Category Archives: excerpts

#PhotoStoryPrompt – Tunnel Vision Pt. 2

This is a follow up to Tunnel Vision.

 

“Maybe we were too late?” Sarika threw her makeshift staff into the woods. “It did take us a while to find this place.”

“The man said she would leave a sign if she arrived before us and had to leave.” Ash gestured at the walls around them. “There’s nothing here.” She shook her head. “Something’s happened to her, I know it.”

Fumé?”

Ash closed her eyes, and turned her focus inward, searching. “I don’t know,” she said, finally. “I can’t tell if it’s that, or just basic instinct. But there is something off around here.” She opened her eyes again, walking to the mouth of the tunnel. A cool puff of wind twined around her neck, ruffling the choppy edges of her hair at the back of her neck. She lifted her hand, trailing her fingers through the current of air as it passed by, and frowning when she felt the way it suddenly shifted. Instead of continuing on its path, it turned back, curling around her like a child in need of comfort. “What-?” Behind her, she heard Sarika’s footsteps as she moved closer. Pushing the sound away, Ash concentrated on the quicksilver flashes of emotion the wind buffeted her with. Anger, distress, fear…so much fear. And underneath it all, sorrow. She bowed her head.

Choti bahana?

Ash looked over her shoulder at Sarika. “We only checked the forest for the living.”

Sarika stared back at her for a moment, face blank. Then she lunged.

Ash didn’t fight as she felt her sister’s fingers dig into her shoulder. The familiar sensation of being pulled through a tunnel of air surrounded her, and then she was stumbling, tripping after Sarika out of an alley and down the stairs of a nearby subway station. As she caught up, she heard her sister muttering under her breath, curses in English spattered throughout their native Hindi.

Bright purple petunias poked up between the cracks in the sidewalk as they passed.

 

#PhotoStoryChallenge – An Unsigned Note

Consider this as a side piece from the “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” world. I’m still working on the sequel. It’ll be coming soon, I promise!

 

Dear whoever finds this,

See the giant “HOPE” carved into the wall? And the directions underneath? Get something to write them down on/with. There’s a bunch of pens and pencils in the desk underneath the clock. There should be a pad of post-its, too. Those should work. If they’re all gone, improvise. That “Hope” place might be the last safe haven from the monsters we share our world with now. I dunno about you, but I’m willing to risk the journey, if it means not being dinner for those things.

Plus, the lady, I forget her name, but anyway, she fixed up Tobe’s hand. He cut the hell out it trying to get the door to this place open, and she stitched it up and gave us all tetanus shots. Said we couldn’t be too careful, and there’s too much that can go wrong from one day to another. They can’t give us a vaccine against the virus, but they can help make sure we don’t die over stupid stuff that can be prevented.

Crap, I got off track…okay, back up, the point is, the lady had a bunch of medical supplies. I saw them. Food, too. Not the stale crap we’ve been living off of for the past couple months, either. Fresh cheese. Beef jerky – not store bought. They said there’s more food and supplies back at base. There’s even a hospital. All we have to do when (if) we get there is be willing to work. At this point, it’s worth a shot, you know? They left this morning. We’ve sat and talked about it most of the day. We leave at dawn.

Wish us luck, whoever finds this. And if do decide to follow our footsteps, remember to keep a careful eye out. Look sharp – stay safe.

“Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” 2

Well, the good news is that the sequel to “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” is coming along nicely, and looks like it will start with the New Year. Bad news is…it’s still untitled. Oops? Hey, at least it’s not big bad news, right? Also, I’m in a somewhat good mood, so I figured I’d share a (very) short excerpt. Enjoy.

 

   Right after we locked everything down, we all called our families. Jo got ahold of her husband. Told him to keep their daughter home, and lock the house down. Basically, sit tight for as long as they could. Ryan got ahold of his mom, but his father had already turned and attacked her. She was on her way to the hospital when he called. His sister was with her. She refused to leave their mother, but passed the warning on to her husband. Everyone else…I don’t know all the stories. I know, by the end of the second week, between family members and the people they brought with them, our number had more than doubled. Neither of my parents answered their phones, but I kept calling anyway.

In the first week, we had six people turn, three people killed themselves, and ten? Twelve? I think? A bunch of people. They left. By the end of the second week, though, things calmed down and everything started blurring together. Joe ended up in charge, which, frankly, never should’ve happened. He was a terrible manager, and an even worse leader. It was Jo, or me, or Lori coming up with ideas, like hooking up the hoses outside for showers. Using the shelves to give us all our own private spaces. You know, things that make living a bit easier to bear when the world is falling apart.

Then the power started flickering. I knew it was coming. I tried warning Joe, but he wouldn’t listen. I started making plans with Lori and Jo that day. We had never unpacked the cars in the garage, so whenever one of us was on monitor duty, the others would sneak more supplies out to the cars. We caught Ryan doing the same thing one night with the pickup truck, and brought him into our plan. He and his son, AJ were a huge help. He had worked in the sporting goods department, so he had snuck out a bunch of camping supplies. Camping stoves, cans of propane, tents, guns, the whole works.