Due to recent events, this post is different from the planned version.
The wind gently whispers through the trees and its light caress brushes against my cheek like a mother wiping the tear from the corner of my eye. In front of me, the hearse sits dormant by the chapel door waiting for its next ride to the freshly dug grave at the bottom of the hill. I’m scared to walk in, to come face-to-face with death as I have so many times over the last few years. Really, no matter how much I turn back and scan the markers scattered around the hillside, I can’t bring myself to step inside and face the black shrouded figure in the doorway again. Staring at the bright-colored floral arrangements dotting the cemetery, I pause a moment. Inside those doors, another life fills another coffin and the cold remains lay shattered in a wave of anger, regret, and loss from those left behind. Pulling my collar up I turn around and stroll off into the field of broken hearts and forgotten lives. Dealing with death is not my strong suit and delaying the inevitable entrance into the funeral home should put my mind to rest.
Instead, with each step away from the chapel, my mind wanders…
Over the last week or so, there seems to be a rash of younger people filling out the obit page in the local paper each day. I scan over the names of people only about ten years older than me. Reading those ages makes a chill run down my spine. How much longer do I really have left? What will my legacy be? When I breathe my last breath, how long before my name dies and becomes forgotten? All that I’ve done in life, everything I’ve written, and all I’ve tried to teach my sons I hope is not lost to the cruelty of time.
To size up my issue right now, it’s a fight with mortality and the way I feel the Reaper’s grip tighten around my life.
Walking past the patches of dirt where the dead lay in their eternal slumber below me, I think I feel something. A hand maybe, reaching up to grab my ankle and pull me down to the depths of the Underworld…to my fate. If the bodies of those who have gone before rise up, should we be happy for them? Should we just hurry and kick their skull in to release their soul?
I propose we envy them. These people have gone to someplace where all our questions about life and death are answered. These are the ones who are back to tell the tale, but their spirits are tattered and their hunger over-rides all reason (or even love) leaving us with the choice to try to learn from them (if we can) or become their food (which is the most likely scenario).
I think this is what drives many to the idea of the zombie; the ability to live again without the constraints of a conscious or the crushing expectation of life to stop them. In a way, I do envy them. On one hand, they rot away and can’t think, but we get to walk again if only for a little bit. For some of us, just a chance to defy the Reaper a little longer is worth a worm crawling out of my nose or my ears rotting off.
Hey, we all have to make sacrifices…right?
Thank you for stopping by on the Zombie Blog Hop! I hope you’ve enjoyed the show, pondered your existence, and maybe let out a chuckle. Feel free to check out the pages (check the Biblio page for some nice zombie books with my tales in them while I write my Civil War zombie series Southern Devils) in the sidebar and sign-up for the party here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. This is a great hop and please go take a peek at the others who have some great things planned for you today. So head over to the main page and get hopping!