area has been hit with what could only be described as a ‘hitch’ in their normal operations. No it’s not the military, they’re ecstatic over their new super soldiers. (Incidentally you should see the new recruiting campaign- Yikes!). Nor is it the police force. Believe it or not it’s the medical field.
You would think that they would be used to this kind of thing by now, but they were so busy with trying to figure out the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ to possibly cure it, they failed to take into count one not so tiny detail. What could such an esteemed and wise division of our society have possibly overlooked in the midst of a not-so-conventional zombie outbreak? Here’s what as reported this morning by the Undead Gazette…
‘A Mr. Clark Emory got the surprise of his life Thursday afternoon when he awoke to find that he and his internal organs were no longer in the same room. His heart, a lung, his liver, both kidneys and various other ‘bits and pieces’ were no longer where they were supposed to be… inside his body. It seems that while undergoing surgery for a brain aneurism Mr. Emory passed away and the doctors were unsuccessful in reviving him. Being an organ donor and having already signed all of the proper release forms, the physicians quickly went to work to retrieve these valuable organs and dispense them to their waiting recipients.
Unfortunately, everyone failed to notice that their recently deceased patient was no longer completely deceased as they continued to harvest his organs. Due to the anesthesia and the natural confusion and disorientation that many new zombies feel upon ‘awakening’, Mr. Emory was too groggy to react and unable to attract the attention of the medical team to prevent them from completing the removal procedure.
He fully awoke a few minutes after the containers with his body parts had been air-lifted to awaiting hospitals. Thankfully the team had yet to remove such items as his eyes, sections of skin, or actual limbs as his donor agreement had allowed.
This incident has caused shockwaves throughout the medical community. Within hours of the story being reported more than 23,000 organ donors have sought to change their status as an organ donor. Hospitals nationwide have been overwhelmed with concerned calls from recipients of donor parts questioning the staff as to the dead/undead status of the ‘original owner’.
Will having the heart, lung, or kidney of a zombie medically transplanted cause a reaction? Are these patients a new breed of undead? When they die will they ‘get back up’ just as their donor did, or will their change come slowly as the organ spreads its virus through the rest of their body?
Scientists have discovered the origin of the virus responsible, but have been unable to develop a reliable test capable of pinpointing who may be infected. Apparently the virus is only detectable after the death of the host, but perhaps these patients who may be carrying infected organs will benefit from testing. Only time will tell.
As for Mr. Clark Emory, though his ordeal was somewhat traumatizing, none of the organs needed to process his new dietary requirements had been removed. He was stitched back up and later released from the hospital after his mandatory ‘after life’ coaching session. When asked about whether he would sue the hospital he declined to comment, but staff lawyers have officially stated that since Mr. Emory signed all of the required documentation pertaining to organ donation he has no legal recourse at this time.
No doubt their staff, along with every other legal team across the country, is busy overhauling the entire transplant system. From harvesting to implantation, this is one powder keg that could blow at any time.’
After reading that I’m so glad I died at home. I’d hate to be lying on a hospital bed one minute and the next a team of doctors are cutting me open and playing operation. I may be dead, but… Hey, I might need that!
I’m not much of a reader. I never really saw the point of reading a book when they’ll just make a movie about it if it was any good to begin with (or even if it wasn’t worth a…) and I’d save myself umpteen hours that I could be doing something else. Even if the movie was a waste, all I’d lost was a couple of hours at most. Now that’s not such an issue anymore so I downloaded some reading apps and books. I found a cache of free books to try out and even received a free advanced copy of some books coming out next month or so as part of a beta reader program. I figured ‘what the hey’ can’t beat free and sat down to read the first book I’ve willing read since I was a kid. I didn’t stop until the last page.
I can’t remember the author’s name, to be honest I didn’t even look at it when I started reading. I skipped the warnings and the dedications and all that blah blah blah stuff and didn’t stop hitting the next page button until I saw chapter one. It instantly grabbed my attention with ‘Friday’ in big letters and excitement over the end of the main character’s work week. After all, we’ve all been there at some point right? Anyway, the woman, named Calynn, comes home to find a stray dog on her doorstep and since she’s a big animal lover you can guess what happens when she gets a look at a pair of big brown puppy-dog eyes. Turns out to be the beginning of the worst days of her life.
Because of that ‘chance’ encounter with that stray, she’s abducted, held captive by a family of psychos and is even on the menu for some twisted celebration. The only way to save her life is by pretending to be one of them. I couldn’t put it down! Then after the novel the author included a sneak peek at the sequel and all I can say is I Can’t Wait! What a cliff hanger. I mean I got so involved with the characters and then find out that one of them…, well I won’t spoil it. All I can say is, “Hand me another cup of brains, I’m reading this book again”.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The book is called ‘Bloodbourne’ and I think it said it’s going to be out next month some time. You should check it out, here’s what it looks like
Rights and Wrongs
I don’t usually watch the news. I know there is ton of bad… stuff going on out there, but I don’t want it in my face all the time. Not to mention the fact that many of the stations throw gasoline on the fire just to get higher ratings, but there is a subject that I’ve been watching closely. Even if I do have to play the ‘what’s accurate and what’s spin’ game. So, what has me tuning in to my local and even national rumor mill? My head… and whether I can keep it.
