Posts Tagged ‘Zombie’

Eternal Rest

Posted: November 6, 2014 in Fiction
Tags: , , , ,

The hand stood out as if it were a beacon in the night. Even in the dim, mid-evening lighting David could see it wriggling out of the ground. It was in front of one of the ancient grave stones he passed on his daily route to work. A makeshift collection of graves that no one had visited in decades, except maybe to try and scare a friend late on a Halloween night. The type of graveyard you see often in poverty stricken parts of the south, particularly in his home state of Alabama.

David had noticed something out of sorts that morning on his way to work. Normally he would be caught up in his daily routine of drinking coffee, blasting the radio, and attempting to mentally prepare for the day, but seeing two fingers sticking out of the ground has a tendency to break one’s concentration. Try as it might, his mind couldn’t make sense of it. He finished the rest of his drive in total silence. Eventually, he wrote it off as some type of optical illusion, a mere trick of the light. Still, he couldn’t manage to shake the thought of what he had seen for the remainder of the day.

On his evening drive home, after he had seen the hand and after his mind had finally made sense of the image, he became overwhelmed with panic. He sped the remaining three miles home, sure that some type undead apocalypse had dawned upon the earth. He flew through his front door, locking both locks behind him. He locked himself in his bedroom and propped up on the bed clutching a shotgun to his chest.

He was too nervous to sleep well that night. He was up and down constantly peeking through the blinds expecting to see a zombie mob descending on his house. He just knew he would hear a chorus of moans and see a group of silhouettes come shuffling slowly over the hill in front of his house. He could see them breaking down his door and managing to pick off a couple of them before they tore him to shreds. It was one of his worst fears, and rightfully so. He finally calmed his nerves enough to doze off sometime after four.

After managing a couple of hours of troubled sleep, David shot awake before his alarm went off.He immediately peeked through the blinds unsure of in what state he would find the world around him. He hurriedly got ready for work, rushing out of the shower and throwing his clothes on so quickly that he forgot his belt. He was full of curious dread to see what ghastly sight was awaiting him that morning. He rushed to his car and sat in it for ten minutes nearly puking before he left his driveway.

As he approached the graveyard, he began craning his neck to see what horrors were sticking out of the ground that day. The closer he got, he saw nothing. No arm, no hand, nothing at all. He was in too much of a hurry to get to work to stop and investigate. Immediately, his brain went into overdrive.

He wondered for the entire day about his discovery. Was it still there? Had it ever been there in the first place? Was he losing his mind? He couldn’t get his mind off of the goddamned hand. It was a very natural response. One can’t see something that off putting and just forget about it.

It was nearing time for him to get off work and he had made up his mind to drive by the graveyard on his way home. He would investigate the site and settle this matter once and for all. He sped out of the parking lot and drove to the site as fast as he could. Parking his car on the side of the road, he retrieved his flashlight from his car’s glove compartment. As he approached the gravesite, his pulse was thundering in his ears and his stomach was rolling.  As curious as he was, he was terrified of what he would find.

He walked to the grave as slowly as he possibly could. He half expected himself to turn and run at the slightest rustling of leaves, but he stayed his course. He saw the small hole before he got to it, breathing a sigh of relief. Not only because the hand wasn’t sticking out, but because it meant he wasn’t going crazy. At the same time, it meant that there had been a hand coming out of a nearly century old grave.

As David stood over the hole, he tried to work up the nerve to shine the light down into it. He weighed his options and played chicken with himself, coming close several times.  Finally, after what felt like an eternity, he bit the bullet and aimed his light downward. The hole itself was tiny. Barely more than five inches across. He was relieved that the hole wasn’t bigger, at least that meant an entire body hadn’t come through already.

He stood there for several minutes examining the hole, attempting to figure out what to do next. He wasn’t quite sure exactly what this meant. He was unsure of the implications that this had on the world, his world. On one hand, corpses weren’t walking the streets in search of brains, but, on the the other, there was still a corpse that had apparently been trying to make it’s way out of it’s tomb.

After lingering for several more minutes,  he turned to leave. He decided that he would return the next day, when the sun was out, to examine the hole a little more thoroughly. He muttered something about still not being totally convinced he wasn’t losing his mind. Just as the words left his lips he heard rustling behind him. He reluctantly turned to see what it was. His light shone directly on the mangled, bony forearm sticking out of the ground.

David dropped his flashlight in his hurried panic while running back to his car. He nearly fell at least five times in the forty feet between his car and the grave. He jumped into his car and didn’t even have the door shut as he put the car in drive. He sped away from the graveyard, cursing himself for being so inquisitive. He vowed to never return to the site.

He spent another night tossing and turning. He was certain that the body connected to that arm was making it’s way out of the ground and was going to find him. There was no doubt about it in his paranoia ridden mind. The fact that the grave was three miles away and there were at least twenty-five houses in between never occurred to him.

He obsessed over the arm for the next few days, even going as far as to research the name on the grave stone. The search turned up nothing,  only feeding his curiosity. He also began to wonder again if he had lost his mind. Surely if the arm was really there then someone else would have seen it. Then again, what if he was the only one who had been paying attention? He had to go back to find out.

