Friday, May 30, 2014

'FINISHING SCHOOL' for a ZOMBIE PRINCESS ... 5/30/14

They sat on the terrace...not a balcony... a terrace. Balconies are rather flimsy, modern affairs with weak, aluminum rails and barriers. Terraces are made from bricks and slate and stone. Eva Gabor had one on GREEN ACRES... before they left New York, I mean. Madam Blavatska had one too. That was her name, Blavatska and she was a zombie too. But a highly assimilated one able to share conventional meals with human acquaintances, even if her lunch tended to be watery bisque or runny poached eggs. She was disciplined. She could do that. 

Opal wore a dark, smock-like dress. Wednesday Addams had one just like it... dark leotards... white collar... white cuffs. The buttons were finest rib bone... human rib bone. Only the best. She and her stately instructor occupied an outdoor settee... traditional... white painted steel.... hand stitched canvas cushions trimmed with white piping. The 'Madam' sipped tea... Russian chai, to be precise. Opal had diet soda. Zombies drink a lot of that.

They gazed out over the city beneath a soft, white, silvery sky. The air was damp... almost misty. And the distant traffic, down below was almost quiet..... Madam said - How was your feeding?....... Fine - said Opal. Hortense and Blanche took me down...... And? - asked the stately one.... I did as you said. I had one of the children..... And Opal almost cried..... They drug them, you know. Most laugh like maniacs through the whole thing - said Blavatska. What kind did you have?.... A little Laotian girl. Three and a half years old I think she was - whispered Opal. She told me. Said she liked my hair...... They sat in silence til the Madam said - Some of them talk a lot. East Asians impart a certain willowy strength and grace. You can taste it in the blood. Even when they're born here and raised on whatever it is the North Americans eat, they still taste the same way...... Then she straightened up and said - Show me your wrist..... Opal did. The older woman pushed up her sleeve and examined the skin.... Good, good - she said. Firm and supple. Now the eyes..... She lifted Opal's chin and carefully took ocular inventory, obviously impressed by the clarity and focus. .... Then she questioned her in German, both Hoch Deutsch and Platt Deutsch. Opal passed that test too. The lessons were going well. Soon they'd assign her to a team. Although she couldn't breed yet, not officially anyway, she could still kill.

A troublesome, anti-fracking politician would be first. Not him. His wife. But he'd get the message. Needs a more photogenic one if he wants to be senator anyway. Serves her right. Good for her. At least she'll be on the news.

They discussed upcoming lessons, diction, elocution and all that. Then Opal went in to catatonically stare at the fish. They had a really big tank. Zombies like to stare at fish. 

After she left the one hundred and sixty seven year old Russian, zombie emigre reached into a planter, pulled out a bottle of vodka and took a long, stiff drink.

Then a bird crapped on her head... She sighed and drank some more...

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thank Heaven for Little Girls from Gigi ~~~ OPAL is groomed for her place in PARANORMAL ROYALTY ... 5/29/14





The spare, fit scientist took Opal to be inspected by a formidable matron in a palatial penthouse atop a meticulously preserved pre-war apartment tower. At this time we cannot reveal the location. They may have stayed in Philadelphia, or traveled a short distance up to Gotham, or down to Baltimore. We might be in Boston, too, for that matter. Since, as discussed earlier, we only pretend this is fiction, security is of the utmost. 


They parked in a clean, crisp, underground garage... all smooth, polished concrete and creamy gray paint, amidst a candy box of vintage limousines plus the occasional Duesenburg or two. A liveried flunky opened the door, addressed the spare, fit woman by name (prefaced by her academic degree) and lead them to a somewhat small, private elevator carpeted in plush Aubusson and paneled in antique, gold smoked mirror. Of course all trim and fittings were of finest, heavy bronze... No brass... Too garish. The flunky went with them, as he was the pilot of the contraption, since it lacked the accordion-like arrangement of illuminated buttons we've all learned to expect.


The conveyance silently ascended. Six minutes later they arrived at the fifty first floor and followed the liveried flunky out into a marble beaux arts foyer, through two tall doors opening on a large bright salon. Zombies have no aversion to sunlight, you know. A stately, older woman, seated on a chintz divan appraised them as they drew near. The spare, fit woman nodded. The stately matron nodded back. Opal just took it all in.  Then the seated woman addressed the flunky and said - Did anyone else witness their arrival?..... No, Madam - he said. I sent them away, other garage personnel, I mean, as the car approached..... And is the driver still down there? - she asked..... Yes, Madam - he said. Still in the car.... She reached into a small, beaded bag at her side, drew out a polished, chromium pistol, gave it to the young flunky and said - I want you to go down, shoot the driver, then step into one of the janitor's closets and shoot yourself. Aim for the head, behind your ear. It should be painless..... He nodded.... Thank you, Bainbridge - she said..... He nodded once more and left. They heard the door close, as he rode down..... Will he do it? - asked the spare woman...... Of course he will. You know how things are here. Now, please, sit down.... They did, though the scientist woman appeared a bit concerned, as they made small talk. Suppose she too was superfluous? But they needed her to insure optimal fertility, so til then she was safe.... maybe.


The matron turned her gaze toward Opal and said - So, this is the one.  And I am to play Madam Alverez to her Gigi. Well, I've done it before. I'm up to the task...... Then she paused for a moment and whispered - It's over. He's done it..... You mean the flunky? - said the spare woman..... The matron nodded..... Little Opal found her voice and quietly asked - Please, lady, how do you know?..... The matron reached over, patted her hand and said - Telepathy, my dear. Tell me. Do you know German?...... Opal shook her head...... No, of course you don't - said the teacher..... Languages, my dear. Tomorrow we start with languages.....


So they did. The training of a Zombie Queen had begun...


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Thank Heaven for Little Girls from Gigi ~~~ OPAL is groomed for her place in PARANORMAL ROYALTY ... 5/29/14





The spare, fit scientist took Opal to be inspected by a formidable matron in a palatial penthouse atop a meticulously preserved pre-war apartment tower. At this time we cannot reveal the location. They may have stayed in Philadelphia, or traveled a short distance up to Gotham, or down to Baltimore. We might be in Boston, too, for that matter. Since, as discussed earlier, we only pretend this is fiction, security is of the utmost. 



