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Thread: #1: Zombie-Palooza!

  1. #1
    Just Some Color Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala's Avatar
    Gil
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    Default #1: Zombie-Palooza!

    Refer to the What's Going On? thread for more challenges and other fun stuff.

    Been working on your entry for the story contest? Take a break and have some fun with this. I actually posted this a while back, but I'm recycling it because I was the only person brave enough to attempt it anyway ;p

    A writer friend of mine posted a link to this contest in her journal recently. Unfortunately it just ended. However, I don't see why we can't have some fun with it anyway! The premise is, take a paragraph from a book and insert zombies! One, many, whatever you like. Also, because it's not for the contest, I say go ahead and use a whole scene if you so choose. A single paragraph is fun, but I think more will be better in this case XD

    As in the contest rules, be sure to include the name of the book and its author. So write 'em and post 'em here.

    Edit: On a final note, don't limit yourself to one paragraph/scene. Create as many as you like, from as many books as you like.
    Last edited by Fabala; 06-19-2008 at 08:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Just Some Color Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala has a reputation beyond repute Fabala's Avatar
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    My entry:

    Atonement by Ian McEwan

    (The infamous fountain scene found in the first part)

    She had arrived at one of the nursery’s wide-open windows and must have seen what lay before her some seconds before she registered it. It was a scene that could easily have accommodated, in the distance at least, a medieval castle. Some miles beyond the Tallises’ land rose the Surrey Hills and their motionless crowds of thick crested oaks, their greens softened by a milky heat haze. Then, nearer, the estate’s open parkland, which today had a dry and savage look, roasting like a savanna, where isolated trees threw harsh stumpy shadows and the long grass was already stalked by the leonine yellow of high summer. Closer, within the boundaries of the balustrade, were the rose gardens and, nearer still, the Triton fountain, and standing by the basin’s retaining wall was her sister, and right before her was Robbie Turner. There was something rather formal about the way he stood, feet apart, head held back. A proposal of marriage. Briony would not have been surprised. She herself had written a tale in which a humble woodcutter saved a princess from drowning and ended by marrying her. What was presented here fitted well, but she had that peculiar sensation at the base of her neck cautioning that something was not well at all. Robbie Turner, only son of a humble cleaning lady and of no known father, Robbie who had been subsidized by Briony’s father through school and university, had wanted to be a landscape gardener, and now wanted to take up medicine, had the boldness of ambition to ask for Cecilia’s hand. It made perfect sense. Such leaps across boundaries were the stuff of daily romance.

    What was less comprehensible, however, was the change that had come over Cecilia, poised next to the rim of the fountain’s edge. Her fair flesh had incurred a yellow-tinged pallor, seemingly grown putrid under the sun’s insensitive rays. Briony blinked, disbelieving her eyes. Further than color, her sister’s very tissue seemed to be sliding surreptitiously from her bones, collecting in sagging bags at lowest ends of her limbs. Briony had dramatically complained herself that the day was hot enough to melt her brain right out through her ears, but had not considered it actually being a possible endeavor. Cecilia’s fingers, barely visible protruding amongst skin rapidly consuming her hands, were twisted, and bent into talon-like claws. Briony started to hear a low, guttural whining lifting in volume and lowering in tone, lowing into the thick air and into the nursery. It took her a long, still moment to determine the origin was Cecilia, dull, cracked lips drawn to reveal grayed, jagged teeth—Hadn’t she seen the dentist only last month?—bared in a guarded scowl turned on Robbie. He in turn was watching Cecilia as one does a ravenous predator they do not wish to provoke into attack. The stoic posture Briony had dreamingly attributed to that of a marriage proposal was, in fact, one of astute terror.

