Monday, July 28, 2008

Anita Blake

I chanced upon an interesting e-book today. It’s a number of novels written by Laurell Hamilton, the Anita Blake series. Anita is an animator (read: necromancer) and a vampire slayer. And we’re not talking about Buffy here. She’s not blond and she’s not cutesy. She works on retainer as vampire slayer for the St. Louis police force because in their reality, the US has just legalized vampirism (Bush is just a few years ahead of his time then). So instead of being able to kill them on sight, they need to get warrants of arrest. As an animator, she gets paid to raise the dead so that they could perform convenient functions such as relay lost pieces of information or give last messages. It also comes in very handy if there’s a dispute over a will. All people have to do is pay (dearly, if I might add) an animator to perform the rites and they could ask the person involved to clarify things up in the flesh, which is sometimes rotting and smelly to boot. Nifty, eh?

I’m already reading the third book in the series (the titles of which are listed in this order: Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned, Lunatic Café, Bloody Bones, The Killing Dance, Burnt Offerings, Blue Moon, Obsidian Butterfly and Narcissus in Chains --- makes you feel all sunshiny inside, right?). It’s not as riveting as the Dresden Files, but it certainly engages enough of my interest to keep on reading until the end. I even almost, ALMOST don’t skip pages too.

What got me to stop reading for a while and write this though were the last few pages which just made me so depressed (well, what did I expect from a book called Circus of the Damned???). It was this part where Anita raised a man a week after his death so that he could sign his last will and testament. This will ensure that his property could be distributed to the letter. He was a haughty man, looked down on people, and he didn’t know he was even dead. After he signed his will, his family (we’re talking about wife and grown kids here) just left him standing there so that the animator could put him back to the grave. They didn’t even look back. The wife hesitated, but could only say I’m sorry before she was ushered to one of the many cars. The zombie (for that’s what you are once raised from the dead that way) was left like a child waiting in the gathering dark.

You can see where this is going now, right? Yep.

What I wouldn’t do with those miraculous minutes! I will bring them home and make them stay for weeks until they stink and rot and grow icky and I probably would still keep them. If only it wasn’t an abomination. If only playing God that way won’t be your ticket to eternal damnation. If only loving zombies is the same as loving people. But it wouldn’t be right. It wouldn’t even be in the same highway as justifiable.

Made me rant a little again about how some families who swear never to talk to each other again and curse each other’s shadows are still alive, when here’s a perfectly happy family all torn up. The press release is that, Life’s not fair. Truth is, Life can get pretty sadistic too. Irony abounds and we live in paradoxes. These are the times I wonder what’s so hot about living forever. What could be a more hellish thing than immortality where all you would witness is people leaving and never coming back? Nobody deserves to live forever.
That would be just too, too cruel.

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