Thursday, June 26, 2014

Join us for the Zombie Challenge!

At the Clallam Bay Comicon panel, come watch Roberta Gregory and Donna Barr write an episode of "Only a Zombie," before your very eyes. 

If you're local, join the challenge to become a character in this blog novel!

And remember, in this blog, zombies are just part of the population, and we all have to try to survive their antics and appetites.

Come join the fun!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Time to fly

Well, it is about time. Schools's out forever. I am free. So hard to really grasp that, as I sit here in my forest for one last time, at least for a while. The mountains wait for me and as always, there is a halo of clouds over them. Showers predicted, not so bad. I'm from here. 

In a couple days I really will be FROM here. I get away from the ugly. The endless trains bringing unspeakably horrible things. Tired of the ugly. Too much ugly. I deserve beauty, that beauty I saw so many months ago. Tired of ugly, of people who act ugly, give off ugly, souls that are ugly. And everyone says that this is such a good city, the perfect city, climate, growth, wealth. The rest of the country must be hell on earth if Seattle is so wonderful. Am I the only one who sees what a sad place it truly is? 

Just have to make sure I have what I need. If I write it, maybe I will think of something I forgot. I don't need much. I'll learn what I need when I need it. That's another one of my skills. A small drawing tablet and some pencils. Can fit them in somehow. I'll never be as good as Alison but good enough. If only she could draw Angel's story but she has her own agenda, her own way to go. Never did finish her book but maybe they have libraries out there at the end of the earth. Just too much right now. I wish she could just sit down with me and smoke a bowl and realize we are just all in this together and it will all work out. Maybe I am supposed to draw it. I just need to learn how to draw. How hard can that be?

The thimbleberries are not quite ripe but where I am going, they will be. I think the only thing I am going to miss is this forest. But they have even better ones out there.

I am coming, Cougar. Wait for me.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Zombie Hunting Strategy

Just because the Zombies grabbed the rooster and a few hens and put them in a truck, and then tried to claim that starving mom cougar and her kid got them - doesn't mean the neighbors didn't see them do it. Man, I sometimes wish these Deadsters would just pick on people, because we're a match for them.

Oh, well. Everything runs on rumor to rumor up here. The guy who runs Triple Nickel farm claims the game warden helped him kill three homeless juvenile cougars by trapping them, shooting them in the box, and burying them. He sounded all proud of it, too. Maybe that's what drove the guy who trapped the neighbor's cat in Forks and shot it in the cage. He thought he was carrying on the west end tradition of wiping out the predators. 

Huh. Do early-stage zombies look human? The guy at the farm still looked pretty healthy. 

I wonder who that game warden was? Or if any of this is true. There's supposed to be a human body buried under the front porch of his place, too, but that's from a long time ago, and somebody else said those were pig bones. You can keep yourself entertained on the flittering stories up here all day long, and half the night during power-outs and the resulting oil lamp parties.

There's no use trying to figure it out, because anybody who looks like they're getting someplace, including kids who want to be artists, is laughed at for having ideas. I wonder if this is how they've always kept each other down. Or do people with ideas become vulnerable to zombie attacks. It's about the brains, after all.

Rumor-to-Rumor. It's all Rumor-to-Rumor. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Two Lucky Cougars

It's late spring, and the young cougars are on the move.

They usually have to move out and find their own territories, but with 50% of all the forests being cut down in the last year, they're in the neighborhoods this year. This year, a young mom cat and her half-grown kitten were wandering after food and shelter like German refugee women in 1946, and mostly for the same reasons.

The zombie neighbor across the street lets her chickens run loose. Having a rooster three feet tall didn't stop an early-morning raid, not when the cat's starving and has a baby to feed.

Buster can take on human kids, but not so much big cats, and all the squawking called out the zombie household with armament to defend the homestead. If Snotboy hadn't been there, the mom refugee cougar and her kid would have been just another pile of carcasses with some zombie Tarzan-footing on their ribcages.

The zombies were screaming unintelligably at the hissing adult cat in the front drive, chickens going every which way, the desperate rooster taking swipes at mom cat's flanks until a big paw sent him bowling down the asphalt to the road. He was still trying to shake himself back to a new attack, when Snotboy stepped in. And just in time, because the  dead guy from the house was out there with a hunting rifle.

