Author Topic: A zombie fairytale  (Read 354 times)

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A zombie fairytale
« on: Nov 16, 2016, 02:13:37 PM »
For a creative writing group I attend we were given an option to write a fairy-tale including the words marmalade, spatula and jalopy into the story. This is what I came up with. It's just a bit of fun.... :D or meant to be....

Once upon a dark night, a zombie walked alone, longing for firelight or any light. It had been a while, this night, one long while. She knew she was ugly, rank as rotting flesh, but she had longings like anyone else. Was she an anyone though?
   Cast out. ‘Get out.....aaagh. Never set a rotten foot inside this door again.’
   It was a lie, not all zombies ate flesh. In fact it was a certain film from a certain era that spread that fiction.
   Once upon a time she had marmalade hair or was that some dream she had taken from a forgotten fairy-tale. To dream, to dream – was that a line of a poem --- she curled into the ditch, tossed a blanket of leaves over herself – soon winter, better not to think of that – perhaps bark of tree could help, it would burn if she had a light.
   She prayed for a miracle, she ached for release. Before her appeared a cloud, silver-white against the blackness of the night. In it the face of the moon. To her astonishment the mouth moved, formed shapes – words like bats in the night, winged and alive, flitted before her eyes.
   ‘Miracle.’
   ‘Choice.’
   ‘Cliche.’
   Three wishes.’
   ‘Condition.’
   A hand reached out from the cloud, holding a spatula, and flipped the words like eggs to fry.
   ‘I have one wish,’ cried the zombie without thought.
   The hand withdrew back into the cloud, the cloud expanded, forming a mist about her, the mist reaching out and out until a road came towards her and the distant sound of a thrumming engine.
   ‘A jalopy,’ said the moon face with a chuckle, ‘What kind of prince drives a jalopy, you might ask?’
   ‘Prince...you bring me a prince?’ Her fingers flew to her face, displacing a fleck of rotting flesh which twirled earthward in the mist like a blackening leaf. She gazed forlornly after the rotten flesh. ‘But what is the condition?’
   ‘You see...’ the hand extended once more with the spatula directed towards a handsome man in greasy mechanic overalls stepping from the jalopy – bang went the jalopy – ‘You see only what he sees.’
   The handsome man gazed at her. ‘You don’t know you’re beautiful,’ he simply said. ‘Would you be my date? I have two tickets for One Direction.’ He dangled two tickets.
   ‘The Marquee?’ she squealed.
   He extended an arm and she took it, waving back at the moon face and the hand with the spatula. The spatula flipped the word zombie and it flamed into fireworks that filled the night.

The Maven, noch einmal

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Re: A zombie fairytale
« Reply #1 on: Nov 16, 2016, 05:56:25 PM »
Bravo! Perfect pitch.

I read it while listening to Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 2 with Menuhin conducted by Furtwängler. It's a fitting sound track. I just bought the CD, while looking for bathroom shelves.

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Re: A zombie fairytale
« Reply #2 on: Nov 16, 2016, 08:46:06 PM »
how very zombie-fairy-tale-esque of you!  ;D

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Re: A zombie fairytale
« Reply #3 on: Nov 16, 2016, 09:13:06 PM »
I thought so too.

Have you thought of writing for children, and doing the illustrations? You write in a way that I know I would have liked as a child (I obvs still do). There are all the right ingredients.

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Re: A zombie fairytale
« Reply #4 on: Nov 16, 2016, 09:48:51 PM »
I have - but I'd be scared of including something inappropriate. I read the tale to my 11 year old niece, she liked it, but wanted to know why there were so many references to rotting flesh.  :-[   ;D

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Re: A zombie fairytale
« Reply #5 on: Nov 16, 2016, 10:43:12 PM »
Don't worry about impropriety. You'll have to get it past an adult in any case but if my taste as a child was not that unusual, there isn't anything inappropriate that could be included.

When I was 11 I would probably have said the same as your niece. As an adult, I like the excess but I'd not have understood it as a child. I think it's a difference of humour. I'm not sure though.

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Re: A zombie fairytale
« Reply #6 on: Nov 17, 2016, 06:52:02 PM »
well, I do like children...and with children's writing I think I could really allow my imagination fly. I could give it a try. Any possible way of becoming a writer is appealing. I really am not cut out for the cut-throat world of nine-to-five. The impossible dream is that writing might save me someday.

I'd have to read some children's stuff and see what's out there. That could be fun or it could be terrible, I can't decide.

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Re: A zombie fairytale
« Reply #7 on: Nov 17, 2016, 07:33:27 PM »
On my phone and hungry waiting for dinner to cook so briefer than I might be. I think you have natural talent which if it's something like I think I once had, is a gift but can also feel like a curse, at least in my case because when I was writing, I felt impelled to do it regardless of any consideration. I hate the 9-5 and i hate offices but this has nothing to do with whether I write or don't. I think you should do it in other words, because you're good and much better than many, but only if it gives you pleasure.

The qualities I think you have that I think I liked as a child reader are whimsicality next to bleakness, the contrast creates drama, interest, tension, engagement - who wouldn't want to read of a zombie with marmalade hair? In the more mainstream types of children's literature, the zombie would either be male or genderless and he/it would have been eating marmalade on toast. This is dull because it's predictable.

