Stories of zombies tend to be either terrifying or funny, but this one falls into a new category altogether. It’s sort of… literary. “The Charge of the Soul” seems to be the first high-brow zombie story I’ve ever read, an intelligent tale of complex emotions and dangerous liaisons. It is also described by the author as “zombie erotica,” which seems slightly odd, but then, as Peter Tupper points out, did not vampires seem nothing more than revolting monsters until a certain work of literature made them sexy?
It begins with Charlotte, a solitary woman who has survived the zombie apocalypse and now lives in a house in the woods, still wary of zombies who are roaming about. But one day a different kind of zombie lurches up to her abode. He has some traces of human intelligence and can even speak a little. Perhaps he can even be taught to be more human. Charlotte faces conflicting emotions as she seems to be adopting a zombie… and becoming attached to him.
“The Charge of the Soul” was an enjoyable read with its beautiful prose style and several twists and turns. The title was inspired by a Walt Whitman poem:
I sing the body electric, The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them, They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them, And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul. Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves? And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead? And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul? And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul? (See full poem)
As a swashbuckling reader and writer, I like to read scary or suspenseful but ultimately life-affirming narratives, and this was definitely one of them.
And speaking of scary I spent part of my Christmas holiday surfing off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. Winter surfing was a very cold but rewarding experience. I wish I had some photos but no one thought of taking one, and it was so cold you pretty much had to keep moving the whole time. The waves were really big and nicely spaced though, and I learned a lot!
So it was a pretty eventful holiday, and now I’m ready to get back to writing and blogging!