Don't fall victim to vampires! Don't get slashed by a psycho! Don't get stuck, ASK DR. ELDRITCH!
Dear Dr. Eldritch,
My husband brought me back to life as a zombie, and now he's keeping me prisoner in our house!
At least, I think that's what's happening. I really don't remember anything before I woke up in Morgan's garage/workshop six months ago. I was terribly confused and frightened at first, but he explained that we were married, then I died, and he loved me so much that he brought me back. I should be thankful, right?
I don't look or act like a zombie, really. My skin tone is normal, I can move and talk just like anyone else. I have no unnatural craving for brains. But I also no longer need to eat or sleep. Or breathe. And you know how your mouth feels when the dentist numbs it? My whole body is like that. I accidentally dropped a kitchen knife into my foot last week. I hardly noticed it.
I think I could go out without anybody knowing the truth, but Morgan locks me into the house whenever he leaves! I've tried to talk to him about it, but he says that it's too dangerous for me. If I press him, he gets angry and says "I brought you back into this world, and I can send you out again!" I think he's covering something up. He refuses to talk about how our life was before I died and I can't find any pictures of us together. Wouldn't we at least have wedding photos?
Morgan won't tell me where he works or what he does. He says it's so I won't bother him there, but I suspect he's a mortician. Which wouldn't be so bad, except that when we make love, he just wants me to lie perfectly still. I don't get pleasure out of it anyway, but you can't believe how creepy that is.
I swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills and filled the tub to drown myself, but an hour under water did nothing. I laid there and cried. I feel like a monster.
I tried cutting my wrists, but they didn't bleed and Morgan got mad, fixed the damage and locked me in a closet for a week. Thank goodness he left his laptop at home today, so I could write to you. Please, I can't take this any more! How I can end this mockery of a life?
-- A Sad Zombie, somewhere in the Midwest.
Dear Sad Zombie,
In a word: Eww! If it's any comfort, this is not the most messed-up thing I've ever heard. But it comes close. After I read your letter, I had to cheer myself by thinking about kittens.
Based on your letter, I'd say Morgan has indeed brought you back to life, making you a Reanimate, but not a Zombie (while all Zombies are Reanimates, not all Reanimates are Zombies). Perhaps you don't care about the distinction, but this explains why you appear normal and don't crave brains. You do require regular care to maintain well-being and a wholesome appearance. And your mental facilities are active, causing you to have thoughts and feelings. You may not have a physical response to your marital relations, but you're certainly experiencing the emotional ones. Which he's ignoring. Does that sound like the behavior of a loving husband? I'd bet a box of doughnuts that he's a stranger who smuggled your dead body home to... you know.
So, what should you do about this situation? If you're a Traditionalist, you would terminate him. That may seem harsh, but there's plenty of precedent. Of course, this choice probably ends with you being pursued by an angry mob with torches and pitchforks.
You could get a lawyer and press charges. (By the way, US law does not apply to the undead (Zombie vs. Ohio, 1925). While this means you can't be tried for anything you do to Morgan, you aren't granted many legal protections.) As far as the Law's concerned, you're a corpse. You could testify as a witness in a trial about your desecration, but the defense attorney would attack your credibility because you're dead, and call you a zombie. Juries are easily prejudiced against zombies. It's not fair, but that's how it is.
You're probably better off handling this on your own. Conventional Wisdom says that if you get out of a bad relationship, you'll find something better. The brutal truth is that there's no guarantee of that. When you take risks, sometimes the results are not what you want. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a risk, would it? However, if you stay in the unsatisfactory relationship, your chances of finding anything better are as slim as a Fashion Model after Winter Hibernation.
If you want to leave, wait until Morgan goes to work, then pull the pins from the hinges on the front door. Or toss a chair through a window. Or bash your way through a wall. Unless he's converted his house into a fortress, it's not the locks that are keeping you in, but your unwillingness to make trouble. If you spare Morgan's life, he has no right to complain if you merely destroy his house on the way out.
Once away, you're free to make it on your own, or find someone who appreciates you for what you are: A reanimated corpse. Admittedly, this is not an easy sell, especially if you want a partner who won't exploit you as Morgan did. But many libraries have Internet access, and a bit of searching on dating sites could turn up that sensitive, gentle Necromancer who likes romantic dinners, longs walks on the beach and caring for a Reanimate, so you can be undead happily ever after.
Good luck, and let me know how it comes out!
-- Dr. Eldritch