From the blog of Brian Keene: “My death, as Jack Haringa’s death before me, benefits the Shirley Jackson Awards. Sometime today, while you’re reading of my various demises, please consider purchasing a copy of Jack Haringa Must Die. All proceeds benefit the SJA. If you already own a copy, please consider making a donation instead.”
There Is No Substitute For Victory
By Martel Sardina
“Write what you know.”
I’ve been giving those four little words of advice a lot of consideration in the last few days. But not because I want to write a story. Because I think those words are going to tell me what I need to know in order to kill Brian Keene.
Brian Keene likes to write about zombies. I used to think that it was because he had an abnormal preoccupation with monsters. But now I know that’s not true. He’s just following that old adage. Brian writes about zombies because he is one.
I’m sure some of you are thinking that just because Brian is zombie doesn’t mean that he has to die. He’s a nice guy. He’s got a wife and a kid. Couldn’t we just overlook this zombie business and let him be? It’s not like he’s out there trying to eat people’s brains or anything…right?
What you may not have realized is the vast conspiracy in the horror community to keep Brian’s status a secret. He’s got his own army, for Christ’s sake. I used to believe that he was one of those authors who traveled the convention circuit in an attempt to really make a connection with his readers. But none of that was about self promotion or selling books. It was all about his ingenious plan to create a pandemic infestation of the undead.
I first became suspicious of Keene at a little convention near Providence, Rhode Island called NECON. Some say that stands for the Northeastern Writers Conference. I say it stands for Nocturnal Ecologists for Corpse Observation and Necromancy. Within moments of my arrival, Keene made his attempt to indoctrinate me.
“It’s your first NECON?” Keene said. A sick smile crept across his face.
“Yes,” I said.
“Here,” he said. His fingers were closed around the neck of a nearly full bottle of brown liquid. He took a swig and offered the bottle to me.
“Just take it. I’ve only got five minutes.”
“To get rid of it.”
“I’m not really big on hard liquor.”
“Have a sip. You’ll like it. Trust me.”
“Don’t do it!” A voice called out. “You take that bottle and you’re going to die.”
A woman rushed toward me. She had short blonde hair, and dark framed glasses. “Shame on you, Brian.” She scowled and then pushed me away from him.
“I’m really sorry about that.”
“It’s ok. He was just being friendly.”
“That’s what he wants you to think.”
“I don’t understand,” I said.
The woman shooed me to a safe distance and said, “Just watch.”
Brian approached a young man. He was tall with a freshly shaven head. Brian smiled when the kid affirmed that this was his first NECON, too. Brian handed the kid the bottle. As soon as transfer was made, Brian gave the kid a hearty handshake.
“Time’s a wasting,” he said.
The kid took a pull and swallowed. A strange yellow glint appeared in his eyes as he wiped his mouth on his shirt sleeve. He tried to give the bottle back but Keene wouldn’t take it.
“You’ve got four minutes,” Keene said.
“To get rid of that bottle,” Keene said.
“And what if I can’t?” The kid wasn’t just nervous. He was starting to panic.
“Do you really want to know?”
The kid nodded and Keene whispered something in his ear.
Keene scoffed. “I couldn’t make shit like that up.”
The kid ran off, intent on finding others who could drain that bottle dry before time ran out.
The kid didn’t make it.
I don’t know exactly what happened to him or the woman who saved me from the five minute bottle. The other NECON campers are in cahoots with Keene on this. Some claim the woman cracked her head open in the quad and had to be taken to the hospital. No one talks about the kid. For all I know, he wound up being crab bait in Mt. Hope Bay. They all claim Keene had nothing to do with it. But I’ve noticed the rest of them have that same look the kid had. With all the questions I asked, I’m surprised I made it out of there alive.
Which is why I have to take Keene out now. I don’t know if I’ll be as lucky next time.
You may be thinking, “If Brian Keene is a zombie, how is it that we haven’t noticed? Surely, he should be decomposing by now.” I think I’ve figured that out. He drinks Knob Creek to preserve his flesh and smokes cigars to cover the smell of decay. What threw me for a loop was the notion that he owned guns. Wouldn’t a zombie be afraid of such things? And that’s when I realized that he’s bluffing about the guns. He tells stories on his blog to make us all think he’s a card carrying member of the NRA. It’s an attempt to not only throw people off the zombie trail, but also to dissuade the conspiracy theorists such as myself, from trying to take him out.
Which is why I’m not going to fool around. I’m using every trick in The Zombie Survival Guide and every voodoo curse before I depress the plunger on a motherload of explosives that should make the entire state of Pennsylvania wonder if George Bush even knew what “shock and awe” really meant.
I know that Brian Keene may not be the only casualty of my attack.
I apologize in advance for any “innocents” that are killed as a result of my actions.
I am prepared to give my life in order to save humanity from the Zombie Apocolypse.
Brian Keene must die. Today.