Karen the Zombie

With Halloween coming up, and The Walking Dead returning (although I’ve actually never watched it, too scared) I thought I’d take a little break from Plain Jane (she’ll be back next week), and that a zombie story would be appropriate. Enjoy…

-Shan

Karen shook herself out of her daze and struggled to get up. She had taken a shot to the chest from a shotgun at almost point-blank range. “That stupid fucker,” she thought to herself.  As she hoisted herself up off the pavement she saw that her two daughters had taken care of the redneck asshole who had shot her.  Her youngest was slyly gnawing on a finger she had torn off, but the oldest was patiently waiting.  Isabella was like that, always so obedient and polite.

“Go ahead babies,” Karen told her daughters. They exchanged grins and dug into their meal. The redneck asshole, who wasn’t completely dead yet, started screaming in pain. Usually Karen would finish their prey off before digging in (she saw no need for them to suffer), but this guy had nearly killed her, which would have left her two babies orphaned. Pissed off, she figured he could stand to suffer a little. He didn’t look like he had been all that great of a human being anyway – tattoos of swastikas, confederate flags and other racist symbols clearly displaying his overall ignorance dotted what was left of his arms.

She looked around, lifted her nose and took a deep breath in, smelling no signs of other humans, or zombies for that matter. She cocked her head, listening for any sign of either… The redneck asshole abruptly stopped screaming. Olivia was greedily scarfing down the still-beating heart she had just pulled out of his chest. “Olivia,” Karen said in her best Stern Mommy voice, “Share that with your sister.” Olivia frowned, tore a chunk off and half-heartedly handed it to her older sister.  She had been hoping to eat the whole thing herself; the heart was her favorite part.

Karen listened and sniffed the air once more for good measure. The coast appeared to be clear.  She reached down and tore one of his legs off, then sat down to enjoy her meal.

It had been six months since the outbreak.  No one really knew exactly how it started, or how the virus that had affected 70% of the human population turning them into what could best be described as zombies had become airborne, but the first reports had come out of Texas. From there it spread quickly into the surrounding states and Mexico, after that communications and utilities had began to go dark. That is, until the zombie population took them over and brought them back up on-line.

As a human, Karen had actually been what her friends jokingly referred to as “a crazy zombie lady” and had taken measures against a possible zombie outbreak, but she was no match for the virus.  One minute she was fine and dandy, the next, she and her whole family were zombies. But not the kind she had expected.

They could still speak, still feel emotion, and still “function” for all intents and purposes as a human.  With the large exceptions being of course, they were no longer human, and the craving for living flesh. Her senses had become heightened, she was stronger, and they all found that they could move with surprising speed and agility.  Especially her kiddos, they could move lightening quick, and combined with their four years of gymnastics training they were incredibly lethal, but Karen had to remind them to be cautious. A shot to the head and they would be done for.

By now most of the zombie population had moved into the cities, which was where the best human hunting still was, plenty of pockets of the unaffected were holed up in them, however Karen still preferred the suburbs. Her friends had tried to convince her to move with them, especially with her husband Bill gone (he had gone hunting two months ago and hadn’t returned) but Karen felt safer in her own home. She also held out hope that Bill would come back.

