Jane and Edward: Zombie and Monster Hunters
NOTE: I don't own the rights to the book; this is out of pure love of the story
Thornfield had just been rebuilt after it had been burned down a year ago by the late mad wife of Mr. Edward Rochester. The new inhabitants of Thornfield include Edward, his wife Jane Rochester, nee Eyre, and their servants. After losing his left hand in the fire, Rochester had been learning how to do everything with one hand. His eyesight was slowly getting better. All was well with the world; both Jane and Edward couldn't be happier. The two of them looked forward to spending the rest of their lives together and eventually, starting a family.
Unfortunately, their bliss is to be short-lived as a devastating (and quite disgusting) plague has hit England. The un-dead, or zombies, as they are often called, have raised quite a stir after some individuals returned to England from Louisiana to settle some land ownership issues. Apparently, a few of them have received questionable bite marks that eventually turned them into zombies with a huge appetite for human brains. To protect themselves from this bitter plague, the inhabitants of Thornfield had boarded up the lower windows and made sure the doors were locked. Going outside was risky as one of Edward's servants nearly became a zombie himself one day after a few of them had scared Edward's horse while he was riding it; the servant fled to the safety of Thornfield and the horse became a tasty meal for the un-dead.
"Jane, dear, I tell you," he said, pale with grief. He plopped down in his favorite chair, his head clearly facing the floor. "Those horrid creatures are everywhere! No one can't even get out of the house without putting themselves in danger. Fortunately, the fellow was able to get away; my horse did not fare well at all as those un-dead creatures promptly consumed him." He put his face in his only hand and sighed. "I loved that horse, Jane. I've had him long before you came here to Thornfield. It's such a horrible way to expire." He wept as Jane put her arms around him to comfort her grieving husband.
"I'm sorry, Edward." She kissed his cheek and continued to hold him..
"Thank you for your comfort, Jane," he said, wiping his eyes with his one remaining hand. "At least I still have that mare I bought a few years back."
"Don't go out again until this ordeal is over, Edward. Promise?"
"I promise." He kissed her and the two of them went to Edward's study on the second floor. They gazed out of the unboarded, closed window to witness a group of zombies happily feasting on a nearby farmer's cow. The farmer ran outside and managed to kill every zombie with a single shot to the head. Then, they realized that these creatures had a weakness; if their head was eliminated from the body or shot at, the creature would be deemed completely deceased.
"Jane, I think it's about time you learned how to use a gun," said Edward.
"You're kidding, right? Surely, you jest, Edward!"
"On the contrary. If you want to survive this creature onslaught, you should surely know how to operate a firearm. I have some hunting rifles in the attic. I'll show you how, my dear."
Jane glared at her husband, giving him a half puzzling, half "are-you-really-serious" look. "Edward, your eyesight is not yet normal and you have only one hand You just learned how to write with one hand so how on earth are you going..."
"Jane, Jane!" interrupted Edward. "Calm down. I have this figured out. I know a silversmith who is able to create an artificial appendage as a substitute." He went to his desk drawer and pulled out a device that was shaped to fit like a hand but instead of digits, the device was fitted with a metal hook. "Now all I need is an eyepatch and I can change my name to Bluebeard," he said with a grin.
"Dear, I don't know whether to be frustrated or laugh," said Jane smiling. She eventually covered her mouth and chuckled at her husband.
A few days later, Edward was able to show his wife just how efficient he was at operating a firearm with one hand and his new hook. Both of them took practice shots by killing random zombies through a small crack in the window. Jane learned the fine art of marksmanship and zombie killing quickly, much to Edward's delight. The next step was to show Jane how to dissemble and reassemble a firearm, both in light and blindfolded, which she mastered beautifully. Now it was easier to receive mail and visitors as Edward's coachmen were armed to the teeth to fight anything that tried to devour the gray matter in their craniums. Then the true test of zombie defense for Jane and Edward came in the form of a trio of un-dead individuals set on trying to assault them as they were coming home from a church service, two of the three zombies managed to get in but were quickly dispatched by Jane. The third one, apparently frightened by the gunshots, limped (rather quickly) away. Edward managed to get a good look at him and he noticed that the un-dead individual looked quite familiar.
