S.G. Browne

T is for Tom

You have to understand about Tom.

First of all, he lives with his mother. Sure, so do I, but Tom was living with his mother before the pair of Presa Canarios tore into him like Mike Tyson going after Evander Holyfield’s earlobe.

Second, Tom is what Jerry would call a Magoo. A doofus. Sweet and naive. The kind of person others would have made fun of even when he was a Breather. Chances are pretty good that Tom was the kid in your high school who wore corduroy and plaid, who ate lunch by himself, and who routinely had his clothes stolen from his gym locker. The phrase atomic wedgie comes to mind.

Third, even among zombies, Tom is self-conscious. Sure, we all finger our stitches and our wounds or play with little knobs of exposed bone, but Tom obsesses with his loose flaps of skin as though he either can’t get used to the idea that they’re real or else he thinks he can somehow make them go away.

Now his right arm is gone. Stolen. As a prank. Without any regard to his feelings or his sense of equilibrium. And that’s just not right…

The previous entry was lifted from Chapter 14 of Breathers, partly because it’s the best description of Tom, partly because it’s in the voice of Andy, and partly because I felt lazy this morning and couldn’t come up with anything fresh or clever to say about Tom.

But suffice it to say that Tom plays an important role in Breathers, as the crime perpetrated against him by the fraternity pledges inspires Andy to take a stand for the rights of zombies.  True, the dismemberment of Walter gets Andy moving along his path initially, but with Tom, the cause becomes more personal.

(Next entry:  U is for Undead)

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Filed under: Breathers — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 7:41 am

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