Welcome readers to the fifth installment of ‘The Story Behind the Characters’! Today, akin to the time I discussed the brief appearance of Zach’s Marines, I’ll be talking about another group of characters, though this group plays a more prominent role in the story: the zombies themselves.
If you’ve read ‘His Name Was Zach’ (and if you haven’t, you can download it here for only 99 cents!) then you already know that these zombies are the ‘fast’ kind. Not everyone likes this take on zombies, but I believe it was the only version that makes sense for this story.
I mean let’s be honest: how the hell does the shuffling dead start a worldwide apocalypse? I’m supposed to be scared of a creature that can barely muster up the energy of a 90 year old man in slippers on his way to the morning newspaper?
I’m sorry if that’s your preferred image of zombies, but if I saw a horde of those things moseying right at me, I’d just power walk in the other direction. Maybe even stop for coffee on the way.
The zombies in this story needed to be truly terrifying. So in ‘His Name Was Zach’, the zombies are more like enhanced humans. Forgive me if this is far-fetched (and everything about zombies is far-fetched), but my conception of zombies is that the virus takes hold of the brain and its chemical reactions.
Now in control of the human body, the virus seeks only preservation of the body, meaning it must eat. With all the complex power and processes of the unrivaled human brain now bent on one object, the body is capable of enduring pain and exhaustion on levels unthinkable to a normal human. That is why the zombie are able to sprint, jump, and tackle their prey.
Admittedly, the zombies tend to stay on the sidelines for most of the story. Again, this facet of the story rubbed one reviewer the wrong way, but it was something I thought critical to the story. Because ‘His Name Was Zach’ is not about the zombies. It’s not about the surviving government or the roving gangs, or any of that. It’s about Zach and Abby, and how they survive together.
And as Zach points out, other humans are the deadliest enemy. You know what the zombies are about; they can’t trick you with a nice smile then stab you in the back. They’re the devil you know. But people can be full of guile and deception. Their smiles can mean many things, not least of all treachery. That’s the devil you don’t know, and that’s what Zach fears more than the undead.
Thanks for tuning in today! I hoped you enjoyed this installment. Have you further questions about the zombies or other characters? Leave a comment below! I love engaging with my audience.