I saw on the news today about the undead rights law that’s been the ‘hot button topic’ du jour. That’s been a problem since the day when a killer with a life sentence died while in prison and turned zombie. It didn’t take long for a lawyer looking to boost his career jumped in and argued for the man’s release. They had no choice but to set him free, after all he had served his life sentence. People were outraged. Protesters gathered outside the courthouse holding signs with his victims’ pictures on them, but no laws had even been thought of to prevent release due to zombieism. It didn’t last long though, as soon as the man walked out of the prison doors and onto the street he was shot in head. That did it. The man that did the shooting was immediately arrested. Much to the disappointment of the crowd, if their angry shouts were any indication. Although they probably cheered when the guy couldn’t be charged with murder because the convict was already dead. They tried to get him on an abuse of a corpse charge, but his lawyer argued that since the man was independently mobile he didn’t meet the criteria of a corpse. The charges were dropped. Talk about a circus.
Now the politicians are in a scramble to enact the new “right to sub-life” laws. Especially now that groups have begun hunting zombies for fun. A paintball excursion adventure taken to a whole new demented level. It isn’t considered murder to kill someone who is already dead and the previous case with the convict left the door wide open. Right now these groups are only targeting criminals and ‘bad guys’, but it won’t be long before every zombie alive… so to speak… will have a target on their foreheads. Even though it’s been proven the virus originated from mosquitoes there are still groups that claim it’s spread through contact with a zombie. I’d like to know how since I’d never been near one until I was one! Many undead convicts have chosen to stay behind bars where it’s safer… somewhat.
They probably wouldn’t be moving so fast in Washington D.C. if it wasn’t for the fact that one of them could be next. There’s a long list of disgruntled people all over the world that would love for the chance to legally get a politician in the cross hairs. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are people praying for just that opportunity.
Partners in Crime Fighting
I have a side-kick, the zombie has a side-kick. That’s frickin’ hilarious don’t you think? But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. In my desperate attempt to kill the boredom I joined the neighborhood watch and even though, as I had said, I was a bit unsure about the whole situation it turned out to be one of the best things I could have done.
At first I figured I’d have to convince my neighbors that already knew my bucket had been kicked some time ago that I could be trusted and capable of doing the job, but come to find out I wasn’t the only corpse on the block; just the newest one. Before I knew what was happening they were shaking my hand had signed me up for permanent night watch. I suddenly got the feeling that I’d been set up. I didn’t realize that the reason there were so many incidents of teen vandalism was because many of my neighbors were either too afraid to confront the kids (and their aggressive or dismissive parents) or too tired to stay up walking the streets at night. Me being undead fit perfectly, I was awake already and unless one of people out there had excellent aim it wouldn’t hurt in the least if someone took a shot at me. Of course I wouldn’t be too happy about that, I have enough holes in my body already thank you very much and without being able to heal I don’t need anything leaking out. Not a pretty sight I assure you.
Anyway, I was surprised to find out that night that just four houses down was old guy who was dying from some illness then suddenly felt better; because he was dead and a woman two streets over that walked away from a fatal car crash between her and an elm tree. Or more accurately she hobbled away from it having broken her leg in two. That’s where the whole side-kick thing comes into it. With these two slower but still agile undead at my side our neighborhood watch has now formed the Zombie-Watch.
It’s a bit cliché to see us walking down the side-walk. One, ‘Is he or isn’t he?’ dead guy in basketball shorts and a hoodie with two slower foot scraping zombies in tow must be a sight, but it seems to work for us. There’s still this media induced belief that a bite or scratch from one of us will turn you into one of the walking dead so most people prefer not to take their chances with us. I guess the media is good for something, even if they did get it wrong; and still continue to (but that’s for another day). Technically we’re on the schedule for different nights, but since they’re just as bored as I was we usually do it together just to have something to do and some who understands to do it with, but I’m the one that got the side-kick. I’m the one that got the dog!
A dog? Yep you heard me; a dog. I never thought I’d be able to have a pet that wasn’t in a bowl of water and more importantly not able to treat me like meals on wheels two leg edition. What makes him so special? He’s a retired police dog, cadaver dog to be specific, trained not to disturb human remains. Dead isn’t food! Perfect for me right? Of course I do feel for the poor fella, he’s a bit confused that the corpse he was trained to sniff out is still up and moving, but he’s getting used the idea the more we’re together. I just hope he doesn’t forget his training one day and turn me into a chew toy. Ouch!
The Thing That Goes Bump in the Night
I’m bored, bored out of my skull bored. Not sleeping has it’s advantages and for a while it was pretty awesome, but the bloom is definitely off the rose. Or should I say the stink is definitely on the corpse. I started trying to figure out new ways of spending my endless amount of time, but let’s face it I’m kind of limited. My eyes glazed over after all the hours gaming and at one point even got stuck in my sockets. It took me nearly six hours and three bottles of eye drops to be able to look left and right again.
