Tuesday, 30 September 2014
We couldn’t handle Archie staring back at us with accusing eyes, and he stank, so I covered him up with a duvet. A pink one with polka dots, which is the only spare one we have.
Scott spotted what he called the girly duvet and screwed up his face. “He’s my mate. We need to show him some respect.”
I’m irritated his pal has bled all over the new rug, yet I’m the one getting all the aggro for using a pink duvet.
Instead of coming up with an alternative to cover up his friend, Scott stood there with a stern expression on his face and shook his head. “It’s just no right.” Then his eyes grew wide and staring as he gawped at the duvet. “I think it moved.”
I snorted and shook my head. “How can it have moved? He’s deid. His stomach’s on our carpet.”
Just because Scott didn’t consider the duvet manly enough for his pal, didn’t give him the right to try to freak me out. But I looked down anyway.
At first, I didn’t see any movement, but I carried on watching. Then Archie’s feet started moving, making a tapping motion as if dancing in time to music. Before I’d seen it for myself, I thought that what happened to all those others on TV was not the same as what happened to Archie, because making that connection would open a whole Pandora’s Box of trouble.
Denial is after all a way of shielding myself from the truth. But eventually realisation dawns, especially when Archie started doing a tap dance on my living room floor. “Fuck, he’s no deid.”
While he’s doing this I realised there’s one last thing we can do for him: cave in his head.
Scott gives me his teacher-doesn’t-approve stare. “Wish you wouldn’t swear, Emma. It makes you ugly.”
As if my swearing was our biggest problem right now.
I wanted to give him an earful for chastising me like I was one of his pupils, but I’m too busy watching as dead Archie takes a hacking breath and tries to get up.
I don’t say anything. I couldn’t breathe. I simply held out my finger and pointed as if auditioning for the National Lottery’s It Could Be You ad. But this was one lottery I sure as hell didn’t want to win.
Archie flung the duvet asunder. His ash-grey face was set in a grimace that reminded me of a Mayan death mask. He looked like hell, which was no surprise considering his innards were spread out all over our carpet. But it’s his eyes that were the real giveaway that Archie wasn’t Archie anymore. He had the bluest eyes I’d ever seen, but now those eyes were gone, replaced by dead orbs, as black as coal. They lacked that spark of humanity and self-awareness, whatever it is that makes us human.
Something clicked in that brain of his. He stared at us like a starving dog eyeing someone's dinner. His mouth dropped open and rancid black sludge spilled out. Then he howled.
I thought I was going to puke.
He grabbed for my arm, his blackened teeth as sharp as knives snapping at me. I managed to sidestep his reach.
A scream shrieked out of my throat before I could stop it.
HOW TO KILL A ZOMBIE
The thing about being confronted by zombies is that we all think we’ll know what to do. We’ve all seen the movies, watched the TV shows. To kill a zombie you need to splatter the brains all over the shop with a gun. But the reality is different for those of us living in
where we don’t have guns in our wardrobes or locked in a box, because we don’t keep guns, period. That makes killing the zombies damn difficult. Scotland
My boyfriend is useless as a handyman, so there’s no toolkit in our third floor tenement flat. We have no hammers, chisels, or drills to destroy the brain of the zombie who used to be my boyfriend’s best pal.
Okay, this so-called pal drives me mental, like the time he got Scott, who’s not a big drinker, steamboats one night and dragged him along to a lap dancing bar where he ended up slipping crisp twenties into Monique or Cindi’s g-string. (I know this because he kindly recorded footage on Scott’s mobile phone.) I’m still pissed about that, but I don’t hate him to the extent that I want to cave his head in.
So when the thing that used to be Archie, struggles to its feet and lumbers towards us, arms outstretched, as if pretending to be rent-a-ghost, I snatch the first thing I can get my mitts on, an iron I’d forgotten to turn off, and I scud him across the head with it.
There’s an almighty hiss as it scorches his flesh, accompanied by the smell of burnt barbecue. The iron trundles onto the floor where it lies, scorching the carpet. I can’t believe what I’ve just done, and my hand goes limp.