    Equally unreasonable to the state of her sister was how Robbie now imperiously raised his hand, as through issuing a command that Cecilia resentfully dared not disobey. It was extraordinary that she was unable to resist him, her distorted features belying her abhorrence. At his insistence she was flailing limbs about in removing her clothes, and at a perverted, lumbering pace. She was out of her blouse, now she had let her skirt drop to the ground and was stepping out of it, while he looked on anxiously, hands on hips. Was that a tremor at his fingertips, cleverly disguised by a shift in position? Cecilia seemed not to have noticed. What strange power did he have over her? Blackmail? Threats? Something darker, more sinister? Briony raised two hands to her face and stepped back a little way from the window. She should shut her eyes, she thought, and spare herself the sight of her sister’s shameful coming apart. But that was impossible, because there were further surprises. Cecilia, mercifully still in her underwear, was hulking herself over the fountain’s edge and into the pond, was standing waist deep in water steaming with the intense heat of her touch, was pinching her nose tight with clawed fingers—and then she was gone. There was only Robbie, and the clothes on the gravel, and beyond, the silent park and the distant, blue hills. His eyes were fixated on the still settling portion of the pond Cecilia had just submerged herself into, his shoulders heaving with the rapidity of his breathing.

    The sequence was illogical—the drowning scene, followed by a rescue, should have preceded the marriage proposal. And the state of the supposed bride was simply too dreadful to insert into a fairy-tale romance. She resembled the malicious beast the handsome hero must save his true love from, not the lover herself. Such were Briony’s last thoughts before she accepted that she did not understand, and that she must simply watch. Unseen, from two stories up, with the benefit of unambiguous sunlight, she had privileged access across the years to adult behavior, to rites, conventions, and heat-filled madness she knew nothing about, as yet. Clearly these were the kinds of things that happened. Even as her sister’s head broke the surface—thank God!—Briony had her first, weak intimation that for her now it could no longer be fairy-tale castles and princesses, but the strangeness of the here and now, of what passed between people, the ordinary people that she knew, and what power one could have over the other, and how easy it was to get everything wrong, completely wrong. Cecilia had clambered over the rim of the pond and was fixing her skirt, and with difficulty pulling her blouse on over her wet skin. Briony was struck with how vividly her sister’s cooled veins stood against the canvas of yellowed, decaying skin. She turned awkwardly and grasped through pockets of flesh into the deep shade of the fountain’s wall a vase of flowers Briony had not noticed before, and plodded off with it toward the house. No words were exchanged with Robbie, not a glance in his direction, not a sign acknowledging her awareness of his presence. He was now staring into the pond, balking at waters murky with hunks of sloughed off putrid flesh. Then he too was striding away, no doubt relieved of duty, round the side of the house. Suddenly the scene was empty; the wet patch and traces of skin on the ground where Cecilia had got out of the pond was the only evidence that anything had happened at all.






    I'm particularly fond of this line: "
    The stoic posture Briony had dreamingly attributed to that of a marriage proposal was, in fact, one of astute terror." May have to use that in one of my original stories one day.
    Last edited by Fabala; 12-21-2010 at 10:21 PM.

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    Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

    Chapter 9

    "Queen Alice"

    "WELL, this is grand!" said Alice. "I never expected I should be a Queen so soon -- and I'll tell you what it is, your Majesty," she went on in a severe tone (she was always rather fond of scolding hersef), "it'll never do to loll about on the grass like that! Queens have to be dignified, you know"
    So she got up and walked about -- rather stiffly just at first, as she was afraid that the crown might come off: but she comforted herself with the thought that there was nobody to see her, "and if I really am a Queen," she said as she sat down again, "I shall be able to manage it quite well in time."
    Everything was happening so oddly that she didn't feel a bit surprised at finding the Red Zombie Queen and the White Zombie Queen sitting close to her, one on each side: she would have liked very much to ask them how they came there, but she feared it would not be quite civil. However, there would be no harm, she thought, in asking if the game was over. "Please, would you tell me -- -" she began, looking timidly at the Red Zombie Queen.
    "Speak when you're spoken to!" the Red Zombie Queen sharply interrupted her.
    "But if everybody obeyed that rule," said Alice, who was always ready for a little argument, "and if you only spoke when you were spoken to, and the other person always waited for you to begin, you see nobody would ever say anything, so that -- -"
    "Ridiculous!" cried the Zombie Queen. "Why, don't you see, child -- -" here she broke off with a frown, and after thinking for a minute, suddenly changed the subject of the conversation. "What do you mean by 'If you really are a Queen'? What right have you to call yourself so? You can't be a Queen, you know, till you've passed the proper examination. And the sooner we begin it, the better."
    "I only said 'if'!" poor Alice pleaded in a piteous tone.
    The two Zombie Queens looked at each other, and the Red Zombie Queen remarked, with a little shudder, "She says she only said 'if' -- -"
    "But she said a great deal more than that!" the White Zombie Queen moaned, wringing her hands. "Oh, ever so much more than that!"
    "So you did, you know," the Red Zombie Queen said to Alice. "Always speak the truth -- think before you speak -- and write it down afterwards."
    "I'm sure I didn't mean -- -" Alice was beginning, but the Red Zombie Queen interrupted.
    "That's just what I complain of! You should have meant! What do you suppose is the use of a child without any meaning? Even a joke should have some meaning -- and a chiId's more important than a joke, I hope. You couldn't deny that, even if you tried with both hands."
    "I don't deny things with my hands," Alice objected.
    "Nobody said you did," said the Red Zombie Queen, "I said you couldn't if you tried."
    "She's in that state of mind," said the White Zombie Queen, "that she wants to deny something -- only she doesn't know what to deny!"
    "A nasty, vicious temper," the Red Zombie Queen remarked; and then there was an uncomfortable silence for a minute or two.
    The Red Zombie Queen broke the silence by saying to the White Zombie Queen, "I invite you to Alice's dinner-party this afternoon."
    The White Zombie Queen smiled feebly, and said, "And I invite you."

