Thursday, May 13, 2010

Zombie Walk - #FridayFlash


This is my first attempt of #FridayFlash. This is also my first horror story, and my first zombie story as well. Contrarily to what you might think, I don't like Zombies. I've set a challenge to myself to write something zombie-themed after a most amusing conversation with Jodie MacArthur and Jim Bronyaur. I hope you'll like it. :)


Zombie Walk



“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” said Claire.


“C’mon, this is fun! Look at that awesome costume,” replied Silver, grinning to a half exposed brain.


“Besides, you look cute with these unseeing eyes.” She winked.


“Eww! How can you think that someone looks cute dressed up as an undead?”


“Just play along Claire. You might even have some fun.”


Claire decided to follow her friend’s advice, managing to find the stumbling bleeding corpses somehow amusing.


These people take great care to make the best costumes they can, I’ll give them that, she thought.

At some point she spotted a different zombie. He was an excellent actor. She couldn’t prevent staring at his walk as he approached her. Her lips twisted up when realizing that she actually 

found him cute, which she rationalized into the lack of open wounds in his costume.


When reaching her, he took her arm and said with a rough voice, “I was looking for you.”


“You were?” she replied with raised eyebrows.


“Yes.” He smiled rigidly, and Claire noticed his contact lens. They were the best she had seen so far, chilling even. Before she could control herself she smiled back.


Seeing this exchange, Silver smirked at Claire and let herself go with the mob. Claire rolled her eyes but grinned at her friend’s back. This is what she most liked about her friendship with Silver, very few words were needed.


The zombie guy woke her from her reverie by approaching for a kiss. She froze at the 
suddenness, made a minor effort to retreat but changed her mind.


What the heck, she thought, what do I have to lose?


When their lips met, she noticed that his were strangely cold. The kiss was deep and passionate, so she put the thought aside. Suddenly she wrinkled her nose at a putrid smell. Oh, no, this is too much dedication for me, she thought.


She tried to step back but he held her by the mouth. She grunted and pushed him away, which got her a deep cut in her lower lip.


“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”


The guy’s mouth fell, he mumbled something inaudible and stepped back. Then he licked her blood off his own lips and fled, leaving her gawking at the moaning crowd.


Frowning, Claire sped up towards the direction Silver had gone.


The next morning Claire felt a bit feverish. By the afternoon the flu was fully installed in her organism so she left her job early. At night, she could barely call Silver to take her to the hospital. Before dawn Claire was declared dead.


There was an interesting smell nearby she couldn’t identify or locate. She was laid, that she knew, and it was dark. Before she gathered her wits, a thundering sound followed by a cracking wood that let in the moonlight and strong arms, which carried her up, laying her in the cool grass.


“How do you feel?” she heard an oddly familiar voice asking.


Claire cleared her throat and frowned, “Now that you ask, I feel nothing. At all.”


“Good.”


“What? What’s going on?”


“We’ve met in a zombie walk, right?” asked the cute guy, “You’re a full zombie now.” He smiled a fetid smile.


With a loosely open mouth she accepted the mirror he was offering to see herself in grey skin and those well made contact lens.


“This is a prank right?”


“Oh, no, no-no.” He shook his head, still showing his once beautiful teeth, “We’re the real thing. Isn’t this cool?” He nodded as to encourage her. “I didn’t want this to happen so soon, but it’s better this way. You won’t feel pain, you won’t feel cold, you won’t even feel the grass prickling your skin.” He twisted his mouth and nodded again, seriously this time.


“How can this be cool? I’m dead!”


He leaned back, tense shoulders and confused eyes.


“Who said I didn’t want to feel anything?” She continued, being interrupted by a rumbling sound. “Well, apparently I can feel hunger.”


He smiled and releasing a sigh he happily deposited random body parts before her. They looked quite fresh, making Claire want to salivate despite the impossibility.


That’s the smell I was trying to identify! She thought with a mixture of exultation and disgust.


