Persephone Descends

Posted in Betrayal, Hellmouths on May 5, 2013 by lyonsmouth

Dust devils spinning across the desert, chasing me underground. No, what’s really driving me away is what’s left of the world — I don’t recognize it anymore. I want to hear monks chant when I’m drifting off into daydreams, not monkey screams.

I’ve found a fine looking little hell-mouth: entrance obscured by brush and shadows, interior deserted, clean (mostly), the walls are cool to the touch, and the tunnel descends down and farther down still. I’ve yet to reach the end of it. And so quiet; down there in the dark I can actually hear myself think.

Hell no, I’m not going to tell you where it is. What I am telling you is goodbye, though. I’m done here.

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Mother’s Brutal Vermin*

Posted in Betrayal, Zombies! on December 10, 2012 by lyonsmouth

They mill about in small clusters, and the clusters are legion — building into a cancerous whole. Have to wonder why they are not feeding — when was the last time they fed? Must’ve been recently, as a sated zombie is a dull zombie, and these are even duller than usual.

I move from cluster to cluster outside what is left of the Undertake headquarters — they ignore me, since I am reanimated I no longer carry that warm, human scent. If anything, my aroma is antiseptic, clean and sterile. In other words, I don’t smell like dinner to their dead noses. Okay, many of these things don’t have noses, but still.

So depressing to think these slow monsters recently filled their gullets with my friends and co-workers. Bossman got his politically-correct just desserts (and I truly, deeply hope he was dessert), but most of the others — a fate beyond the pale.

But look at this brain-dead mob — unseeing, unknowing, uncaring. Driven by insatiable hunger, wants, the lowest forms of self-interests. Unfortunate for those of us who are still sentient, conscious, smart. Because now they not only outnumber us, they have united against us.

How did this happen? No one knows for certain. Sure doesn’t matter now.

in the shadows of the walking dead

Under indifferent moonlight, they cast insubstantial shadows — shadows resembling pools of clotted blood.

I look in their faces and see nothing but dull complacency, like a drugged starlet, in this army of dead-heads. Open mouths, drooling the blood of my friends, slack jaws incapable of producing speech (as if they actually have the thoughts to put into speech). Each one absolutely unable to manufacture an independent, intelligent thought. Hands twitching as if grasping for who-knows-what. Feet doing the slow, aimless (always) anti-clockwise shuffle. All faces a sickly shade of blue.

Now at sunset, the odd sudden stillness, as if they are each and every one listening to Mother’s voice. Heads raise, quivering jaws are still — what do they hear, who/what is communicating with them? I hear nothing; I thank the God of My Ancestors this commanding voice does not reach reanimated ears.

So begins our bleak December.

Guess I’m closer to humanity than I realized.

—————————————
*Line from David Bowie’s song “The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (as Beauty)” from his 1995 album, Outside.

The Heart’s Filthy Lesson*

Posted in Betrayal, Oddities, Palm Readers and Fortune Tellers, Zombies! on November 8, 2012 by lyonsmouth

Who’d have thought I could have existed so long in the Outland. I return to Undertake bearing strange and unusual gifts, only to find everyone’s gone. No Bossman, no boyfriends, no staff, no friends, nobody. Just Walkers, Biters, Remnants, Revenants — call them what you will: The shuffling, mewling, grasping, greedy dead surround me.

My Home Base is ruins — broken widows; burned-out rooms; hasty, illiterate graffiti’d warnings; bio-hazardous waste in great heaps against the walls. Bloody smears resembling frantic handprints here and there, curious trails down the conservatively carpeted hallways of something wet and thick and odious. No electricity here, no running water.

I’d sent a missive to Bossman², warning him of the approaching ravenous horde — bodies en mass slowly moving like a gloomy thunderhead towards what was left of civilization. Strongly worded my suggestion, I did, to get the hell out of Dodge, head for the hills, reach higher ground. Looks like he either dismissed the warning, or never got it.

Gist of my note: The zombies have figured out how to organize.

Looks like my compadres decided to stay, to “interact” with the horde. Open their hearts and arms, just trying to understand the brain-dead mob’s point of view; maybe make a deal with them. Because that’s worked out so very well in other parts of the world.

If history tells us anything, it’s that nothing changes.

If I know the mind-set of Bossmen, and I do, this one likely insisted that they take a vote, with majority rule. Matter of fact, I have found slips of paper scattered about, indicating just that — a vote on whether or not to communicate — reach out with the open hand of friendship and compromise — with the mindless horde.

Never mind the dissenting opinions, fact-based warnings, historical precedent — such as mine, such as my closest friends and co-workers. Dismissed like so much irrelevant blather. Ach, how selfish and politically incorrect our opinions are! I guarantee the dissenters were shouted down by the do-gooders, like always. Every opinion tolerated and respected, except those they disagree with. All these years and they learned nothing. Convinced it will be different this time, because they’ll do it right.

