October 20, 2019, 08:38:54 PM

Author Topic: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread  (Read 10584 times)

Offline xiagan

  • Writing Contest Organizer
  • Powers That Be
  • Elderling
  • *
  • Posts: 5950
  • Total likes: 2590
  • Gender: Male
  • Master Procrastinator
    • View Profile

old image:
Spoiler for Hiden:

"In Love with a Vampire" by Cylonka

A vampire, a werewolf and a girl. An easy formula for hundreds of bestsellers.
Most of them are novel length, though. Does that mean that it's not possible to write a good paranormal romance in short story format?
Of course not! And it's your job to prove it. A good love triangle doesn't need hundreds of pages. I have the feeling that 1500 words may just be enough. ;)

This month I want you to write a story about a romance containing a werewolf, a vampire and a girl. (The girl doesn't necessary have to be the love interest.)

Rules:

1. This can be prose or a poem.
2. Must be about a girl, a vampire and a werewolf.
3. Prose must be 500-1500 words long.
4. Poetry must be 100-500 words long.
5. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
6. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
7. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
8. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
9. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys next to the 'youtube' symbol:

Entry will close May 1st 2015 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

Please post your entry below. All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here. Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months.

Remember that this thread is only for entries. Discussion or questions can be posted here.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 08:57:12 PM by xiagan »
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline xiagan

  • Writing Contest Organizer
  • Powers That Be
  • Elderling
  • *
  • Posts: 5950
  • Total likes: 2590
  • Gender: Male
  • Master Procrastinator
    • View Profile
Re: [Apr 2015] - Werewolf, Vampire, Girl - Submission Thread
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2015, 04:04:05 PM »
April Fools! Plot twists and/or surprising endings it is!

This often is a specialty of short stories and you find them there more often than in other forms of writing.
It's about time for you to try to write one. ;)
The most famous examples I can think of aren't in literature, though.
I guess most of you have seen one or more of M. Night Shyamalan's movies: The Sixth Sense, The Village, Signs, The Happening or She's All That are perfect examples of a cool plot twist - usually in the end of the story/movie.

So this month I want you to write a story containing one (or more, but too many will make the reader feel like riding a roller coaster and not everybody likes them ;)) plot twists and/or a surprising ending.

Instead of an inspiring picture you get one of my own short stories, self-pubbed in an anthology called "Fictional Times - a Fabulous Anthology of Wondrous Stories" a few years ago. [/end shameless plug]

Spoiler for Hiden:
Last one standing

I am the last one of a dying race.
I don't know why I'm writing this down, since nobody will ever read it, but it keeps me occupied and I have to talk to somebody – even if it's my diary.
I'm old. Really old. If you think about it, somebody has to be the last one alive. I don't know why it had to be me, but that only adds to all the other things I don't know, so it's not bothering me much. I always knew that our own stupidity and not some meteors, or big earthquakes would erase us from this planet but I'm surprised about the way it happened. There were so many possibilities: Nuclear war, self-inflicted climate change, lab-made viruses... I'm sure there were even more dangers we brought upon ourselves, but I'm no scientist, not even a learned man, and everyone I could ask is dead.
What happened is quite simple. Since math was always a favorite of mine, I’d like to see it as an easy arithmetic: Take some businessmen who want to make a lot of money, add some mad scientists, subtract their conscience and multiply it with bad luck and quite some 'Oops, we didn't take that into account'. Done!
There's a simple plant with astonishing features: Bitterweed, a.k.a. Ambrosia artemisiifolia. I mentioned above that I'm not a learned man and I stand to that. But since you could say that this yellow-blossomed plant was our nemesis and our doom, everything concerning this plant is absolute basic knowledge. Anyways, back to my story. Once the earth got warmer, it spread like wildfire. And one single plant can release up to one billion pollen. That was a problem back then, because it was ultra allergen - six pollen per cubic meter air was enough to cause hay fever and Asthma and they flew hundreds of kilometers far. Sounds pretty frightening, eh? Of course science got it under control pretty fast, but once it did, no one bothered anymore to remove the plants. They soon were a common sight in most countries and only the yellow dust on the windows and roofs was annoying.
Now we take two scientists from our arithmetic above. They are, as mentioned, mad and without a conscience. One is a biologist and one a geneticist. Unfortunately they were employed at the worlds largest distributor of sperm (yeah, sounds pretty weird) and in vitro fertilization, a corporate group with sperm banks all over the world and as many clinics, which are specialized in IVF.
They already make a lot of money but apparently not enough. Every normally conceived child is costing them money, they think. And then they have their groundbreaking idea. Why not try to make mankind more dependent on our services? Sounds crazy, but that's what they did. They genetically modified that plant so that its pollen had a new property. You just had to inhale a few and they discharged to your upper respiratory tract, in addition to their normal psycho-active proteins, some others which made men, not all of them but enough, infertile.
It took us a few years to notice the slowly growing infertility and some more until the corporation's big secret leaked over the tubes. By then, it was too late. We already knew from plants like Corn or Rapeseed that it was impossible to protect normal plants from genetically modified plants and the new GMO Ambrosia spread over the world. Efforts were made to exterminate Ambrosia, but in vain.
What the mad scientists didn't take into account was their own storages running low after a while. Once it got out that fertile sperm was a limited resource, people panicked and what was left got destroyed in riots and wars.
And here I am. One of the last to hatch. Writing my story down and wondering if the next sentient and self-conscious beings on this planet will be wiser than we dinosaurs have been.

Rules:

1. This can be prose or a poem.
2. Must contain a plot twist and/or a surprising ending.
3. Prose must be 500-1500 words long.
4. Poetry must be 100-500 words long.
5. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
6. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
7. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
8. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
9. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys next to the 'youtube' symbol:

Entry will close May 1st 2015 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

Please post your entry below. All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here. Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months.

Remember that this thread is only for entries. Discussion or questions can be posted here.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline wakarimasen

  • Writing Contest Regular
  • Builder
  • ******
  • Posts: 136
  • Total likes: 162
  • Gender: Male
  • Currently suffering multiple story disorder...
    • View Profile
No lovelorn Vamipres here... move along.. move along
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 11:21:04 PM »
I must admit. I was glad it was an April fool. It got me.
I was thinking maybe I could do a version of the old woman who swallowed a fly involving a girl, a lycanthrope and a haemovore.
 
But... plot twists are much more fun. So here's mine (getting in early I guess)..
Enjoy!

No Twist In The Tail
(1488 words @badDayHappenin)

Spoiler for Hiden:

