A morning mist rests upon the lake. Loons call out into the early morning air. A figure breaks through the mist, and shambles onto the shore. Enchanted by an ancient magic, something in the world has reawakened its water-logged corpse into reanimation. What goes through its soggy mind? It cannot be known, even if it does have thought. A summer day’s walk along an abandoned path dries out its soggy innards. A gurgling and spurting turn into a haunting moan as the air flows through the inlets, valves, and flaps of decomposing flesh, acting as a sort of gruesome bellow.

The autonomous cadaver continues down the path, until it meets a paved road. A slow turn and a shuffling of feet realign its mysterious yet deliberate course. Cars zoom by, thinking nothing of this figure. Minds distorted between reality and fiction, what is real has been turned to fiction, and subsequently ignored in reality.

It continues to walk down this long stretch of road. A mission from elsewhere. Its feet drag along the sand and dirt by the roadside. No one stops. He walks on into the night, into the a new day, and once more into the night. A wolf begins to gnaw on this jerked bit of animated meat, but soon gives up, it is not a flavor worth savoring.

One watching this death march would perhaps boldly and openly wonder why is it doing what it is doing; what is it doing? The simple answer is that it is unknowable. As for what, that answer does not arrive to us, and not even for this drone. It will arrive, to be sure. It has an unflappable tenacity to achieve, like all of its kind. It must do what it must do, whatever that may be. It is both frightening and heart-warming, the way in which it unlives.

It crosses paths with another. This is the only recognition they receive, for their masters exist within them, externally, commanding things they do not understand, it simply gets done by them with no realizations. However, for this moment, there is a recognition between two who live under death. Socket contact, for the most part, but eye contact, in essence. A nod forcing out mutual moans. In large groups, these moans would be overpowering, a cacophony. Mindless in the company of others, doing what must be done.

Eventually, its task is complete. It is sent to rest. At the bottom of a lake, it is safe below the water, deep underdeath.

2 Responses to “Underdeath”

  1. “It is both frightening and heart-warming, the way in which it unlives.” that is my favorite part, almost of all time. two zombies, doin’ stuff is quite magical.

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