As the servants cleaned up the unholy mess of dead zombie near the doorway, both Jane and Edward made themselves comfortable in the living room near the fireplace. The two of them sat together on the sofa; Jane putting her head on Edward's shoulder and he draping his arm around her shoulders.
"At least I got rid of them," said Jane.
"Two of them," replied Edward. "The third one got away. But as the fellow was leaving, I was able to get a good look at him. He appears to be familiar."
"In what way?"
"Remember when we tried to marry for the first time? We were interrupted by a solicitor."
"Not just him, but by Richard Mason," said Jane.
"So Richard Mason's solicitor became a zombie? That's nothing to be concerned with," said Jane.
"No, Jane. The zombie is Richard Mason. The mere thought of him makes my blood boil."
"Relax, Edward, dear. Perhaps you might have mistaken him for Richard; your eyesight is still a little weak."
"I'm sure he looked like Richard. Oooh, I can't stand him!"
"That whole problem is gone, Edward," said Jane soothingly. "Besides, I am your wife now." She kissed his cheek and he nuzzled his face into her hair. "By the way, I have something I must tell you. It should take your mind off a bit."
"Oh really?" His face suddenly lit up with surprise.
"The doctor visited me yesterday."
"It was probably about that 'strange sickness' you've been experiencing lately, right?"
"Well yes, Edward. And the doctor gave me good news." She took his only hand in hers and clasped it tightly. "I'm going to have a baby."
For a second, Edward was in shock and then smiled. "Oh Jane, that's wonderful," he said. "I'm going to be a father!" The two embraced and kissed passionately. "I'm so happy Jane," Edward said as he wiped a tear of happiness from his grizzled cheek. "How far along are you?"
"A couple of months." She took his hand and placed it on her stomach. A horrible thought suddenly entered her head as she immediately retracted her hand from his.
"What is the matter, darling?"
"What about the zombies?"
"What about them, Jane?"
"I'm scared. Scared that our child would grow up in danger of these disgusting creatures, Edward."
"There is nothing to worry about," reassured her husband. "God is with us and when our little one is finally born, this whole zombie mess will be gone." He pulled her closer to him. "I will make absolutely sure that nothing will happen to us or our family." He gently kissed the tip of her ear and Jane blushed in response.
"Edward," Jane said, giggling.
"Jane," said Edward. "I'm feeling quite amorous. Perhaps we should escape to the confines of our bedroom."
Jane smiled flirtatiously. "And lock the door and throw away the key." Then the two of them promptly retreated upstairs to their bedroom.
In the middle of the night, Edward and Jane were woken up by servants. Apparently, a shadowy figure had been spotted near the front door of Thornfield. The two of them quickly went downstairs to find out what happened.
"There's definitely something or someone lurking about outside," said the housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax. She peered through the window. "It's definitely one of those zombies."
"Wonderful," mumbled a tired and weary Edward as he ran his only hand through his tousled hair. "Mrs. Fairfax, could this have waited until morning? There is no possible way the un-dead can get in here."
"One of the servants saw him trying to climb to the top of the house. Fortunately, he fell down after ascending about three feet or so."
"Do you know what he looked like?"
"Oh, I don't know, Mr. Rochester. He looked like any other zombie. The groundskeeper said he looked like someone you might know."
"Oh really." Edward's eyes perked up. "Can you tell me who?"
"He didn't exactly say who but he said it might be someone related to your first wife."
"Richard Mason!" exclaimed Edward. "Why that little bast..."
"Edward, please calm down," interrupted Jane, clutching his arm. "You need to watch your language."
Edward said nothing but marched to his closet where he had kept his rifle. He put on his prosthetic hook, grabbed his gun, loaded it, and then asked Mrs. Rochester where the zombie was last seen. "Where is he?" he asked, his voice coarse with anger.
"The groundskeeper trapped him in the cellar," said Mrs. Fairfax. "But I wouldn't go down there if I were you."