She looked up at him for assistance. Nodding encouragingly he gave her a female arm.
What the heck, she thought.


Note: The zombie pic I found here, along with many other good ones. ;)

51 comments:

  1. Great concept! Makes me wonder how come we don't see more Zombie Romance stuff... or maybe I'm just not seeing it do to all the vampire stuff, hahaha! At first I totally thought this was just about the Zombie fan culture - so I was surprised to see that a real zombie showed up. It leaves a lot of questions - like how many other zombies were there? The paragraph where she wakes up in the coffin is a little confusing, but other than that, I really enjoyed it!

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  2. Well done! See, aren't zombies fun! ;)


    Jim Wisneski

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  3. Well done! Careful of kissing strangers. :-)

    A really fun zombie story.

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  4. That's what she gets for kissing strange undead guys...

    Weirdly interesting concept. Way to go.

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  5. Oh, very fun! I've seen one of those zombie walks live and I have to say, this story does not seem so far-fetched! But then, I love zombies.

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  6. Bravo! It works - I enjoyed it.
    Watch out for that Jodi...I hear they walk in her imagination!

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  7. You nailed the genre and kept it interesting. Zombie Walk, I'll have to tell my kids. (heh-heh)

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  8. --Joanie: I'm not really into zombies, but I've heard more than once that they're all around the publishing market, especially after that novel Pride Prejudice and Zombies.

    The question over existing other real zombies in the walk is left open on purpose, heh. But if you're curious, in my mind the "cute" guy is the only one (so far), the by product of some lab accident probably caused by himself. He's an idiot, but you know that already, lol.

    Thanks for the feedback on the waking up part. I rewrote it more than once and yet it didn't come up very good. You have a good eye for flaws! Thanks for mentioning it. :)

    --Jim: I confess it was fun writing this piece, but I gotta tell you that I'm with the unicorns. No need of rainbows and all that girlie stuff to make them interesting beasts. ;P

    --Gracie and ganymeder: In my view Claire is as inconsequential as a 15 year old girl. That's what she gets for kissing some strange stumbling guy with cool contact lens and a bad breath. ha! heh

    --Jen: Ohhh, if you like zombies that much and you didn't hate my story I'll smile my day away. :D

    --Erin: Thank you! I'm afraid the zombie guy jumped out of Jodi's head into mine. I hope that after making a mess out of my stomach with those fresh body parts he'll come back to Jodi's head. heh :P

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  9. --pegjet: Ohh, thank you! Hey, I hope your kids don't become afraid of kissing. Kissing is good, heh. ;)

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  10. Love it! What the heck is something I'd better learn to avoid! :)

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  11. Mari-girl! Congrats on making it through a zombie story! I'm glad you decided to write a #fridayflash for us too. :)

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  12. If you're going to kiss a zombie, it's best to kiss a cute zombie, that's what I always say.
    I also say that if you're going to read a zombie story, it might as well be a good zombie story.
    Just like this one!
    Welcome to #fridayflash! And now, pass that arm, will ya? I'm feeling peckish...

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  13. Ah, the assumptions about what the girl wants - so often the source of a man's trouble!

    Zombie romance, I like it!

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  14. Reminds of a book called Breathers. Check it out. Zombies are hard to be made attractive or personable. I think you did well.

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  15. Oh, my Mari-girl, am so excited you did a #fridayflash. Welcome!

    And it's a Zombie romance! You made me like the cute guy, especially since he knew that the way to his girl's heart was not with flowers. :)

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  16. Former-Witch FriendMay 14, 2010 at 4:24 AM

    Creepy. And bizarrely good, if that's really a word.

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  17. Mari, MARI,
    That ol' imagination zombie made it all the way to Italy. Woot! And what bizarro things he did to your mind.

    This story was a wonderfully fresh take on zombies! I thought Claire loveable, cute, and I love her spontaneity. (I would have kissed him too).

    This made me laugh - "Oh, no, this is too much dedication for me, she thought."

