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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?

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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 - Day 6A

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

PostSubject: No Zombie for a Neighbor - Day 6A   July 9th 2011, 7:48 am

No Zombie for a Neighbor
Day Six

Part One: A New House to Claim

Zombies do not act any different at night than at day. Other creatures however do. The noises that attract the undead thus change. Should I go out at night, the odds of attracting nearby zombies is the same as during the day, except at night I have the higher probability of not seeing them. I thus slept through the night.

I was up early however, as I felt determined to get to work. I looked out the window to see that the zombies had indeed dispersed. They had not gone away, but simply been moved by things that did not act with as much noise or with as much focus. While moving outside now was still dangerous, I felt that I could make my objective.

A light breakfast of a can of peaches. I wanted more, but I had no milk, no juice, nothing that I felt was good for me. Not thinking that I would be back, I did not pull anything from the refrigerator to cook later.

Scared that I might wake somebody up, I did not call anyone. I really did not want to discuss my plan. They could not help me. I was alone in my house. The zombies were presently not considering my house of interest, and I did not need anyone else moving about to remind them that we were inside.

I made certain that the windows were unlocked. I really did not want to break another window should I happen to need to rush back to safety. Feeling that I had a good plan and multiple routes to fall back in case of trouble, I prepared myself for another active day.

Believe it or not, I left by the window in the boy’s room. The zombies had moved away. Since I had covered the window, then closed the door to the room, there was no reason for the undead to stay. They were rather stupid however, but seeing that they had indeed gone elsewhere I used the opening for my own purpose.

I moved to the fence, then slowly followed it. My plan had considered the barrier to protect me as well as muffle any sounds. I used regular rhythm of the construction of the fence to help me to keep a steady pace. Slow and steady without any sudden movement to alert the zombies, I made it to a good position without the undead noticing me.

Jumping the fence did make noise, but I quickly moved across the street to the car. It was locked. I had the crowbar, although I had planned for the worse. I suspected that the keys would be inside the house. I moved to the door under the carport expecting to see zombies inside.

I became worried about zombies when I saw a child. Suddenly, the house became precious to me, and I did not want to infiltrate its walls. I looked about to spot the zombies that had noticed me while hoping the house next door would be available.

The door opened, and a little girl said, “Come in, Lady.”

I did not enter, but asked, “Where are your parents?”

“They left us with Uncle Theo.”

“Uncle Theo?”

I heard the voice of a man ask, “Claire, who are you talking to?”

I stepped in just enough to see a slightly frail tall black man. Him being black did not surprise me. I was in a mostly black neighborhood, and the girl that had opened the door was black. The two boys, both in diapers and I assumed twins, were black. Uncle Theo however did not appear as someone that could have protected children. I faced him with no fear of asserting my own authority.

“Do you have the keys to that car?”

“Uh, yeah, why?”

“Because these children need to play.”

That response clearly caught him by surprise. I did not see him instantly reach for them. He also did not get defensive. He merely cocked his head to look at me, then confidently made a reply.


I pointed as I spoke. “Listen, my mother lives across the street. I cleared out the Adler’s house, which is also across the street. Neither house has a car. I am going to take your car, park it across the opening to your driveway, then kill the zombies in your yard. With a secure perimeter, these children can play.”

He scratched his chin for a moment. Uncle Theo did not have a beard. His face was smooth enough that I had to assume he shaved last night. The way he scratched I however considered that he recently did have a beard.

The man went into a back room, then came out to throw me the keys. I knew zombies were coming, so I did not say anything. Hoping my actions would say enough, I caught the keys and went out the door.

I was not driving a strange truck. While it was not my sedan, it was like my own car that I hoped was still safe in the parking lot behind the coffee shop. It was an automatic transmission with the shift lever on the steering wheel. No relearning at all.

The engine started, and I threw the car in reverse. I rushed out of the driveway with no fear of zombies or traffic. Of course, there was no traffic. There were however zombies. They were dispersed, and I trusted the car to handle a single body at a time. Feeling that I had moved out enough, I put the car in drive and gunned it to assure that it made it to the proper position.

The metal fence scrapped along the side of the car, but I needed to assure that no zombie could make it past the barrier into the yard. I did not want to constantly have to battle zombies. Even one at a time, the work got tiring. Also, there would be children playing, and I felt even Uncle Theo would understand the need to assure a proper seal.

I came out of the car with my crowbar in hand ready to battle zombies. I saw a number of the undead in the yard, and figured that the children had made enough noise to keep them interested in the property. I saw Uncle Theo waving at me to come back inside the house. I however saw zombies coming at him. I really did not want to one-on-one with zombies, but did not see a way to gain a good position on them.

A rifle came out, and Uncle Theo proved that he could shoot. After a few zombies near him fell, he again waved me to the door. I did not argue.

After slamming the door behind him, Uncle Theo asked, “What is your plan now?”

“I guess open a window. It is slow progress, but with no more zombies entering the yard we can slowly remove the surrounding threats.”

“It sounds like you have been listening to Bruce Williams.”

“To Hell with Bruce Williams. I have been fighting since this zombie outbreak started. I am damn tired of the zombies. Yes, I agree with him however. No zombies for a neighbor, and children should be able to play outside. Hell, I want to be able to play outside.”

I saw him move to reload his rifle as he said, “Watch your language around the children.”

“I usually watch my language, period. I however am getting tired of fighting zombies. I also am not alone.” I looked about before I asked, “Do you have a phone?”

Uncle Theo had his clipped to his belt. He might not have been muscular, but I sensed something strong about him. He had a sense of purpose that let me know that he had easily dealt with the children over the last few days. I took the phone feeling a need to give some respect to the man.

Mother’s phone was busy, although I quickly heard her voice say, “Yes?”

“This is Livonia, Mother. I am in the house across the street.”

“What were you doing, Livonia? I was so scared for you!”

“So you were calling me? You were going to have me wasting time talking on the phone, not to mention simply have the ring tone summon more zombies?”

The line went quiet for a moment, then my mother softly said, “I was worried about you, Livonia.”

“Mom, there are children over here.”


“Yes, and a man – a Uncle Theo. I am going to stay here.”

“Okay, Livonia. Call me when you can.”

I pulled a note from my back pocket, then dialed that number. As I heard the ring tone, I also heard the truck fire up. I thus moved to a window as Rita answered the phone.

We discussed Sandra’s driving as she did the same thing that I had done. Her maneuvers were almost the same. Being in a truck, there was a fear that she would ruin the fence when she pulled up against it. She however jumped out with a determination to clear the zombies in the yard just as I had.

Rita had me describe Uncle Theo to her. I gave a basic description. The man was right there, so knew what I was doing, but stood firm while I told things to Rita.

She concluded, “He is a college man, Livonia. That man has a future. You grab him.”

“Let me see how he does fighting zombies. He can fire a gun, but I will want to see if he can really fight.”

“What is your objective, Livonia?”

“Today. The children play today. It took a lot of work however killing the zombies in the Adler house, and I believe there are more than that outside. It might not be until tomorrow, but there are children here and they need to play outside.”

“If we can get to you, Livonia, we will. I however suspect that we will have a mass of zombies against our fence by this evening. Still, it feels good fighting back. I really hated Henry.”

Knowing how I found Rita, I could not argue with her. I told her that we were both fighting the good fight, and she agreed. I heard Sandra come back inside speaking to the other ladies about getting to work. Considering that I also needed to get to work, I ended the phone call.

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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No Zombie for a Neighbor - Day 6A
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