Sometimes, what you do relates to what you write, even if what you are writing is a work of fiction. For anyone who knows me it is no secret that I have a passion for movies, especially the genre of Horror and Zombie films. Walking Dead actors grace my work space and amongst the clutter you will discover various quirky Zombie related paraphernalia scattered around hidden in plain sight.
So my excited anticipation of the UK Festival of Zombie Culture increased as each film for the event was announced. I really enjoy the films and whole event, meeting people, helping friends and being engaged in a sub-culture of gore.
As silly as it sounds, I find Horror Movies awake a childhood excitement within me, the thrill of fear, the mess of the effects all safe in the knowledge that it is all fake.
I fell in love with Horror at an early age, first frightened by Christopher Lee as Dracula safely curled up by my Grandmothers arm chair. I was so scared at the first sight of crimson blood upon a silk white neck that I fled to bed without watching the film to the rolling credits. The following morning I awoke in awe, enticed to explore this genre even more and still to this day I have not grown out of that trill.
Having said that, I’ve never really written anything really horrible in nature. Most of my writing is far more Fantasy based but that’s not to say I haven’t dabbled in Horror, just a little.
So, as I titled this blog as ‘Art Reflecting Life’ I shall share with you a silly little ditty that I wrote for Halloween 2013 as the short tale popped into my mind over the weekend while I was watching 13 hours of Zombie films… I pondered upon writing a some more in this genre and maybe one day I will…
Anne Harrison 16.11.15
The Walking Nightmare Halloween 2013
I cannot die. Since the bite, I cannot die.
I recall the shock, a deep sense of dread creep up from the pit of my stomach to grip my heart in fear and finally my mind.
I watched this ‘thing’ appear from nowhere moved swifter than I ever imagined and descended upon me with an un-natural strength.
Tearing into the flesh of my neck, my shoulder, burning pain coursed through my body as it gripped me tightly refusing to let go as hot blood, my blood, poured freely from the grievous wound, spilling over my breasts and staining my clothes.
I could not scream, I fell, and I lost consciousness. For how long, I do not know.
When I awoke I had changed and my attacker he had gone, I was perfectly alone, exactly where he had left me, fallen at his feet.
But I was not ‘me’ anymore, I was something else.
I sat up slowly; I could feel the wound which desecrated my flesh, a vicious collection of bite marks. I dared to touch them, yet there was no pain, I could feel nothing and I cared not that there was a total lack of any sensation.
I stood, hanging limp like an old rag doll. My mind felt clouded, like there was no sense of purpose. So for a long time, I just stood.
Then I caught the scent of sweat, it was fear! It was fresh, alluring, I was hungry.
The first sensation since my reawakening was hunger and the sweat, the fear, the flesh it called to me and I followed. My legs felt heavy at first yet the pull of desire animated my lead-like limbs and I gathered speed towards my goal, my prey.
My hunger was my motivation and my senses were aflame, my sense of smell and razor sharp hearing were so finely tuned to hunting, but I was not the sole hunter who had caught the scent, others, like me, had gathered and we advanced without warning, like a rabid pack we descended upon our victims without mercy.
The carnage which followed I could not begin to describe for I fail to recall what transpired clearly. I had blood on my hands, warm and sticky, but I did not care. It stained my face, my lips, and my clothes. I had feasted. I had fed and I wanted more, always wanting more driven my hunger, a lust to feast on fresh flesh.
It was a contest amongst my kin. When we did not hunt we waited, wondering, always waiting to catch the scent of prey, the stench of sweat, the lust for blood, the sense of fear, the faint sound of a rapid heartbeat. It was all we existed for, to feed.
The general misconception is that we are thoughtless creatures, with no residual memory of who we once were. Maybe it is easier for ‘them’ to slaughter us with this lie in their mind. Would ‘they’ hesitate if ‘they’ knew my name was Michelle? That I am still Michelle, albeit a husk of my former self, but there does still remain a flicker of who I am. I am Michelle and I am locked away in a diseased mind, trapped within my decaying flesh-like tomb. Not dead, nor alive. Just existing to feed.
In times where we wonder absently on bleeding feet which feel no pain, which is the time where our old memories arise from the fog of hunger. I recall my family, my friends, my pets, job, love, and home. All the mundane aspects of daily life, previously taken for granted.
We exist in our memories, when we are not driven to kill. Yet we have no capacity of control over our bodies. The disease is like a walking coma, we do not wash, we do not change or clothes, we do not brush our teeth, comb our hair, we do not care!
All these chores are disregarded as we have no power over ourselves.
We do not even speak, save for rasping incoherent moaning, a screech or grunt. Primitive dialect of an unthinking beast. Our lungs still heaved, drawing air into out corrupt animated corpses; black hearts pumped the poisoned virus around our bodies. Both alive and dead ‘they’ considered us brain dead, though in reality the virus which infected us, caged our minds in a form of locked in syndrome. The disease blocked the signals from our trapped thoughts, for the disease only knows hunger for flesh, for blood. We consume, we absorb and it feeds the disease. A waking walking nightmare with only one possible form of relief.
Sever a limb and we shall feel no agony, this will barely slow our progress. We live in pieces, broken humans locked in shattered minds. Some go insane, even eating our own kind or their own flesh. The older we get, the more we forget. The virus starts to eat away at our fragile memories, destroying the valuable remains of ourselves.
‘They’ seek a cure, I fixate on this memory, a final recollection prior to my change, but this too is a lie ‘they’ are looking for an immunisation to prevent themselves from the change, to protect themselves from us.
Not to cure us! But why would they want to cure us, when they believe that we are already dead. Just walking dead. This lie fuels rage in our entombed minds, the rage fuels our hunger and our hunger destroys ‘them’ it is our only weapon in this war. They attack us with axe, shotgun, and machete, anything which will destroy our infected brains. It is a war! We out number them, they seek cures and they seek to eradicate our race in the misunderstanding that we care monsters.
It is a war no one can win.
For me death was a welcome relief, I turned away from my feast – too slowly- I did not see the crossbow bolt until it was too late, I felt no pain as it blasted through my skull. The last thing my conscious mind recalled was a welcome relief, of falling into the dark arms of sweet oblivion. To the killer with the crossbow I am just another dead walker an anonymous animated corpse, but at least now I am free from the tomb of my own decaying flesh. I wonder as I pass from un-dead to true death, as the hunter with the crossbow wrenched the bolt free from my head, if he even cared that my name was Michelle. Once.