The zombie moment has occurred. The politicians embrace it. The children mimic it with play. The parish priests sprinkle holy water on restless graves. In your zombie mask you dash around the garden muttering about groundhogs. Am I the only vegetarian left? The July blue expands to fill the smallest cracks and crevices. No seed escapes a roasting. No unplanned pregnancies go unpunished by excessive tanning and risk of heat exhaustion.
Our local celebrity pours another glass of gin, looks in the mirror and rues the inevitable decay. I could explain her woe in classical terminology, but she would resent such intrusion into her public affairs. You, however, don’t hesitate to press your latex zombie lips to the back of her neck and bite as hard as you can. Such a tentative sip of brain convinces no one, but the celebrity senses the bite and withdraws with a mutter of tiny curses.
Our town librarian reports that books on zombies enjoyed wide circulation last week, but this week gather dust on the shelves. The gap between theory and practice has never been wider. Even in daylight the local graves look rumpled and unhappy. The parish priests retreat to the rectory and flop into bed together and groan. You doff your zombie mask to display your secret, the one all genuine zombies share.
But there are no such creatures as zombies. The moment is only a moment, and it’s past. The pregnancies continue with normal kicks and muffled screams. Seeds sprout in unlikely places. Our local celebrity downs her third glass of gin and resumes writing her memoir. She will deny the influence of zombies on her intellectual life, and dismiss the rest of us as groupies so wrought with jealousy that we grew fangs.
William Doreski’s work has appeared in various online and print journals and in several collections, most recently A Black River, A Dark Fall (Splash of Red, 2018).