"I never told you how I ended up in your world." Stamford wheezed.
The creature passed over the ditch, unable to overcome its momentum. Yalri looked up from where she had landed on Stamford's chest, wide eyed in disbelief.
"You really think now is the time?"
"Funnily, now might be just the right time." He replied, helping push her to her feet.
"The only time you mean, before we die." She kicked him in the side.
"It's coming back!" Estra shouted though no one could fail to miss the screaming beast as it gouged great trenches in the earth.
"Get to the edge." Yalri slapped him into motion down the ditch and the holy man stumbled into a run.
She reached down, pulled Stamford to his feet and they set off after him. Ahead they could see nothing but the stumps of ruined temple masonry marking the end of the trench.
"It was the damndest thing really." Stamford yelled. "I was about to get nabbed...er ..caught, by a kind of lawkeeper."
"Always knew you were a bloody thief." Yalri collided with Estra's back as the man teetered on the edge of the cliff. Stamford stopped too, he rested with his hands on his knees, watching the beast twist in long loops as it gained height and turned for another pass.
"Don't think I ever hid it be honest." He straightened, reached to the pouch at his back and pulled forth a box, no bigger than his palm. "Thing is, I had taken this from a museum."
"A what?" Yalri snapped as she leaned over the cliff, checking the hundred or so foot drop to the lake below.
"A museum. It's like a place where valuable artefacts are kept in my world."
The creature gave a shriek as it turned, sighting on its prey.
"Mother of the creator, what do we do?" Estra pawed at Yalri. She batted him off and looked at Stamford.
"Like a bank?"
"No, not like a ... look that's not important." He flustered.
"I'm assuming something you're saying is though? Otherwise we are about to become a bloody smear in one direction or another."
He pulled her hand out and shoved the box in it. Trying to keep her attention from the beast which was diving toward them.
"It's a twist. Open it."
Yalri had no idea what he was talking about, but that had been a familiar sensation sense they had met six months ago. She had learnt just to go with it instead. She snapped the tiny box open and suddenly laughed. Then she grabbed the two men and yanked them both over the edge.
As they fell towards the lake a sizeable section of the cliff followed them, smashed free by the screaming creature which was enraged at being denied a second time. They all knew they would die when they hit the water. It would have the forgiveness of a boulder from that height. Then Yalri stuck out her hand and began shouting in her native tongue. The gittering surface bloomed into a mist and rose to meet them. A great, soft fountain broke their descent and slowly lowered into them lake. They still plunged beneath the surface, but not so far that they could not make it back up with a few wild strokes. When Estra recovered enough wits to look around he saw Yalri was spluttering laughter, treading water with the box in one hand.
"I just remembered the water raising charm from my village." She smiled. "I used to hate the old hag for making me do that a dozen times a day. Never thought it would save my life."
Stamford did not seem as surprised as his two companions and plucked the box from her grip before nodding his head toward the cave, lying between two of the hundreds of moss covered pillars that rose from the lake where the ancient city had once stood.
"Come on, before it works out where we went." He struck out arm over arm to the entrance and the other two needed no encouragement to swim for its safety.
The cave floor was a sloping shelf, letting the three wade clumsily both out of the lake and into the shade. They stood for a few dripping seconds, looking at the doors they had seen so many times in dead Bethran's book. Outside, the howls of the guardian could be heard as it searched the cliff for its escaped prey.
"This is it." Stamford said at last. "We've made it."
"Fat lot of good it does us." Yalri said. "Without Bethran we can't open the doors. Only a princess of the lost line can. All we're doing is putting off the bit where we become dinner."
"Oh yea of little faith." Stamford replied and held up the box again, wiggling it.
Yalri found that she could not remember what had been inside. Only that it had been unexpected. She frowned and bit her lip.
"It's a twist." Stamford reminded her. This failed to dislodge any recollection and Yalri reached out for it.
"What the hell do you mean, a twist?"
He pulled his hand back, waggling his free finger at her.
"No, no, my dear. As far as I can tell it only works once for each person that opens it. For me, it revealed its nature as a magical artefact and brought me here when by rights I should have being doing a ten stretch at her majesty's pleasure right now. That was my twist. Yours is that your, much despised, upbringing as a water server should now come to your aid and save us all when, frankly, our bacon should have been fried."
The phrase brought back images of Bethran's corpse smouldering on the crystal altar. As if to add weight to the memory the creature screamed again outside, only this time closer.
"It twists people's fates?"
Stamford screwed up his sunburnt face. "You could say that I suppose. In my world we'd have probably called them plot twists. Though I daresay some clever fellows from Trinity would give you a load of nonsense about quantum."
He tossed the box at Estra, who fumbled it to a rest against his holy cloak with both forearms. His eyes looked back through the slit in his mitremask expectantly.
"Open it." Stamford beseeched with both hands as the looping body of the guardian tore past the cave entrance, its tiny feathers scattering into the lake below it.
Estra shrugged and opened the box. He turned it upside down and shook it but nothing seemed to happen.
"What the hell?" Yalri rounded on Stamford. "That was your great plan? Open an empty box? We don't need your empty promises now. We needed Bethran, we needed the last princess of the lost line."
Estra coughed and Yalri looked back. The holy man was doing something none of his order was permitted once they had taken their orders, he was pulling off the gold embroidered mitremask. For a moment Yalri thought she should look away, to save her pious friend's dignity. Before she could avert her gaze though she almost choked and stared in amazement.
"I am the last princess of the lost line." Said the tall, copper skinned woman in front of her.
Yalri sputtered and turned back to Stamford who was nodding with a smug smile.
"Of course you are old boy... or girl. Probably been hiding your identity all these years to escape persecution?"
Estra nodded and tossed the box back. Yalri gawped at her again, then back to Stamford.
"That's just not possible." She managed.
"Not probable." He corrected. "But not technically impossible. Be a dear Estra and open up the temple, I think our friend has got our scent again."
It was true that the guardian had made its twisting way out across the lake but had now looped its snaking trunk round to bring it face on to the cave. Estra bustled past Yalri and pushed on the intricately carved granite doors. They swung open without any of the ceremony and lights that Yalri had expected and the three rushed in to the cavern beyond. Estra turned to grin at her friends but was torn from the floor as the guardian smashed through the cave mouth and into the temple, jamming itself in the entrance and bucking ferociously. Rocks smashed next to Yalri and Stamford, forcing them closer to the creature's feathered tail.
"The box." Yalri yelled. "Open the bloody box."
Terror stricken, Stamford clawed the box open only to have it crumble to torn paper in his hands.
Yalri was slammed back by the garish tail of the guardian as it started to roll on to them.
"What does that mean?" She screamed.
"No more twists." Stamford's face was stricken as the leviathan began to crush them, he took his last look at her. "This story is over."
 
 

Offline Henry Dale

  • The Unsummonable and a Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Gentleman Bastard
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
  • Total likes: 1421
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2015, 06:14:19 PM »
Can't believe you wrote that as fast as you did, @wakarimasen ^^ Great job.

Below's mine. A humble 581 words, so it's a quick read. Please kill me softly, critics  :P

Basil

Spoiler for Hiden:
Skipperbirds called in the distance as they tried to attract a mate. Spring had only just set in and the forest teemed with expectation. Thick bulbs on the branches heralded future flowers. A monotone hum disturbed all that, however. Basil Fabelhaft steered his elstir back from the trees and onto the open field towards the encampment. Sweat formed on the hairy striped flanks of his trusted mount as they made their way through the long grass. The animal's four hooves left a cloud of dust in their wake as they headed up the hill where the red camp was set up, overlooking the fields.

'Boy, any sign of the enemy?'
The captain sat on a stool beside his elstir. He was chewing tobacco vigorously. Something was on his nerves.
Basil nodded his head. 'Yes, captain Aldus, sir. A strange hum from within the forest.'
The captain snorted, his white moustache waved. 'Good job, boy. A strange hum, eh.' He grinned as if it were something funny.
Basil remained in place. 'Fabelhaft, sir.' He ventured, hoping that getting his name known would be an extra stepping stone for promotion.
'Name doesn't matter when you're dead, kid. The enemy is coming for us. Anyway, get the troops ready.' He got up and left for his red pavilion tent to prepare for the coming battle. Basil wished he'd been under a more ambitious commander. He shook his head. Not much he could do about it here and now. His elstir urged him by a poke in his back with its long nose. 'Haha, don't worry, buddy, you'll get your feed. We'll have to be quick. Scary time ahead of us.'

An hour later, the cavalry was lined up along the slope, hunched down on their mounts in the long grass and ready for an ambush. The plan was easy enough but had proven to be effective before. Basil gripped his reins tight and swallowed. He didn't like that hum. The elstir were uneasy. It had grown louder and louder and was audible across the plains up to this point now. A whistle sounded, enemy spotted. He looked at the edge of the forest but didn't see anything. False alarm. Then one of the men yelled. A silver edge had appeared above the trees. It grew and grew until a monstrosity of shining metal appeared. Captain Aldus appeared stupefied. 'That bloody thing is as large as a city! What is that?'
The silver object detached itself from the swaying trees and made its way forward, charring the canopy. A metal voice boomed through the air, it came from the metal thing. 'This is admiral Stephanos of the HMS Van Oranje. In name of the Federation we hereby claim this world and all its possessions.'
Captain Aldus went from pale to purple. He pulled Basil close and told him in a hoarse voice. 'Run boy. Run and save your skin. Go to the capital and tell the bloody king and queen what's happening out here.' Basil nodded, turned his mount and urged his friend south. Behind him the captain regained his composure and sat up in his saddle. 'Right boys. We're all going to die here, there's no denying that. But we'll show 'em how a real man dies, right?'
The men cried out and charged. The ship incinerated the fields with its sorcery and Basil Fabelhaft closed his eyes to that demonic light in which his comrades screamed.

That was the day the Earthlings invaded.

Edit: Added a title.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 01:09:14 PM by Henry Dale »

Offline D_Bates

  • Story Critiquaire Extraordinaire and a Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Bridgeburner
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Total likes: 223
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2015, 07:30:20 PM »
You did ask for it. WVG with a twist. 771 words.

<DISCLAIMER: This is an original work. Any similarities drawn from any number of modern day masterpieces is entirely coincidental. The author holds no accountability for any emotional scarring that might result from reading this material.>

