Excerpt for The Undead Adventurer (Book 1): Zombie No More by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Undead Adventurer, Book 1: Zombie No More

Copyright 2017 Mark Mulle

Published by Mark Mulle at Smashwords

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Author’s Note

This short story is for your reading pleasure. The characters in this "Minecraft Adventure Series" such as Steve, Endermen or Herobrine...etc are based on the Minecraft Game coming from Minecraft ®/TM & © 2009-2013 Mojang / Notch

Table of Contents

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:

Day 6:

Day 7:

Day 8:

Day 9:

Day 10:

Day 11:

Day 12:

Day 13:

Day 14:

Day 15:

Day 16:

Day 17:

Day 18:

Day 19:

Day 20:

Day 21:

Day 22:

Day 23:

Day 24:

Day 25:

Day 26:

Day 27:

Day 28:

Day 29:

Day 30:

About the Author

Other books by this Author

Day 1:

It is day number one. Day one of my new life. Day one of forgetting everything that I have ever known and starting all over. Day one of being banished from the zombies and the monster world as I know it.

I should probably start by explaining how I came to be here, wandering among the shaded grasses of the forest all alone. Well, not completely alone.

Luna, my cat, is meandering somewhere behind me. She does not seem all that disappointed that we are leaving the zombies. Perhaps it is because she no longer has to worry about whether or not she is to be their next meal.

You see, I am a zombie. Or, at least, I WAS a zombie.

The truth is that I have been banished.

According to the elders, I do not display the proper ‘zombie’ behaviors that would allow me to continue to live among them. One such example of this is my trusty cat. Zombies do not tame pets. That is not a thing that zombies are supposed to do.

We are supposed to moan and groan and chase villagers. We are supposed to sneak up on miners, hide in dark corners, and generally avoid the sunlight.

I, on the other hand, find those activities quite boring.

The real fun happens when I try new things. Things that my zombie friends and relatives would never dare to try.

That was how I came to find Luna.

I will tell you the story, even though it happened long ago, because it should give you a good idea of how un-zombielike I tend to be.

I was standing along the edge of a pool of water, staring into its depths…

You see, I had picked up a worn, old fishing rod that a villager had left behind as he ran in fear from the sight of me. I had only wanted to wish him a good morning, I promise.

Anyway, I had the rod and I could see the fish swimming in the water. Swimming around and around. They were as hungry as could be. I was hungry too and I had never tried fish before.

Zombies eat a lot of raw carrots and potatoes. We eat rotten potatoes too. YUCK! That is why our skin is green.

Like I said, I was standing along the pool of water, contemplating how to catch a fish with my special new fishing rod, when I saw a flash of color out of the corner of my eye. Something was moving in the trees. Something that could move very, very fast.

Now, at this time I was but a tiny zombieling. I could run frightfully fast and never tire. I could race to the moon and back in the blink of an eye, but at the moment I was focused on the fish that were swimming in the moonlit pond.

I ignored the flash. It could not be a miner coming to slay me. They are quite slow, to be honest.

I tossed my line into the water and, low and behold, I caught a fish! A funny little thing with orange and white stripes. I gobbled it right up and it was delicious! Zombies should eat fish all the time. I caught fish after fish and ate until my stomach was bursting.

I knew that I could never tell the others what I had done. They would want to know where I had found the rod, and why I had used it to fish in the first place.

No, they would not understand. Zombies do not fish.

When I turned around, I noticed the flash in the woods once more. Then, it stopped.

An ocelot stared back at me from the tree line. She was looking intently at my hand. My hand that was now full of fresh, juicy fish.

I held the food out toward her to see if she might be interested in a bite, and stepped toward the creature. As I got nearer, I was not really thinking about my actions, I slipped the fish into my pocket so that I might be able to reach out and pet her silky fur.

In an instant, she disappeared.

I raced after her, my tiny zombie legs carrying me like the wind through the trees. I caught glimpses of her tail here and there. I ran and ran and ran and ran. Still, she would not allow me to approach.

Then, I remembered that she had been interested in my fish. She was probably starving, poor thing.

So I pulled the meal from my pocket and, wouldn’t you know it, she stopped right then.

I was so excited, and nervous, that I barely moved an inch as I tossed the fish to her one at a time.

She gobbled them up and licked her lips.

The color of her orange, spotted skin, flickered and changed into a beautiful black and grey. Her green eyes turned blue and she let out a tiny mewl that made me love her from that moment on.

That is the story of how I came to tame Luna.

Needless to say it is impossible to keep a loyal cat, that follows you everywhere, a secret for long. The other zombies quickly discovered my pet and commanded me to get rid of her, but I did not have the heart to tell her to leave.

Instead, I moved to the edge of our cave and tried to keep Luna away from the others as much as possible. This was not very difficult, except when they were hungry, because the others now wanted nothing to do with me either.

Over the years, as I grew up, I continued to upset the other zombies with my increasing questions, and treasures.

Zombies do not collect wood and build themselves a tiny door-less house. Zombies do not build crafting tables and furnaces and then experiment by putting random items inside of them. Zombies do not do these things.

