Tag Archives: zombies

Zombies vs. Bunnies

“Dream,” to me, does not have positive connotations. It does not have negative ones, either.

It is a neutral term.

I remember happy dreams from childhood, but since then even the dreams I enjoy are not really “good” dreams. I have had a few lucid dreams, always fun, but even they have deep shadows.

The dream I enjoyed most in the past decade involved a water-park and a hideous plague that turned its victims invisible as it killed them so that people were playing in water among corpses they couldn’t see.

You may wonder how I enjoyed such a dream. I didn’t enjoy all of it, obviously, but the overall experience was good due to some extenuating circumstances.

1. most of my nightmares, and some of my dreams, involve zombies. At least the invisible corpses didn’t get back up.

2. I am sure you have experienced dreams in which things that ought to have bothered you didn’t. I was once fine with being coated in spiders in a dream. I only freaked out when I woke up.

3. Instead of being a helpless victim, I had an objective Being active makes a big difference in fear.

4. In the dream I was a big, glowing dog who could run across water. I highly recommend being a quadruped in one’s dreams, especially a glowing one.

So I have dreams that I enjoy, and dreams that only perplex me, but none of them are truly positive.

Then, of course, there are the nightmares. I have already mentioned the zombie problem. That started before I really knew what zombies were. I was a child dreaming that I was in my back yard. My beloved dog looked at me, and she wasn’t behind her own eyes. Imagine a moment where you realize that your pet has died and been replaced by something malevolent that keeps her body moving.

From there, the zombie dreams have only gotten worse. The most distressing involved my brother and I trapped in a zombie-filled library. It ended with him becoming an undead and chasing me up an elevator shaft, but the worst part was my fear, throughout, that something would happen to him and then my utter horror when it did. Brotherbeast, if you are reading this, you had better not get bit on z-day.

Why all this morbid musing? Well, I am trying to process my completely un-morbid dream of last night.

It involved bunnies.

Baby bunnies.

For some reason I had three young rabbits in my care, each about the size of my fist. One was cotton-tail colored, another was spotted black and white and the third was albino. They were ludicrously cute.

They had not been handled much, or had been handled too roughly, for they were afraid of people. I was preparing food for them when someone (there were several non-identified persons in the room, as there often are in dreams) picked up the wee albino. The bunny escaped and proceeded to run around the room. Everyone tried to catch it, but I crouched down and waited patiently. I was aware, even in the dream, of being far more patient and much less panicky than I would normally be under such a circumstance. Several times the creature ran past me and I failed to catch it, but I waited. Then it came close enough and I got it.

I held it firmly but carefully to me, stroked it, and put it back in its box with the other two. Then I fed them. Somehow I was confident that I would be able to win their trust in time.

Then my cats woke me, wanting to be fed. It wasn’t until I woke up fully that I was struck by the unusual nature of this dream. There were no zombies, no plagues, no horrific injuries or deaths. Even the “threat” in the dream was mild. The bunnies didn’t bite me (I have been bitten by a hare before. I can’t recommend it). I might as well have been dreaming about unicorns and rainbows.

Baby rabbits, little balls of warm, soft, vitality.

For the first time in at least two decades, I had a truly good dream.


Ann Voskamp Quote

At the suggestion of friends I have started reading One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. I find her style rather purple, yet emotionally resonant. By the beginning of chapter 2, this much is clear to me: This woman understands pain and knows death in many of its forms. I will share the quote that, this morning, resonated with me as something I have long known and am yet trying to understand.

It’s the in between that drives us mad.

It’s the life in between, the days of walking lifeless, the years calloused and simply going through the hollow motions, the self-protecting by self-distracting, the body never waking, that’s lost all capacity to fully feel – this is the life in between that makes us the wild walking dead.

well I have to deal with my fear of zombies somehow…

This is just a character sketch. It is not part of any work in progress, nor anything larger I am planning on writing at present. This piece has been around for at least four years, though it has been revised a few times since then. I thought I would share, as I like it.

For those who like to know, there is a little cussing in this piece.


This image belongs Maryrose Roque on Stockvault.net

Alex lit a cigarette. The motion was almost subconscious now; almost, but not quite.  Once, smoking was just another bad habit. Now?  A cigarette was a reminder to keep breathing. He flicked a little ash into the red-glass tray on his table. Not even breathing was subconscious anymore.

“You do find the darkest corners, don’t you.”

Glancing up, he saw Geoffrey walking over to him.  The man was profoundly nondescript; nothing flashy, nothing memorable.  Rather than answer the rhetorical question, Alex mused on how much effort he must put into being invisible.