    "I didn't know I was to have a party at all," said Alice; "but if there is to be one, I think I ought to invite the guests."
    "We gave you the opportunity of doing it," the Red Zombie Queen remarked: "but I daresay you've not had many lessons in manners yet?"
    "Manners are not taught in lessons," said Alice.
    "Lessons teach you to do sums, and things of that sort."
    "Can you do Addition?" the White Zombie Queen asked.
    "What's one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?"
    "I don't know," said Alice. "I lost count."
    "She can't do Addition," the Red Zombie Queen interrupted. "Can you do Subtraction? Take nine from eight."
    "Nine from eight I can't, you know," Alice replied very readily: "but -- -"
    "She can't do Subtraction," said the White Zombie Queen. "Can you do Division? Divide a loaf by a knife -- what's the answer to that?"
    "I suppose -- -" Alice was beginning, but the Red Zombie Queen answered for her. "Bread-and-butter, of course. Try another Subtraction sum. Take a bone from a dog. What remains?"
    Alice considered. "The bone wouldn't remain, of course, if I took it -- and the dog wouldn't remain; it would come to bite me -- and I'm sure I shouldn't remain!"
    "Then you think nothing would remain?" said the Red Zombie Queen.
    "I think that's the answer."
    "Wrong, as usual," said the Red Zombie Queen; "the dog's temper would remain."
    "But I don't see how -- -"
    "Why, look here!" the Red Zombie Queen cried. "The dog would lose its temper, wouldn't it?"
    "Perhaps it would," Alice replied cautiously.
    "Then if the dog went away, its temper would remain!" the Zombie Queen exclaimed.
    Alice said, as gravely as she could, "They might go different ways." But she couldn't help thinking to herself, "What dreadful nonsense we are talking!"
    "She can't do sums a bit!" the Zombie Queens said together, with great emphasis.
    "Can you do sums?" Alice said, turning suddenly on the White Zombie Queen, for she didn't like being found fault with so much.
    The Zombie Queen gasped and shut her eyes. "I can do Addition," she said, "if you give me time -- but I can't do Subtraction under any circumstances! "
    "Of course you know your A B C?" said the Red Zombie Queen.
    "To be sure I do," said Alice.
    "So do I," the White Zombie Queen whispered. "We'll often say it over together, dear. And I'll tell you a secret -- I can read words of one letter! Isn't that grand? However, don't be discouraged. You'll come to it in time."
    Here the Red Zombie Queen began again. "Can you answer useful questions?" she said. "How is bread made?"
    "I know that!" Alice cried eagerly. "You take some flour -- -"
    "Where do you pick the flower?" the White Zombie Queen asked. "In a garden, or in the hedges?"
    "Well, it isn't picked at all," Alice explained: "it's ground- -- "

