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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 - 8C

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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 - 8C   August 28th 2011, 8:02 am

No Zombie for a Neighbor
Day Eight

Part Three: Ending My Day Alone

I did not have a weapon, so ran back to make it inside before the zombie dog could make it to me. Luckily, I had not gone far from the door to yell the warning about the animals, so it took only some quick steps to get back inside and close the door. Claire was screaming, but I quickly calmed her and the boys. I reminded them that we had to be quiet. I then moved through the house to find the rifle. Theo had put the gun back into the closet, as there were no more bullets. I took it back out feeling it to be a good solid piece of equipment. I then cracked open a window and called to the zombie dog.

When it approached, I used the cane to grab its collar. Claire came upon my command to hold the cane. She really did not have the mass or strength to resist the animal, but the undead canine was not intelligent enough to give her any trouble. It tried to get at me, so all the girl had to do was try and keep the dog steady while I aimed with the barrel of the rifle. As with the crowbar, it took me more than one blow, but Claire did enough with the cane to enable me to drop it.

I left the window to hug and kiss Claire while congratulating her on helping kill her first zombie. She was really proud of herself. We both however turned concerned with Theo.

The ladies were working with my husband to finish putting the gate on the fence. Considering the fear that I had of the zombie animals, the sight actually seemed peaceful. Rita noticed that I was again in the front yard, and even though zombies were in the street between us, she calmly spoke with a loud voice to me.

“Your husband almost rushed across the street.”

Theo added, “You did well, Livonia.”

“I told you that I could take care of the children. Claire helped me.”

I guess that Theo could see the girl watching from the doorway, as he told her that he loved her before speaking again to me. “I am going to move this truck to down the street, then use it to set some rope to block off the street from that end. It won’t be perfect, but should be enough to allow us to keep the number of zombies down so we can do more to secure this area.”


“What?” I thought that I had told him about the word, and he verified that he did remember as he said, “Oh, yeah. We might have to use furniture, but I am going to put enough clutter at each end that we should be able to clear this whole section of the street.” As he tested the fence, he said, “Oh, I will probably be staying with your mother tonight.”

“Too bad about coffee in the morning.”

Even from across the street, I saw him smile. “I will have plenty of mornings with you, Livonia. I look forward to them all.”

The three seemed satisfied with the gate, even though they could not close it due to the position of the truck. Theo ran to grab a coil of rope and another coil that appeared to be a couple of garden hoses connected together. These were placed in the truck, then Sandra and Theo jumped in the vehicle leaving Rita in position to close the gate after they left. I might have complained had she gotten in the truck with my husband, but felt satisfied seeing him with an older white woman.

Rita did close the gate as the truck roared backwards down the street. Sandra almost put the rear tires in the ditch as she had the vehicle rush to the fence on the far side of the property to the side of us that had not been cleared. Theo slid out the window, then quickly tied the rope to the front fence post. He then tied the other end to the back of the vehicle. Upon his command, Sandra had the truck go forward until the rope was tight.

She shut down the vehicle as Theo tied the hoses to a secure part of the front of the vehicle. Zombies were approaching, but my husband and Sandra took what time they could to assure a good tight hold. They then rushed to the still standing corner post of the Mitchell’s yard and tied off the hose. Zombies pressing upon the length of tubing presented some problem with tying it off, but Theo worked to keep some tension as Sandra wrapped the hose then worked to assure that the line would stay in place.

Zombies were closing in upon them. Luckily, the runners had taken off upon the initial roaring of the truck, so were not in position to get to Sandra or Theo. I could not see, but Rita was laughing saying that most of the runners were now floundering in the ditch where the rope was tied to the corner fence post of the lot next to mine. I however found no humor in seeing the pair having a number of zombies approaching them.

I believe that their plan was to run around to the back of the Mitchell’s house, as that is the direction they took off. That strategy had worked before, so I did not feel alarmed when they ran in that direction. Seeing them suddenly come racing back around the front of the house however caused me alarm.

Zombies had already been moving toward them as they worked to secure the line. It did bring some relief to see that the simple length did now trouble a number of zombies attempting to move into this portion of the street. I looked for runners, but saw none. The thought that other zombie animals might come this way also concerned me, because the lines would not block them. While seeing only the regular slow undead moving toward my husband and Sandra, I worried about them all the same.

