I had a lot of dreams about zombies while binge watching The Walking Dead. Here's one of my favorites!
The girls are sort of milling about outside the hut, waiting for something to happen, when Jane spots a zombie.
She turns to look at the other women, but they haven't seen it. As a result, she isn't sure if she's seeing what she thinks she's seeing. She looks back. She sees what looks very much like a zombie climbing out of a window.
It is about six foot six, male, with broad shoulders. It's wearing a plaid shirt that is ripped and wet. It's face is ... it's face is sort of the wrong shape, more like Darth Siddius than a person, though she doesn't know that because she's never seen Star Wars. And she never will.
The zombie spots her, but it doesn't hesitate the way that she does. Instead, it strides towards her, grabs her by the shoulders, and proceeds to attempt to bite off the top of her head.
She still doesn't scream.
People are still busy, preparing for a zombie invasion that they don't really believe will come.
Her brain finally kicks in, the brain that the zombie is trying to eat. Her brain tells her that this is a definitely, really a zombie, but she still doesn't scream, because to sceam would make it real. If she screams, she thinks, she's dead.
Fortunately, somebody sees the struggle and soon there are four people, armed, pulling the zombie from her and hitting it and stabbing it.
"Why didn't you call for help?" Lisa says, her face wet with sweat.
Jane is in shock.
Lisa shakes her head.
"You finally got one," Vinnie the leader says, looking from the corpse to Lisa. "We could do with more women like you," Vinnie says.
"There are no women in the zombie patrols," Lisa says.
"So start your own," says Vinnie.
"Where would I patrol?" asks Lisa.
"You can have the whole of Scotland," Vinnie says. "I've got to move out."
He means him and the majority of his troops.
He probably has orders from London, Lisa thinks.
"Get to it," he says with a smile before walking away. It's not an order. It's the only thing he's ever said to her as an equal, as a friend.
It's funny in this new world. People look at you in the eye and they see you, they listen to what you have to say, because they know that you're probably going to be dead in the next 120 hours. Every exchange might be your last or theirs. And yet people still end conversations with things like: "Go to work" and "Get to it." Nobody says "I love you" anymore. That's the kind of thing you say as you're bleeding out.
Vinnie walks away in his big military jacket and boots, carrying more dust in their creases than is left on the road.
Lisa stands there in her red, cotton, sleeveless blouse and jeans; bare arms, bare hands, holding a bloody rake.
She looks at the dead zombie. She looks at the other women: strong, together, afraid.
In that moment, it becomes real: this is the first all-woman zombie patrol.
It will be the first of many such units throughout the country, but she doesn't know that yet. She won't be dead in the next 120 hours, and she doesn't know that either. Even Jane, who almost had a zombie bite into her skull because she couldn't scream, even Jane survives a few more weeks.
"What now?" asks Sandy.
Lisa creates two teams to check the house, while a third team checks the perimeter. The others should either be doing a stock check of weapons, including potential weapons — see rake — or attending to Jane's mental state. The orders spill out of her mouth, as if by reflex.
The women get to it.
The UK is really anti-smoking these days. My friends have a sign in the bathroom that gives them and their guests permission to smoke weed as long as they ‘throw down’ beforehand and they only smoke on the premises.
In public, however, smoking is not only extremely expensive, but must take place in pink booths like bus shelters, shared by huddling, coughing smokers in all weathers.
If you smoke at home, you must not be near children. And your neighbours can complain if there is too much smoke.
It’s not like the good old days when I was a kid and I would smoke packets and packets of the stuff out of the bedroom window. When the neighbours complained then it was because smoke was billowing out as if the room were on fire. These days, I’d be arrested.
It’s worn and warm, less like paper than plastic carrier bag material. about all this when I head to the bar across the road, wanting to write down an idea for a story.
It’s a modern bar and it appears to have pulled a lunchtime crowd of local office workers. On pulling open the swanky-looking but flimsy glass doors, I sense the groups and pairs eyeing me as I walk in alone.
The only other people who are close to being alone are a man with a briefcase full of baby bottles , hunched over a carton of Chinese food with his baby son in a blue romper suit sitting opposite, and the barman.
A the far end of the bar, because that’s the only place there is room for me, I pull a worn, warm, plastic-like fifty from my pocket.
The barman seems unsure about whether or not I want anything. To my surprise, I have to wave the fucker over.
He smiles tightly and approaches, looking as if his trousers are equally tight. He’s about fifty-five years of age, wearing a white shirt and black trousers. No bow-tie, because he’s just hip enough to work here.
“I’d like a beer, please,” I begin.
“We don’t serve alcohol or tobacco.”
I look around, mostly for effect. Behind the bar, there are all kinds of glittering alcoholic beverage bottles and even a tobacco and cigarette display.
“Are you kidding?” I ask
People are drinking fruit juices. Surreptitiously eating homemade sandwiches out of aluminium foil.
My watch says that it’s 11:34am.
“No alcohol or tobacco before 12pm?” I suggest.
“One,” the barman corrects me and then the fucker turns his back on me and walks away.
I take a deep breath, then I walk out. I go back to my friends’ place to start writing this review to share online.
I start with the flimsy glass door.
I wanted to include this dream because it's one of those dreams where I'm writing about the dream inside the dream. It seems to be a direct result of keeping a dream journal in more detail than the tweets and normally not far away from oncoming lucidity.
Every night, the kid remembers to check the window. Every night, it’s unlocked.
He is about to attach the lock, which is a flimsy chain - a hoop at one end that slips over a nail - when he wonders whether this nightly fear is based on anything real.
He opens the window and leans out.
There’s a guy down there in a cream suit. He looks like he’s been wearing it all day, in the office and in the pub. He’s looking up, as if searching for the best way to climb up the wall. Like he doesn’t do it several times a week.
“Hey,” the kid yells down. “How’s it going, dickhead?”
The guy just keeps looking up, planning his climb to the window.
Unnerved, the kid hurls down the first thing that comes to hand: a kitchen knife.
The guy steps aside and the knife hits the floor. He is now glaring up at the kid, who pulls the window closed and fumbles with the lock.
It’s at this point that he remembers that there is a back way in. He dashes to the back and checks the fence.
The fence is there, but it doesn’t go all the way across. So begins 20 minutes of adjustment and readjustment, trying to get a 20-foot section of fence to fit in a 26-foot gap. All the while, he looks beyond the fence at the place where the man will appear sooner or later: a black field that disappears into shadows and then trees.
Not long later, someone is walking out of the darkness.
The kid freezes and abandons his ministrations with the fence, ready to face this guy, whoever he is … whatever he is.
He is relieved to discover that it’s not the guy in the suit but a neighbour.
“Hi,” says the kid, trying to sound natural. “I’m trying to make the fence fit.”
The neighbour puts her shopping bags away and then returns to help.
More neighbours arrive from the forest. They’ve had a day at work or studying. A few help with the fence while the rest gather, smoking and drinking beer and white wine. There is a pleasant hum of people chatting about everything and nothing.
Soon, the fence stretches all the way across, at which point the kid starts thinking about barbed wire. Broken glass. Electricity. Another six feet of height.
“What’s going on?” someone asks him.
“I was fixing the fence,” the kid says, “and everyone started hanging out. There must be four hundred people here! It’s a fence party!”
The moment he says the words ‘Fence Party’, everybody leaves.
Now it’s just him, and the fence, and the waiting.
Dean's Dream Journal
As a dark fiction author, I like to take some inspiration from my dreams.
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