I repainted every room in my house; twice. Learned a new language. Read every book I owned and when they ran out I joined one of those online libraries and read until every book started to sound like every other book I had already read. I watched every movie and TV show I could stomach on Netflix ( and in desperation, a few I couldn’t). So yeah, like I said, I was bored to death. I guess my next move wasn’t so crazy as I first thought.
I recently moved into my new home in a fairly nice, safe neighborhood and I have to say I’m enjoying it. Some of my neighbors even know about my early retirement from breathing and still treat me like anyone else in the neighborhood. That’s refreshing, not that hostility was overflowing, but I think I may have found my place. In the spirit of my newfound friends and neighbors I decided to join the neighborhood watch.
I know that sounds like a B-rated horror flick, the zombie sent to guard the homes of the community, but hey… don’t knock it till you try it right? I admit I went into this whole adventure rather nervously. I mean yeah, some of my neighbors knew, but still when you talk about the safety of your home and family how many would feel comfortable putting me in that position, even with the knowledge of zombism we have today. Turns out more than you’d think.
Don’t get me wrong, my neighborhood is pretty safe, but it really doesn’t matter where you live nowadays. Someone, somewhere, is always up to something and more often than not in my neck of the woods it’s just a bunch of teens trying to one up each other and occupy their bored (go figure) minds with mischief; and outright vandalism. That’s where I come in. Since I don’t sleep anyways I can pick up the night watch shift every night leaving the rest of good people of the community to do what ever it is they’d rather be doing at night (mainly sleeping, which incidentally I’d give my left… well… to be able to do again). Now I’m fully licensed, so to speak, to walk the streets every evening, I am the thing that goes bump in the night! Ha, talk about irony.
Hits and Misses pt. 2
You’d think by now I’d be getting the hang of this undead thing and be pretty much at ease with all the changes. Nope, not in the least. Granted life after death takes a bit of getting used to, but this is ridiculous.
Stray animals began hanging around my new yard, watching me through my windows and following me when I’m outside. Talk about freaking a man out. You have no idea how unnerving it is to see a wall of cats, all flipping their tails and licking their lips like I’m the biggest mouse in the world. Seriously? As if that wasn’t bad enough, I had to get rid of my dog Barney. I’d had him since he was pup and I’m not ashamed to say that he was my best friend. He never once shied away from me when I turned zombie, but he began to look at me like I was dinner and I didn’t want to push my luck. I guess he was confused about why I was begging to smell like kibble and I grew a bit antsy when I’d turn around and see him licking his chops and looking like he was debating which limb to start on first. So I gave him to my brother and his family. He has a good home with three kids that give him plenty of attention and I still get to see him sometimes, but I still miss my furry buddy.
That’s another thing that’s changed. I knew people would avoid me and even friends would most likely disappear once they found out what I was, but I figured that at least my family would be a little understanding. Guess I was wrong. Okay so it’s not as bad as some people have it. I don’t have relatives banging on my door trying to drag me out and put a bullet in my head before burning me to cinders, but still a little compassion and understanding would be nice. It’s not that my brother has cut me out of his life or anything, but things are definitely different now. We were never big on hugging, we’re guys, but he won’t even shake my hand anymore. He just does that head nod or the quick wave from across the room thing and when my two nieces and nephew run up to give me a quick hug he watches me like a hawk as if he thinks I’m going to chomp down on one his kids like they’re some kind of toddler tot or something. Of course, his wife’s worse; because of her I’m no longer allowed anywhere near the kids unsupervised like I’m some undead predator. Then again, that’s also one of the up sides of this whole fiasco. I’m no longer on the babysitting roster. Don’t get me wrong I love my nephew and nieces, but three kids all under the age of six is a bit much for me and the last thing I need is for them to be treating their uncle like a jungle gym; especially when they could pull my arm off trying to swing from it like a monkey. Definitely not on my to do list, which is actually pretty short these days.
You have to be extra careful, no more sports or adventures. No more climbing boulders to get to the middle of the river, or scaling trees to get a sprig of real mistletoe. If something breaks there’s no fixing it without duct tape and glue and even then that’s pretty iffy. No growing back, no healing, nada, zip, zero, zilch. Kind of puts a damper on most anything physical when you’re afraid to lose a finger or even your hand shooting hoops, and you don’t get extra points for making the basket with an appendage. I liked sports, still do, but now I’m relegated to watching only. It has an added bonus though, when the players start looking like a stick of beef jerky in a uniform then I know I’d better pop open a can of brains. See, two for one.
Just try getting insurance as a dead guy, I dare ya. Fix this Obamacare! Okay so yes, I realize that health care insurance and life insurance are two completely different things, but a pre-existing condition is a pre-existing condition; even if it is death.
Getting life insurance has become, interesting to say the least and getting a pay-out is even more of a headache than before the whole ‘rising from the dead’ thing. Each and every insurance company immediately instituted new policy changes to reflect ‘undead status’ the moment the first dead guy stood back up and gave his loved ones a heart attack. Especially since a few companies actually went bankrupt over the whole situation. I mean, they were legally dead and according to the law their beneficiaries were entitled to the full policy amount.
