Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest: Romeo and Juliet are Dead

PRINCE
This letter doth make good the friar's words,
Their course of love, the tidings of her death:
And here he writes that he did buy a poison
Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal
Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.
Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!
See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
And I for winking at your discords too
Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish'd.

CAPULET
O brother Montague, give me thy hand:
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand.

MONTAGUE
But I can give thee more:
For I will raise her statue in pure gold;
That while Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set
As that of true and faithful Juliet.

CAPULET
As rich shall Romeo's by his lady's lie;
Poor sacrifices of our enmity!

PRINCE
A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

Exeunt

The iron door closes on the dead lovers, sealing away forever the ruined hopes of two households, both alike in dignity and now alike in misery. For fifteen generations, Capulet and Montague will live together as one wretched family, bound together by the shame of the crush'd flower of youth. Nevermore opened will be this tomb, this sepulchre, this monument to love and hate.

As within the cold walls the candle dies, so comes the darkness temporal to join the darkness eternal, that all-pervading world of sorrow and destitution that is the confounding horror of these, the unhappy lovers.

But o, fair and wise apothecary! How much dost thou know of the world, verily know of this world and of the next? In what flash of grace and wisdom did thee thy elixir concoct? With what powers imbue to ensure thy purpose, e'en though the lovers knew not thy devotion to their cause?

For that scion of Montague, the true and faithful Romeo, he that would not live without the flower of Capulet, his Juliet, has thou ensured, o wise and mysterious apothecary, hast thou ensured that he should not too die without her? Dids't thou know so well that these two, these parts of a single whole, would ne'er peace find on earth while they lived?

O, apothecary! Let it not be said that e'en thy alchemy coulds't to the vault of heaven reach! Almighty God is jealous of his realm, and protective. By a lawyer's trick dids't thou ensure the love and peace of these two, finding for them a safe harbor between this world and the next?

The slow, cold limbs of Romeo stir and, stirring, lift him to his feet. Shrouds becloud his mind, yet his love and purpose are made fix'd and sure. From his bosom he draws thy second bottle, o apothecary, alike as to the first.

With slow step to Juliet doth Romeo lean.
To her lips sweet poison he doth pour between.
That death 'pon death may thus overwhelm
Two become one in love's quiet realm.

Dagger, begone! What matters a bleeding heart when set 'gainst love eternal?

See, his heart does not beat
yet it lives for her.
In his love he waits, and
for his love, he waits.

See, her heart does not beat
yet it lives again for him.
In her love she lives, and
for her love, she lives again.

She, her eyes ope, a slow and steady lift of cold hand and pale lip. He, his eyes shutter'd, returns the cold kiss for an hour, a day, a year.

Together, dead to life and alive in love, in slow passion through the centuries do they undisturb'd reside. In her slow, stilled mind as in his, there is naught but love, for now and for eternity.

/////

This story was written for the ZombieLuv contest as well as for #FridayFlash.

Guidelines:
  • Word count: maximum 1000
  • The story must be a romance between two zombies. Make it as horrific as you like. ;)
  • Stories containing animal cruelty, torture, graphic sex or violence, any form of exaltation of violence, racism or other forms of prejudice will be immediately disqualified.
  • Post your entry on your own blog, with a title resembling this: Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest: Story Title
  • Leave your story title and a link to the story entry post as a comment at mari's randomities: http://marisrandomities.blogspot.com
  • Copy and paste the contest logo and the guidelines at the end of your entry post.



Please note that the first part of this is the end of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. If he knew I were doing a zombie take on it, he'd probably want royalties.

UPDATE: This story has been anthologized as part of the Zombie Romance collection.

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35 comments:

  1. Glad you made it to the stretching Tony! You're on! :D

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  2. Very interesting take on the idea! Awesome work. You really have a knack for this 'voice'.

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  3. Hah! You give the Bard a run for his money... You should write one of those mash-up books.
    Good luck with the contest!

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  4. Ohh, you brilliantly continue Shakespeare's atmosphere into your own piece. Really well done. I believed every word (except "verily" but that's a personal preference.)

    How lovely: the word verification is "rests."

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  5. Oh, aren't they the lucky ones! Excellent and good luck in the contest.

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  6. ...And this is why this female loves, loves, loves your blog, Mr. Noland.

    Perfectly delightful and excellent story. Good luck with the contest!

