Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This week the theme is author’s choice, and as my schtick at the blog this week has been amigurumi zombies…zombiegurumis…I thought I’d share a contest judging workshop sample I foisted upon my unsuspecting chaptermates when I was running the Melody of Love contest in 2010 or thereabouts. I am usually put in charge of this venture, and I usually create a LOVELY writing sample for my judges to test their skills on. In 2010, one of our members, who loves zombies and wrote a master’s thesis about them, had just gotten married. Her name is Gretchen (http://www.gretchenstull.com/). Please note that any so-called errors in the following sample were intended to challenge my judges. Read on…
Gretchen’s Dream Wedding By Candee Romero
“Gretchen, Gretchen, I love you!” Nick screamed, as his beloved, ebon-haired bride was dragged off the alter by the brain starved hungry zombies. “Noooooooo!”
“This can’t be happening, zombies are not real!”
But they were.
“Nick, save me!” Gretchen cried out but it was too late. A Zombie sank its teeth into her beautifully bared shoulder in the spring green off the shoulder gown she’d found in a designer clearing house for only thirty-five dollars though it retailed for over two hundred.
Now her gown was ruined … and so was her life.
No one, not in the least the eighteen wedding guests had expected the sweet, yet informal, New Orleans, Louisiana ceremony to erupt into a gore filled Day of the Dead. It was in the daytime, which is why it was Day of the Dead instead of Dawn of the Dead or Night of the Living Dead, even though Dawn of the Dead or Night of the Living Dead are considered Romero’s stronger works. Gretchen wretchedly dwelled on why it couldn’t be Shawn of the Dead so at least it would be funny as she felt the zombie germ begin to transform her. The question was, would the zombies eat her brains before she turned into a zombie herself or would she be eating brains before that happened?
Gretchen and Nick had been together for years and had decided to formalize their
relationship which was spawned and begun over a shared love of hot dogs vendors, who curse, Zombie movies and each other.
Their love was true but it could not survive the Wedding of the Living Dead.
“Nick oh, Nick!” Gretchen heard his sainted old mother cry out. A zombie who used to be the minister or priest, she forgot which because a small chunck of her brain was missing was rapaciously grasping for the old woman. The wedding guests tried to save her but the zombie had bit down already, there was no saving her.
She began to quiver and shake, the sure sign of the transformation plus a little sweat as her skin took on that distinctive green hue. Many feel the green hue is decomposition but really it is part of the incurable zombie virus. Incurable as far as we know. Sort of like with Fifth disease you get red cheeks and they call it Slap Face or the Old Wives do.
The poor old wife began to moan and her eyes hollowed out into brain craving, she rose to her feet shakily and held out her arms to her beloved delicious son.
“Niiiiiiiiicholas, come and give your mother a bite!” Zombies normally cannot talk but they might a little at first before the total transformation which varies from person to person and how dead and corpselike they are to start with, which Nick’s mother was not. So it was possible she would keep talking and saying such creepy shit for a good long time.
Gretchen hoped not. She wondered if she would have to shoot Nick’s mother in order to save the other wedding guests. At least she could go down in a blaze of glory.
The wedding was out of doors at the Columns Hotel which was now in flames, and the sun was hot. The stench of putrid zombie flesh should have warned them of the apocalypse upon them but they just thought it was a normal New Orleans thing. Much of New Orleans was now in chaos as the zombie herds roared, through the grand old city. It wasn’t like hurricane Katrina, it was more devastating. Zombies didn’t like water and wouldn’t go anywhere near the levees, as they heard those dam things are unsafe.
The wedding guests raced into the nearest safe building which was a Starbucks. There were other human survivors in there who didn’t want to let them in, but one look at poor Gretchen in her bloody dress who had the worst wedding day ever changed their minds and they let them in. They did not yet know Gretchen was infected and Gretchen hadn’t told anyone after she’d kicked the zombie’s head in and gotten away. She could still be of use fighting off zombies long enough for her family and husband of two minutes could escape on a houseboat. She would sacrifice herself happily since she was dommed anyway.
