The Romance Reviews

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Full Moon Interview with A Zombie

I have been a fan of zombie apocalyptic movies and books for a long time and I have two works in progress centered around zombies. This full moon, rather than interviewing my usual werewolf guest, I have decided to interview a zombie, Mr.Z  (real name is not used since the family only know he is missing). 

Where does one go to interview a flesh-eating mindless zombie? The answer is in a secret black ops underground lab somewhere in a desert. I am not allowed to give any more details than that.

How can I interview a mindless zombie? Though they can make sounds, they can no longer speak. However, with the help of Professor M. and the nanochip implanted in the zombie’s brain, Mr. Z’s answers will be interpreted by an advanced computer and sound like Mr. Z talking. Mr. Z will be secured, since he will be reacting to my living flesh and nothing more.

My Interview with Mr. Z

Professor M. gave me a private tour of the underground lab. He explained that prior to Mr. Z’s infection, he was an unemployed store manager who was bitten near the secret lab. The lab was built to support zombie research and to prevent the pestilence.

I sat across from the mid-forties man. He was wheeled in, like The Silence of the Lamb’s Hannibal Lecter, complete with heavy duty straight jacket , mask and strapped in. His eyes widened and he moaned. I felt a rash of goose flesh in that crawling fear of being eaten alive.
His brain was exposed and was wired and soon connected to the computer.
Professor M. : “Go on ask him anything.” He removed his mask and immediately he snapped hungrily at him. Drooling and stuttering a moan, anxious to feed.  
Me: “What are you feeling right now?” The computer buzzed and the zombie spoke in a stiff contrived manner, like a puppet. His skin was corpse-gray, and he was bald with thin hair in patches. His body smelled of decaying flesh. Somewhere between the stench of a rotting road kill and a landfill.
Z: “Hunger. Hunger for your brain and guts.” He then snapped his jaw at me.
Me:  “So you won’t be satisfied by animal flesh?”
Z: “Only human flesh.”
Me: “Do you remember your past, who you were?”
Z: “No.” He shot out a stuttering moan and turned to me. “I am hunger.”
Professor M: “The zombie’s hippocampus was damaged, but ask him about Jessica and Luther.”
Me: “Do you know a Jessica or a Luther.”
Z: “No. I only want to eat your flesh.” He sniffed and fought his restraints.
Professor: “You asked him if he knows his wife of fifteen years and his twelve year old son.”
Me: “Mr. Z, do you feel pain or sorrow?”
 Z: “Only hunger for living flesh.”
Me: “So if you were released, you would attack and do what?”
Z: “Bite the first human I could reach and feed, then find another and another. Feed.”
Me: “Do you feel any emotions?”
Z: “Only rage when I attack to feed.”
Me: “I take it you don’t remember how you ended up a zombie?”
 Z: “No.”
Professor:  “He took a back road in the desert. One of our escaped zombies got to him. We shot the zombie in the head and brought Mr. Z in and kept him in isolation. On the third day he died and quickly reanimated.”
Me: “So your lab created this zombie virus?”
Professor: “The perfect doomsday biological weapon, but we never meant this to happen.”
Me: “Why keep this lab, why not destroy the zombies you experiment on?”
Professor: “We are determined to find a cure. Besides, other labs around the world have similar zombie labs.”
Me: “And nobody knows.”
Professor: “Best to keep it a secret, otherwise panic would lead to chaos. Like nukes, this a weapon that we hope to never use.”
Me: "Yeah right," I muttered.

Z: He moaned and shook in his straight jacket. 

Professor: “Put him pack in his pen.”  Black uniformed armed men came in and took him away.
Me: “What can we do if some terrorist releases the virus or another zombie escapes?”
Professor: “Have a vehicle loaded with enough food and water for a month and get as far away from populated areas as possible.  Pack guns and rifles, but when you run out of ammo, make sure you have a sharp machete, sword or ax. Keep in mind that the next siren you hear, might not be for an impending tsunami, hurricane or tornado but for zombie attack.

I thanked him for allowing me to see and speak to a real horror movie zombie and happy to return to the Bestiary Parlor. What is stranger than fiction is that there are real cases of zombie disease found in nature. The dreaded zombie-ant fungus.

Records of "zombie-ant fungus" were made in 1859 by Alfred Russel Wallace, the great naturalist and contemporary of Darwin, who found two specimens in Sulawesi in Indonesia. Wallace also collected specimens in the Amazon to bring back to London, but he lost all of his material when his ship, Helen, caught fire and sank on the way home.”
Today, scientists have discovered four new species of fungus that infects ant in Brazil six more species of the fungus in Cairns, Australia, home to some of the oldest rainforests on Earth.
Blurb from the Guardian article:
 “The lifecycle of the organism is extraordinary. Ants become infected with the fungus when spores land on them from above, or when they encounter them on the forest floor. Once attached, the spores use enzymes to get inside the ant's body where the fungus begins to grow. Within a week or so, chemicals released by the fungus cause the ant to wander off and bite on to leaf veins and other vegetation, moments before dying. Many ants are found in places where the conditions are perfect for fungal growth.
Once the ant has died, the fungus slowly sprouts from its head and grows a pod of spores which are fired onto the forest floor at night, to infect other ants.
The latest study reveals that some of the fungi produce spores that have a back-up plan if they fail to infect an ant within a day of being released. Spores that rest on the ground slowly grow a secondary spore that juts upright from the forest floor, where it can latch on to ants as they pass.”

If you like mind-control microbes research about Toxoplasma gondii, a bacteria that tricks rats into risky behavior with cats.  This microbe needs to be ingested by a cat to continue its lifecycle.

Hmm? I wonder if such microbes are in underground bio weapons labs?

Do pick up Max Brook’s The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. 

Good idea to also pick up Roger Ma’s The Zombie Combat Manual.  Very practical and I like he recommends to stay in shape. Running and doing weights is a good survival skill for when the time comes. 

Also, watch The Walking Dead.

Before this event happens I hope to have my own end of the world zombie story out. That would suck if I finished my manuscript and people turned into zombies.

Feel free to ask questions, just know I can’t reveal the secret lab.


Trev said...

Nice post! Made my morning! Have a great day.

Trev @

Eva Gordon said...

Glad I made your day.

Ryan said...

I love zombies but The Walking Dead was such a disappointment. It holds the record for the fastest decline in the history of television. How can a show with such a kick ass pilot descend into mediocrity so quickly? Max Brooks is all good, though.

Jackie Place said...

Creepy is what it is. Nature is amazing.

Eva Gordon said...

Hi Ryan,
I know I'm kind of annoyed with the affair between the cop's wife and his best friend. I'm hoping the plot gets better season 2.

What bugs you?

Eva Gordon said...

Nature is the best place to look for good science fiction/fantasy ideas.