Being a zombie, not so easy. That could have been Dave Connor's six word memoir. "At first he couldn't remember how he'd ended up in that shallow grave; he just knew it was hell to claw his way out, and that the taste of its dirt would remain in his mouth for the rest of his time on this earth" ... Expect the unexpected in this existential resurrection thriller.
Dave Connor was only thirty two years old when he unexpectedly passed away. He was still only thirty two when he even more unexpectedly undied. At first he couldn't remember how he'd ended up in that shallow grave; he just knew it was hell to claw his way out, and that the taste of its dirt would remain in his mouth for the rest of his time on this earth.
He felt the cold more than anything. That and the darkness and the worms crawling across his face. There wasn't exactly the thought of "I've got to get out of here"; there was the action, a sudden panic surged within him and the struggle to move his arms which were pinned by his side. He could only wiggle them at first; pushing out as hard as he could he felt his elbows grab a little space, and his fingers stretch until he could curl them just a bit. It was all he needed. Bit by bit he cleared enough room to clear a little more. Now kicking and punching and scratching the wet clammy dirt, feeling every instant as if he would choke on the grains that poured into his mouth and into his nose, filling his eyes and his ears until suddenly, air breaking free; the cold night air with a sprinkle of rain coming down. He was out.
It was almost as dark above ground as it had been below. Foggy drizzle dripped from the trees and he had no idea where he was. A forest it seemed. He sat on wet grass by the remains of his tomb and spat out the dirt and wiped futily at the clothes which would never get clean. There was mud in his hair and blood on his face and his hands. On his side was a hole in his shirt that led to a hole in his stomach. The bleeding had stopped and the mess was congealed, gooey with puss. He didn't feel pain.
He decided to get up and walk. He didn't care which way he went. He was lost anyway. If there was a path, he didn't notice. He just walked, through the trees, over rocks, by a stream, over a small wooden bridge. There were trail signs posted at random, but he didn't bother to read them or follow. It registered vaguely that he must be in some kind of park. That meant there were people somewhere. That meant he ought to get out before it got light. None of that made any sense, but it is what he thought. It was instinct.
But he didn't make it out right away. He could sense that the dawn was arriving, so he looked for a cave, or some bushes in which he could hide. He found an old half burned out tree that would do. He hunkered down in it, and waited. Day came. Day lasted awhile. He kept his eyes open and noticed some things. He noticed he never got hungry. He never got thirsty. He never got tired, or bored. He had no desires. No physical urging. It was all very new and he felt that it was and there was a certain satisfaction, as if patience was something he'd never achieved until now.
He had leftover instincts as well. He put a thumb to his wrist and could feel a faint pulse. He noticed his lungs weren't filling with air. He was breathing but not with his mouth or his nose. It seemed his whole body was breath, that each pore in his skin absorbed air and ejected it too. This soaking in of the atmosphere was pushing the blood through his veins, and into his brain. He knew what things were. Trees, for example, and sky. He watched animals go through their motions; birds in their frenzy at daybreak. The squirrels, racing and chasing. Insects buzzing. Bees humming. The rain stopped and the sky became blue, with some clouds. He waited and watched for the sun to go down, and followed its direction to find out where he was. When it grew dark again he followed it west.