Breaking up.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Annabelle had a big decision to make; she had to choose between her two favourite boys. This was because she'd come into her room to find them both in a bundle on the floor, fighting... again—over her, no doubt. They each got terribly jealous whenever she gave the other attention. But even without her influence they could never be friends, because Ed was a vampire and Jake a werewolf, and it's a well known fact that vampires and werewolves just don't get along.
She was ashamed to say that Ed was probably her favourite, and as such she'd share her bed with him most nights. They'd always begin with a gentle kiss on the lips, and slowly he'd bury his soft face into her neck, making her feel all warm and tingly inside. His fangs would sometimes scratch her, but that was okay, because they weren't as sharp as most vampires' fangs. He couldn't turn into a bat either, oddly enough... but he could fly—that's what vampires do. It never took long for his tender caresses to put her under his spell and then they'd be flying naked together through the night sky. The world beneath them seemed so small... not that she ever paid it much attention. Up there her eyes were only for Ed. The way he sparkled in the moonlight was simply magical.
But as wonderful an experience as sleeping with Ed was, she was always concerned about neglecting poor Jake. So, to save face, she'd occasionally concede to letting him sleep with her instead. His hide was itchy and his tongue rough—which always made her shiver whenever he licked against her skin. From time to time she'd wake up to find him no longer by her side, and only after a panicked glance around the room did she part her legs to see that slippery tuft of fur had snuck off down there, tongue out, panting away. Whenever his course hairs tickled the insides of her thighs she'd roll her head back on the pillow and giggle before saying, "Oh, Jake. You naughty, naughty boy you."
Still, what nightly action Jake lost out on was more than made up for during the day, because vampires can't go out into daylight—not the real ones, anyway. Not that that ever stopped Ed, mind you. He could break that sacred rule for her because... why not? They were soul-mates, and nothing could keep soul-mates apart. At times she even felt like he could read her mind...
Nah, that would be silly. But still, he always seemed to be there when she needed him, especially after those long days of shopping when, tired from the hustle of people, she'd sit down, reach out both arms and call his name, and in a blink of an eye he'd appear to meet her embrace and make her feel loved. Ed was so fast. Like, super fast. Unbelievably fast, even!
Jake was fast too though, and the scamp loved to play hide and seek whenever they went for walks through the park together. She liked to find a secluded tree to settle down under where they could chat intimately until her legs cramped up and she had to stretch them. But so often he was gone by the time she returned. Just vanished! So she'd frantically run around screaming his name for what felt like hours, only to then find him lying down next to that very same tree with a cheeky grin on his mushy face.
Oh... he could make her so angry; but that was only because she cared deeply for him. He was a good listener... a good friend, and she didn't want to lose him—she didn't want to lose either of them. But this constant bickering over her affections needed to end. She couldn't carry on like this. It was tearing her apart inside. One simply had to go.
Annabelle sat cross-legged on her bed before the two culprits and frowned. Ed's shiny bead eyes stared blindly away from her with such shame—and deservedly so. And Jake's felt tongue was, as usual, hanging out—but she wasn't about to let that adorable look sway her decision in his favour.
She puffed out her left cheek. The urge to cry gripped her. Why were matters of the heart this hard?—how was she supposed to choose between them?—this wasn't fair—she loved them both so, so dearly...
But then she was almost six years old now. Perhaps it was just time to put both the toys away and find herself a real boy to play with instead?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 08:20:26 PM by D_Bates »
David Bates
Works in progress:
Ciara: A Faun's Tale - 90,000; The K.B.G. - 100,000; Maria and the Jarls of Jotun - 90,000; The Shame that lurks in Stableton - current project; Ezra'il - Plotted. TBC July 2018

Offline Atku God of Goats

  • Tribute
  • **
  • Posts: 18
  • Total likes: 81
  • Charged with the power of elemental cuteness
    • View Profile
Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 06:57:40 PM »
Gosh. My first submission here.
I've been reading for months, and finally had the balls guts to submit a story.
I'm just so in awe of @Raptori, @Nighteyes, @xiagan, @Arry, @ScarletBea, @Saraband, @Doctor Chill, @Henry Dale, @wakarimasen and so many more.

I hope you like my story.

signed - JMack

Spoiler for Hiden:
caught you looking!

« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 11:48:06 AM by Atku God of Goats »

Offline Lejays17

Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2015, 11:05:19 AM »

Just made the word-count!  Only my second submission to the monthly contests, and the first original piece  :)


The Lady in Blue - 501 words

Spoiler for Hiden:
The morning was early enough for there still to be a chill in the air, though the sky gave promise of a glorious spring day to come, in front of her rabbits bounced around the lawns, leaving trails which had she risen at her usual time would have been the only evidence that they existed....

Penelope jumped down the two steps from the veranda, startling the rabbits on the grass into stillness. They sat upright, noses twitching as they watched her closely, before deciding she wasn’t a threat and hopping off to wherever it is bunnies go during the day.

She stood still a moment longer, listening for any movement in the house behind her. Occasionally her older brother Bobby would get up early to go fishing, but today wasn’t one of those days. Probably he had given himself nightmares from the ghost stories he had been telling last night and didn’t sleep well.

Thinking of Bobby and the ghost stories reminded Penelope of why she had woken herself up so early this morning. One of the stories Bobby had told; the story of the Weeping Lady in Blue, the ghost who showed herself to children more often than anyone else, had taken her fancy, and she was determined to see the lady for herself.

According to Bobby, the Weeping Lady was most often seen between the Parsonage and the Medical Officer’s house. The Medical Officer’s house was closer, so that was where Penelope decided to go. There was no one else around at this early hour, and she skipped merrily down the gravelly path, kicking up the stones every other step.  Closer to the ruins of the house, she slowed her skips and looked around carefully.

There! Near the doorway was a shadowy figure, in an old-fashioned blue dress, just like Bobby had described. Her hands were covering her face, so Penelope could not see if she was crying or not. She crept closer, entranced. A stick snapped beneath her feet as she strayed from the path, and the lady looked up.

The lady’s perpetual tears stopped flowing. “My child.” Penelope heard very faintly, as if it was from very far away. “You’ve come back to me.” Her hand outstretched in invitation, the lady glided down the steps.

Hastily, Penelope backed away. “No, I’m not your child. I don’t want to go with you, I want to go home,” she babbled in sudden fear.

But it was too late. The ghost had caught up with her and had laid a hand on her arm. Everything turned grey and misty, and Penelope knew with cold certainty that she was never going home again.

***

So the tales of the guides leading the Ghost Tours have changed somewhat now. They no longer speak of the Weeping Lady in Blue: she is rarely seen, and no longer weeps for her lost child. Instead they tell of the child in modern clothes who follows the adults, pleading silently with them to take her home…
"Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables you to be wrong with authority." The Doctor - Wheel in Space

"It's not destiny!  It's a crazy scientist with a giant snake!" Sinbad - For Whom the Egg Shatters

Offline Jaeulk

Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2015, 08:09:37 PM »
Well here it is, I had fun with this one and tried to get both the joke and real themes incorporated. Hope you enjoy.

It's called The Contract and comes in at 1454 words.

Happy to receive feedback (useful only please don't be one of those people...)

I'm on twitter @Jaeulk where you'll find me mostly re-tweeting things of interest. Cheers.

Spoiler for Hiden:

The Contract

‘Watch it arsehole’ the fruit vendor spat as Dran brushed past causing the man’s box of Caya to wobble precipitously on his shoulders, threatening to spill the contents into the street. Dran paid little attention, today was not the day to be distracted by mouthy street merchants. The potential opportunities of completing the Royal contract did not escape the sell-sword, he knew a successful conclusion here would lead to other and better jobs for the Royals, enough to get him out of this Goddess-forsaken city. He quickly thumbed the copper crowns he pick-pocketed from the merchant, estimating their value. He was on task but not one to pass up a gift.

The Inn came into view once he passed the crossroads of the dying dragon and he walked cautiously towards the entrance past horses nibbling at the strung up bales of straw hanging from the awning. While fronting onto the main street the Inn was notorious for cut-throats and thieves and while Dran could handle himself in a fight, a dagger to the back of the neck was always a possibility for someone with his background. He pushed on the swinging saloon doors and stepped in, pausing once past the threshold to give his eyes a few seconds to adjust to the dimmer light inside. The Inn was quiet, most of the tables unoccupied and the bartender barely noticing the newcomer’s entrance, nothing to alarm him of impending peril. A wiry figure sat slumped in a large plush chair before the hearth. Dran walked over, and sat next to him. The pair conversed for a few minutes and finally Dran nodded and rose to leave. He had the information he needed. The girl was being held at the docks.

The smell of fish kept Dran moving in the right direction. Moving through the bustling crowd and getting slapped in the face by the tail of some large fish was all part of the journey for anyone moving around down here and Dran kept his emotions in check, focussing on the task he needed to complete. His informant provided only the pier she was being held, but not which specific shed she would be in. Fishmongers yelled out their prices and tried to entice Dran and others in the crowd to purchase ‘the freshest catch of the day’, he acted the interested shopper to a particularly overweight and pungent fishmonger, using the time to take a good look at the area behind the stalls and noted that one shed had two men laying around outside one of the large doors. They were trying, and failing, to be fishermen but were clearly military. No fisherman Dran had ever met walked with a back that straight. Dran moved on, inspecting more fish and repelling the advances of the mongers to purchase ‘the best priced fish in the land’ and other claims of similar ilk. He left the area, having confirmed where he needed to be. Now came the hard part, he only had this one night left to finish the task.

The waxing moon shone brightly, the gibbous had started two nights ago and there was enough light to provide Dran with the ability to move about confidently. Of course this mean that the guards would be able to see as well but that couldn’t be helped. Dran backed himself in a fight over the guards on even terms. He preferred seeing what he was doing than risk tripping over a rotted piece of wood or a discarded piece of netting. This one night and he would be a hero. All he had to do was get past a few guards and to a young imprisoned girl.

