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Where Are You In The Zombie Apocalypse Timeline?
Why is that specifically impossible to create?
Take the Gollum creator from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” That works because the character that was Sméagol did not die and then come back to life. Sméagol changed into something that was unable to govern its own actions; the ring took the creatures life and made him do the bidding of another power.
Here, then is the definition of Tolkien’s character found in encyclopedia.com.
“Gollum in Tolkien's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, a repulsive but pitiful figure, the former hobbit who, having come into possession of the One Ring (his ‘precious’) is possessed by it. When he is tricked out of the ring he is reduced to an entity obsessively bent on recovery; in the end he is destroyed with it.”
That is all right as that goes and yes, one can say that the Gollum character also follows the definition of zombie, loosely speaking. Where else in history can one find evidence of zombie?
There is a Jewish story about a creature called a ‘Golem’ and not just stories but statues celebrating how a ‘Golem’ saved their people! At the gate of the Jewish section in Prague there is a statue of the ‘Golem’ that saved them from a wave of hate and fear during times of anti-Semitism. During the 16th century, there was a Rabi by the name of Judah Loew ben Bezale that made the golem that then protected the Jewish sector from the Emperor Rudolf ll who was intent upon decimating the Jewish people from Prague.
Here is the definition of ‘Golem’ from Wikipedia.
“In Jewish folklore, a golem (/ˈɡoʊləm/ GOH-ləm; Hebrew: גולם) is an animated anthropomorphic being, created entirely from inanimate matter. The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing.”
Where do zombie stories begin?
The horror stories are full of zombie stories. Fiction writers have forever tried to one up on other authors a story line that would grant themselves a few fifteen minutes of ‘fame and glory’. Stories that are classics and that continue to frighten and intrigue readers to this day. The Mary Shelley story, of course, is the first one people bring to the conversation of ‘are zombies possible’?
What? Do you not agree that the Frankenstein monster was a zombie? Nevertheless, it held all the elements; the monster was once human, several humans in fact, and his creator, Dr Frankenstein himself, gave the monster life after death. What about the J.R.R.Tolkien Gollum character? Gollum was human from the start but became something other than human, changed by the magical ring that gave unprecedented long life. Also, the creature that was Sméagol once changed held little to no resemblance of that first person to the Gollum creature.
Perhaps a definition of zombie is needed at this point.
The reference dictionary.com gives this as a definition of a zombie:
“the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose.”
That is the best explanation of such, rather up to this point in time! That definition allows the reader or the writer to construct in their imaginings a scenario that is deliciously scary but impossible to crate in real life. That definition allows one to sleep at night doesn’t it. But back up a moment.
What Does That Have To Do With The Zombie Timeline?
This is important background to place the beginning of the timeline. The idea, imaginings or hypothesis that man is able to create a life-like but soulless being in order to do evil is not new. That has been evident in myths as well as in life for many generations and across different cultures.
In Haitian cultures, they go by the name of ‘zombi’ or “spirit of the dead” and are created through voodoo practices. The person that is zombied seems to be dead, their heart rate slows to the pint it cannot be detected. Then of course, after burial the ‘zombi’ breaks out of their grave to terrorize the population. In China, they are called ‘Jian Shi’ or “the living dead” and sometimes the re-animated body can be good, beautiful even, but eventually will cause great harm.
Can you guess where one could go with the thought that a zombie could be good or even beautiful?
Absolutely! Anne Rice did that years ago with the character of ‘Lestat de Lioncourt’. At one time, in this author’s life, vampires were celebrated to the point that people lived portions of their lives mimicking that of a vampire!
So, there are many examples of zombie in history, fiction, and of course, movies.
However, it seems that there is now a huge interest in the idea that zombies could not only be a plausible theory, but that we are living in the time where they will become fact. If you are of the portion of our population that fears a plague of zombies, you may have developed a plan to survive it as well. You may have a survival pack that is kept ready at all times. It is the same as making sure you are prepared to outlast a natural disaster like a hurricane but you don’t get supplies at the last minute, during the hurricane watch, no, you have your survival pack ready at all times and in arms reach! You are someone whose zombie timeline is at the countdown stage.
Others may be at the point of the timeline where the idea of a zombie apocalypse is just a good story, scary, but improbable and therefore, not a cause for alarm.
That Was Me! Before John Ringo.
John Ringo is a fiction and military action writer that has been publishing novels since 1999. This writer discovered his work last month and in doing so, moved me along to the countdown stage of my own zombie timeline! The novel is titled “Under a Graveyard Sky” and the idea is an apocalypse not only possible but also completely probable. I love when an author does their research and proves that their fiction could, given the right set of circumstances, come true.
John Ringo sets up the story by educating readers on viral research and that the rabies virus is the closest one can come to mimicking what westerners know as a zombie. With rabies, the brain swells, the person foams at the mouth and more to the point, is relegated to behaving on only primitive instincts. Kill, eat, kill and repeat. Better yet, rabies is blood borne virus, which sets the stage for if you are bit, you will turn. Take that a step further and you find out there is no treatment that will cure rabies once symptoms show up! I know there are a bunch of shots you take but it doesn’t cure you and if millions of people are infected with the virus how available will those shots be for the general public? Not very available and no doubt will be extremely costly if you can find it.
Okay, so there is a blood borne virus that turn people into beings without inhibition and at the whelm of only base instincts of eat, and kill to eat, without compunction of the source of that food.
That alone is bad enough but John Ringo goes further and adds another virus to the cocktail of “end of the world, as we know it”. What if one could put two viruses together in the same vector or vehicle? What if the other virus was air borne and also one that people see as relatively innocuous. Like the influenza virus. You don’t think that is possible? Well, in researching John Ringo’s story this writer found that not only is it possible, it is also extremely easy to make! In fact, there are companies dedicated to growing whatever type of virus you would like! And relatively inexpensive, to boot. From $500 to $1000 all you have to do is tell the company what kind of virus you would like and they will take all the work away from whatever you are trying to do or make.
I knew I was naïve, but that was a huge culture shock. You, dear reader, will have to find out this information on your own for I fear being the one that gives direction to malevolent thoughts or actions.
So, as to the zombie timeline…from a story used to distract myself from the stress of normal life to keeping oneself on high alert and prepared to flee when the signs appear. And appear they will; perhaps not kill eat and repeat but certainly signs that civilization is about to fall. This writer is no “Faith Smith” and certainly no “Alice” (guess what that is referring to) but hopefully will be able to run, hide and stay safe as long as possible. Therefore, my survival pack includes fire, clothes, shelter, food or the ability to find it, and water.
Only thing left to do is to gather courage and implement the ‘flee instinct’ at the proper time.