An Excerpt from The Dead of Penderghast Manor
Perhaps now would be a good time to explain what actually occurs after death. Death is not completely final. There is something that remains once one’s pulse stops; a consciousness, best described as an afterlife, continues.
There are a few that escape the eternal box; they’re the faceless, nameless people that you sometimes pass on the streets. The ones that you ignore, or rather, forget to notice. Unlike the Hollywood version of the Zombie mythos, they are unconcerned with consuming living flesh. Their main goal is to find a quiet place to exist until the moment their bodies completely give out.
In some rare cases, they seek out living companionship and to an extent, respect.
The best known example is a comedienne who shall remain nameless. Hell, it’s obvious to anyone that she’s had a lot of work done. Her intention was to give off the appearance that she is still alive, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The story that passes for accepted fact among those in the know is this: the comedienne passed away naturally in her home and upon reawakening, she decided to carry on as if nothing had happened. She had the money to pay for silence and the preservation services.
There is a relatively larger number of the Dead among the living and there are reasons they remain (somewhat) anonymous; chances are you can already figure out just who they might be.
One of the great advantages to being Dead is that you get to decide who you want to communicate with. It’s like a switch of sorts; one minute you’re just a regular corpse, but with a pulse of Dead energy, you become apparently, and in some cases terrifyingly, sentient. It’s part of the reason that most people are utterly unaware of the existence of the Dead; they just have no desire to share their existential challenges with the world at large.
The only time they come out of hiding is on Halloween or for annual Zombie Walks. Nothing beats being able to be yourself and congregate with other Dead in your community. Besides, one of them inevitably wins “Best Dressed” each and every time. It’s just one of the perks of being Dead; the gore factor is readily apparent from the natural decomposition process and if you cannot use it for recognition at some point, what fun is it really?
The only thing that really sucks about being Dead is the fact that when you were alive, you were unaware of what occurred after death. The Funerary Services sector is booming, and burial and cremation are the accepted methods for the disposal of your deceased loved ones. For most, the only time they really had left before burial was at the funeral home.
For some reason, Chester got the ultimate nod of acceptance from the Dead. It was almost an instinctual thing with them; in Chester’s presence they acted as if nothing was amiss. As far as any of them were concerned, they still had a lot of time left on their clocks and it didn’t seem to matter that most of it was going to be spent underground.
Naturally, some begged and pleaded with Chester to just let them leave. There was no way that he could have ever done such a thing, however. The families of the deceased were counting on the Penderghast family to prepare their dearly departed for everlasting burial. That didn’t stop the recently deceased from trying, though. And try everything they did…
If you’re interested in reading more, The Dead of Penderghast Manor can be purchased or borrowed from Amazon! Here’s the universal link –http://mybook.to/TheDeadofPenderghastManor
Julianne Snow is the author of the Days with the Undead series and Glimpses of the Undead. She is the founder of Zombieholics Anonymous and the Co-Founder and Publicist at Sirens Call Publications. Writing in the realms of speculative fiction, Julianne has roots that go deep into horror and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. With pieces of short fiction in various publications, Julianne always has a few surprises up her sleeves. Be sure to check out The Carnival 13, a collaborative round-robin novella for charity which she contributed to and helped to spearhead which was released in October 2013.