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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

Writing Tip
Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 No Zombie for a Neighbor - 2B

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Number of posts : 1286
Age : 58
Location : Ringgold, Louisiana
Current Mood :
Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: No Zombie for a Neighbor - 2B   April 25th 2011, 7:52 am

No Zombie for a Neighbor
Day Two

Part Two: Drop One, Gain One

Zombies do not talk, but some process enables them to recognize each other. Life would be so much easier if they would attack each other. It would also be nice if you could focus on a zombie and get it to attack separately from the others. When one reacts, the others around it react as well. While the others might not know what caused the one to take action, they will sense that the moving zombie was not food so would seek the possible source of food that the one that moved hoped to gain.

It only took one zombie to have a working set of eyes to get the whole group to begin coming out of the deli. Some immediately began running, only to disturb other zombies that had not yet reacted. A few did trip over chairs and other items on the floor, but I quickly realized that I needed to flee.

We had checked our surroundings. If there had been zombies present milling about, we would not have advanced down the street. Our careful observations thus protected me from rushing from one group of zombies only to encounter another group of zombies.

What I did run into was a locked door. None of the doors yesterday had been locked. Truthfully, that was something that Al did that I had not. I ran into the clothes store and hid among the racks, but I had not locked the door. Truthfully, there were zombies in the store, so I had not considered locking myself in with zombies to be wise. Al locked the door to prevent more zombies from advancing due to the noise and actions that he went through in killing the zombies around him.

I stopped banging on the door as Al wrapped an arm around me while saying, “God bless you. Stay strong.”

I wanted to fight with Al at that moment, but again a sense of not being big enough to challenge the guy prevented me from acting in such a manner. I mean, he basically picked me up as a child to bring me with him. He released his grip upon me as he checked another door. Finding it locked as well, he softly commented to me as he moved on.

“Those crowbars you carry could break the door, but I am glad that you did not use them.”

Attempting to make sense of the man, I asked, “Why?”

“Because if people are holed up inside, I want them to stay alive. I also want them to know that not all of us fighting to survive are stupid uncaring assholes.”

I saw zombies advancing. The fast ones ran into obstacles, but the slow ones were managing to keep their feet as they tried to find a clear path. I thus spoke to get the men to find a clear path.

“Why aren’t these doors open?”

“Probably because these stores had not opened yet. Carol wanted to get to Zales first thing, but I told you that we planned to stop at the coffee shop. Zales did not open until ten.”

Greg said, “Bank did not open until nine. We were about to open when Mr. Kellogg and Miss Rita began biting people.”

“They were alive?”

Nothing more was said in response. The door opened. We stepped into another clothes boutique. Just as he had done in the previous stores, Al pushed over a rack to assure that something could not simply advance upon him. Greg however stepped around, and that was his undoing. Al and I spun hearing the man scream.

Greg had a wrench in his hand. It was a sizeable tool, but not of the size of the crowbars that Al and I wielded. I am certain that the wrench would have worked, if Greg had an opportunity to set his position.

I had hid in the clothes out of fear. The zombie was not hiding, but had merely stopped attempting to free itself from the rack of coats. Hearing movement nearby had however reactivated it, and it lunged from its place at Greg. The female had on fake nails, and a couple pulled loose as they tore into a side of his face. When he lifted the hand with the wrench, the zombie managed to grab it and make a bite. As Greg fought the zombie, I saw Al turn to look for other zombies in the store as he began to mumble a phrase.

“I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care.”

If another zombie had been present, I have to assume that Al would have taken him out first. He did push over a couple more racks. He looked to the back of the store with the expression that he noted some movement back there, but turned with the feeling that he first had to deal with the problem nearby.

Bodily fluids splattered as Greg had his skull broke by a crowbar. More spilled on the floor as Al yanked free the tool. I saw him turn to me with a mixture of fright as water came from his eyes. He then mumbled again that he did not care as he turned to send his crowbar into the skull of the zombie.

“I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care.”

I could tell that Al did indeed care as he moved back into the store. I thought that Carol did not deserve her man as he went to check for whatever sound had bothered him before. She probably felt that she had Al around her finger, and even as society broke down she continued to keep her power over him by forcing him to explain things to her. He had not killed her, although he probably considered leaving her with the zombies to be equivalent to what he had just done to Greg.

