My Love Sick Zombie Boy Band is published in the special double issue of Electric Velocipede #21/22. This story started life as the memory of having my heart pounded to bits when I was a teenager. I really did give the young woman a silver ring, but whether it had any magical properties or not is open to debate. The zombie boy band just appeared on the page as I was writing. I had to give Fred something to play with, and dead boys seemed to make her happy. This story got me in to Clarion and has had editorial guidance from Kelly Link and Neil Gaiman, so I think its probably my favourite of my stories to date. It will also be published in the audio magazine Dark Fictions in April 2011.
My Love Sick Zombie Boy Band
I am excavating an eight-pointed star onto the pages of my textbook when I catch the boy looking at me. I keep the pen moving, the shiny blue ink bubbling and frothing, soaking the pink paper. At the centre of the doodle I draw a lidless eye. It gazes up at me unblinking, forever caught in devotion and desire. The boy is looking at me like he owns me. Boys are so dumb. Don’t they get that beauty is a trap you fall into by looking?
I hear voices whisper my name. Antonia, Jane, and Elisabeth, the three bitches, are hissing at the back of the class. I used to be bitch number four, until I went from bitch to witch. There is nothing that teenage society hates more than an unauthorised image change. I turn to stare them down, but they take cover behind perfect schoolgirl flicks that muffle their mocking laughter.
“Alexander,” Miss Holloway calls out the name in her frustrated drone. I suppose if I was an unmarried 40-something school teacher I might be frustrated as well. Rumour is that Miss Holloway used to be the world’s biggest Harriet. Now she is making up for all that niceness with a bitch impression of the highest calibre. Hers is the face a person gets from having their heart torn still beating from their chest and brutally stamped on, not just once or even twice but over and over again. Her lesson for us is simple—there are no happy endings.