    "How many acres of ground?" said the White Zombie Queen. "You mustn't leave out so many things."
    "Fan her head!" the Red Zombie Queen anxiously interupted. "She'll be feverish after so much thinking."
    So they set to work and fanned her with bunches of leaves, till she had to beg them to leave off, it blew her hair about so.
    "She's all right again now," said the Red Zombie Queen. "Do you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee ?"
    "Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.
    "Who said it was?" said the Red Zombie Queen.
    Alice thought she saw a way out of the difficulty this time. "If you'll tell me what language "fiddle-de-dee' is, I'll tell you the French for it!" she exclaimed triumphantly.
    But the Red Zombie Queen drew herself up rather stiffly, and said, "Zombie Queens never make bargains."
    "I wish Zombie Queens never asked questions," Alice thought to herself.
    "Don't let us quarrel," the White Zombie Queen said in an anxious tone. "What is the cause of lightning ?"
    "The cause of lightning," Alice said very decidedly, for she felt quite sure about this, "is the thunder -- no, no!" she hastily corrected herself.
    "I meant the other way."
    "It's too late to correct it," said the Red Zombie Queen: "when you've once said a thing, that fixes it, and you must take the consequences."
    "Which reminds me -- " the White Zombie Queen said, looking down and nervously clasping and unclasping'her hands, "we had such a thunderstorm last Tuesday -- I mean one of the last set of Tuesdays, you know."
    "In our country," Alice remarked, "there's only " one day at a time."
    The Red Zombie Queen said. "That's a poor thin way of doing things. Now here, we mostly have days and nights two or three at a time, and sometimes in the winter we take as many as five'nights together -- for warmth, you know."
    "Are five nights warmer than one night, then?" Alice ventured to ask.
    "Five times as warm, of course."
    "But they should be five times as cold, by the same rule -- -"
    "just so!" cried the Red Zombie Queen. "Five times as warm, and five times as cold -- just as I'm five times as rich as you are, and five times as clever!"
    Alice sighed and gave it up. "It's exactly like a riddle with no answer!" she thought.
    "Humpty Dumpty saw it too," the White Zombie Queen went on in a low voice, more as if she were talking to herself. "He came to the door with a corkscrew in his hand -- -"
    "What for?" said the Red Zombie Queen.
    "He said he would come in," the White Zombie Queen went on, "because he was looking for a hippopotamus. Now, as it happened, there wasn't such a thing in the house, that morning."
    "Is there generally ?" Alice asked in an astonished tone.
    "Well, only on Thursdays," said the Zombie Queen.
    "I know what he came for," said Alice: "he wanted to punish the fish, because -- -"
    Here the White Zombie Queen began again. "It was such a thunderstorm, you can't think!" ("She never could, you know," said the Red Zombie Queen.) "And part of the roof came off, and ever so much thunder got in -- and it went rolling round the room in great lumps -- and knocking over the tables and things -- till I was so frightened, I couldn't remember my own name!"
    Alice thought to herself, "I never should try to remember my name in the middle of an accident! Where would be the use of it?" But she did not say this aloud, for fear of hurting the poor Zombie Queen's feelings.
    "Your Majesty must excuse her," the Red Zombie Queen said to Alice, taking one of the White Zombie Queen's hands in her own, and gently stroking it: "she means well, but she can't help saying foolish things, as a general rule."
    The White Zombie Queen looked timidly at Alice, who felt she ought to say something kind, but really couldn't think of anything.
    "She never was really well brought up," the Red Zombie Queen went on: "but it's amazing how good-tempered she is! Pat her on the head, and see how pleased she'll be!" But this was more than Alice had courage to do.
    "A little kindness -- and putting her hair in papers -- would do wonders with her -- -"
    The White Zombie Queen gave a deep sigh, and laid her head on Alice's shoulder. "I am so sleepy!" she moaned.
    "She"s tired, poor thing!" said the Red Zombie Queen, "Smooth her hair -- lend her your nightcap -- and sing her a soothing lullaby."
    "I haven't got a nightcap with me," said Alice, as she tried to obey the
    first direction: "and I don't know any soothing lullabies."

    "I must do it myself, then," said the Red Zombie Queen, and she began:


    "Hush-a-by lady, in Alice's lap!
    Till the feast's ready, we've time for a nap:
    Till the feast's over, we'll go to the ball --
    Red Zombie Queen, and Zombie White Queen, and Alice, and all!.