To be fair, despite my many attempts, I never did learn to craft many useful items. I could turn flowers into dye, sugar cane into pure sugar, and smelt coal and metal into piles of pure ore that I do not know what to do with afterward.

Either way, these activities are not approved of by the zombie leaders.

After years of trying to force me to change, and years of attempting to hide my curiosities, I was banished.

I will never again be able to return to the monster community.

This is a BIG problem.

Not because I want to be a monster. No, I think that I have already explained that zombiehood is too boring for my blood. The problem is much worse than that.

Though I do not want to be a zombie, I also do not want to spend the rest of my life alone.

I have been banished to loneliness for all eternity.

It is not as if I will fit in anywhere else. The mere sight of my face makes the villagers and miners run away in fear. I suppose that it will just have to be Luna and me from now on. Just the two of us.

Me and my cat, forever.

I stopped in front of a nearby tree trunk and laughed to myself.

“Just me and my little old cat,” I laughed hysterically.

I took the point of a dull old sword that I had found several years before and dug our initials into the bark of the tree.

W + L

I laughed for several minutes before finally pulling myself together. Perhaps I had lost my mind.

I had lost my life, I suppose losing my mind was not that different.


That is what the W stands for. My name is Welch.

It used to be Welch Mc-Zomber, but now I am just Welch.

Anyway, I thought to myself, there is no time to waste. I have a lot of mindless wandering to do before I decide what exactly it is that I am going to do with my life. I am neither zombie, nor villager, nor hero.

“What am I?” I asked Luna, who was staring at me with her furry face tilted to one side.

Meow, she replied.

“No, I am not,” I argued.

Meow, she repeated.

I sighed and threw up my hands.

“Fine!” I exclaimed. “I am a cat, but only until I figure out a better solution.”

Luna looked at me with a pleased grin before turning to lead me further into the safety of the dark forest. There is no arguing with a cat.

Day 2:

It seems as if word of my banishment has spread amongst all of the monster communities. Everywhere I go they avoid me. Every zombie, or skeleton, or endermen that I have approached has simply pretended that I do not exist.

This is worse than I had expected.

I had thought that, perhaps, they might not be terribly friendly to me now that I had lost my rights as a zombie but I had not expected this. I had not expected them to ignore my presence.

It was as if they could no longer see me. No one wanted to be my friend.

Day 3:

Last night, I hid behind the leaves of a tree as I watched a hero battle an army of skeletons that had been summoned from the sky.

One after another he slew them. When the battle was complete he collected his bounty.

I watched as the adventurer picked up bits of bone, arrows, and armor. He inspected each item before either placing it in his satchel or tossing aside.

I was particularly surprised when he tossed aside one brightly colored, glowing, helmet. I wondered why a miner would not have use for a helmet? Was armor not meant to protect?

I decided that the enchantment that had been placed on the helmet must not be useful to this particular miner. Or, he simply had enough protection of his own without using the worn out bits of a defeated skeleton.

I on the other hand, could use all the protection I could get.

Any helmet was better than no helmet, I thought.

I waited for the miner to depart. Then, I waited even longer to ensure that he would not return. I waited, and waited, until, just before the sun was about to rise, I knew that this was my last chance.

I raced out into the field and grabbed the helmet, tucked it under my arm, and ran back to the safety of the forest just as the first rays of sunlight began to peek over the tops of the trees.

I felt a slight scorch on my heel. Just a moment longer and I would have been burned by the hot sun. The last thing a zombie wants to do is burst into flame. I can tell you that it is not a pleasant experience and we do try to avoid it at all costs.

With the new found treasure in my hands, I began to inspect the item.

It was lightweight and sturdy enough.

It took me a while to decipher the markings of the enchantment and once I had, I could hardly believe that it could be true.

Could it be that this helmet was designed to help the skeletons withstand the sunlight? Were there such enchantments that allowed a monster to stay out in the daylight and not burn? Dare I test its power?

I was skeptical that this little helmet could protect me from the burning rays of the sun.

Luna lay curled on the ground at my feet. She looked up at me with her wide blue eyes and began to purr. She had no problem walking in the daylight, I reminded myself.

If it were truly possible, we could travel much further and faster if we were not hindered by the need for darkness.

I gasped.

We could cross the desert. We could cross the desert and survive.

I placed the helmet on my head, determined to test its abilities. It was now or never. This single item could be the most important find that I would ever possess. This magical helmet might just allow me to do all sorts of things that zombies are not supposed to do.

I took a deep breath.

“What is the worst that could happen?” I asked myself.

Luna meowed beside me and her answer was clear.

I shrugged, “If it does not work I will simply run back into the shade before the burn is too bad.”

Luna stood up and stretched. She was clearly unconvinced with my attempt at confidence. We both knew that I did not want to be burned.

“We will not know unless we test it,” I crossed my arms over my chest and stared down at the cat with a stern glare. “I have to try it,” I argued with her silent gaze. “It could change everything!”

I tugged on the helmet once more, just to make sure that it was secure, and stepped out into the bright morning light.

I felt a tingle all over my body, as if water were being poured from my head to my toes, but there was no burn.

The enchantment had worked! The small helmet protected my entire body and I would now be able to wander this world in night or day just like the heroes, and the miners, and the villagers!

