Halloween Spotlight: Zombies
My fascination with zombies began a while back. They are what made me decide to broaden my writing from just music to fiction. In early 2010 I began writing my first novel, and that was the beginning of the sCrypt world. Soon, fans began talking about my zombie stories, and they wanted more. I, being part egotist, didn’t want just that. As I moved onto the next topic for my novels, my brother, Dan, and I began writing and organizing our comic books.
Our horror world had been given birth. So what makes our zombies so special? Here’s a little insight into the Pipito mind. “Flesh And Leftovers” the novel, as well as it’s comic book spinoff “Zombie Incidents” takes a look at how the undead can coexist through all sorts of lore. Each incident describes a different cause/effect on humans.
1) A mutated strain of rabies: Animals are just as susceptible as humans to the rabies virus. A new strain that causes a very violent transformation within the brain, causes those infected to be extremely aggressive. Biting, thrashing, and yes even running human and animals have lost all reasoning, and have one purpose… to spread the rabies further, and quell their foaming mouths. Blunt trauma to the head is the best way to stop them, as their bodies do not feel the pain that a normal person would. The adrenaline coursing through them acts as a narcotic of sorts making them extremely dangerous.
2) Viral (from the infected’s eyes): Imagine having a sexual encounter and catching something; only the thing you catch is a virus that turns you into a flesh craving walker. As the brain begins to lose primary function, the human thought process remains. They can do little more than shuffle slowly after their prey. From the moment one becomes infected, their view on the world begins to change. All they desire is food. Even decapitation of these zombies does not fully kill them. They must have their brains destroyed.
3) Uber Dead: The demons of revelation possess four hosts. These possessed become much larger and stronger than any human. They think clearly about their purpose to end humanity, and can raise minions from graveyards or any other resting place. Although the minions are extremely weak, the demons themselves can mend body damage. For example… if an Uber dead were to lose a jaw, it could literally rip a healthy jaw from a living host and replace theirs like a twisted jigsaw.
4) Radioactive “Freaks”: A radioactive meteor decades ago infected one man’s blood. When he dies of a heart attack, the green blood within him reanimates his corpse. His rampage takes place in a special needs hospital, where the deformed patients become an even ghastlier site than he. These are your standard shuffling zombies, enhanced or hindered by their deformities.
5) Cannibals: A tribe deep within the Himalayan Mountains worships their god Rakshasa. None of them know who or what Rakshasa is, but they do his bidding. Kidnapping wanderers or villagers nearby, they offer their sacrifice to their god. Unable to see his face, they are then returned the corpse. The victim’s blood has been drained, and the villagers use the body as food and more. Their dissection and fileting tactics would make even Hannibal Lecter cringe. These are not the dead. They are humans with a different culture than what we see as standard.
6) Generation Z: Vaccines have been used for years, but every few years these shots that are designed to prevent sickness must be administered to children. The combination of the various strains in them has changed those under the age of thirteen into the walking dead. These dead devour living flesh. The virus is transmitted however differently among adults. A bitten adult will die within hours and never reanimate, while other youthful victims of a bite or fluid transmission, will become shufflers as well.
7) Drug induced: Although not a zombie, the victim of this drug hallucinates severely. They believe the extreme as if zombies are conspiring against them. All touch with reality will fade on a bad trip, and until the effects wear off, any person high on this drug will go as far to murder the healthy people around them, that they perceive as zombie threats. Once the effects are gone, the drug abuser’s brain liquefies within hours bringing death.
8) Voodoo (Macumba): When a black magic powder is used on unexpecting victims, they become zombi. While they remain alive, their comatose state makes them highly susceptible to suggestion.
9) Parasite: A tetrabite is a creature that originated from Martian soil. When it is freed from status, it quickly leaps onto its victim. After burying its tail into a human brain stem, it feeds off its host. Once attached, the host strives to reproduce more tetrabite parasites. The only way they can do this is through human saliva. The host’s bite becomes deadly and within hours, the next victim joins the parasite ranks.
10) The original zombies: Vampires warred with humans long ago. As the vampires turned new victims, and their offspring turned more, they began to change. By the sixth generation, vampires had become extremely different from their predecessors. These creatures no longer desired blood. They no longer thought freely. They no longer moved fluidly. Instead, the craved flesh, and moved slow with only the impulse to continue feeding on flesh (human or vampire).
11) Frankenzombie: Various body parts of dead men, stitched together to form one grotesque creature, and attached to a battery are brought back to life. But the already long dead parts have a mind of their own. The dead jigsaw man sees only death as it reaches to murder those nearby.
