I think I can mostly blame the dreary April weather we’ve been having here on the frequency of zombies in everything I do, but last night I had another dream that would potentially translate well into another zombie novel. They just seem to be everywhere in my head lately. If in two more posts or so, I’m still writing something new about zombies, I might have to look into this a little, because then I’ll be worried.
The dream was a very typical zombie action-adventure film/story where the main character, a young woman visiting friends, find her world turned upside down by the sudden appearance of brain-sucking, body-ripping, insatiably hungry zombies. It went through some of the typical progressions: the startling realization, the first escape, and then finding oneself in the company of other escapees and attempting to form some sort of plan in the hopes for survival when everything seems doomed. They wound up in a school building, dark but protected, at least for a little while. When the zombies eventually get in, the party is divided (or killed) and the main character is once again left to her own devices. She escapes for a while into the wilderness, and then happens along a small town where she can picked up some hints of what’s going on: by now, some people have managed to get on or avoid the zombies. They seem to move in groups, and the humans are adapting. Many are trying to escape north; there are fewer zombies there and many have family and loved ones there, and are hoping to catch up with them. The main character joins this exodus, but there are so many people trying to get north that the boats and trains are filled to the brim and there’s a lot of clogging and waiting at the depots.
So of course it’s the depot that the zombies eventually find, descending on the waiting people like ravenous monsters. Panic rips through the crowd and the main character does her best to fight her way onto the train. Once on the train, she can buy herself more time, and you have your typical scene of people turning on their animal instincts to fight each other and show no mercy to save themselves, only themselves, and once alone with each other on the train, the humanity settles in and they realize what they’ve done.
Of course, a zombie or two have made it onto the train, but it winds up being a good thing, because it leads the main character to realize a very important fact: the zombies only attack if a person is running away from them. If you keep calm and just go about things as usual, it’s like they don’t even notice you. They seem to be motivated by the panic, or perhaps, like T-Rex, the movement is what catches their eye and inspires their wrath. This makes them easy to dispose of if you just keep calm or, really, to just go about things without doing anything to them at all.
Slowly, people make this realization so by the time the main character gets to the north to reunite with her loved one, things are in an eerie state of peace and calm. He’s even remodeled their cute little apartment (this detail is somehow my favourite; I want that apartment), and life goes on. Sometimes, in the neighbourhood, there’s a sudden zombie alert, where everyone must stop everything and just stay still for a while for the creatures to amble through, but then back to life as usual.
It took a really different turn that what I would expect and it actually has kind of a happy end, which is rare for zombie stuff, I feel. So maybe, when I’m hard up for a zombie piece again, I can fall back on this one and try to give it a go. It could be a lot of fun to write, and it would really help with my action scenes, too. In my head, the scenes in the school are some of my favourites, and, of course, the conclusion. We shall have to see, since I think working on one zombie novel at a time is enough!