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—Hi. I haven’t posted in a long time. Not gonna explain why, but I’m back to submit this and hopefully more later on. It’s part of the Halloween contest so please vote and comment, etc. Thanks

– Also, spoiler, this is about the more traditional zombie rather than the movie idea and thought it’d be fun. Hope you agree.


I hate my job. The position advertised travel. It just hadn’t stated that you would be traveling to the worst places in the country. It advertised interesting challenges which would require problem solving skills and come with the ability to make necessary changes, not the stress of having to produce results without the cooperation of the condescending management. It promised a good salary, … well that was true and unfortunately it was good enough that I put up with all of the other bullshit. It was really my own damn fault for thinking corporate accounting would be exciting and glamorous.

So I found myself in some backwater town going over the books of one of my company’s smaller assets and trying to ignore the general suspicion and dirty looks I was getting from the local staff. I sat in my `office’ which was nothing more than a broom closet with a desk. The ten year old computer hummed at my feet as I stared at the monitor in complete confusion. It was no wonder they were in the red with so many counter-productive policies and wasteful business practices being handed down from the administration. My report was no doubt going to be chock full of recommendations, which if followed, would constitute an overhaul of the entire structure of the factory.

“You’ve been here for FOUR days,” came a belligerent voice from the doorway. I looked up and saw one of the factory managers standing with his hands stuck in his pockets. His white button up shirt pulled taut over his large belly proudly displaying the stains and remnants of whatever had consisted of his lunch or at least the small portion that had not made it to his mouth. Enormous mutton chops framed his fat face with greasy hair, making the man an altogether unattractive picture. Though I knew from his personnel file that he was just shy of 45, he looked more like a man in his upper 50s. “You haven’t done a god damn thing except sit here staring at that computer. You want to tell me what exactly it is you’re doing?”

I sighed. This wasn’t the first time that I had this discussion, not even the first time with him. He knew why I was here and was simply resenting my presence and throwing his weight around. Luckily, I in no way answered to him or anyone else at the factory.

“Mr. LeDeux, I’ve told you. I’ve been sent by the company to take a look at your reports and find out why it is that you’re operating below expectations. At the moment, I’m going through your production numbers and not only are you not meeting your schedule but you’re way over budget. I’d like to sit down with you and discuss-.”

“Listen, you little shit, I don’t work for you. I don’t give a fuck what the hell you think you know or what fancy college you went to. Just sit here doing whatever it is you do and stay out of everyone else’sway. There won’t be any sit downs or interviews or meetings with the staff. When you’re done, just go back and tell them that everything’s fine down here. You got it or do I have to draw you a picture?”

“I got it.” I said and sighed again. This was typical of the attitude I was shown at every one of my assignments. It was why I hated my job and since he was right and I was not required to show my reports to him or anyone but my supervisor at corporate, I simply let it go.

LeDeux smirked at me and waddled away from my doorway. I gave a second to curse him for an ignorant redneck with less smarts than hygienic habits, shut my computer down and left for the day.

As I got into the rented compact car, I felt a twinge of regret. I should stay and finish my report so I could get the hell out of there and back home until being shipped off to my next assignment. I slammed the door and threw the car into drive. Fuck that, I thought. I was too pissed off to work and just needed some down time. Of course, down time in the Swamp That Time Forgot was not as appealing as sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time trying to make sense of the mess that I was handed. Making my final decision, I peeled out of the driveway and headed back to the bug infested motel that for the time being was home.

My car died less than halfway there and to say there was no service there was only to imply that there was service anywhere in this backward county. I would have to walk the rest of the way.

It was a nice day- no, scratch that. The day sucked shit but the weather was nice if you dismissed the humidity and vicious mosquitoes that were hungry for blood. I thought it fitting since it was mid October and Halloween was only right around the corner. Halloween was my favorite holiday. There was something about a day that emphasized the lengthening shadows and the new chill in the air which spoke of the promise istanbul travesti of the next year while tolling the death of the current one. A time to take a walk through the darker places of the world and bring a little light and frivolity and goodness to it. Of course, there was the candy and kids running around like insane lunatics and costume parties that appealed to me as well.

I had walked a good three miles before I started regretting my decision, not only to walk to the motel but to wear my loafers which bit into my feet with every step. I figured the next house I saw would be a perfect place to stop and call for a tow and a ride. I was just full of bad ideas today.

