From the Author

Although Z (http://zworldnewz.com) was intended as light zombie-apocalypse reading, the writing was demanding on both my meager mental abilities and my time. It was, however, a hoot to write. Every post was written the day of the posting and nothing was pre-planned—at least not consciously. The only editing done was on punctuation and typos. The posts have a raw first draft feel because that’s what they are.

What was difficult about writing the story you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I threw Martin into bad situations with no clue of how to get him out. This is standard practice in writing a story, but normally you can change things in order to come up with a viable solution. Not so with posting something and then needing to resolve the problem by the next day. Once posted, there was no going back and saying, “Never mind, Martin’s screwed with this scenario. There’s no way out. I need to rewrite this so he doesn’t die or whatever.” I was stuck with what I wrote. I won’t claim my solutions were all that clever, but hopefully they were somewhat entertaining.

Some folks still bug me to continue with Z, but the truth is it was taking too much time away from finishing the novel I’m working on. The novel is nearing completion and yes there are zombies in it as well as other things you don’t want moving in next door, if you’re interested in such nonsense. If I ever do revise Z, I’ll announce it on my other blog, 80 Proof Prose at:
http://rwgoldsmith.me

I’d love to have you visit me there.

RWGoldsmith
AKA Martin Grist

World’s End Update

P1000189 3- CopyIf you’re reading this, you may be aware that I haven’t posted anything for months. I want you to know it’s not my fault. Shortly after the event at the Indian casino, Shelly and I met up with a renegade Meetup group called Biker Chicks for Literacy. Upon hearing my name, their leader, Prunilla Scrotch, a pursed-lipped librarian from the nearby town of Hemet, had me shackled and taken to their headquarters in an abandoned Barnes and Noble. Seems she was privy to my blog and found my prose beneath her literary standards. In an effort to correct my shortcomings, she forced me to listen to endless hours of her reciting Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen. Oh, how I begged her to feed me to the living dead who roamed the streets outside.

Speaking of soulless creatures , don’t even ask what Shelly was doing while I was being tortured. I’m so mad at her I might not even take her with me if I get the chance to escape or if I finish my novel–whichever comes first. You see, that’s what I had to promise to make Ms. Scrotch stop her infernal reciting and let me go free, that is I promised to forget this blog business and finish my novel, mindful of proper punctuation and grammar with lots of emphasis on the protagonist’s feelings. She even demands I have a theme to the story. She’s merciless. God, if only I were more like Bruce Campbell. Then I’d really show Prunilla and her female band of erudite hellions what for.

Prunilla’s looking at me and tapping her wristwatch, meaning I need to wrap this up. She has allowed me this one short update after a month of my working on the novel. If you’re new to my blog and wish to know how I ended up in this sorry state, go to the Table of Contents and begin reading at the beginning. Perhaps you’ll learn enough to save yourself from a similar feckless fate.

Martin Grist, prisoner at the World’s End.

Drink up!

Cloudy With a Chance of Zombies

English: Capoeira cartwheel Français : Roue de...

As it’s been a while since my last post, I think a quick recap of where we left off is in order. So here tis. Shelly and I were caught in an anti-gravity field or tractor beam or whatever you want to call it. We were twenty floors up on top of an Indian casino filled with zombies. And best of all, we were catch in an anti-gravity field and cartwheeling through the air with only a cool breeze between us and a UFO the size of Los Angeles hovering high overhead in the night sky. All this was the backdrop to the fact we were about to sail over a pergola, the one place on the roof that would have provided refuge for us had we been beneath it. So there’s your recap. Onward.

I had one shot at halting our ascent, grab hold of the pergola as we flew over, and it was all up to me. I was the one who’d be in position as we flew past the edge of the pergola’s roof. I stretched out my free hand–and missed by mere inches. As my feet came around I kicked out and wedged the toe of my boot between a couple of crossbeams. I was certain our momentum would rip us free. Which is exactly what happened. But not before our path arced downward enough for Shelly to reach one of the crossbeams and anchor us to safety. From there it was only a matter of climbing under the pergola.

We rested on the ceiling for while to gather our nerve which gave me enough time to think of a plan. If you’re wondering, I swear, it was me and not Shelly who came up with the plan for our escape. We worked our way down(up?) the columns to the floor where, using our belts and strips of cloth torn from our cloths, we tied workout weights to our feet. With our feet weighted to the floor, the world righted itself. We then walked to the roof door and reentered the casino.