    "And now you know the words," she added, as she put her head down on Alice's other shoulder, "just sing it through to me. I'm getting sleepy too." In another moment both Zombie Queens were fast asleep, and snoring loud.
    "What am I to do?" exclaimed Alice, looking about in great perplexity, as first one round head, and then the other, rolled down from her shoulder, and lay like a heavy lump in her lap. "I don't think it ever happened before, that anyone had to take "care of two Zombie Queens asleep at once! No, not in all the History of England -- it couldn't, you know, because there never was more than oneZombie Queen at a time. Do wake up, you heavy things!" she went on in an impatient tone; but there was no answer but a gentle snoring.
    The snoring got more distinct every minute, and sounded more like a tune: at last she could even make out words, and she listened so eagerly that when the two great heads suddenly vanished from her lap, she hardly missed them.
    She was standing before an arched doorway, over which were the words QUEEN ALICE in large letters, and on each side of it there was a bell-handle ; one marked "Visitors' Bell," and the other "Zombies' Bell."
    "I'll wait till the song's over," thought Alice, "and then I'll ring the -- the -- which bell must ring?" she went on, very much puzzled by the names. "I'm not a visitor, and I'm not a zombie. There ought to be one marked "Queen,' you know -- -"
    Just then the door opened a little way, and a creature with a long beak put its head out for a moment and said, "No admittance till the week after next!" and shut the door again with a bang.
    Alice knocked and rang in vain for a long time, but at last a very old Zombie Victim, who was sitting under a tree, got up, and hobbled slowly towards her : he was dressed in bright yellow, and had enormous boots on.
    "What is it now?" the Zombie Victim said in a deep hoarse whisper.
    Alice turned round, ready to find fault with anybody. "Where's the servant whose business it is to answer the door?" she began angrily.

    "Which door?" said the Zombie Victim.
    Alice almost stamped with irritation at the slow drawl in which he spoke. "This door, of course!
    The Zombie Victim looked at the door with his large dull eyes for a minute : then he went nearer and rubbed it with his thumb, as if he were trying whether the paint would come off (and it did); then he looked at Alice. "To answer the door?" he said. "What's it been asking of?" He was so hoarse that Alice could scarcely hear him.
    "I don't know what you mean," she said.
    "I speaks English, doesn't I?" the Zombie Victim went on.
    "Or are you deaf? What did it ask you?"
    "Nothing!" Alice said impatiently. "I've been knocking at it!"

    "Shouldn't do that -- shouldn't do that -- " the Zombie Victim muttered. "Wexes it, you know." Then he went up and gave the door a kick with one off his great feet. "You let it alone," he panted out, as he hobbled back to his tree, "and it'll let you alone, you know."
    At this moment the door was flung open, and a shrill voice was heard singing:


    To the Looking-glass world it was Alice that said,
    "I've a sceptre in hand, I've a crown on my head;
    Let the Looking-glass creatures, whatever they be,
    Come and dine with the Red Zombie Queen, the Zombie White
    Queen, and me.
    And hundreds of voices joined in the chorus:


    "Then fill up the glasses as quick as you can,
    And sprinkle the table with brains and bran:
    Put eyes in the coffee, and flesh in the tea --
    And welcome Queen Alice with thirty-times-three!


    Theres more to the chapter, but I think thats good enough :3
    Last edited by Fabala; 12-21-2010 at 10:20 PM.

  4. #4
    LUCKY DUCK Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus has a reputation beyond repute Capernicus's Avatar
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    Okay here is my entry.

    Affinity by Sarah Waters.

    Margaret Prior's first visit to Millbank prison.

    Mr Shillitoe talked on, about Millbank's history, about its routines, its staff and its visitors. I stood and nodded at his wods; sometimes Miss Haxby also nodded. And then, after a time, there sounded a bell, from some part of the prison buildings; and hearing that, Mr Shillitoe said that he had spoken longer than he had meant to. That bell was the signal that sent the prisoners to the yards; now he must leave me to the matrons' care-he said I must be sure to go to him another time, and tell him how the women seem to me. He took my hand, but when I made to walk with him towards the desk he said, 'No, no, you must stand a little longer there. Miss Haxby, will you come to the window and watch with Miss Prior? Now, Miss Prior, keep your eyes before you, and you shall see something!'