The house, or shack if you like, was dilapidated and seemed to be standing only by the grace of God and the placement of some well placed two by fours leaning against the outside walls. It’s fading and chipping paint was varied in color making it impossible to tell what color it had been originally. The foliage around it grew haphazardly and encroached upon the house as if resentful of it being there. A dirt path led to the front stoop made from the passing of many feet. An old black woman sat in a rocking chair, slowly rocking as she snapped beans into a bucket. She watched me warily as I approached.

“Good afternoon, ma’am.” No reply. “My car died a bit down the road and I was hoping I could use your phone to call for a tow.”

“Ain’t got no phone.” She said, simply.

“Oh. I see. Shit.” I felt embarrassed for cursing in front of the old woman. “Pardon my French, ma’am.”

“That wasn’t French, cher.” She smiled.

“No, I guess it wasn’t.” I smiled back. “Could I bother you for something to drink.”

“‘Suppose. Come sit.”

I started toward the stoop when I realized that there were no other chairs than the one she sat in. Having noticed my confusion, she nodded to the worn place at her feet and despite an affection for the suit I was wearing, I sat reluctantly.

“Chu-chut!!” She yelled.

“I’m sorry?”

“Wasn’t talkin’ to you, Cher.”

A moment later a large, dark skinned black man walked out of the trees and bushes from the side of the house. The two things I noticed about him at first was that he was his height. He must have stood six foot three at least. The other was that he was filthy. The clothes he wore were tattered and stained. His skin showed many dark patches of dried dirt as if he hadn’t washed in quite some time. The third thing I noticed was the haunted look in his eyes. He seemed to be looking at everything while at the same time, seeing nothing.

The old woman spoke to him in another language, resembling French, which I assumed to be creole. He didn’t seem to be listening, his eyes rolled around in his head before he disappeared into the house.

“Is that your grandson?” I asked and the woman laughed, heartily.

“No. He’s chu-chut.” She said, as if that would explain the large man.

“Chu-chut’s his name? That’s interesting.” She laughed again.

“No. He’s a chu-chut, a thing. He has no name.” She shook her head at my ignorance. “He’s zombie.”

“Zombie?” I asked in disbelief. “Like a real zombie?”

“Sure dat, cher.” It took me a moment to translate what she had said to mean something close to `certainly’.

“But zombie’s don’t exist.”

“Zombies don’ exist, yet you just looked at one.” She shook her head again. “City boy don’ know what out in da bayou just like Coonass don’ know what’s dere in da city. Zombie not in da city, well, zombie out in da bayou.”

I chuckled, unable to help myself. I was suddenly fascinated by the realization that she actually believed this man was a zombie.

“So he eats people? Eats their brains and takes chunks out of their arms?” I asked, a bit condescendingly.

“Boy, you ain’ got no sense. Zombie don’ eat people and only brains they eat be a gators brains or goats brains if he lucky.”

“Wait, so this is like that movie… oh what was it?” I wracked my brain and finally came up with the name of the movie. It had been about a botanist that had gone to Haiti and studied the shamanistic practice of making zombies. “The Serpent and the Rainbow! That’s it!”

The old woman moved more quickly than I thought her able and smacked me across the face. She stared at me fiercely before sitting back in the rocker.

“Don’ speak dem things when you don’ understand, cher. You get yourself in mighty hot water before you know it.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, astonished. “I didn’t mean to offend you.” She laughed again.

“You don’ offend me, chile. I jus’ trying to help you. If I don’ smack you proper maybe on da way home you meet a loa and you don’ like what dey do to you.”

“Well, then… thanks I guess.”

“Don’ think nothin’ of it.” She laughed and I couldn’t tell if she was joking with me or not.

“What’s a….” I was still stunned that she had slapped me that I couldn’t even remember the odd word she had used.

“Loa. City boy don’ know loa either. Loa is, well spirit I guess. istanbul travestileri They can be angry loa and they can be happy loa. Guess which one’s better.” She chuckled.

“Maybe I’ll just do as you said and avoid either of them.”

“Da’s good.”

