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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 - 4B

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Number of posts : 1287
Age : 58
Location : Ringgold, Louisiana
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Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: No Zombie for a Neighbor - 4B   June 4th 2011, 7:53 am

No Zombie for a Neighbor
Day Four

Part Two: Idiocy

I stood and looked at the eruption of gasoline fueled fury for probably longer than I should have, but really not that long. Worried about Dave and Thorne, as well as simply not feeling safe where zombies could get to me, I again started running forward. I however had to stop again as I saw someone come out of the convenience store.

“Ha-ha! Suckers! You are not getting away with my gas!”

The man was white, slightly heavy-set, with a growth of beard on his face. He held a shotgun or rifle – not a handgun. A beer was in his other hand.

“Zombies or no zombies, the gasoline is mine!”

I ran up. He did not look at me, but continued to focus on the erupting flames. I stopped running when I felt the heat was too much.

“YOU IDIOT!” The man turned and directed the point of his gun at me, but I did not care. “Those were people! REAL PEOPLE! Damn it! There are zombies all around. You can shoot, and shoot, and kill as many of those things as you like. You however killed PEOPLE!”

“Listen, darling, come any closer and I will kill you.”

“There will be civilization again. There will be people living their lives. The zombies won’t last forever. You thus better shoot, because if I am still alive when civilization returns, I will see that you only get to experience its bad side."

“Sorry, darling, but that day won’t come. Zombies don’t die, and whatever created them is still out there. We are going to have zombies in our future just as we have been living with the threat of Muslin terrorists.”

He should have gotten the hint by the fact that I kept looking over my shoulder, and not just by my words. The man however kept one eye closed as the other looked down the barrel of his gun. I don’t know what precautions he took concerning Muslim terrorists, but he had yet to develop the necessary traits to handle zombies.

“Sorry, but zombies cannot reproduce without stupid people like you letting them get to you. We can get the upper hand, and eventually wipe the zombies out. Things are rough right now, but if we stay alert then we can regain control of our world.”

Like I said, if my actions had not clued the man in, my words should have. He kept his focus on me however. I did see zombies out in the street, but there was enough movement due to the blast from the gas pumps that they were not exactly focused. I cannot say if the zombies felt heat, but one definitely showed no fear of the flames as it moved upon something that it considered food.

The gun went off in a safe direction as the man was struck from the back by the zombie. I readied my crowbar, then raced ahead. As the man turned to hopefully direct the weapon at the walking corpse, the creature happened to flail an arm in a manner that sent the gun flying while opening up an opportunity for teeth to sink into flesh. I ran up, picked up the weapon, then did my best to direct the barrel at a head as I fired.

The bullet tore through the zombie’s neck. The gun rammed into my shoulder. I hurt, but I felt that the store had aspirin inside, or at least beer to help numb the pain. I thus set the gun to send another bullet flying toward a target.

I killed the man, but again not a direct head shot. I thus stepped up to send my crowbar into both skulls. With that done I moved to the door to find a couple of ladies waiting for me. I stepped inside seeing a few more zombies closing in on my position. I felt relief as I heard the lock click behind me.

A plump white lady asked, “What is your name, Honey?”


“You are our employee of the month, Livonia. Let us move to the back and share our stories.”

I looked around wondering who else was in the store. There was a black-haired white lady, but that was all I saw. Looking back outside, then to the gun, I asked about the man.

“He was Henry. He was a customer that went back to his truck to get his gun and some ammo after he realized that zombies were about. Instead of shooting zombies, he shot the men in the store, then made us women do things for him. A real bastard. Glad to see him dead.”

“Are you the only ones?”

“No, there is Rita. She is black, and Henry kept her naked and tied up. I won’t tell you what he called her. There is also Annette.”

I moved to the back to meet the other two women. None of them spoke well of the man I killed. Rita said the words, “Praise God!” multiple times in appreciation to being untied and allowed to put her clothes back on. I thus felt that I was among friends as I helped myself to some pizza that they had cooked.

Besides the pizza, they really did not have anything substantial to eat. Just because the chips did not come out of a vending machine did not make them any different. They had beer, but I drank a wine cooler. They also mentioned having a truck, should we get the chance to go check Henry’s pockets for the keys. The man parked his truck close to the back door, and would go there to take his naps, as he did not trust the ladies. All four of them agreed that they would have hurt the man if they had the chance. I ate what I could while listening to the ladies speak.