“Luna!” I clapped my hands over my mouth in excitement. “Luna, what if I could live in a village?” I whispered.

I looked around quickly to make sure that no one was near who might overhear. That sort of thought could get me in big trouble with the zombie community. Monsters do not join villages. Zombies do not walk in the daylight and, more than anything, we do not make friends with the villagers.

But I was not a zombie anymore, I reminded myself. I had been banished. I no longer had to follow the zombie rules, the zombie way of life.

Why should I not join a village? If I could walk in the daylight, the villagers might not even need to know that I was a zombie.

I could barely contain my excitement. There was a whole new world, a whole new life, that had just opened up before my eyes.

First, I needed to find a village. Then, it might become a little trickier after that.

I was going to need a disguise.

Day 4:

Luna led me to what felt like the other side of the world. She seemed to know where she was going though, so I allowed it.

Before Luna was tame, I am certain that she had raced all over the world. When I told her that we needed to find a village, she had turned around and begun to lead the way. I trust her, cats have a strange way of knowing how to find things.

Day 5:

With Luna by my side and my helmet on my head I feel invincible.

As we crossed through many different biomes, I made sure to collect any small items that might be useful in crafting some sort of disguise to convince the villagers that I am not, in fact, a zombie.

I have gathered wool and dye for clothing. Whenever we stopped to rest, I took the time to begin to prepare my new outfit. I knew that the best way to truly disguise myself would be with a full set of armor, but I still did not know how to craft such items. Perhaps, if I could dye my skin and clothing for a day or two, I might be able to fool the villagers for long enough to trade a blacksmith for the pieces that I would need for a long-term disguise.

Day 6:

This morning I caught my first glimpse of the village that, I hoped, would be my new home. It was a sprawling village, perhaps the size of two or three of the villages I had ever seen before all combined. It stood on the edge of a wide and winding river.

This was great news to me because access to the water would allow me to trade the villagers for the fish that I could catch with my handy pole.

Luna and I approached the village with caution. Villagers are always suspicious. They are not keen on interacting with anyone outside of their small little world. Somehow, I needed to convince them that I would be an asset to their community, and not a burden.

This thought filled my heart with joy. I had always been a burden to the zombies. I had never fit in, never pleased them, and never fulfilled their wishes or needs. Here, my discoveries and collections would be welcome. For the first time I might be useful.

The villagers were just beginning to leave their homes and set about their morning chores. I watched as they scurried from place to place, making trades and collecting crops from their perfectly tended garden beds.

I reached my hand into my pocket and felt the collection of potatoes and watermelon seeds, even beet roots, that were safely tucked away. From what I could see of the village gardens, these were items that they did not grow in this town.

If I could create my own small garden, I would have an endless supply of items to trade. The villagers would make good trades for food sources that they did not currently have.

I squared my shoulders and walked toward the village with confidence. I was going to be strong. I was going to be firm. I was going to be confident.

I needed to convince them that I was just a normal, wandering person. Certainly not a monster.

I was met at the edge of the village by a butcher who stared at me with narrowed eyes. He seemed to be deciding whether to approach me, or run.

I forced myself to remain still as I waited. The last thing that I needed was to accidentally rub off some of the grey dye that was disguising my green skin.

Finally, he grunted and approached.

“Chicken?” he asked.

“Who me?” I asked, pointing at my chest. “I am not a chicken. I am a… I am a traveler.”

“Not that you are a chicken,” he stared at me as if he were afraid I had lost my mind. “Do you have any chicken? I will trade.”

As easy as that, I seem to have made a fool of myself in front of him. Now, I needed to ensure that I made no mistakes. I could not risk my true identity being discovered by this butcher.

“No… No, I do not have any chicken,” I stammered. “I do have fish!”

“Huh,” he grunted. “Doesn’t your wolf kill chicken?”

I stared down at Luna who was still pouting at my side. She was not too pleased with her own disguise.

You see, I could not be certain that miners ever tamed ocelots. I did, however, know that they often tamed wolves. As such, I have attached two small blocks of wool to Luna’s head in order to make her look more like a dog. A bright red collar had finished the costume and, though Luna did not seem very pleased with the outfit, she did look the part.

Meow, she cried.

“WOOF,” I coughed into my hand to cover up the sound. The villager stared at Luna in confusion.

“Is your dog sick?” he asked.

“Y…yes!” I exclaimed. “She is very sick. Well, not sick. Just tired. Do you know of a place that we could stay while she recovers?”

Luna stared at me out of the corner of her eye. She swished her tail and wandered off toward an area where the children were playing.

Her statement was clear. Despite her dislike for the costume, she had decided to stay. She liked the village and, even more than that, liked playing with the children that were running around in the fields of flowers.

The villager gave a small nod and encouraged me to follow him toward the tiny hut on the edge of the village that would be our temporary home. He informed me that we could stay until one of the children grew large enough to reside in the hut themselves.

Only a few days.

He then informed me that the village curfew was strictly set for sundown. Every member of the community must return to their homes for the duration of the night and not risk infection or attack from the monsters that roamed around the darkened hours.