    Well, he sure was deAdicated to getting her. And he did. Ahhh.. lust,love, flesh and love for the flesh. A beautiful thing. You have a knack for this take something gross and make it cute stuff.

    Thanks for experimenting. You can tell that imagination zombie to go on home whenever you wish (although I think he kinda likes you). Kudos on the bizarro, humor, zombie romance!

    And congrats on the first Friday Flash ;-)

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  18. This was a fun read! Zombies and romance are fun, so zombie romance is even better! Welcome to #fridayflash!

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  19. Welcome to #fridayflash, Horror writing and zombie writing! What an auspicious debut. I like that you turned zombieism into an STD/STI. The revelation that she can still feel "hunger" also got me grinning.

    I noticed a minor typo in paragraph 13, "loose" instead of "lose." Not being snooty, I just look out for other writers because I can never catch all my errors.

    Welcome to #fridayflash!

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  20. He smiled a fetid smile - great line! I think you rose to your challenge with ease. Well done!

    marc nash

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  21. --Jemi: I'm not the "what the heck" kind of girl either, but I'm afraid we would have a dead friend if Jodi went to a zombie walk with us, lol. :P

    --Laura: Thanks! It's been a while since I was flirting with the idea. I'm glad I finally made up my mind, and I hope I'll be able to contribute frequently. :D

    --Cathy: Thank you!

    There you go. *passing a fresh kids leg*

    I'm sorry that we're of arms. Claire took a special like for this body part and ate them all, but I've heard that kids' parties are easier to chew and have a softer taste. Enjoy!

    Oh, sorry, I forgot that zombies don't feel taste at all. Well, at least kids are easier to chew? lol

    --Tony: Thanks! If we all go by Laura's guidelines it will be all fine. I think, heh.

    --Carrie: Thank you! :D

    --Marisa: I'm excited to be amongst so many good writers as yourself Mari-girl! ;D

    I'll let the guys interested in you know that the way to your heart is a bite in the mouth instead of flowers. I'm such a good friend, am I not? lol

    --Former-Witch: I think this is a word, yes. :) Glad you liked my creepy stuff.

    --Jodi: Thank you my dear, and Jim, for inspiring me. It was a really fun experiment.

    I'm in awe every time I come to realize that my boundaries as a writer were stretched a bit more.

    I was about to say that I'd give you all the zombiness back -- I think this one is not a word Former-Witch, heh -- and keep just a bit of the darkness and chill, but as I wrote this comment I changed my mind. If he likes me as you say, I think I'll keep some cops-eating need for myself and put it in a nice little drawer of my mind. You never know what kind of tools you'll need in the future, right?

    Thank you for this irking gift! heh ;P

    Ah, take something gross and make it cute stuff. I LOVE THIS! :D

    --Lena: Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

    --John: Be as much snooty as you want John! heh

    You have a way of pointing problems that sounds helpful and in the least offensive or hurtful. Since your first stop here at Randomities I'm always hoping that you'll have some time to spare and drop by.

    I appreciate you and it makes me happy to know that my piece wasn't irksome to you as a whole. :)

    --Marc (Sulci Collective): It's an honor to have you visiting Randomities and commenting. Thank you for stopping by and for the kind words!

    I see your comments on fellow writer's blogs and I keep wondering if I'll ever meet your high expectations. You definitely made me smile today, thanks! :)

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  22. Very well written. I'm not a Zombie fan either, but I really enjoyed this story. I'm curious to know more about the conversation that inspired you to write this.

    Welcome to #fridayflash!

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  23. Reminds me of a cross of My Boyfriend's Back and a semi-typical vampire/human courtship. It's nice to see how that plays out with zombies instead. I imagine you get used to the smell after a while, heh. Hope he's REALLY cute.

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  24. I once heard an agent describe the book, "The Forest of Hands and Teeth," (one of the best titles I've ever heard) as being a zombie romance, then the writer says that it's really not. This is definitely in the ZR genre. To add to other comments, I liked your use of "fetid mouth"--what a description. Very creepy.

