Zombies, Death Incarnate, and Worms
Trickster’s Treats #4: Coming, Buried or Not! is a charity anthology which raises funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. The horror anthology is published by Things in the Well and was unleashed on the 26th of September this year.
I co-edited the anthology with the lovely Louise Zedda-Sampson and we were thrilled to compile a table of contents filled with plenty of monsters—some tried and true, some wildly inventive and scary.
In the first of three weekly creature-feature posts, let’s have a look at some of the wicked beasties that fill the pages of the anthology.
Zombies are undead creatures which may have roots in the Haitian religion, Vodou. Original zombies were thought to be living people who were heavily drugged and made to do the bidding of their controllers. George Romero heralded the birth of the modern zombie with films such as Night of the Living Dead.
To free a zombie, feed it salt.
Stories from Trickster’s Treats#4: Coming, Buried of Not! which feature zombies:
“Drowning” by Liam Hogan
“Playlist” by Stephanie Ellis
“A Streetcar Named Lugosi” by Mike Sheedy
The Grim Reaper, the banshee, Thanatos, Santa Muerte, Yama and Marzanna are representations of death from around the world. In personifying death, we hope to somehow know the unknowable, and to put a face to our greatest fears.
Death personified can represent either a reaper, which collects a person’s soul, or a psychopomp, which guides the deceased to the afterlife.
Stories from Trickster’s Treats#4: Coming, Buried of Not! which feature Death Incarnate:
“Shaft” by Kev Harrison
Worms (and other parasitic creatures)
Parasitic worms, or helminths, have the ability to manipulate their host’s immune response in order to survive for many years inside the body. Females lay thousands of eggs at a time; these eggs have a tough shell, meaning they can survive in various environments until they hatch and infect a new host.
Massospora cicadina, a type of fungus, floods its host with hallucinogenic chemicals. Part of the host cicada’s abdomen falls off and the hapless insect then wiggles to death, effectively dispersing the fungal spores.
Stories in Trickster’s Treats#4: Coming, Buried of Not! which feature these incredible beasties:
“Frostfire” by Aline Boucher Kaplan
Stay tuned for the next two weekly creature-feature posts:
Trickster’s Treats Creature Feature Part 3: Ghosts, Bog Bodies, and Ghouls