What is it that draws us into zombie stories? Is it the blood and guts? The mindless action, capped off by rolling lopped-off heads, shotgun blasts, and crossbows? The lifeless husks of former friends, colleagues, and strangers, lumbering around daring to infect the remaining population with their sickness?
I would dare to say there’s more than that. We search for humanity in our zombie stories – the remnants of our civilization, recognizable bits that show us there is something left. That not all hope is lost, in spite of the carnage all around.
In Chris Pourteau’s latest short story, Unconditional, we get that taste of the familiar, but from a very unconventional source. Pourteau makes no secret this is a zombie tale, but this one is told from the perspective of the family dog, loyal to his boy. Porteau’s story is phenomenal, short, powerful, and heartbreaking.
I can’t say I cried(some may call me heartless, but I don’t cry easily — sorry!), but I was definitely moved by the tale. I came away with a new-found respect for dogs and wished I was more of a dog-person. While I came away with (mostly) dry eyes, I would dare anyone with attachments to their canine friends to do the same. You’ll want to punch Pourteau in the face when you finish, and that’s a good thing.
In the end, Pourteau has crafted an excellent short story that will leave you wanting more, but grateful for the end all at the same time. A mark of a well-done story.
So…get your copy. Read it and weep. Literally.