Haute Halloween

Here in Athens, Ohio, things got a little crazy. If you were in town this Halloween weekend, you surely witnessed a lot of drunken debauchery, cops on horseback and the fact that you probably weren’t able to use your cell phone. I also bet you grabbed a buddy and NEVER LET THEM GO, lest you became lost in the sea of people sure to be flooding Court Street.

Block party on Court Street in Athens, Ohio

But maybe you weren’t able to attend Athens’ raucous celebration party where zombies, bunnies, binders full of women and other various creatures of the night stumbled out of the woodwork to listen to the bands that played in the streets and roamed through the night to parties, parties and more parties. Don’t worry, you can still engage in the mayhem despite the fact that Halloween in Athens is over. After all, Halloween isn’t until Wednesday and you should enjoy yourself this spooky season. According to the Mayans, it might be the last one we have.

There are a plethora of ways this whole Apocalypse thing could go down–flood, earthquake, climate change, disease, alien invasion or all of the above. Although, judging by recent pop culture phenomenons (cough “The Walking Dead” cough), people seem to be itchin’ for a zombie attack. (I enjoy “28 Days Later” and “28 Weeks Later” myself.)

AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

There you are, sitting in your room, watching the news, when a Breaking News broadcasts whatever regular scheduled program you had happened to turn on. Something’s wrong, but you’re not quite sure what. There have been a few attacks–frenzied, inhumane. They think it might be a wild animal–a coyote or bear. But the attack was brutal, almost too savage for even the toughest of grizzly bears. You keep watching, hoping something will be revealed.

Your sister walks into the room and joins you. She doesn’t really understand the gravity of the situation. She thinks it’s just some sort of rabid dog or a hoax. You know it’s not, though. You call your boyfriend. He doesn’t pick up the phone.

You’re glued to the couch for the rest of the day, your eyes fixated on the TV screen. They just keep repeating the same things over and over–“brutal attack,” “mangled,” “no suspect,” “be alert,” “more to come.” But you watched the news all day, and nothing more ever came. You were still in the dark.

Over the next couple of days, you wait as things progress. “Disease” and “pandemic” entered the broadcasts. Nobody knows what this epidemic is or how it started, only that it’s contagious and causing violent outbursts. You sit with your mother and sister on the sofa, mouths agape, unable to believe when they actually said “zombie.” They suggest fleeing, but after a few hours, evacuation isn’t recommended anymore. Staying inside, lights out, doors and windows barricading and remaining silent was what the media advised. You listen, boarding up what windows and doors you can. Soon, the broadcasts stop working. The TV and radio are completely dead. It’s chaos outside, you know it, but you can’t see.

So you sit there, huddled in the dark, and you wait. You try your boyfriend again, but the lines are dead. You had been having problems the last couple of weeks, but the fights don’t matter now. He would have tried to reach you, and he hasn’t. That’s troubling.

Eventually, you decide you need to get out. The house is suffocating. Your family tries to stop you, but you break through and head outside, planning to go to his house a few blocks away. You raise your hand to shield your face from the sunlight that you haven’t seen in days. You jump over fences and run through backyards, wielding a spade that you found in a nearby garden. You’re not sure what you’ll have to use it for, but you’ll use it for whatever you have to.

Don’t forget the spade!

You finally come to your boyfriend’s house. It’s quiet; the living room window is busted. You step over the broken glass, clutching your makeshift weapon. You hear moaning and begin to swing the spade wildly. You hit something. Then it’s over. Feeling sick, you run upstairs, scared and shaking. There’s a loud thud in one of the bedrooms. Cautiously, you open the door.

There he is, standing by the window, staring calmly outside. You walk up to him and place your hand on his cold shoulder. He turns, covered in blood; his eyes are empty, dead. It’s the look he’s been giving you the last couple of weeks, but it’s somehow different now. You know what’s happened; he’s infected. You stumble backwards onto the bed, your space heavy in your hands.

He comes towards you and thoughts race through your head–the arguments, the harsh words, the anger, the sadness, the pain, the good times, but mostly bad times. He used to be so sweet….

He reaches his hand out towards yours and takes it. And suddenly you know what you have to do.

A less practical zombie-hunting outfit.

So while “Shaun of the Dead,” “Night of the Living Dead,” “The Walking Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead” and pretty anything else involving the “living dead” are on everyone’s minds this Halloween, embrace your inner-zombie, throw on some face paint and fake blood, and have a spectacular Halloween!

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