I pretended to be very concerned about the monsters and informed him that I would certainly remain in the safety of my home during the nighttime hours.

Even though I had been banished from the zombie community, I had no desire to fight with the monsters. I would avoid them as the villager had instructed.

“Perhaps you could rid our village of monsters?” the butcher mused. “Then, we might allow you a house of your own in our village.”

“I’m not a warrior,” I muttered. I wondered if there was any other way to clear the village of monsters without having to confront the creatures. Certainly the monsters would reveal my true identity. Then, the villagers would never allow me to stay.

No, I could not confront them directly. I would need to find another way.

Day 7:

Day two in the village and I think that I am successfully fooling my hosts. For the time being.

I have begun to trade as many items as possible with the villagers so that they will begin to trust me. Then, the blacksmith might finally show me some of the armor that he makes.

There has only been one near slip up that almost revealed my deception.

Night was beginning to fall and the butcher gave me instructions to reach the house in which Luna and I could stay for a night or two.

I have been pleased with my progress of the day. I had made many trades, met many new villagers, and even wheedled a single bucket out of the blacksmith.

I followed the gravel streets to the location that had been described and then stared at the hut in horror.

It was locked.

The door was shut and I had no way inside.

I had never used the door before. Sure, I had broken a few down, but what would the villagers do if I went about breaking down their doors when I was supposed to be a guest?

I groaned, a deep zombie sigh that I was quickly forced to muffle for fear of discovery.

What was I to do?

The butcher had made it very clear that the rules of the village stated that all members of the community must remain inside their homes during the nighttime hours.

The sky was getting darker and darker, and I was soon going to be in violation of their rules if I remained outside for much longer.

“What are you doing?” a stern voice beside me growled. “Get inside. Night is almost upon us.”

“I…” I stammered and took a step closer to the door. I still had no idea how I was going to open it. “I was waiting for my dog,” I attempted to explain.

The grumpy librarian rushed past me and, placing his hand on a small knob on the edge of the door, rushed inside my hut.

“She is not inside,” he pointed out the obvious fact that I already knew.

Of course Luna was not inside the hut. How could she get inside if I could not get inside?

At that moment, Luna walked around the corner and strolled easily into the hut. The children had gone inside for the night and she had no one left to play with.

The librarian exited the hut, closing the door behind him, before turning to stare at me with his hands perched angrily on his hips.

“Your pet is now inside,” he stated. “You should be too. You would not want to become infected by a zombie, would you?” He turned on his heel and began to walk away.

I could hear him muttering as he made his way to the brightly lit library near the center of the village.

“The last thing we need in this village is an infection,” he grumbled. “The very last thing!”

I turned back toward the door and confronted my nemesis.

With a deep breath, I placed my hand on the knob and felt it twist slightly in my grip. I shook the knob, rocking my hand back and forth until something clicked and the door swung open!

I had done it!

I had opened a door.

I know that, to some people, opening a door is a simple task that is not worthy of praise or celebration. However, I might just be the first zombie in history to open a door without breaking it down!

I could hardly contain my elation as I rushed inside, shut the door behind me, and picked up Luna to squeeze her against me.

“We did it!” I cried. “We did it!”

Luna shook her head and the false wool ears fell off. She sat and stared at me with her tail flicking back and forth with annoyance.

“I know just the thing to cheer you up!” I laughed.

I placed my furnace in the corner of the room and loaded it with enough coal and fish to burn all night long. Without hesitation, the cat hopped on top of the warm stone and sat in what I had long ago learned was her favorite location.

I might not know how to make many items with my furnace, but I certainly knew how to keep my cat happy.

We settled in for our first night as members of this riverside village and, for the first time, despite the darkness of the sky I had a feeling that my future was very bright.

Day 8:

My first priority for the day was to gather enough materials to trade with the blacksmith. I was in desperate need of a suit of armor.

The dye that was covering my green skin had not lasted through the night and, though I had been able to reapply it before leaving my hut, I had not collected enough flowers to dye my skin for more than one week.

The blacksmith did not seem interested in my offerings of wood, plants, or even my trusty fishing rod. No, he wanted only one thing.


Iron, coal, gold, or diamond. He simply wanted the precious items that could only be collected by mining them from the depths of the land.

I cannot say that I am a skilled miner. However, as a zombie, I do have a unique set of characteristics that help me in this particular task.

The first benefit is that zombies have perfect vision in the dark. I would have no need to light up the caverns that I would be exploring. I could simply walk through the caves as easily as the streets of the village.

Additionally, I had no fear of attack from any monsters residing in these caves. I had already learned that the monsters of our world were avoiding me at all costs. They were neither interested, nor aggressive.

In fact, I began to realize that I might be the safest miner in the history of our world. I had nothing to fear beneath the surface. Except lava, of course.

There was one problem. The blacksmith wanted to go with me into the caves to collect it himself.

I could not allow this.

How would I be able to explain my ability to see in the darkness? How can I remove my disguise so that the other monsters would leave me alone to my digging?

No, the blacksmith could not enter the caves at my side.

“You take me to the caves,” he offered, “and I will provide your digging tools.”

