The Curious Story of Zara The Undeadtrepreneur

by Brendan Strong

This is another story based on today’s #liblit prompt (from the excellent Shannon Wendt‘s blog).

The prompt today was: A character – Zombie; Bonus word: vivacious

Zara had been vivacious in life; but afterwards, when undead, things changed. She retained that entrepreneurial spirit that had served her well when most people around were consumers – alive, yet brainless. Her joie de vivre, sans spirit, became a joie de mort-vivant.

She started a restaurant business. Sourcing and offering human victims from a range of backgrounds and professions – the tangy brains of creative professionals; the simple, strong flavours of project managers; the complex savoury CEOs; the sweet nectar of carers.  Her restaurant business suffered, as waiters could not concentrate on the work, feasting on the delicious brains before they got to the tables. Sometimes, before they left the ‘kitchen’ (which was really a prep area, disguised on the outside as a club intended to attract the *exact* type of mortal requested by clients). If an order got to a table, the clients showed no signs of appreciation. They fell on their food – not even noticing it was served in cute ceramic skulls uncovered by some corageous, delicious archeologists – complained that the bones were too glassy, then meandered out the door, all the while moaning.

She did not let this get her down. She moved onto new services for zombies. Of greater success (but no less a failure), was the Meating Point website, where zombies could pose as young, vivacious folk looking to date People (mortals, of course). A well executed and copyrighted questionnaire could match any particular zombie’s feasting preferences with the grey matter of target individuals from anywhere in the world. But the clientelle, having signed up for a free beta trial period, soon lost interest and went out into the dark, damp evening and sought live prey.

Finally, she had tried so many business ventures, and achieved so little in undeath, she felt she had to give up. After a 3 day binge on mortals found everywhere from skyscrapers to gutters, she moaned to her friends that she had lost it.

She had lost the will to be undead.

Putting up no defence, she was quickly consumed by her “friends”, who had the perverse distaste to compare her unfavourably to the meals and meating point People she used to help the other zombies find. As she lost her undeath, she thought –

How unfair is undeath,

No spirit. No shine. Just strife – and stress.

There is nothing you can think of to comfort you,

When your brains are no more than future zombie-poo.

A statue was erected some 70 years later. A folly to memorialise her many follies. These final words were printed as a warning to the novice undead. Any fool who had plans or dreams could learn from Zara. The price of vivacious conduct in a world of spiritless undeath is high, leading to a final banality and irrelevance; what greater torture could befall one who wanted to make a change?

Whereas an undeath of moaning unfulfillment will be sated with no less a reward than to exist exactly as one expects to.