I did see a number of zombies run against the fence. I could not prevent a chuckle seeing one flip over the barrier. As a couple simply turned, I suddenly became concerned that those in the ditch might also be overcoming their situation to run in the direction of Sandra and Theo.

Rita screamed as she sent the head of a hammer into the skull of a nearby zombie. I thought of grabbing the rifle and attempting the same, but it really had not been a good tool for physically fighting the undead. It was heavy, and the end of the barrel was not the best weapon for breaking a skull. I however told Claire to bring me the cane as I tried to think of something that I could do affect the zombies passing nearby on their way to my husband.

Theo sent my crowbar into the skull of a monster, then pushed the body to another member of the undead. Sandra went low to avoid the arms of a zombie, then tripped a couple while near the ground. Of the two actions, enough disruptions to the surface became present to disrupt the movement of other zombies. Having the undead around the two fall down or simply stop from what was at their feet, Theo and Sandra managed to get back over the fence into the safety of my mother’s yard.

I rushed inside when I saw my husband and the two ladies with him go through my mother’s door. I shut the door to my house, hugged the children, then waited for the phone call. I felt relief when it came quickly.

“I am all right, Livonia,” Theo said. “Got really worried there for a moment, but Sandra and I made it. We need to stay quiet for a period, because if a mass of zombies can bend over a fence they can certainly break the lines I set up.”

“The children know what to do. They however want to speak to you, Theo.”

The two boys were not old enough to say much, but I heard them say the same thing Claire told my husband. All three told him that they loved him. I thought it was sweet, but then realized that they were speaking to my husband. He was a member of their family, but now I was as well. The man they spoke to was someone that I had committed myself to for the rest of my life. I had not only had sex with the man, but had been willing to demean myself by fixing him coffee in the nude. Hearing the simple words from the children, I realized just how serious the ties were between me and the person they spoke to.

When I got the phone, I said, “Theo, I want you to know that I love you too.”

“I love you as well, Livonia. I will expect certain things to stay constant in our relationship, but I want you to know that you can depend on me to do my part as well. I am putting my mind to work to deal with the zombies. I will get back to work on finishing my medical degree. You do your part, and I will do mine. Between the two of us, we should have a good home for the children.”

I knew that he was surrounded by a number of women, one of whom was my mother, so unable to say certain things. While his words were very clear to me, I accepted that they were worded so as not to have meaning to others listening. Feeling that my mother probably had the volume up on her phone, so others might hear what I said, I also coded my reply.

“I really do not mind my part of the bargain. I will be your wife. The children and I will be all right. You don’t need to worry about them or me. Sleep well knowing that we are all waiting for your return.”

“It will probably be in the morning. The dash from your mother’s fence to our fence is not that far. I would really rather drink coffee with you.”

“Well, I promise you that if I do go back to work in a coffee shop, only you will get a certain type of treatment, and only when I feel certain that it will be only your eyes in the room.”

We spent some time speaking about opening a coffee shop. That caused us to worry about the pizza delivery men, and proposed giving them the Phillips’ house. I heard the other women speak their opinion of the men. I hung up the phone feeling that my husband was indeed all right, and actually hoping to see him in the morning so I could again serve him coffee in the nude.

I spent time with the children, but I also worked to try and find a weapon that I could use against zombies. There were some good knives in the kitchen, but I knew that weight and power were better than edges in breaking skulls. I found a hammer, and remembered seeing Rita use such a weapon effectively. Claire worked with me to remove the handle from the weapon, then I used one of the better kitchen knives to whittle down the handle to an old mop so it would fit the head of the hammer. After giving time for a tough epoxy to set, I took the children out in the back yard to give them some time to play while I tested the strength of my new weapon. Seeing a zombie next to the fence in the uncleared yard, I went over and actually put the hammer to work. One good swing was all it took. The children cheered, and I felt good as well even as I knew that every strike would not go so well.

It still felt good to have something that I could kill a zombie with. I knew that Theo would worry about me, just as I would worry about him. He however was doing a good job, and I wanted him to think the same about me. Determined to make good on our relationship, I stood holding the long-handled hammer and let the children have a few more minutes of time outside.

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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