12. Born-again Zombie (2)

What I was aware of at first was pain. The pain came from the light that flashed on the other side of my eyelids. Then the smell of my body rose up around me, sickeningly sweet and cloying. That nearly undid me. I thought I would vomit. I struggled, trying to raise myself up and quickly discovered that this was impossible.

Have you ever watched infants? They have such difficulty managing movement. Their heavy heads loll; their arms and legs flop. It takes practice to coordinate action. My fully-grown body was a nightmare. I was trapped in dead weight. It was as if my physical form were a coffin. My limbs wouldn’t budge. I could not even raise my eyelids.

I kept trying, without success, succumbing at last to exhaustion. I—what was left of me—still had a will of my own, though it seemed to be in conflict with the lethargic inclinations of my recently zombied constitution. That’s when I discovered the trick! My body, I found, was tuned to its own physical directives. If I struggled to govern the process, I short-circuited this function; my body turned rigid and froze. If I relaxed, movement was easy and unbelievably graceful. It flowed. I did not, however, master the technique immediately.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 12.2/Born-again Zombie

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Art by Botan Yamada from Dead Love by Linda Watanabe McFerrin

  • Anonymous

    Nice profile pic! That’s a new one. Erin – your description of the process is excruciating – but so exquisitely written. That’s one of the best reasons for reading Dead Love!

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