Sadie is a normal girl living with her mother, well, as normal as a girl who collects zombies can be. She didn’t start out to collect zombies, it just sort of happened…starting with the zombie animals who sought her out, and then Jess, the little girl. Predictably, the neighbors do not understand why Sadie feels the need to take care of the zombies and, as with most things not understood, fear develops.
by Tasmin Bowerman
It started with pets. I woke one morning to a familiar scratching noise and found my dog on my front porch.
The dog who died a month ago.
Barney didn’t hurt anyone and he didn’t eat much, so we let him stay. Mom worried at first he might start dropping hunks of fur – or flesh – on the floor, but if possible, he shed less in undeath than he did in life.
Barney was the first, but he wasn’t the last. We hadn’t buried any other pets, but our neighbours had. When the owners turned their deceased pets away, the animals ended up on my doorstep. I couldn’t bring myself to make them leave, but letting them in the house wasn’t an option. Mom put up with Barney. The other animals? Not so much.
She did, however, let me keep our old shed open for them. I put food out sometimes, but they never ate it. Neither did any living animals. In fact, fewer live creatures came around our house every day. Mom and I didn’t mind much. The raccoons finally stopped getting into our garbage.
The neighbours whispered about me when the fourth silent dog slipped into the shed. The whispers increased when two birds and a rabbit joined the other animals. They neared shouts when the horse showed up, but where else could he go?
Eventually, I found an open-minded farm where the horse had room to run. Mostly because he kept kicking up Mom’s flower beds.
It hurt a little when people started calling me “Zombie Girl,” but I ignored them. And after a while, they lost interest. A few dead animals, even ones still walking around, weren’t as interesting as the latest celebrity gossip.
Until the girl appeared on our front step.
She freaked me out. Seeing as I slept with a dead dog on the end of my bed, that said a lot. Not that there was anything wrong with her, per se. She had all her parts, no bits of skin dropping off or loose teeth. Even her light blonde hair stayed long and thick. Dull, not anything like the shiny hair children her age usually possessed, but long and thick nonetheless.
But when I opened the door and those flat silver eyes stared at me, I shrieked and slammed the door shut. Five minutes later, when I worked up the courage to open the door, she hadn’t moved so much as an inch.
Mom wasn’t happy about the girl. But Jess wouldn’t tell me anything about her parents. I couldn’t contact them about her. Like my animals, she had nowhere to go and I became responsible for her survival, much like I was for the animals. I mean, she couldn’t have been more than nine when she died. Where else could she go?
To read more, and find out what happens to Sadie and Jess, check out Undead Is Not An Option.