They parked in a clean, crisp, underground garage... all smooth, polished concrete and creamy gray paint, amidst a candy box of vintage limousines plus the occasional Duesenburg or two. A liveried flunky opened the door, addressed the spare, fit woman by name (prefaced by her academic degree) and lead them to a somewhat small, private elevator carpeted in plush Aubusson and paneled in antique, gold smoked mirror. Of course all trim and fittings were of finest, heavy bronze... No brass... Too garish. The flunky went with them, as he was the pilot of the contraption, since it lacked the accordion-like arrangement of illuminated buttons we've all learned to expect.



The conveyance silently ascended. Six minutes later they arrived at the fifty first floor and followed the liveried flunky out into a marble beaux arts foyer, through two tall doors opening on a large bright salon. Zombies have no aversion to sunlight, you know. A stately, older woman, seated on a chintz divan appraised them as they drew near. The spare, fit woman nodded. The stately matron nodded back. Opal just took it all in.  Then the seated woman addressed the flunky and said - Did anyone else witness their arrival?..... No, Madam - he said. I sent them away, other garage personnel, I mean, as the car approached..... And is the driver still down there? - she asked..... Yes, Madam - he said. Still in the car.... She reached into a small, beaded bag at her side, drew out a polished, chromium pistol, gave it to the young flunky and said - I want you to go down, shoot the driver, then step into one of the janitor's closets and shoot yourself. Aim for the head, behind your ear. It should be painless..... He nodded.... Thank you, Bainbridge - she said..... He nodded once more and left. They heard the door close, as he rode down..... Will he do it? - asked the spare woman...... Of course he will. You know how things are here. Now, please, sit down.... They did, though the scientist woman appeared a bit concerned, as they made small talk. Suppose she too was superfluous? But they needed her to insure optimal fertility, so til then she was safe.... maybe.



The matron turned her gaze toward Opal and said - So, this is the one.  And I am to play Madam Alverez to her Gigi. Well, I've done it before. I'm up to the task...... Then she paused for a moment and whispered - It's over. He's done it..... You mean the flunky? - said the spare woman..... The matron nodded..... Little Opal found her voice and quietly asked - Please, lady, how do you know?..... The matron reached over, patted her hand and said - Telepathy, my dear. Tell me. Do you know German?...... Opal shook her head...... No, of course you don't - said the teacher..... Languages, my dear. Tomorrow we start with languages.....



So they did. The training of a Zombie Queen had begun...



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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DARK WORLD ... 5/27/14

A bigger fish always comes by. Lars and Uther thought they had her (Opal, I mean), but she got snatched up by that spare, fit, scientist bitch. That's how it is. And them what got the power don't care what you know. What the hell are you gonna do about it? When I started this 'blog' almost four years ago, the very first line was - First of all we must agree that what comes next is fiction.... And apparently there's no argument. I tell you about the life-eaters lightly sprinkled over most big cities and it's 'fairy tales.' I tell you 'bout Doctor Franklin's more-than-top-secret compound under The Philadelphia Navy Yard and it's 'comic book time.' The elferinos and elferinas are true. The Jersey Pine Barren witchie-folk are true. Ditto the mole-people and the ghouls and, now we got the zombies, primarily the non-decomposing intelligent variety. Twitter.com/Syfy <~~~( conveniently clickable link) knows. Go see. Go ask. But the vast majority of people in The Twitter.com/#vampirewonderland (and we're ALL in that) think it's merely a pixilated entertainment. What pawns. A few of you know. Small groups of midnight wanderers have been turning up outside 'the townhouse' and Baylah's 'piano bar' and along the preternatural, cobbled warrens of Society Hill. They've seen them... Tomas (before his demise) and Sarah and Luna.... Remember Mister Muggs, the accidentally 'vampire-ized' one hundred and eighty five pound manic chimp? He was a good one, rest his soul. And the Russian, billionaire, vampire, oligarch, Grigori Usipov (in a brand new body and everything) is still out there. Some of you know what his ebony jet, The Baba Yaga, looks like. But please don't get too close. His Siberian Tiger Pits are no place to die.

'The World is so full of a number of things... I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings'... Robert Louis Stevenson said that... Trouble is, there already are kings.

Zombies fight vampires and three castes of Lycanthropes fight each other. Vampire Wonderland is an oozing pustule of truth... Just keep squeezing.

But ponder this... How easy it is to control minions of night-folk... Vampires, zombies, lucid wanderers... who cares?... They kill those deserving of death and preserve those worthy of life... No 'high tech.'... Simple, direct and absolute.

You've heard stories... planted snippets of convenient 'truth.' Unwitting aliens are behind it... They're just a natural side-bar to human evolution, or (my favorite)--- no one really knows.

Well.... somebody does.

Explore... google Vampire Wonderland by Billy Kravitz... and add any intriguing term you like... lucid wanderers... Grigori Usipov... Jersey Pine Barrens... elferinos... cherubs... mer-folk... After more than 800,000 words the possibilities are endless. 'Links in a chain... May no man know its source'... That's also a quote...

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

THE CREATURE CREATING, SPARE, FIT, SCIENTIST OUTLINES HER PLAN ... 5/25/14

The spare, fit woman outlined her plan. If they wanted success, there wasn't any other alternative. She sipped her ice water, eyed the more or less collegiate crowd in the place and in a quiet, though authoritative voice began.... 

I take the girl. She lives with me. I 'feed her.' I control her. Supply the necessary supplements and any other additives. When she requires human flesh... living human flesh, I mean, she will get it. Certain strains seem to afford a more salubrious effect. ....

Uther said - You think I don't know these things?

You, my friend, are a medieval Cretin. Why don't you go sack a city? You're can destroy things, but lack the finesse to create, shall we say, more evolved replacements. - said the woman.

Uther blanched. Lars had to bite his lip to keep from laughing out loud. Opal didn't understand any of it, or tried not to. She read the paper menu folded next to the napkin holder and asked if she might have a Strawberry Ricki, a sweet, nectary beverage from the nineteen fifties, apparently making a comeback. The woman motioned to a server. Four minutes later she had one, good and cold in a tall, narrow, frosted glass.... Lars said - give me a taste... And three minutes later he had one too. 

While they savored the syrupy concoction, Uther said - Why the attack? Why go after me? ..... The woman 'lasered' into him with her eyes, but didn't say a word. 

Lars said - What kind is best? The people, I mean... for the flesh. Who's on the menu? Tell me.

