The Day Before the Dead Arrive, and the Making of a Young Prophet


This brief chapter from Strangers in the Land (The Zombie Bible) is the moment when the gift of prophecy comes to Devora, who later will be fighting to hold her divided people together against the swarms of hungry dead.


The first time Devora ever glimpsed a thing that did not yet exist, she was twelve years old and only recently a woman. The vision came to her the day before her mother’s death. It was just after dawn and there was frost on the heather, one of the last frosts of the year. Devora was carrying a ewer down to the stream outside her parents’ camp to fill with water, humming to herself. The frost made little noise beneath her feet, for she’d wound heavy cloth around her sandals to keep her feet warm, and this muffled the sound. Her mind was on the changes and the soreness in her body and the prospect of being permitted to go to the Feast of Tents for the first time later that year. She broke into a run for the sheer joy of it, just to feel the wind in her hair. This was a pure kind of joy, a kind she would rarely experience again.

Without warning, heat blazed within her as though she’d leapt from the frost right into the smoke above a fire pit. She gasped for air and stopped, almost falling to her knees. Even as she did, she glimpsed across the stream, startling her, a young woman who looked identical to her. A woman who had her face. She was running through the grasses, weeping. Devora held her breath and would have called out, but in a moment the other woman was gone. Just gone.

Read more of the story here.

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