I have a few things I need to clear up apparently.

To Jessica Crandall, I do not know who you are, nor have I ever read anything you have written. The words I wrote in chapter 7, "Zombiefied" are my own, and in fact were part of a poem I wrote from something non-fanfiction related, years ago. I am sorry if it sounds similar to your own work, but it is a metaphor I've seen used elsewhere, and I don't appreciate being accused of plagiarism when the sentence is mine and I worked hard on it. The only "Crandall" I've ever known was my seventh grade student, who I am most definitely not going to copy off of. It's insulting, as a writer to be accused of stealing someone else's work. I'm more than capable of thinking for myself.

And to everyone who is defending her, I think it's wonderful you're sticking up for your friend, but don't do so anonymously or disable private messaging therefore preventing me from having a chance to defend myself. I wrote that line back when I was in high school, over six years ago, and because I never throw anything away, I even have the handwritten notebook to prove it. It was one of the only things I wrote back then that was of any quality, so the only person I've plagiarized here is myself. I'm sorry your friend feels slighted, but as I mentioned before, the line is mine.

The concept of the "lie as a stain" is a popular metaphor in literature. I can think of quite a few books that have used it, and it's quite possible that the two of us were inspired similarly by a line in a novel, I don't know for sure. What I do know is that I didn't steal it. As a high school English teacher, I hold integrity and honesty in great esteem, and would not attempt to pass someone else's work off as my own.