Karen’s phone rang. She reached into her back pocket to grab it; it was her best friend, Anne. The picture that popped up on the screen was a selfie of the two of them on the beach, margaritas in hand, at their last annual girl’s weekend. How times had changed… “Hey you!” Anne said cheerfully before Karen even said a word, “Just calling to check in on you and the girls!” “We’re just finishing dinner,” Karen replied. “Remember that hermit-y neo nazi who lived on Shadywood?” “Oh, he was such an asshole! How’s he taste?” Anne asked as if Karen and the kids had just tried a new restaurant.  “Good. He took care of himself, that’s for sure. Hardly any fat on him. I took a shot from him, he ruined one of my favorite shirts, that f-u-c-k-e-r (she spelled it out since her kids were close by). The girls finished him off, though.” Karen laughed like getting shot was no big deal. There was silence on the other end of the line for a moment before Anne spoke. “Kar, I really wish you would move to the city with us, we got a great apartment with a view of Town Lake, the girls would love it. It has plenty of room for you guys and a pool and everything. At the very least you should come visit for a while – you could take a break from eating so many house pets…” Anne trailed off, trying to make a joke of her own (she did have a point, the remaining house pets were the most abundant food source in the suburbs). “I’ll think about it, OK,” Karen said, hoping she sounded somewhat convincing. “Look, I gotta go, it’s getting late and the girls need baths, they’re a mess. I’ll call you later, give my love to Fred and the boys.” They hung up, and Karen munched on the last bits of flesh still hanging from the bone before breaking it open to suck out the marrow. She turned and looked at her two little girls, who were doing the same with what remained of the redneck asshole. That shot had been too close, she thought with a shudder.  She had been careless…

“Mommy,” said Olivia, breaking Karen’s train of thought, “can we have dessert tonight?” Karen looked around, sniffed the air and listened.  Her girls did the same.  Isabella spoke up, “I smell a cat. Can we go after it? Please, Mom?” Karen smiled and gave in. “One cat. But then it’s home, baths and bed, got it? And be careful!” “Yay!” the girls shouted in unison and took off running in the direction the smell had come from.  Karen smiled to herself, feeling proud of her two littles, they were such good girls… “If only Bill were here to see them,” she thought to herself.

She took one last look at the carcass beside her, looking to see if the girls had left anything tasty behind. Something caught her eye then, something shiny, glinting in the light of the setting sun.  It was a ring. It must have fallen off when Olivia tore the redneck asshole’s finger off… She picked it up and with dawning horror realized, it was Bill’s. His wedding ring.

She heard the girls returning and quickly wiped away the tears that had started to fall down her face. “We saved you some, Mom!” Isabella called out. “Yeah,” said Olivia proudly, “Bella wanted to eat it all but I told her we should share.” “That’s very sweet of you, girls,” said Karen, quickly pocketing the ring. Isabella eyed her mother carefully. “Is everything OK, Mom?” “Yeah baby, everything is fine.” Karen mustered a smile and grabbed their little hands in her own. “Come on my little ladies, time to get home.”

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Gammy (Also known as “the one I’ve been wanting to post for two days now but it’s been hard to write…”)