Of utmost importance, is how their actions make them feel about themselves. To hell with real-world consequences.

So, Dear God of My Ancestors in All His Shining Glory, they took a vote.

Well, they got what the asked for.

. . . The heart’s filthy lesson
Falls upon deaf ears . . .*

I found this little treasure, this little Cassandra, in one of the worker’s rooms — probably a family heirloom. Her glass eyes speak volumes about what she’s seen already, and what she sees ahead.

Hope she haunts your every waking hour, and burns like an oil field on fire through your nightmares, you Bossmen, everywhere.


Daddy, will you carry me?
I think I’ve lost my way.*

Now,  I am Rogue.

.
—————————-
*”The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”, David Bowie. From Outside, 1995.

Government Postcards

Posted in Postacrds from the Apocalypse, Zombies! on April 15, 2012 by lyonsmouth

We’ve been wondering where she was. Reani forwarded this government-issued health alert — by mail, no less! Seems she’s been wandering about the desert, not having much luck finding healthy people — or any people at all, for that matter. Still being the little minx, I see, framing her name with flower stickers (amaryllis?), and using a band-aid for a stamp.

government postcards
to increase awareness
too little
.                               too late

Can’t imagine the recipients paid much attention to this card. An egregious waste of money — mailing an alert. Using paper and prepaid postage. Delivered by mail carriers. On foot or in dinky little vans. By the time these postcards reached outlying towns, their inhabitants were already fighting the plague. Folks did all have access to the internet, television, and radio, after all. And frantic phone calls from their friends and relatives in metropolitan areas.

Government mandated efficiency! We here at the Undertake are grateful, everyday, that we are a private institution.

Pandora’s Bookshelf

Posted in Ghosts, Oddities, Palm Readers and Fortune Tellers, Postacrds from the Apocalypse with tags , , , , on March 17, 2012 by lyonsmouth

Looks like our girl has been catching up on her reading. Pandora’s is famous, regionally, as the go-to source for books on magik, alternative histories, and definitive guides to omen interpretation, among other things. As the postcard below claims, they are the place “For all books obscure * Arcane * or Out-of-Print * For all your Et Ceteras.”  Not that I would know anything about that.  Ahem.


internet can’t touch
the feel of old books
in curious hands

Spell-casters, dream-weavers, fortune-tellers — they all pass through Pandora’s at some time — if they’re serious about their craft. Books and peripherals aren’t cheap, but if the student is determined (and talented), then they will earn back their investment in no time. Or so I have been told.

Not a magic shop, exactly — certainly not the sort of magic shop that existed before the Apocalypse: no cheap tricks, no tutorials for sleight-of-hand nonsense, no cheesy robes and conical, comical wizard hats — more like a community resource. If your community is knee-deep in ghoulies and ghosties.

And who doesn’t like a charm against the invisible agents of doom? A sweet, heady potion to heal a broken heart? A hit of echinacea to ward off a cold? An antibiotic to fight an infection? A prayer against things that go bump in the night?

A Museum of the Curious and Creepy

Posted in Postacrds from the Apocalypse with tags , , , , on March 11, 2012 by lyonsmouth

Another week, another postcard from ReAni. Looks like she’s been catching up on her intellectual pursuits. I plan on visiting this “museum” myself when I next get some time off.  Professor Arturo is an old colleague of mine; glad to see he’s finally opened up his private collection for the edification of the masses. For a fee, of course.

Mystery and History

Wire, rumor, and bone.
The old myths
hold together.

Again, where does she find these stamps? Though I think the good Professor probably gave this one to her, himself. He always was a sucker for a pretty face, real or reanimated.

Looks like she’s figured out — or heard through the grapevine — that she’s got a new overseer. And she signed her name like a flirty teenaged girl, plastering a heart sticker by her name. Wonder what she’s got up her sleeve.

Dracula, Sangria, and Tres Corazones

Posted in Postacrds from the Apocalypse, Vampires with tags , , , , , on March 3, 2012 by lyonsmouth

New note from ReAni, this one sent from close to our southern-most border. Rough terrain, rough towns, rough folks. But our girl knows how to take care of herself, so no worries. A movie-monster vampire, a tasty “blood” drink, and three graphic hearts. What to make of all this? We here at the Undertake have our suspicions. We will be sending a team down to investigate.


vagabond vatos
mixed with cactus fruit
special recipe sangria

(I had to correct her spelling — I can’t help myself!) Cute stamp, ReAni. Amazed the mail took it, it’s so old. Postage hasn’t been that cheap since I was, well, younger and smaller. Better than no postage at all. I suppose she’s happy, or in a happy place — note emoticon after her signature. Must be nice.