"Oh, S**t," you say? "Bowie did a blog that does not have anything to do with pro-wrestling?" you say? "He did not take the time to take pictures, write up his experience to an ungrateful audience, or anything like that?"
And I say to you, "No. (But I will again in March)" Then I say it again.
"No. (But I will again in March)"
Then I say, "Listen, don't judge me. I had a long work day. I can tie one on if I want."
Then you say, "What's your point, rummy?"
Then I say, "You need to read the following passage from the zombie novel "Drop Dead Gorgeous" by Irishman Wayne Simmons, available now from http://www.bookdepository.com/. If you like great character development, great story, and a fantastic finish where (no spoilers), then you need to check this book out. Oh, did I mention one of the main protagonists is a tattoo artist? And there's a lot of drinking?
Yes, that's the angle this book comes at you from.
You think the fighting the Protestants and Catholics and the IRA is ridiculous. Add zombies to the mix, then watch what happens.
You've come this far. Take a minute and read the following passage from the book that people have called, "...Like a sucker punch from a pregnant Lesbian", or "...not the typical same-ol zombie fare". Or, perhaps the best, "... Simmons writes like the grotesque love child of George A. Romero and Charles Dickens".
Seriously, check it out...
Star wore something akin to a bemused scowl as she sat uselessly poised for action, leaning forward on her small, wooden stool. Her hand, famously steady, with the ability to draw inhumanly straight lines for up to one hour (before needing a ciggie break) shook suddenly and briefly before becoming still again. The sound of her machine whined hungrily, hungry for the naked flesh (good skin, excellent tone) now flat out on the floor in front of her. A tall, thin, punky girl lay face down, half of the outline of a pentagram etched into her spine, her skin still red and enflamed from the needle’s incision.
Star suddenly sniggered. It was a snigger pitched somewhere between nervous and amused. She wasn’t green, by any means. She’d seen it all over the years: big bouncer-type lads screeching like banshees as the letters ‘F-U-C-K’ were inked onto their knuckles; teenagers, with their pungent reek of hormones, giggling and sweating their way through having respective names burned onto each other’s arms; sombre looking, menopausal women almost throwing orgasms such was their delight as a pair of hearts, or the words ‘Bite Me’, were branded onto their pelvic area. She’d watched people scream, cry, laugh hysterically, puke, faint, urinate, even leap from their seats with horror as that first sting of the needle bit into them, as that little taste of adrenaline surged through their arms/legs/backs/pelvis/neck/whatever. But she had never—not in the ten years she had been working as a professional tattooist—had someone fuckin’ die on her.
This was new.
It wasn’t like this client, this particular client, to be nervous. Punky Girl was something of a regular. Star had always thought she had the look and attitude of a student, probably from York Street Art College around the corner. Somehow sensing a quiet day, Punky Girl (was her name Melanie, maybe—or Melissa?) would often casually stroll in, A2-sized folder by her side, quietly asking for more black (always black) occult symbols to be tattooed.
This was her first Sunday appointment, a slot normally reserved for regulars. Like a lot of regulars, the real serious tattoo addicts, Punky Girl never spoke much, staring into space as the work was done. Occasionally Star would have noticed her arm getting a slight bout of shakes when she was feeling the bite of the needle. But she had never made a noise, never complained, never even as much as winced until today.
And she was dead, all right.
Perhaps it was the shape of her body on the floor, almost hog-tied, arms and legs somehow having crossed behind her back and curvaceous arse (yes, Star had noticed; yes, she had leered) as she fell. Perhaps it was the stillness, not just a lack of movement, but an almost statuesque stiffness, no gentle rising and falling of the lower back, no rhythmic whisper of breathing—all things a tattooist, like Star, would be working closely with, and against, every day. Either way, Star was quite sure this bitch was dead.
Gone. Kaput. Fucked.
She reached across her workstation and turned the radio off. There was the distant sound of something colliding with something else, a hint of momentary madness, then nothing. Even on a Sunday, it rarely got this quiet in the shop. A veritable drop-in centre for the torn-skinned and disenfranchised of Belfast, Starcrossed Tattoos would normally be filled with thirty-something drop-outs and twenty-something stoners.
Star looked back at the body on the floor. She still couldn’t believe what had just happened.
She sat her machine down carefully on the workstation beside her and rose gingerly from her stool. She bent down slowly, studying the fallen girl’s pentagram. What had been done so far was fine, a little frayed at the corner where Star was inking when the girl had suddenly fallen, but otherwise in good shape. She had got most of the outline sorted. She was just about to change to another machine for filling in colour. As it stood now, however, the pentagram was unfinished, incomplete, unprofessional.
On dead skin.
She pulled her latex gloves off and discarded them in a nearby bin. Running a hand through her dreadlocked hair, a habit Star had developed when thinking on some shit that needed sorting, she strolled over to the door of her gaff and slowly opened it. Lighting up her third ciggie of the morning, Star cautiously stepped outside, sweeping her eyes left, then right, as she took her first drag. She could see the crooked outlines of two fallen people nearby. A dog lay sleeping, (or dead?) its lead twisting and turning to meet the hand of its collapsed owner. Along the long street, Star could make out more crumpled bodies. Just a few, what with it being early on a Sunday. But it was enough to reinforce what she already feared: this wasn’t just some new, drastic reaction to the needle she was dealing with. This was bigger.
She left the shop, allowing the door to close behind her. She moved past the dog, past the other couple of bodies and on down the street. Star discovered a Sunday more quiet than any she had ever known. She had never been a fan of Sundays, for that very reason, but this was taking the Mickey. This was like a bad dream after some dodgy hash. Nothing about this was cool.
A handful of cars were stalled, untidily, across the city centre. More people were sprawled like homeless refugees on street corners and sidewalks alike.
Several birds lay like fallen confetti outside a nearby church building. This was powerful. This was really powerful. This made her pause, captivating her. She inched closer, studying their little corpses in turn; each was surrounded with pink, or the suggestion of pink, rather, where their bodies had struck the tarmac. They spoke to her. Their imagery spoke to the artist within; feeding, enriching. They told her what had happened. It was a language Star understood, a language that was graphic, explicit, hideous. She reached her free hand into the pocket of her combats, finding her mobile phone. She needed to capture this. Carefully, she called up the camera option, working with the natural light to take a series of pictures that would do the image justice. She stepped back, the artist within her momentarily content. She slipped the phone back into her pocket.
Star looked to the church. It stood tall and solemn, its heavy wooden doors lending a gothic feel that was less than welcome. She drew one hand to her lips, sucking on the remains of the cigrarette. It tasted good, steadying her. She took another drag, drawing the smoke in deeply.“You can do this...” she whispered to herself.
Now go buy it.
No, seriously. Go buy it. You will not be disappointed.www.waynesimmons.org
DROP DEAD GORGEOUS can be pre-ordered here (link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Drop-Dead-Gorgeous-Wayne-Simmons/dp/1906727988/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1295983150&sr=8-1) (if in the UK or Ireland)
or here (link: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781906727987/Drop-Dead-Gorgeous) (if anywhere else in the world).
Visit Wayne online at www.waynesimmons.org
Sci-Fi and Horror Author