Thursday was a strange day. I woke up just thinking about my grandmother, Gammy, who passed away two years ago on Good Friday. All morning she just lingered with me… Eating breakfast, taking a shower, dropping off the girls Gammy continued to weigh heavily on my mind. So I decided that despite the fact I had lots of errands to run, I needed to go see her. Visit her. Which is big. I haven’t been to visit her since her burial. I’ve always intended to. But I’ve always avoided it…
One reason is that cemeteries have always creeped me out. My family has never been the kind to “go visit” our loved ones once they pass… Gammy herself even liked to tell us not to step on anyone, or breathe too deeply in a cemetery because we might inhale a lost spirit. (I think Gammy had a sick sense of humor…) But, as I felt so compelled to go, I sucked up my fears and went.
Of course I got there and promptly got lost. I didn’t realize how big the cemetery was… It was an adventure in itself just finding her grave.  Once I found it I just stared at it for a while. It all looked so different than the last time I was there…
Then I sat, right there. Crisscross applesauce. On top of my grandmother. (With my zombie phobia you can understand what a huge deal that was for me. I could even imagine her bursting from the ground to tell me to get up off of her and sit like a lady.)
I arranged her flowers… Yellow roses. Both Gammy and I always had an affinity for yellow roses. Well,I think she did, anyway. It’s what my Paw always gave her for their anniversaries. It’s what they gave me when I had my first child. It’s what was on top of her casket and what we each dropped onto it as it was being lowered into the ground… But come to think of it I don’t think I ever actually heard her say she liked them… How would that be for irony if she really never liked them in the first place?
Then I just started talking. Out loud, to my dead grandmother. I talked about what was going on, the girls, my husband, my friends, work, my mom… I told her about everything. It was like verbal diarrhea. As I was talking, it all just hit me. This flood of Gammy memories hit me like I had just been punched right in my chest and I started bawling like a baby. It was the first good cry I’ve ever had over my grandmother passing. I’d held it in for almost two years.
I had forgotten…
I had forgotten how I would sit at the bar in their kitchen while she ironed Paw’s clothes and just talk to her for hours. I would tell her all the latest gossip, about boys I liked, fights with friends. She would always weigh in with her opinion… The women in my family like to have their opinions heard.
The women in my family also love to shop. It’s in our blood. Gammy used to take me shopping every year for my birthday. And I knew I was going to get something good. She’d let me pick out one outfit, sometimes two, and if she approved she’d get them for me. Afterwards we’d get ice cream.
Gammy loved ice cream. Vanilla ice cream in particular. She had the most meticulous and systematic way to eat an ice cream cone, it would take her forever…
I had suppressed all of these memories and so many more for so long. For two years I have felt so guilty for not being there for her and my grandfather and my mom when it was roughest… For not having said goodbye to Gammy properly… I had just buried it all so deep and it all came out in this huge flood of emotion. Then I looked down and realized that during all of that… I had been twiddling my thumbs.
Gammy always twiddled her thumbs. She had tiny hands but fat little thumbs that bent backwards at an odd angle… and I have the same thumbs… She would always joke with me that we could never play the piano with thumbs like ours. It almost felt like she was there which freaked me out because I didn’t want to inhale her… And made me feel strangely comforted at the same time. That she had been listening, and in some way making sure she was heard in return…
I dusted myself off, and promised to come back… A promise that this time, I’ll keep.
-Shan

I am a Zombie Hunter Action Figure

First off – Happy Friday everyone!  I hope that you all are enjoying the new year in good health.  What is up with the cold/flu epidemic that is sweeping the nation??  It seems like everyone, their mama and their baby-mama is sick!  The sickness even struck our house again during Christmas and New Year’s. 

Since it seems that 80% of the country is suffering from some sort of illness – I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps the Mayans had this whole “end of the world” thing right after all.   It’s just not happening as fast as we all imagined it would.  What if, just what if, this “flu” is really the beginning of the zombie apocalypse?

Speaking of zombies… Knowing my irrational fear/obsession with the undead, my husband got me some zombie and zombie hunter action figures to keep on my desk at work.  They are awesome.  And what makes it even more awesome is that one of the hunters looks (almost) like me!

Me. In zombie hunter action figure form.

Me. In zombie hunter action figure form.

Me. In my non-zombie hunter attire.

Me. In my non-zombie hunter attire.

Does anyone else think that perhaps my scarf makes me look like a flight attendant?  Don’t get me wrong, I totally admire flight attendants, I actually at one time thought of becoming one, but it wasn’t quite the look I was going for today…

Anyway – here’s my action figure self in well, action:

Me: "You better check yourself zombie Bob Marley... Or else I will blow your muthafuckin' head off!"

Me: “You better check yourself zombie Bob Marley… Or I will blow your muthafuckin’ head off!”

Thanks to the hubs for providing me with 30 minutes worth of distraction at work yesterday!

-Shan

PS – I struggled a little with the caption for that last photo.  Leave me your suggestions in the comment line.  Since I have nothing of value to give away, best one gets a shout-out in a future post.  Not to mention really cool bragging rights…

Sleeping Babes

Is there any feeling as wonderful as holding your sleeping child?  While sleeping they look so angelic, so sweet, so calm.  Nothing like the crazy little hellions they were just mere hours prior.  (Just kidding, my angels never misbehave… Riiiiight.)