It was a hey-day for lawyers. Zombies and vampires working together. Fortunately, millions of life insurance policies are grandfathered in and that means some board of directors somewhere is sweating every day as he reads the obituaries. The government also put a freeze on the companies beiong able to jack up the prices of new policies to make up for their losses. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. In my view, insurance is like a money draining gamble that you can’t really afford to be without if you have a family. Now, all of a sudden the balance of power has shifted from the insurance companies to the people paying month after month for something they may never use or benefit from. At least for those with pre-zombie change policies anyway. Small victories.
Of course, it doesn’t always pay to be rich and dead either; unless you make your money after you decided not to stay dead. Some super wealthy man back east had an iron clad will and after he turned zombie his kids sued him for everything he owned, claiming that since he was ,in fact, legally dead that they should get their share. They won, and the guy is out on his undead rear. Guess he questions his parenting now, huh? There was a massive rush of people changing their wills after that ruling. Kind of makes me grateful I’m already dead. Kind of, but I get over it in a heartbeat… if I had one that is.
The Dating Dead Pool
New house, new year, new life… somewhat anyway and now with that one day of the year dedicated to celebrating love and relationships fast approaching I’m thinking of stepping back out into that wonderful chaos known as the dating scene. Finding out I was a zombie was less intimidating.
I’m not quite sure how this is going to work. I mean I’m dead… that’s not exactly a relationship starter, but you sure can’t leave it out of the conversation. There was a girl I was interested in before; you know, but I haven’t exactly had the best of luck with my relationships post flatline. I understand my family’s trepidation (big word I know), but still family is supposed to stick with you thick and thin not run for the hills at the first sign of the undead, leaving you behind and don’t get me started about my job. Okay so yeah, maybe I’m a little bitter, but wouldn’t you be?
So you can see why I’d be a little hesitant to reveal my undead status to everyone I knew before I died, but maybe it won’t be so hard with someone new? Someone that can reject me from a distance without me even knowing it… hello internet dating.
Something Different Dating
New Applicant Questionnaire
Race: Human… mostly
Sex: Wish I could… really wish I could
Age: 35 and holding
Hair: Still got it!
Relationship Status: Single_√, Married_, Widow/Widower_, Widowie_
Life Status: Dead… almost
Work: Data management
Hobbies: Watching sports, Video gaming, Trying not to break anything
Favorite Food: Don’t ask!
Favorite Movie: Night of the Living Dead… (Too much?)
Why have you decided to try this site?: Looking for someone to share this stage of my life with, I’ve got a long way to go and would like it to be with someone who accepts me for who and what I am.
Underwear color: Underwear???? (Just kidding)
Happy New Year!
Mashed Potatoes, Gravy and Brains
I miss eating regular food. Never so much as last week, Thanksgiving. The one time of year where you’re actually encouraged to gorge, nap, watch football and then eat some more. There are two things for me that had always triggered the start of the Christmas Holiday season. Finding glitter stuck to every article of my clothing (and every appendage of my body) once the office complex begins its decorating extravaganza and Thanksgiving. Somehow it doesn’t seem like Christmas this year.
First of all I couldn’t get glitter to stick to me with a bottle of Elmer’s and a desk fan. Okay so maybe that’s and exaggeration, but I swear that’s what it feels like right now. Every year I’d come home with the shiny stuff stuck to my skin, clothes, and falling from my hair like dandruff; or so it would seem. I couldn’t get rid of the stuff until the middle of February when all the lingering specks floating around the office finally disappeared into that void where keys, cell phones and left socks go to and each year I’d complain about it like it was nobody’s business. Which is probably why Dennis found ways of adding to my frustration, Christmas cards filled with the stuff, Secret Santa gift with wrapping paper covered with it, once I even pulled my hand away from my car door and found the underside of the handle had been slathered with some sort of glittered lotion or something. I could never prove it was him, but he was always the one snickering in the corner when something happened.
Now, since I no longer have those natural body oils glitter simply doesn’t stick to me. I thought I’d enjoy it, that I was finally free, especially when good ole’ Dennis shook my hand and his was covered with red glitter. He was still wearing his gloves as luck would have it. “Oh, sorry. I was helping Jones hang that big wreath downstairs.” He thought he was being so funny as he walked away not a bit sorry. What he didn’t see was that when I turned my hand over every bit of that glitter fell straight to the floor. At first I could only laugh, but now I kind of miss it. I guess it’s just another sign of a part of me that’s no longer the same. Yet another reminder that I’m really dead; well dead-ish. I guess I’ll just have to content myself with repaying the favor to Dennis, in the form a glitter bomb sitting inside the air duct in his office directly above his desk chair. Oh and I think there’s a staff meeting this afternoon. Oops, my bad. (evil grin)
Now it’s Thanksgiving and no more stuffing, yams, or pumpkin pie. That sucked. At least I still got to hold on to my turkey. The geniuses upstairs have come up with a new way of getting money out of the undead market. ‘Gourmet Brains’. Elk, Caribou, Buffalo, Ostrich, Frog, Chicken, Deer, and you guessed it… Turkey. It costs an arm and a leg, at least the smaller critters do, but if I could get something of my old life back it’s more than worth it. Besides it’s only once a year, and this year I plopped down in my chair in my comfy pants, watched the game and popped the top on a can of turkey noggin’. Better yet I think I put it in the oven and got it all nice and warm, just like the real thing; almost. Warble warble!
