Remembrance of things past…

Posted: July 28, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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[Transcript of unbroadcast radio interview conducted with Audrey Hampton outside of [redacted] processing centre]

It was a big white room in a medical centre out in [redacted]. I had to put on this white suit and had to have a shower before with this awful green disinfectant. It was horrible.

They sat me down in this chair in front of a glass window and I must have been waiting for over half an hour. When the shutter started to rise I could see Michael centimetre by centimetre. I peeked under to see him as fast as I could.

He was…well, at first I couldn’t recognise him. I think he noticed, but he didn’t say anything. I wish I had been able to hide my reaction. After all he had been through.

He was thin. Really thin and wearing this white smock. They had shaved off his beautiful hair.

Sorry…

He smiled and a tear rolled down his cheek. I pushed up against the cold glass. I just wanted to hug him. I wanted to take him home and put him in our bed and look after him and kiss him. He said he loved me, that he thought about me all day. His voice was tinny through the speaker.

He said he was remembering things. You know…from when he had…changed.

I didn’t know what to say. I told him my Dad had been fishing that weekend in the new boat.

Audrey Hampton

Interview

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Quarantine

Posted: July 24, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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All excerpts from “Reconsidering Death: A Brief History of the Zombie Phenomenon” provided courtesy of author Dr. Jeremy Tuckwell. All rights reserved.

During the initial burst of hysteria that swept Sydney the Federal and State governments, in co-operation with the major media companies, sought to downplay the risk of the virus. All reports claimed that whatever the nature of the disease, it was extremely difficult to contract and that its symptoms and effects were hazy.

The city was still struggling to deal with the internally-displaced population still flooding eastward, and within emergency camps hastily erected throughout Sydney’s satellite townships tensions were high. In a radical move, the Federal Government withdrew all active combat forces from Afghanistan in order to help enforce curfews imposed upon high-density urban areas. For the first time since the Second World War, armed Australian soldiers patrolled Sydney’s streets. Public transport was limited, schools closed and businesses encouraged employees to work from home. With imports and exports halted and further disruptions to everyday life, the Australian economy rapidly faltered.

The incumbent government called the federal election in January, promising stability and a swift response to the threat.

In April of 2011 after months of concern reports came through from the CSIRO-led task-force that many of the first cases of human zombiism had completely healed.

In eight out of ten subjects all symptoms had disappeared without any medical intervention whatsoever.

There had been no new confirmed cases since the previous year and many scientists surmised that the virus was simply unable to compete against the human immune response for an extended period.

In actuality, the immunological community was completely baffled. Leading specialists were repeatedly unable to even locate the supposed virus within the patient’s blood during the period of zombification. Worse, once the patient had healed it was as if nothing had ever happened. The patient would emerge from the state slowly, with no recollection of what had occurred. Over the next few days, more and more memory would return from the period of their illness.

Without any evidence of a virus some even suggested that the disease could be entirely psychological or psychosomatic.

After months of international scientific scrutiny, the nation’s medical experts were still unable to deduce how the disease was contracted. Hence, for safety reasons, the initial sufferers of the disease were kept in quarantine and in a state of legal indeterminance, despite their apparent recovery.

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Someone screaming underwater

Posted: July 23, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in fifteen or over
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[interview conducted with Toby Rayment, provided courtesy of Keith Tinney, Sydney Morning Herald]

I remember the sound she was making more than anything else, that’s what I remember.

I was standing on Platform 16 at Central Station waiting for my train home. On the platform opposite there was a group of people standing around one of the benches. There were so many people I couldn’t see what they were looking at.

Some people ran away with a purpose.

It reminded me of the time I saw a car accident, you know, how some people like to take on different roles in an emergency. There was a woman in a power suit and joggers calling someone, the ambulance I guess, on her mobile. Others just stood around and watched with their arms folded. There was a woman with her hands over her mouth and two little kids just stood there staring. People on my platform started asking each other what was going on.

Then I heard the moan.

It was definitely human, but a bit wet, like someone screaming underwater.

The crowd backed away and I think someone vomited off the platform. Through the gaps in the crowd I could see this woman sprawled on the bench. She was rigid and shaking violently and then…completely still.

I ran down the platform and didn’t look back.

Toby Rayment

Interview

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Did you hear what happened to Stephanie?

Posted: July 22, 2010 by Sarah in submissions

[Andrew, young boy with the H1N1 virus and comic enthusiast]

“Dude, my friend Jonathon made this comic about what’s happening post-dead. I think it’s really cool man”

Comic created by Jonathon Valenzuela

Deep red through the clouds

Posted: July 22, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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[interview conducted with internally-displaced citizen (designate #48761986: “Madeleine Lee”) at Parramatta Emergency Processing Centre]

My family were in our car driving to our Auntie’s house in Sydenham. I was happy to be going there because it reminded me of Christmas.

Every now and then my Mum would start crying, just very softly.

I asked her what was wrong and my Dad put his hand on her shoulder. She just wiped her eyes and kept looking out the window.

I remember there were cars everywhere.

The traffic was moving so slowly on the highway that Dad turned the car off and we just sat there. There were boys and girls running around on the side of the road, but Mum said we couldn’t. My brother was playing on his DS, but I just sat there and thought about home.

Ash was falling from the sky and the sun was glowing deep red through the clouds.

Internally-displaced citizen (designate #48761986: “Madeleine Lee”).

Interview

Infection

Posted: July 21, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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All excerpts from “Reconsidering Death: A Brief History of the Zombie Phenomenon” provided courtesy of author Dr. Jeremy Tuckwell. All rights reserved.

…After scientists concluded that the initial spread of the poultry “zombie” virus was too widespread to contain through established quarantine measures, much of the fertile farming land in New South Wales was destroyed. International attention was suddenly transfixed upon the situation and all exports were halted.

Panic broke out in the capital cities as images came through of the decimated Australian countryside.

The Western suburbs of Sydney struggled to provide shelter for the influx of internally displaced people and checkpoints were established on the major highways to regulate the flow of the population. Tempers rose as rumours of a similar outbreak in Mexico were found to be a hoax.

Within days the Internet was awash with fake reports and video content from across the world.

The world stopped laughing when the first reports of a human infection were confirmed in December of 2010 by the Australian government.