The Bride Wore Brains by Emily Wesley Stringer
Short Zombie Fiction, 59 pages
Claire's perfect wedding takes a horrific turn when her guests start turning into zombies. It's up to her best friend Kat and a motley crew of wisecracking misfits to save the day.
The Bride Wore Brains delivers exactly what its title and cover promise. I am easily misled but this time all ended gorily-ever-after and I couldn’t be happier.
Here’s the gist: Bridezilla wants a perfect wedding and is determined to get it no matter who she ticks off. The wedding party spends some time bantering, fighting, smoking pot and ogling each other as they do their best to stay out of the bride’s way. But things go awry when one of the groomsmen starts vomiting out his insides . . . And that’s when the real fun begins! At first most of these people think they’re being pranked but they quickly realize it’s real when their friends start turning an unappealing shade of gray.
People are eaten, secrets are revealed and a few surprising character turn-arounds happen. It was sarcastic, horrifying and a terrific black comedy that is as gory as they get.
I have to admit I was very worried there for a while because the writer spends an enormous amount of time setting the scene and fleshing out the characters, most of who were terrible people. Think frat boys and spoiled cheerleaders. I also could care less about wedding drama.
But the payoff is well worth it. You really start to despise some of these self-centered, obnoxious people and cannot wait for a few of them to get eaten. Or maybe it’s just me having these thoughts?
In the end, the biggest surprise for me was that I ended up not entirely despising a few of the characters who I completely despised in the earlier chapters. The reluctant bridesmaid was the only one I could tolerate early on and she turns out to be not only bitingly sarcastic but smart and resourceful too. Fleshy, one of the groomsmen, is a silly pervert who embraces his ridiculous reputation and inserted some comic relief exactly where it was needed and he wasn’t so bad in the end, after all. I won’t spoil the rest by blabbing on any longer but the amount of characterization is exceptional in this short story.
It’s a short book and well worth reading if you like your horror gory and your humor black. Just stick with it, I promise it gets good once the blood finally starts flowing.