Characters in THE NAKED ZOMBIE are not your stereotypical zombies which is not to say they have never promoted that image to draw attention away from themselves. In the novel, Nancy Palmer, a beautiful young researcher and socialite, falls in love with the man she knows as Basil Evans before coming to the realization that he was not human. The medicine woman, Margareta explains things to her:
Nancy was becoming more and more interested in what this odd woman had to say. She seemed to know what she was talking about, and it certainly made her feel better to think that Basil actually had real feelings for her rather than some wishful dream that he had found his first love.
“But what do you mean, one of the good ones?” she asked.
“Well, like I was saying, when they change, they are ruled by the last emotion they had before the transformation. In Roger Danforth’s case it was love. But imagine what happens when that change occurs to a harden criminal. Need I draw you a picture?”
“My God, that’s frightening,” Nancy said.
“Indeed. Do you have any idea how many serial murderers there have been through the ages that were never caught? Even now, with the scientists DNA testing, there is no evidence at a crime scene because zombies do not have DNA. They are near immortals. I say ‘near,’ because they eventually disintegrate. Notice I didn’t say, ‘die” because in a very real sense they are already dead. They don’t bleed, shed tears, or even perspire like humans. They eat certain things for the minerals they contain, not because they are hungry. They’re not. When they drink, it’s only a sip or two. The fluid keeps them lubricated in a way,” Margareta explained.
“Sort of like the Tin Man in Oz,” Nancy muttered.
“What?” Margareta asked.
“Oh…nothing,” Nancy said, “Just a little childish humor. I’m sorry. Please do go on.”
“Zombies, as you call them, do not socialize with each other. They are well aware of one another, but have little or no contact. I have heard of them seeking out the good ones if they need some kind of help. They can’t very well just go up to anyone for that. But for the most part, they live their lives among humans and appear to be very normal. That is until the humans begin to age, but the zombies look exactly as they did the day they transformed.”
Nancy had been staring at her folded hands on the dinette. She looked up at Margareta and said, “That’s becoming easier for me to accept now that I’ve seen the evidence Basil showed me in Colorado. My heart accepts it. My head is another matter.”
“There’s something else you should know,” Margareta said, her husky voice dropping half an octave. “Although zombies do not socialize, they have a kind of telepathy. It lets them know where the others are and what they are up to. I have heard of cases where what we’ll call good zombies have worked together to take out some evil ones—the kind that commit such abhorrent crimes that humans might catch on and start hunting zombies the way historically they have hunted vampires.”
Nancy felt as though the floor had given way under her chair.
“Vampires? You can’t be serious!” she said in a half whisper.
“Child, remember your Shakespeare. There are more things under heaven and earth than are dreamt of,” Margareta said, “You and your civilization have rationalized away everything you can’t or don’t want to face. Yes, my dear, vampires exist, though they have dwindled in number. But that’s another story all together, and not at all what I came here to tell you. Nancy, I am exactly what your Basil is, and I am here to tell you that you are in mortal danger!”
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