Sunday, January 18, 2009

“Blossom” by David J. Schow

Author: David J. Schow
Title: “Blossom”
Anthology: "The Living Dead" [Title Post]
Position: 5
Length: 6 pages

Author Info: David J. Schow is a bit of a legend in zombie circles. He’s the author of the notorious story “Jerry’s Kids Meet Wormboy,” as well as several others, which have been collected in Zombie Jam. He’s also the author of the novels The Kill Riff, The Shaft, Bullets of Rain, and Rock Breaks Scissors Cut. His most recent novel is Gun Work, a hard-boiled crime novel due out in November. Schow co-wrote (with John Shirley) the screenplay for The Crow, and has written teleplays for TV shows such as Showtime’s Masters of Horror. As for non-fiction, Schow has authored The Outer Limits: The Official Companion, and a collection of essays called Wild Hairs.

Summary: One dinner date, two opinions. For the rich and older Quinn this is another triumph in seduction, while for the gold digger Amelia this is an enterprise. However one leather mask provided by Quinn and a serious respiration problem, Amelia dies only to come around a bit less dead and a bit hungrier. After a quick human snack and a room full of flowers, we find Amelia in search for more like her kind.

Favorite Snip: "...Her savaged dress dropped away. Swaying side-to-side she found her way into the room where they had dined when they were alive. Sparks of remembered behavior capered through her dead brain matter, evaporating for the last time. She began eating the flowers in their vases, in no hurry to begin her nightwalk. The flowers were alive, but dying every moment. Their life might become hers. When she stopped, all the bouquets had been stripped..."

Analysis: It’s always the shortest stories that give you the hardest time when it comes to understanding them. They drift through like a sweet fragrance carried by the wind, give you an experience and then leave you clueless to their true nature. I can say the same about “Blossom”, which at six pages and a bloody ending remains an enigma.

If I am to quote the author on the story, then “Blossom” is to address the notion of what it was like in the big cities two nights before the spread of the zombie virus made survival he overriding issue. However the highly elevated and slick prose doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with the idea of simplicity. The male protagonist Quinn keeps talking about moments in our life, when we shine and moments, in which we stray from the dogmas of society. For me the story states that perhaps our most brilliant moment in life happens when we relish in our hidden secret, the thing we find forbidden, but feel so good at. When that period passes we seize to shine and passed the moment of revealing our full potential so to say. In “Blossom” the end comes with death and whatever Amelia could have been through manipulating men is now passed.

Even now I still think that there is something there that I can’t pinpoint exactly, a small grain of truth that remains hidden. And this air of mystery I find especially charming about story mixed with the bloody imagery the story provides and the intellectual undertone. As far as zombie stories go this one is definitely out of the box.


Kimberly Swan said...

Short, creepy, and all the more disturbing because it leaves you wondering? *grin*

Also...You've been tagged!

daydream said...

Yup and I love it. ;)

Matt O'Brien said...

With all due respect, this is an exceptionally poor post.

"When that period passes we seize to shine and passed the moment of revealing our full potential so to say."

Seize? You mean 'cease'? Even then I have no idea what you are trying to say.

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