Rather than risk a ground assault, the pier provided little cover and a narrow approach, Dran planned to go underneath. He was shown a little trick by the Corsairs of Myeth years ago involving the stomach of a sheep which gave him an extra two or three breaths when underwater. It wasn’t a lot, but enough to allow him to swim below the surface far enough that when he came up, it was underneath the shed where he needed to be. Keeping still and listening he could hear the sounds of people inside, the wooden slats above bent downwards tracing their steps. He figured 5 in all, three inside. Dran brought himself up and out of the water to cling to the scaffolding that exists below the piers, the web of structural support assisting provide great movement for someone of Dran’s abilities and, like a spider, he moved towards the front of the doors. His plan wasn’t the most complex one ever devised. Get as close as possible to the front doors and kick them in. The most difficult part was over, the guards likely thought the openness and restricted access points of the shed was its strongest defense. Wrapped carefully to avoid getting it wet, Dran pulled out a light grenade. packed with magnesium the explosion itself wouldn’t hurt the two guards at the door but if they were staring at it during the night and it went off, the flash upon detonation would blind and disorient them for a while. Enough for Dran to swing up onto the decking and dispatch them. After that it would be all action. Drawing the guards out would also get them away from their captive.

The two guards did indeed look directly at the grenade, they did get blinded by the flash and Dran swept up over the ledge of the wharf. The first guard he struck down with a throwing knife and, not even looking to see if the knife hit, he rushed the second while drawing his rapier, and stabbed the man through the heart. The bang and the cries of the guards had already alerted their comrades and Dran could hear them coming. The doors slid open and he shoved the dead body into the first man out the door. The two fell, collapsing on the floor. The distraction worked on the next man out who acted as if the body of the dead guard was the assailant. Dran moved forward quickly and slid the point of his sword into the base of the skull, an instant kill. The fourth guard had drawn his sword and came out swinging. Dran pivoted and blocked the thrust, drew a dagger and stepped inside his opponent’s guard to thrust it into his chest. That left the last guard, now on his feet after untangling himself from the dead body thrown at him only moments ago. The guard entered into a proper fencing stance and lunged at Dran who blocked with ease, riposting immediately. The guard had clearly been trained properly and that was his downfall. Dran knew proper fencers, many of them, tournament and ribbon winners but all lacked one thing. They didn’t know how to fight for their lives. Dran assaulted the guard with speed and ferocity. Against a proper, street-wise fencer this would have been a mistake. Against a rent-a-guard it caused enough panic that a glaring opening in the defence became available and Dran struck lightning fast. The guard went down. Dran took a breath, this one might live through such a thrust - it didn’t take anything vital. He turned back to examine the scene. All up it was only a few moments but 4, maybe 5, dead. Not bad.

Dran stood still for a moment, if anyone else had seen the fight there would be sounds of alarm. Silence indicated he was safe. He walked slowly into the shed, a few candles stood flickering light over where the guards had kept their equipment. Moonlight pervaded the many cracks in the ceiling and walls where wooden slats and rotted away over the years. At the far end he could make out the cage where the girl was being kept. Picking up a candle he walked over to the bars, the light bouncing strangely off them. The lock was a standard tri-tumble, an easy pick for Dran. The door swung open silently and could make out the sleeping form huddled into blankets. He reached out and shook the figure. Yellow eyes opened to look at him.

In hindsight he should have been alert to it. A full-ish moon, and prescribed night attack, and if he had paused, only for a single moment, he would have considered the implications of a cage made of silver bars. The vamps had won the night-wars long ago but a Lycan on the loose in the city was enough for the night-king’s subjects to remain loyal. Too bad all this only came to mind as a huge set of jaws wrapped around his throat.

Offline Idlewilder

Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2015, 01:42:14 PM »
I've reworked a story idea I was working on for a University course I'm doing that otherwise wouldn't go anywhere for this month's contest. (FYI, for those who're regulars and don't recognise the name, I used to be heavily involved in this contest but had to take a step back due to other commitments, so I'm not a total random!) It's not really SF in any way, unfortunately, but hopefully someone finds something to like! 

The word count is 802 words.

Twitter - @the_idlewilder

Spoiler for Hiden:
The Long Road


Laura Freeman is about to die.

She’s so sure of it by this point that she wonders why she’s running. She’s been on this road all day and there’s not been one other vehicle. On either side of the long, never-ending road are old ditches, like something she’s seen in films about the First World War. She imagines lying down in them, taking cover and getting ready to go over the top. They’re so overgrown now they could never be trenches, but the seemingly infinite length of the road puts her in mind of something terrible and impossible to overcome.

Her mouth is parched and Laura can’t help but kick herself for throwing away her half-empty bottle of water a few hours earlier.

She’s hungry, too. Starving even. She’s running on empty but can’t help wondering – some would say obsessively – if she left a half-eaten Snickers in the glove compartment of her car.

And the car! Well, if it wasn’t for that hunk-a-junk she’d be sipping sweet, luscious cider by now instead of praying to god for just one drop of rain. Laura thinks back to the morning, trying to start the run down old piece of shit in the hotel car park while munching on that Snickers bar and knocking back a glass of ice cold coffee. Coffee like liquid silk swimming in her mouth instead of the cloying, glue-like remnants of saliva filling it now.
 
The car had spluttered into life on the third try, right as she was about to call a mechanic. And wasn’t that damned unfortunate? Maybe if she’d have called them she’d have spotted her phone’s battery on 15% and thought to charge it. But now here she is on a desolate roadside miles from anywhere with no way of calling for help.

Yes, Laura Freeman is about to die.

No doubt about it.

‘Take this road by the farm track, my love,’ the old hotelier had said. ‘Bit out in the sticks, maybe, but the old road’ll see you halve the journey, mind my words.’

Laura keeps thinking about that conversation. If only the old woman’s husband had been on the desk; maybe he’d have kept his mouth shut and she wouldn’t be out here in the middle of nowhere. Instead, Laura’s about to die, and all because of that old woman.

And her phone.

And her car.

Laura thinks back to the journey, bumping and grinding along the old farm track until out she came here, on this road. The Beatles were on the stereo, the track buzzing and jumping; she’s never been sure if it’s the stereo or the CD that’s the problem, but she gave it a whack anyway. Twice for good measure, and Hey Jude blasted out like it was the first time it had ever been played.

Laura belted the words out, ‘Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah, Hey Jude!’ She was in the middle of nowhere after all. Who the hell cares?

The song cut out again and she thumped the dashboard, but something went lumpy under her feet and she hit the brakes, the car spinning as she tried to correct it.
   
Thrown forward.

Seatbelt catches.

Ditch.

Laura’s car was in the ditch – hey, it still is - and she couldn’t do anything about it. She tried and tried but it wouldn’t budge, so she got out and set to walk, grabbed her phone and her water bottle.

She’ll wave down the first car she sees.

Well, we know how that turns out, don’t we? Laura chides herself again.

But there’s something she’s been putting out of her mind. It’s only been a few hours, if that. Laura’s been running for what feels like forever now, but when she first set out she was walking at a steady pace.

This is panic.

Laura looks down at her jeans, smeared in mud and torn in several places. Her hands are grazed and covered in cuts and drenched in something wet and hot and sticky.

Her face feels tender to the touch, but it’s her side that hurts the most.

Laura feels the long, sharp shard of glass (or metal, she’s not sure) twist in her stomach and knows she’s about to die.

She looks behind and sees the car, a mangled wreck wrapped around a tree in the ditch. Glass peppers the road and blood smears run all the way to where she stands. Only Laura isn’t standing. Laura’s been running all day but not with her legs. She’s been running away from the very thought of something. Something terrible and impossible to overcome.

The water bottle lies half-empty in the ditch half a mile back and Laura feels inside her jacket for the shard again, but finds only her dead phone and a sticky, half-eaten Snickers bar.

Make Another World.

Offline SJBudd

  • Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Godling
  • **
  • Posts: 262
  • Total likes: 65
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • SJBUDD
Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2015, 02:23:14 PM »
My entry is about Pirates in honour of my homeland - Cornwall!

It's called - The Hunt for Silver-Tongue and is a short and sweet 901 word tale

Spoiler for Hiden:
“Is this what you’re looking for, Sir?” She bared her ample chest to him. James looked at her, and then at the couple fornicating beside her.

He spat at her feet. She hissed at him, baring sharp canines before retreating back into the darkness of the

narrow stinking alley way. James smiled grimly with distaste at finding himself in Silver-Tongue’s home city.

“Tis truly the place of pirates.”

The harbour was filled with an array of ships, all of ill repute, their captains all wanted dead or alive . Could one

of them belong to Silver-tongue himself? And where would be the best place to find him? James had spent a

long time hunting down the infamous rogue, but this time he knew he was getting close. He had almost done it.

His intuition had kept him alive on the seas, granting him safe passage through countless storms and krakens.

And now it told him that Silver-Tongue was here.

But where was best to start looking? James looked up from the harbour to the many ramshackle and dilapidated

inns along the quay. Silver-Tongue had a penchant for rum. He jangled his purse, there was just enough coin

for a few drinks and information to find Silver-Tongue.

His leather boots clapped down as he made his way through the curling sea mist. The first inn he came to was

too busy. It was a place to drink and fight. He needed somewhere where people came to sit and think.

The third inn he found was more sombre and dark inside. Perfect for his mission.

“Oo-ar me hearties!” Came a little voice accompanied by the rattling of a near empty begging bowl. James

looked down, his brow furrowed then softened slightly. He took out a big coin and dropped it in.

“Are you a pirate?” The little girl asked hopefully.