    I salute your talent, sir. :)

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  7. I can't believe no one has written this before. What a great idea. And well executed, as usual. The course of true love ne'er did run smooth...

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  8. Way to go! Elizabethen English is a tough language to tackle, but I think you did well. (I love the comment about the lawyer's trick! Perfect!) I could seriously see something like this made into a play or movie, it brings up a lot of possibilites. Well done. :)

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  9. Thanks for the great comments, guys! It may be a statistical aberration, but so far, only women have commented on this one. Does that mean something?

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  10. Hah! I love it. You wait and see - this will be the next big movie pandemonium!

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  11. Tony- excellent, very clever construction and phrasing, spot on feel. Very solid piece.

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  12. Well done! Loved the take on the Bard. Good luck in the contest!

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  13. All the "doth" and "thus" wordage gives me nightmares! Scary stuff. Seriously, clever phrasing and a good story, too.

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  14. Crazy inventive, Tony... You've done the Bard proud, sir

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  15. Heh! The guys were bringing up the rear, as usual!
    I was waiting for someone to open the tomb, like 300 years later, and Romeo and his girl would stagger out and begin feeding on tourists. But then again, your ending is much sweeter.
    Great story, Tony!

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  16. Thanks for reading and commenting, guys! This story has been re-tweeted and viewed a lot. Based on the number of comments, I'm going to conclude that, as Anthony said, it's a) crazy inventive, and b) the fan base for Shakespeare and zombies overlaps only in a very distinct kind of person.

    Next time: "Two Zombies of Verona", or "Titus Andronicus' Brains", or "Twelfth Night of the Living Dead"

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  17. Fantastic, Tony! Ya know, if Shakespeare had been this exciting when I studied it at school, I might actually have enjoyed the experience. You've re-opened my eyes (by which I am not suggesting you've just dug me up and reanimated me...there again...braaaaiiiiins!) ;)

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  18. I am extremely jealous of your talent here. The Bard couldn't have done it better. Bravo sir!

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  19. Very clever and so beautifully written...

    ~2

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  20. I really like the concept of this and the rhythm of the language, but I must admit I'm terrible at reading and understand the kind of old English used during Shakespeare time so I might've missed the full effect.

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  21. Great job, Tony! Good luck with the contest. :)

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  22. Wow, excellent capture of the bard. So real, in fact, I'm breaking into a nervous sweat thinking about the old school days. Well done, Tony!

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  23. Zombie and Shakespeare...oh so clever! And a fantatic contribution.

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  24. I'm unclear on what power brought Romeo to life before he drank the second bottle. But good job on the language. I never did like the end of Romeo and Juliet.

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  25. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone!

    Mark Kerstetter said: I'm unclear on what power brought Romeo to life before he drank the second bottle.

    Good observation, Mark. Actually, Romeo was brought back by the apothecary's resurrection potion (disguised as poison). It just took a while for it to act and bring him back as a zombie. In the events of the play, there was only one bottle, but that's obviously not the whole story. Romeo had a second bottle, but he didn't drink from it - that one was for Juliet:

    With slow step to Juliet doth Romeo lean.
    To her lips sweet poison he doth pour between.


    Zombie Romeo had to wait for a few hours (or maybe days) for Juliet to wake up, but what's time to a zombie?

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  26. Wow! very impressive how you glossed it with a completely different genre and well.

    ;)

    ~annie

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  27. This was the best one yet. Holy cow. Knocked it right out of the park!

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  28. Bravo, Tony! You really nailed the feel of the original. It reminded me of the old Wayne and Shuster takes on Shakespeare - only yours had fewer laughs and more...flesh eating. Excellent job.

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  29. Right! - "fair and wise apothecary" - maybe I should have read before I had that second bottle.

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  30. The greatest love story gets a happy (?) ending, finally! Very clever take!

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  31. Thanks, guys! This bit of psuedo-Elizabethan sounds decent to me, but I'm pretty sure a real Shakespeare scholar (such as Prof. David Bevington of the University of Chicago) might think otherwise.

    If any of you know him, though, or know another Shakespeare scholar at some lesser institution (Harvard, Yale, Oxford, etc.), drop them the link, OK? I'm curious to know what they think of this.

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  32. That was really well done and really interesting. You dovetailed them together well. :)

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  33. Tony the zombie bard. Has a ring to it, aye?

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  34. Good Lord, you used the word verily! *bows* Well done.

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