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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 - 10C

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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 - 10C   October 7th 2011, 7:32 am

No Zombie for a Neighbor
Day Ten

Part Three: The Fear Not Gone

Up to now there had been a feeling of superiority in that the undead were extremely dumb. They had the advantage of numbers and being deadly with little more than a scratch. They however were not smart enough to figure out the simplest barriers. The zombies could not even put up a decent fight. The new zombies that rose from the ditches however acted with some intelligence, and that caused me to feel very scared.

Steve worked with Theo to take out the thing that could reason enough to duck under and through the fence that had been erected. I wanted to help, but found myself not needed. Steve was not as tall as Theo, but easily matched him in weight. The white man thus set himself to holding the door with much more power than I could manage. My husband had the reach and the strength that made his strikes with my crowbar much more effective than I ever managed. The two men thus took out the undead with me only having to watch.

The monster did not end its existence as quickly or as easily as the zombies. The skull did not seem as strong, which would be the case if it had truly risen from bodies already slain. Splashes of scum however seemed to result in a manner suggesting that the power of the weapon was being dispersed. Theo actually had to act as if stirring the point of the crowbar once inside the brain to actually drop the monster.

With the death of the undead creature, I sent Steve into the bathroom while taking care of Theo in the kitchen. We spoke of the creature while I mentioned a need to constantly have him changing into non-infected clothes. As the two of us discussed the difference in the recent creatures, Steve came back to join the conversation.

“Those things aren’t zombies. What are they, ghouls?”

My husband replied, “As good of a name as any.”

“Do you think that these creatures are what the ancients were referring to? I mean, could it be that this is something that has happened before?”

“I want to blame somebody, but the worldwide outbreak does tend to make that slightly impossible. It actually seems something more likely caused by a extraterrestrial source. I mean corporations just cannot be everywhere, and neither do diseases break out so spontaneously.”

I had not heard Theo mention any belief in aliens. We however had been together only a few days with a lot more pressing details than personal beliefs. Honestly, we had not even discussed religion. There was a Bible in the bedroom, but that could have been left by his brother for all I knew. I had to however admit that I had not brought up any religious or paranormal topics, so stayed quiet feeling that Theo and I still had plenty to learn about each other.

The conversation ceased when the phone rang. The men were speaking, so I moved to the phone. I know that my face showed surprised to hear the voice of Claire.

“Aunt Livonia, the Herrings called. They asked for help.”

I informed the men as I prepared myself for going back outdoors. Theo tried to assert his place as being the one to be concerned with the zombies, but I simply informed him that I was going to help my neighbors. He did not argue with me, although did tell me to wait for him. I told him that I would be outside.

My intent was only to move to the back fence and look at the situation. I however stopped upon seeing a mass of zombies striding into the back yard of the house behind that of the Phillips. Not knowing exactly how to handle the situation, I did wait for my husband to come and take a look.

Theo came to stand beside me, but he spoke to another. “Steve, how much fight do you still have in you?”

“I just had a rest. What do you need?”

“We jump the corner and go to that house over there. Nothing fancy, but we break down the door. Hopefully, they have a stereo we can turn on.”

“You’re crazy!”

“We got to get the zombies away from the Herrings and away from us.”

The white guy paused for a moment. He moved in a manner indicating that he was looking over the situation. Before Theo or I could speak about him taking too long, Steve replied.

“Let’s move now while we have any chance at safety.”

Theo kissed me, then said, “Steve and I might have to hole up there. Take care of the children.”

I replied, “You better call.”

“I know; you are going to worry about me. I will be worried about you and the children as well, as this new threat will come through my barrier. I love you.”

Theo took off. The zombies were not smart at all, but even if they had intelligence they probably would not have thought of the actions that the men performed. They did not move to jump the fence, but climbed at the corner to jump diagonally into a yard that only had zombies for a neighbor. The two then rushed to the back door of the house.