Chu-chut came out on the porch carrying glasses of what looked like lemonade and a plate of what looked like french toast. He handed the plate and one of the glasses to the old woman before handing me the remaining glass. I noticed he hadn’t gotten one for himself.

“You have some ‘pain perdu’, cher.” The woman said and offered the plate.

I took a bite and decided it was as much like french toast as it was different, if that makes any sense. The woman spoke again in creole and Chu-chut sat down on the ground below the step. Again, my fascination of him got the better of me.

“So, you made Chu-chut a zombie?” I asked and the woman cackled so hard I thought she might just keel over in the chair.

“No, I don’ make zombie. Gris-gris like dat takes power. Gris-gris like dat takes a dark heart. No, I don’ make zombie. Chu-chut done nothin’ wrong to be made dis way ‘sept say no to someone who don’ like hearin’ it.” She explained.

“I don’t understand.”

“Dere a vodouisant in da next bayou. She think she Marie Laveau.” The woman rolled her eyes as if that were a ridiculous notion. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I didn’t know who or what she was talking about.

“A vodouisant?” I asked.

“Voo doo queen. I say she has power, she did da zombie gris, n’cest pas? But she no Marie Laveau.” At my blank stare she sighed and explained. “Marie Laveau was a Queen down in New Orleans. She had a kind heart, not like dis’ one up here. Dis one here took an eye to Chu-chut and wanted him for her own but he say no. You don’t say no to a vodouisant. Not one with a dark heart anyhows.”

I turned to Chu-chut. “Why did you say no?” I asked.

“He won’t answer. Zombies don’ be speakin’ ‘sept to da one dat made ’em.” The old woman shook her head. “Chu-chut’s a good boy. He don’ need be zombie but it is what it is. C’est la vie.”

“Do you know why he said no?”

“He has his reasons and dere his reasons.” She said and sat back and closed her eyes. “Chile, its a good thing dat you stopped here. Chu-chut will help you. He good at car fixins’.”

“He can fix my car?” I asked.

“Zombies are good at dat sort of thing.” She said and laughed. “I’m tired and old. Chu-chut will go with you now.”

“If he can help that’d be great. I’ll even give him some money for it.” I offered.

“What a zombie gonna do with money?” She cackled again. “A zombie only does what you want it to do. He helps you now.”

“Well, thank you very much.” I said, feeling odd thanking the old woman and not the man or zombie that would apparently be doing the work. “I’ll drive him back when we’re done.”

“No need, cher. He’s yours now.” She said and stood up from the rocking chair. A stream of creole came from her mouth and Chu-chut listened before coming to stand next to me. The old woman walked inside her shack.

“Um… wait. Ma’am?” I called after her but got no response. “What do you mean he’s mine now?”

I tried for a while to get her to answer or even open the door but she refused. Turning around and heading away from the shack back toward my car, I noticed that Chu-chut was following me.

“I really appreciate this.” No answer. “You’re helping me, that is. I really appreciate it.”

We walked for a while without speaking and finally came back to the wreck that I had rented. It still sat on the side of the road where I had left it and hadn’t magically fixed itself like I had hoped. Chu-chut pulled open the hood and began tinkering with the engine and fooling with stuff which was beyond my comprehension. It seemed to be the day for that. Feeling an ache in my lower back from more walking than I was used to, I sat in the drivers seat and thought about the odd little woman, the large man and their beliefs. It was astonishing that people actually still held to those old superstitions.

I was lost in my own musings and was startled to notice that Chu-chut was there by my side waiting for me to see him. Figuring he was done, I turned the key and laughed when the engine roared to life. Ok, it was an old Honda so maybe it coughed, purred, and whined to life.

“Oh thank God! This is such a relief! Thanks so much, Chu-chut!” He gave no response and had no expression on his face, but despite the filth and grime I saw he was an attractive man. A twinge in my stomach reminded me of how long it had been since I had been with someone. I coughed to cover my embarrassment and turned away.

“Why don’t you get in and I’ll give you a ride back home.” I said and the zombie walked around the car to fit his tall, wide frame into the passenger seat. “I’ll have you back home in a jiffy.”

I said, thinking `and put all this weird shit behind me’. We drove in silence, as the old woman said Zombies do not make good conversationalists, travesti istanbul and soon came up to the shack. I put the car in park and turned to smile at Chu-chut.