Tricks and Treats
Normally, come October 31 I would close all the blinds, turn off all the lights, and settle in for a marathon of slasher movies all while hoping not to find anything unpleasant on my door the next morning. After all no one wants to bring their child trick-or-treating to the home of the brain eating persuasion. I guess they figure it would be like delivery service for an easy meal and a zombie in the neighborhood is the perfect target for every prankster and hoodlum within a fifteen mile radius…but not this year.
This year is different. It’s a new zip code with new opportunities. I bought that townhouse and just the other day I finished unpacking the last box. Well… the last one filled with things I might actually need. I have to admit there is a spare room still filled with a few boxes of things that; I’ll be honest I probably won’t ever completely unpack. I’ll just keep digging through them occasionally and shifting them around until they go from the spare room, to the closet, and finally to the attic where I’ll forget that they even exist until I move again. Which incidentally was a pain in the undead butt and I hope I never to actually have to do it again.
Right now I’m in that sweet spot where no one knows what I am and are still curious and friendly enough with the new arrival to the neighborhood to make things pleasant. People actually wave and stop to chat when I’m outside. It’s so different from the apartment that I’d almost forgotten what it was like to not be the resident Typhoid Mary. For the first time in years I think I’ll turn on my porch light, throw up a few decorations and put out the welcome mat on Halloween.
I’m considering going with irony for my costume. Nothing like a zombie who’s trying to fit in as human (for as long as possible anyway) dressed as a zombie for Halloween right? They’re going to find out eventually, but maybe I can have a little fun with it first. Maybe I’ll even go as far as to have a block party for the neighborhood that night, sort of a meet the resident undead invitational. Dressed like a zombie they can’t say later that I didn’t warn them, at least in some manner. You know I haven’t been this excited about Halloween in some time. Trick or treat? How about both.
Hit and Misses
I miss the little things. The smell of a spring rain, the feel of the sheets in the morning, the breeze through the windows in the fall, that kind of thing. I never thought those would be the kind of things that I would miss the most. Well that and a big fat bacon cheese burger, ohhh that or a steak. Yeah definitely steak.
Of course there are a few perks that go along with this whole undead thing. I don’t feel any pain anymore. No headaches, no hopping around my living room like a frog when I stub my toe, no more tearing up or outright crying when the occasional hit to the groin comes along; which is a plus, but on the flip side there’s no pleasure either. That bites and it leads me right back to the things I miss side.
There’s no sex for a zombie, things don’t work like they used to since there’s no blood flow anymore. There’s no feeling anyway so things are pretty much over in that department, much to my (and every other zombies) great heartache.
You also have to get used to losing some of your freedom, at least those of us that enjoyed the ability of hopping behind the wheel and taking off. Now for those that are city dwellers and are perfectly fine with public transportation and two legs it isn’t that big of a deal, but for the rest of us there’s no more driving for the undead, reaction time is just too slow.
On the upside, my bills are lower since I don’t need heat or air conditioning, except to maybe keep the pipes from freezing in winter. I don’t need a fridge, a stove or hot water. I still keep some things for when any un-undead company comes over, but I find I don’t get much of that now-a-days. Of course I was never that social of a creature to begin with. I’m kind of uncomfortable about my personal smell now anyways, especially in elevators and other tight spaces. It’s worse than when you’d cut one, because now everyone knows that that smell is the dead guy. Needless to say I take the stairs a lot.
No Pride; Just Prejudice
When you’re dead people look at you differently. It’s a fact of life; so to speak. At first no one really noticed that I was no longer… aging. My death had been so quick and left me looking like normal that it took a while before anyone really noticed that I was undead. Things were going pretty good, until recently that is.
I’d been growing used to the stares, my pale complexion had tipped off the neighbors. Let’s face it; no matter how much fake tanner you use you can only pass yourself off as still among the living for so long. I’m not ashamed of being dead, it’s not like I have any choice in the matter, but I can’t say that I’m enjoying it either.
You lose a lot of friends and family when they discover that you’re a walking corpse, too afraid that you’ll go savage and tear into their skull or any other body part that’s exposed. Thanks to the media and all those zombie movies and stories there’s a lot of fear and prejudice out there. I can’t necessarily say that I blame them. It has kind of been ingrained into our society that one possible end of the world will be because of the zombie apocalypse, but it’s kind of hard to remember that when you get evicted out of the home you’ve have for the past eleven years because you no longer ‘fit’. Yes folks I have been kicked out of my apartment for being one of the undead. Seems the good people of Abbington Place Apartments got together and convinced the HOA to instigate a ‘no zombie’ policy and thanks to that grey area of the law on zombie rights I have ninety days. I can’t say that I’m totally surprise by this. A couple of years ago they tried something similar and the HOA board had always turned them down, but ever since the mysterious disappearance of the vice chair’s beloved shih-tzu there’s been a change in the atmosphere around here.