James spat again, “No little Lady, I’m looking for one.” James glanced around him. This was clearly no place for

 a child. Who would be careless enough to leave their daughter amongst pirates, thieves and lowlifes? He looked

down at her tattered dress, it was warm now but soon winter’s harsh grip would be coming and so he dropped

her another coin.

“Oh, I was hoping to meet one here.”

“You wouldn’t be wanting to meet one, they’re a dangerous folk. Why are you out here all alone? And why do

you have a goat with you?”

“Papa says I’m too young to go inside. The goat is keeping me company.” The girl with red hair and freckles

looked up and flicked him a cheeky grin, “One day I want to be a pirate.”

James chuckled, “Is that so?”

“Of course, just like old Silver-Tongue.” She slapped her thigh hard. “I hear that he is totally immune to a

Siren’s call.”

“Well I know he robbed me blind and stole my fortune. I used up my last coins getting passage to here to come

and find him.”

“Why?” She asked as she cuddled up to the goat stroking its head softly.

“Because there’s a large reward on his capture, dead or alive. It’s not nearly as much as what he stole from me.

 But it’s a start, something to leave my grandkids.”

“Imagine being the one who caught him,” She whispered dreamily, “You’d have a magnificent reputation to rival

 his.”
“It’s not about reputation little girl, it’s personal. He’s taken everything that I worked for.”

“I heard that Silver-Tongue is the smartest pirate alive and learned to circumnavigate the seas before he had

learnt to talk. That his mother was a mermaid queen. Once he had plundered so much gold that his ship could

not carry so he…”

“Aye, that was my gold.” James muttered bitterly.

“Oh,” She looked down, “Did you hear about the tale of him living on a remote island that is neither East, West,

 North nor South? It can only be found by him.”

“Tis rubbish!”

“What about that he drinks only rum and mermaid tears? That he can control sea storms by simply raising an

eyebrow.”

James laughed, “Where do you get your information from girl? You’re filling your head with nonsense. Silver-

Tongue is just a normal man with a lot of luck.”

“They say he has the sharpest tongue and can outwit anyone, that’s why I want to be just like him. Because if

you’re clever you won’t need to be strong and tough like a man.”

The door of the inn opened and out fell a drunk burping man, he took one look at James and lunged forward.

“Ere what are ye doing talking to my bairn? Clear off with you, find someone your own age.”

James lifted his hat and bowed slightly, “Good evening to you little lady,” and quickly went inside where it was

warm and cosy. Now he only had enough money left for a few drinks, most of what he had he’d given to the

little girl. If he wanted to find out where Silver-Tongue was hiding he was going to have to use his wits and

wisdom.

“You wouldn’t be saying that if Silver-Tongue was ere,” the landlord said in warning to one of his customers.

“Silver-Tongue?” James spoke pushing forward one of his last coins.

“Aye, but you’ve just missed her,”

“Her?”

“That’s right,” With his hands he gesticulated, “She’s this tall, this wide and has a strange fondness for goats.”

« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 11:10:40 AM by SJ Budd »

Offline JMack

  • Hircum Magna Rex of the Fabled Atku Temple, and writing contest regular
  • Writing Group
  • Ringbearer
  • *****
  • Posts: 6970
  • Total likes: 4742
  • Gender: Male
  • Our daily efforts are love poems to the universe.
    • View Profile
    • Tales of Starlit Lands
Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 11:55:51 PM »
Here is my April story. 1,500 words exactly, not counting the title, which is:

GOOD DOG

Disclaimer: There are no goats.  ;D

Spoiler for Hiden:
GOOD DOG

Bard is a good dog. Bard does what master says.

When Bard is bad, Bard is punished.

Bard sleeps in master’s room. Master has a big room, and many dogs sleep in the room with master. Shep is a dog. Shep has a nice bed by the fireplace. Bard sleeps by the cold window because one time Bard peed on Shep’s bed. Master made Bard stand in the corner and didn’t give Bard any dinner.

Shep is a very bad dog. When master was traveling, Shep chewed the magic shoes that fly. Shep hid the scraps in Archer's bedding. When master came back, he was very angry at Archer. Master sold Archer to a bad man who hurts doggies.

Bard does not want to be sold to a man who hurts doggies.

Bard would like a nice home, so Bard is good when wealthy people come to buy the doggies.

***

There is a lady guest! Bard likes the lady. The lady smells like lavender and secrets, like home and holidays. All the doggies like the lady, but Bard wishes he could tell her that he is the one she is looking for.

Bard hides outside a doorway and watches the lady and master. They sit at the long table, which is filled with many foods that doggies are not allowed to eat. Except sometimes master throws scraps on the floor, and laughs so hard when the doggies fight for the pieces.

Master says: "I have created so many of these children, and each one can be taught to do whatever you desire."

Lady says: "How can this be possible?"

Master says: "Enchantment is a craft like any other. I am like a potter, who starts from man instead of clay, but makes something much more useful. Or a sculptor, who sees the animal nature inside each and simply brings it forth."

Lady says: "Clay? Nature?"

Master says: "You are shocked at my children. They upset you."

Lady says: "No, no. This is exactly why I came to you. I have come a very long way to find just the right one. I can pay a great deal. When may I see them?"

Master says: "Tomorrow. You have arrived late - an unexpected guest. You must be tired."

Then master sees Bard, and Bard runs away so he will not be punished for listening at doors.

***

There are kitty cats in the cellars. Sometimes master comes to bed smelling of them. When this happens, he leaves the doggies alone. He snores and forgets to lock the door. When this happens, Bard thinks about home and running away.

Tonight, master spends many hours in the cellars. Bard sneaks down the stone steps just far enough to watch master mix the witching wine. Bard remembers the taste of it, but he cannot remember more no matter how he tries. Shep sneaks down too, and we crouch shoulder to shoulder. The kitty cats are gathered around in the candlelight, singing magic into the wine.

"She wants just the right one?" says master. "I know what that woman wants. But we won't let her have him, will we my girls, whichever of my boys it is."

Now master is snoring and the door is not locked. Down the hall goes Bard, sniffing for the lady’s room. Up to her door goes Bard. Scratch, scratch goes Bard, with Bard’s heart pounding.

Lady must be sleeping.

Whine, whine goes Bard. Here is Bard up on his legs, thumping on the door even though he only likes being on all fours. Whine, whine, thump, thump.

Sound! There are footsteps coming to the door! The door opens just a crack, and Bard bursts through!

Lady screams and jumps backward! Bard is sorry! But Lady looks at Bard, and she is happy! She grabs Bard and pulls him close, kissing all over his face.

Lady says: "It's you! Thank God I found you! When you didn't come home for so long, I didn't know what to think. But then I heard you'd stopped to sing at this awful place. Why did you think to come here, you daft man?" Lady is weeping, and Bard is licking her face so she won’t be sad. "Stop that!" she says. Lady looks into Bard's eyes. "Billy, oh Billy," she says. "We have to get out of here."

But that is not my name. My name is Bard. Doggies do not have their old names. Bad people call doggies by their old names, and master's magic says we must hurt bad people.

I punch the bad lady in her face. Lady screams "Stop that! William! What are you doing?" I push her down. "No! Stop!" I want to stop. I cannot stop.

Lady yells: "Bad Dog!"

I stop. I am a bad dog.

"Bad dog," says Lady. Bard wants to climb into the lady's lap, but Bard is too big now. Lady sits on the side of her bed, crying, and shaking, and holding her face in her hands.

"What am I to do?" says Lady. "How do I get through to you?"

***

"Wake up."

Bard wakes from a bad dream. Bard dreamed that master was making the Lady drink the wine with spirits in it. All the kitty cats were watching with their green-glittery eyes. Bard tried to tell lady it was bad wine, but all he could do was bark until master yelled and Shep grabbed him by the neck.

"Wake up, dog" she says. Her voice is low and pained, but she is standing straight and tall over Bard. "I've been thinking and I understand. I mustn't call you by your name, must I, or the enchantment takes control of you. I know you would never hit me. Never."

"Come," she says. We step into the hallway. Lady has a lamp that smells like sunlight and pushes back the night. And there is a kitty cat there, listening. Bard barks and chases, but the kitty runs away. "This place is a nightmare," says the Lady. "Men who think they're dogs. Girls who - oh, I don't even know what they think."

They think they are kitty cats.

Lady looks at Bard with a special secret in her eyes. She holds up a knife. It has spirits in it too. "I spent everything," says Lady. "Everything we had for this. There's more than one wizard in the world, but they all want money. And I don't even know if it will work."

She doesn't know how to find the front door. It is hidden by wizardry, unless you're a doggy.  Left, then right. Left again and down stone steps. Through the wall that isn't a wall.

"Stop," says Lady. "I can’t see you. All I can see is stone." Bard goes back and takes her hand in his mouth and leads her. She is shivering, and Bard can tell how very afraid she is. Bard wants to protect her. From master. From green-glittery cats.

There is light up ahead, and the kitty cat is spying from around a corner. Lady stops, then we go further, but we stop again. If we can see around the corner, they can see us too.  Lady takes a deep breath, then reaches down and pulls me up.