Annette asked me, “Livonia, has anyone forced you to have sex?”

She was younger than me with short light-brown hair. I actually considered her to be someone that Al would have probably thought was pretty. I did not doubt that the question implied some of the things that Henry had done, but I tried to keep a rather positive tone.

“No, but I like having sex.”

“That is what I kept trying to tell her,” Elizabeth, the black-haired white lady, exclaimed in what I felt was her also attempting to keep things positive. “You get a good man, and sex is a wonderful experience.”

“The last man that I had was white, but he was a good man. I basically gave myself to him, as I wanted his attention to stay worrying about the zombies and not focused on how to get me out of my clothes. He was however a good man, and I undressed as eager to get him inside me as he was to get inside.”

Some smiled, some whispered comments, but it was Elizabeth that asked, “Was that the white man driving that truck?”

“No. That was Dave from the cloth store just up the street. I might have given myself to the black man in the back of the truck, but you saw what happened.”

Rita said, “Henry happened. That man was crazy. Praise the Lord that he is now dead.”

Sandra, the plump white lady asked, “Where we you going, Honey?”

“The nearby subdivision. We were going to work our way through the houses.”

The ladies mentioned also thinking of doing that. They all admitted that there were a lot of zombies in that direction, but also probably a lot of people trapped. I spoke of what Al and Greg had planned, and the ladies took to the idea adding their own thoughts about how to accomplish it.

They really had not fought zombies. Henry had not fought that many either. He killed a few simply to prove that his gun worked, but complained about not having that many bullets. I mentioned the difficulty that I had lifting the crowbar and delivering a strong enough blow to the head to break the skull. The ladies thought about what they could use as weapons after listening to my experiences of directly encountering the walking dead.

After speaking for a time, I moved back up front to where I could watch the front of the store. There were zombies in front of the glass, but I did not find those interesting. I guess that zombies cannot fill pain. I saw a number walk, some actually run, into the inferno in the front of the store. I am certain that the noise attracted them, but one would think that some sense of self-preservation would have caused them to avoid the fire. They showed no understanding of the danger however, so I found myself entertained watching the zombies move to their death.

Annette moved up with the gun in her hand. I really had not clued in on the gun, but the sound of keys jingling. She stepped up to the door as if to open it, even though zombies were right there.

I did not stand, but simply asked from where I sat. “What are you doing?”

“I am going after those keys. After what Henry did to us, we deserve everything he had.”


She had the gun, so probably felt rather powerful. I had used the gun however, so knew the consequences. Facing one zombie at a time, Annette probably could have done better than me. Looking at her, I felt that she had probably even used a gun before. It still was not a toy, but zombies were a serious threat.

“That gun will make noise and attract more zombies.”

“Like that inferno is not making noise.”

I had stayed with Al because he stopped to make plans. I had only been with him for a couple of days, but I did appreciate what he brought into my life. I thus tried to make Annette see the need for keeping a level head and studying a situation.

“But the zombies are being attracted to it. Start firing that gun and they will turn from the fire toward us.”

“The keys are right there. I just have to shoot a few zombies, then rush out to get them.”

“You better stay firing, or you will end up as a zombie.”

The voice of Sandra also tried to speak sense to the lady. “Have you ever fired a gun?”

She pointed properly as she declared, “This is the dangerous end.”

Sandra however spoke of not being impressed. “I take that as a ‘no.’”

“How hard can it be?”

I replied, “It hurts. Firing that second shot really hurt.”

Annette moved to grab a roll of paper towels. She opened it, then pulled off a number of sheets. After folding them, she opened her blouse enough to stuff the mass of paper under her right bra strap. She then set the gun to fire while looking at us defiantly.

Maybe it was a zombie that could still see. Maybe we had spoken loud enough for the zombie to hear. Maybe the zombie actually felt the fire and veered due to some sense of pain. Maybe it just missed aiming for the noise of the fire, and just happened to have its course set toward us. Whatever the reason, suddenly a running zombie hit one of the glass panels with a force strong enough to cause the material to collapse into the store.

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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