I could hardly resist this offer. I needed the tools that he was offering, but I had to find a way to persuade him to remain in the village.

“The caves are very far away,” I began.

“I will see these far away caves that you speak of,” he pressed on. “Perhaps they have even better treasures than those near this village.”

I attempted to explain that they were secret caves, but he would not be deterred.

As a last attempt, I gave him my final argument. If this did not convince him then I would simply have to gather the ore disguised as a miner. This would take much longer than wandering through the darkness alone. I could only hope that I had enough dye to last the trip.

“I would certainly not expect you to travel with me during the dangers of night,” I said.

“I craft the finest armor in all the world,” the blacksmith replied. “The dangers of the night do not frighten me.”

A sharp gasp from behind us turned our attention to a villager that was standing close by.

“The nighttime!” the librarian cried. “The nighttime is far too dangerous for villagers, such as ourselves. Let our new friend go, Blacksmith,” he said in a trembling voice that revealed the true depth of his fear. “The rules for the village curfew are strictly set and shall not be broken.”

I released a deep sigh of relief. The blacksmith could not argue with the librarian in his strict rules.

Instead, we settled on a trade that would provide me the tools that I would need to gather or from the caves. The trade ended up being fairly complicated. I would give the librarian sugarcane, from which he would make the pages of his books, and in return he would give me several large green gems that I had never seen before.

He called them emeralds.

These gems certainly caught the interest of the blacksmith, who would then trade me for the tools that I requested.

By the end of the day I was tired and ready to return to my small, quiet hut.

Day 9:

Today I was forced to set out in search of the mines in which I would be digging. The problem was that I had no idea where any mines were in this area.

It would be a long day of searching, but I was certain that once night fell my zombie instincts would tell me exactly where the perfect hiding place would be. Those instincts, usually led me to a mine.

It was a relief to be able to make this journey without my disguise. I could tell that Luna was happy for a day free of her false, woolen ears.

As we walked away from the village it was a relief to know that we would be returning soon. The villagers anxiously awaited our return with new treasures. It would be the first time that someone would be excited for me to come home.

Home, I thought.

Even though I had not been in the village long, I realized that it was already more home to me than any place I had lived before. The villagers did not judge my strange collections or my pet. In fact, even though I knew that some of them were suspicious, they had all been friendly since my arrival.

I felt a smile cross my face as I realized that this was a community in which I would be welcome. At least, as long as my true identity was never discovered.

Day 10:

This morning I found shelter in what appeared to be a small cave that had been dug, and abandoned, by a miner.

At the back of the tiny handmade hole, was a door with a sign beside it.

It read:




With a smile I opened the door. I had no fear of a monster spawner. There could be hundreds of monsters down here and I would be perfectly safe.

Thankfully, whomever had abandoned the mine had already located an expansive network of caves that would soon provide me with pockets bulging with precious ores and treasures.

I was even fortunate enough to collect several of those large green gems that the villagers loved so much. I could not wait to begin to trade with my new neighbors. Crafting was not something that I enjoyed. In fact, I was fairly certain that I was the worst crafter that had ever existed.

Mining, on the other hand, was the perfect solution for me. I could collect all the items that I wanted and the villagers would craft everything that I needed.

Now, I was ready to earn my armor.

Day 11:

My return to the village was met with a greeting of applause. Dozens of villagers rushed up to me hoping that I had found new items for them to try.

I quickly realized that I would have to make many excursions out into the wild to collect whatever it was that they needed. This was truly exciting to me because I love to collect everything.

Never before had anyone been interested in my findings. Yet, here in this village, people were clamoring to find out if I had any new discoveries.

I felt as if I had fallen into a wonderland. Perhaps being banished from the zombies was a blessing in disguise!

This was the life that I was meant to lead. This was the life that would make me happy.

Now, I only needed to ensure that I remain a welcome part of the village. Perhaps one day I could reveal my identity to them. One day, after many years of proving my value to the community, they might be willing to accept the fact that I was a zombie.

However, I knew that this would not come to pass for a very long time.

Right now, I needed to be vigilant. I needed to prove to them that I was nothing more than a regular traveler.

My offerings of ore, gems, and a few plants that I had picked up along the way went a long way toward convincing the villagers that I was not a monster. Zombies do not gather wood. Monsters do not collect a bucket of lava as a special gift for the blacksmith.

Monsters will do just about anything to avoid lava.

My collection of the lava had been a tricky situation. I had approached with caution and scooped up one bucketful, knowing that the blacksmith would love the gift.

He certainly did.

The blacksmith was so pleased by that bucket of boiling liquid that he gave me a beautiful diamond chest plate that had been enchanted by one of the village clerics. I could barely contain my awe. The enchantment provided fire resistance.

Little did they know, this was the perfect gift for a zombie.

I really do not enjoy being caught on fire.

Afterward, I traded my ore collection for the other pieces of my suit of armor. They were simple gold items, but they were sturdy and disguised me well.

By the end of the day, I felt like a new person entirely. I even looked the part.

Day 12:

Now that I did not have to worry about my dye wearing off, I was able to complete regular tasks throughout the village that would make my stay here more enjoyable.