    A couple of addition typos, if you don't mind me sharing: Did you mean "lick the blood of his lips" to be "like the blood OFF his lips"? And "She was laid, that she new," I assume you meant KNEW.

    Thanks for sharing your work. I look forward to reading more.

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  25. Mari-girl,

    That is one great zombie story! I love the romance and their impulsiveness. It is well-written and very interesting.

    I always wondered what zombies ate. Dead flesh eating fresh flesh - fun!

    Congrats on your first #FridayFlash and what a splash you have made!!

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  26. --David: Thank you!

    If you're curious, it's all public although scattered on the web. Here's how you could try to track it, if you like:

    We started at #ThePennyDreadful twitter chat (every Tuesday at 4pm EST) when Jim was interviewed. (fantastic writing community for serials!)

    Then, we moved to Jodi's blog. You'll find some zombie exchanges on her post about her Carnivorous Pony tale, of on May 3rd. (very amusing, and chilly!)

    Finally, a few comments came out back on twitter, openly. (that is, not on DMs) These I think will be harder to track, but the engine searches are there for this purpose, heh. ;P

    Thanks for the warm welcome! :D

    --Valerie: I haven't thought of that. Maybe it was a subconscious influence?

    Ah, he's really cute. He ought to be! lol The guy on the picture makes him no justice. ;)

    --Kim: I'm blushing so hard I need to get a glass of water. This is what one gets when writing without beta readers to help out or the wisdom of letting the piece cool down at least for a few weeks (I've waited only some days). Sigh. Thanks so much for pointing the typos out. I really appreciate the help!

    I've read a review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth that was not very favorable, but it made me want even more to read it, because the reviewer said it was creepy and the book made her think. Besides, you're right, the title is fantastic! Maybe the best I've seen so far for horror novels.

    Thanks for this addition to my reading list. :)

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  27. More friday flashing and more horror from you please! I'd love to see your try to write non-humourous horror too. Go for fear! I like how you got your inspiration, maybe I'll organise a zombie walk here in Brighton, they're mad for that kind of street theatre here. For future reference: most zombies can't speak, but if they are the more chatty variety they can only manage a gargled "braiiiinss." Now, pass me another female arm, I'm peckish. (Don't you think the thumbs look like little drumsticks? Mmmm)

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  28. --Anne: Thank you my dear!

    I'm not really sure if zombies eat anything other than brains. Since I dislike the brain-eating thing (became sort of a cliché, IMO) I came up with a different approach. ;)

    --Barry: Wow, thank you!

    Hey, that's a great suggestion! I'll need some time to think about a nice piece with real horror in it, but I accept your challenge. :) (it's a challenge for me, at least, heh)

    Hmm, thanks for the information on their lack of communication skills. I actually thought about it, but not being sure if chatty zombies were allowed or not, I opted for what I thought would be the most amusing, heh.

    I was thinking that the cute guys is a recent zombie, so the vocal cords would be working somehow, hence the rough voice. Anyway, you're right. I have this thing with rules, we don't get along too well, heh. (even though I'm a very good girl)

    *handing a pianist's hand* (long fingers ;)

    Sorry but Claire ate the arm. She was kind enough to leave you the hand though, heh.

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  29. This sums up exactly why zombies scare me, that moment of realisation that one little slip up has left you undead, whats everyone going to say... nice

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  30. *Glances over shoulder* Zombies keep popping up everywhere. I like the mix of horror/romance together. I understood why pirates were sexy, and sort of get the vampire thing. But I didn't get the zombie thing until you demonstrated that zombies are romanticists and bring breakfast in the graveyard.

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  31. What a clever take on the good old zombie story. Nice piece of flash. Enjoyed it, start to finish. I'll have to warn my daughter - Zombies is all the rage on college campus. Who knows how many are real? :o

    Welcome to #FridayFlash. Nice debut.
    ~jon

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  32. Oh, sure, it's all fun and games now. But wait until her fingers start dropping off.