It varies. - she said. Polynesian Islanders provide a certain stamina, so do Tuareg tribesmen. Some swear by the Icelandic regimen. Others prefer certain, old Jewish clans from The Caucus. I believe in mixing... a bit of this.. a bit of that...

And your success rate? - he said.

The woman indicated Uther and said - Ask him. He knows.

Lars looked.... Uther said - She has two fertile females and one fertile male. Proven fertiles, I mean. A lot of people make claims. She does not. what she says is true.

Well, - she went. Permit me to 'up' you from Cretin to barbarian..... (apparently they shared a 'past' or something... non-decomposing zombies and humans 'couple' all the time, though nothing ever comes of it).

Lars asked - And what will you give us? What's she worth to you?

The spare, fit scientist said - We could kill you now and take her. Do you think I came alone?..... She turned to face the room and raised her glass. Nine stalwarts scattered among the tables returned the gesture. Half looked zombie. One might have been a vampire. It's difficult to tell.

So ten minutes later, Opal , a bit teary eyed, was bundled into the back of a sleek, black, panel van with a talkative zombie hairdresser, from Detroit, a non-decomposing one, naturally, though from the look of his purple tinged nails in need of a good meal.... As they sped away he said - Don't worry. They'll let you see your friends.....

They're not my friends - she said.

He just shrugged and read his OK magazine. In the corned was a big, lidless, red and white Igloo cooler. Like the kind tailgaters use for beer. Inside was a trussed up little midget steeped in what was probably three dozen bottles of A1 Steak Sauce. Opal eyed him curiously. 

The midget went - Hello.

Opal nodded......

My 'dinner,' My feeding. He's for me. But I'll go 'sharesies.' You want some? I don't mind. That's how I am. My mama raised me right. 

Opal said - Are you sure?

Hairdresser said - Absolutely, have a bite..... 

So she tore into a white, flabby, clammy, upper arm. (the 'dinner' was resting on his side)

And the main course began to scream - No! No! No! You said I'd be dead! You said I'd be dead! Where's the drugs?! Where's the drugs?! Where's the drugs?!

Oh, shut up, you dumb bitch you! Don't you know drugs are illegal? - said the hairdresser. Then he gleefully knelt down for a big mouthful of tushie....

Oh! So good...so good... so good - he went.

And Opal giggled, as blood dribbled down her itty, bitty chin.

How nice to see her smile...

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Friday, May 23, 2014

A CERTAIN LEARNED INDIVIDUAL FORMULATES A FEEDING SCHEDULE FOR ZOMBIE QUEEN, OPAL .. 5/23/14

There was a little place near Penn's campus, or perhaps it was Temple's. I can't tell you, because they don't want people to know. A vaguely Middle Eastern band played 'World Music,' drums... ouds... guitars and finger cymbals, as they rhythmically chanted old, Berber poems. Young people from the university gathered 'round low tables drinking arak, smoking Turkish cigarettes (rules weren't followed there) and nibbling sweet, glazed dates and salty, roasted peanuts.

A wide-eyed Opal sat in the back with Lars and Uther. The lights were low... all orange and dim. Few noticed her age. Some freshmen were little, skinny things. Seniors too, for that matter. Who cared. Those cigarettes were close to pot. Well, they made people feel sick and dizzy, so you could sort of pretend. Opal drank grappa, a clear, wine based, Italian intoxicant. Her more practiced handlers made do with a clarified slivovitz, a plum brandy-like liquor from Bohemia. They waited for fourth person to join them and appeared essentially human.

Opal kept her head down, studying the intricate floral pattern on the tablecloth.  She couldn't look at Uther, not after the stories... not after what went on in the caves. Oh, flesh she would eat and a zombie she was... but not like him. He relished the kill. He lived for the terror. She just craved the food.... a ninth grade carnivore with a taste for her own kind.

Then she came in. A woman walked through the door. Spare and fit, with a gaze like a hungry cat. No zombie, this one, just a scientist in search of knowledge. Doctor Franklin and his crew in the complex under The Navy Yard knew about her, but kept their distance. Twisted, she was... a cruel thing intrigued by poisons, legends and monsters. They say she once artificially inseminated a deranged, homeless woman with a sample from a young bonobo. Now the odds of success, if you could call it that, were infinitesimal, but this time it happened. The woman conceived and was bundled off campus to a remote house in the Allegheny Mountains. They watched her 'round the clock and kept her chained. Bettina, they called her. She was fed a specially prepared diet, outlined by the spare woman. They gave her supplements, exercised her. After eight and a half months of fresh air, walks in the woods, good food and daily massages she gave birth... a four pound, eight ounce 'baby' called Pee-Wee. But Bettina called him 'Stevie' and cried when they took him away. For two months they let her live, aspirating milk for the baby. After he'd absorbed sufficient immunity and other benefits they dropped her down a damp, dark, deserted mine shaft and left her for whatever lived in the blackness. Then they resealed the heavy, trap door, packed everything in a van and went back to the city.

Uther respected her know-how. He wanted this to work. A fertile zombie is a rare thing... a 'queen bee' if you will. And the spare woman had a plan guaranteed to make it so.

She approached the table, shook hands with the males, appraised Opal and sat down....

A waiter brought ice water. They knew her there. She never took strong drink. Then she and the males conversed in an unknown tongue.

Opal just sat there... and the band played on...

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

for EL RANCHO TEXACO fans (we'll go back to the non-decomposing zombies & ghosts tomorrow) .. 5/21/14

It rained for forty days. And the ground drank it in. Basins became seas and wadis ran rich with the blood of creation. Mountains turned to islands and rainbows grew like vines. 

Then came the 'manna,' specially created seeds meant for the twice born land. That which was red became green. Bees were seen in the meadows and flowers and apples too. 

Behold, Mars breathes - they said.. our Sister is renewed. 

They came from the old places... troopers all, with memories of The Alamo and The Pampas and The Outback and The Bush. Great arks... space trains they were, taking people and dreams from Earth to a new place. Silver caravans stretched 'cross an endless sky with names like The City of New Orleans and The Rio de la Plata and the River Ganges.... 

Lower gravity worked its magic and 'The Tall People' came to be... flinty eyed settlers, self sufficient upon the plains. Cattle and livestock were transformed too and Pegasus flew once more.

After a time the people said - Let us build a settlement, a city, where we can trade our bounty and come together for good things. Thus was born Shiloh, Thebes and other places.

These were the first days. Mars grew strong and dynasties came to be. Those with power vied for seats in The Stone House. And those without cheered loudest. 

Come with us now to yesteryear... to a time when chupacabras roamed the high places and Tuva-Tuva clans remembered secrets. 

Behold, these are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO...... The West was won a second time and that time happened here.......

After we finish the current zombie-ghost story arc, we're going back there... to a place where 'first families' are called 'troopers' and the national anthem is SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON ....

The ghost of John Ford lives......

(forgive me this indulgence, but I love that story arc and am sore pressed to go back there... so if you're a TROOPER google EL RANCHO TEXACO by Billy Kravitz and scroll around... Return with us to El Polva Rosa.... And polish up your Spanglish... and maybe those spurs.)

You wanna see? Google SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON... either the song or movie trailer on You Tube...

Cotton Eyed Joe.... Cotton Eyed Joe...

and that's it for tonight.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

WEE HOUR ENCOUNTERS WITH STRANGE SPIRITS AREN'T ALWAYS NICE ... 5/20/14

Some people are bewitched by ghosts. Not in any traditional way. No spells. Few rituals. But it happens. They're confronted with ... well, a miracle, or what seems like a miracle. Life goes on. Bodies don't, but souls do. Though some souls aren't that nice. At least now they aren't. Death does that to people.....

Elizabeth Spring, aka Midnight Mary, drowned. She was on her way to the prom. Had a beau, a corsage, a frou-frou gown... the whole thing. Her date was Eddie. Two nice kids. Warm night. Clear. Big cheesy moon. Eddie wants to drive passed the lake. This is Tullytown in Bucks County, just north of Philadelphia. Tract house developments were still in the future. Suburbs were little country towns... old gray stone houses.... ice cream parlors called 'creameries.' ... maybe a Rexall drugstore. Like Peyton Place. No, really. This was nineteen thirty five. That's how it was. Even the crickets were fatter and they sang with the hop-toads. 

Now one side of the lake had a little beach. No hot dog stand. Nothing like that. Just a beach, the water and the fields. Looked real nice in the moonlight. Like something out of a story. Other side had a little rise, like a baby cliff. Deeper there too. Liz and Eddie wound up on that side, 'cause four other couples were already mushin' up over yonder. Nothing heavy. Gotta keep them dresses lookin' pretty. Miss Hall notices things like that.  So they parked and necked a little, swapped spit, played patty-hands. Five minutes. Ten minutes tops. That was all. Don't want to waste them two dollar and fifty cents a head tickets. Gonna have cream soda and lemonade. Cheese puffs and deviled eggs too.... little chicken salad sandwiches, coconut cake. Gonna be nice. Willy and The Jazz Boys playin'. They got pale blue dinner jackets. Principal Knoxley don't like that, but Coach Duffy gonna make him look the other way. Eddie's got a flask. His uncle brought it back from The Great War. Glass inside. Leather outside. Silver top. Got Jimmy Walker in it now. Red, I think. Boys do it every year. Juice up the punch. 'Put a little pepper in,' that's what they call it. Miss Hall watches like a hawk, but they get a few drops in.

Elizabeth says - Stop mashin' my boobie, you big, dumb nut! You're gonna crush the material. This is a Wanamaker's dress and you gotta know that. Your suit's rented so you don't care...... Eddie doesn't want to fight, so he puts the car in gear. Only she got him all nervous. Shifts into drive, instead of reverse. Two heartbeats later, it's over. They're in. From the edge of the little cliff to the water is about eight or nine feet. From the surface to the bottom another twenty five or so. Country lakes can be like that. Indentation fills up. Little valley gets wet... you got a lake....

Other kids on the opposite shore barely noticed. Lake's almost three blocks wide. That's five hundred yards. Little splash. Like a dive. That's all. Dark down there. Icy cold two. Smashed heads... you know steering wheels and dashboards weren't padded back then. Water rushing in. Car's not flat on the bottom. It's tilted. Twisted over on one side. Doors won't open. She's screamin'. Wanamaker dress all ruined now. Eddie tries to kick out the window. She keeps grabbing his neck. Car fills up real fast. Kids fight for the last bit of air up toward the roof. Coughing. Belching. Vomiting. Soon there's no air at all. Water don't care about no kids.

Now drowning's not the same as suffocating. It's a little more complicated. You know what it's like when you accidentally aspirate a mouthful of soda, or orange juice? It's like a hot, dead weight. Reflex kicks in and you 'cough up a lung' so to speak, but it's gone. You sit. You gasp. You wheeze. You sneeze. But it's over. And you live. They give you iced tea. They pat your shoulder and tell you to be careful... Well, drowning kids don't get that. They have to deal with a whole lot a mouthfuls. First they try to hold their breath. Head pounds. Chest cramps. Lungs burn. They breath out. For a split second they feel good. Then comes the fatal inhalation. Not air. Water. Imagine pouring heavy wet cement down your lungs. You see, drowning's not like going to sleep. It's torture. And it's not fast. Death waits for no one, except to prolong the agony. 

No one's ever seen Eddie's ghost. Guess he's somewhere else. But Liz is the belle of the ball, so to speak. Been in the papers for eighty years. Zak Bagins had her on his show. Don't know if she realized, though. Now she's got Topaz.... Poor, little, nine year old Topaz... And she's pulling her back toward the water.... Girl's crying... Not loud... Too scared for that. Ruby circles and whimpers. Tries to bite the ghost, but what can she bite? And the dead never tire. Ghosts never stop.

Topaz wants to scream, but she can't. She wants to run, but her legs won't do it. And the thing that is Elizabeth Spring keeps smiling, as fat, black, shiny, leeches fall from her lips

Then they reach the tiny lapping waves at the shore. Her feet are wet. Apparently nature doesn't care about nine year olds too.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

TOPAZ FLEES FROM HER ZOMBIE SISTER AND MEETS THE GHOST OF ELIZABETH SPRING, OR MIDNIGHT MARY... 5/19/14

She ran. She was nine years old and she ran.. anywhere... anyplace .... just away. She saw it all, the blood slicked walls... the torn flesh... the white bones. Can eyes still see when the face is ripped away? ... Can hands still feel when the meat is chewed off? She wanted to cry. She wanted to curl up and sleep.  Ruby was with her. She saw too. Dogs understand. On a visceral level, they know.

So they kept going, down wooded roads, over fields, through the moonlight.... just away. This part of Bucks County is fairly built up... malls... tract houses, fragments of old farms... some big farms too. But it's not hard to avoid folks. Dive in a hedgerow when a car goes by. Cross a cornfield. Easy this time a year. Stalks are still real low. Had to skirt Levitt Town. Yeah, Philadelphia has a Levitt Town too. It's not just a New York thing. Houses all re-modeled . Not like Edward Scissor-hands no more. Got 'farm houses,' 'colonials,' 'cape cods,' 'Spanish-Russian-Japanese' kind a places and big, old, cagey pit bulls in every yard. Ruby didn't want no parts of them.

Stopped at a Dunkin Donuts in a little strip mall. Not the Dunkin Donuts, more like the big, green dumpster out back. Store was closed. Old bag-lady dived for crullers. They were clean enough, packed in big, plastic trash bags. She saw the nine year old. Says - What you doin'? Don't you know how late it is? Get out a here and leave me alone..... Ruby growled... Bag-lady went - Shut up, you shit-ass dog, you.... Topaz started crying. Not 'cause she was hungry.... 'Cause she remembered. She 'saw' her sister. She saw Opal chompin' on her folks like they was KFC. Guess to zombie-gal, like her, they were. What you gonna do? Shit happens. Lot a folks get chomped by zombies. That how it is. Bag-lady feel sorry for her and go - They got apple fritters back there. Little bit dried up, but I like 'em like that. Got a whole big bag. You want some?...... Topaz just nodded. Not really payin' her no mind. Still seein' what her sister did..... Bag-lady throw down a little sack. Got four fritters in it. They big. Topaz take one out. Breaks some off for Ruby. She lookin'. Dog want some. Once ate six tubes a lipstick, (cheap kind too) so you know she want that cake.... Topaz mumble - Thank you..... But bag-lady find big tub a tuna fish what got throwed out that night, so she all excited and don't say nothin'.

Moon go down. It get dark. It get real dark. Cold too. Not winter time cold, but fifty eight degree bad enough. They up by some lakes. Folks fish in 'em. Kids mostly, tryin' for sun-fish. Maybe like a lake trout what the county throwed in. But now it empty. Road dark. Trees dark. Field dark. Sky got too many stars. Look scary, like there ain't no air, just outer space. Like you gone float off and go 'whoosh'... lost in the stars.... 

Then they see her up ahead. Got long dress on. Look like for fancy dance. Hair all stringy just hangin' there. She swayin' a little. Don't say nothin.' Ruby (she the dog) just look, but Topaz keep walkin.' She like in a daze. Rough night for a nine year old. Maybe stringy haired gal know that? Maybe she don't know nothin'? You can't tell. Not like it light. Stringy haired gal just a shadow... like a shade... just swayin' and if your hearin' good, she hummin' somethin' too. Topaz gettin' closer and closer. Twelve heartbeat later she right there. Stringy haired gal not lookin'. 
Topaz want a talk to somebody. She want to forget. She want a friend. Hold bag up and go - You want some apple fritter?...

Then real fast, like when a lady snap her finger, stringy haired gal lift her head up, turn 'round and smile, ' 'cept stead a teeth whole lot a fat, black leeches fall out and eyes just bloody sockets.... Dog start cryin'. Topaz just drop the bag.

They got lake runnin' 'round out here. That where she drown mos' eighty years ago. Folks say she 'Midnight Mary. But that not her name...

Soon Topaz gonna know...

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Some Spine Tingling Zombie stuff and What Opal's Surviving Sister, Topaz, Does ..5/18/14

They talked some more about Opal's future. To her it sounded like she was gonna be a queen bee. Maybe they'd let her wear a crown? That might make it a little better. 'Cause if they want her to mate with zombies, they better be cute zombies. Look, she don't even know if they got ones she can mate with. Although Lars said something about checking out some potentials on Craig's List.  Uther just shrugged. He didn't know. And when she opened her mouth they got angry and told her to 'mind her own bees-wax.' Who knew zombies talked that way? If it ever got on You Tube humans and vampires would laugh for a thousand years. Well, the humans (unless science comes up with something) would keep reproducing and dying, but some a the vampires would be the same ones.


This went on for about an hour. Then they just sat there in silence. Somewhere down another tunnel mole-folk were singing hymns.... some kind of gospel thing. White gospel... Black gospel... They got it all... Good too. Opal and the other two listened for a while. It was soothing.  Calmed them down. Sterno cans threw flickering, orangey shadows on the rough, stone walls. Looked like a catacomb under some old city. Oh, Philadelphia does have a lot of  underground, buried, long-forgotten corpses... ancient graveyards.... old, abandoned crypts... ossuaries... murder victims... Find 'em every time the dig foundations for new buildings. City got archaeologists on the payroll. Grinning skulls like knick-knacks 'round some places. You know clean, human skulls feel like ivory? A little rough... slightly pitted, but polish up real nice. Got human, ivory jewelry in The Hymalayas. Made out a dead monks. Maybe nuns too.

Hymns stop, but mole-folk keep singing...  something different... sinister and darker. Carmina Burana (google videos on You Tube... you'll see). Guess the music effected him, 'cause Uther starts talking... Not loud, almost a whisper. Opal never heard stuff like this, so she got real still and took it all in...

UTHER - In Europe, in the old world, we punish wrong-doers. Zombies, I mean. Ancients used to imprison them in tall, stone towers. No way in, but a narrow opening up high. No glass. Definitely no glass. Maybe a thick, rough shutter... Maybe not. In most instances the cells were unfurnished, save for a chamber pot and perhaps a pile of blankets. No hearth. No books (well, most people never saw books then anyway). Codified written words were viewed as magic... powerful magic... wisdom plucked from the air and trapped on lamb skin. Oh, priests, nuns, monks and the like, they knew how to read. Jews too. Though peasants, serfs and slaves were denied that ability. Zombies knew. At least our kind, the non-decomposing zombies did.  We taught our own. So imagine what it was like to be sealed away with little light (windows were often narrowed once prisoners were inside), no warmth and no books. Stone flags for flooring too. No flesh. Wind driven rain provided a bit of water, but that was it... And after a time the 'shedding' began... Hair feel out. Skin shriveled . Nails brittled and dried. Teeth go bye-bye. Urine grows thick and dark and stops. Back stoops. Spine deteriorates. External genitalia takes on a papery, mummified look. Sometimes the nose and ears go too. And the lips aren't much to look at either...

OPAL - (quietly) Are you trying to scare me?

UTHER - No, just sharing what I know. He knows to (indicates LARS, who nods). Do you want me to go on?

(she nods)

UTHER - But absolute destruction was rare. Chastened flesh-eaters eventually went free and ruined bodies had to be restored, thus were born Zombie Orgies... 

(Opal giggled)

UTHER - Not carnal. Not what you think. Well, not carnal in that way (and then he chuckled). Meat... they needed meat... human meat... and not just flesh, offal too. You know. Liver, brains, lungs, kidneys (makes an 'and so on' gesture). Some zombies relish that. And once a year, on Saint Swithun's Day, the fifteenth of July, those to be restored were ushered into deep, dark, winding caverns. In some places the caverns had been used since the troglodytes. You know, there were zombies then too? Shambling wraiths they were. Some crawled. But they had the hunger. And they had the strength. And they knew what was to come.

They fed them prisoners. In return for coffers of gold and jewels local nobles emptied their dungeons. No questions asked. Families on the outside weren't notified. They had no rights. It's hard to imagine how it was then. Rape was not rape. Robbery was 'finders' keepers' and rich guys with swords tend to find a lot. Murder wasn't murder. It was just an unfortunate occurrence. Children could be replaced. Peasants could too. Occasionally clergy or higher nobles, royalty in particular, complained if specially adept farm hands, or highly taxable Jews somehow woke up dismembered. But life meant nothing. It wasn't cheap. It was free.

Legions of 'the damned'... children too, were stripped and beaten til they ran into the caves. Then men with dogs, huge dogs, mastiffs, wolfhounds, tortured them til they fled even deeper. No light. No dispensation. Just horror. Just death. 

Next came the flesh-eaters. Perhaps two or three for every victim. And it was dark. People cowered against sharp protrusions. But they couldn't hide, not from creatures hunting by scent. Soon came screams... shrieks... the overpowering reek of human innards... children cried... running feet... breaking bones... marrow.... maniac laughter. Imagine being the last child alive in such a place. Oh, the zombies were so happy. A restorative feast it was. Some gurgled. Some sang hymns. They did. For them it was salvation. (he focused on OPAL) You know what I mean. You killed your family. They gave you strength. They gave you immunity.  You needed that and you took it..... But your sister got away. Topaz ran. She's still out there... And I don't think you know what that means...

LARS - Alright. Enough. Step by step. We do what we can, when we can. (to OPAL) He was IN those caves. That's why he's telling you this. (whispers) The bastard.

But UTHER locks eyes with OPAL and grins.

She turns away and doesn't say a word.

Off on another passage the sinister, mole-folk oratorio continues.....

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Why Is New Zombie, Opal, So Important To The Flesh Eaters? ... 5/16/14

The sat in a dark, little, damp space under the city. Mole folk lived close by, but they give zombies a wide berth. Vampires, at lease the 'noble' variety have a certain sense... a certain basic civilization. You can deal with them. But Flesh Eaters are different. When they're hungry, they're hungry. They crack through windpipes and ask questions later, often while savoring meaty thighs, or a nice, fresh, raw, human rump roast.

This particular hidey-hole was a natural cave.  Excavation gangs found it a hundred years ago, when they dug all the subway tunnels. Left it just like it was. Called it 'the grotto.' Lit candles down there for them what died during construction. Not a big place. Maybe sixteen feet deep by ten or twelve feet wide. They say the ghost of a small American Indian girl frequents the place. Not a permanent presence. Why would a child want to re-live their death? No one knows what killed her. They found the bones, a complete skeleton. Some saw cut marks on femurs and other long bones, but that was just conjecture. They weren't deep, or sharp. There's no way to tell for sure.  But Lars has his own opinions. He leads the zombies in these parts. They call them 'dukes.' Some say 'king.' Some don't use a title at all. Followers just know. And they facilitate more than dictate. But each 'duchy' is different. Here we got The Grand Duchy of Philadelphia. Goes all the way down to the South Jersey Shore. You can figure it out. Each metro area is a 'duchy.' And our duke, Lars, is a hard worker. Keeps things organized. Ain't even Scandinavian. Used to like soap operas. Had one back in radio days called I Remember Mama about an old, immigrant Norwegian family. He liked it, 'cause it was homey and all. Identified with the son called Lars, so he called 'Lars.' Zombies are ruthless, but that don't mean they're not sentimental. That's why he cares about Opal. Uther got her all cleaned up. Scrubbed off all the blood. Flossed her teeth real good. Washed her hair. She says she misses her mama, 'cause the mama had a special way a dryin' her hair. But that ain't gonna happen no more, 'cause 'mama' got herself all ate up. Papa got ate up too. Little sister don't wanna get all ate up, so she run away. Dog goes with her too. Zombie don't eat dog, but that don't mean they don't kill 'em. Zombie kill bobcat too. Ain't no bobcat in this thing now, but just in case you want to know.

It dark in that little hidey-hole. Not all dark. They got two Sterno cans goin'. Sterno like gold down them tunnels. Mole folks get it from a guy in jersey. He like a wholesaler. Subway go all the way to Camden. That how they get there. But two Sterno cans mean in like 'Halloween on a back porch' dark. You can see nuff to know who folks are, but not like to put in contact lens or squeeze a pimple. Lars go - Let me get a good look at that gal..... Uther nudge her and she get up. She got clothes she grabbed from home, after she done all the killin'. Stuff she got for Easter... new jeans and like a smock top for dinner at Aunt Tootsie's house. Kids her age don't dress up no more. That just for babies.

Uther go - She the one. Been watchin'  since eighth grade examination. Doc brother a zombie. They still talk, so he know. Got 'the traits'.... ran blood tests... did scans. Mama go - Why you all doin' this to my baby? Ain't this jus' like a scoliosis check?... Doc go - We checkin' for 'sugar' and other crap too.... Mama go - So we can't go to Friendly's after?... Doc say - No, you can do that.... They run DNA test on the blood, but she ain't gotta know.

Fungus what cause this zombie thing usually stop baby-makin'..... Not the 'doin' but the 'havin.' Only this girl... this, Opal, I mean, got the marker in the blood. Mold make her zombie, but her baby-makin' parts still prime. She gone be a 'Big Mama' and that a very, very special thing. Only had like four or five a them... maybe two or three 'Big Daddies'. I talkin' 'bout this country an' up in Canada, naturally.

Opal little bit nervous. She don't know what they gone do to her, or who gone do it..... She go - I thirsty. You got any cherry soda?.... Zombies do alright with liquids.

Lars go - Shut up, girl. We gotta talk..... So she sit there, tryin' a read an old Archie comic in the dim, flickering light, but you can see she little bit scared...

This your favorite disembodied spirit narrator, the Cajun Gentleman known as Mister Never-You-Mind, signing off.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

THE ZOMBIE, OPAL, RETURNS TO HER HUMAN FAMILY ... 5/15/14

THIS IS GOING TO BE IN (loosely) SCRIPT STYLE...

Scene - Night, shabby, though definitely not chic, little house down by a woodsy, Bucks County creek.

Dark car dowses lights, approaches dwelling and stops. Anime looking Zombie-Girl, Opal, gets out. Car silently rolls away, as she walks toward door, puts key in lock and enters.

Int. Worn, drab, Lazy-boy festooned sitting room lit by Carson Daly show flickering out from flat-screen sitting on a broken, console, 60's 'furniture' television.

Grizzled, itinerant 'contractor' DAD snores and drools in one recliner. Rough-house, T-shirt wearing MOM stares at screen in the other.

Big DOG curls atop old Scooby-Doo quilt in the corner.

Door opens BOOM! Opal's home.

MOM - (gasps) OH GOD! JESUS CHRIST! JESUS CHRIST! (runs to OPAL) You're alive! You're alive! You're home! You're here!... (smothers her in kisses, but Opal shakes her off) Carl! Carl! Carl! Look! look! Look!

DAD snorts, awakens and just looks. DOG quietly gets up and slinks into another room.

MOM guides Opal to sofa, sits her down, sits next to her and smooths her hair.

MOM - (quietly) Where were you? What happened?What happened?

MOM hugs Opal. She inhales her mother's scent. We see the hunger grow. MOM showers her with kisses - My baby. My baby. My baby.

Opal puts her hands on her MOM'S cheeks, like she wants to kiss her back, but her eyes never change. The 'dead' hungry look never leaves.

And DAD watches as she leans in, bites through the facial bones on either side of MOM'S nose, excavating a huge hole right in the middle of her face. 

MOM gags. Blood pours from the shocking wound. 

A blood-soaked OPAL grins, exposing her gory teeth. 

DAD jumps up and yells - JESUS CHRIST! You're a F#CKING ZOMBIE WHORE!!!

CUT TO - EXT of house. We hear screams, crashes and mayhem, as the flesh tearing continues.

Then a rear door opens and the DOG accompanied by a little girl, silently runs out and disappears into the night.

A few heartbeats later the noise stops, but the light from the TV still flickers through the windows...

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

THE UBER ZOMBIE, UTHER aus ULM Takes Opal To Her Family's House & Tells Tales Of His Youth... 5/14/14

I tell tales of my youth. Some are false. Some are amalgamations. Some are true. And that's not just me. All 'fleisch essers' are like that. We live life close to the vest. It's better that way. Fit in. Nod to the neighbors. Say 'hello.' A bit like simplified, more visible vampires. I learned a trade. A shoemaker, I was. And as unusual beings tend to find each other, I traveled with two dwarfs. Picked them up in Calabria. Runaways from the Saracen ruler of Malta. Professional buffoons they were. 'Slapstick' comedians of a very high nature. You know, 'slapstick' originally meant - to slap with a stick, as in Punch and Judy shows. In old Schwarzwald fables many were slapped with axes. Bad children, disobedient serfs and the like had to be taught lessons. Sticks were an improvement. But I digress. Unusual creatures often do. 

The Great Hunger hit when I was already one hundred years old. The dwarfs and I were well set up in an Alpine town, a comfortable little place cleansed by brisk mountain breezes. We had a narrow, half timbered house wedged among others of its kind on a winding lane. Wrought iron, basket weave boxes, laden with moss and flowers hung from every window. Do you know how the custom of flower boxes came about? Towns used to stink. Gutters were sewers and sewers were toilets, rife with turds, piss and butcher shop throw-a-ways. Needless to say, access to swift flowing, easily diverted streams was a big thing.  Thriving floral displays provided masking fragrances too. Thus the flower boxes. What you call the Middle Ages were practical times. Everything and everyone served a purpose. The shoemaker and his elves, we were. Not zombies. They were never that, just cannibals and even that happened gradually. Famine hit in 1312. Crops failed. that was it. Food, even the most simple fare, became quite dear. The rich ate. The poor did not. Mauritanian (North Africa) grain smuggled in through Majorca, Genoa, Venice and such places, delivered under cover of darkness, in plain leather sacks meant life. Grandparents stopped eating so their loved ones might live. Farm animals went from barn to pot. House cats soon followed. Dogs, except for hunting and herding breeds, were vermin then, little better than wolves. Within weeks they slaughtered the Jews, a defenseless resource often at hand. Perhaps they had some coins, or grain brought in from brethren among the Mohammedans? It released the tension. At least it did that and silver chalices and devotional objects stolen from synagogues could be sold. Occasionally churches were looted too. What was a zombie, or even a cannibal, back then but one of the crowd? And isolated monks in remote granges, since they were often fat, tasted oh so very good. .... A 'chivalrous age?' Please don't make me laugh... Oh, another thing..... Hansel und Gretel legends started then. Parents took their littlest children for woodland hikes (perhaps with the last bits of sausage) and left them there. Useless eaters they were. Older offspring might earn something...... The middle ages were Purgatory on Earth. Vampires and zombies did a rush-in business.

And now on to another strange thing . I took Opal to her parent's house, a small, frame structure with a sloping porch and a dilapidated garage just over the line in Bucks County, not far from the Neshaminy Creek. Before I found her, she lived with an aunt in the city. That's where she met Sophia and Sybil, who now babble incoherently and have a paranormal call in podcast and eight hundred followers on Twitter. They don't go to school no more, but the kid at H&M, or whatever it's called, likes their show. He lets them boost halter tops and whore pants, so they're happy. Ellen wants them for her show too, but only if they wear tutus and dance around, 'cause that's traditional. You can get rich doing that.  School's for schmucks.

Now Opal was nervous. She wanted this. Media forgot all about her disappearance. It was getting warm out. Three year olds were falling down wells every day. Some were actually cute. You know how the TV girls always ask for pictures? One makes John Belushi Eyes, so you know they're gonna save her first. She'll probably be on Ellen too. Wonder if she fell in wearing a tutu? See, most little boys can't play that game.

I think Opal's gonna devour her family next time. She needs immunities only her 'own kind' can give her. Look, I don't think. I know, 'cause I'm the one that put the idea in her head. It's a  zombie 'thing' and can be quite a liberating experience. But I can't tell you about that now, 'cause it's 4AM here and OK TV's coming on.

Billy channels this, but I (Uther aus Ulm) dictate and I gotta relax too you know.... Ooh, they got Snoop Dogg!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rhys On 'The Americans' <~~ You HAVE to discover this subtle, insinuating, entertaining, though troubling production





I hate spies, especially everyone else's.

Here's the first video offering addictive tidbits and insights from FX's critically acclaimed examination of high level espionage in the final years of The Soviet Empire. Watch this. I'll put a few more videos up. Oh, writer Joel Fields is on Twitter too. Click the name. Go see.


Professionally bred spies are the REAL VAMPIRES, only they want to suck out everything.... Google FX's THE AMERICANS


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Monday, May 12, 2014

FAMILY TIE BETWEEN A NEW ZOMBIE and THEIR HUMAN FAMILY ... 5/12/14

Time passed. They moved around, sheltering in caves, abandoned factories and some rarely used out buildings at the zoo. Although they had to be careful to steer clear of any vampires lurking about. The Society Hill contingent, just beginning to recover from Tomas' passing, bunks with polar bears from time to time, but hibernation is over. so they won't be around for at least six or seven months. Few vampires frequent the facility during the warm months. Vampires sink into a somewhat depressive state when nights are short. They miss the dark. They hide and they wait. Tomas used to retreat to the deep tunnels under the subway. But he's dead, so we're no going to talk about him, OK?

Opal functioned fairly well. Still craved her family. Uther made her wait. Figured news coverage would die down in a few weeks. Humans move on. New mysteries enter their lives. What looked like a three year old boy was found living in deep, locked, dusty store rooms far down beneath some such museum or other. Philadelphia is an old, old place. Museums condense out of the ether. And the three year old boy survived on old, dried animal specimens from Venezuelan jungles.  Large, aquatic rodents were his favorites. And he had a vestigial tail too, like what a Springer Spaniel keeps after the docking. Press called him 'Zippy the Ferret Boy.' Can't stand light. They have him in Doctor Franklin's compound under the Navy Yard now. You should see him swim. Loves the dim, blue undulating pool where the sea-hag lives. Sea-hags are old mermaids. They try to keep a brassiere on her , but she rips it off and eats it. Gobbles it right down. That way they can't get it back. And she chortles like a maniac. They say that's normal for merfolk. Some agency took blood from the boy for DNA testing. He's human, a little different, but closer to us than say a bonobo, or chimp.  Sea-hag swims underneath and tickles him. He giggles and paddles away. She hand feeds him sardines. People from the tabloids come around. Guys from The Bureau shoo them off. Doesn't stop them. Write their own stories and print computer generated images.

She had to feed though. Opal, I mean. Uther didn't want to hunt. Didn't want to risk being spotted. Security cameras are everywhere. But they have these suppliers... fresh victim... no questions asked. Uther saves jewelry from his victims. Most of his stash is in Europe. But he's got some here too in safe deposit boxes and all. Gave a guy a few real nice pinky rings, star sapphires, miners' cut diamonds. Bought a big, drunk, homeless guy from behind The Wanamaker Building. Gets free Texas Tommies from a little, greasy lunch place. That's how he keeps his weight up. Took him to the zoo in a taxi one night. I don't know what the cabbie thought. Maybe he got a ring too? Uther knows this little tunnel in the woods. Whole place is surrounded by woods. Fairmount Park has eight thousand acres. You could hide Noah's Arc in there. Strange dead things turn up all the time. Groundsmen go - What the hell is this?... But they take care of it. Eighteen hundreds were even worse. Like a butcher shop it was. Gangs dumped 'meat' there all the time. Death was like 'in style' back then...  Guy tried to run away a couple times, but Uther had this thing he did. Pinched his neck a certain way. Not like Spock, but ... well, it was a little bit like Spock. Drunk starts twitching. Legs give out. Cries... begs.... Goes - Jesus Christ! What are you gonna do to me!? What are you gonna do to me!? By then they had him dragged through the tunnel, to a pitch black place behind a picnic grove. The wolves saw, but they knew better than to make noise when other predators feed.  They just stand, pant and lick their chops.

Opal went into a frenzy. It's reflexive. It's instinctive. Zombies do it all the time. Uther held him from behind, one arm over his chest, one hand clamped over his mouth. She ripped his clothes off like a buzz saw. Drunk guy kicked. Uther squeezed his neck til he went slack. When they got a body staked out, when they can eat at their leisure, fleisch essers, as Uther aus Ulm calls them, start at the extremities and work in. That way the heart pumps longer. Prolongs the fresh taste. But this wasn't like that. She was hungry and Uther wanted to be done with it. The belly! The belly! - he hissed.... So she tore into the liver, all hot and steaming. Wolves got a little agitated when she did that. Whined and all. They're always hungry. They wanted some. That was natural. Uther stopped her, when she went for the entrails.... Not the guts! Not the guts! - he said. You don't want the stink. Leave 'em!..... She looked up, her mouth and chin gleamed with dark red, viscous liver blood. Then she focused on the pancreas (all yellow and bitter) and tucked in. He made her eat a lot of the subcutaneous fat to prevent her own decomposition. Little by little she learned. When the torso was stripped bare (a backward meal) he looked at the twisted, stricken face, pulled her off and heaved it over the fence. The wolves made short work of the rest. Let the keepers worry about it...

Soon he'd take her home.

When some large barn spiders give birth, the mother just sits there, deep in the shadows, surrendering her body to an army of tiny fangs. She nourishes them with her own flesh. New zombies seek a similar meal. The genetic match of the tissue serves them well... like immunities drawn from mother's milk. Except this is just a one time thing.

And Opal misses her lot real bad...

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