Thursday, 29 November 2012

Story Hook: What is Undeath?

Story Hook #10: Philosophical zombies ponder meaning of love, pester passerby


Dave stood at the edge of the cemetery, leaning on a solitary tombstone on which the words "Here lies Gorril, because he never told the truth" has been inexpertly carved. He looked about, his one good eye swiveling in a rather rotten eye socket. He was trying to find his fingers, which had fallen off again. While there were many advantages to being a zombie, Dave thought, having to find fingers was not one of them. He had already lost three, and it was getting more difficult to write. Dave sighed. Not so many advantages to being a zombie anymore he thought. Dave was a forgotten animated body, a zombie animated when the dread lord Knut Su Ded had invaded the city. At that time things had been much better. There had been more zombies, and brains had been more plentiful. Of course he had been enslaved to the dread lords will, but that was hardly a hindrance. It gave one a purpose in unlife, something a zombie definitely lacked. But now he and his few surviving brethren were doomed to do little more then walk about trying to get what they could. A zombie, of course, could not starve to death, but Dave would have enjoyed a nice brain. They were so nice, and juicy, and made him feel so wonderful. A low moan of 'Brraaaaiiiiinnsss" escaped from Dave's lists as he lost himself in thought.

Poe slouched over to Dave and lightly tapped him, breaking his reverie. "Now, now Dave," Poe said, "You don't want to end up like Fred." Dave nodded. Poor Fred. Consumed by the hunger. Now all he did was wander about the cemetery moaning for brains. It was rather pitiful. But, Dave thought, perhaps thats how we all end up eventually. Eventually the hunger gets to us and we become, well, zombies. It had certainly happened to enough of the zombies. Entire gangs of them wandered around, occasionally catching a wanderer but more often getting killed by rangers or clerics. Going full zombie, the other zombies called it.

Poe sat down on a tombstone marked "Here lyes Bodrick the Bard, who will play on in the afterlife." "Dave," said Poe, "Do you think there's anything left for us besides brains?" "What do you mean," asked Dave, continuing to look for his fingers."Well," said Poe, "It's not like there is anything more for us in the world. We're zombies. We can't exactly fulfill our dreams or find the loves of our lives anymore. Maybe we should just give up and join Fred." "Go  full zombie?" Dave said. He picked up a stick. It looked sort of like a finger. He tried to attach it to his hand. "Yeah," Poe said, a faraway look in his cloudy eyes, "Just give up. What is there left for us?" "What about the sunset," Dave asked, "What about all the beauty in the world. I doubt the full zombies can really see it anymore." "What about it?" Poe said, "Sure there is romance and beauty in the twilight but what is love to a zombie?"

Dave sighed. The stick would not stick in his hand. "Just because you will not be loved back doesn't mean you can't love," Dave said philosophically, "In fact, isn't the most beautiful love that which is unreturned." Poe snorted. "I think not," Poe said, "What sort of love is that. Sounds more like obsession to me." He turned and looked down the path. "Someone's coming."

Dave looked up. Sure enough, a little lantern bobbed along the path, illuminating the girl carrying it. She was dressed in robes, and for a moment Dave felt fear. Surely she was a cleric, come to banish them. But they didn't look like clerical robes. Poe started towards the girl, who gave a shriek at the zombie. "No, wait," Poe said, "We won't hurt you, you can come this way if you like." The girl stood on the path, frozen by fear. "Look," said Poe, "We just want to ask you a question. Braaaaaaaiiii, I mean, is unrequited love more beautiful then love which is returned." The girl stared at Poe in horror. 

"Well?" Poe said. The girl whimpered. "Fine then," Poe muttered, and then gave a yell of "BRAAAIIIIINSSSS" and began to shamble towards the girl, who screamed and began to run. Dave watched the girl flee. Perhaps Poe was right. And he did have a bit of a hankering for brains. Perhaps there really was no love in life for a zombie. Or perhaps all that a zombie could love, really, was a nice fresh brain.

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