Geoffrey took a long look at him, then turned to the bar. When he came to the table again he was holding a couple of shot glasses and a clear bottle.  Without asking, he sat down and poured.  He added something extra to the drink he set by Alex, who decided that ignorance was bliss.

“I thought no drinking was allowed,” said Alex, taking another pull at his cigarette.  He wondered if secondhand smoke from his lungs would be better or worse for a bystander than smoke from the lungs of the living.

“You can have this one.  In fact, consider it coroner’s orders.”

Alex decided to smile a bit at that.  Smiling had become completely conscious, too.  At least that made keeping a deadpan effortless.  He took the drink and downed it.  There was no taste, but possibly burn.  That was something he had yet to figure out: how to process taste and touch.  Nerves spoke, but how did one understand them?

Geoffrey downed his own drink and winced. “Yick.”

Alex flicked more ash into the tray.  Now that there was someone to talk to, there was less need for a reminder to breathe.

“Am I needed for something?”

“Nah. I just got off work and sensed you were nearby.  Thought I’d check on you.”

Alex snorted softly. “‘Disturbance in the force?’”

“You’re a nerd under all that black-ops, aren’t you?” Geoffrey grinned.

“It’s hard to hide if you’re not versed in the culture.”


Geoffrey reminded Alex of someone, but he could not remember who. “Look… I am grateful that you keep me in one piece, but if you join forces with Lucy in trying to make my… almost-life miserable, I will have to kill you.”

“Don’t say that. I’m not teaming up with Lucy.  I’m your friend, remember?  Whether you want one or not?”

“So you’ve said.”  Alex put out the cigarette.

“And unlike some, I mean what I say.”

“That’ll get you killed.”

“It hasn’t yet.”

Alex shrugged.

“So… are you planning to come home tonight or are you going to wander around again?  You know… if you keep doing this, someone around here is going to notice that you don’t sleep.”

“That will take a while.  They all sleep… and they all assume that I sleep when they’re asleep.”

“Not forever they won’t.  You at least need to make an effort and pretend.”

Geoffrey was right, as he was irritatingly often.  ‘Sleeping’ was miserable, though.  Staying in one place, doing nothing, feeling nothing.  It was like being a thought floating in space, completely alone.  Alex once believed he understood being alone.  He thought he had been alone for most of his life.  He had been wrong. Geoffrey was watching him. Alex snarled softly. “What?”

“Well… I can keep your body in one piece, but I can’t do a thing about your mind, and it’s that that has me worried.”

“Then why haven’t you tried sending me to a shrink?”

“You mean apart from the fact that you’d shoot me? Can’t say I know a shrink who could help you with this. Might be worth a try if you want one, though.”

“I don’t.”

“Shocking.”  Geoffrey looked at the bottle again, then sighed, poured himself another, and downed it. The face he pulled was comical. “Ughhh.”

“If you don’t like it, don’t drink it.”

“Good advice, that.”

“You’re stupid, for a Jap.”

“You’re racist, for a corpse.”

A soft chuckle sounded in Alex’s throat. His instincts whispered not to get attached. Geoffrey was unlikely to last long.  Why he had been assigned to the team was still something of a mystery. It couldn’t have been simply to keep him in one piece; that would be a waste of personnel.

“So, are you going to come home or do I send Lucy out to chase you back?”

“Do and I’ll shoot him.”

“Go right ahead.  He says it stings.  I bet he’d pout at you.”

“Fucking soup-monster.”

“Speciesist, too. Still, come back and I’ll keep him away from you.”

“’Home’ gives me the creeps.”

“Says the living dead. …why does…”

“People, normal people, are scary enough.” Alex toyed with the snuffed cigarette. “I’ve dealt with that kind of scary for a long time.  Freaks like the ones you work with though?  That adds a whole new dimension to scary.  I add a whole new dimension to scary.“

“If anyone should be freaked out it’s me,” replied Geoffrey, shrugging.

“It’s not as if you’re defenseless.”

“I might as well be.  Please, just… come back.  What do you have to lose?”

“Anything that’s left of my sanity.”  Alex considered for a moment, then nodded. “…Point well made.  I’ll come back.”

Geoffrey puffed out his cheeks in relief. “Good.  I was afraid I was going to have to tell our boss bad news on her first day. From what I’ve heard of her, that would not be a safe thing to do.”

“You drew the short straw, huh?”

“More like the ‘too polite’ straw. The consensus was that I would be the least likely to piss her off.”

“It’s a good test. If she will tear pieces out of you, then she really is heartless.”

“Thanks for the reassurance.”

“You’re welcome.”

Geoffrey stood up and straightened his blazer “Take the bottle back with you, but don’t drink the rest.”

“Coroner’s orders.”


“Goodnight,” sighed Alex, lighting another cigarette.

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