This gripping reinterpretation of the ninth plague of Egypt is next in my countdown of 101 quotes from The Zombie Bible:
“Muttering without cease, he called the darkness by its name: hoshekh. Naming it, knowing it, might at least keep it from choking him: hoshekh. The darkness that is the darkest of all darknesses, the darkness that hides at the back of caves. The darkness that fills the mind of one who refuses to hear the cries in the street, the darkness that hides behind the ribs of a man or a woman, that eats at everything that is real and true inside them. Hoshekh. Once, the Lawgiver had called a plague of hoshekh upon the people of the cities of the Nile, who had not heard the cries of their slave workers or their wives, the cries when soldiers took their infants and drowned them in the river. And when those unhearing people yawned and lay themselves down for sleep, the hoshekh poured from their mouths like dark milk until their houses and their land was filled with it. When they woke in the morning, they were blind and could not even move from their beds, for the hoshekh was heavy on them as they lay, and heavy inside them, as though they were at the bottom of a pool of dark mud. For three days and three nights they lay moaning in the hoshekh, while the people of Israel ate and sang in the hovels of the slave encampments, where there was light and, for once, no work.
Hoshekh, Yirmiyahu called this darkness in the well that pressed on his skin. The whole city above must be filled with it, this night. Darker than dark, the city. Only the dead could move through it with their slow feet, their leaning bodies scraping against the walls of houses and shops, their fingers reaching over the stone, hungering.”
Welcome to Episode #98 of my countdown of 101 quotes from The Zombie Bible. This passage is from Death Has Come Up into Our Windows, a visceral retelling of the story of the “weeping prophet,” Jeremiah. And I do mean visceral. If you haven’t read it, I hope you will check it out. A riveting, heart-wrenching story–and some deep thoughts.
At the end of this countdown will be the release of I Will Hold My Death Close, a Zombie Bible novella.
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