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Zombies Are People Too This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I'm the biggest scaredy-cat you will ever meet. So why was I watching “Shaun of the Dead”? I was getting into the Halloween spirit.

Everything terrifies me; I'm that teenager who's still scared of “The Wizard of Oz.” But recently when I was searching Netflix for something to watch, I came across “Shaun of the Dead.” I heard it was a funny movie, and who doesn't love ­Simon Pegg, so why not give it a shot? I sat down on the couch with a cup of green tea and air-popped popcorn (I'm trying to be healthier) and turned on the movie.

It began with a zombie epidemic starting, and the lead character, Shaun, drunkenly unaware of what was going on around him. As the plot picked up and more people fell victim to the zombies, I became more aware of the fact that I was home alone, and that the baseball bat was in the garage – a place I dared not go at night.

It's not that the movie was particularly scary – it was more stupid-funny scary than gory-creepy scary. Nonetheless, it gave me the feeling that a zombie apocalypse could be happening right now without me realizing it.

When the movie ended, I took extra precautions before I went to bed. I grabbed the badminton racket that I kept in my closet and brought it to bed with me, and I left all the lights on downstairs. I figured that when my parents got home, I'd be asleep, and they'd turn out the lights for me.

As I crawled into bed, about to rest my head on the pillow, I had a thought. Who were all those zombies? This was an extremely random thought, but it began to bother me. What jobs did they have before? How old were they? How did they get bitten or scratched? What were they doing before they were infected? How many people did they kill? All of these questions led me to a very stupid realization: all zombies were people once, and you can't help but feel sympathy for them.

In the movie, there was a zombie wearing a ripped-up purple dress. Was she on a date when she was infected? Was she married? Maybe she was cheating on her husband and karma came and bit her in the butt by turning her into a zombie. The poor child zombie wandering around in the movie was pretty heartbreaking as well. She even kept her teddy bear with her, though she also ripped its head off and began eating the stuffing. It made me wonder how old she was. Was she at school when zombies started taking over? Would she continue to grow older as a zombie or would she stay a seven-year-old for the rest of her immortal zombie life? Imagine being seven forever … On the bright side, you'd have that youthful face for eternity, even if there were maggots coming out of your eye sockets.

No one thinks about these things. Zombies may be scary and may try to eat you, but they were once people too. They were once just like you – only they were the unlucky ones who happened to get bitten. Or maybe their lifelong dream was to be a zombie. Who knows? Rather than being scared of zombies, maybe we should feel bad for them. They didn't choose to be zombies; they couldn't help it.

When the zombie apocalypse starts, we should all keep in mind that, rather than fearing zombies, we should feel bad for them. And we should keep that sympathy in the back of our minds as we take axes to their heads in an effort to protect humankind.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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MarieEstherThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm
Simple, yet astoundingly compassionate and perceptive! Great job.
 
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