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Zombie Fiction, Ebola Fact, and Obsessive Fear of an Invisible Menace

In one more Halloween post, novelist and new Fish Obits blogger Michael Carolan, (this essay first appeared in NEWSWORKS/WHYY but we saw it first here at Fish Obits) explores Night Jobs, Modern Obsessions with Death, Terrorism, Contagion, and Deep Unconscious Fears that Fester Just Under the Surface.

(Training Zombies for the Agritainment Attraction referenced below is what Robin does with her free time)

A Night on Zombie Patrol

It's a warm October night. The stars are twinkling, the moon hangs low. Seated on a trailer, we are pulled by a farm tractor — bumping along a deeply rutted road into a broad cornfield along the Connecticut River, four hours north of Philadelphia.

There are 16 of us — a portion of the hundreds of patrons who have visited this interactive Halloween entertainment venue over the last few weeks. I am their commander: narrator of the apocalypse.

A loudspeaker behind me howls out sirens reminiscent of tornado warnings I heard as a boy growing up in the Midwest. The siren is interrupted by an announcer: "This is the National Emergency Alert System—" Static fuzzes him out. "Prolonged exposure will result in certain death ..."

There are the college-aged and the elderly, middle schoolers and soccer moms. Behind them are 15 mounted, high-powered assault rifles — paintball guns. Read More 
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For Halloween, a Post on Mystery, this one by Kate C (whose quest for a pen-name has really been needlessly dragging on) concerning the Bewitching Influence of Young Girls, Siblings and Midnight Intrusions, Irrational Hungers and Fears, Animal Domination and, of course, Magic, which Kate is sure does not exist.

I am writing to report upon an extremely mysterious phenomenon occurring in my home. Two of my cats, Kit and Kat, are exhibiting magical powers.

Before I can explain, I must relay relevant Cat History. Kit and Kat are 10 year old sisters. Neither has ever weighed more than ten pounds. Kit is 9.5 pounds; Kat is 9. They are ladylike, dignified, tidy, rarely appear around guests, eat only when hungry. Also they are afraid of many, many things. Read More 
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Goodbye, Saphira


A real obituary by Margaret concerning Sudden Departures, Uncertain Unsettling Unanswered Questions, the Bear in the Neighborhood, Farewells.

Not knowing is hard.

You just didn't come back one evening. It isn't unprecedented. You've stayed out all night plenty of times, but you were fed only in the evening, so you tended to show up, and if not at night, always the next morning. You slept a lot that particular last morning, but that's not unprecedented either, as I used to call you "kitty barometer " when you were sleepy on rainy days. I'd painted the floor of a room the previous day. Did this set you off? You were a stray, and we don't know why. Maybe change bothers you. One of your people was away for two weeks, a first time with her away for so long with the rest of us home. Were you missing her? Or, was it just a fox or lynx? Or, that bear that was in the neighborhood later in the summer? Read More 
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The Second in a Series of Follow-Up-Posts (taken from reader comments) this one by Cousin Rob connecting Dots -- Boats with Whales and Propellers, with Eureka Moments even if they're Wrong, with the Human ability to Rule and Destroy, with Ebola as proof of Human Impotence, with Adam and Eve.

As to PHINIUS.... There’s a larger point here, if only my pea-sized brain could grasp it (the whale and his orange-sized brain would have no problem grasping it, even while illustrating it). First of all, the ability of humankind to draw references, to connect dots, is what gave us the ability to run them over in boats. But the dots we connect are as random as evolution. Tons of blind shooting (I wonder if it’s the same whale…) and then a random strike of actual insight and certitude.

It’s kinda like the idea that just as all of these random insights eventually congealed into an ability to rule and destroy nature, we all go back in fits and starts and evolutionary dead ends to a single cell of life.  Read More 
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After a brief (by universal standards) hiatus, FISH OBITS is back on its feet, this time by the long awaited Second in the Series of Sad, Complex Stories, this one by long awaited guest super-star blogger, Tim Sutton, concerning Baits and Hooks, Sadness, Puzzles and Stupidity, Denial of Our Reptilian Natures, the Interconnection of All Species, and the Omnipresence of Death:

While checking facebook this morning, I noticed a story trending on the Wall Street Journal: “Washed Up Whale Puzzles Long Island Beachgoers.” Having been “hooked” by the “bait” I clicked the link to find out a 58 foot long, male fin whale washed up Thursday morning on the beach in Smith Point County Park on Fire Island, part of a string of barrier islands along Long Island’s southern shore. The WSJ quotes a local eyewitness: Read More 
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Thanks to Peter, Jenna, and Melissa at BOA Editions and to Sandy Knight at Hoopskirt Studio for the cover design and to artist Roberto Lebrón for the boa image.

Some dreams are real.
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