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Entertaining the Apocalypse — Jack Wallen #SummerZombie

by Jack Wallen

Wallen pic author

Once upon a time I was asked to write lyrics for a metal band who appeared in Cry Zombie Cry. It was a great honor for me and I wound up penning an entire album’s worth of words. Unfortunately, the band’s singer developed a physical condition that precluded them continuing on and they broke up.

I still have the lyrics and wanted to open up this piece (for a point, of course) with the words for one of the songs I wrote for the band Unsun.

Pretty Mess

A cloud of fog dissipates
The sky, the world comes down
From the desolate, barren cityscape
The broken and tragic are found

They crawl on polished fingers
Death’s pale beauty their only truth
Beneath perfect skin it lingers
Breaking bone and rotting tooth

Come alive
Play outside
Show your party dress
Moan with me
And all will see
You darling pretty mess

Begin again
Make amends
Your love is my death
Look inside
My blinded eyes
You darling pretty mess

With fragile breath and bloodshot eyes
She leads the deadly dance
Through streets of ruin her siren song
Begs the living take a chance

No laughter anoints the living few
No joy or heart’s content
The darkling girl would die again
And spread her sickened scent

Come alive
Play outside
Show your party dress
Moan with me
And all will see
You darling pretty mess

Begin again
Make amends
Your love is my death
Look inside
My blinded eyes
You darling pretty mess

Pretty
Pretty Mess
Hide yourself
Within your dress
Pretty
Pretty Mess
Damnation born
In beauty’s death

Now to the point, dear reader…now to the point.

When the apocalypse finally wraps its mighty hand around the world’s throat, to choke off breath and life, the struggle to survive will become quite literal…for everyone. That means food, water, heat, shelter, first aid — all the usual suspects that come to mind — will be in serious demand. But there’s one element to survival that never fails to get neglected in the bug-out bag of life.

Entertainment.

That’s right, I said it. Before you scoff, consider our current climate — one of concern, fear, anger, and uncertainty. Even in this relatively safe environment, we still need those precious moments of escape — to plop in front of the television and tune out the never-ending vitriol and bad news.

Wallen pic book ZR3

Multiply that need exponentially and you have the apocalypse. On a daily basis, we’d all be fighting for our very survival; our lives will be in the hands of fate and who knows what the moment to moment will have in store for us. If we were cast into such a quagmire, where there was no guarantee of life beyond this very second, the challenge of maintaining any semblance of sanity will hearken back to periods of the human existence most of us are so far removed from we cannot fathom. That’s where entertainment will come into play.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about reality TV, fake news, or the YouTube sensation du jour. I’m talking story tellers, music, dance—those bits of escape that have served humanity for centuries. That is the entertainment which has helped define humanity over the years. This is also what helped inspire me to create the Zombie Radio series. I wanted to give Bethany Nitshimi (the main character in the I Zombie series) the means to shut down for a brief respite and to have a mechanism in place that would serve in similar fashion as my approach to writing fiction:

  • To entertain
  • To enlighten
  • To edify

The DJ brings his listeners together to lighten the mood and keep them informed. Survival with a side of humor. Without that last bit, long-term survival not only becomes all the more challenging, but the point of said survival starts to gray and fade.

We entertain, hoping to enlighten and edify.

We survive because life is a joyous thing.

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Check out ZR3: Radio Chaos or begin with book one of that series.

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Jay Wilburn
Jay Wilburn has a Masters Degree in Education that goes mostly unused since he quit teaching to write about zombies. Jay writes horror because he tends to find the light by facing down the darkness. He finds the journey through life easier by having you join him. Jay is the author of 2 series: The Dead Song Legend and The Great Interruption. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. You can also find Jay's work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5 and Dark Moon Digest. Each year Jay has the pleasure of featuring many great authors in the genre through the Summer and Winter of Zombie blog tours on his website.

Jay's Patreon Page | Purchase Signed Copies of Books

3 comments

  1. Pheebz says:

    Entertainment, could be the very thing that helps us remember how life use to be. It can keep hope alive and help one deal with the deeds that have become part of daily living, that they once would not have believed them selfs capable of carrying out.

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