Just lately I have been working my way through Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead graphic novels, and I mean they really are graphic! Lots of blood, guts, gore, zombies and the merciless slaying of key characters. It’s all hugely enjoyable (I often wonder if I need help) and, despite all the graphic images, it is currently my staple bed-time diet before sweet dreams.
But, enter one little factual book titled Zombies, A Field Guide to the Walking Dead by Dr Bob Curran and my bed time equilibrium has definitely been disturbed. I barely read the first chapter last night when I felt that creeping feeling in the pit of my stomach that developed into a metallic prickling chill that ran up my spine to the back of my neck and down through my arms. I love that feeling, but I hate that feeling! I almost (but not quite) needed to sleep with the light on, however I retrieved my cat Tenshi from the lounge and placed her on my bed for security instead! It was just a few paragraphs really, a story related by an Irishman about an event in his childhood, but it did the trick.
Quote: "As a boy, almost 80 years prior, he remembered his grandfather, who had been dead for less than a year, coming back to the house to sit at the fire and enjoy a pipe of tobacco, just as he had done in life. This had occurred at Halloween, when the dead were traditionally expected to return".
The old man further related that although his grandfather didn't (or couldn't) speak, he ate heartily with the family, and he remembered that he climbed onto the cadaver's knee and that the skin felt 'very cold'. The cadaver was left to enjoy his pipe whilst the family went to bed and in the morning he had 'gone back to the tomb'.
Zombies, A Field Guide to the Walking Dead explores the origins of the zombie myth/legend/lore, whatever you like to call it, through the ages from Babylonian times to modern day
and whilst I don’t believe the Irishman’s tale (or perhaps I am afraid to), it
certainly gave me that thrill which I have been searching for. Haiti
So, bring it on!