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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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 Day 5 - Part One

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

PostSubject: Day 5 - Part One   June 19th 2011, 7:42 am

No Zombie for a Neighbor
Day Five

Part One: Moving North

Mother did not have enough beds for all of us, but we still had it better than the previous night. The ladies with me had been in the convenience store, which had no comfortable place to rest. I spoke of the places where I had slept, and they actually considered those to be better beds than what they had. While I mentioned the poor bed in the fabric store, the ladies spoke of only being able to lean against packages of toilet paper, paper towels, or napkins.

All of us enjoyed a hot bath. I had a good shower the day before, but relaxing in a bath tub felt better. The other ladies had only been bathing in a rest room, so took their time trying to put themselves in a presentable condition. Those waiting complained, but mother pointed out to them that the longer someone took with their hair and makeup the more time the hot water heater had to prepare their water.

Mother had eaten all of her fresh fruit, so we had only canned or frozen vegetables with meat. We had taken what sandwich meats were available in the convenience store, and truthfully it was sufficient for me. The other ladies however wanted a hot meal, so put a crock pot to work to make a stew. Since a crock pot does not cook things quickly, we turned our attention to what more we could do besides eat.

There was an attic, but it did not provide a way to get on the roof. We discussed our situation with all of agreeing that staying holed up in the house was not our best option. Checking the windows did tell us that there were zombies around the house. While none of us felt bad about killing more zombies, we understood that we could not clear the area. A noisy inferno attracted zombies, yet others came to the window of the convenience store. Elizabeth and I had killed zombies while Sandra blew the heads off others with a gun, yet the zombies kept coming. Our thoughts thus kept turning back to the attic as a means of safely moving.

“Girls,” my mother said, “the houses are not that close together.”

I replied, “I believe the Adler house is close enough.”

It would be dangerous moving to the Mitchells, as they had their driveway on the same side of their house as we had ours. There would be at least thirty feet, including a fence and a row of hedges, to get to them. There was however barely enough room to push a lawnmower between our houses and the fence that separated our property from that of the Adlers. If we could get to the roof, we could cross over to one neighbor without being bothered by zombies.

We just could not reach the roof from the attic. The vents were secured. While we could have caused some destruction to access the roof, seeing dark clouds we did not want to destroy our place of safety.

The plan that we came up with was dangerous, but the best one we could devise. Mother tried to tell us that we were stupid, although we prepared to do it anyway. Drinking a beer before starting was probably not a smart thing, but we felt it gave us the courage to enact the only plan we thought would work.

The truck was parked right next to the side door of the house, and zombies were too stupid to climb. They were around the truck, but not in the truck. All that we had kill were those that had managed to clog up the alleys along the side of the house. The gun was used just enough to give us room to move. I then bashed heads on one side while Annette bashed heads on the other. Both of us had on a number of thick garments to protect our skin. As soon as the two of us gave the signal, Sandra and Rita came through and climbed on the truck.

Elizabeth handed the two a ladder. Once they set it in position on the roof of the truck, she came through and moved upon the roof. With word that she did believe we could reach the roof of the Adler’s house, Annette and I broke from our position to go up the ladder.

I felt glad that I had drunk that beer when I saw the gap between the two houses. It was probably eight feet. Seeing Elizabeth jump gave me some confidence. She almost fell, but managed to get a foot stuck in the gutter. With a secure place to apply some pressure, she held her position on the roof. Feeling the confidence of being able to jump better than a white girl, I ran and made my own leap over the gap.

Whether I did travel further than Elizabeth, or just my smaller frame did not present enough force to work against the rough surface of the roofing material, I found myself not worried about falling. I picked myself up, then moved with Elizabeth. Annette seemed scared to make the jump, but we agreed there was no reason for her to presently take the risk. Elizabeth and I moved to check on the next step in our plan.

We leaned over the roof to look at the number of zombies around the house as well as the situation inside the building. While dropping down to a door and barging in was an option, we did not want to make a path that a zombie could follow. The desire was to find a closed room without zombies, then break a window and enter the house by it. From there we could safely battle the undead within the structure without worrying about more coming.

