I have decided to give readers of this blog a look at something "in progress". So, be aware that this is the raw, unedited version of this story. In Dead: Confrontation, I am introducing a "new" character in the Vignettes section.
I am curious what sort of impact this story will have. You see, I have an idea in mind going in to this. I am hoping that the readers will pick up on it. So any observations that you may come up with as you read this are welcome in the comments section below. (And yes, I still have editing to do, so if words are wonky or repetitious, that will be fixed during edits.) I just want to see if my mission is accomplished in this section.
Without further delay...this is the second vignette in this story line.
Emily-zombie stepped outside. The others were on the move as the newest sound rumbled through their deadened senses. None of them knew why, she no more or less than the others. Yet, sound sent a signal that drew her like a moth to the flame.
However, before she had taken the third step, she had forgotten why. Her drive now came from no greater stimulus than she was already in motion along with those around her. If that split second could be broken down, it would be that sound indicated something possessing the craved heat was close.
As Emily-zombie trudged along with the others, a tingle bloomed in that tiniest part of her mind that made her different from the others. That sound might mean something besides heat. It might mean…
The idea of death meant nothing. The emotion known as fear had no place in her to gain purchase because it could not be sustained. Yet, enough of that kernel of fear sent a signal to Emily-zombie.
Once again, the word had no meaning, but Emily slowed down and let many of the others get past her. Something brushed her foot. It gave off no warmth. Looking down, it was the other…the one that made Emily’s steps bolder just because of its presence.
Meaningless. Yet Emily-zombie slowed even more to match the pace of this one that pulled itself along on the ground. When one of the group stepped on her, Emily-zombie hissed and moved over it to shield it. Those around took no notice, but they went around the pair.
It was not long before another image bloomed. Moving was easier if the others cleared the way. The cold meant nothing. But walking through…snow!...was easier if a path existed for them to follow.
All of these images and words held their meaning for about as long as the flame created by a wandering magician that opens his wallet and ignites the flashpowder creating a momentary fireball that is gone in the span of a single heartbeat. Yet they were enough to alter Emily’s reactions. Those moments gave her the appearance of thought. Like the magician’s flaming wallet, it was no more than an illusion. Still, that was enough to make her different.
The pitiful creature at her feet that pulled itself along felt no gratitude. And if Emily were to wander off, neither would remember their time together as they travelled with this mob any more than Emily-zombie remembered that it was her banging on a car that had brought this particular herd together.
Emily-zombie walked. Never all the way in the rear of the group, never in front. There was something that kept her as close to the center as she able to be. And when a new sound came, the entire group oriented on it and moved. They became slower as those in front had to push against the wall of white.
At one point, the mob increased its speed as they poured out into an area where the snow had been trampled down. And now there was a steady source of sound leading them on. Every once in a while, Emily was able to see a flash of warmth up ahead.
Now that the actual warmth was spotted, she began to move through any crease or opening in the mob to get just a bit closer. That warmth overwhelmed many of her other signals. She had to have it. It was hers.
Now there were sounds coming from many directions. At some point that one source of warmth vanished. Emily-zombie slipped back into simply trying to follow the sounds. She had no ability to determine that she actually doubled back on her path a half dozen times. She simply followed sound.
Twice her group passed a figure on the ground. It was not one of them, but it did not possess any heat, and therefore, it went ignored.
Her mob had broken into several smaller groups as some turned away, drawn by sounds from a different direction. There were passages through the whiteness that allowed them to move easier…with more freedom.
Turning a corner in pursuit of the most recent noise, her group discovered three sources of warmth clustered together. Emily-zombie stopped, allowing the others to close in. The screams meant nothing. One of the sources separated from the others and came at Emily-zombie.
She stepped behind one of her own as a loud noise reverberated off the walls of the snow passage. She craved that warmth, but a signal had built and actually lingered.
Her group fell on those three sources of warmth. Still Emily-zombie waited. Something made her hesitate. As the others tore open those sources, spilling more warmth out onto the…snow!...she moved in and joined.
One source seemed to stand out from the others. It almost seemed to try and offer itself to Emily-zombie. She knelt and plunged her hands inside, pulling as much of that warmth to her mouth as she could.
At no point did the sounds spewing from this source hold any meaning. She continued to feed despite the pleas.