This continues my excerpting a program that ran a few weeks ago on television entitled Dead in the Family, where parents from three families were interviewed about their zombie children.
The following interview was with "Mrs. Smith". I'll warn you that this is perhaps the most shocking and horrifying of the three interviews, so please if you are sensitive or susceptible to nightmares you might want to skip this one and wait for the interview with the Utleys later in the week.
Mrs. Smith is seated on a bright couch with a floral pattern. She is a husky woman with soft features, except for her lips, which are compressed as though she is perpetually holding back something she wants to say. She looks to be in her early fifties, and we are told that Mr. Smith died soon after her only daughter Amber was born. Her hair is short and the lenses of her glasses often reflect the light and hide her eyes from view. She has made tea for herself and the interviewer. Vapor rises from the china pot.
How did you daughter die?
Mrs. Smith: Amber had fallen in with the wrong sort of people. Her death was not an accident.
How, then, did she die?
Mrs. Smith: I prefer not to go into the details. They are both embarrassing and painful for me.
I can understand that. Can you talk about when your daughter returned?
Mrs. Smith: My daughter never returned.
What do you mean?
Mrs. Smith: It was a demon wearing my daughter's flesh.
Mrs. Smith: (pouring tea) Yes. Reverend Mathers is quite clear, and correct, on the subject. You are familiar with Reverend Mathers and One Life ministries?
Mrs. Smith: If not, you should read his book And the Graves Gave Up Their Dead. He illustrates the situation in an easily understandable way, even for more, shall we say, secular people.
By demon, do you mean...
Mrs. Smith: My personal belief is that my daughter let the demon inside of her heart when she was still alive. When she died, it was already there. The Reverend writes that the climate of the times is such that even the righteous may have their bodies usurped, but I am not so sure. I am beginning to think that all of the things that you call zombies were teens who allowed demons inside of them while they were still alive. (Smiles) You haven't touched your tea!
What...what did you do when you saw your...when you saw the demon?
Mrs. Smith: Did you see my gardens outside?
Mrs. Smith: Please tell me saw my gardens! I spend so much time on them. The flowers along the walkway. I know your cameraman saw them; he was very careful when I asked him to mind my flowers.
I saw them. they are very nice. (Pauses) When the demon...
Mrs. Smith: Sometimes the blossoms on the flowers fade and die. I'm very careful to attend to my flowers when the blossoms die, because if left unattended the flowers would begin self-seeding. And they look terrible! I have garden snips that I sometimes use for deadheading. That's what you call it when you remove a spent blossom. "Deadheading." Sometimes I don't use the snips. I often just pinch the dead blooms between my thumb and forefinger. My hands are quite strong, you know, from all the years of gardening. When Paul died I really threw myself into my gardening. But sometimes I work with plants where my hands or the snips are not sufficient. I have many tools in my little shed. Did you see it? Gardening shears, an electric hedge trimmer. A spade and a trowel for digging out stubborn roots.
Gardening has been such a comfort to me. I think it says a lot about a person, how they maintain their garden.
Are you...are you saying...
Mrs. Smith: Your tea is getting cold. (Pauses). I think that this interview is over, don't you?