Like any fifteen-year-old, Alan Chandler has to deal with the horrors of adolescence—social awkwardness, joblessness, and a father who drives him nuts. But there are some not-so-typical horrors too: His father’s job is to resurrect people as anti-terrorist soldiers. Even though his father keeps warning him that the day will come when he’ll need to take over the family business, Alan is more interested in starting an Undead Wrestling Federation—if only he could keep a corpse on its feet for more than a minute at a time.
Meanwhile, troubles are brewing in the Middle East. A mad dictator threatens to start World War III, and Alan knows that if his father leaves for war, he won’t be coming back. Not alive anyway. With the future at stake, Alan must choose between his adolescent dreams and becoming the leader his father needs him to be. He needs to find himself and understand how his powers work...before it’s too late.
James Krompholz grunted and tightened his grip around the neck of the corpse. Alan Chandler watched as the semi-rigid neck began to stretch as James flexed his pudgy bicep
“Yo, loosen up on him, man,” Alan said. The basement walls grew fuzzy before his eyes. “You’re starting to give me a headache.”
James looked over at his friend, but didn’t release his hold.
“Yo…chill!” Alan demanded. His thick brow began to furrow.
To say the ladies didn’t love Alan was an understatement. He was flabby and pimple laden and insisted on wearing baggy clothes that only made him look fatter because they were comfortable. The distinct funk of an ill-kept afro and deodorant-resistant BO always proceeded and trailed his movements. And he wasn’t an intellectual heavyweight, either. His grades made him look slow, at best. Alan Chandler was the kind of mouth-breather most people wouldn’t even want to sit next to on the bus, let alone be their friend, and he knew this. Good Lord, did he know this. If not for one discernible talent, James probably wouldn’t even want to be his friend.
But Alan did have a special ability—he could control a corpse with his mind. He could even feel what it felt when it took damage. Alan’s father, Herbert, could do even more than that. Alan had seen it with his own eyes.
“Come on, man. Don’t give in,” James said with sweat glistening on his beet red forehead. “If we’re ever going to get corpse wrestling off the ground, you’ve gotta get stronger with controlling Mort. Now, come on. Break my hold.”
“You’re pulling too hard,” Alan said. His shoulders dropped and tears welled up in the corners of his eyes. “I can’t breathe!”
“If you can talk, you can breathe,” James said. He raised his right eyebrow and smirked. “You also need to be able to take a blow. Like this!” He put his leg behind the dead man’s and fell backward with him. The blow of the corpse’s head hitting the ground made an audible chock sound on the cold cement.
Alan screamed as he stumbled forward. Purple splotches popped behind his eyes and his chest felt like it had been slammed by a battering ram.
“Alan,” James said. His voice sounded like it was underwater. “Hey, man. Are you okay? Just take a deep breath. Oh, man. I didn’t think you’d go down like that.”
A Day In The Life of A Corpse
Hi, there. My name is Mort, and I’m dead. No big deal. Just your average, every day corpse. Now mind you, I said “corpse”. Not zombie. I’m not going to nibble your neck or burst through your wall like the Kool Aid Man saying, “braaaaains.” I can’t even move my own limbs, see? Without Alan, who controls me, I’d pretty much be about as limp as, well, a corpse! But I do have Alan, thank the stars, and when he sleeps, I remember.
What do I remember, you ask? Well, all sorts of things, really. Mostly Alan’s earliest memories with me, but sometimes, when his father, Herbert, controls me, I remember the war. Sad times, truly. I don’t like remembering the oppressive heat of the desert, dodging gunfire, or being scared out of my wits, but it happens. I’ll tell you, I’m much happier being a corpse than I ever was at being a soldier.
That said, I’m not so sure other corpses are happy when Herbert resurrects them to be blown up or experimented on. I can’t blame them. Who wants to be brought back to life only to be electrocuted or set on fire? I mean, is it any worse than being in Hell? I don’t know. I only took a slight detour there before Herbert put me back on my feet and sent me into action. But now I have Alan trying to learn his craft on me, so hopefully, it’ll be a long time before I take another trip down south with the Devil. I’ll tell you, life ain’t half bad being a corpse. Not half bad at all.