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Miguel, Bernardo, Denver, and Taylor hurry breathlessly into the desert.
Stop, stop. We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what to do.
What the hell are those things? What the hell happened to Bob?
You ask me like I know.
Well you seem to know more about this than I do. You knew how to deal with those three things.
Yeah, I know how to fight when something’s trying to kill me. Doesn’t mean I know what I’m fighting. I never saw anything like it before. I must’ve unloaded two pistols into each of them and they didn’t stop coming.
I cut off Bob’s head and stabbed him and he was still alive when I left.
They’re not alive. I don’t know what they are, but they’re not alive.
I know what they are.
Everyone stops and looks at Taylor. Taylor is white and shaking. Clearly shock has set in.
Well, talk, little boy.
Miguel slaps Taylor. Denver grabs Miguel’s wrist and holds it hard.
Don’t you ever touch him, spick.
I’m trying to help him. Trying to snap him out of it. He’s dazed, see.
Miguel snaps his fingers several times in front of Taylor’s face, eliciting no response. Denver goes up to Taylor, sits him down and throws his coat around the boy. Miguel and Bernardo gather around.
It’s ok, James. You can talk.
Taylor swallows. Obviously it is a great effort for him to speak of this matter.
I heard these stories, growing up in New Orleans, from the Haitians. They said there were these magicians back in Haiti that could do lots of things. There were good magicians that did things like cast out demons or heal the sick. But there were also bad magicians called Bokors and they…they…
Miguel is loading his gun.
They raised the dead. I’ve heard this story, too.
Miguel snaps his revolver together. Taylor swallows and nods.
They’re called zombies. A zombie will be the Bokor’s slave as long as he’s alive, but if the Bokor dies then they just kill. They kill and the people they kill become zombies. It’s like scarlet fever. I never believed in zombies, but…I just saw it.
Did they ever say how to stop these zombies?
Fire…salt…holy things. The Bokors hate God, they hate him with a passion. They always kill missionaries.
So we’ll be safe there?
They all look up. Bernardo points to a gorgeous Catholic church.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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