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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 - 6B

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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 - 6B   July 14th 2011, 7:59 am

No Zombie for a Neighbor
Day Six

Part Two: Uncle Theo

I turned to look at the man. He had been right there listening, so should have known what I was thinking. He looked back at me. I did not feel that he was looking at my breasts, although he stood tall enough that in looking at my face he probably saw my womanly mounds as well. I held my gaze upon him waiting for his words.

“I need to check diapers and fix breakfast. After that we can get to work. Ran out of bacon yesterday. Children just like oatmeal, especially after I showed them that it could be flavored by mixing some jelly with it.”

I turned my head to look at the children as I replied, “Sounds good.”

“My name is Theo. This home belongs to my brother and his wife. He went to work, and Maybelline, his wife, went shopping. I had some research for a paper that I was writing, but agreed that I could do internet searches while taking care of the kids.”

“I am Livonia. I was working in the coffee shop near downtown when the zombies started. I really do not like zombies.”

The girl that let me in was named Claire. The boys were Thomas and Titan. They were indeed twins. While the children were good, they were not who I was interested in.

I asked Theo if he was married, and after he said that he was not, I said, “Well, you are now. I am not talking about commitment, but simply that I like sex and I don’t want you being bothered about how to bring up the subject. Zombies will force us to make some serious decisions, and I don’t want you worried about some action spoiling my mood or putting me in the proper mood. When we have the time to relax, you can relax with me.”

“Yeah, okay, I guess that it might be best for the children. They are used to having parents.”

I looked at him, and the expression on his face caused me to ask, “Are you gay?”

“What? No. I just have a girlfriend, although she has not answered her phone.” His voice drifted off as he said, “I believe she is dead.”

“Listen, I said that I was not talking about commitment. I just want you to worry about the zombies, and the children. I don’t want you worrying about getting into my pants. You can get in them. I will be glad to have you there. Once we get the zombies out of our lives, we can then discuss things on a more serious level.”

“These last few days must have been rough on you.”

“And they weren’t for you?”

He actually looked offended as he replied, “I like kids. I want a bunch of my own. I am working to be a pediatrician. My girlfriend, she was finishing her education to become a nurse.”

“Rita, the girl on the phone, she said that you were a college guy.”

He laughed, then finished changing the diapers. I watched as he managed the children while cooking breakfast. The man did have a way with them. It probably helped that he knew the children and they knew him, but I got the feeling that the man would indeed be a good children’s doctor and father.

I told him some of the things that had happened to me over the last few days. He mentioned killing zombies the first day with his rifle, but seeing his supply of bullets running low he just secured the doors. He mentioned getting a call from the children’s mother the first couple of days, but then they stopped. He had never gotten a call from his brother. He saw me looking out the window, then commented that he had not been able to contact his mother. While he might not have had the active life that I had, I found myself believing that Theo had also had a rough number of days.

The children settled in front of the television as the man and I choose our window to fight from. He mentioned that a crowbar was probably in the trunk of his car, but I agreed that we could share mine. He pulled out some gloves to protect our hands. Just to check his strength, I told him to go first. No sooner did the window open, than a zombie came to it. Theo showed no reluctance to swing, and when the point of the metal shaft went into the skull he pulled back then handed the weapon to me so I could take my turn at the fight.

Theo was very intelligent. He, of course, was smart and in college. I however worked in a coffee shop where I often had to deal with customers who were discussing all sorts of topics. Theo did not find me to be some dumb city girl, but often complimented me on my knowledge and the quality of my responses.

It was strange killing zombies while discussing politics, foreign affairs, or cryptozoology. The latter subject came up as we discussed the undead, then began speaking of other mythical beasts that might indeed exist. Taking a break to check diapers and handle some issues with the children was also a pleasant diversion that I had not considered experiencing.

We had killed fourteen, when Theo decided that we had done enough. He grabbed his rifle, then opened the door outside while telling the children to obey me. I counted the shots with the children. After nine, we heard Theo again at the door.

