Archetype Among Us

I saw the beginning of a zombie apocalypse near my work today. I’m a big fan of zombie movies (Resident Evil, Shaun of the Dead, and Warm Bodies are some of my favs), but I had never really thought about where the concept of zombies originated. Now I know; I saw it.

There were four zombies crossing the street (not together in a group, but individually at various places), and six people avoiding them. The zombies were slow moving, often stiff at various joints, hunched over holding their stomachs (hunger pain?), and generally filthy. The zombies didn’t work together, but they didn’t work against each other either – it was as if the other zombies were non-entities. I recognized two of them immediately. The people were everyday type people who quickly hopped into their cars or walked into businesses. The people didn’t run like in movies, but tried to disappear without being noticed into some relatively safe place. There wasn’t one person who didn’t notice the zombies. Once a person hid, the zombies just moved on like there was never a person there, like they had no memory of the person once they were out of sight.

I only witnessed the event for 20-25 seconds because the light turned green. I feel bad for the zombies, because as I said, I recognized them. They are not actors, and this wasn’t a show – it was just a glimpse into part of their lives. I wonder how I will feel the next time I watch a zombie movie knowing there really is a part of our society who are walking dead. I also wonder what other story characters are walking among us.

About R. Garrett Wilson

I am a member of the Stanislaus World Builders writing group and have participated in the FSFW writing group. I have written one drama that was based on the book of Mark and performed at my church in 2007. My story, Journeyer, is published in Analog Magazine and a novelette, The Bakrra Encounter, in the FSFW 2010 anthology, I Dreamed a Crooked Dream. I also took part in the community novel project, Stanislaus Reads and Writes, and have a chapter in their novel, Ashes in a Teardrop. Beyond writing, I enjoy road trips, photography, woodworking, watching tennis and cycling, and reading.
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