"Stand straight", she says. "You're a man. Hands, feet, the brain you were born with, if you just knew it." Lady reaches up and smooths Bard’s face. "Let's go." She holds up the knife again. "We only use this if we must."

I look at the knife. It is wooden and sharp, with strange letters burned on its blade, and spirits that move and sing to me. They sing of home. My mind clears suddenly and I reach for the knife. From my mother. Her eyes turn bright, and our hands touch as she pushes it into my hand. Together we walk toward freedom, but as we turn the corner a tide of dogs and cats roars over us - punching, tearing, barking, screaming. The master stands at the great iron door, laughing, with Shep by his side.

The kitty cats claw Mother down. She is screaming. I cannot reach her through the crowd of dog-men. I cannot reach the master either. But the power of the knife burns in my hand.

I hurl men and women off me. I yell, "Shep!" and throw him the knife.

Shep catches it and looks at it strangely. The knife sings, and his eyes go wide.  He turns, and with a howl plunges the knife into the master’s neck. The master’s eyes go wide with shock. The kitty cats yowl and spin away from Mother, leaving her broken on the floor. They pull Shep down.

And master pulls the knife from his throat, laughing even while red hot liquid pours from his mouth.

"The heart," whispers mother. "It has to go in the heart, William."

But William is not my name. My name is Bard. Bard is a good dog.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 09:24:28 PM by Jmack »
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
www.starlit-lands.com

Offline Elfy

  • Writing contest regular
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 7187
  • Total likes: 755
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Purple Dove House
Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2015, 01:07:17 AM »
I promised, and I have delivered. 1485 words, including the title. Can be found as @Elfy on Twitter occasionally.

It's called Creatures of the Night.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Creatures of the Night

The moon was a silver disk high in the velvet black sky as it hung suspended over the hamlet of Darkwood on a summer night.

In one of the village’s stone houses, a girl awoke in an upstairs bedroom. She rose from her bed, took a blood red cloak from a peg on the wall and wrapped it around herself.  She opened the window, breathing in the fresh night air. She slipped out the window, flowed through the dirt streets, only stopping briefly by one of the cottages near the well, before floating into the forest that gave the little town its name.

                                                                  ****

Cloaked in the shadows thrown by the wall he leant against, Jakob watched the girl disappear amongst the trees. He sighed, spat and settled the rifle slung across one shoulder. He checked that his powder horn was full and that the pouch of musket balls at his side felt fat and heavy. Then he set off in pursuit.

Anna and Stefan had worried Jakob for months now. The three had grown up together, and been close friends for as long as anyone could remember. Anna had always been a pretty girl with rosy cheeks and ready smile, but that had all changed this summer. She never left the house during the day, Jakob had only seen her at the occasional dance, where she sat still and silent by the wall, watching the dancing with pale cheeks and fever bright eyes.

Stefan hadn’t changed as much. He had always been taciturn and prone to dark moods, but this summer that had intensified, and he seemed to actively avoid Jakob, whereas before the two often went hunting and fishing together. He should have been with Jakob, but tonight he was nowhere to be found, as he had been every full moon of late.

Jakob did not know if his friends had anything to do with the rash of livestock deaths that had blighted Darkwood this summer, but he was going to find out, and part of that meant following Anna on her midnight journey. Her crimson cloak made it easy for a skilled tracker like Jakob Hunter to find even in darkness, but it was a clear night, and the moon gave him some light. As Jakob moved silently, making sure that he stayed close enough to keep Anna’s cloak in sight, but far enough away that the girl did not know she was being followed, he reflected on the mysterious deaths. Some of them did look like wolf kills, and that was something that the people of Darkwood were used to living in a forest, but the others, the ones where the blood had been drained, those were not the work of a wolf.

                                                            ****

The old lady’s body lay sprawled untidily next to a neat vegetable patch. She was on her back and her sightless eyes looked up into the night sky. Her stomach had been ripped open, and the blood spreading around the body looked like a patch of night in the moon’s silvery rays.

A large black wolf removed its muzzle from the hole it had torn in the stomach cavity, pushed at the body listlessly with its nose, whined once, then turned and loped towards the stream that ran past the lonely cottage deep in the woods.

The wolf knew it shouldn’t have killed the two legs, but she was there and the silver haired ones could never run fast. A wolf never knew where its next meal was coming from, so it took its chances when it could. Despite that, and its full belly, the wolf still felt troubled by its last kill. However it had an appointment that it knew it had to keep, so it washed its muzzle off in the clear cool water of the stream, watched the crimson blood wash away and then slaked its thirst.

                                                           ****

Anna stopped in the clearing and looked around. When she first left Darkwood she had the feeling that she was being followed, but she had lost whoever it was. Her senses were so much sharper now, and especially on nights of the full moon, when she met Stefan.

The girl lay her burden down and looked at the child’s face. The little blonde boy looked so peaceful, if it weren’t for the twin puncture marks on his neck, and the paleness of his face, she could have imagined him asleep. She knew she really shouldn’t have fed on him, but he was outside at night, and he shouldn’t have been. Plus human blood was so much sweeter than animal blood, even now remembering the taste as it flooded thick and hot into her mouth when she put her fangs to his tender neck, made her salivate. She hoped Stefan didn’t mind that she’d already had a taste.

Lost in her thoughts, Anna didn’t even realize that she was no longer alone. A tall lean boy with tousled dark hair leaned casually against a tree and watched her, a lupine smile playing across his lips. Anna’s eyes travelled up his naked body, lingering at his groin and then she looked into his dark eyes and lost herself in them for a moment. She broke the silence between them by asking, ”Hungry?”

Stefan chuckled. “Looks like you’ve already eaten, Little Red Riding Hood.”

“Don’t call me that!” Anna snapped. “I couldn’t help it, I was hungry, and he was so delicious.”

“We don’t have long,” Stefan said, looking up at the moon through the branches of the trees.

“I wish you didn’t have to change so soon,” Anna pouted, throwing off her cloak and melting into Stefan’s powerful arms.

                                                              ****

The two lay entwined in each other’s arms at the base of the oak, basking in the afterglow of their lovemaking. They knew that their love was forbidden, even though by the terms of what they were they were young. It had been a night like this when Anna and Stefan on their way to this sort of assignation, had crossed paths with a werewolf and a vampire. Stefan still bore the marks of that encounter, the creatures claws and teeth had left deep scars. To look at Anna no one would know that she was dead, save for the deathly pallor where roses had once bloomed, the bruises under her eyes, and the small fact that if she went out in the daylight she would burst into flames.

Anna disentangled herself from Stefan’s arms and put on her cloak again, she stood by and watched the boy change from man to wolf. She whirled as she heard a twig crack behind her, loud in the stillness of the night.

The wolf leapt past her, its hackles up and teeth bared. For a moment Jakob froze, his eyes not believing what they had seen, then a lifetime of training took over. In an instant his rifle was cocked and primed and at his shoulder as he took a bead on the giant wolf in front of the girl in the crimson cloak.

“Jakob, no!” Anna screamed, but it was too late. The lead ball took the wolf in the heart, and in front of Jakob’s stunned eyes, the animal changed from a night time marauder to his lifelong friend Stefan.

Anna let out a choked sob, then she realized that dawn was coming and she turned and fled the clearing.

She couldn’t go home. Darkwood was too far, she’d never make it in time. Her grandmother’s house, that was closer, she could get there before the sun rose.

                                                                 ****

The girl hammered desperately on the door, shouting, “Granny! Granny! It’s me, your granddaughter Anna! Little Red Riding Hood! Let me in, please!”

Had the old woman still been alive she would have heeded her granddaughter’s desperate pleas and opened the door to her, but a wolf had come upon her that night and killed her, her body still lay at the back of her cottage.

Anna’s last word was an anguished shriek as the sun speared through the trees and struck her in the back. In an instant the girl was a flaming pyre, before collapsing as a pile of ashes on the doorstep.

                                                              ****

Jakob buried the body of his friend and the poor unfortunate village child that Anna had killed, he later found the ashes that had once been the laughing girl that dressed in a red cloak, and also buried her grandmother.

The young hunter was shattered by the part he had played in the deaths of his best friends, and so left the place of his birth. He changed his name, married, settled in Hanau and raised a family, amongst his children were two boys named Jacob and Wilhelm, who loved the stories their father told them, especially the one about Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.
                         

Offline RussetDivinity

Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2015, 05:00:52 AM »
This story kind of comes from the Camp NaNoWriMo novel I've been working on, Cloverdrift, because it's been eating up enough of my time that I don't have the energy to make a new setting for this contest. This particular story doesn't appear in the novel, though; it's more a taste of what the world feels like, and the twist is tied to what I've been trying to play with.

Anyway, here at 947 words is "Drifter".

Spoiler for Hiden:
The plains of the Dakotas were just about the most desolate things Clover had ever seen, even if she couldn’t see much of them. Everything around her was grass, stretching out to where the horizon blurred the line between land and sky. She suspected that horizon was much closer for her that it would have been for a good many other people, but that wasn’t all bad. She didn’t have to feel the crushing weight of all that space around her.