This was perfect timing because the children of the village had grown up during my absence and, as of this morning, I no longer had a place to live.

The villagers took a vote as to where they would allow me to build a small shelter that would protect me during my stay at the village.

I could tell that they did not yet consider me a permanent member of the community.

It was agreed upon that I could build a small, 4 x 10, shelter along the edge of the river. Luna and I would be allowed to reside in this hut temporarily. If the village decided that I was no longer welcome, it would eventually be given to another librarian as an expansion of the village.

I was pleased with this arrangement because I understood that I still needed time to convince them that I should be allowed to live here. Additionally, the location beside the river was ideal because I could quietly fish at night without being seen by any of the villagers.

I knew that the grumpy librarian had his eye on me, and the last thing that I needed to do was upset him by being caught out past nightfall.

I spent the entire day building this dwelling. It was a long, rectangular building with a peaked roof. One of the villagers told me how to craft the glass that I would need for windows by burning stand in my furnace.

It would have never occurred to me to attempt to burn sand.

After trading for a door, I finished the home just in time to hear the librarian running through the streets and forcing everyone to return inside for the evening.

“Nightfall!” he cried. “The dark is coming! The dark is almost here! Inside! Hurry inside before it is too late!”

I watched him through my window with the big grin on my face.

He was so frantic and worried all of the time, but it was difficult not to be pleased with his concern for his friends and neighbors.

Despite his strange behavior, the librarian had good intentions.

I shook my head and laughed to myself at this amusing little village that had somehow become my home. I pulled my fishing rod from my pocket and quietly slipped out into the darkness. A long night of gathering fish, and whatever other items I pulled from the water, would allow me to trade with the villagers in the morning.

As my bobber splashed into the water I felt a soft, furry body sitting beside me. I looked down to see Luna staring back up at me with her bright blue eyes.

Meow, she said.

“Do not worry,” I laughed. “I will catch you as many treats as you want!”

She began to purr.

I reached down and pat her head with my hand.

“Good dog,” I muttered.

Day 13:

Today, I was wandering through the village, feeling pretty great about my new situation, when I realized that everyone around me was busy with their own tasks.

You see, there is not much that monsters can do during the day. Due to their sun allergy, zombies are forced to stay hidden for hours on end. This means that they spend a lot of time waiting, wandering, and generally wasting their time until nightfall.

The villagers, I realized, do not do this. Though they do remain indoors at night, they can often be found preparing their goods and trades for the following day. Then, they spend the daylight hours fulfilling their assigned jobs. The clerics enchant items. The librarians keep records and study. The blacksmiths smelt. Finally, the butchers and farmers gather and prepare the items that they need to feed the hungry villagers.

Everyone is very busy all of the time.

I, on the other hand, had nothing to do. My home was built, I had completed my trades for the day, and I was slowly settling into my new lifestyle.

It did not take long for me to realize that, like the villagers, I needed a job.

Day 14:

I began to shadow the villagers as they went about their tasks. If I could discover which job was most interesting to me, perhaps I would become a welcome member of the village.

I needed to prove my worth. I needed to prove that I could behave like a villager and that meant that I needed a villager’s duties.

The clerics would not allow me into the church while they were enchanting. They are a very secretive group and I quickly realized that this was not the job for me.

The butcher spent much of his day chasing around wild animals and collecting meat to sell to the villagers. Though he did accept my trade for fish, I soon realized that chasing animals all day would not hold my interest. In fact, I was more interested in whatever items I might be able to collect while chasing animals, than the animals themselves.

Day 15:

The Librarian has much more to do than I ever would have expected. He studies all day and all night. He keeps records of all the trades that happen in the village and the value of all the items as they are sold. He knows the history of our world, how items can be collected or used, and any information that anyone might need to know about the village.

Though I was fascinated by all of his knowledge, I was quickly overwhelmed by how much I would need to learn to be a proper librarian. I did not want to stay inside all day studying. I wanted to explore. I wanted to learn through trial and error, not books and records.

I needed a job that was more hands-on, something active.

At first I had not considered a job as a farmer, because this village was sprawling with plots of farmland and villagers who took care of them. However, as I watched the farmers grow their crops with care and love I realized that I too would enjoy tending to my own farm each day.

The time that it takes the plants to grow would allow me to continue my explorations and adventures. Additionally, I possessed a collection of plants and seeds that these villagers did not grow already.

I could start my own farm.

The villagers grew wheat and carrots. I would not take this business from them. Instead, I could grow potatoes, watermelon, beetroot, and even sugarcane for the librarian!

With four plots of land I would have a constant supply of items to trade. I could tends to my crops each day and still have time to mine and search for new items in the area. I would continue to fish in the secrecy of night and, I was certain, that I would be a valuable member of the community in no time.

I, a zombie, could provide this sprawling village with unlimited resources.

Day 16:

I set about the construction of my farm as soon as the sun rose in the sky.

Now that I have a purpose, now that I had a plan, I could barely contain my excitement. There was so much to be done!

I received permission from the village to work as a farmer. The librarian allowed me to borrow a book that explained how exactly I would need to build my garden beds according to village law.

With my tools in hand I began to lay the wooden foundation that would protect my precious crops.

