“The Zombies” — Donald Barthelme

“The Zombies,” a short story by Donald Barthelme

“The Zombies”    In a high wind the leaves fall from the trees. The zombies are standing about talking. “Beautiful day!” “Certainly is!” The zombies have come to buy wives from the people of this village, the only village around that will sell wives to zombies. “Beautiful day!” “Certainly is!” The zombies have brought many cattle. The bride price to a zombie is exactly twice that asked of an ordinary man. The cattle are also zombies and the zombies are in terror lest the people of the village understand this.

These are good zombies. Gris Grue said so. They are painted white all over. Bad zombies are unpainted and weep with their noses, their nostrils spewing tears. The village chief calls the attention of the zombies to the fine brick buildings of the village, some of them one thousand bricks high — daughters peering from the windows, green plants in some windows and, in others, daughters. “You must promise not to tell the Bishop,” say the zombies, “promise not to tell the Bishop, beautiful day, certainly is.” Continue reading ““The Zombies” — Donald Barthelme”