    The matron held the door for him, and he was swallowed by the gloom of the tower staircase. Miss haxby had drawn near, and now we turned to the glass, Miss Ridley stepping to another window to gaze from that. Below us stretched the three earth yards, each separated from its neighbour by a high brick wall that ran, like the spoke on a cart-wheel, from the governess's tower. Above us hung the dirty city sky, that was streaked with sunlight.

    'A fine day, for September,' said Miss Haxby.

    Then she gazed again at the scene below us; and I gazed with her, and waited.

    For a time, all was still: for the yards there, like the grounds, are desperately bleak, all dirt and gravel-there is not so much as a blade of grass to be shivered by the breezes, or a worm or a beetle for a bird to swoop for. But after perhaps a minute or so I caught a movement in the corner of one of the yards and then a similar movement in the others. It was the opening of doors, and the emergence of the women; and I don't think I ever saw such a queer impressive sight as they made them, for we watched them from our high window and they looked small - they might have been dolls upon a clock, or beads on trailing threads. They spilled into the yard and formed three great elliptical loops, and within a second for their doing that, I could not have said which was the first prisoner to have entered the ground, and which was the last, for the loops were seamless, and the woman all dressed quite alike, in frocks of brown and caps of white, and with pale blue kercheifs at their throats. It was only from their poses that I caught the humanity of them: for though they all walked at the same dull pace, there were some, I saw, with drooping heads, and some that limped; some with bodies stiff and hugged against the sudden chill, a few poor souls with faces lifted to the sky - and one, I think, who even raised her eyes to the window that we stood at, and gazed blankly at us.

    It was then that I realized that they weren't women in the usual way. I saw then, quite clearly, the awkwardness about the one which was gazing at me. A sort of misshapenness that I hadn't previously marked. She, for lack of a more appropriate term, held her limbs in a vehemently begrudged manner. I pressed my face about the glass closer and, from there, was able to note the horrid state of her complexion. The skin looked to be melting right from her bones! The sour air of Millbank must have corrupted and rotted her humanity, until there was little more than her dress to recognize her as such. The prisoner continued to gaze as she marched. Perhaps bored by the exercise. Perhaps to send a message to those of us in the tower. Perhaps awaiting rain that would not come, so that the drops could eradicate what was left of her flesh. I hid my horror and disgust, for neither Miss Haxby nor Miss Ridley seemed moved by the scene. I could only watch as I had been instructed.

    There were all the women of the gaol there, almost three hundred of them, ninety women to each great wheeling line, each of the same state as the former. And in the corner of the yards stood a pair of dark-cloaked matrons, who must stand and watch the prisoners until the exercise is complete.

    Miss Haxby, I thought, gazed at the flooding women with a kind of satisfaction. 'See how they know their places,' she said. 'There must be kept a certain distance, look, between each prisoner.' If that distance is breached, the offending woman is reported and loses privileges. If there are women who are old or sick or feeble, of if there are very young girls - 'We have had girls in the past - haven't we, Miss Ridley? - of twelve and thirteen' - then the matron sets them walking in a circle of their own.

    'How quietly they walk!' I said. She told me then that the women must keep silen, in all parts of the prison; that they are forbidden to speak, to whistle, to sing, hum 'or make any kind of voluntary noise' unless at the express request of a matron or Visitor.

    'And how long must they walk for? I asked her then. - They must walk for an hour. 'And if it should rain?' - If it should rain, the exercise must be forfeited. Those were bad days for the matrons, she said, for then the long confinement made the women 'fidget and turn saucy'. As she spoke she peered harder at the prisoners: one of the loops had begun to slow, and now turned out of sequence with the circles in the other yards. She said, 'There is' - and here she named some woman - 'making the pace of her line grow slack. Be sure to speak with her, Miss Ridley, when you make your round.'

    I thought it marvelous she could tell one woman from another; when I told her that, however, she smiled. She said. that she had seen the prisoners walking the yards every day of their terms there, 'and I have been seven years as principal at Millbank, and before that was chief matron here' - before that, she told me, she was ordinary matron, at the prison at Brixton. All in all, she said, she had spent twenty-one years in gaol; which was a longer sentence than many convicts serve. And yet, there were women waking down there, too, who would outsuffer her. She had seen them come; she dared to say she would not be there to see them leave...