Next, I gathered dirt from a nearby hill and laid it in neat double rows. Then, I began to till the land. Everything looked great at first. However, I soon realized that my land was not staying tilled.

I threw my hands up in frustration and groaned. What was I to do?

“Huh?” a voice from behind me caused me to jump. Had they heard my zombie groan? I hoped not. “Water,” the blacksmith said.

“What?” I asked.

“Huh. You need water,” he explained.

That was when I remembered that the other farms had water between their rows while mine stood empty and dry.

I walked over to the river and dipped my hands into the water but could not bring back more than a splash to fill my trenches.

“What should I do?” I asked the blacksmith.

“Buckets,” he replied. He held up a shiny silver bucket that had been freshly crafted. “Buckets,” he repeated.

Though the blacksmith was not one for long conversations, or even full sentences, his point was clear. He would trade me for a bucket to fill my garden trenches.

We agreed that I would give him a large supply of watermelon once the plants had grown. I appreciated his interest in my produce. The blacksmith walked away rubbing his hands together and muttering about the tasty, juiciness of watermelon.

I watered my gardens, tilled the soil, and began to plants my seeds immediately.

I even ground some skeleton bones that I had found during my wanderings into a powder to help my plants to grow strong. I added this bonemeal to the watermelon first, just to make sure that I could pay the blacksmith back as soon as possible.

With only a handful of seeds in each row, it would take a very long time before my garden could produce a substantial amount of food. Until then, all that was left to do was wait.

Day 17:

My sprouts were too small to collect this morning.

Instead, I collected the wood needed to make sticks. I then took the sticks, and a small bundle of string, to one of the farmers who gave me a new fishing rod.

Then, I returned to the river to the leisurely day casting my line into the water.

Day 18:

My new fishing rod broke this morning and I was forced to gather the supplies for yet another rod that could be traded from the farmer.

Today, the farmer requested a large supply of fish, in addition to the materials needed, in exchange for the fishing rod. At this rate, I told myself, collecting fish was going to become very expensive.

I would never be able to gather enough items to trade for a new rod every day.

I was determined to find another solution. My first thought was that, perhaps, the tool could be made out of metal so that it would last longer. I set off to ask the blacksmith if he could craft a metal fishing rod for my use.

Sadly, he informed me that he did not have the skill to make such an item.

Day 19:

I was still determined to find a better solution to my fishing problem the following morning.

I began by visiting the local librarian and asking him if he knew of a sturdier tool for catching fish.

“Huh,” he grunted in his villager way. “What kind of traveler does not know about fishing rods?” he narrowed his eyes at me. “What kind of miner does not know how to make tools sturdier?”

I felt the blood rush to my cheeks and the fear began to race through my bones.

The librarian suspected that something was wrong! Somehow, I had made a mistake and revealed that my knowledge of this world, of this lifestyle, was not what I pretended it to be.

“All of my tools are made out of ores,” I shrugged and pretended as if the issue were of no concern to me, but inside my heart was racing. “I do not know much about wooden tools.”

The librarian narrowed his eyes at me as if considering my answer.

“That makes sense,” he finally chirped. “A skilled miner would not waste their time with suck feeble tools.”

I felt as if a great rush of air had escaped from me. He had believed by false confidence.

The librarian walked over to the bookshelf, and began flipping through the pages of his books.

“Here it is,” he pointed one hand at the open page. “All tools, including wooden fishing rods, may be enchanted with special abilities such as on breaking, power, fire resistance, luck of the sea, lure, and many more.”

I nodded and thanked him for the information, pretending that I knew what that meant. I could not risk revealing to the librarian that I had no idea how to enchant an item.

I would need to be careful to ensure that I did not reveal my lack of skill to him again.

Day 20:

I woke up at the crack of dawn with a spring in my step.

You see, this was my first night sleeping in my very own bed and it was very restful.

The reason for my excitement was that I had realized that I did not have to enchant the items on my own. The village clerics were very skilled at enchantments!

Why had I not thought of that before?

I raced over to the church and waited for the clerics to come outside. I think they wouldn’t be pleased if I began banging on their door in the early hours of the morning.

Though, I laughed at the thought, that would be a very zombieish thing to do!

I am no longer a zombie though, I reminded myself. A smile crossed my face as I realized how much my life had improved since I had left the monster world.

I had a home of my own, a garden, a job, and many new neighbors that were interested in my items and discoveries.

It was all more than I could have hoped for.

To make it even better, Luna was always roaming the village in her happy way. She no longer had to fear that she might be eaten. She no longer had to sit alone with no children to chase each morning.

She also no longer had to dress as a dog.

One of the local children had accidentally pulled off one of her woolen ears yesterday, and it was now discovered that she was, in fact, a cat.

The villagers were not upset by this at all.

At least, they were not upset after I explained that I had simply dressed her as a dog so that she could scare away the zombies when we traveled.

The villagers believed this because dogs will attack a zombie. I know this because I am a zombie, but the villagers did not know that.

Their excitement at having a cat in the village was greater than their surprise at the disguise.

Apparently, cats do an excellent job of chasing creepers away. A few months before our arrival a creeper had blown up one of the village wells. It had taken the entire village weeks to repair it.

