Saturday, May 07, 2016

People-Watching in the Post-Apocalypse

From the sticky red pages of BLEEDING KANSAS:

I rather like this passage from Chapter 16. A quiet little think piece, with zombies, as you’ll see only in this genre. Seriously, can you see this happening with vampires or werewolves or ghosts? Bigfoot? Kaiju?

I see them as they pass the privacy hedge between me and the house next door. The sun fails behind them, as if their passing drains the very light from the world. Men in suits, men in denim and wife-beaters. Children in pajamas, mothers in their gowns. 
And then there are the ones who didn’t obviously die of the Flu first…I’d never thought about what Tanner meant by that, what had him so shaken up as we leveled off in the plane. Now I know. I cannot unsee them. The ones whose heads hang to one side because the meat around the collarbone is so damned convenient. The defensive wounds on the arms. Where huge chunks of flesh were torn right through their clothing, fabric embedded about the edges of their wounds, by jaws driven with the force of senseless rigor mortis and rage-purposed hunger. Those children in their pajamas…blood-black-stiff pajamas…shit….
The first rows sport glistening new blood-bibs, the chin-to-crotch remains of Natalia’s high-end slacker community. In Emory Kerch’s Hard Workin’ New World, the party really is over. It’s dripping down the front of a homeschooling mom in her shift, staining the power tie of that sales rep. 
That same tie is crimped from where someone had grabbed it in an attempt to steer those hungry, meat-clotted teeth away from her own face. Or his face. You can guess who those are stumbling up a couple of rows behind. They’re damned hard to look at, with the skin pulled away, the muscle exposed beneath their eyes, around their mouths. I wonder if they died right away from the shock or they had to bleed out first. 
Their collective moaning forms a low hum, like an epic cloud of flesh-eating flies. They reach the rear of the Cadillac, close enough to touch. The arms of the ones in front go up, they pick up speed. And just as they’re about to touch, the kid lets his foot off the brake. The horde lets loose a collective groan in frustration. The kid releases a thoom! in response.
I get up to go to the window on the other side of the room. The driver stops before each house. Kerch is letting us know he’s not making exceptions for anyone. 
Well, good for him, I think, taking another gulp from the growler bottle. All governments rule by terror. Kerch’s terror just happens to be more terrifying than most.
Gore porn among the living dead, and a thought on social control. All within 500 words. Later on, there will be sex, before we come to murder with our coffee and fresh laundry in the morning.

I love how I went over the top with this book, like describing one of those dark-as-fuck 1970s movies as it ran frame by frame in my head. It's a feeling I'm striving to get back into as I finish writing The Wrong Kind of Dead. Stay turned, uh, tuned. Read my other stuff while you wait.
They're coming to get you, Barbara. They're coming for all of us.