It’s no secret that any time a pet goes missing around here, or anywhere for that matter, you’re the main suspect. I’ve gotten the evil eye many a times, especially from the woman in 32C with all the cats. She blames me every time one of her little darlings goes missing even though everyone in the building knows that the super is the one responsible. She has way more than the rules allow for the building and every time the super catches one outside her apartment it finds its way to the shelter. Of course that doesn’t stop her from trying to initiate a zombie burning mob.
Some of my neighbors even rush their pets and children inside anytime they see me out. Ten to one they find that stupid dog living the high life in one of the other apartments. I swear I hear barking coming from next door in Jackson’s apartment. He never did like me when I was alive, always wanted my apartment so he could expand his own.
Maybe this move is a good thing. This time I’m making sure that where I move doesn’t have an ‘anti zombie’ league. Maybe I’ll just say screw it and buy that townhouse I’ve had my eye on. After all thirty years is a drop in the bucket now isn’t it?
Just Can’t Get Enough
I have a little extra time on my hands and I’m sad to say I haven’t been spending it well. I’ve been indulging myself in something that I had sworn I’d never do, but now I’ve found that I can’t resist. It’s my dirty little secret and sometimes I wish that I’d never started this at all. Just between us I’ve become addicted… to a television show… to one of those…. It started one night at about four in the morning. I was channel surfing and after watching the same reruns of shark shows and sitcoms I got tired of pressing the ‘channel up’ button and let it stay on ‘it’. I figured I could make fun of the effects, the acting, the writing, and everything else, but by the third show I found myself not even thinking about changing the channel. Now I’m hooked, yes folks I’ve done it, I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and am completely addicted. After that I checked Hulu, Netflix, and every other streaming site for the complete series and for the past three days I’ve been binge watching… Shifters.
I know, I know; Shifters? Of all things; right? I’ve traded my sports center (at least for now) for that teen vampire drama that I spent years making fun of my little sister for watching. I have no idea why I like it, but I do. The mystery behind Lonnie mysteriously becoming a werewolf after a near fatal car accident and Bella Isogul’s hidden identity as she tries to help him discover how he was cursed and if he can reverse it has me glued to it. I’ve already gone through season one and have started season two.
As soon as get home I change into my fleece pants and tee shirt, grab a big bowl of brains and sit down to binge watch (and eat) through the night. They just introduced the character of Karl Ofbor, the ancient werewolf that may have the answers to what happened to Lonnie. The series is based on a book series and I’m seriously considering taking up reading for a pastime. It’s not like I don’t have the time, and I might as well improve my mind… while I’m eating someone; or something else’s. Now that’s a picture, a zombie sitting his recliner eating bowl of Brainieo’s and binge watching a vampire drama he’s become addicted to.
What’s Up Doc
I have decided that my shrink’s an idiot. Ever since it was discovered that the undead still have an uncanny sense of self, after-life therapy has become a ‘hot trend’ for those on the opposite side of the flatline. For me I wouldn’t have bothered. It’s not really my thing, though I totally understand that some people need (desperately) help in the transition. If it wasn’t for my company’s requirement that all undead personnel go for regular counseling sessions to make sure that they are stable employees a.k.a. not preparing to turn the break room into an all you can eat zombie buffet, I wouldn’t even bother. I mean what can a living breathing person possibly know about adjusting to waking up dead?
It’s not like picking back up after the loss of a loved one or a divorce or anything like that. It’s death. D. E. A. D., death. Things will not get better. It’s not like I can wake up someday and not be dead. It was getting to the point where if he asked me, “and how do feel about that?” one more time I was going to give him first-hand knowledge. I’m dead, it sucks, now stop pointing it out so that I can deal. He says that I have to work towards ‘moving on’ with my life. Ain’t that a crock? Seriously; does he even listen to what he’s saying before he says it? What in the world made him think it was a smart idea to tell a dead man, a zombie, to move on with his life?
Fortunately I don’t have to listen to him for a while. Our next so many sessions have been cancelled. The doc has taken a nice long sabbatical after a car crash left him with the shoe on the other foot. Or at least it would if he still had one. Let’s see how he ‘moves on’ with his life.
I guess I sound a little bitter. Maybe I am. I guess that’s something to talk about the next time I’m in his office. I have to admit though, he was right about one thing. Writing this blog has been pretty helpful. Maybe he wasn’t such a crack pot after all; hope he comes through this alright. I was fortunate to still look somewhat normal. I can’t imagine how much worse it must be for someone in his condition.
Look at that, I’m growing as an ex-human being. Doc would be proud.
Got bored the other day when the power went out; this is the result. I call it… Job Hunting.
Cause and Effect
Super virus, alien plague, government engineered bio weapon, divine punishment, evolutionary screw up, genocide …. Every notion known to man from the reasonable to the most outlandish conspiracy theory was thrown out when the outbreak happened, and every medical facility from the CDC to John’s Hopkins to the guy in his plastic lined basement jumped into the rush to not only find a cure and vaccine, but the reason behind the whole thing.