From the moment my two beautiful baby girls were born, this is one thing that I have tried hard to savor.   Those moments of holding them; smelling their little heads, studying every little curve of their faces, their little noses and long, dark eyelashes – I have taken mental snapshots of those moments and filed them in my memory bank because I know that unfortunately they won’t last.

Inside my head, the wheels are constantly in motion; making lists, thinking about what I need to do at work, what I’m going to wear the next day, or thinking about my zombie escape plan – it very rarely stops.  But, when I have those little moments of calm with my kiddos – I can truly relax. As I’m holding them or laying next to them while they are sleeping, I lose myself in looking at their amazing, tiny features and forget that our windows are unbarred and are an open invitation to any and all zombies who may be passing by.  Almost.

-Shan

Decisions, Decisions…

The end of the world, December 21st.

I don’t typically take doomsday predictions seriously, but this one has had me wondering, what is going to happen? “Probably nothing”, my rational mind tells me…but what if?  What if the world implodes/explodes?  What if The Day After Tomorrow happens and we get thrown into some weird climate change?  And the scariest of all – what if December 21st marks the beginning of the zombie apocalypse?

If that weren’t enough, after reading this the other day, I realized – I need to figure out what to wear!  I’ll be on vacation on the 21st so I won’t be at work, which means I have options:

1. Do I want to look fierce?

While looking fierce has the advantage of, well, looking fierce – it’s not the most comfortable of options.  For me, looking fierce usually involves heels and a pencil skirt or dress of some kind.  And ironing.  I hate ironing.  If I’m going to go down in some sort of fiery explosion or get sucked into a giant tornado, as I’m either exploding or being sucked away, hopefully my husband’s last thought will be, “Damn, my wife looked hot.”

But, if I’m going to have to be fighting for the survival of myself and my loved ones, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. For that, I’d need something comfortable, which brings me to…

2. Do I want to go cute but casual?

Logistically speaking, this one seems to make the most sense. In the case that the 21st does mark the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, catastrophic climate change, or it’s all out nuclear war and we’re plunged into some sort of Hunger Games scenario – casual yet functional seems to be the way to go.   However, if it’s going to be the last wardrobe change I’ll have for a while, I’ll need to like it. I’m not sure what the weather will be like (mental note, check weather for the 21st), but I’m thinking layers would be the right thing to wear.  Plus I got a cute sweater today that I’m looking forward to wearing – it would be perfect for the end of the world.

Or…

3. Do I want to go totally comfortable and observe the end of the world while in my pajamas? 

Ideally, on the 21st I’ll be able to just veg with the hubs and my girls, wrap gifts, drink hot chocolate and watch Christmas movies all day.  And nothing is more appropriate for that than pajamas. My JCrew pajamas, (of course), but pajamas none the less.

Come to think of it, this by far sounds like the best option.  But I’ll keep my zombie fighting jacket, cute new sweater and boots handy, just in case…

Ready to face the end of the world in style,

Shan

WILOW – Hiding My Funny

Apparently I’ve Been Hiding My Funny

“I had no idea you were funny!”  I’ve been hearing this a lot lately.  I sincerely appreciate the compliment from the folks who have taken time out of their day to read Shan’s Blog, but it kind of surprised me – opened my eyes a little.  Perhaps I’ve been playing it too cool in person…  And I am aware that “hiding my funny” sounds, well, funny.  But I’m going with it.

Having Santa’s Cell Phone Number Comes in Handy

My kids, like any other kids, hate to clean up their stuff.  And after the fourth time asking them to pick up their toys that were strewn about in the living room yesterday, I looked at them and said, “Santa gave me his cell phone number, and I can call him and tell him to put your names on the naughty list.”  The toys were picked up in record time.  I’ll have to be careful not to over-abuse this tactic, but it certainly was effective.

