Thanks for the comments, everyone! I love comments.
Here's Dottie's break down.
Back to the grind.
Anita is teh best most practicalz animatorzzz because she carries her tools in a grey Nike gym bag, as opposed to something more elaborate. Wow, I can totally relate to her now!
Anita tells us that some people raise zombies for entertainment, like at parties and stuff. HOW THE FUCK IS THAT LEGAL? This is a crapsack world in a lot of ways but it's also been established as a world with a lot of legal rules around magical creatures and people. And given how Anita's job has been portrayed, well, it emphasizes that every single zombie is someone's loved one. If an animator is out there raising random zombies for a party, there should be watchdog groups chewing his ass out from under him. Because those aren't random zombies, they're husbands and mothers, daughters and sons.
Anita was trained to use an ointment in her animating. This is really interesting! The notion of witches using ointments (usually supposedly given to them by the devil) goes back a long ways and while Anita isn't a witch it still calls forth a nice historical echo. She apparently thinks rosemary (an ingredient back when she used to use ointments still) smells like a Christmas tree though, which...it doesn't.
Of course considering Anita never fucking eats so I guess I can't expect her to know anything about herbs. It occurs to me that Anita is the perfect Victorian heroine. Back then it was thought that if you had a healthy appetite for food you had a healthy appetite for sex, which of course was unacceptable for a lady. But sadly, in 2014 I don't want to read about a woman who won't eat a damn hamburger or ride a dick (insert genitalia of choice, heh, insert) once in awhile. I want a heroine who, while she may be flawed, continues to rise above her petty nature. I want her to eventually admit that she likes sex (or doesn't, but Anita is portrayed as a sexual being) and food.
We get an attempt at world building, which is sort of like the last rattling breaths a person takes before they slip in to a coma.
It's too little too late, is what I'm saying.
Anyway so animators need blood, steel, and salt. Or that's all Anita needs anyway, since she's too special and powerful to need anything else.
Anita describes her hand as "tan" which throws me for a loop because she's supposed to be so white she's nigh translucent. Said hand is covered in little cuts, something to do with Marianne's teachings and blood debt. Marianne is a Wiccan and is teaching Anita to control her growing psychic powers. So:
1). Anita has a leopard beast inside her (heh)
2). Anita has a wolf beast waaaay down inside. (thanks for the assist, Robert Plant)
3). Anita is an animator.
4). Anita has vampire marks that give her a vast cornucopia of advantages and powers.
5). Anita is psychic.
6). Anita has the ardeur.
IT SLICES, IT DICES. IT JULIENNES, IT MAKES A PERFECT BRUINOISE. IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN'T DO?
Anyway, there's some nattering about how Marianne's Wiccan coven went batshit over Anita sacrificing animals. Points to Anita for at least trying to use her own blood instead after that, and she gives up on it for a good reason: she's too slow with her arm because the cuts hurt. In a fight that could spell disaster. Hooray one of the only logical things Anita has ever done!
Apparently Anita hasn't told Marianne this yet. Also right wing Christians hate Anita as well. Really?
1). Gun nut
4). Believes her religion and her interpretation of said religion is the only valid belief system
I mean, seems like she's doing a damn fine right wing impression to me.
There's a couple more cops here now, plus the judge in the insurance case, plus some bailiffs. Not every judge "will take zombie testimony." Well hang on, is it legal or not? Of course it might not be admissible in every case, but that's not the same thing as zombie testimony being totally invalid legally. Also what the hell, why wouldn't he? This world has always had zombies. By now you'd think people would know if they tend to be reasonably reliable or not.
The ms I am working on now has the same conceit, that magic has always been a part of the world. That is really freaking hard to write. You can't compare and contrast against a world similar to the real one, because there was never a time before people knew about fae and ghosts and vamps etc. Trying to pull it off while doing basically no planning or outlining makes for a very incoherent book.
ALSO, WHY ARE WE PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS WHEN THE WHOLE SET UP HAS BEEN ABOUT RAISING HARLAN'S ANCESTOR?
"I was glad Court T.V. hadn't gotten wind of it. It was just the kind of weird crap they liked to televise. You know--transexual's custody case, female teacher rapes thirteen-year-old boy student, pro-football player's murder trial."
This is one of those Anita sentences that boggles the mind, where I don't even know how to start deconstructing it.
1). Anita thinks all of those intensely serious issues are weird.
Maybe that's all that needs to be said.
Anita cuts her finger and draws a circle with the blood, to keep the zombie she's about to raise contained. She does the rest of the ritual and honestly, it doesn't suck.
Mrs. Bennington screams at seeing her husband rise from the grave, as well she might. Anita is dressed inappropriately for her job and flashes everyone as she goes over to feed Mr. Bennington blood, thereby finishing the ritual.
"His hands felt like cold wax with sticks inside."
That sticks inside thing is never going to be scary. Sticks is not a scary word or image.
Mr. Bennington died by accident. He was carrying a shotgun down the stairs, tripped, and shot himself. How the fuck is that possible? He shot himself with a 12 gauge in the chest, on accident? Are you serious?
Mr. and Mrs. Bennington have a sad goodbye session which actually does make my eyes sting a little. Anita finally decides that maybe she can cut Mrs. Benninngton a little slack, considering she's grieving. That didn't occur to you when you first showed up? God, I hate you.
Anita puts Mr. Bennington back in the grave. Asher turns up for some reason. Asher is a goddamn idiot for turning up in the midst of Anita doing her job, because every single person here, more or less, is packing heat and have now drawn on Asher. Oh and on Anita, because of course Anita is concerned for herself.