Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tale Tuesday: Fade Away Part 4 aka A Tale of Two Zombies

As she walked along the dark sidewalk, illuminated sporadically by street lights, her stride became hypnotic and she found herself in a reflective state of mind.  She wondered to herself how long it had been since she'd been outside her apartment during the day.  The first time she'd ventured out in her current condition, ignorant "norms", as she liked to call them, cringed as she passed.  The look of pure terror in their eyes and revulsion on their faces was not one she could purge from her memory.  She decided it was best to veil herself in darkness to avoid these encounters.  Her condition was much less noticeable by moonlight and she could almost pass as normal.  Funny thing is, she thought, I never really thought of myself as normal anyway.  I'd rather be a freak, than a norm any day.  But, seriously, why can't freaks and norms just get along?

People tend to fear what they don't understand.   This seemed to be especially true of the H2N2 virus.  Once contracted, the victim appeared to be dead - they had no breath, their pulse became nonexistant, blood no longer flowed through their veins, and they lost the ability to heal.  However, unlike a steadily decaying corpse, they appeared to be in a state of suspended animation yet needed to feed to survive.  She laughed to herself as she realized the need to feed made her sound like a terrifying monster with a hunger for flesh, even though any meat, animal or human, would immediately thrust her into a state of decomposition.  How ironic, she thought, that corporations had invested so much funding, and scientists had expended so much effort, to genetically engineer produce and livestock to maximize profitability, and now, virtually no one would purchase anything with the GE label.  Many cited rampant genetic engineering as the cause for the plague, though no one had been able to prove anything concrete with regard to the origination of this new mutated virus.  Even still, she'd started seeing grafitti around the city with the phrase "GE - we bring dead things to life" spray painted on numerous smooth surfaces.  She wondered to herself when that particular abbreviation had come to be affiliated with genetic engineering rather than with the company that made numerous small household appliances, then quickly dismissed it as she realized she'd reached her destination.

As she walked through the door of the neighborhood bar that had become the local zombie hangout, she saw Seth, already seated, at their usual table and noticed that his skin seemed to have a bit more of a corpse-like pallor than it had when she'd seen him last, just a week ago.  She convinced herself that it must just be her imagination.  Anything else was unthinkable.  Just as she settled in at the table across from Seth, one of the young women from the drink throwing incident, as Lyn and Seth referred to the event from the prior week, begins to walk past them and suddenly stops.  She looks at them inquisitively, "Hey, weren't ya'll in here last Friday night?"

Seth smiles and nods shyly as Lyn replies, "Afraid so.  How is your friend feeling?"

"Much better now," she answered.

Lyn smirked as she answered, "Good.  Glad to hear it!"

She thrust her hand forward. "Hi, I'm Vanessa."

Lyn took her hand, shook it, smiling warmly, "Lyn."

She then looked directly at Seth, smiled sweetly, and asked, "Do you have a name?"

He smiled shyly and answered, "Seth."

While Vanessa's attention was focused on Seth, Lyn thought how her petite frame and dark, curly, chin length hair made her look a bit like a pixie.  "Would you like to join us?"

"Sure!" she answered and quickly grabbed a chair from the next table and sat down next to Seth.

Seth turned to her and smiled, "So, I have to ask, does your friend always throw drinks at guys?"

"No.  Not always." she laughed as she added.  "Eric and I were just talking but she thought he was hitting on me."

"Really?" Lyn replied with a sarcastic tone.  "Are they dating?"

"Actually, they're not.  They used to date, but now they're just friends."

"That sounds familiar," she answered while looking at Seth.

"He and I have alot in common, but we're just friends.  He's not really my type.  Funny thing is, the drink she threw at him was mine."

"We kinda caught that," Lyn replied through her laughter.

"I guess she can't handle being friends with him after dating him.  I can't understand why she'd want to.  I'd never do it."

"Why not?" Seth asked, trying to hide his surprise.

"After I break up with someone, the last thing I want to do is spend more time with them," Vanessa answered as if it was obvious.

"I can understand that," Lyn said.  I guess it just depends on how serious the relationship was.  Sorry to change the topic abruptly, but I must know.  Are you a zombie too?"

"I prefer to think of myself as mortally challenged," Vanessa answered as if she'd been slightly offended.

"What's with you two and that phrase?" Lyn asked while looking at Seth.

Vanessa turned to Seth, a bit surprised, "I thought I was the only one who said that!"

"Guess there's at least two of us." Seth answered excitedly.

Lyn tried not to laugh.  "How sweet!  It's a zombie love connection, as if you two were undead for each other.  Sorry, make that a mortally challenged love connection."

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