    Great job for your first flash/zombie tale.
    Roland

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  33. Nice to see that zombies aren't all about brains, but also romance :)

    Experimenting is kinda fun, isn't it?!
    welcome to #fridayflash!

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  34. --Adam: I too wonder how many of these myths could be among us, like in American Gods. But Gaiman's gods are much more fun and less terrifying. (IMO :)

    --Aidan: Wow, thanks! I'm honored that this little piece opened your mind to such a popular monster. Now, if you want some scary zombie stories, pop in Jodi's and Jim's blog. I'm not sure they'll give you romance, but you might come to like these brain-eating beasts. Who knows? ;)

    --Jon (J. M. Strother): Thank you! I really appreciate the warm welcome everyone in the community is giving me. Thank you so much for setting this up!

    As to your daughter, I hope my zombies won't prevent her from kissing cute guys. If she watches out for the smell she should be fine, heh.

    --Roland: Indeed! These two guys are "fresh zombies" so to speak. I don't think Claire will be as contended as she is now, when her body parts start falling apart and she loses completely the ability to talk. heh

    --mazz in Leeds: Yes, I'm having a blast! :D My next experiment will be with real horror, but I need some time to find inspiration, and to clear my mind of blood and flesh before I come back to it. *takes deep breath*

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  35. Congrats Mari, so glad you wrote your first #fridayflash :) It's addictive, so I'm looking forward to reading more and more ;)

    Your flash was creepy but fun, what a great zombie tale!

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  36. --Estrella: Thank you! It's addictive indeed. Lots of ideas popping in my mind already, heh. ;)

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  37. What a fun way to enter the world of #fridayflash Mari! Well told and fun story. Welcome!

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  38. Ooh, I like this! Great debut and a wonderfully creepy tale. Welcome to #FridayFlash! :)

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  39. I've read my share of Zombie Lit. and this is the first Zombie Romance I've run into. A whole new sub-genre? Mebbe.

    Welcome to #fridayflash.

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  40. A great and romantic twist to the zombie genre. A great debut, Mariana!

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  41. --Deanna, Sam and Alan: Thank you for the warm welcome! :)

    --Donald: To be honest, I have no idea. But the notion of starting up a new sub-genre would be cool beyond measurement!

    Maybe if people bought the idea of writing zombie romances -- that is, romances between zombies -- one day we'll be able to say so? I get giddy just to think about it, heh. :P

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  42. Thanks for leaving such nice praise on my entry on the flirt blogfest. May this new week be kind to both of us, Roland

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  43. "You never know what kind of tools you'll need in the future, right?" Exactly, Mari! Everytime I get stuck in a rut, I indulge in a new genre of fiction, or attempt poetry, something the opposite of what I'm working on. It keeps the mind working and building and growing. Like you say, you never know when you might need that skill someday.

    I love what the fella up above said. Zombie Romance sub genre. You go girl! (and take your zombies with you!)

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  44. --Roland: You're most welcome! I hope the week hears your plead, so she'll be kind to all of us. :)

    --Jodi: Thank you my dear!

    Ah, please consider this as part of the comment above:

    "some corps-eating need"

    These damned typos are killing me this week. It's never been so bad! Akkk! :P

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  45. Well done, and Congrats, Mariana!

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  46. I didn't get to read your story here, so I look forward to seeing it at FitD. Welcome to #fridayflash

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  47. Congrats on being published in FitD! I'm sorry I missed it but I will mark my calendar-I can't wait.

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  48. Crap! I got here late... now I have to wait until the 2nd...

    Congratulations thought!
    ~2

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  49. --Donna: Thank you!

    --Laurita, katirra and 2: So sorry I left you in suspense!

    I'd love to hear your opinion about the story, having it published with a dark background, though.

    It'd be fun to know if the opinions change because of that. :)

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  50. congrats! Have to come back i guess for the rest..

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  51. --Michael: Thanks! And sorry to keep you waiting. I hope you'll like Zombie Walk when it comes out, again, heh. :)

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