Living With the Dead: The Hungry Land

Living With the Dead: The Hungry Land by Joshua Guess

Book: Living With the Dead: The Hungry Land by Joshua Guess Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joshua Guess
off after the first few hits, though it killed the ones it did hit outright before failing. The problem seems to lie in bracing, or so I'm told. Will says he's going to improve the design in the next few days.

One aspect of the Tank that I hadn't been aware of was a last-minute idea Will had had, which was adding a chain with a heavy weight to the back of it. As I watched from the wall, I kept wondering why he was whipping the Tank around so much. I thought he was just trying to swipe the thing into groups of zombies. In reality he was making that chain whip right after him, breaking yet more legs out from under the undead and crushing the skulls of many he'd cut down.

All in all, a pretty effective way to disperse a crowd. My trainees made a good call. Will made a good thing, which means that perhaps a few more people might be willing to give him food or shelter down the road. Above all, we now have what seems like a good way to keep big groups from doing us harm.

Now the trick is going to be getting the walls inspected thoroughly, and reinforced very well. That sounds like a job for my minions.

I love having minions.
     
    Thursday, March 31, 2011
    Memento
    Posted by Josh Guess
     
    As I was settling in to work in my office this morning, I noticed that one of my trainees had apparently done some work on my desk area while I slept. They like to come in early to work on things, and I guess in the process of cleaning out a spot to set up their own little space, they found some of my old junk.

Sitting in front of me on the shelves just at eye level over my desk, are all the various bits of zombie-themed junk I collected over my many years as a fan of the genre. It's a little weird.

I mean, I live in a surreal world. No one who ever watched any of George Romero's living dead movies really thought that they would come to pass. Not one person sitting in a theater flinching at Danny Boyle's kinetic, rage-fueled undead believed that such an event could actually happen.

As I sat there looking at action figures of zombies, a few small posters (and one huge one for Boyle's "28 Days Later"), even my little Zombie Survival Kit, which is especially funny now, I can't help but think of how different the reality is to the fantasy I once immersed myself in.

Outside the walls, right now, chances are about even that I could see a zombie shuffling about. Any section of the compound's wall, at that. They are always there, day and night, sometimes moaning with the hunger they feel for the blood and flesh of living things. Sometimes they're silent, watching us with eyes that see more than a dead thing should. Some of them are slow and shambling, some are fast and nimble. All of them are lethal. All of them are sad.

Look at the little figurine there, sitting on the shelf. It's a caricature of a reality that is all too harsh and dangerous. His little arms in front of him like Frankenstein's monster from the old Universal pictures. Frankenstein was the original zombie, I suppose. The figurine is wearing a tattered business suit, charcoal gray with a red tie. His cuffs are frayed. His face and hands are a pale green, but whole, looking more like a desiccated mummy than a true, fresh corpse. The look on his face is blank, his jaw slack. His eyebrow are raised as if to ask, "What have I become?"

In much the same way that old cartoons made a mockery of the animals they gave voices to and animated, so does the collection of stuff above my desk. All this stuff was funny once, had some pop culture value. Now it's just another reminder of how unprepared we were for the truth of what we face every day.

I once saw a zombie woman dragging the body of a child behind her. The child hadn't reanimated, it was simply dead, its head partially crushed in. There was such a forlorn look on the dead woman's face as she walked, puffs of dust trailing her and the limp body she pulled, that I went out of my way to send her to the final peace of the ever after.

I

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