August 17th, 2006


The Zombies Are Here

On my way to the KGB Bar last night to hear shunn and Elizabeth Bear read, I saw my first zombie. He was shuffling down Second Avenue, his face torn up and bruised, his clothes scuffed and wet with blood. One shoe was half off his foot.

This being the East Village, I didn't think much of it. I figured he was just a crazy person, so I averted my eyes, which is what you do with crazy people on the New York sidewalk, and just let him lumber past me. But I kept noticing people turning and looking back in his direction. Then, farther up the block, I saw a fire truck parked at the curb, its lights flashing. The firemen were folding up an empty stretcher, scratching their heads and staring after him with a look of Why is that guy walking? (In NYC, firemen respond to medical 911 calls - they're trained in CPR and can often get to the scene before the ambulance does.)

Across from them, on the sidewalk in front of a small bodega, was one of the biggest pools of blood I've ever seen.

I kept walking, but I couldn't escape the zombie. After grabbing a cup of iced coffee on Second Avenue and 10th Street, I backtracked to the KGB Bar. The firemen were gone, and someone had poured a gravelly substance over the blood. I rounded the corner of 4th Street only to discover the zombie was there. He had made it as far as the KGB Bar itself and collapsed on the steps. They were loading him into an ambulance.

That's when I heard someone had spotted the zombie lurching, bloody and broken, as far away as the D.B.A. bar on First Avenue and 2nd Street earlier. So the bloody spot on Second Avenue may not have been the original point of injury. However, it may have been a point of attack where the zombie bit someone.

Which means there might be another one out there. Right now.

Also, the reading was good.