Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Zombies in my Dreams

Actually it was one zombie, maybe two, in my dreams last night, zombies that catapulted me from the dream when the zombie was outside the bathroom door. I couldn't get the lock to catch and was braced against the door looking for a way out when I was hurled from the dream. Something saved me and I'm not sure what.

My zombie dream wasn't the usual variety of being attacked by hordes of moaning zombies gnashing their rotting teeth. A man I knew stopped by to ask my help. He had a few yellow pods in his hand and the pods were wriggling and jiggling. He threw them on the floor and stomped on them releasing a squirming mass of slug-like creatures. He stomped and stomped on them as he explained they were difficult to kill -- and he had just released them in my room in my house. I stomped on them, grinding the slimy creatures into the carpet. As soon as I thought they were gone, the creatures would inflate and go wriggling off.

That is why the man came to me to help him figure out a way to destroy them -- so he said. What he really came to do was to infect me and bring me over to the slug side. From somewhere, a corpse that had obviously been laid by for the purpose was reanimated by the slugs. It came to me that the slugs couldn't enter a healthy living body easily unless ingested or the skin cut and the creature inserted, but the creatures could easily invade the decomposing flesh of a corpse. Instant zombie but with a purpose -- and it was coming after me to either kill me or hold me down while I was forced to accept one of the creatures.

I ran for the bathroom because it was close and I could lock the door, but the lock wouldn't catch. Hard as I tried, the lock failed to keep the door from opening and that is when I woke up with the zombie at the door and me on the other side looking for something to brace the door closed.

I realized as I was sitting on the toilet in the bathroom after I woke that I could open the window and get out that way and run for my life. And then another thought occurred. If the creatures looked like slugs, maybe they reacted like slugs when doused with salt. Despite what could be the answer to the dream I stayed up for a while, wrote down the dream, and then worked on some cross stitch before going back to sleep at about 4:30 AM. I am intrepid, but don't usually actively court nightmares. No, siree, Bob. (I wonder if that's bob or Bob? I don't really know.)

What I probably have is a short story or maybe the beginning of another novel. I get stories like that from my nightmares, especially when the theme is horror. I get safer books from the usual dreams, although those dreams can be pretty far out in space. That's where I get science fiction and some fantasies, like the one with the faeries, wormholes, and worlds held stationary at the event horizon of a black hole where the time dilation effect works. But that's another post -- or more likely another story.

I don't really care for zombie literature, except for World War Z, or zombie movies and series, except for The Walking Dead, which also goes for the graphic novel. Once in a while, I find myself pondering a zombie story, like the one that takes place on the battlefield at Gettysburg. I have one favorite zombie novel, The Rising by Brian Keene, and a few zombie short stories, like Almost the Last Story by Almost the Last Man by Scott Edelman, and a flash fiction story about a southern family trying to get zombie Grandma to tell them where her money is, by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello that is deliciously wonderful.

I see zombies as a metaphor for how the wealthy are devouring the earth and their fellow man like ravening revenants. Most people just see walking, moaning corpses with rotting flesh and putrid innards chasing the living to devour and infect them. I do try to avoid zombies, especially since I don't care for them, but then someone will talk about a really good book or story and my curiosity gets the better of me -- and now that curiosity has infected my dreams. Oh, what a world! I suppose it could be worse. I might not get a story out of it. I just never know.

So, while I'm climbing out the bathroom window looking for a big truck full of salt before the zombie attacks, I'm going to stop thinking about zombies and think about something safer. Fluffy bunnies maybe. No! Pink wiggling noses and white fur and . . . .

That is all. Disperse.

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