For this short fiction review, I thought I would go back into the world of zombies and look for a quick scare. “Unbecoming” by Scott Crowder sounded like an interesting read so I thought I would give it a shot.
The zombie apocalypse has come and gone and the humans have won for the most part. There are still some zombies around who are now called Meat and it is illegal for humans to harbor the Meat, who are to be killed on sight. When lieutenant Boulder Johnson is called out to a house that was suspected to have a Meat in the basement, he knew that he may have a serious problem. The house belonged to his brother-in-law. What was even worse is that Boulder’s sister, who lived in the house with her husband before the apocalypse, had not been seen since the zombies first attacked. Boulder has an idea who the Meat is in the basement of the house. The only question is what he is going to do about it.
“Unbecoming” is an interesting short story. While it deals with some tried and true themes of zombie fiction, it presents an original take on the mythos as well. Even in the face of an inhuman force that could destroy humanity, the spark of humanity remains in all people and is complicated by the fact that the monsters are the remains of people and sometimes of people that were loved. While the humans may know what needs to be done to save civilization, it is not always an easy choice when confronted with a familiar face. Would you be able to kill your sister? Chances are you would not. Would you be able to kill the zombie that used to be your sister and still looks like her? That is a much harder question to answer.