“Thanks again. That was really nice of you.” He made no attempt to leave the car. I reached in my pocket and fished a couple of twenties out of my wallet and handed it to him. “Please, take this or give this to her in thanks for you help.” He made no attempt to touch the money, so I stuffed it into a small breast pocket on his shirt. My fingers tingled when they brushed his pec which even through the material, felt warm and hard. I pulled back my hand as if it had been burned.

“So you can leave now.” He refused to get out of the car. “You can go, really….You can stay here or go wherever you want…. I release you from your obligation to me…..Please?” I said, feeling more certain that he was stuck with me. “Chu-chut, get out of the car.”

He opened the door and stepped out. “Chu-chut, close the door.” He did and I took the opportunity to pull the car back onto the road and drove away. I couldn’t help myself and glanced at the rear view mirror to see him running after the car.

“Fuck me!” I said and slammed on the brakes waiting for him to catch up. He finally did and stood next to the drivers side window. “You’re not going to leave are you?”

He looked at me but gave no response and at this point I didn’t really expect one.

“Chu-chut, get in the car.” I ordered and he walked around the hood to again fit himself into the tiny car. “What the hell am I going to do with you?”

The motel manager was outside when I pulled into the parking lot and parked in front of my room. I nodded to him and walked to my room before I realized that I was alone. I looked back at my passenger and motioned for him to come with me. The managers face curdled when he saw Chu-chut step out and follow me into the room. I could only imagine what he thought and I prayed he wouldn’t make trouble since this was the only motel for miles around. I sat down on the bed and had to tell my zombie to sit on the floor or he would have stood in place for the entire night.

What does one do with a zombie? Is there a department, some sort of government program that takes them and rehabilitates them? Is there a zombie commune where they are allowed to roam free and play in the sunshine? I finally decided to call and find out.

Two hours later, after having mucked and slogged through the bowels of Louisiana social service, I found that there was no such thing. Even the mental health departments of the local hospitals told me I was on my own when I admitted he wasn’t a danger to himself or others. I was down to my last option and it was a long shot at best.

“Louisiana Child Welfare Office, how may I help you?”

“Hello, I’m calling to ask if there’s anyway I can get some help for someone who’s completely unable to fend for himself. I think he’s been neglected for a while now and I desperately need to get him someone who can protect him and help him in anyway.”

“Of course, sir. I’ll be happy to help you. How old is the child?”

“Well, he’s not exactly a child. He’s an adult but he’s completely unable to fend for himself.”

“We only deal with children, sir but if he truly is unable to help himself maybe I can point you in the right direction. When you say unable to help himself, what are you talking about?”

“He won’t do anything unless you tell him too. He won’t sit, won’t eat, won’t do anything.”

“Is he mentally handicapped, sir?” She asked.

“Not exactly.” I sighed. “He thinks he’s a zombie.”

“A what?”

“A zombie.”

“Holy shit! Jack wasn’t kidding. You are actually calling every program in Louisiana asking about zombie benefits, aren’t you?” She asked and laughed so hard and long that I simply hung up the phone.

“Well Chu-chut, it seems like it’s just you and me.” I said and looked at my dirty zombie sitting quietly on the floor.

“Come on. We have to get you some clothes.”

Thank God for Halloween, Walmart and Halloween at Walmart. Anytime in October you can expect a great deal of leeway given your state of dress with people assuming you’re simply getting in the spirit of the holiday. And whoever complained of someone’s fashion sense at Walmart?

I walked down the aisles with my zombie following obediently behind, looking through the varied clothes. I found a shirt that I thought would look good on him and held it up to his large chest. Too small, I’d have to find a bigger size. Jesus, he was big! Next came pants but they were a harder match to make.

“Chu-chut, what size pant do you wear?” I asked and realized that he wouldn’t be giving me an answer. I walked around him and glanced around to see that no one was watching before pulling the waistband of his pants back to look for a tag.

A commando zombie. Who would have thought?

The sight of his large bubble butt had my hands shake and I quickly scanned the material finding no tag to discover the size of his waist. Some pants have the tag in the front, I thought and cursed myself for even thinking of it. But I was on a mission to dress my zombie appropriately. I stood in front of him and tried not to look at his face, feeling awkward and embarrassed enough.

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