David made up his mind that he would go back the following night after work. The next morning as he left out he loaded his pistol and a spotlight into his car. He was bound and determined to find out exactly what the hell was going on with this body. He thought all day about what he was going to do. What he would say if it talked, or better yet, how he would react. The human mind simply isn’t wired to process situations such as this.

After David left work, he continued to quiz himself about the situation for the entire drive to the graveyard. He grew increasingly more nervous and his stomach grew more uneasy with every passing moment. He had to nail down a strategy, plan his reactions and responses. The last thing he needed to do was lose his cool while dealing with an apparently reanimated corpse. Whatever his plan he was going to have to figure it out fast, he was less than a mile away.

As he pulled up to the graveyard, it was all he could do to stand up out of his car. He approached the grave on unsteady legs with a stomach that felt like the agitator from a washing machine was running at full speed in it. As he neared the grave he saw a dreadful sight. The hole was at least three feet wide now and was a gaping scar on the ground.

His light shone over the grave stone and then finally down into the hole. It appeared to be several feet deep and looked like the handy work of a corpse, all ragged and rough. He turned around and paced back and forth. This meant that the body had escaped from it’s supposed eternal resting place. It meant that the body of a nearly century dead man had clawed it’s way out of the ground.

Was it hungry for brains? Was it the carrier of some disease that would rapidly spread essentially ending humanity? Was there any purpose to it’s resurrection at all? It was too late to know now. Whatever the case, it had escaped from the dirt and was out wandering around somewhere. This was bad, very bad. The worst part was that he knew that he could have prevented it if he had just grown a pair and done something.

Just then David could have sworn that he heard something. The faintest noise that could have been a small animal scurrying across the grass. Still, dread washed over him like a hot, sickly downpour of rain. He turned slowly back towards the grave stone and shined his light in it’s direction. He wished that he hadn’t. He prayed that he was just having some kind of vivid nightmare. The painful reality hit him as his head hit the ground. As his vision dimmed he saw the gnarled, nearly skinless head poke out from behind the grave stone.

When he came to, he was covered with sweat in spite of the cold. He was laying exactly as he had fallen. His right arm and leg asleep from laying on them for God knows how long. As his wits came back to him he realized what had happened and what had caused his blackout. His eyes focused on the old, weathered stone and then looked past it, almost through it to see what horror was waiting on the other side. There it was, just as he feared, propped up against the stone.

He struggled to sit up, all the while inching away from the stone. His lips finally managed to form and speak words.

“Wh…wh…who, w w what, why”, David stuttered unable to form a legible sentence.

The corpse opened it’s mouth and a terrible croaking sound crept out followed by a deep, resonating cough and a cloud of dust.

“You always act like such a pussy, boy?”, the corpse croaked.

“Aaaaahhhhhh, what the fuck?”, David screamed.

“Keep your Goddamned voice down boy, I ain’t gonna hurt you.” the corpse commanded.

“Well what the fuck are you doing here then? Why did you come back?”, David nervously asked.

“It’s too goddamned loud down there. It was driving me fucking crazy. Eternal rest my ass.”, the corpse said.

“Whhhh…what are you talking about?”, he said barely managing a whisper.

At that moment a woman’s corpse, in equal states of decomposition as the other, poked it’s head out of the hole.

“Just what the hell do you think you’re doing up here?” She said, “You’re going to scare someone to death.

“Goddamnit, see boy” the male corpse said, “that’s what the hell I’m talking about.”

As the two corpses bickered, David’s world went black again.

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Let me start by saying I was very skeptical about this film from the first time I heard about it. I mean let’s be honest here, a slightly dark romantic comedy about zombies? The whole concept just sounds terrible especially when you consider that it’s aimed at the Twilight crowd. I’m a bit of a zombie purist so naturally I thought I would hate it but, my film geek curiosity prevailed.

What I got as I watched the film was not the teen oriented Twilight with zombies overly romantic slop that I expected. Instead I got a well crafted, clever, if not slightly formulaic, comedy with a hint of romance. Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer execute their roles very effortlessly and believably. The near constant inner monologue of Nicholas Hoult’s R has the potential to be very annoying, but is surprisingly one of the highlights of the film. Rob Corddry gives possibly the best performance of his career as R’s best friend M. It is great because unlike the rest of his performances the role requires him to be subdued yet he still conveys all of the hilarity that normally accompanies his presence in a film.

John Malkovich gives an expectedly good performance as the film’s main antagonist. In fact, his casting in the film was the only thing that made me curious about the film. The film is a quasi typical good vs. evil, Romeo and Juliet, love prevails over everything story. It somehow avoids being too formulaic and actually delivers a very enjoyable story. It also has a really good soundtrack and some awesome references to vinyl being the superior music medium, which as a music nerd I can appreciate.

A truly good script combined with great comedic timing by some very talented actors makes this an enjoyable experience all around. If you are looking for a good time that is not too heavy but still makes you think then look no further. Warm Bodies is a good film that really serves its purpose. This one gets a fully erect.

-Heath