What Elizabeth and I realized was that we could not see far enough into the rooms through the windows to determine if a room was clearly safe. Annette came back from relaying information to the others to give us another plan. A broom was thrown to us, and using it Elizabeth tapped upon one window to bring the zombies in the house to that room.

I waited until there was strong tapping from the window without Elizabeth using the broom before I put my part of the plan into motion. I first took the broom and used it to break, not simply tap the window. It took some work, as the glass was of some type of plastic, but eventually I broke through. I then kept pounding until I had broken through the second layer of glass. Zombies from the house came forward, as well as zombies outside the house, but I worked until I thought that I could get inside the house with some degree of safety. I then gave the broom back to Elizabeth to have her return to tapping.

Annette threw the gun to me while we waited. There were not that many bullets left, but we considered the ammo well spent if used to drop zombies. She had made a type of spear from the mop, and used that to kill zombies that had gathered below. I drank another beer while waiting for the zombies to again gather at this side of the house.

When Elizabeth told me to move, I finished the beer then went back to the window that I had broken open. I did not waste time, as I had already established my plan. I dropped down, grabbed a cheap outdoor grill, then used it to help me move safely through the window. The room was empty, but I could see zombies. I thus quickly closed the door and locked it. It was a bedroom of a child. Looking around, I saw a nerf sword. I grabbed it with the intent to use it to reach down and move away the grill. That was not necessary, as zombies coming with the hope of grabbing me knocked it away. With zombies at the window and banging on the door to the room, I decided in which way to move.

Using the crowbar, I knocked a hole in the top portion of the door. Luckily, it was not filled, but only air between two thin wooden layers. With the hole, I directed attacks by the long straight end of the crowbar at the skulls of the zombies on the other side.

I heard Elizabeth asking for the gun. I screamed in return that there was no way for me to get it to her. She asked why I was not using it, to which I replied that my crowbar was doing fine. To prove it, I killed a zombie at the window. She then told me to stay safe, and I reminded her that I had zombies to kill. If she wanted the gun, she could find a way into the house and help me.

I could tell that she was working from the roof to kill zombies at the window as I returned to killing them through the door. My work was not easy. I had the usual difficulty of breaking through hard zombie heads. Lifting the crowbar to make the attacks also became tiring rather quick. I however did not know how long the door would last, so did my best to stay active.

I was in a room for a young boy, but I saw a number of heads that had to be those of adults. Exactly who had been in the house I could not say. I used a chair to get a better look through the hole after killing another zombie. Feeling that I had only three more to go, I set back to work killing those.

After dropping another zombie, I looked again to assure that no more of the undead were arriving. We had not seen an open door earlier, but I had already killed more zombies than I thought I were present in the house. I took a break actually wishing that I had another beer. Knowing that the only way to gain any refreshment was to keep killing, I looked to target another head.

I dropped the last adult zombie, but could still hear movement at the door. I thought of Al as I considered cracking the door open to kill the other undead. Looking to the window, I did not see anyone attacking the zombies there, so I yelled for Elizabeth. She answered saying that she was taking a break. I told her at what point I was in removing the zombies in the house. We both considered that everything was going well, but each of us admitted that we still had work to do.

The bed in the room was moved near the door. To do that I had to move a desk. It was a lot of work, but did not want to lose my life to a zombie. With the bed in place, I then moved things to assure that it would stay in its position. Feeling that things would continue in my favor, I set my mind to open the door and start to again attack zombies.

I could see four children through the crack. It was not as wide as I would have preferred. While it was wide enough to allow the straight end of the crowbar to pass, I really could not adjust my angle by much. I actually spoke to the zombie children in attempts to get them to move into position so I could attack them.

It did not surprise me to see the dog. Considering the number of zombies in the house, the fact that animal had been affected did not surprise me either. Seeing the undead animal however caused me to be glad that I had not allowed for the crack in the door to become larger.

Zombies are stupid. I thus expected the undead animal to be another simple kill from my secure position. I cannot say exactly what occurred. The animal brain certainly would be different than our human mind, but I did not consider whatever had created the zombies to affect them strangely. I heard the movement of the zombie, then looked up to see that the stupid zombie animal had jumped up through the hole I made for killing the adults.

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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Day 5 - Part One
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