They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Words used to describe the possible meanings behind the picture. As a visual artist that is one thing I’ve always found fascinating. The way two people can have such a different opinion of the same image. Both opinions may or may not be right, both are simply opinions. This can be a much trickier thing to pull off when trying to convey the same level of vagueness and “open to interpretation” type description when writing. I’ve said in the last two blogs, I’m no writer. I would not even begin to describe myself as one. I would much rather consider what I’m trying to do here as a “creative exploration”. A test if you will, and today’s pop quiz is…..

In the first installment of jogger/machete, we meet the mother (jogger) and her two children, Amy and Jacob. Amy has become “undead” and beat her brother senseless. After a tussle with her daughter, the mother was about be attacked and a new face entered the scene…Butters(machete). By the end of the scene, mother and son were headed into the back yard just as butters was preparing to square dance with a five year old. In this section, I want to try to capture the feel of the house and how the “undead” of this world behave…so put on some decent music (I suggest some ) and hopefully……… enjoy

Jogger/machete cont.

Two things cross Butters’ mind. One: How am I gonna trap this little hellion in front of me? Two: Just where the hell am I ? He escaped out the car he and his friends were in easy enough. On the way to this house, he had to take out a half dozen undead. There really wasn’t much time to focus on the undead, or the friends he lost at the moment though, keeping his ass from being eaten was of a higher priority… Then he heard the screaming…and he ducked into this house.

Now, he stands in front of a three foot tall five year old. Her small frame and build, while not at all intimidating, makes her very dangerous. Butters is quite delighted to have this opportunity to find out how this virus, or whatever the hell has happened, operates. He’s seen just about every possible type of zombie imaginable, at least as they are presented in films… but nothing about this little girl seems like anything he’s seen before. In the dim light of the house the sage green walls of the dining room seemed to reflect what little light there was throughout the house. A few streetlights outside reflected off the opaque glass shades on the ceiling fan and cast strange, dreamlike silhouettes on the walls. One such light landed on Amy’s face and she shrugged away. But, her eyes…glowed. Not glow in the dark glowed, or even deer in the headlights glowed. More like an iridescent blue cast that was faintly visible, but still there was something very off putting about those eyes…almost haunted, paralyzing in fact. As he looked into her eyes, the small boy inside him grabbed at his soul and wouldn’t let go. He felt like he did the first time he was on his grandparents farm alone in the pasture, the bull had his eye on the young Butters…quite similar to the way the girl was looking at him now. That terrible feeling of being so small and weak and so out of control with the thoughts of how the bull could run him over at any moment… Dear lord, what strange power has this little girl……..has…. over him….he cannot move…he cannot breathe…”Boy, if you mess with the bull then you’ll get the horns!” he can here his grandfather saying in his head…“grandpa never said that?!. . Why did I think that!?. . what the hell is happening!?!?!”

“I….I …I’m gonna….”

Amy runs forward at Butters, the machete sticking out of her chest bobbing slightly back and forth. This draws his attention away from her eyes for the briefest of moments. That’s all he needs…as she reached for him, Butters sidesteps the young girl and grabs the handle of his machete. With a slight tug, the blade comes free from the girl and the motion spins her around to smack onto the back of the dining room table…this bought Butters the briefest of moments to exit the dining room and head though the living room down the hall toward the bathroom and bedrooms. He quickly ducks into the bathroom and shut the door
As he holds the door shut, Butters looked around the bathroom for a few items to test his little undead subject with. The bathroom is your typical suburban bath, white tile vanity and shower, tile floor, light blue walls with a few knick knacks and a toothbrush holder on the counter. The bath rug that should never get wet…and the thing he was looking for….

The fancy towels

The girl seems to be…sluggish in her pursuit of Butters. As if she doesn't have any interest in him after he evaded her. He can hear her shuffling around in the living room, but not really trying to pursue him and his location. So….”Let’s see what works.” Butters says to himself. The first thing he wants to try is an assessment of the sense of smell. If the girl’s sense of smell is quite strong, then some form of scent masking will be in order. Butters went to the medicine cabinet and found what he was looking for. The mother had some very expensive looking perfume. Quietly, he cracks the bathroom door and gives the bottle a few sprits’ into the hall…no reaction. Perhaps he shouldn’t have expected one. But at least that’s cleared up.