Cat Woman is Bad-Ass

Having young children means that we don’t get to the movie theater that often, and when we do it’s for the latest Disney film (loved Wreck It Ralph, btw), so we’re usually behind the curve on seeing the non-kid flicks.  We finally watched the latest Batman last night.  I’ve always been a Batman fan (except Val Kilmer and George Clooney Batmen), but Anne Hathaway won me over as Catwoman.  And, I kind of want to be her.  Minus the whole people trying to kill you all the time thing.

JCrew Beat Me to the Zombie Fighting Jacket

After spending most of last week/weekend wearing pajamas, it’s been fun to once again put on actual clothing that can be seen in public.  Today I was excited that it was actually slightly cool enough (high of 75, brrrr) to wear a jacket.  And about halfway through the day it hit me.  JCrew in all their stylish sneakiness beat me to the zombie fighting jacket.

photo

It looks puffier in the photo than it does in real life, probably because I was lifting my arms up some to show off the jacket in the picture. (I was also taking the photo in the bathroom at work – that might have something to do with the photo quality.) In real life it’s a slimmer fit. But look, four pockets in the front!  I could store all sorts of stuff in there. Plus it’s this cool fabric that seems like it would be both water and blood repellant.  I would have to alter it slightly, make the sleeves removable so it’s appropriate for all kinds of weather and easily tear off for quick escape and sew in some pockets on the inside… But I think I have my zombie fighting jacket. Check.

-Shan

PS – Don’t forget about the learning factory.  Pass it on… share me on Facebook even.  I don’t mind.  I’m a sharer.

PPS – Ladies, want your own zombie fighting jacket?  See – clearly I am not a good modeler of clothing.  Pretty cute, eh?

And Again with the Zombies…

OK – that’s what you’re probably going to think when you read this post.  But I’m sorry.  Zombies are really hot right now.  They are everywhere.  Video games, movies, TV shows, CDC websites, books, everywhere. So I can’t avoid writing about my not-so-secret obsession about them and thinking about how I could perhaps make some major money off this thing.

I consider myself to be a fairly fashionable person.  True, like everyone else I have some fashion skeletons in my closet (don’t act like you weren’t totally into those MC Hammer pants, too), but overall I feel that I dress pretty well.  Which got me to thinking when the zombie apocalypse happens, women are totally going to need the right clothing!  You can’t run from zombies in 5 inch heels.  But I’m sure women such as myself would still like to wear fashionable shoes – so a line of comfortable, yet fashionable, zombie-ass-kicking boots is a necessity.  And you’re going to need a cool vest or jacket to sheathe your machete in, which comes with hidden pockets for grenades and ammo for your sawed-off shotgun…  Just because the world is coming to an end, that’s no reason to not be fashionable, people.

Then we come to vehicles.  The hubs and I were discussing this last night.  We live in Texas, so like every other self-respecting Texan we drive large vehicles – SUV mom-mobile for me (equipped with a grill guard), and truck for him.  In any zombie invasion having the proper escape vehicle is key.  And let’s face it – a Prius isn’t going to cut it. (No offense to anyone who drives a Prius, you’re already doing your part to ensure that the zombie apocalypse doesn’t begin courtesy of environmental disaster.)  In this case, bigger truly is better.  And, what would be better than coming out with an entire line of truck and SUV accessories like a grill guard and windshield cage equipped with spikes, blades, and other accoutrement designed to maim, dismember, and mow down those zombie assholes??

So, those are just a few of my ideas.  Just know I’ve got some patents pending so don’t try to steal ‘em…

Ready to survive the zombie invasion,

Shan

Lastly, I did owe a correction to my previous post about fast zombies.  Apparently it is possible to place a sail on a battleship, as I was informed by a friend of my husband, that in the Pyramid of Darkness series on GI Joe they did just that.  I still have my doubts about the ability to quickly manufacture a sail of the magnitude that a battleship would need, but if GI Joe did it, then it can be done.  I stand corrected.  Whatever.