I'm too hungry to think more about my reading/writing addictions but there is any amount of observations I can offer later. As I said once, I grew up with almost no television and read instead. We had a set of Dickens and by about 12, I thought I was done with Dickens who I'd read without knowing he was 'literature'.

Maybe think about what you liked or wanted to read as a child and write that. I'll willingly test it all.

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Re: A zombie fairytale
« Reply #8 on: Nov 17, 2016, 09:05:12 PM »
Writing gives me pleasure and I think I will always do it, but the curse came when the idea of becoming published came into play. Not that that altered my style or method or desire to write in any way. The thing is I have come to realise, just this year, to be published I must think about how I write, I must edit and do drafts and re-drafts. I don't like this at all - it's hard work. I'm not lazy and I can be dedicated and hard-working but there generally has to be reason, a goal, in mind...whether for me or somebody else. I don't believe I will be published so why put in all that effort? That's my problem.

As for when I was a nipper, I'm afraid I was an Enid Blyton freak. I must go do some research on this....I have heard she was in fact a terrible person, but I don't know if this is misogyny or not and yes, I know she wasn't perfect in her portrayals, but she was of a certain era and place. She was a fab writer though - engaging and I loved her descriptions.

Later came Robert Frost...does that save me?  ;D

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Re: A zombie fairytale
« Reply #9 on: Nov 28, 2016, 10:27:06 PM »
and something a little different again:

Magnificence

Maura stood under the whirling big wheel, feeling giddy. Lights struck out across the fairground like pulsars, arrays of blistering colours. She felt spaced out, the giddiness wiping out her earlier gloomy thoughts. That was the aching want behind each beat of her 80 year old heart and the sense of something gone or going, like the curling into the soil of a fallen leaf.
Eighty years ran behind her, sequences from her youth often sharper in her memory than her activities that very morning. The years remaining for her to run would span less than a child’s experience she felt. They would run with the speed that age brings rather than in the manner of the endless days of youth. She was hurtling towards the grave.
   Her eyes, bright in a face lined like the surface of rough bark from a resilient tree, were as blue as that of a new born baby.  She was wrapped up in layers of clothes for the chill of the dark autumn evening, woollen russet jumper and hat, plain jeans and flat heeled brown boots. She wanted to ride that wheel in a superficial way, but knew she no longer held the stomach for it or perhaps the grip.
   Stepping away from under the wheel, she shielded her eyes now from the probing lights. The noise dimmed; the whirr of the wheel and the screams and laughter of which she had hardly been aware of until she stepped into quieter space. 
   It wasn’t necessarily that she feared death. It was more a fear of what she was losing as it approached. She had always taken her chances. If there was an opportunity for a positive experience she took it. Spontaneous. Rarely reckless.  Bullet points for a curriculum of her days.
   She returned a smile from a passing soul now, the giddiness fading. Her grandson, Darren, had wondered off to get soft drinks for them and she sought him out now. There was no blood link between the two:  grandmother and grandson.  He was their daughter’s son.  Maura and daughter: no blood link between the two. It had never mattered. Did it matter now?
   Shelly, blood mother, blood grandmother, had passed two years ago. Maura wasn’t sure there was any afterlife. Their life together, her and Shelly, was all she had and together they had stood, through harsher times. Expectations to live an unwanted life had been high and their love was more than unacceptable. It wasn’t permitted. In fact, their kind of love was relegated to non existence and if they dared to peep above the parapet, they were shunned and even met with hatred.  The young ones of today swung rainbow flags from the parapet.  She smiled once more, for Shelley and she had played their part. The remainder of the fight, well, that was for the young ones too.
   Darren strode up to her with two cans of Fanta. His walk was unbalanced, heavy on one side, like he had to drag his leg. There was nothing wrong with his leg. Today, he had not become preoccupied with the aliens that lived among them, the black head and body of slimy slippery eels on legs. They were friendly folk and talked to Darren, usually nonsense. Sometimes, they comforted him. Occasionally though, they mutated into giant humans and turned on him.
   They sat on the low wall at the edge of the fairground, grandmother, grandson. She thought how handsome he was, with Shelley’s coal hair and intense brown eyes. He was released from the locked ward several months ago. He spoke less of the aliens amongst them these days and his high distress had all but vanished.
   ‘I need someone to acknowledge the meaning in my madness,’ he said.
   Maura glanced at him thoughtfully. He was a bit of a lost boy, a freak, even alien. He’d been severally abused, bullied and broken. And he was right, this world is weird. In his world, out there in space, where alien races are two a penny across the galaxies, earthlings are the ones to watch. Why wouldn’t he think this?
   ‘I see it,’ she said.
   ‘What’s on your mind? You haven’t seemed yourself a while,’ he said.
   She took his hand and squeezed it. ‘I’m getting old.’
   ‘Mountains are old, rivers are old. They are also magnificent,’ he said.
   How would he cope without her, she thought dismally?
   ‘We’re survivors,’ he said, as though he had read her mind. She glanced at him sharply.  He continued, ‘I’m not going down. I have hope.  I’m looking at alternatives, ways of coping with my madness. By heck, you’re not going down either.’
   She smiled once more, stood, pulling on his hand. ‘Let’s go for a ride.’
   He didn’t pause.  No doubt for her.  One more thing she loved about him.