Archie’s makes a throaty noise and lurches towards me. That's when Scott gets busy, bludgeoning his best mate over the head with an ugly, heavy lamp his parents had bought us as a housewarming present.
Globs of sticky brain matter splatter the wall as though someone dumped mince in a blender without the lid on and switched it to turbo, but Scott still keeps whacking dead Archie, because dead Archie keeps coming at me.
My back's to the wall. Will he not die, again?
The Restless Dead is available on Kindle and in Paperback
Monday, 22 September 2014
By popular demand, zombie novel The Restless Dead is now out in paperback with an alternative ending and some bonus material. And a brand new cover.
You can check it out at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
Thanks so much to everyone who has already bought the book as an ebook and who asked me to bring out a paperback version.
Let's defeat the zombie hordes together:)
Friday, 19 September 2014
Dear Mr Salmond,
As I write this, I'm heartbroken as you no doubt are. As a coal miner's granddaughter, I saw at first hand how the Tories ripped the heart of Scotland. Our country has never recovered from the scars they inflicted upon it and Labour have betrayed working class people like myself by not undoing any of the damage the Tories inflicted upon our country.
I firmly believe that the vote would have been yes for independence, if I hadn't been for the fear the Better Together campaign engendered, together with Westminster.
I think we both know that.
However, that's not the reason I write to you. The reason I do is that I want to thank you for your commendable campaign that concentrated on the positives and never stooped to bullying or bluster. You and your team can be very proud of the way you conducted yourselves and made the whole country invigorated by politics.
Most people in my age group of 20-40 voted yes and it us who will hold the balance of power in the future. I firmly believe we can rise and will rise to be a nation again.
|The police beating up a cool miner during the Thatcher era.|
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
You're in the bathroom late at night when you hear a noise coming from outside the door, and there's this tiny part of you, the product of centuries of genetic programming designed to make you fight or flee, that thinks there's someone inside your house.
Somebody waiting for you outside that door.
Panic sucks the air out of your lungs.
Your dread of what's outside that door places an icy hand on your shoulder.
All kinds of scary thoughts are going through your mind. Different permutations of what's outside the door.
Has someone broken in and they're going through your stuff?
Is someone there determined to do you harm as they have in the past?
There's this tiny voice inside your head telling you not to be so silly. You're imagining things. After what happened before that's understandable, but you can't let fear rule your life. Be the boss of you.
When you open that door, you'll feel ridiculous when you see that nobody's there.
There is no bogeyman waiting.
You open the bathroom door, confidently to prove you don't care; that you've mastered your irrational fear. Not tentatively like you want to, so you can turn on your heels and slam the door shut. Just an inch so you can get a peek at what's out there.
In a few seconds, you're going to be laughing about this. To feel a fool.
With your heart beating in your ears, the door swings open and right away, you see that you were right to be worried.
Both chairs are upturned in the living room and the TVs been pulled out of its brackets. Your boyfriend's nowhere to be seen.
You go into the kitchen and there's a knife on the floor and a pool of blood. You're trying to take all this in as your heart thumps against your breastbone on stereo.
That's when the police turn up, threatening to break down the door if you don't open up.
Surveying the scene you know that they're gonna think you killed him...
My name is Nancy Kerr and I'm not a murderer. Since my parents were murdered I've come close a few times, but I've never done the deed.
I did tattoo the world RAPIST across the stomach of one of my parents' killers. But to me that was justified, righteous revenge because when I walked in on those monsters who’d killed my parents, they raped me and left me bleeding to death on the kitchen floor of my childhood home. What happened caused me to have a breakdown and I ended up in a psychiatric hospital where I was in the land of the zombies for fourteen months. I have no memory of most of what happened there.
But, hey, that's another story.
Accused of my boyfriend Tommy's murder, I need to prove my innocence. It won't be easy. Confronted by the same scene as the police, I would think I was guilty too. And, Tommy's still missing, presumed dead and murdered by me.
The clock's ticking.
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