She had her great-grandmother to thank for that, or to blame, as her father said. Whenever he talked about her, he described her as nothing more than a sinner, someone who had sold her body to the stage and to a man, and so God had struck her half-blind. Whenever Clover had gone to her grandmother, she heard a different story, that of an artist who had done what she had to in order to stay alive and feed her daughter. The important part of the story, her grandmother always said, was that she had been half-blind long before she sold her body to anyone. It was a family trait, dating from even further back in their history.
   
Clover had once cared very deeply about whether her great-grandmother had been a sinner or a saint, but now that she was alone with only a covered wagon and her mare for company, she found that dwelling on the past didn’t much matter, especially when that past was generations old. The best thing to do now was to make sure she stayed alive long enough to reach her destination, wherever that might be.

Dinner that night was prairie dog, roasted and sprinkled with a little bit of thyme. She’d traded a silk ribbon for a small collection of herbs about a week ago, and it was the best trade she’d ever made, better even than when she had given a dollar for a pouch full of bullets. She didn’t need her pistol to hunt, and if something was far enough away that she couldn’t get it without her pistol, it was either too small for her to hit accurately or too large to be brought down with a little handgun. Herbs, though, kept her from getting bored with her food, even though most of the time she was hungry enough that she didn’t have to worry about that.
   
No one had ever told her that traveling was such hungry work, but then, no one would have expected her to travel. If she had been born a boy, then her parents might have had to worry about having a runaway child, for there wasn’t much to do for the fourth-born of six (everyone said five, since Dandelion had died when she wasn’t even a year old, but Clover still counted her younger sister), but girls weren’t supposed to run away. They were supposed to be sweet and dutiful, and marry a good man who would take care of them and give them children to bear.

They certainly weren’t supposed to kiss boys behind the church at their older brother’s wedding.

She smiled at the memory, but her cheer vanished quickly, along with her appetite. She didn’t often think of Ned, and when she did, it wasn’t often fondly. It wasn’t anything that she held against him; he had always been kind, and if she had gone through with their marriage instead of running off the night before, she had no doubt he would have made an excellent husband. The trouble was that thinking of him always reminded her of Imogen and Eve.

Imogen was the girl everyone had expected her to be. She was sweet and dutiful, and no doubt she had already borne Isaac a son. Clover’s parents had no doubt been thrilled to have her as part of the family, and even more so when they found out what their own daughter had done.

Clover supposed she ought to still be mourning her older sister. Hanna was no doubt still mourning her twin, and she suspected her parents were still heartbroken from losing a second daughter (and now they’ve lost a third said a sharp voice in the back of her mind), but Clover only felt bitter. It wasn’t her fault Eve had been fooling around with her sweetheart and gotten pregnant, but it was her fault Eve had died. She had been the one to find the medicine for her to drink, and she had been the one to measure it out instead of getting a doctor to handle it.

Was it any wonder she hadn’t wanted to face the chance of getting pregnant herself?

She’d had plenty of time to think about it, enough to know that she wouldn’t necessarily face the same dangers her sister had. She wouldn’t need to abort the child to avoid the social shame, and there was even a good chance she wouldn’t die giving birth. Medicine wasn’t nearly as good as it had been before the Burning Times, when they’d had ways to see inside the mother’s body and spot troubles with an unborn child, but it was getting better by the year, and maybe someday there would come a time when no one in Portland died of childbirth.

That time would be long in coming, and by then Clover had plans to be far away. There was another city that she’d heard of, one where they’d managed to hold on to old technology, and as she lay down for the night and looked up at the stars, she smiled again, dreaming of a place that somehow held both the past and the future.

She was going to Chicago.

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4575
  • Total likes: 3524
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 03:27:15 PM »
Okay, here is my tortured piece...
Let it be said that I still consider this an easy PG13, but we french put "The Wolf of Wall st" as PG13 in theatres, so you might better not take my word for it!  8)
It contains references of course to the original april fool subject, as you'll see.

Explicit gore and violence, sexual connotations.  :-X

It comes at 1181 words but is likely to change before the end of the month.

The Wolf.

Spoiler for Hiden:
The smell is pungent. Rank.
The darkest side of organic, decay brought on by violence.
It clings to a wandering anomaly. Death in a drab fur coat, matted with lives long spilled. The wolf hunts with a will unknown to its kind. Possessed, he haunts the forest that birthed him. His fetor spills around him in the night, catching in the boughs and rattling the senses, an olfactory bell ringing a warning. A challenge to those who think of running. The wolf of these woods is a playful creature. Like no animal ever should, he has learned at the table of Man the meaning of pleasure.

The little girl knows not to trust. She has paid the wolf in loss and tears. It is the lot of those who linger at the edge of the forest. A cruel price, but a wise choice. Life is rich here.
Until the wolf feasts.
The trees care nothing for the perversity of the prowling beast and its murder of men. They grow and thrive and deceive, lure the wandering stranger into them.

The little girl realises the danger. She has lost her uncle, her friend, her mother.
Her uncle fought, he was a challenge. Her mother the wolf must have liked, she was never found. But her friend they did recover. Mangled, naked. Clad only in russet ribbons of old blood and peeled skin. Teeth marks like so many bracelets of somber beads, bestowed by too ardent a lover.
She’d been a toy to him.

The little girl has a knife. Her father took her hunting and taught her to kill.
Never look in his eye. Pity is for the weak. Hesitation makes you dead meat.

"Grandmother, do you think I will meet him? I am afraid, but still I long to gut this murderer. To pare his pelt with my own hands and lay in his fur."
But no child could ever kill the wolf. And no child should sleep in his accursed skin. It is whispered that this is how the wolf endures, cloaking their hatred and lust for suffering.
Her grandmother begs her to be at peace. She doesn't want her to be reckless, she doesn't want to live to see the last of her line extinguished. But they know that each time she visits, the little girl gambles her life.

That week she killed a goat. She cures its flesh and fills her basket. She will bring her grandmother food, news and filial love. She has her knife, her hood and her courage. With luck, she will survive once again the forest where death each night lurks.

The wolf knows her. He has smelled her, time and again. He knows them all, his enemies, his playthings, his prey. The men he feeds on, who flee and leave hanging the heady scent of terror, the delight of his nights.

She runs, light and silent, a little red mouse through the mist. She thinks of things to say, news to spread and tasks to be done. She feels her pulse quickening; she relishes the future. She is young – her hatred never leaves her, but she can’t fathom the destiny that is calling her.

The smell swells abruptly around her. It burns her nose, scorches her tongue. It comes from every direction, as if she had waded into a shoreless sea of rot. Her basket lies discarded, her blade, dull in the grey light, trembles in her hand.
He comes forth, velvet paws silent as the fog itself. She sees him, sees his size and wonders.
What had she expected as she dreamt of her knife slicing tendons and those muscles so bent on destruction?
The monster in front of her is no wolf, no child of nature, no animal lost to its pack.

He returns her stare, his eyes level with hers, his haunches quivering with impatience. He recognises the anguish distorting her features. He drinks it in each time, be it in hare or man, this disbelief at his size, his form, his potential.
He circles her, with each step he grows nearer, with each stride the sickening click of his malformed joints grows clearer. He smells through his own stench the sweet perfume of her panic. She stands her ground frozen by terror, and waits.

The force of the impact knocks the wind and the sense out of her. They crash onto the ground, her knife grates his ribs, fails to sink in.
He looms over her. Another blow shatters her scrambling mind. She's on her belly, her blade lost, clothes torn, bleeding. Blood is everywhere. Her blood.

This can't be happening.
But it is.
Pain consumes her senses. The wolf moves slowly; tearing the skin from her neck, sliding into her. He gouges her arms, crushes her, presses her face in the clammy humus. His chest rumbles against her in a sick imitation of laughter.
She feels him everywhere, in all the searing shame and mindless despair of one who thought to conquer and is crushed instead.
She looks into his eyes and sees her death, avid and expectant, laced with lust and glee. Saliva tendrils snap and trail across her virgin flesh. His fangs tease her bleeding throat. He is resisting the natural temptation of an easy kill. Trapped within his jaws she can barely breathe.
Her father's voice is in her ear, murmuring to her as if in a dream.
Don't be a daughter to your mother.
Rather be a good niece to your uncle. Fight.


Fingers meet metal. She whimpers, and tries to pry her hips free of the frantic animal. Succumbing to her ruse, he adjusts his grip. Her freed arm flies upward, fueled by desperation.
Metal meets flesh. He shrieks and pulls off. She sits up and scrambles away, pressing her stained weapon to her breast. The sight of him is ghastly : coiling in the leaves in throes of agony, the wolf moans and yelps as his own blood mixes with hers on the decaying leaves of the rotting forest floor. It oozes, ruby red and thick, from an eye burst to a pulp.

His disappearance is as sudden as his arrival had been, and it leaves her hollowed, defiled, numb.
It has happened. He has come and he is gone. Despite her state, she can count herself lucky. No one has fought the wolf and lived to tell the story. This realisation is what makes her stand then makes her run. She needs to get home. She flees, careless of the noise, pushing the pain, crushing her shame. She needs to reach home.

