Saturday, March 13, 2010

College Zombie Classes

Zombie photo by Grant Neubeld

The smell of new, glossy magazines wafted through the air and brown boxes of blank tax return forms littered the corner. My fingers closed around an envelope crammed into the tiny post office box. I pried it out. Then I pried out another until the wad loosened enough to pull out the bulk of the mail. Around the corner, I heard the tap of skin against glass.

"You have to touch the screen," a woman said.

"I know that," another woman answered in a deadpan voice.

"Well, touch it."

"I am touching it. Nothing is happening."

"Did you touch it?"

Slap, slap, slap. "I'm touching it. Nothing is happening."

The little door of my postal box squeaked closed and the key turned. Holding two weeks worth of junk mail to my chest, I shuffled around the corner. A woman with long, straight black hair punched the screen of the automatic package postage machine. She turned toward me, eyes blank, skin pale, hair nearly black except for a few gray ones glowing in the florescent lighting.

She jabbed the glass again. “Nothing,” came her monotone moan.

My eyes widened. The only reason for the screen not to register her touch was because she was a zombie. I clutched my mail and ran from the post office, sliding into my car and locking the doors.

I told my friend, Paul, about spotting the zombie at the post office and he said she probably worked at the community college. “You remember taking zombie classes, right?”

“No,” I said. “They didn’t offer zombie classes at my college.”

He chuckled. “Sure they did. You may not have realized it. They have zombie teachers.”

“Um humm,” I scoffed.

He went on, unperturbed. “The zombie teacher gets up in front of the class and casts a zombie spell, making all the students become zombies. The only thing that saves them is the bell at the end of the hour.”

I raised an eyebrow. “The bell?”

“Sure, the bell.” He nodded. “When the bell rings, or if there is no bell, then when the door opens and students start to file in for the next class, the zombie students wake up and stumble out of the room.”

“Wait,” I said as a shiver rippled through me. “I had a history teacher that may have been a zombie.” He didn't stand in the front of the class, though. He sat in the back of the room and played a tape recorded lecture. Probably because as a zombie, he couldn't speak.

“Well when the students wake up, they don’t remember anything that went on during the hour. It’s as if they were asleep.” His eyes fixed on mine. “But they weren’t asleep, they had been zombies for that hour.”

Goosebumps prickled up my arms. I thought of the first essay test. After attending every class, and reading the history book written by the zombie teacher, it was as if I could remember nothing. My essay test remained blank. When I handed in the paper with just my name on it, I went down to the administration building and dropped the class. Eventually I took it again from a lively, energetic instructor and passed with flying colors. All this time, I thought something was lacking in me during that first history class. But could it be there was no memory of his lectures because of the zombie induced slumber? If I hadn’t dropped the class after the first test, would I have become a zombie permanently? And is there record of the zombie class on my college transcripts?


  1. Great, Melanie! You might still switch to this preternatural genre and actually make money from writing. That's what I'm gonna do in any case (but I'll put them on a ship nonetheless!).

  2. There is a record. Zombie classes are recorded in Zombie school. An 'F' is quite a challenge for Zombie college recruiters. The post office set-up was one attempt to contact you to schedule a make-up session. They'll try again to lure you in, I'm sure.

  3. Jenku

    I can't write about zombies. I'd have an ulcer before I'd finished. They scare me.

    The Classic Carol,

    Luckily I was able to drop the class without a grade, but it still probably shows I enrolled and dropped. A record of a zombie class, even for two weeks, cannot be good. So now I have to be aware they are trying to contact me? Sheeeez.

  4. Dale, I know you just want me to buy that painting! And I still might, once I've made lots of money from my steam goth vampire novel! ;)

  5. Also, Melanie: it's good that they scare you, because then you will be able to write such that they scare the reader as well. Money guaranteed! ;)

  6. Dale,

    Perhaps if you were to start painting zombies it would give me inspiration.


    Dale's paintings often sell to others if one procrastinates. (Just saying)

    My palms are sweaty just thinking about zombies. I can barely hold my Starbucks cup.

  7. Sad to admit, but I have, amidst the masterpieces, drawings that look more like zombies than human figures. Should I put them on ebay with Zombie titles rather than toss them? Love the photo you included. But I would have guessed Goth. No? I never have seen a zombie movie, so please excuse my ignorance.

  8. That just made my stomach quiver. Is there, perhaps, a link between goth and zombie? I haven't ever seen a zombie movie either, but when I punched "Zombie" in the Wikicommons, that picture came up.

    I think people would just die to have zombie paintings.

  9. Well if you've never encountered a Zombie you should try the game Plants vs. Zombies. That'll get you in part way. Oh watch the music video - Thriller - zombies from the 80's! Umm...hmm..I'd say watch Buffy the Vampire slayer, but I don't remember zombies in there - only Vampires. Or I guess you could go to any sports bar during the NCAA Basketball Tourney - I'm sure you'd see a LOT of zombies - sports type that is :)

  10. Hey, I think I've been to a zombie sports bar. Yeah, I really do. Everyone stared at the TV and paid no attention to the people around them. It was eerie.

  11. Well, clearly you haven't been to a top quality sports bar at lunch. Ricky's in San Leandro plays "All My Children" on one of their big screens at lunch. I dare you to spot a zombie in that crowd!

  12. a recovering soapaholic (clean and sober since I was fourteen) that thought just scares me.

  13. Peggy,
    I've been looking around for a wooden stake.


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