Steve had the better body for busting a door, but he griped after attempting to slam it with his shoulder. My husband took out one zombie, but then the white guy took to striking undead while Theo used the crowbar actually as a crowbar. An alarm sounded when the door finally popped open.

I saw both men look to each other feeling that the noise would accomplish everything that a stereo would. They thus turned to come back to where they were safe. I however worried about a problem with their plan, so ran away from the men.

While I did not have the size to jump the fences, I did manage to get over them rather quickly. I then rushed into the Daniels’ house. While I did not know a number, I knew that it was on the received call list on their phone. I was still catching my breath from the activity of crossing the fences as I heard a number ring.

“SPA security…”

“Listen, an alarm should have gone off in the Shreveport area.”

The company actually had a human answer the phone, so while there was a pause I waited expecting an intelligent response. “Yes. Are you the owner?”

“No. I am a concerned neighbor. Keep the alarm going. You hear? Keep the alarm going. We need to draw the zombies away from an elderly couple.”

Theo came through the door while I explained the situation to someone with more authority than the person that had answered the phone. Again my husband showed his ability to make sense of a conversation although only hearing one side of it. He kissed me, then left.

I stepped outside to watch as the men move out some chairs so they could easily see over the fence in the back of my yard. Feeling that they did have a safe position to attack zombies, I calmly spoke to the person on the phone. It was he that became agitated as I spoke to him, and finally he informed me that another wanted to talk to me.

“Mrs. Tork, this is Officer Samuels with the FBI. Are you saying that you are controlling the zombie situation in your area?”

“Yes, Sir. We have a section of street basically cleared and are now working to expand out more.”

“Where are you, exactly?”

As I was telling him, Rita and Sandra came into my back yard to help the men. Officer Samuels heard the voices and asked for more details. I was doing my best to answer when I saw a face look to me. I told the man on the phone to wait, then covered it while yelling to the group warning them of a ghoul. The men had the height to work over the fence, so it was the women that responded to my words.

When I again spoke to Officer Samuels, he asked, “Mrs. Tork, just how desperate is your situation?”

“We can handle it if we can keep the zombies distracted. That is why we want that alarm to keep going.”

“Are you in need of food?”

I honestly did not find that question surprising. It just felt that it was the usual government desire to know more than they actually needed to know. Feeling that I had said enough, I did go ahead and answer the question.

“Not at the moment. We just raided the Daniels’ house, so have enough presently.”

I saw Annette and my mother come into my back yard. She pointed to the house while telling me that she would stay with the children. Annette fired up the chainsaw, then handed it to Steve.

Putting the phone back to my ear, I heard Officer Samuels ask, “Mrs. Tork… Mrs. Tork, did I hear something about children?”

“Yes. I found my husband as he was watching over my niece and two nephews.”

I heard helicopters, and I guess that the FBI agent did as well as he said, “We that are still alive need to help each other. You let those men know what you need.”

I ran to wave a helicopter from landing in our street. The soldiers that dismounted listened to me, then told his superiors about my fear of the helicopters attracting more zombies. As the machine left, an officer sent his men to help those fighting, then walked with me as I explained what we had been doing. He looked at our simple fence, then informed me that there would be more helicopters coming.

By the end of the day we had an actual barricade one set of houses down than we had previously. The Herriings also found themselves without a zombie for a neighbor. The military spoke of needing clear areas to start their work in clearing Shreveport, so were glad to hear of what we had accomplished. They told us that helicopters would occasionally land, but that they would do so away from our homes. They promised us that they would keep us safe, and that their barricades would slowly move further and further away.

I asked them about the water and the ghouls. Mostly, I was concerned for the children playing. The officer informed me that I was not the first to mention the ghouls or the problem with the water, but that both concerns were recent enough that the military did not yet have a response. He however did have toys brought for the children, and when he gave them to them he told them that they would soon be able to play outside again.

I am ending the story here. It is a good place to stop, and I have another story that I want to see if you like. Thanks for reading.

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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