Français : Vichy La Pergola

Let me tell you it was one of the strangest things I’ve ever experienced. The blood rushed to my head and each step felt like I was walking through thick mud. But that was nothing compared to walking under a ceiling squirming with zombies. Progress was excruciatingly slow, and Shelly didn’t help matters with her constant blather.

“I wish I had a camera. That’s the freakiest thing I’ve ever seen. Hope the gravity doesn’t come back on before we get out of here. Guess we’d go quick, though. They’d probably land on us and break our necks. If we added my weights to your boots, you could carry me along like a balloon. Let’s try it. Help me make a tether.”

I threw in an occasional “No” and “Please shut up” but for the most part I was too scared to speak. We almost made it to the exit without my fears taking form. Luckily, our necks remained in tact when the gravity returned and zombies rained down. Zombies of course are subject to physics the same as anything else, and I doubt any of them escaped the fall without breaking a shitload of bones. We removed the weights from our feet and simply skirted around the crippled piles of flesh sprawled between us and the exit. Shelly stopped to stuff her pockets with some of her winnings from the slot machine before saying adios to the fly infested hall. Fresh air never smelled better.

Needless to say, I stored the weights in the bike’s saddlebags and plan on fitting them with some sort of harness system. In an upside down world, it’s important to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.

Netherlandish Proverbs "The World Turned ...

Netherlandish Proverbs “The World Turned Upside Down” by Pieter Brueghel the younger after his father (Photo credit: Martin Beek)

“Houston, we have a problem.”

Mighty Mouse in Ralph Bakshi's adaptation

Did I mention we didn’t come across a single animated corpse until we entered the casino? From the inanimate bodies dotting the landscape, we concluded the colossal spacecraft had played its anti-gravity tricks over an area that stretched at least as far as the casino. Just my luck Shelly had an itch to play the slots. We could have spent the entire day having a picnic and playing Frisbee at the park without anything but a few bugs trying to take a bite out of us. As it was, we were stuck atop the casino with the zombie blues again.

Actually, if it wasn’t for the fact there was no way down from the roof, which didn’t include our certain death, we might have enjoyed ourselves, as our prison was complete with a swimming pool, a bar, and a free weight workout station beneath a shady metal canopy. The pool was relatively free of debris, but my spirits were too low to go for a swim so we passed time pumping iron and spotting each other. (I’m not sure how five foot, five inch Shelly would have helped had the weights become too much for me to handle) That aside, the truth is that, as far as I’m concerned, a sweaty Shelly is a sexy Shelly. That fact and our limited prospects for the future led us to pass the rest of the day in other sweaty pursuits.

In the evening, we sat on the edge of the roof, a fifteen story drop to the pavement below. We playfully considered taking a lover’s leap, thinking it a better way to check out than the rotting teeth that waited to tear us to shreds on the floor below.

Pressed close together, we watched the sunset.

“Tomorrow’s another day,” Shelly said with first twilight.

“What goes around comes around,” I said, only because I have a knack for ruining special moments when they come my way.

Shelly squeezed my arm. (Thank God, she wasn’t pissed) “What goes up must come down.”

I know it makes no sense, but that’s love, isn’t it?

“Houston,” I said, “we have a problem.”

A chill ran down my back. We turned to each other and said, “Holy shit!”

It was obvious Shelly was thinking the same thing as I. Gravity! What if the alien spacecraft returned this night? A roof is no place to be when up becomes down. Even as I tried to think of what to do, a sparkling black diamond began to consume the stars overhead as the alien spacecraft ascended from the heavens.

I grabbed Shelly’s hand and dashed for the canopy, our only hope. I felt lighter and we bounded forward as though running across the surface of the moon. I knew we weren’t going to make it; our next step would launch us into space.

Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick

As I’ve said before, I haven’t an ounce of heroism within me. When given a choice, I will cut and run at the first sign of danger. Bruce Campbell I’m not.

Whether it was because of the intimacy Shelly and I had shared, or for the fact there seemed no other choice, I broke with my nature and did something completely out of character. I took hold of Shelly’s waist and hurled her forward with my last step–she weighs about a hundred pounds, but felt more like ten.

