Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Something Something Of The Dead

In the cozy little town of Bedfordshire, the villagers slept peacefully, unaware of what was happening around them. As is the case in all such stories, some unknown cause was at work. Perhaps it was due to the town being downstream from a chemical plant that regularly dumped its residuals into the water table. Maybe it happened as a result of the comet that landed in Farmer John's beet field. Whatever the cause, as the residents dreamed in their beds, the dead in the local cemetery began to wake.

Inside of Thomas Jeffries' house, the sound of his snores reverberated through the halls. His bedroom door was open, inviting a peak at the slumbering man. Single since his wife died last spring, he'd had many a restless night. Just recently, he'd started to feel the sweet embrace of somnolence. His beloved's picture rested beside his bed on a nightstand. Unbeknownst to him, her body, laid to rest in the village graveyard was starting to twitch as life flooded back into her veins.

Two houses down from Thomas's place resided the Smith family. Parents calmly resting in their bedroom, without thought to their child in the next room. Fitfully twisting in her sleep, little Janie dreamed of her late grandma. Images of baking cookies, reading stories, and playing games with "gam gam" flitted through her mind, always ending in the truth that her grandmother was now dead. Just three weeks in the ground, her grandmother's eyes flicked open in the cold dark earth.

There were of course many others. Jackson Michael's child who had gone years before after what seemed like a mild cold. Martha Washington's fiance, Henry; tall, strong, and full of vigor. He'd drowned trying to save the woman he'd been having an affair with. The mistress in question, Sarah Higgins, was a local school teacher. The one the children all loved. Their corpses, along with all the rest, came alive in the dead of night.

Clothes and bodies in various states of decay throughout the cemetery stirred in graves. Their brains emptied of all but the most basic of thoughts: hunger. All that was their previous selves was now stripped away. Everything that had made them human, and endeared them to others had been laid to rest and would never return. In their place, a new thing was born. Something seen in nightmares, but never before upon the earth, now rose up.

As the sun dawned upon the sleepy little town, the villagers began to wake. Mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, all began to get ready for the day. As they exited their houses, they greeted one another, as they usually would. They commented on the weather, and what their plans were. They stopped by the local eatery for breakfast or coffee, or just a chat. The same routine they lived, Monday through Friday.

Meanwhile, back at the cemetery, Nothing seemed changed. The earth sat undisturbed. The gravestones sat as they were. No sign at all that the dead had come to life. The bodies inside the graves writhed where they lay, but that was it. Whether through quirk of nature or some supernatural occurrence, the dead had risen, but they were still just human, and decrepit at that. No human, even in perfect health, could get out of a buried coffin. And so it happened that Bedfordshire, sleepy little farm town, became home to the zombie invasion that never came.

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