Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Writers Over The Edge: Ghost Writing Can Be Murder

from the warped mind of Tamela Buhrke

Okay, let’s get started. What? My death? Well, it was just plain tacky. The town gossipers had a field day. What? Oh... gosh, I hate thinking back on it... it really was so long ago. Though I think in today’s world they would say I had alcohol poisoning. I did so love fraternity parties. I loved beer almost as much as I love brains now.

...brains mmm...

Where was I? Oh, yes! After such an unseemly death, you can imagine my utter horror when I “woke up” a few moments later—without a pulse. It was ghastly. No one in the history of my family had ever come back as a zombie. We’re good Southern stock. My Daddy used to brag that when you planted a Cartwright in the ground, he stayed there.

And trust me, I tried everything to make that happen. That’s why I’m such a mess. I planned on going back to being dead, and damn the consequences. So I slit my wrists, but they just leaked a bit of goo. I threw myself off a building. It caused my right eye to pop out when I lean too far forward—see!

Goodness knows what would have happened if I’d chosen a taller building. You may not have noticed (I’ve learned to hide it well), but my bones stick out of my skin here and there. It is so embarrassing!

Thank the Lord, I didn’t think to put Mr. Smith & Wesson to my head or we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And wouldn’t that just be a shame? Because this project is so much fun!

Hmm? Well, if I’d shot myself, I suppose I’d be in the zombie sanitarium, with some sweet young volunteer zombie spitting regurgitated brains into my mouth like a baby bird. Those people are just so sad! I shudder every time I see a zambulance cruise by with it’s blue lights flashing. You just know it’s filled with some young zombie who tried to off themselves. Or a rot victim. Zombie rot gets us all in the end, doesn’t it?

What? Oh, of course, not you. Don’t be silly!

Hmmm? My family? Well, as you can imagine, they were quite miffed with me. My Momma cried and Daddy turned several shades of purple. I thought for sure he was going to join me in the afterlife. He finally calmed down when I promised that I would take care of the problem. But when all my attempts proved fruitless, I guess Daddy felt the need to take matters into his own hands.

Some days I really miss his kind heart.

In fact, it was him chasing me with that ax that finally helped me realize just how precious life was—even a zombie life. Right then, I decided to keep on living. It was like being struck by lighting. Being a zombie didn’t mean I couldn’t be a productive member of society. I had experience. I was a reporter for my college paper. Well, maybe not a reporter—I did the wedding announcements—but I knew enough. I could stay at home (where no one would see me) and be a writer.

So I dodged the ax and ignored my Momma’s pleas that I just stand still and get it over with fast.

Now, you have to understand, I wasn’t trying to rebel against my parents. I just wanted to live. So when I ripped that ax right out of my Daddy’s hands, (I had no idea how strong being a zombie had made me) and I swung it back at him, that was just a reaction. Self-preservation, I think they call it. I just wanted him to stop screaming those horrible things at me. I’d never heard him utter words of that nature before. It was... disturbing.

But when the blade cracked open his head like a pistachio and the heavenly scent of brains hit me... well, I am ashamed to say that I lost control.

Daddy would have been real proud to know that he did indeed stay planted... you know... after I ate him.

Afterward, Momma said she reckoned I must have got my zombie genes from her side of the family. But she stayed planted too. I guess we'll never know why I turned.

What? No. My mother was a kindly person. We lived together for years. She even stitched up my wrists real nice for me—see?

What? NO! Well, yes, but it wasn’t like that. Momma got cancer. She told me she’d rather feed me than it.

She tasted sweet as pecan pie.

But enough about me! Your sister’s family has paid me a lot of money to write down your life stories. Why? Well, I suppose they want them for posterity. People call me the best ghost writer this side of the Mississippi. What? Oh, go on now! Nobody’s life was that boring. Surely, you had some adventures before you passed... oh, they think you hid some treasure?

Ha! You rascal! Where did you bury it?

Why won’t you tell me?

What? No, sir! That would be bad business, not to mention bad manners.

Stop it! I will not eat your brother-in-law. He hasn’t even paid me for the writing yet.

Really? You hid how much?! Hmmm... true. That is quite a lot more than he planned to pay me.

Well, I wouldn’t call him cheap but he... oh, really? Stiffed people? That’s just plain rude.

Well, if he does stiff me... I’d have to see the treasure first, mind you. There’s the ethics of being a business woman. I’m a respected writer...

True, he did smell mighty tasty.


Dean K Miller said...

I've never met a zombie ghost writer I didn't like...mostly 'cuz I'd never met one before.

Gives a whole meaning to "I'd give my left arm to get published", doesn't it?

I'd guess you'd find your rejection slips in the dead letter vault, yes?

This was so disturbingly pleasant to read. But trust me, really, I'm nothing but gristle and bones. Not really worth the effort.

Tamela Buhrke said...

Hey Dean —That's a whole lotta punny!

Karen Duvall said...

Wow, Tamela, that was great! I'm not much into zombies, but you did this one proud. :) I'm impressed!

TamelaBuhrke said...

Karen - Thank you so much! You just made my day!