I think my plan would have worked as well as a well-oiled thingamajig had Shelly not grabbed me by the hand and sent us cartwheeling through the air in a rising arc above the canopy.

~This post has gone on way too long. I’ll continue with the gory details next time. I for one can hardly wait to relive the horror that followed.

There and Hacknslash Again

English: A M1914 Colt

The good thing about motorcycles is you don’t pedal them. The bad thing about motorcycles is you don’t pedal them. The latter, of course, only applies to pedestrians like me who are forced to learn the bare essentials of motorcycle riding while attempting to keep up with a biker who’s hell-bent on testing her limits. To my credit, I almost made it to the freeway before my bike coughed its last breath. Seems I burned up the transmission. How was I supposed to know I had to shift gears? To Shelly’s credit, she didn’t abandon me and stuck me on the back of her Harley. I’m not certain which is worse, being snacked on by zombies or the humiliation of riding on the back of a chick’s bike.

Don’t laugh. It’s not funny.

In case you didn’t read my last post, Shelly and I have set off for greener pastures, or at least pastures where the laws of nature aren’t being screwed with by discourteous ETs. We decided to travel light and forage for supplies along the way, choosing to carry weapons and ammo in lieu of food. This, as you might expect, was Shelly’s idea. I would have preferred to bring food instead of weapons and thus avoid the messy scavenging bits altogether. Strange how she always seems to get her way. Then again, maybe it’s not. Better to die for someone worth dying for than to live on for no reason at all.

Who am I kidding? It’s the sex, plain and simple.

Abandoned casino at Asbury Park, NJ

Speaking of the devil, Shelly, true to her nature, led me on another of her suicide adventures not fifteen miles from home. Besides Walmart or Disneyland, what’s the last place in Southern California you’d wish to visit during a zombie apocalypse? An Indian casino, right? Do you know how many people swarmed to the casinos with their life savings when they realized the world was coming to an end? From what I’ve seen, the answer is a lot. And what does Shelly decide she just has to do? Play the slots, that’s what. God help me, my girlfriend’s got the survival instincts of a Lemming, and I keep swimming after her.

Needless to say, our gambling spree was short lived. We stormed into the casino with shotguns pumped and ready. We ventilated the skulls of those who greeted us inside and Shelly blew open the giant slot machine that welcomed gamblers to the casino. Tokens spilled out onto the floor, and Shelly jumped around like a shameless game show contestant, screaming. “I won! I won! I won!”

I won’t bore you with the details of our escape—if you want to call it that. Just take my word that we found ourselves surrounded by a gazillion zombies and fought our way to the casino roof where we managed to barricade the door.

Anyway, I hate long posts so I’ll end this one here. Stay tuned to see if Shelly and I die a horrible death.

Jackpot #neon #neonmuesum #sign #vintage

Star Blight, Star Fright

The Flying Saucers Are Real

Splat

Shelly and I are packing up and heading out. At least we won’t have to worry about the stinking zombies for a while. The ones around here are all dead, or whatever you call it when a zombie stops moving. I just pray we don’t get caught outside if someone turns off the gravity again. We’ve been without power and cut off from the rest of the world since my last post. We have food and water and were willing to weather the blackout as long as we felt relatively safe. We did feel safe for about a week and a half. Then came the patterned lights in the night sky and the stars vanished. Although a true believer in UFOs, I’ve never been one to blindly trust in alien benevolence. I estimate the structure that hovered overhead at night was two or more miles in diameter. It scared the piss out of me.

Of course, my fear of an alien presence paled in comparison to the fear I felt glued to the ceiling of my bedroom each night for the last week. Falling up is a strange, sickening sensation, let me tell you. It’s nearly impossible to sleep, knowing you’ll crash to the floor sometime before the break of dawn. –as the phenomenon doesn’t affect inanimate objects, the term “gravity” is merely used for lack of a better term–

The first morning was the worst. The thunderous bang of a zombie body crashing into the roof nearly stopped my heart. Outdoors, the splattered remains of what I hoped had been the living dead, rather than the living, lay splayed about in unrecognizable gory ruin. Nowhere did anything move, but for the wind.

Last night, the power returned as did gravity. (Bed never felt so good) We don’t know how long it will last, but we want to be somewhere else if and when the craft returns. It’s time to leave. I’m taking my netbook and solar charger. I’ll report on our progress as providence permits.

Basic Survival