In case the resolution of this panel is at all unclear: it is a dark stormy night. Chameleo, our chameleon antihero, is in a cemetery, whose reptilian denizens have risen from their graves to attack him en masse.

The battle against the undead that occurs over the subsequent four pages is the most drawn-out and gruesome in the entirety of my half-finished seventh-grade comic book. Chameleo kicks over a grave and unearths a cache of weapons—grenades, an assault rifle; inexplicably, a radio with which he calls for backup. A helicopter arrives but quickly crashes. Furious with its ineffective pilot, Chameleo leaves him to be devoured by zombies. As he’s mowing down these legions of zombies with a mounted turret (!) he stumbles across in the cemetery, Chameleo flashes back to the first time he had to blow a zombie’s head off. Back when he was in the mob. In the 1930’s.

You see, Chameleo is also time-traveler.

In addition to being a miraculously well-equipped zombie killer, Chameleo has also been a Mafioso, a Vietnam vet, a guerilla, a spy, a dreamer, and a bearded, hyperviolent Jesus (because crosses are weapons).

Moreover, Chameleo is a chameleon minus any of a chameleon’s defining characteristics. Our anti-hero stands upright, cannot swivel his eyes independently or change colors to match his environment; he exists as he is, a chameleon, by virtue of being one of the only animals I could draw effectively.

These, my artistic idiosyncrasies circa age thirteen. My storytelling idiosyncrasies, more of the same: a story that was violence on violence and plot on plot on violent flashbacked plot. An atmosphere that was thick with explosions and bloodspray. Yay teen-dom.

I scrapped the project forty pages in, leaving Chameleo stranded amongst forty big buckets of blood and angst in a dreamworld presided over by the voice of God/Conscience, where anything he thought of materialized in his hands. Transportation. Weapons. You get the idea.

Until now, until this piece is published, maybe four people have seen this panel, this college-ruled manuscript. And that was okay. I did it mostly for myself, just to satisfy the restlessness of someone who watched way too many movies and played way too many videogames.

I write now. I write because I want to reclaim this territory.

There is something to be said for leaving things behind, too, for after I’m gone. Clues. Warnings. Blood.

And now there are zombie chameleons.

I am writing for two people that I will never ever meet.

Simon Jacobs is almost done being a student. He curates the
Safety Pin Review, a wearable medium for work under 30 words, and serves as the flash fiction editor of Flywheel Magazine. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in places like PANK, SmokeLong Quarterly, and NANO Fiction. Lately, he's been trying to put together a collection of short stories, but we'll see. Find more ways to die at simonajacobs.blogspot.com.