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Fruit of The Deceiver
The Crusader Zombie Apocalypse, Based on the Art of Jason Lenox
© 2014 James LaFond

“The Full horrors of famine had begun to threaten in October 1200… It was not unusual to find people selling little children, roasted or boiled.”
-Abd al-Latif

Author’s Notes

Last week I reviewed a collection of artwork by Jason Lenox. I was intrigued by his illustration of an impaled zombie crusader. The piece was well-researched and depicted a knight of the Third Crusade, 1187-1197. This is the period depicted in the movie Kingdom of Heaven. Four years after the end of hostilities a terrible famine struck the Middle East, as starvation often follows on war throughout history. In such cases plague often follows on the heels of famine. War, famine, and plague are three of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. The Fourth Horseman is Death. From the perspective of the Islamic world the crusaders [or Franks, as they were known to the Arabs] could represent any or all of these four dread harbingers of doom. The famine appeared to be worst in Egypt from 1200 through 1201. Interestingly enough, a year or two later, the Sultan of Egypt bought off the leaders of the Fourth Crusade, which did not then invade Egypt, and took Byzantine Constantinople instead in 1204.

In my view, Jason’s Zombie Crusader, is The Fourth Horseman; The Pale Rider; Death. During the Famine of 1201, Abd al-Latif, a visiting physician living in Cairo, witnessed what can best be described as a cannibal apocalypse. An entire chapter in his book, Useful and Instructive Reflections, is devoted to cannibalistic crime. He finishes his graphically dead-pan account with the following passage, “But that is enough of this subject, on which—though I have dwelt on it at length—I have still been too brief…”

Crusader armies of the period were unwieldy conglomerations composed of gang-like bands of warriors led by notoriously impetuous and insubordinate men. There is reason to believe that numerous small-scale raiding parties split off from the main crusader armies, never to be seen by Christian eyes again. It is a fact that crusader swords were still found in the hands of Arabic and African warriors into the late 1900’s. Fruit of The Deceiver is my best hypothesis concerning the horrific possibility of a zombie crusader.


Part One: The Black Horseman

Serialized for free through 2014

1. A Lone Quill

2. A Man Well-travelled

3. Fisherman of Tennis

4. Enter The Sign of Aires

5. Children of The Poor

6. Three Doctors

7. The Fallen Veil

8. The Bookseller

9. A Man You Can Count On


Part Two: The Pale Horseman

Novelette length conclusion scheduled for release in 2015

10. The Quill Haji

11. Passers-by Isle

12. The Forsaken Spot

13. Rascals of Misr

14. The Harvester’s Sickle Road

15. Eyes of The Frank

16. Forty Hands of Night

17. Fruit of The Deceiver

Tirani en Oppresshaun
Under the Wolf’s Tail
pillagers of time
yusef of the dusk
by the wine dark sea
advent america
Dominick     Apr 7, 2014

In the end all roads lead to horror. Welcome to the monster club!!
James     Apr 7, 2014

I am still confused about the fact that I am writing horror.

Oh well.
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