Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Dead and Empty World Part 2

* Bougainvillea

Iza is incredibly privileged before and after the zombie apocalypse hits. Her father used to be normal dad with a normal job. When the zombie rose, he came to Curacao because it was a place of power as a port and dry dock. Iza received many gifts from people because they wanted to curry favor from her father. Insult to him or his daughter resulted in being banned from the island or death. The island is run in a rigid and cutthroat way, counter to the beautiful, lush island itself. The population of the island has to be regulated so they don't live outside their means. This means killing or turning away the desperate and the injured. Her father's militia, the homber mata, kills anyone who isn't supposed to be there and gets rid of any undead around.

Iza used to a fairly normal life, not wanting for food or supplies. She strives to be more like her ruthless father who never thanks anyone and expects respectful deference from everyone in his life. The only thing she doesn't get is companionship. Her father rarely spends time with her. Her guardian has been Beihito, a man who works for her father. Beihito protects her in every sense: from zombies, from unpleasant things, and would lay down his life for her. He is the most caring and benevolent person in her life, but she keeps her prickly, proud demeanor for her father. At this point, she's at a crossroads on the cusp of adulthood to continue as her father has with ruthlessness and pride or change to a more caring attitude like Beihito, who cares more for her than her actual father does.

Beihito calls the undead mudo, ones of have lost their voices and themselves with nothing to say. The fast zombies are called lihemorto. I had forgotten about these fast zombies. I never liked fast zombies because the muscle and bones and such would break down quite fast, leaving immobile zombies. These ones are purposefully short lived, but their speed helps them spread the disease to more people than a slow zombie could. I also like these new terms because they speak more to the metaphysical state of the undead rather than just the physical state.

Iza finds a boy on the shore and spares him. This is a bit similar to the previous story, but the resolution is completely different. I love that it's brutal and not at all like the last story. So much of the story has the juxtaposition of beauty and brutality, especially in the title. Iza compare bougainvillea petals to blood in water. Even Iza herself is a bit of both. All of these stories are excellent, but this one was the post memorable with the beautiful location, different structure, and a wholly different zombie apocalypse situation than I've ever read.

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