Finally it is in sight, the safe abode where light pours out in the foggy night. Tears run down her face as she rushes to the door and crashes in her house, sobbing, ready to be comforted and healed.
Yes, her father is here, and turns to her as she enters. He too, is disheveled, his chest bared. Again that night they stare at each other. She gapes at his one eyed, bleeding face.
Blood oozing from an eye burst to a pulp.

If anyone is curious, the two tracks I morbidly listened to as I was writing this were from Converter. It's Industrial techno, so not for everyone. Down There is the true "soundtrack" of the piece I believe :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkDvs5mNTF0
But I wrote a lot while listening to Gateway Rite, same band : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dErAkgHTXrY

Proper spoiler, here is a little picture of one of the many story related doodles I made while struggling with this short. Don't open it till you're done reading. Can't resist sharing it with y'all ^^
Spoiler for Hiden:
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 05:01:23 PM by Nora »
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Giddler

  • Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Builder
  • ******
  • Posts: 117
  • Total likes: 11
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2015, 10:12:00 PM »
Hi, everyone, here's my story for April, and my 10th entry into the monthly writing contest. 

Hail to the King, 1491 words

Spoiler for Hiden:
The convention of the Thames Valley Doomsday Preppers was in full swing when Russell got there. He and Amanda had gotten lost on the forest track to the campsite and arrived an hour late, to discover that nearly everyone else had driven there. The main group had made a campfire, while the rest hovered self-consciously about.

Talk had moved onto potential apocalypse scenarios and, inevitably, the conversation had jokingly turned to zombies.

“I’d probably base myself rurally, if it was Zee’s, you know?” said Tim. “There’s less people, and therefore less Zee’s.” The gang around the campfire nodded and murmured sagely.

It’s ‘Zeds’, you dickhead, thought Russell.

“Also,” continued Tim, “you gotta think in terms of potential danger from other survivors, you know? I mean, Zee’s are slow, right? But someone with a knife can kill you just as easily. You’ve gotta make yourself a hard target.” He indicated Russell’s bright red fleece jacket. “Stuff like that will just get you killed, mate. You need to go tactical.” He pointed at his own expensive camo-pattern paintballing jacket.

“Hang on, Tim,” Russell interjected. “What if it isn’t ‘Walking Dead’ zombies? What if it’s ‘28 Days Later’ zombies?”

“What difference does it make?”

“Well, they’re a lot faster, for one. There’s a lot of open space in the countryside for them to run after you.”

Tim nodded. “Granted, Russell. But that doesn’t automatically make living in the city preferable to the countryside.” A few sycophants around the fire made noises of agreement. “Where would you go?”

Russell’s mind raced as he tried to think of a suitable answer. “The sewers,” he finally managed.

The group exploded with laughter.

“The sewers?!” sneered Tim.

Russell felt his face grow hot. “Well, not the sewers, necessarily, but underground. A bunker, or a safe room or something.”

Tim laughed derisively. “Oh, yeah, you can’t move for bunkers round here! They’re like Starbucks!”

The group howled even louder.

“Oh, piss off, Tim,” muttered Russell, stomping away from the group and grabbing a cider from the bag. He noticed Alan staring at him, working up the courage to speak. Russell’s mood darkened. The outcasts had noticed his expulsion from the main group, it seemed, and were taking him for one of their own.

 A slap on the backside distracted him.

“Alright, ninja turtle?” asked Amanda. Russell let his expression reply for him. He cringed as Tim’s group whispered behind him.

“Are you okay?” asked Amanda. “We can go home, if you like. Oh no, wait, we walked here, didn’t we?”

Russell became aware of Alan creeping nervously closer in his peripheral vision, as though about to defuse a pipe-bomb. He swung around on him.

“Yes, Alan?” he snapped.

Alan flinched nervously. “I’ve got a safe room,” he stammered shyly. “I’ll show you if you want to see it.”

Another giggle from the campfire made up Russell’s mind for him.

“Let’s just go.”

————————————————

Amanda hadn’t been drinking, so she drove Alan’s car while he rode shotgun. Russell sat cramped, barely containing his annoyance at Tim’s presence, who had been getting a cider from the bag when Alan made his revelation, and had insisted on coming.

They drove into the city, passing busy restaurants and pubs. There was more movement on the streets than usual, and an ugly charge to the air that made Russell glad he was in a car and not on foot. As they drove past a bar, they saw a man fighting two huge doormen, thrashing against them furiously. As they lifted him into the air, he twisted like a cat and sank his teeth into the cheek of one of them.

“Oh my God!” gasped Amanda. “Did you see that?”

“Just drive on,” said Tim. “The police will deal with it.” Russell had been amused to hear the nervousness in his voice.

Amanda drove them out the other side of the city and into the industrial district.

———————————

Alan told Amanda to park outside a building and they got out of the car.

“This is it?” asked Tim, underwhelmed. For once, Russell agreed. It was a self-storage unit.

Alan nodded. The squat, yellow, corrugated-metal building before them did not scream ‘safe house’.

“It’s a Lok-n-Store,” said Amanda.

Alan nodded again, as if that were, indeed, obvious.

“I think we were all expecting something a little more…” Tim tailed off. “Safe?”

“You can’t get much safer than that,” Alan said. “And I work here, so we’ll have no problem getting in here when there’s Zeds everywhere.”

“Zee's,” corrected Tim, although Alan had already endeared himself to Russell, who put an arm around him.

“Tell you what, mate, why don’t you show us around? Are you coming?” he asked Amanda, pointedly ignoring Tim. She smiled and shook her head.

Looking faintly proud, Alan swiped his card in the door, and he and Russell entered the building.

————————————

They were in the basement.

“So, here, we’ll keep chainsaws and stuff,” Alan was saying, pointing to a locked storage closet. “And here I keep tinned food.” Alan was far less shy when he was discussing the zombie apocalypse.

Russell was starting to regret humouring him. “Look, mate, this place is great, in principle, and I’m really happy you’re enjoying prepping, but there’s a lot more to it than fantasist zombie crap.”

Alan looked at him in vague alarm. “Like what?”

“Well, what if the World Economy collapsed? What if an electromagnetic pulse event took out all the world’s power grids? What if fossil fuels run dry? These are the sort of things preppers should be planning for.” He sighed at Alan’s uncomprehending expression. “Look, I know you probably haven’t seen many preppers yet except for delusional wankers like Tim-” Alan giggled guiltily, “-but Doomsday Preparation is a mature responsibility to ourselves and our families.”

Alan smiled sadly. “I just wanted to be part of a group…”

Russell felt bad for the little man. “You’re part of the group, Alan, and you’re my friend. Now, why don’t we get outside before Tim converts your car into a Mad Max roadster?” They both laughed and headed for the stairs.

————————————

“So how did you get into prepping?” Tim asked Amanda.

She shrugged. “Russell likes it. It’s something we do together.”

 Tim nodded. “My girlfriend used to do it, too, but she reckoned I was too into it so we split up.” He looked around, scanning their surroundings.

“Wow, you’re really… keen,” frowned Amanda.

Tim caught her tone, and shrugged. “When I was in my first year at University, I got beaten up by some guys. One punched me to the floor and his buddies kicked me until my ribs broke and punctured a lung. I was in hospital for seven weeks and I had to retake my first year. I couldn’t leave the house, you see?”

Amanda didn’t know what to say.

“When you’ve seen what people are really like,” murmured Tim, “once you really know; you can’t do anything else with your life other than be ready for the next time.”

Amanda turned to face him. “Tim, I’m sorry…”

He wasn’t listening. A man was at the end of the road, lurching drunkenly under the sodium lights, too far away to make out individual details.

Suddenly, he spotted them, and began to run towards them in a frantic sprint.

“God,” said Amanda, “he’s running really fast.”

“Amanda,” said Tim in a flat, terrified voice. “Get inside.”

——————————————

Russell had his hand on the door-handle when Amanda came crashing through in a state of blind panic. His first thought was that Tim had attacked her, but then Tim came through himself and slammed the door behind him.

“Lock the door!” Tim screamed, pressing his back against it. Russell just stood blankly. Amanda threw herself against it to lend her weight to his. A howling screech came from outside and the door shook under a tremendous impact, almost knocking Tim and Amanda back.

“Help us, you stupid bastard!” shouted Tim. Russell snapped from his daze and leaned his weight against the door.

“What the hell is going on?” he cried.

“He’s dead,” stammered Amanda. “I saw his insides hanging out.”

“What!?”

“She’s right,” said Tim. “No-one like that could be alive.”

The door shook again, jolting the three of them. Russell cursed. “Alan, help!”

Alan had disappeared.

The next impact cracked the wood, straight down its centre. The door folded like a curtain, and the zombie thrashed its way into the corridor in a frenzy, loops of intestine dangling from it’s yawning stomach cavity. It caught sight of Amanda and hissed, crouching ready to spring.

With a boom, it’s head exploded like a pumpkin, spattering brain matter and blood across the corridor. The three turned to see Alan behind them, holding a shotgun.

Screeching came from the street outside. Russell could hear distant sirens.

“Do you know, Alan, we may need your safe room after all,” he said.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 10:13:43 PM by Giddler »