    I asked if such women didn't make her work the easier. since they must know the habits of the gaol so well? She nodded. 'Oh yes.' Then: 'Is it not true, Miss Ridley? We prefer a longer-server, do we not?'

    'We do,' answered the matron. 'We like the longer-servers, with the one offence behind them - that is' she said to me, 'your poisoners, your vitriol-throwers, your child-murderers, that the magistrates have turned kind on and kept from the rope. Had we a gaolful of such women, we might send our matrons home and let the convicts lock themselves up. It is the petty regulars, the thieves and prostitutes and counter-feiters, that vex us most - and they are devils, miss! Bred to mischief, most of them, and look for nothing better. If they know our habits, they know only what they can get away with, know what tricks will trouble us the most. Devils!'
    Last edited by Capernicus; 06-21-2008 at 05:53 PM.


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    Default The zombie list.

    My entry
    It's the opening from 'The boyfriend list' by E. Lockhart. When it refers to the different numbers of zombies, it's replacement of a list of boys.

    Before anyone reading this thinks to call me a {word meaning one who engages in sexual acts for financial compensation has been redacted}- or even just imagines I'm popular- let me point out that this list includes absolutely every single zombie I have ever had the slightest little any-kind-of-anything with.
    Zombies I never kissed are on this list.
    Zombies I never even talked to are on this list.
    Doctor Z told me not to leave anyone off. Not even if I think he's unimportant. In fact, especially if I think he's unimportant.
    Doctor Z is my shrink, and she says that for purposes of the list, the zombies don't have to be official. Official, unofficial- she says it doesn't matter, so long as I remember the zombie and something about what happened.
    The list was a homework assignment for my mental health. She told me to write down all of the zombies, kind-of zombies, almost zombies, rumored zombies and wish-he-were zombies I've ever had. Plus, she recommended I take up knitting.
    I still have some doubts about Doctor Z, though by now I've been seeing her for almost four months. I mean, if I knew a fifteen-year-old who sat around knitting all day, I'd definitely think she had some mental health problems.
    I know it's weird to be fifteen and have a shrink. Until I had one of my own, I thought shrinks were just for lunatics, tragics, and neurotics. Lunatics: insane asylum candidates, people tearing their hair out and stabbing horses in the eyeballs and whatever. Tragics: people who get help because they've had something really bad happen to them, like getting cancer or being abused. And neurotics: middle-aged men who think about death all the time and can't stop their own mothers to stop poking into their lives.
    A lot of my parents' friends are neurotics, actually, but the only other kid I know who sees a shrink (and admits to it) is Meghan Flack. She's had one since she was twelve, but she prefers to call it a "counsellor" - like it's not a Freudian psychoanalyst her mom pays $200 an hour, but some fun college girl who's in charge of her bunk at summer camp.
    Meghan sees the shrink because her dad died, which makes her a tragic in my book. Her shrink makes her lie on a couch and talk about her dreams. Then he explains that the dreams are all about sex- which later turns out to mean that they're all about her dead father. Ag.
    Me, I don't fit into any of my own categories. i'm not a lunatic, or even a neurotic. I started going to Doctor Z because I had panic attacks-these fits where my heart would beat really fast and I felt as if I couldn't get enough air. I only had five of them, which Doctor Z says isn't enough to count as a disorder, but all five happened within ten days. In the same ten days I-
    -Lost my zombie. (zombie no.13)
    -Lost my best friend.
    -Lost all of my other friends.
    -Learned gory details about my now ex-zombie's sexual adventures.
    -Did something shockingly advanced with zombie no.15.
    -Did something suspicious with zombie no.10.
    -Had an argument with zombie no.14.
    -Drank my first beer.
    -Got caught by my mom.
    -Lost a lacrosse game.
    -Failed a maths test.
    -Hurt Meghan's feelings.
    -Became a leper.
    -Became a famous {word meaning one who engages in sexual acts for financial compensation has been redacted}.
    Enough to give anyone panic attacks right?
    I was so overwhelmed by the whole debacle that I had to sip school for a day to read mystery novels, cry and eat spearmint jelly candies.






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