Edward said no reply but started to make his way toward the cellar when Jane caught him by the arm. "I'm going with you," she said with a rifle in her hand.
"Jane," he said sternly. "In your condition, I cannot allow you to follow me."
"But please, Edward."
"If I allowed you to come to the cellar and something happened to you, I would never forgive myself. Sorry Jane, but you must stay here." He then stormed off, gun in hand.
Clad in his pajamas, robe, and slippers, Edward made his way into the dank, coldness of Thornfield's cellar. Here Edward had stored some of his favorite wines as well as some assorted artifacts from his travels. He looked to his left and to his right and didn't see anything at first until he heard labored breathing coming from the far left side of the cellar, followed by a rotting stench. Edward wandered over to the side of the stairs and vomited in disgust. Despite his instant nausea from the odor, he followed the breathing sounds to a wooden crate in the far left corner. Before he could open it, a creature had busted open the crate. There, Edward stood face to face with Richard Mason in zombie form; his clothes were dirty and tattered, open sores covered his body, his skin was a light pale gray, and his teeth were completely yellow. Edward slowly backed away from the un-dead intruder, the barrel of his rifle aimed directly at Richard's head. The zombie gave a loud groan and started to slowly approach Edward who was starting to regret his decision to come down to the cellar. "Thank God Jane isn't here," he said to himself as he tried to backtrack to the set of stairs to make a hasty escape, his hand and arms shivering with fright. The zombie showed no sign of slowing down and his eyes were clearly locked onto Edward's. Edward eventually got to the stairs that led down to the basement and quickly ascended them, still watching Richard approach him with mindless abandon, moaning constantly. As Edward neared the top of the stairs, he slipped on a small puddle of water, falling flat on his hindquarters, dropping his rifle, leaving him vulnerable to a zombie attack. The un-dead creature hissed and made his way for the unarmed Edward. He tried to reach his firearm but found that he had twisted his ankle after falling down and the rifle was too far for him to reach. He tried to move his body up the stairs but made hardly any progress. Zombie Richard was inching closer to him every second, his putrid breath stirring Edward's stomach, making him feel the need to empty out its contents. Just as Edward Rochester was about to become dead (or un-dead), a shot rang out, piercing Zombie Richard's skull. He fell backward down the stairs and onto the floor of the cellar, dead as night.
"Edward, are you all right?" Jane's voice came from the doorway to the cellar. She stood over Edward, holding her own rifle.
"I sprained my ankle and I'm a tad nauseous from the horrible smell but I am very much alive." He leaned over the side of the stairwell and vomited again. "Sorry about that," he said, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his pajamas.
Jane, Mrs. Fairfax, and a couple of servants helped him up to the sofa in the living room. His twisted ankle was propped up by a pillow as Mrs. Fairfax made tea for Jane and a special ginger tea for Edward's uneasy stomach.
"Jane my love," said Edward. "I truly owe you my thanks."
"Oh Edward, I was scared!" Jane cried as she threw her arms around his neck. "I didn't know what was taking so long in the cellar; I assumed you would've taken care of the zombie rather quickly. So I went down to the cellar and found you lying on the stairs. Honestly, I thought you were already dead by the time I got to you." She wiped a tear from her cheek. "I cannot worry too much. I must stay strong for our child," she said, clutching her abdomen.
"You are strong, my darling. You saved my life." He lifted his only hand to her chin and whispered to her with a smile on his face, "I love you Jane." He embraced his wife and kissed her. "You are loyal, loving, and strong. Don't ever forget that." He took Jane's hand in his and placed it on her pregnant belly. "You will make a fine mother."
"Thank you Edward. You will make a wonderful and loving father." The two leaned in and kissed each other again.
After this incident, Jane and Edward decided to offer their services to the rest of their community as "zombie and monster hunters." People were so impressed with their talents for dispatching the un-dead that they were recommended to their friends, their family, and associates. The money earned from their "pest control" allowed them to establish the first business in England dedicated to eliminating grotesque creatures.