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:iconmychemicaldeviant: More from mychemicaldeviant


Submitted on
October 16, 2009
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This is the worst Halloween ever, she thought as she ran. Braches hit her in the face and tangled in her curly blonde hair, every so often she stumbled on a sneaky root. Not once did she stop. Even though her legs burned, her lungs ached with the cold and her body screamed for rest she did not even think of stopping. She couldn't. She couldn't let them catch up with her. She should have known this was going to happen. Wasn't it a normal day that day? Nothing out of the ordinary at all. No drama, no arguments, it was like a story. It should have obvious. Life often gives us a moment of peace before destroying us completely.

She had been alone in the woods. A town in the woods should be full of excitement shouldn't it? It wasn't. Nothing more than ordinary every-day drama in an ordinary town. She always felt restless, she felt she was meant for more than this. She had been sitting on rock. She had always felt it was special, no moss on it and it jutted out of the ground like a mountain peak, as if there was a mountain just underneath the ground dreaming of the day it would pierce the sky. She sat on a flat plateau, just big enough for her to sit on. Turning her head to the sky and closing her eyes she wished for excitement.

She should have known better. She could hear the moans even closer now. With strength she didn't even know she possessed she ran even faster. She just hoped it would be fast enough.

When she had gotten back the town was unusually quiet, but she hadn't pay it too much thought as she was going the back way, weaving through back yards and alleys on her way to her friend Michael's house. Her only friend. He was the only other outcast in the town and one of the few people who didn't completely bore her. Every year they did the same thing: sit on his rooftop and watch everyone else go about their business. It wasn't much but it was the most they had to do. Besides, with him there was no awkward silences. There was silence, punctuated occasionally by short bursts of conversation, but with him silence just seemed…natural.

She wished she had stayed, instead of going off. Anything would have been better than this.

"Mike?" she had called, opening the door with an ominous creak. Strange, she had thought, that's never happened before. "Mike" she had called again as she climbed up the stairs. She had gone into his father's study, where he was normally. His dad travelled a lot and he was usually in there, unlike most teenager he took advantage of his freedom to read all the books in there. He hadn't been there. "Mike come one, this is the lamest Halloween prank ever," she hollered. For some reason she had been edgy, maybe it had something to do with the eerie silence that had settled upon the town or maybe it had to do with Mike not being at the door when she had come, which he always was, but something in her bones had told her something was very wrong.

I wish I hadn't turned around.

Suddenly, she had heard a groan behind her. "What you trying to scare me by pretending to be a zombie? Sad dude" she admonished as she spun around. The sarcasm died on her lips as she saw him. His already pale skin had gotten so light it was luminescent, he had walked as if he was only loosely controlling his muscles, his head dropping to one side. The most terrifying thing though, was the hungry way he stared at her, she had no doubt in her mind that her best friend wanted to rip her apart and devour her flesh. Without pausing to think, she bolted through the side door into the other room. Which had been a bad move seeing as the other room had no doors and it was 12 feet off the ground. She wouldn't hit the ground at first though. She'd hit a lot of branches on the way down. The moaning had gotten closer. Like a cornered animal, she had looked around frantically for something to defend herself with. Her eyes fell upon an old rusted sword in a corner of the room. The tiny, rational part of her mind had reminded her that Mike's dad was a collector. Ignoring that thought, she had snatched up the sword and had run toward the door, just as he had entered. Before he could even see it coming, she had swung the sword upwards and decapitated her best friend. She had run out before the shock and horror of what had just happened overwhelmed her.

Then I made my second mistake.

She had run around the town, thinking the woods would be safer. It turned out that nowhere was safe. The others in town had smelled the blood of one of their brethren and had followed the scent, thinking he had found food. If zombies could be surprised, they were pleasantly so when they found out what the thought had been one of their brethren had been prey.

What happened?

She kept running toward the destination. The bridge over the river. If she could cross over that she'd be safe. She didn't believe for one second that running water stopped the undead. Unless of course it was fast, swift and the bridge had been cut. There! The bridge was just up ahead. She just had to get over that and she would be safe. With one final burst of speed she sprinted to and halfway over the bridge. Then the speed that had been powering her left as quickly as it had come and all she wanted to do was lie down and sleep. She only just managed to drag herself across and the sight she saw brought her energy back in a rush. The zombies were closer than she had thought. There were about 20 to 25 zombies about 5 feet away from the bridge. She didn't let herself wonder what had happened to the other people in town. Desperation lent her strength as she hacked at the rotten wood posts. 2 feet. She swung with all her strength. On the bridge now. Almost there. When they had reached a quarter of the way the first post gave and the bridge tilted to one side. Some fell off but most held on, determined not to lose their meal. She moved to the next one but she knew she wouldn't get through it in time. There must be a faster way- The rope! she realized and almost laughed at her stupidity. She swung the sword as hard as she could and sliced through the rope and almost lodged the sword into the post. She watched the zombies slide off the bridge and attempt to swim to her side, still not giving up the chase. She stayed where she was for a while and then began to trek towards the East, not heading anywhere just trying to get away from there. Eventually she reached where the bank was level with the river although it was still swift and deep. She vaguely realized that she had been following the river but didn't bother turning around. She decide that she had been following the river so long that the zombies would all have drowned by now. Or at least sank. She was so convinced of this that it was several seconds before she realized there was a hand gripping onto her ankle. This zombie had not given up on her quarry. She felt rage flood her at that moment. She was angry, angry for her best friend and all the people that had disappeared. But mostly she was mad that she had been the one who had been left. She raised the sword high above her head and brought it down as hard as she could. Only when it was too late did she realize who the zombie had been. The one she had forsaken and had forgotten about. The only other person she loved. Her mother.

