I am the first to admit that I cannot and should not watch horror movies. Or movies that might be scary in any sense of the word. Or movies that might hint at something scary. I especially should not watch ANYTHING to do with zombies.
But I do. I break this scared and most cardinal rule all the time now.
Back in 2004, Scott and I decided to watch the recently released remake of Dawn of the Dead on DVD. We snuggled down on the couch in our tiny apartment and before the title even appeared on the screen my heart was already pounding and I gripped Scott’s hand.
“If you can’t handle this,” he said. “Let’s just turn it off. I’ll watch it later.”
“No. No.” I insisted. “I’m fine.”
Two hours of jumping and twitching and squeaking and closing my eyes, the movie finally ended.
“I loved it!” I told Scott.
He raised his eyebrow at me.
“No. Really!” I exclaimed. “I really did.”
“Your eyes were closed for most of it.” he said as he stood up. He grabbed my hand and pulled me up. “Come on, bed.” He pushed me into the bedroom.
I was just a bit unsure about the whole going to sleep thing, but I gamely changed into my jimmies and crawled under the sheets. Scott gave me a kiss and turned out the light. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I started hearing things moving around outside.
“I’m glad we’re on the second floor.” I whispered in the dark. “All we’d have to do is break the staircases.”
“They’re made of concrete.” Scott sighed. “We don’t have a sledgehammer.”
“We need one.”
“Go to sleep.” He growled.
I fell asleep a few minutes later. I’m not sure how long I slept for but when I woke, it was still dark. Light from a street light filtered in through the blinds casting a yellow streaks on the wall. As I often do, I rolled over to snuggle Scott for a minute before I fell back asleep. Scott lifted his head off the pillow as I slid my arm around his waist and growled low in his throat. His eyes were dead and I could see in the dimness part of his face was missing. He was a zombie! I screamed and threw a punch right at his face then scrambled from the bed. He grabbed at me and I froze for a split second before I started flailing my arms and legs.
“Ow! Shit!” Scott yelled. “Heather! You punched me in the face!”
I screamed again and Scott clamped his hands down on my shoulders as I flailed about under the sheets.
“WAKE UP!” Scott yelled again and shook me.
My eyes popped fully open and I looked up at Scott.
“You were a zombie!” I cried tears streaming down my cheeks.
“You punched me!” Scott shook his head. “How would that have helped if I was a zombie?” He let got of my shoulders and turned on the light.
“I was trying to get away.” I said trying to calm down.
“It’s a good thing you don’t know how to actually throw a punch.” He chuckled, just a bit, because he was clearly still upset. “You are NEVER watching another zombie movie again!
A few years later, I started added a minor addendum to the story. I didn’t just punch him because he was a zombie. I cured him! Also, this is the reason why I am not allowed to have anything more dangerous than a piñata stick on my bedside table.