Snotboy stepped right in front of the cougar family, with his back to the neighbors. Usually you don't turn your back on zombies, but even dead people are more afraid of the cats. Especially dead people - they can't even heal a scratch back, let alone can let a broken limb set.

They stood there with their mouths drooping open, saliva stringing cold, matching the strings from the jaws of the cougar kid, taken advantage of mom's stand-off to go for food. He cowered behind her with his jaws clamped desperately around a dead red hen - the first food in who knew how long since he lost his home?

Snotboy said to the cats, "You have your dinner. Go someplace and eat it."

The mom cat stopped growling, and seemed to get sane in the eyes. She turned around and loped off down the road, back toward what remained of the woods on the ridge, followed by Junior. They wasn't here for territory, just a full stomach. Nobody else saw them, because most people on Slip Point don't get up very early.

Snotboy turned around and said to the neighbors, "You better lock your chickens up. You just taught them we got food down here. If we put all the food away, they'll go find another home."

If there's one thing zombies get, it's food. They nodded and started herding chickens back to the pen, including Buster, who they had to convince not to hit somebody hard. Daylight was coming, and they wanted to go to the beach. They're cold people, and the beach is warm when the sun hits it. It's usually where they are, playing with little rocks, and catching sand-fleas in a net for snacks. Or crunching up dead seabirds that wash in after the spring breeding mortality. Snacks, ahoy.

Snotboy went off wherever he was on the way when the attack happened. He's liable to be up and about any time at night. He got named when his elder brother fell off a fishing boat and disappeared, and his mom cried and cried so hard that it seemed as though she'd built him out of snot and water. He doesn't seem to resent the nickname. It's one the natives use for one of their myths, or something. Something about a revenge spirit, made of tears and snot.

There's nothing revenge about Snotboy. He's tall and dark; sometimes he looks Hispanic, and sometimes he looks Indian, and sometimes everybody just shakes their head because his mom is German and Swedish and his dad - could be anybody. His mom's had troubles.

You'll have to ask him his real name. The teachers know it, so they say, but his family keep to themselves, supposedly up the Hoko River valley. They're not like everybody else who boils out of their house up there and hope you'll stay and talk and have coffee - or even stay overnight. Nobody knows how they make a living, because there aren't any signs on them, and they're more likely to hitchhike or walk than own a truck full of equipment or firewood. Two of them are said to make twig furniture and sell it on ebay, shipping with UPS. Could be. It's all Rumor To Rumor, up here.

Maybe somebody will get him to open up some day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The numbers add up

18. Welcome 18. 18 will be my number from now on. Few people come to these woods that I have visited for most of my life. The salmonberries are fat and red and sweet, waiting to quench my thirst. The stream still speaks to me and the birds speak to each other. I still hear the trains, so many more now, but they are distant. Where I go there will be no trains. 

I walk 18 steps and 18 steps again and each time I look up and find myself in the soaring temple of yet another forest goddess or god, the ground strewn with the offerings of their faithful. I thought one day I might learn their names but perhaps someday I will come back. This forest will always be here unlike the ones that are cut away and linger as ghost trees mourning their lost loved ones. Still learning how to take pictures with this thing, but I'll have to travel light. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten it used but I have to make the money last. It's all I have and it's not that much now… about 18 saved. At one time I thought I could get a car, but that will have to wait. 

But another forest and another Goddess waits for me. Deep in the woods across the water Cougar rises to her feet and stretches, her tail moving slowly. She waits for me, too. There's no home for Cougar in the land of humans on this side of the water, but over there she is free. So few days to go. Thirteen? To the end of the term, end of term, like a birth. My birth. Breaking free of the shell that has protected me and stretching my wings.

I go to look across the water, and like before the only clouds in the sky are over the mountains. So much life over there, too many people over here, swarming on the beach to take things. Over there are people who love the sea, honor the gifts of the sea, take care of the beach for the sole reason that it deserves to be  treasured, as the birthplace of us all. Soon I will walk the shore with those who respect it. 

No. There are good people over here. But they are not my people. My own people wait for me, I know it. In the hours I'm afraid, and let others tell me I should stay on my side of the water, I remember that knowing, seeing the place and knowing it was my home. Here my people have fled. Or been exterminated. Or driven to the ground by cruel people with gravel, with the grave in their souls. Like Cougar, I go back to the woods, to my home. 

Angel, I hear your voice in the stream and your hand warming my cheek when I walk into light. I won't let your words die. I won't let you die. That would mean darkness wins.