Something that people have been asking me about is why the zombies in my books (Rise, Age of the Dead, and Dead Inside) haven’t completely skeletonised by the time, at the least, that Age of the Dead ends. It will get even worse when people read Dead Inside, which is set about 9 years after the initial outbreak. There are zombies in that book that I specifically describe as being from the original hordes of undead. They wander about, mostly completely naked now since their clothing has disintegrated, and make pests of themselves.
So, why haven’t they rotted away? Or at the very least become immobile as tissues fail and bloating and casual damage slowly abrade them?
There’s a formula that describes roughly how long it should take a corpse to become a skeleton. Y=1285 / X. It depends on the ambient temperature of the environment, and takes into account where the body is (above ground, buried, or submerged). The result is a total number of days until that body is a mere pile of bones.
This does not apply to the zombies in my books. They look awful, showing the accumulated damage of the passage of time, but they don’t fall apart except under extreme duress. The flesh withers and the eyes sink, but they don’t bloat up very much or go through Rigor Mortis. Why? I’m not telling. But there is a reason, I assure you.
They also don’t even feel it if you happen to blow a limb off in your haste to escape them, but that is neither here nor there.
Some other strange things about the zombies in my stories. They don’t freeze solid in winter. For some reason they maintain an ambient temperature of about 4 C. That should tell you that some kind of metabolic process is ongoing, even if it’s nothing that could accurately be described as ‘life’.
Further, some of them act strangely. We first saw this in Stan. While I didn’t go much into this in Age of the Dead, I can tell you that there are some strange zombie behaviors in Dead Inside.
They don’t like running water. Rivers stop them cold, and a good downpour just fascinates them. Really. Go back and read Rise again, the Prince George bits, and the Golden bits in Age of the Dead. This is strange behavior. Why do they react like this to water?
It is all connected.