So there you have it folks. Those are the zombies in our universe. I have consulted Dan with his ideas to perfect the stories to his liking. When discussing the spinoff comic, they enjoyed an appropriate wine, pictured above. What makes us love zombies? Well, here are some of our favorite zombie related things…
Rick’s favorite zombie book is the Deadworld series by Joe McKinney. Always at the top of his zombie movie list (despite the low points) is the entire George A Romero Of The Dead series. His love for the genre began and continues with his favorite video game series Resident Evil. Solomon Grundy is his fan favorite pick for zombie of the year.
Dan’s favorite zombie book is World War Z by Max Brooks. At the top of his zombie movie list is 28 Days Later. His favorite video game in he series is Dead Island. Tar-man is his zombie of the year pick.
What are your favorites? Are you a zombie fan? Of course you are; so go grab yourself a copy of “Flesh and Leftovers” the novel. It is available at www.lulu.com in softback book and on www.amazon.com for the Kindle. Also, the spinoff comic book “Flesh and Leftovers: Zombie Incidents” is available for purchase at www.indyplanet.com. Help support our flesh eating madness.
“Flesh and Leftovers” and its spinoff are (C) 2010 by Rick Pipito. Stay tuned for our vampire breakdown…
Zombie story breakdown
What are zombies? Well, there are many takes on the true definition of a zombie, but one thing that they all versions have in common is that only severe trauma to the brain stem will truly stop those undead flesh eaters. Whether they shuffle, run or do something else, one thing is certain… they are a part of horror culture.
When I wrote my first novel in 2010, I didn’t realize how far it would take me. Now we are 4 novels in, 3 graphic novels in, and many more of both to come. So, what are the zombies like in my novels? I tried to appease to every zombie fan out there. I figured that there had to be some common ground among them all. So in a sense, they all exist in the universe we have created in my novels and the comics.
If you didn’t know, the whole “Flesh and Leftovers” series touches on many things. Zombies are our focus in only two of our works: “Flesh and Leftovers” the novel, and its spinoff “Zombie Incidents.” Both of these are available through links on our sidebar on the right. The novels are available in paperback and for the kindle, while the comics are available in print and soon in digital.
My goal was to write a series of short stories in each novel, that all tie together into a greater plot. Here is a brief plot description for each chapter in the books and graphic novels that focus on zombies. I will also release descriptions of the other creatures and phenomenon that my series focuses upon. If you find one that interests you, then check it out. I love feedback and suggestions if you feel I didn’t touch upon something.
The Eden’s Order Trilogy has all of these stories plus a bonus one, and you will notice some reoccuring characters. I’ll first describe the overall plot to the novel and graphic novel, then touch on the chapter content. Next to each story description, I will note where you can find that particular one. All stories are (C) 2010 and 2012, by Rick Pipito. Without further blabbering on, here are the zombie stories (listed as incidents) created by Rick Pipito:
FLESH AND LEFTOVERS (THE NOVEL): Gordon Lightcap and his partner, Moira Donatelli, have created an organization to rid the world of a rising threat, but to better understand that threat they must look back into the horrific events leading up to their current predicament. Join them as they search for the answers through ten short stories of flesh devouring madness. Learn about the very first incident and others to discover an even more dangerous foe who is ready to surface.
F&L: ZOMBIE INCIDENTS (comic book spinoff): It’s dark. You can feel the presence of something reeking of death. Then there are more of them. You look around and find that you are surrounded by zombies that want to devour you. This is the world of Flesh and Leftovers, where tales of zombie incidents will make your skin crawl. Ten short stories are illustrated by nine amazing artists in this graphic spinoff of “Flesh And Leftovers” the novel.