"The yard is clear,” he said coming inside, “but zombies are thick in the street. I suggest that we wait until tomorrow before allowing the children outside.”

The phone rang, which Claire answered. The girl told the lady on the other end her name, then smiled when she said it was her Uncle Theo that had shot the gun. She then repeated what he had said coming in. After smiling about something, Claire handed the phone to me.

The voice of Sandra said, “Livonia, we heard the gun, but could not see who was firing it. Rita said that he was a college man.”

“Yes, going to be a pediatrician.”

“Ooh, a doctor. Have you told your mother?”

Theo was right there listening, so I smiled at him while replying, “No. He is not my usual type, but he does have his qualities. He just finished clearing our yard. How far along are you?”

“Maybe half. I think that we had more in our yard than you had in yours.”

“Whatever. I win.”

She laughed, then repeated what I said to the other ladies. I heard some mention that if they had a man with them, that they would have worked harder to have some free time as well. They however focused on the food they were fixing, and I had to agree that it sounded better than the canned pasta that I heard the children mention wanting for lunch.

Theo had already taught the children not to go to the window. They saw that I did not step up to the glass, but looked through cracks in the curtain while standing in the middle of the room. The two toddlers simply played in the hallway, but Claire moved near me to find her own view outside.

“There are lots of zombies.”

“Yes,” I replied. “There were a lot yesterday when we worked to clear the two houses on each side of my mother. You have to be careful, but you have to fight them as well.” Thinking of Al, I added, “You plan. My plan today was to secure this yard and kill the zombies in it. I did that. I am now going to plan for tomorrow.”

“You said we could play outside.”

“You should be able to for a short time tomorrow. Maybe not much, but a little is a start. I will be planning for you to play longer and longer.”

The voice of Theo asked, “And how do you plan to accomplish that?”

“There are supposed to be gates to the driveways. If we can find the gate to yours, and put it in place, we could then drive the car to the driveway across the way.”

“That house does not have a fence out front. Only in the back.”

I moved to another window to look. Theo was correct. That house did not have a fence all around the property, but only in the back yard. I tried to verify, but from what I saw I did not see a zombie. I turned from the window to state my plan to Theo.

“I will then jump the fence, then check that house. From there we can look at the next yard.”

He spent some time looking through the window, then said, “We could do that now.”

“No. You rush and you make mistakes.”

We both turned as we heard gunfire. I felt certain that the ladies were doing what they could to finish securing their yard. I looked to the phone wanting to call them, but knew that to be a dumb thing to do. Just as I had fussed at my mother this morning, I knew that if I called during a confrontation with zombies that I could be dooming those I wanted to speak with. I thus found a position where I could see outside the front window, and watched while I heard the report of bullets.

I had just told Theo that if you rush you make mistakes. I did not want to say that the ladies rushed things, but they definitely could have waited for the mass of zombies to disperse. I had seen store windows crashed in from the press of zombies. While I did not doubt that the fences put in the neighborhood were of good material and installed by professionals, they still were for keeping out the normal flow of pedestrians. My crossing the street was done so as to attract as few zombies as possible. Starting the car and moving however got the attention of a number. The ladies firing up that large truck attracted even more undead, and Theo firing his gun continued to pull in distant zombies. By now a large number had gathered in the street. It thus would have been best if the ladies had waited.

Zombies did not know how to properly make use of their own mass. They however also did not know to stop. Those in front just pressed forward. The fence could have easily handled that weight, but the press of zombies had built until the mindless undead realized their desire had been achieve.

I gasped in horror at hearing a strange noise. Theo uttered a curse, one not appropriate around children, as he saw the mass of zombies suddenly surge away from us. Claire hugged my leg. I looked to the phone wanting to call the ladies, but scared that me shouting a warning over the device would only assure that the throng of undead would target them.

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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