Welcome to Fiction Friday.
Since Zach the Zombie made his debut last June, I’ve shared with y’all little glimpses into his world and his mind.
I added it up, and Zach has now made 18 appearances here. Each time he’s popped by, he’s shared little bits of himself. (yes, i did that. sorry. couldn’t help it.)
But those bits have been terribly random and out-of-order, so I thought I’d share an outline of the story as it stands right now. Yes, there are some really big gaps that I’ll be asking him to fill in. Thanks for your grace!
History (posted 6 July)
It was no coincidence that the the rot began immediately after the sun stopped setting, immediately after a whole number of people disappeared behind the City walls, and a bunch of new ones from the City appeared outside, with sores on their bodies.
The Rot (posted 27 July)
“Damn, I thought that finger would hold out for at least another week,” he thought, as the flesh of his left ring finger finally pulled away from the bone and dropped into the dust and gravel.
Zombies Are All The Rage (posted 8 June)
Zach saw the Old One lying in the dust. She had wriggled her body into the partial shade of her overturned cart, trying to get comfortable while she waited. Zach knew her wait would be long. He knew she would probably try to move before it was time. It gets old waiting for everything to grow back so you can move again.
Zombie Fear (posted 3 August)
Feelings linger longer than the distinct memories. I remember how I felt, but I don’t remember what I felt like that about. I don’t remember why I felt it. But I remember the feeling.
Home (posted 12 Oct)<
The storytellers say that back when there was no Rot, we went to the same shelter every night with the same people. That we stopped when the night stopped and the Rot started. And that something with the Rot made it so we just don’t remember it.
Arthur (posted 15 June)
“Boy, boy, boy.” Arthur shook his head. ”Boy, you are missing the point of every story I’ve told you, and every story I haven’t. The point is that it is what it is. We are what we are. Nothing will change that. We’re here because of what we didn’t do back then. We all were like the people in the City. How many times have I told that one? Six? Sixty? I don’t know, but I know you’ve heard it.”
“Boy, if we had believed, we’d be there now.” He sighed again. He seemed to be doing that a lot today.
The Last Night (posted 17 August)
“The City lay in ruins. Half its people had been taken slave by invaders, taken to foreign lands, worked like animals. Those that remained threw lifeless bodies onto the burning heaps every night.
“Then the ground shook.”
Reunion (posted 10 August)
She takes a deep breath.
“I’ve been to the City.” She sips the coffee and smiles like she’s home again.
I missed that.
This could be worth forgiving.
What does coffee have to do with anything? (posted 9 Nov)
…she feels nice wrapped in my arms. Can’t say this happens all too often. We are not an affectionate bunch. We pretty much try to stay out of each other’s way. We help each other when we need to, we listen to the Storytellers, we gamble together. But on an ordinary day, most of us keep to ourselves. So I don’t spend too much time holding other people.
Forgiven (posted 16 Nov)
Her fingers find the cuff of my shirt, and worry the edges as she starts to come back to me. Something happened in the City. I don’t think she’ll ever tell me. She can’t know that it doesn’t matter to me. Nothing matters except that she’s back here.
The Bad Seeds (posted 29 June)
Most of us have rot somewhere you can see. Them? They look fine. That’s the first sign of it, actually. Everyone rots somewhere. That’s just how it is. It usually starts in the extremities, so people can see it. So if you can’t see the rot, you can pretty well guess it’s in the brain.
Stay clear of those guys. Trust me.
The City (posted 7 Sept)
Something was different about the City. Truly different. The City glowed in the sunlight. Especially when the sun was low, the city’s walls glowed a stunning orange and [I] heard music and laughter drifting over the wall.
Reconnaissance (posted 14 Sept)
There has to be a way in…I sit down with Arthur and we review today’s trip. It’s a quick review. Nothing new. Just like yesterday. And the day before.
The Climb (posted 21 Sept)
I think of the Old Ones, confined to carts. I think of Arthur, sitting back at camp, his Rot spreading toward his tongue. I remember that I have to do this.
I hang, frozen, on the side of the stone wall. I can’t let myself go down. They need me to do this. But I can’t go up.
If At First You Don’t Succeed (posted 28 Sept)
“We each have our part in this. Yours is, well, the physical part.” Arthur looks down at his own rotting body and shrugs at me. I guess he’s right. there’s no way he can climb a wall, and there’s no way he’s going through the main gates. So it’s up to me.
Third Time’s a Charm (posted 5 Oct)
I still have the half-smile on my lips as I stand up from the tree and drift back toward the wall. As I get closer, something catches my eye. Movement. A few feet down the wall.
The stones aren’t the same as when I sat down.
Inside (posted 31 August)
As I creep through the city, I learn to be quiet. I practice. I catch myself making the little sounds we all make all the time. Sounds that say “we don’t really care anymore.” The sound of perpetual loss.
Zach Needs Help (posted 22 June)
“Look, I don’t think you’re supposed to be here. How did you get in here? You can’t be here.” Her eyes locked on his arm.
Which gaping holes do you want to see filled in first?? Leave a comment…