Next thing to check is her sense of hearing, so Butters did the only thing he could think of doing. “HEY,” he shouts “HEY I’M IN HERE“. Young Amy does seem to react to this. She comes stalking down the hall, but her focus doesn't seem to be on where the sound came from, only the fact that there was a sound. She passes the bathroom first without so much as a glance at the door and walked into the bedroom at the end of the hall, her mother’s room. This was the opportunity Butters wanted. He grabbed his tools and set himself to the task.

Walking toward the bedroom Butters realizes just how ridiculous he must look. Here he is sneaking up on a five year old with a fancy bath towel (the ones you’re not supposed to use) and…..a plunger. “If the guys could see me now,” Butters thinks to himself. That’s something he’s going to have to quit saying. The Guys are gone. Eaten by the things this little girl has become. He owes it to them to find out why they died. At the very least, the death of his friends is an excuse to kill as many of these things as possible…

But not this one….she’s just a kid
Approaching the girl from behind, Butters almost makes it close enough to not catch her attention. The last thing he wants to do is lock eyes with this little medusa again. Just as he is mere feet away from Amy, the girl spins around. Amy lets out a shriek and begins an attack. Luckily, Butters throws the towel at the same time. The fancy towel lands over the girls head and she almost instantly freezes. “How fucking weird is THAT?!” Butters thinks. Actually he does more than think it aloud he says “holy..!’ and the girl seems to react to his voice, but not in a violent way. She cocks her head to one side and her body takes on a slightly more natural posture. The girl reaches out with her hands and touches the corner post of her mother's bed. The carved oak sphere atop the post seems to grab her interest. She feels it and lets out a strange, garbled."cooo" type sound that was both primal and terrifyingly child-like. As if she went from being a blood thirsty toddler to a cave-baby. Every little thing she could touch being a new treasure.

Almost as if the nightmare she was, has now become a fairy-tale….

Butters doesn’t trust the child any farther than he can throw her just yet. Something has to be done about the towel. A more “permanent” solution, so to say. Butters goes to the kitchen and finds a proper towel for drying dishes. he folds it into a neat little blindfold. When he returns to the bedroom, Amy is sitting on the floor with a shoe in her hands….perfect. Butters quietly approaches the girl, keeping his footsteps light as possible. As quickly as he possibly can, he pulls the towel off and goes to wrap the blindfold around her eyes. The instant the fancy towel is out of her eyes the hellion returns with a fresh new batch of hell to spew….she cries out with that banshee wail. But it is cut short, as he puts the blindfold on her, and ties it nice and tight

The child looks around, well….her head makes the motion that a head would make if it were to be “looking around”. She stands, and sniffs at the air. Then the girl does the strangest thing, she walks over to the bathroom door, and stands near the area where Butters sprayed the perfume earlier….

“Mm. . mmmmmm . . mm.. . .o.ooommmyyyyyyyy!”

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“Concept” is typically the biggest influence on my work. Be that art, writing, construction, whatever I happen to be working on. The idea here is, the senses being the controlling factor in how an “undead” person acts/reacts to the stimulation around them. Imagine if you could create a zombie storyline where the only real weapon your heroes would need is a dog whistle…zombies with hearing so insanely sensitive to that one sound, that simply blowing a dog whistle could stop an entire army…sounds ridiculous? ..I would ask why, why would something as conceptually …silly as that be any more unacceptable than the idea of lets say. Intelligent zombies…? The “rules” here only apply if you wish them to. So why play nice? Why stick within the boundaries the previous masters have created for us? I find that, as long as you can half-ass explain yourself or at the very least claim “artistic expression” ....the world is your oyster….next week we shall explore the bitter brine that is saying goodbye, and memories I’d love to burn from my head..

Now, where did I put those pearls of wisdom….?
Todd out