A bang upon whatever this store had instead of glass caused me to jump. The zombie had not knowingly sent its weight upon the glass, but simply had not stopped its progress to what it thought to be food. Worried that more such strikes might do to this window what had been done to the deli window, I moved back to where Al was.

I heard a female voice ask, “Baby food?”

Al replied, “Hey, it’s what I got. You want it?”

The lady was white, maybe in her thirties although probably over forty, with some orangish fake color of hair. Not much makeup, but I could tell that she used some type of beauty treatments to keep her face smooth. While she did show relief that Al was not a zombie, I saw no signs that she appreciated that he was a man. I thus moved up to mark him as my own, but found him to step further to the back. The lady moved her eyes from looking at the jar of baby food to Al.

“Don’t go back there. I shut up some zombies. There is nowhere to go.”

I could tell that Al looked passed me to see the mass of zombies gathering in front of the store. His eyes then looked to the roof. Finally, they turned back to the lady.

“How many back there?”


With an annoyed tone, Al asked, “Why aren’t you certain?”

“Edgar has his man-friends. They are nice, but not my type. I believe only two showed up with him. They drink coffee and discuss fashion before beginning their days.” Really, neither Al nor I asked, but the lady kept talking. “Ralphie works in another clothes stores nearby, and leaves as Edgar opens up. Stanford works as a teller in the bank, but doesn’t start his shift until later in the day. He thus usually hangs around.”

That was more information than I needed, so asked for a more applicable fact. “Is there a door back there?”

The first glance from the lady seemed to imply that I had asked a dumb question. I believe that she considered the door being right there to settle the matter. Somehow, she managed to grasp that I had asked about something no so obvious.


I saw Al again look up. He then moved to grab a short step-stool. The question that he asked me however had nothing to do with the door or the reason for the stool.

“Are you mad at me?”

I knew about what he meant, and moved up to kiss him as I gave my answer. “No. I understand.”

“Greg was a good man, but there are no good zombies.” As if to stress a point, he added, “Even me.”

“If anyone could be a good zombie, it would be you. My boobs are still yours to do with as you will.”

I again noticed that Al did not look to my breasts. He also did not turn to the lady to check out her assets. He pointed to the stool as he looked into my eyes.

“I think you can stand on this and make a good strike upon the head of a zombie without instead hitting the ceiling.”

I stepped on the stool, then swung my arm in an overhand manner. I then did the same holding one of my crowbars in various manners. Whatever plan Al had, I looked to him confident that I could do my part.

He showed me how he planned to only open the door enough to allow a zombie to show itself in the doorway. It would then be my place to open up its skull. We both looked to the lady, but seeing her still lacking in enough thought to open a can of baby food we looked into each other’s eyes letting each know that was where we placed our confidence.

The door was not locked. It truthfully could not be locked. Zombies however did not have enough intelligence to simply work the knob. Al opened the door very easily, and we both looked to the lady with the wonder of just how little she had protecting her rear.

As Al had planned, a zombie came to the door. It stuck a hand through as well as its head. The hand would have worried me if I had been standing on the floor. Al however had seen that I had some height to make my move, so was able to swing above the hand toward the head.

Again it took me a couple of blows to crack the skull. Al did not complain, but kept his body working to prevent the door from opening enough to allow the zombie to pass. It thus stayed where it was attempting to grope with its hand moving its jaw as if to bite. I thus had no problem making multiple swings upon the skull.

I should note that the zombie did not make a sound. Well, it did. I got the impression that air was moving in and out of its lungs. There was thus some noise from the zombie, but whatever thought process that enabled one to activate the vocal chords was not happening.

The first zombie falling did not cause me to rejoice, as I knew another was behind it. I rested my arms while looking to Al. He shook his head, which told me that he was not going to move the body and did not expect me to bother with it. I thus waited for the next zombie to move over its man-friend and into position.

The next zombie fell as it tried to step over the fallen body. I could see it begin to rise. I then saw a shape before the door shook. My eyes went wide as the force of a rushing zombie caused the opening in the door to become wide enough to allow a zombie to step through.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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