Today, we have a guest post by Stant Litore, author of Strangers in the Land.
So, zombie apocalypse. You’re ready?
I keep a Templar sword by the bed. Just in case. Actually scared to
death of the hungry dead. On one of our first dates, my future wife and
I rented Dawn of the Dead and about five minutes in, I quietly got to my
feet, tiptoed out, and retrieved my wood-ax from the shed. Set it right
against my armchair. Felt much better through the whole movie after
that. The fact that Jessica was more amused than alarmed by this likely
is one reason she and I now wear wedding rings.
Actually though, you have to understand that it’s not just one big
outbreak we have to watch for. Zombies have been here all along,
devouring our history from the inside. In every generation, there has
been a plague somewhere. That’s what The Zombie Bible is about –
how generations of our ancestors wrestled with the restless dead. How
they fought for survival and for sanity in the centuries before electricity
or guns or the CDC. Moviemakers like to freak me out with warnings of
an imminent global collapse and a world rendered wasteland inhabited
only by the dead gnawing on the last bones. But in fact tomorrow or the
day after may only be the latest chapter in a long and grisly story.
I’ve been collecting these tales for a while. I have a place up in
Colorado where there are few trees and you can see the dead coming
from a long way off. I write each evening to scholars and archaeologists
who can piece together bits of our half-eaten and half-forgotten
memory. If you stop by or take a look in one of my books, I’ll tell you
a few tales. How the prophet Jeremiah was left in a dry well three
days with the dead tossed in after him. How Polycarp the martyr used
to bring rest to dozens of the dead with a touch of his hand and his
soul-searching eyes. How in the twelfth century BC Devora, an aging
prophetess, led a tribal people against great herds of dead, her blade
uplifted above her like a slice of moon against the night sky.
These are tales that will fascinate you and they are tales that will break
the heart. Because whether today or three thousand years ago, one’s
dead are never faced without terrible cost. Our ancestors understood
that better than we, and we can learn from their stories.
This is a guest post by Stant Litore, author of Strangers in the Land (47North), a new entry in The Zombie Bible.