2 is for Taboo
Chairman Mao, a notorious fan of zombie erotica, once said, “Where do correct ideas come from? Do they drop from the skies? Are they innate in the mind? No. They come from concrete social practice.” And that’s where the germ of an idea for my story “2 is for Taboo” came from.
Life is full of social lines. We define ourselves, or are defined by others, by our economic status, race, religion, culture, ethnicity, sexual preferences, sports allegiances, pastimes, politics, schools, even food choices. In some societies, like nineteenth-century England, these differences were codified in class distinctions. In others, like India until late in the last century, they were ingrained in society as caste systems.
In my life, this human tendency became evident to me in school when I started lusting after girls and realized there were some who were out of my league. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what “out of my league” meant but, like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography, I knew it when I saw it. It is this lust after something better that lies at the heart of my zombie erotica story.
The Occupy Movement has brought literal class divisions back into focus with their identification with “the ninety-nine percent.” The Arab Spring has reignited it in places like Jordan and Saudi Arabia where monarchies struggle to justify their existence and retain their power and legacies.
All of this was on my mind when Stacey sent out the call for short stories about zombie eroticism. I’m sure you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about right about now. What does zombie eroticism have to do with class distinctions? But romance always danced around class. Love breaches class boundaries more easily than warheads. The Prince fell for Cinderella. King Edward gave up the throne of England to marry the commoner Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth Taylor spurned the scorn of Hollywood and married construction worker Larry Fortensky. What if a human defied social and legal perils to fall for a zombie?
I envisioned a world after a zombie apocalypse in which science was advanced enough to normalize zombies, turning them into creatures who could peacefully co-exist with the living. Yet the living were not socially advanced enough to accept them as equals. What if this society was already divided by caste, relegating the Zombies to the bottom of the totem pole, like the Indian untouchables? What if there were also laws preventing sex between the living and the undead because the body parts of zombies were not stable enough to survive the physical contact? And what if, from this social and legal morass, love arose between a live-girl and a zo-man?
That was my starting point, my inspiration. The story slowed easily from there. I had a blast writing “2 is for Taboo” and I hope people, both living and otherwise, have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.
Craig Faustus Buck is a writer of many faces having been a journalist, a nonfiction book author, an episodic TV writer-producer, an MOW and miniseries writer (including V: The Final Battle), a feature film screenwriter, and now a novelist. He is currently shopping his first novel, a noir mystery called Go Down Hard, which was First Runner Up for the Claymore Award at Killer Nashville.