Alpine Zombie

Many years ago, I wrote a story based upon an alphabetic structure, called Abandoned Zoo. Yet I could so easily have used the title Alpine Zombie to achieve the same narrative ends. Whereas Abandoned Zoo was about an abandoned zoo, Alpine Zombie, had it ever been written, would have been about a zombie in the Alps. The mood, rather than being one of misty melancholy – and as I recall, there was much mist in Abandoned Zoo – would have been closer to terror, as the zombie stalked denizens of the Alps such as goatherds and yodelling Edelweiss-pickers. I might even have arranged for a walk-on part for Captain Von Trapp, memorably played by Christopher Plummer in the film version of The Sound Of Music. How would the Austrian martinet have dealt with a threatening zombie? The cold imperious contempt with which he faced the Nazis would not, I’ll wager, suffice to cow a great lumbering glassy-eyed member of the living dead community, as I suppose we should call them nowadays. I have not read enough of the literature to know if a zombie can be stopped in its tracks by a person brandishing an acoustic guitar, gathering around him an ex-nun and several tinies, and launching into an Alpine songlet. It would be a tactic worth trying at least once, and that could be made the central incident at the heart of the story called Alpine Zombie.

Given that the central figure in the tale would be a monster of the mountains, my prose would have to glisten with sufficiently bright clarity to ensure the reader did not mistake the zombie for a Himalayan Yeti. Inserting the  proper names of a number of notable Alpine peaks would help to pin our yarn to its geographical cushion. Their deployment within the text could follow an alphabetic schema to enhance the A to Z superstructure of our story. Thus, the zombie could pursue Captain Von Trapp from Alphubel to Zinalrothorn, taking in, say, Blüemlisalp and Carè Alto and Dom and Eiger and Finsteraarhorn and Grimming and Hochgall and so on and so forth along the way. So haphazard and incoherent a journey may make no sense, but in dizzying the brains of both the reader and Captain Von Trapp himself, it would no doubt add to the terror of the tale.

It would probably be a good idea to have the ex-nun and the tinies also menaced by zombies, perhaps while cowering in a chalet.

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