“Nick I still love you!” she screamed as she barred the door against the reaching zombie hands and gaping maws. There were a lot of glass windows in here. “We have to put more chairs in front of the windows and door!” she yelled to rally the troops who were huddled behind the barista counter. “Nick stop drinking that double espresso, this is not the time!”
Nick leapt over the counter and picked up a bench in a rush of adrenalin to help bar the door with his courageous wife. Never had he loved her so much! She knew so much about zombies, he thought, that she was unafraid while everyone else cowered behind the barista counter, even though it was safer there or in the storage room in back which didn’t have glass windows. He hoped the zombies wouldn’t throw stones but they were pretty dumb.
Except his mother. How it had torn him up inside to see his mother turn into a ravening zombie! She would as soon eat his brains as congratulate him for being married or even pester him about grandchildren. With the apocalypse upon them the world would never be the same.
Somebody behind the barista counter started calling everyone they knew to find out how far the apocalypse had spread and dial 911. There was no answer, just static crackle. But how could the zombies be intelligent enough to take down cell towers? Unless they were the fabled…smart ones. Luckily the fast ones were only a myth, but the smart ones…now those were dangerous. From the glint in his mother’s eye he feared she would be the smart one and lead the zombies into the Starbucks for their dinner….on her own family.
Proving him right about his mother, she was the first to cast a stone at the glass where the zombies had all just been pressing grotesquely against it. Licking and clawing.
“Nick, your mama!” Gretchen screamed seeing the danger.
The rock flew threw the glass and hit a barista in the head who went down like a rock.
The zombies started pounding on the glass and Nick’s mother kept throwing rocks. “We must make a stand in the store room and then seek out a mode of transportation! The water is the only thing that can save us now!” Gretchen rallied the troops behind the barista counter so everyone started running for the storeroom as the final glass windows shattered like a thousand points of blood spattered out of a gunshot wound to the neck.
“Nicky,” his mother said, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it!”
“No Mother, Gretchen is my life now, those apron strings no longer work!” Gretchen and Nick, holding hands which made Nick’s mother growl ran for the store room, Gretchen was limping but told Nick it was glass that had cut her from the bursted windows not about the bite.
They made it to the store room alive with the hoard of monsters on their heels moaning slowly, proving there were no fast ones or else they may not have made it to the store room.
“We need to find a cure,” Gretchen panted as they held the door. “Or the zombies will overrun the world. Do we know any biochemists?”
“I am studying for my final exam in biochemistry!” Shouted one of the baristas. “I was working here to pay off my tuition.”
“Good, then we have to keep you alive. You and the children. Everyone else is expendable.” Gretchen explained the plan to everyone of how they’d escape to a remote island on a life raft or houseboat using short wave radios to tell other survivors to do the same.
“Not you, my darling,” Nick gave Gretchen a long soul-stirring kiss since the zombies had interrupted that part of the ceremony. “I do I do I do.”
“I do too this last time,” Gretchen had to break off the kiss before too much of her saliva got into his mouth. She was infectious. “But I have to tell you…”
She was too late. She fell to her knees and shuddered. Perspired. Her skin began to take on a ghastly green hue that was absolutely nothing like her beautiful green dress.
“My love!” Nick cried out. “Not you too!”
Nick’s mother banged on the door. “I hear you in there. Come out of there right now young man, and let me have some braiiiiiins!”
“I….love you,” Gretchen managed to say one final time before going into the final coma.
“I can’t live without you…so I won’t.” Nick held his strong wrist to Gretchen’s slightly drooling mouth, ripping open his vein with her teeth and sharing their bodily essence. “I promised you in sickness and in health until death do us part, but that isn’t long enough for me. Now we can be together in undeath!”
As Nick began to feel the convulsions begin to take him, he held the door and his slavering zombie bride, allowing the last best hope of humanity to escape out of the back of Starbucks with his last gasp of humanity. But when he rose, holding out his mottled hand for his bride, he and Gretchen were at last together…forever.
The End….or is it?
You can find more of my horrible romance parodies here: http://www.jodywallace.com/samples.htm
If you want to see all the zombiegurumi and their stories, click here: http://blog.jodywallace.com/search/label/zombies
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com
What will the other Saturday Snippet authors choose to share?
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth