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Reanimated This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

You don’t realize how hard it is to talk with a gun in your mouth until you’ve actually been in that situation. But it would be nice if I could talk to begin with, seeing how being a member of the undead you can only moan. Those would be my last thoughts, if I a.) had any last thoughts or b.) could actually think of witty things off the top of my head, instead of hours after the opportune chance.

If you really wanted to, I suppose you could call me a zombie, but that’d be rude. You’d just piss me off, then I’d be at your house at night tapping on your bedroom window and incessantly moaning so you wouldn’t be able to sleep. What I really am is an “undead,” a “walking dead,” and my favorite, a “reanimated human corpse.” Whichever you prefer.

I honestly don’t know why I have a gun being shoved down my throat. I just stare at the owner of this piece of metal, wondering what he is doing, because I can’t exactly be killed twice. Not with a gun, anyway. But he doesn’t know this. I feel the gun shift as he switches hands from right to left, rubbing the sweat on the leg of his jeans. I recognize that quirk, though I haven’t seen it for years. Alex? I think, wondering that if it really is him, why doesn’t he recognize me? My question is answered almost immediately as a flake of dry skin peels off and flutters to the floor. Oh, that’s right. I always forget my outer appearance is drastically different from my high school self he probably knows. Flaky skin aside, I haven’t changed much in ten years.

Besides the whole, you know, I died then came back to life. But on the inside I swear I’m the same girl who used to like to read and listen to my music during class because I found it boring. Except listening to music in class, I listen to it twenty four/seven because it drones out the sound of the world and all the people carrying on with their lives. Only when they look at me do they get startled, then they avoid me like I’m trash on the side of the street or a homeless man sleeping on a park bench. Mothers shield their children, or turn around and walk in the other direction. Often middle-aged men in business suits come up to me and give me a business card with a highly regarded dermatologists’ number and address. They may think they’re helping, but it’s just insulting. So what my skin doesn’t heal? What’s that got to do with them?

“What are you?” Alex asks, shoving the gun further down my throat, something that would have made me gag if I were still human. I stare him down, trying to communicate who I am. I’m Sam, your best friend since fourth grade. I’ve been to your house so much I don’t even have to knock; I just open the door and scream “honey, I’m home!” I’ve stayed over and read all of your Action Comics until we passed out at four in the morning. We had wasted packs after packs of sticky notes having moot arguments during class! I stop, thinking that I’m starting to sound like a hysteric girlfriend who’s trying to convince her ex to get back together. He shoves the gun further down my throat. “Who. Are. You?” I revert to sarcasm. Seriously, how do you expect me to answer, you’re the one shoving the gun down my throat.



I’ve learned there are two things you should never do when you’ve come back from the dead. First, never go back and find your old family and friends. It’s hard enough on them knowing they’ll never see you again, and they’re mourning and trying to accept that. When they see you up and walking, they’ll think they’re going crazy. They’ll get hysteric, and hurt themselves. Friends go down the same path if they see you up and walking like you never got hit by a car going seventy miles per hour. It’s best just to stay away from your old life.

Second, never tell anyone you meet that you’ve been brought back from the dead, through any means. Basically, don’t communicate. Stay hidden in the shadows, or just don’t go into crowded areas. Chalk all of your aesthetic problems to dry skin and being albino. It works best.

I’ve been dead for ten years. In that time, I’ve been traveling everywhere in America I thought would be infested with alive agains. No such luck. If you’re wondering how I got across country, I get across like most other Americans. By driving. I’ve been a walking dead for ten years, not jobless. Though, it did help that I had a car and a bank account before I died. I was nineteen, a freshman in college. I was studying to become a special effects make-up artist; and was good at it too.

Anyway, I haven’t found anyone like me, but I’ve had a theory about how I came back- my roommate (the one I didn’t talk to unless absolutely necessary- she was kind of weird) was obsessed with all things supernatural, specializing in voodoo and necromancy. My guess was that by the time I was about to cross the bridge, she was practicing her “magic,” unaware that the spell she was using really worked. Why it got me, I have no idea.

I bang against the side of the trunk, snapped out of my reverie, remembering what’s happening. Someone, I’ll later find out is Alex, found (out) about me and took it upon himself to kidnap me and discover the truth about me. He tied me up and threw me in the trunk. I vaguely wonder if my bones are intact. All that movie lore about limbs falling off at any second. I hope they’re stronger than that- I’ve always been too afraid to test it. Really I’ve been afraid that I won’t be able to go to a hospital, and therefore walk around with a nub the rest of my life. However long that will be.

I reside to staring at the roof, though it’s not much different from the rest of the darkness. It doesn’t last long (in fact I’m not even finished with my thought) when the car stops moving and I hear a door open and slam. I see the dusk sky above me, and then a gun. The. Gun. He looks at me, his expression uncomfortable, as if looking at me for any longer will make him physically ill. He tells me to get out, but his voice wavers. He’s not confident, he’s scared beyond belief. I muster up as much incredulity as possible in my face- he’s bound me at the ankles and my hands behind my back. It reminds me of the times we played “Interrogation” as little kids. One of us would sit in a chair, holding a bed sheet around our torsos while the other shone a flashlight in our face, asking ridiculous questions. We solved a lot of crimes. I always thought we would be good investigators.

After he opens his eyes and sees that I need help, he gingerly helps me out, avoiding my exposed skin at all costs. Jeez, it’s not any different from your skin, just flaky and yeah, I guess it is pretty disgusting. He leads me to an old and abandoned warehouse, using the cold gun against my back as a guide. So cliché. He never was original in this manner, being an old-time movie junkie. He brought me to an abandoned room on an abandoned floor in the rickety abandoned warehouse. I wasn’t paying attention to the exact room and floor number. He sat me down. He brought the gun out again.

And I guess this is where you came in, and now the stories caught up with us, and you know the rest. He’s still wondering who and what I am, and I’m still not answering. I wish I could play charades with him or something. He’s losing his patience, and is getting a sheen of sweat on his forehead. I guess his hand is still getting sweaty, because he slips and loses his grip on the gun, and in his haste to grab it also grabs the trigger.

…Ow.

I hear the explosion later. I feel the pain- sharp and white. If I could bleed, I’d feel the blood dripping down my neck. I’m only guessing this- my imagination tends to run wild when I want to distract myself. When my vision comes back, I see Alex looking in disbelief, either in that fact that I’m alive or that fact that he actually shot the gun I can’t tell.

He drops the gun, turning to run while hastily mumbling “I was only in this for the money. This wasn’t supposed to happen!”

And leaves me.

Sitting there.

In the old abandoned room.

On the old abandoned floor.

In the old abandoned (and cliché) warehouse.


I fall asleep and wake up. I don’t know how long. I don’t know how long I’m trapped there, but I get in such a mindset that I’m thinking about eating brains. Mmm, brains.

Just when I start to think that I should have a Wilson to keep me company, (zombies watch movies, too) I see a shadow, and am grateful for the company. Until I realize who it is. She’s changed a lot; her wardrobe isn’t as dark and gothic, though her hair is still the same Edward Scissorhands-esque style.

“So, this is where my little science experiment went to. My dear Sam, how have you been? I must say, it’s been tricky trying to catch you.”

Karin, your voice is just as greasy as ever. Is what I’d say to her. I look at her indignantly. She laughs, a cackle that is so forceful she has to throw her head back.

“Wondering where I’ve been? Well, I’ve been doing two things. I’ve been chasing you, as you know. Tracked your friend, old what’s his name, Alex down and got him to capture you for me. Of course, he didn’t believe me until I offered him a small fortune to get you. Poor thing was so distraught over your passing that he was desperate for anything that would remind him of you. And when he brought you here, the only thing I had to do was see it for my own eyes. Quite a shock I had, you must see, when I found out he followed through with it. But I don’t quite understand how you acquired your-ah-battle wound.” I swear she would have done air quotes. “It looks like he tried to kill you, am I wrong? Oh yes, that’s right, you can’t talk. I quite enjoyed that part myself. That was my own little spin. Little did I know it would work. So, now I’ve found you, now I’ve found you. The other thing I practically devoted half my life to is finding out a way to kill you. Oh yes, there is all that Hollywood lore about your kind-” She made her voice extra greasy for those words. “-and lo and behold, some of it is true! But, just to be extra sure…”

At this point Karin is holding a barbeque lighter in one hand, and a soaking wet rag in the other. She walks over to me and wrings the cloth out on me. I take this as step numero uno in her plan. The liquid is clear and smells like gasoline. Step numero dos, she lights the rag and tosses it aside, and I see that she was heavy handed in the gasoline. Practically the whole floor is ablaze with orange crackling flame. Then she takes out a gun, and a big-girl gun, I notice.

“You are appreciating my artillery, yes? This here is a sniper rifle, and I’m going to snipe your head off. And, when I’m done with that, you’re going to die like you were supposed to, ten years ago.” She cocks her head to the side, in thought. “Ironic, isn’t it? That the girl who hated your guts brought you back from the cusp of death, and is going to kill you once and for all?” She pulls the gun up, really struggling with the weight. I don’t even know where she was hiding that. She takes her time aim, and the room is quickly filling up with smoke. She doesn’t seem to notice, or if she does she doesn’t care. Now, I can think of my last words.

Nothing but death.



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