You may have heard about a book that's evidently pretty popular right now, called PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, which is billed as: "The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!". (Talk about your classic twist, hm?)
At any rate, the success of this book has apparently re-animated the formerly dead genre - ok, that was bad! :-) - of zombie romance. Yes, boys and ghouls, some publishers are apparently looking for zombie love stories, as evidenced by this call from the editor of an electronic press called Ravenous Romance: http://ravenousromance.blogspot.com/2009/07/call-for-zombie-love.html (Big honking disclaimer: I do not write for Ravenous Romance, I know very little about Ravenous Romance, and this is not a plug for Ravenous Romance. I just found it interesting, and thought I'd share.)
So, as I read this call for romantic tales of the living dead, I took a moment to imagine how in the world one could mix love with lividity, and came up with this short little tale I like to call:
LOVE STINKS, AND SO DOES YOUR BREATH by Terri GareyYes, I have a weird sense of humor, but if you didn't know that by now, then welcome to my world. :-)
“Is that a femur in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”
Donna snuggled in closer to Derek, brushing the dark hair from his eyes with one hand. Unfortunately, a clump of it remained in her fingers, and she knew this particular boy toy’s time was limited. That was the problem with zombies—their shelf life was much too short, the pesky problem of decomposition being one she hadn’t solved yet.
Even embalming didn’t help, and she didn’t care for waxy buildup on her fingers any more than she did her floors.
“Brought you a present,” Derek murmured, with a lopsided grin, “for our two-week anniversary.” His breath reeked of blood and sausages, which made sense considering his job at the local meat packing plant. With a flourish, he whipped a hand from behind his back, and offered her his prize.
“How sweet,” Donna squealed. “It’s a heart!”
“Yeah, baby,” he answered smugly, blood dripping between his fingers. “A fresh one. Nothing but the best for my girl.”
“Awww,” Donna said, “I got you a present, too.” She let go of him long enough snatch her purse up from the bed. Digging inside, she brought up an object about three inches long. Picking off a piece of lint before handing it to him, she announced, “I usually wait at least a month before giving my boyfriend the finger!”
Derek and Donna both died laughing, which was long overdue, considering Donna had been dead for two centuries, and Derek for two weeks.
She eyed him with regret as she giggled, knowing his laughter would soon be a thing of the past, much like Horatio’s, the guy who’d gotten her into this fix. It had been Horatio’s idea to visit the cemetery in Edinburgh that night two hundred years ago. Bodysnatching had been a good way to earn some quick cash back then, unless your body happened to be the one that got snatched, of course.
Poor Horatio, she’d known him well, until that shovel had come out of nowhere, and smashed his head in. The doctor who’d done it hadn’t hit her hard enough, though, and she’d woken up in his laboratory to find him on top of her. After that, what was a ghoul to do except defend herself? It was only after she’d killed the doc with his own dirt-encrusted shovel that she’d found the secret book lying on his desk, in plain sight, and learned the ancient grimoire’s secrets about how to reanimate the dead.
“Hey, baby,” Derek said, interrupting her musings. “I got a perfectly good boner going to waste here.” He grabbed her hips and pulled her close again. “What say we get naked and put it to good use, hm?”
Donna smiled. She’d learned a few secrets about herself that night, too, including how her brush with death and her newfound ability to reanimate dead flesh left her with a taste for more of it. Immortality had cost her soul, but she was pretty sure she didn’t need it where she was going.
“Absolutely,” she answered, with a smile that revealed her own teeth, pearly white and perfect. Her eyes glowed red as she began to tug his shirt from his pants. “No use letting a good piece of meat go to waste."