They found it and all I would have taken to prevent the entire undead apocalypse was some sheer netting and DDT. Yep, that’s it, the whole thing came about because of that tiny little pest known as the mosquito. Funny; when you think about it a blood sucker created the zombie. For decades the painful insect had been spreading the virus to nearly the entire world and finally matured within the human body so now we’re smack dab up to our eyeballs in people who can’t stay dead… mostly.
Scientists don’t know how it works entirely; at least not that they’re telling us, but from what I understand the virus bonded with the T-Cells through the immune system and caused all this mess. Not that I understand it all, but bottom line is… you live, you die, you get back up and try to figure out what to do next.
On the bright side, according to the new reports the virus doesn’t have any other negative side effects. It doesn’t cause any other immunity deficiencies, or shorten your life; just extends it… a lot.
Boy won’t I sleep better tonight; oh wait… I don’t sleep anymore.
Breaking Bad… Habits
Do you know how hard it is to stop yourself from doing something you’ve done your entire life? Freaking impossible! At least that’s what it feels like. I have this habit, this subconscious quirk that I’ve done for as long as I can remember. Whenever I get nervous, stresses, thinking about something or even just bored I run my fingers through my hair and scratch the back of my head. It’s like tapping your fingers or cracking your knuckles; most of the time you don’t even realize you’re doing it. Until it goes wrong, very wrong.
So I’m sitting in my living room the other day going over some print outs I’d brought home from work when, like any other time, I slipped my fingers through my hair not even realizing what I was doing until it went wrong. I can’t say I felt it because I don’t feel anything anymore, but there was a shift, a pop and something was different. I went to the bathroom mirror to find out what was going on and saw a piece of my scalp still full of hair had pulled off the side of my head and was dangling by my ar. I couldn’t believe it!
After I finished puking and pulled my head out of the toilet (thankful I hadn’t yacked up my stomach by the way), I stood there staring at it and like some sort of idiot I tried to stick it back in place. Like simply by pushing on it I could get it to seal back together. Needless to say it didn’t work. After a brief moment of panic I finally broke down and did the unthinkable. I grabbed my bottle of Gorilla Glue and stuck that sucker back on! It doesn’t look half bad and unless you look real hard you can’t even tell since it was on the side of my head by my ear. It was really just an inch, but anytime you see a chunk of anything hanging off you it looks bigger than it is.
Now I try to catch myself before I yank every bit of hair off my head and have to glue a plastic bag on my skull and put a wig on it. This incident has taught me one thing… glue is quickly becoming my best friend. When did life become so complicated? Oh, I know… when I dropped dead and didn’t stay that way, that’s when! It’s times like this when I wish I could get drunk. That would be something to see wouldn’t it? A bunch of drunk zombies? Then again… maybe not.
To Market To Market To Buy… Brains
Going to the market has never been high on my list of “things I enjoy doing”, mostly because I simply didn’t have the time to be bothered with it. I was either knee deep in work or there was something else I would rather be doing, but after I died it became a whole new thing entirely. First off it was a little embarrassing and confusing. I didn’t like the idea of having to eat brains just to keep going and yes brains are it for us. As I said before, I’d tried to get around that whole grey matter diet thing, but finally I had to accept the fact that my menu was somewhat limited.
At first my food bills were a lot lower so there was at least a silver lining to this curse, but then there was major price gouging on the canned brain market and that silver lining turned black with my next trip to the grocery store. Fortunately the government stepped in and banned price gouging on all brain products. They came out smelling like the proverbial rose caring about the rights of the undead, but that’s bull, they just didn’t want to take the chance that one of us might actually survive long enough to start taking a bite out of them or the voters.
You can always tell when the person shopping next to you is a zombie, their cart is full of canned brains and air freshener. Personally I began shopping online to avoid the stares at the grocery store, I got tired of parents moving their children behind them or intentionally changing lanes or checkout lines just to avoid me. It’s not like sticking a few grapes in your mouth from the produce department while picking up your groceries. I’m not suddenly going to decide I can’t wait to pop the top on a can of brains and choose to go through the trouble of cracking open their skulls for something fresh. Please, give me a little credit will you. I may be dead, but I’m not stupid.
The cosmetic companies sure have jumped on the undead profit bandwagon, you’d think this zombie thing was their doing. They’ve been trying to find a way to market make-up to men for decades and now they’re selling it by the case loads and the prices are outrageous. One good thing, hair dye lasts longer since it won’t grow out anymore. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve looked into the make-up, but I’m thinking a fake tan would probably be a better option. I may have to accept the fact that I’m dead, but nobody said I have to like looking like I just crawled out of the grave, my vanity is alive and well.
Here’s where things get… interesting. We don’t attack people contrary to popular belief and the dismay of all the zombie apocalypse preppers, though not everyone believes it. I came back well into the undead scare so I didn’t have to go through the quarantining or imprisonment that happened to so many in the early days. Once it was determined that mankind was safe from them, or us actually most of us were safe from being locked away or having our heads blown off, thought that still happens more often than any of us would like.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I imagine it’s pretty much the same for everyone that well… doesn’t stay dead. I refused to eat brains, of any kind. At first I just wasn’t hungry, but when I finally did feel that rumble I went straight for the fridge and whatever wasn’t growing some sort of fungus. One bite and it came right back up. Everything always came right back up, in fact the only thing that any of us can keep down is brain matter and liquids. It doesn’t make a lick of sense I know, how is it we can keep liquids down when nothing else will is a mystery, but that’s how this thing works.
