After I died, I . . . I woke up. I woke up on a table in the hospital morgue, third in line for an autopsy. I woke up a whole new person . . . or a fragment of an old person. By that I mean I wasn’t exactly “myself.” Who was I? I’m not sure. It was odd, as if I were on some very weird drug, which I suppose I was. But total understanding wouldn’t come till much later. I’d been dropped with head-throbbing ferocity from the disembodied limbo of my apparent demise into … life. I belly-flopped back into physical existence with a force that sickened me.
This, as you may have deduced, is a typical reaction to tetrodoxin, the poisonous component in fugu and one of the ingredients in the best zombie powders. Many a mortician has been startled when the “corpse” of a blowfish victim comes to life on the slab. Sadly, sometimes the clock doesn’t work in the victim’s favor and the autopsy or a premature burial takes them all the way to the end. That is, after all, how zombies are made. We are the nearly dead, gone long enough to have lost our way home, our brains effectively scrambled and fried by a bokor’s infernal concoction. The poison robs us of coherence, of context. It strips us of any shred of personal power. Then the new “Master” steps in.
—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 12/Born-again Zombie