Zombies at the Library Part 3: The Night is Young and Brains are Tasty
August 30, 2012
8:55 p.m.—the rustling of paper was the only sound to break the silence of the library on a late summer evening near the closing hour—that and the sound of the zombie knocking against the glass. The wood marbled sides of the stacks held a quiet wisdom within them. They knew something would happen soon.
"All right guys…"
"And girl!" Caitlin interjected.
"And girl," Ethan smiled at her kindly, "thankfully the zombie hasn’t figured out how to open a door that doesn’t push open. But what have we found? Do we know how to stop the virus or whatever it is from spreading?"
"Well, I know that zombies were originally part of the voodoo culture."
"I didn’t find anything on zombies per say, but I did find something about a caterpillar that gets infected with a virus, which controls the bug making it climb to the top of the trees where it becomes a sack of virus goop and explodes to spread the virus. Kind of neat, really." Brian said.
Everyone stared at Brian for a moment. They looked to the zombie, still not grasping the complexity of working a pull door handle.
"It’s not getting all puffy or fluidy and gross; so I assume it’s not going to explode the virus all over us, or whatever it is that makes them act so crazy." Ethan’s voice was distant as he scanned an article he’d printed from one of the databases.
“It says here that what causes this is proteinaceous infectious particle, a prion that Swiss cheeses the brain basically. Scientists have seen this happen before with a tribe in Papua New Guinea, and this gave them crazy sort of shakes. This epidemic was found to be related to the tribe’s earlier instance of cannibalistic brain eating in funeral ceremonies. But it says here, the prion has to be attached to a virus, very difficult, and that it only explains the craziness and look of these creatures—not about why they like to eat people.”
"Well," Caitlin said, "have we seen it eat someone yet? No. It just went after Brian whispering brains. Maybe it was saying,” Caitlin mimicked the zombie with a failed raspy voice, "Brian, Brian, come do my laundry, because my brain is Swiss cheese." She couldn’t keep a straight face and laughed.
Brian stared coldly at her for a moment before answering. "No, it said brains and I know it. And it says in my article that it could also be caused by rabies which explains the possibly murderous attitude that we can clearly see in this person or zombie, whatever you pick."
"We really need to hurry. The branch closes in about four minutes and EVERYONE has to be out by 9:00 p.m." Gary said sternly, clearly not understanding the situation—at all.
"That probably won’t happen, Gary. Sorry to burst your bubble, but when the zombie apocalypse comes, typical branch hours don’t apply anymore." Brian’s sarcasm almost melted Gary’s plastic, square rimmed glasses.
Along with the banging on the glass, the gravity of the situation finally sunk into Gary. His face fell into dismay for one moment, but then went back to his typical straight faced managerial style, "Well, then we’ll just have to show these zombies just what it means to have a privilege taken away, their library privileges!"
Everyone stared at him in an awkward awe for one moment until the automatic door opened and the moans of the first undead half stomp, half limped towards them…