The test had a success. Most of the townspeople had died when they had been infected but 26 of them had survived. One of their bodies had already been retrieved and the others were being fished out of the river. It had almost been bungled by the girl who had been too far away to be infected and had mysteriously not subsequently died or turned. She was in the hanger now, about to be taken away. They had found her by the river cradling a severed head, laughing and singing. She still had it, locked in a cell that had been specially padded when they had brought her. Even if they couldn't get her sane enough to tell them what happened she could still be tested.
Written for World Zomie Day :zombie: Yes I'm 5 days late but I did it.

Also in `Memnalar's All Hallow's Tales contest:[link]
this is lovely. the sensory details and snippets of exposition help to create a wonderful disturbing atmosphere. also, yay zombies.

i like that your pov is third person limited. it helps readers stay inside the main character's head but still maintain some semblance of objectivity.

a couple notes, tho:

check your quotes. they didn't transfer properly.

run through for grammar--commas especially--and wording. you're using a lot of adjectives here, as well as some borderline run-on sentences. perhaps give it another read, out loud if possible, and think about where you could tighten this up a little.

and the last paragraph threw me a bit. when you do a reveal, it should flow with the rest of the narrative (at least in my opinion/experience). perhaps consider keeping with third-person limited and giving the thoughts of a specific researcher instead of an ambiguous "they?"

all told, i quite like this piece. you created a real character, and you put her through a horrifying string of events. good work.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 3 deviants thought this was fair.

I'd like to start in the beginning- "ever so often she stumbled on a sneaky root". The context lends the reader's ear to think you mean "every so often" as in an occasional root, whereas right now it really reads "constantly" as though she is weakly and on the edge of a faint letting the underbrush get the better of her. As character development this sets good prescedence if you continue to develop a weak character, but the similarity to the more common phrase "every so often" is distracting.

Secondly, it doesn't match the burning legs descriptive development of a strong persistent character. It seems to be a typo to me, but as it is another word and not just a missed (or as often is the case, misplaced) letter, it is important to be clear on this point.

"No drama, no arguments - it was like a story." The comma is too weak for the punctuation, it isn't how you mean to flow. Comma misuse is the most common, don't sweat that one.

"It should have (been) obvious." Obviously.

On this note I need to say reread your own work before requesting critique, as grammar stands in the way of assisting development, since time must be spent constricting missing pieces on the editor end, rather than the author's (where the onus belongs). If this doesn't bother you terribly I'll continue through your piece.

"She had been sitting on (a) rock."

Your imagery at this point in the story takes a welcome turn up here, but your grammar again fails you: " if there was a mountain just underneath the ground dreaming of the day it would pierce the sky." Nice imagery and fine internal rhyming, but: "She sat (on) a flat plateau." Unless you are intending that she somehow resides inside the rock, which I doubt.

"He was the only other outcast in the town and one of the few (people) who didn't completely bore her." Without the people the "few" is still referring to the outcasts, which has now been identified as two characters; making it impossible for Michael to be one of the few (as realistically he's the sole option, and logistically there are only two total to choose from, at best description: a couple). "People" makes the transition easier, plus it rhymes mildly with completely, adding to the flow.

"Every year they did the same thing(:)..." the comma again underemphasizes what you want to be doing here.

"Besides(,) with him there was no akward(ness)."

At this point we can talk about something deeper in your writing: your approach to the zombie idea. You decided on a pack animal mentality rather than mindless mob, as zombies are more well known. That alienates zombie afficianados, which it would seem to be your choice audience. Zombies wouldn't care about what happens to another zombie, nor would they even be able to recognize the fate that has befallen him.

I do like the end. The pace up to the final twis could use some tweaking, no number use for example to minimize distractions, and then you'd have a decent piece. Good luck.
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5 out of 5 deviants thought this was fair.

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Scrolled through and liked it. Will give better critique when I have time to actually read it. Love ya.
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