A zombie story I’ve been working on. I wanted to see how far I could go working primarily with the settings.
The fields roll on endlessly, pockets of fog coursing like rivers through the deep pathways that are the lows of the rising hills. The sky is a white canvas, a monotone light grey, that is both unbearably bright—the eye squinting to see—and yet casting a darkness on this paltry morning. The dead sound of silence embraces the land. No birds, no life, resides here.
To the west the marshes, their sinking mud a grave for many, await hungrily for the desperate flight, the mad hope of escape. There lies a blackness to compare with this bleak grassy plain, and yet, through it a maybe sanctuary, a ship, an island, a city. The story changes, but never ceases, like the grasping hands of death.
What dread, that those hands’ are no metaphor, no mere allusion exemplifying some poetic point, but the cursed remains of men whose hollowed bodies wander endlessly through all seasons, times, and places, stopped only by the sinking sands of the marsh, grasping always to choke away the light of life.
Hollowed, that is their word, their description. The skin, shrunken around the skeleton, tanned like leather, contains the rotting emptiness, the inner black bile of their bellies. It is a poison they have for blood, an acid digesting those once human organs.
Suffer no ending of warnings: let not that seeping sickness—pouring from them liberally—touch you, for it is their sperm, and fertilized by it, you shall be the mother to these hollowed creatures, giving your very body for them. Your eyes will grow dark, your breath foul, and vomiting your heart, your lungs, and all the inner workings of a body, shall you shrivel around thin bones, your flesh compressing like a collapsing tent.
An overturned wagon, its wood made soft in the ever-present salty mists, and covered by continually encroaching green moss, rests a landmark in this featureless world. You’ve made it farther than many, should you come to it. From there you will first be given sight unto the tree-line, should the fog not be so thick as to impede your bright eyes, and thus know yourself almost to the worst of it.
For the marsh is more deadly than these. Sometimes the hollowed wander there, without vision they wander, and shortly sink into the depthless mire, a drowning abyss, a Tartarus from which is no escape. That you must pass over, if you are to find the way out. The path cannot be easy, or else the hollowed would traverse it, and finding sanctuary devour.