My name is Erin and I am not a zombie, though my boyfriend, the gangster, Ryu, and the ghoul, Clément, tried to make one of me. They nearly succeeded, too, but Clément blew it—as he usually does—and although I no longer speak, appear to be totally apathetic, and exhibit other zombie-like behaviors, I was not really “made” in the traditional sense. I still have my will.
If you read the official accounts, you’ll find that Erin Orison, the talented and rebellious only daughter of American ambassador, Christian Orison, died in a Tokyo hospital shortly after her eighteenth birthday. But there is so much more to the story.
First, let me assure you that zombies are REAL. Most people know zombies only as the decomposing corpses that paw hungrily and rather ineffectively at the living in trashy books and B-movies. Some would have you believe that zombies are born of disease or that they come from another planet. Haven’t you noticed how the truth, especially when it is dangerous, is hidden in a pack of lies? That’s how they fool you. They make you laugh. You relax as the magician entertains you and his assistants rob you blind.
But maybe you are different. Perhaps you are a student of history and culture and are a bit more familiar with the truth about zombies. Maybe you’ve read some of the great works on the subject, have heard of the substances that create them. Maybe you know something about the beliefs that rode to the New World in the cargo hulls of ships packed with the bodies of living slaves.
If you have traveled to Haiti, you may even have seen them—these poor, abstracted creatures whose identities have been stolen by an unscrupulous voudoun witchdoctor or bokor. There are those who, for one reason or another, want to possess a creature. Through various methods, which I’ll explain later, these wicked individuals administer a sophisticated “poison.” The victim sickens and dies. But here is the trick: The victim is not really dead at all; though the symptoms that mimic death and a premature burial in a lightless box are enough to make them think they have breathed their last. Or could their loss of identity be a result of an actual change in body chemistry precipitated by the bokor’s dreadful concoction? Whatever the reason, when the bokor, who is waiting, digs the person up, the poor creature believes it has passed from the realm of the living. Confused, perhaps even mentally damaged, it clings to the bokor.
The murderer becomes the liberator, and the victim becomes a slave.