Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mama's Boy

That night she had a strange dream. She dreamt that she had a son — a little boy who was probably four or five and whose role in the dream was played by the boy who lived across the street. She loved him dearly, but then his life was cut short (all this happened before the dream started in earnest; her dream self seemed to vaguely remember something about a car accident... a funeral...). Of course she had been devastated. But then a girlfriend informed her of a way that she could bring her son back from the dead. Only, it was not really her son — just his reanimated corpse possessed by a homicidal demon.

When she opened the front door to welcome him back home, he was dressed (as he would be throughout the dream) in a baseball cap, t-shirt and shorts. She could see that his flesh had begun to decompose and that he had dirt from the cemetery behind his ears. But she paid this no mind; she ran up to her son and hugged him so tightly that some of his bones may have snapped. The demon boy remained impassive in her embrace: he never spoke and his eyes had changed — they were somehow perpetually cast in shadow and alternately vacant or glinting with malice.

But she didn't care about any of this; she held him for a good minute sobbing and telling the boy how much she had missed him. Likewise, she put up with his numerous attempts to kill her, which were usually pretty feeble. They proved easy enough to foil if she stayed on guard, and they were quickly forgiven. Once, for example, she had turned her back on him in the kitchen while fixing dinner and when she turned around she caught him brandishing the kitchen scissors which he seemed hell bent on lodging in the base of mommy's skull. As it was, she wrestled the scissors out of his grip, and after they dropped to the floor she admonished him. "Silly boy!" At night she would lie with him in bed next to her, as this helped ease her lingering feelings of loss — reassuring her he was still there. But she could never truly rest. She needed to keep one eye open lest he murder her in her sleep.

She woke with a start. Whereas her dream self had taken it all in stride, she was seriously disturbed. Then, before getting out of bed, she took a moment to ponder why (in all those zombie movies which hadn't been filmed yet) the risen dead always seemed keen on killing the living. Were they jealous? Angry at having their eternal rest disturbed? Or perhaps they had discovered that being dead was great and they just wanted to share the gift?

LINK OF THE DAY: The official website for the novel World War Z includes a Risk Calculator which will tell you your chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse. You may also want to check out the Zombie Survival Guide, also written by Max Brooks (son of Mel Brooks).

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