S: A Misadventure of Kian, A Zombie by Stephanie Spence and Katie Ellis
BC: "The best book I have read all year!" -Someone famous | "An interesting twist on an old classic!" -Someone else more famous | "Fans of zombies and Aladdin rejoice! A delightful tale except for the ending." -Someone not famous, but it sounds good
FC: A Misadventure of Kian, A Zombie By Stephanie Spence and Katie Ellis
1: Kian is an orphaned boy not-living in Dublin, Ireland. He has been not-living for almost two years - Kian is a zombie. He died in battle when he sacrificed himself for his unit. This was the one and only battle of an almost war. After this battle, both sides decided a war would not be worth it and they could probably work it out. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), Kian was the only casualty.
2: Because he gave his life so valiantly, and he was the only casualty, he was granted another chance on earth to find true love. However, in the past two years he has been wildly unsuccessful. Who would ever love a zombie?
3: One day, Kian saw a tiny green man being chased by a dog. He knew the dog would outrun the man, and Kian knew he had to do something to help. He whistled for the dog, but it was too focused on his next meal to pay attention to Kian.
4: Thinking quickly, Kian detached his arm and threw it at the dog, who immediately leapt upon the bone and trotted away. The little green man slumped against a tree, exhausted, while Kian watched the dog walk away with his arm. “Well that blows,” Kian said sadly. “I sure wish I had my arm back.”
5: POOF! His left arm was suddenly reattached, good as new - better than before, even. Almost like it was when he was alive. “There ye go, laddy,” the little green man said in a thick Irish accent. “Ye have two wishes left.” Kian looked at the man in confusion. “I’m sorry?”
6: The man sighed. “I am Declan, third cousin of the nephew of the king of the Leprechauns. As such, I am magical and you have saved my life. Therefore, you have two wishes left. Use them wisely, m’boy.” Kian raised an eyebrow at the man, stopping suddenly as it started to detach from his face. “Wait, two wishes? That first one shouldn’t count!”
7: Declan sighed again. “I’m the leprechaun, I make the rules,” he said with a huff. “You don’t have to decide now, but I’ll always be a wish away.” He eyed Kain dubiously. “I can’t bring you to life though, laddy. Not in the rulebooks. You’d have to find a sorcerer for that.” And with that, he POOFed away in a cloud of green dust and glitter.
8: Kian made his way back into town, still bewildered by his experience. On the way, he saw the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen in his life and not-life. She was being chased by the same dog that was bothering Declan just pages before this one. He leaped forward, but the evil dog didn’t fall for Kian’s tricks this time. He even smacked it around a few times but to no avail.
9: Finally, fed up with the dog and afraid that it would harm the pretty lady, Kian screamed “I WISH YOU WOULD GO AWAY ALREADY!” And before the dog could even blink in confusion, it POOFed away in a giant cloud of sparkly green dust. From within the dust, Kian could hear Declan’s voice: “One wish remaining.”
10: Kian puffed out his chest with pride, and one of his ribs popped out and landed on the ground in front of the girl. He hastily picked it up and shoved it back under his shirt before saying, “I am Kian, a brave warrior given a second chance at life in order to find love. I saved a quasi-important leprechaun today, so I was granted three wishes.” | The girl looked at Kian with a little bit of disgust and a little bit of wonderment. “What... just happened?”
11: What luck! thought Kian. A sorceress is just what I need! “I am meant to find love in my second life, but because of my rotting state of deathiness, I am doomed to walk the earth endlessly until my stench reaches around the world. I will never find love like this. Can you help me?” Kian asked. | The girl looked at him skeptically. “I am Regan, and I now owe you my life as well. I am an apprentice studying under the greatest sorceress in all of Dublin. How can I repay you?”
12: Regan rolled her eyes at the zombie before her. “You couldn’t just ask for a kiss or a meal or a bag of gold like a normal human?” | “Ah, but I am not all that human, am I?” Kian laughed. Regan grinned at that, and Kian felt a bubbling deep inside him... but it could’ve just been his stomach rotting into his shoes. He really couldn’t be sure.
13: Over the next few months, Kian and Regan collected different bits and pieces for the ritual they were to perform, and during that time their friendship grew exponentially. Instead of being disgusted when Kian’s fingers detached themselves or his eyes fell out of their sockets, Regan would laugh hysterically, her bubbly laugh infecting those around her and making Kian seem less repulsive.
14: Finally, the night came to perform the ritual to make Kian fully human again: it was a blue moon after a disastrous thunderstorm, and they stood in the battlefield where Kian was slain. Regan threw everything into a giant, bubbling cauldron, chanting ancient words in a language that few remembered. By the end the field was covered in a layer of thick smog, and the two held their breath as they waited to see if Kian would be human again.
15: Nearly an hour went by with no change except for the rotten state of Kian’s skin. Finally, Kian threw himself to the ground (sending his left ear flying across the field) and wailed, “All of these months, and nothing! No change at all! I have finally found a girl I love, and I can never have her now! I wish the ritual would have worked!”
16: There as an eerie green light, followed by a bright, colorful, and glittery explosion. Kian was thrown into the air as his ear flew back to him and smacked him in the head. He found himself covered in green sparkles, and no matter what he did they wouldn’t come away from his skin. The sparkles started to itch, and then they started to burn, and suddenly they began to melt into his skin. The holes in his flesh started to stitch together, and Kian could no longer see his organs or bones.
17: With a loud THUMP Kian fell to the ground, cracking one of his newly mended bones. Regan was beside him in an instant, healing the wound before he could register the pain. A voice suddenly echoed through the field: “LOOPHOLE. Third wish granted. Debt repaid, m’boy.”
18: The now-living boy looked at the sorceress with fully-restored sight. “Hopefully marry the girl who helped me find my life again.” | Kian grinned in the direction of Declan’s voice but saw only Regan instead. “Well,” she said as she cleared her throat, “you certainly look... different when you’re insides aren’t on the outside. What are you going to do now?”
19: “Only if you say yes.” | Regan looked at Kian in surprise. “Is that a proposal?”
20: “Then yes!” Regan cried, and the two skipped back to town holding hands.
21: On the way they were run over by a carriage. So much for happily ever after.