Of course why brain is now the only thing on the menu should be the bigger focus, but for some reason no one has questioned it. Unless you count the scientists that test everything and its brother, but I don’t. I guess it’s all those decades of zombie movies.
Finally when the emptiness in my stomach had grown painful and my joints had begun to freeze I broke down and popped the top on my first can of brains. That’s how it really works, there’s this stiffness in our joints along with a growing pain in the gut that gets worse the longer you go without any. Fortunately by the time we start looking at our neighbor as a light snack we can’t even move and parts of you have begun to fall off.
So there you go, no humans were harmed in the feeding of this zombie. Then again; there’s this jerk I work with, he was a real tool before I died and he sure hasn’t gotten any better. I think I’d eat him first.
I work a lot of extra shifts to pass the time. I’m a data analyst and where I use to put in extra hours for that nice bonus, or to be perfectly honest to show up my co-workers (especially Dennis) I now do it to keep the hours of boredom at bay. It also helps to ensure that I still have a job, things are a bit touch and go in the job market for the undead, but more on that later. My bills may be lower, but I still have to pay them.
I make a pretty nice salary and since being dead helps to keep the expenses down I can splurge on the things I’ve always wanted. On the other side of that now that my lifespan plan has made a drastic change maybe I should be planning loooong term. Then again this whole thing could end tomorrow. Whatever, my brain cells are not reproducing like before so there’s no since wasting any of them on the ‘what ifs’ of zombie retirement.
Once my alarm goes off I hop in the shower to wash the stink off. No, literally I’m dead so washing the stink away is very important. Not for me, I can’t smell anything anymore, but who wants to work in the same office with the slowly rotting corpse right? The shower’s always cold, I can’t feel it anyway so why waste hot water, plus I don’t want to accidentally cook my body with water that’s too hot. I don’t know what that would do, but I’m certainly not curious to find out!
My fingers don’t work as well as they once did, they get stiff real easily and you have to be very careful. You can’t scrub too hard when you’re taking a shower you could rub something off. A guy lost his nose that way and considering all of the appendages that could… detach so to speak I make sure to take plenty of extra time to get the job done safely. I never would have thought that the simple act of taking a shower could be so harrowing. On the up side I save time with not having to shave any more so that works, no more spending $30 on one pack of razor blades. Then again if I want to change my look I’m out of luck.
I take the train to the office and walk up the twelve flights of stairs to reach my floor. I stopped taking the elevator after receiving some rather unpleasant looks. It doesn’t matter how much deodorant or cologne you use if there’s a foul smell in the elevator, or any tight space for that matter it’s always the dead guy that did it. Sometimes I think Dennis intentionally follows me around after he’s had burritos for dinner just to cover his… well you get the idea.
If nothing breaks off and I can make it home in the same shape as when I left it’s been a good day. Guess my goals have simplified since dying. Make it home in one piece!
How it all started; for me that is.
The alarm goes off at seven a.m. and it’s time to start another day, or just the continuation of one massively never-ending one. Undead point number one: never plan to sleep again, it just won’t happen. Welcome to the world of the undead. You know that old saying, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’? Nope! Wrong! Sleep is a thing of the past my friend, no sleeping, dreaming, zip. So why do I need the alarm clock you ask? It’s just a handy reminder, kind of like the appointment reminder on your phone. You’d think being dead would excuse you from all those little annoying things in life like work, taxes, bills and the like. Nope! Sucks huh? I guess the only thing you can be sure of now is taxes.
As I said, you never sleep anymore, you watch a lot of TV, read, play endless hours of video games and work long shifts to pass the time. On the up side you can binge watch until your eyes fall out if you want to and you never have to worry about quitting in the middle of some quest through the ogre infested swamps to find the mythical sword of Gaenwyw to level up your Elf Mage. So there are perks. I guess you could say I’m handling this undead thing pretty well considering. It wasn’t as traumatic for me as it was for others. By the time I turned zombie the shock of the whole zombie apocalypse had already come and gone and not staying dead was just another possibility like catching the flu. You knew it could happen to you, but you don’t expect it to happen. Not everyone who dies comes back from the grave; not that they ever made it there in the first place. It’s one of those mysteries that scientist and doctors all over the world are scrambling to figure out.
Fortunately I died of a heart attack, unlike those poor guys that bite it in some kind of accident and wake up half the person they were just moments ago. Me, I didn’t even know anything had happened. One minute I’m in pain on the bathroom floor, the next minute I feel fine and I’m on my way to work. Never even notice I wasn’t breathing afterwards. I went the whole day without realizing I was dead. Is that funny or sad? It took me three days and a trip to my doctor to find out that life as I’d known it was over. So now here I am writing this blog about life as a zombie.