Guns And Veggies: When a mutated strain of the rabies virus turns the town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania into a nightmare, two friends must put their differences aside to survive. Conservative, Johnny Chong, and his liberal best friend make a mad dash to escape the town as human and animal zombies run amok. (Flesh and Leftovers)
Talking Heads, But Not The Band: Shane Munroe is your average bachelor who loves a great time, but when he contracts a new disease, his life is forever changed. See the world from the mind of a man who begins to crave flesh. (Flesh And Leftovers)
Zombie Apocalypse: A group of scientists working for a Top Secret facility in Great Britain have solved an age long mystery. When they place four ancient artifacts together, the result is a disaster. Four demons from before man’s origins possess humans. Now the British government must race to opposite ends of the globe to stop the army of the dead rising from their very graves, and put an end to the demons’ destruction. (Flesh And Leftovers)
The Freak In Me: In the 1960s, a travelling musician found a radioactive meteor while on a hike. Now, in present day, he dies of a heart attack, only to be reanimated by his green hued blood. In a home for those with special needs, he begins to spread his tainted blood among the residents. Teenager, Chastity Smith, must put her fears aside and find a way out. (Flesh And Leftovers)
Cleansing The Soul: A primitive tribe in modern day India worships their god Rakshasa. On a daily basis, they bring a sacrifice to their deity and then devour the remnants of the human. When their master suddenly vanishes, these cannibals turn on each other for food. (Flesh And Leftovers)
Generation Z: Just north of Niagara Falls in Canada, child immunizations suddenly take a turn. Children under the age of twelve begin to turn into mindless zombies. For anyone older than twelve, this virus becomes fatal. An American family finds out the hard way what it takes to survive, and in the end, one boy suddenly finds a new purpose in life. (Flesh And Leftovers)
Dead In Muncie: This newspaper clipping type story from a small town in Indiana, describes an artist who begins to see things that aren’t really there. His drug induced delusions lead him on a killing spree in his claims that “zombies” are everywhere. (Flesh And Leftovers)
Magica Negra E’ Café: A drug lord in northern Brazil seeks out the macumba (black magic) woman, Madame Callisto. He uses her voodoo like powder to control zombi recruits to his army, but his attempts don’t turn out the way he’d like them to. (Flesh And Leftovers)
Evolution And Extinction: The Military Underground Tactical Specialists (MUTS) are recruited to infiltrate a government testing lab that is swarming with the undead. Their mission is to rescue the President’s daughter, who is hidden in one of the environmental experiment rooms. Hawk takes on mountain terrain, Fox makes his way through the desert, Seal skis the arctic, Snake sets up a post in an urban setting, and Hound enters a vacuum chamber, which simulates outer space. Their teammate, Bee, uses a central hub to guide her partners through the hundreds of undead. (Flesh And Leftovers)
Zombie Origins: The Bible mentions the story of Cain and Able, but details have been left out. When Cain murders his brother, the curse of immortality is placed upon him. As his friends and family grow old and die, Cain continues to live by drinking the blood of others. When he realizes that he can pass on a copy of his curse on to others, he begins to build a house of twelve. Those vampires take on their own offspring as well, but by the sixth generation, they have come far from their origins. Now this new generation craves flesh instead of blood. These first zombies turn on their masters as the vampires must seek out human help. (Flesh And Leftovers)
Ready Or Not: Taking place during the “Guns And Veggies” incident, a man is prepared for a zombie outbreak, but is oblivious to the signs of it already happening. (F & L: Zombie Incidents)
Absolution: While Los Angeles is in disarray from a viral outbreak, a priest offers refuge in his church. When an infected person gets past their safety checks all hell breaks loose. (F&L: Zombie Incidents)
Demons Of The Abyss: Long before the “Zombie Apocalypse” incident, four demons were imprisoned in a tablet and sent to the four corners of the earth. Only when they are reunited will a zombie apocalypse begin. (F&L: Zombie Incidents)
Just Another Freak: Detective Hwong interrogates the lone survivor of “The Freak In Me” incident. As she goes to investigate the truth, her research leads her to a traveling circus. What she finds is an entire circus ready to devour her flesh. (F&L: Zombie Incidents)
Old Habits Die Hard: After a cannibal tribe in India loses their guidance, one of the men tries to blend in with society. His tastes for food revert to his primitive urges, and he begins to make a feast of his own. (F&L: Zombie Incidents)
Dangerous Youth: During the “Generation Z” incident, a mother and father argue over what to do about their two children who want to eat their parents’ brains. (F&L: Zombie Incidents)
Dreaming The Stranger: A drug abuser loses his sight of reality. The hallucinations begin to turn everything he sees into the walking dead. (F&L: Zombie Incidents)
Medicine Man: A voodoo master in Haiti turns tourists into his willing zombi. When the woman he has learned his practices from, Madame Callisto, is displeased with his actions, she gives him a taste of his own medicine. (F&L: Zombie Incidents)
New Species: NASA has brought back a parasite found in space. This is the same parasite that caused the “Evolution and Extinction” incident. Before they are able to study it, it begins to take over bodies and replicate itself. (F&L: Zombie Incidents)
The Dead Wars: King Arthur sends one of his most trusted knights to lead a battalion against the undead hordes. (F&L: Zombie Incidents)
Life After Death: Richard Marshall uses arcane science to bring back his dead brother from death. This may well be the story that inspired Mary Shelley to write “Frankenstein.” (F&L: Eden’s Order Trilogy)