Now, they were certain that Luna could rid the village of creepers and protect their structures from creeper explosions.

Luna was overjoyed. This meant that they would allow her to roam around at night, chasing creepers whenever she pleased. Luna could now return to being a cat. She loved living in this village.

When the clerics exited their church, I asked them if they would be willing to enchant my fishing rod.

“Huh,” they considered the item. “Yes, we are capable of enchanting your item.”

They informed me that they would require several pieces of a blue gem called Lapis Lazuli.

I had seen the gem before, often hanging on the ceiling above a pit of lava. I was confident that I could retrieve it if I built a small bridge over the boiling liquid.

I promised to return with the gems in a few days.

Day 21:

Before I left the village for my next venture into the cave, I visited every villager and asked if there were any items that they needed from such a place.

The villagers were very happy that I had considered their needs. I explained that I simply wanted to be able to trade for the items that I might need in the future. I still was not very skilled at crafting, nor did I want to spend my time testing random combinations on my crafting table.

I wanted to be out in the world, out in the sunlight. I wanted to explore, learn, and collect items that no zombie has ever seen before.

I wanted to be a real miner, a builder, a farmer, and an adventurer.

As I was off to dig in the caves, I felt a new sense of purpose. The villagers depended on my findings. The more items that I traded, the larger the village could become. I had already noticed that they had begun to build additional huts along the far edge of the village. Already, my trades had fueled a growth and need for more trades and jobs.

No, I do not need to craft, I told myself. I would continue to trade for my items. I would continue to give the villagers what they needed to succeed.

Together, we could support each other.

Perhaps this would help them make the final decision to allow me to become a permanent resident of the town.

Day 22:

The monsters in the cave seemed much more curious as to my activities today.

I realized that it was because I was still dressed in my armor, yet they could tell that I was a zombie because I had removed my helmet.

They wandered nearby, but did not attack.

I could hear their mutters echoing against the stone walls. They knew that I was the banished zombie. They knew that I was banished for strange, un-zombielike behavior. I wondered how long it would take for the rest of the monsters to discover that I had been found digging for ore.

I forced myself to focus on the task ahead. What I really wanted was to tell them that I was happy. I wanted to tell them that they too could live a life with more freedom, but I knew that this was pointless.

Zombies do not want to be anything other than zombies. Except for me, of course.

I collected the gems and the ore, determined to return to the village as soon as possible.

Day 23:

My return to the village brought me much happiness. My enchanted fishing rod had been completed. It had been coated with protective spells that would prevent it from breaking as well as allow it to catch rare items, even more enchanted tools.

The clerics informed me that this fishing rod would be more than enough to supply many fish and goods to the village.

I thanked them for their help and promised a meal of cooked fish to the entire village that evening.

Day 24:

Last night, as we ate our meal together in one of the largest houses in the village, the villagers began to ask me questions about my explorations.

I told them of the caves that I had found, how they had been abandoned because they were infested with monsters.

“There is a spawner in the cave,” I explained.

A shudder ran through the crowd.

“Did you destroy it?” one of the farmers asked.

When I told them that I had no fear of the monster spawner it had been truthful, but I had not expected that they would take it to mean that I was some terrific swordsman with no fear of danger.

“You could rid the village of monsters,” one villager cried. The others began to cheer alongside her.

“No,” I shook my head. “I do not fight them. They just leave me alone” I tried to explain without giving away my secret; that the monsters did not attack me because I was, in fact, a monster myself.

“How do you get them to leave you alone?” the librarian asked. I noticed that he had a book out and was taking notes.

Now I was in trouble, I thought. How could I explain why the zombies stayed away?

“They are afraid of the light,” I blurted.

It was true. Zombies do not like light. With enough light they will not spawn. Though it was not the real reason that the monsters stayed away from me, it was a true solution to the problem of a zombie attack.

“Afraid of the light!” the librarian gasped. “They should be afraid of the dark!”

I smiled at the villager and told him that zombies are allergic to the sun.

“It causes us…” I coughed to cover the last word, “them… to burst into flames.”

The librarian sighed, unaware of my mistake. “I wish the sun would light the sky at night as well,” he mused.

“I know!” the butcher cried out. “Our new friend can light up the village, just like the caves, to keep the monsters away. He can protect us!”

The entire village cheered at the idea.

I wondered how I was supposed to light up an entire village even in the darkness of night. It seemed an impossible task.

Day 25:

It took me most of the day to discover how to craft torches on my own.

You see, I could not ask the villagers because they thought that I already knew how to craft and use lanterns.

With one piece of coal, and one stick, I was able to create a small pack of torches.

I was going to need a lot more coal, I realized.

Day 26:

Today, I made as many trades for coal as possible.

I also mined the ore from a nearby hillside.

Soon, I had 64 pieces of coal to make torches with.

Next, it was time to begin crafting.

Day 27:

I waited until nightfall to begin to place the torches.

The reason for this is that, as a zombie, I can sense the different levels of light in which I would be comfortable. By removing my helmet, I was able to ensure that I placed the lanterns in a grid pattern that would prevent any zombie from spawning in the area.

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