View Full Version : A novel I would like to actually finish.(hint. they arent zombies per-say.)

January 7th, 2013, 01:58 AM

The Fallen

Light stipples the ground in front of the corpse, revealing in its absences the dried blood between the grains in the concrete. The fingers on the torn hand twitch as the possum on the back tears off another strip of flesh.

David looks away from the feast and ruminates on Christ as he turns his attention to the kids doing laundry in the creek. When is the last time anyone of the group ate anything besides boiled bark, emaciated berries and malformed tubers. Two. . . three weeks?

Hard to remember.
One kid squeals and the rest giggle as someone finds a frog. Another insufficient meal.

Davids eyes snapped to one of the men patrolling the woods as he passes between some small trees. David stands, cracks his neck and walks to the shipping container they store food and water in.

Someone slips out of the door and calls for him.
“Hey, David. Got a minute?”
“Make it quick. Breaks over and we've more bodies to move.”
“I was just wondering. . . next time we run scav detail could we hit a theater?”
“Wh. . Ah. . .no problem.”
'Good idea' he thinks to himself; as he turns to go back to work. 'Wish I had thought of it.'
The sun screams two o'clock as the air turns a heavy, bruise yellow and his thoughts turn back to when it all started. The stress of not being able to get to everyone. Accepting them as dead. hammer forging his position as leader, by action and word. Doing the dirty things and not letting them stain.

David rubs his eyes, trying to force the yellow out of the sky and bring back some blue to it. To no avail. He trudges back to the tree next to the corpse and gives a whistle. A minute later Matt and Kinsey come trudging up from the other side of the creek, wiping the sweat from their brows and snow from shoulders.
“Hows that tangle-foot coming?” Dave starts

“Good, the last of it is pinned back down we only have a couple more bodies to burn.

David turns, wiping his nose. “Alright. . .” He looks off into the woods. “. . .Since you're coming with me tomorrow on the scav-op I want you're opinion.”

David grinds his heel into the ground and glances at Kinsey. “Effingham or St. Louis?”

“Shit!” More unity could not be found in such a stark and immediate response if you combed the world twice.

“It doesn't really matter considering the population sizes involved. Trapped by six-thousand is the same as trapped by two-hundred thousand.” Matt points out.

Kinsey nods, starts to speak and stops. He pulls out a quarter. “Call it.”

The quarter just barely shakes as it rests against his thumb.

“Heads, STL, tails F.” And with that his thumb snaps up. The quarter zips into the air. Three people pull in and hold their breath. Time starts to stop as the quarter apexes and begins its descent. The quarter hits the ground like a sledgehammer.

Heads up.
“There it is.” David mutters.
Kinsey spits.
Matt turns and hunches his shoulder against cold, in whatever form it takes.

St. Louis sits on the horizon like an angry, hunchbacked badger. The remains of the arch visible as they lay jutting from the frozen river. The crushed remains of the bandstand lying under it.

Matt, Kinsey and David stand on the Martin Luther King bridge and make plans.
“We push to the Fox theater and barricade. Rest for two hours and then raid.” David takes a breath and sighs. He hates making speeches.

The other two nod and they climb back into the Freightliner. David settles behind the wheel and puts it in third. With no trailer on the truck the first two gears are superfluous. The engine roars as the rear axles stutter, fighting for traction. He turns his head. “Let's go.”

David eases on the brake as they take the exit and he slows to thirty. Running through the lights and taking a hard left as they pass the dead stadium. That's one thing that makes David happy about the end of the world. Sports followed most people into the grave.

The truck pushes a path to Grand street and they back the truck through the shattered doors.

The three climb out the back door of the truck that they cut into it after they picked it up and start moving seats into the gaps between the rear axles and the doors to the theater. The rest of the place has been sealed on previous excursions but it doesn't hurt to check and Kinsey goes to check on the band entrances. He comes back nodding and the group settles down for a rest inside the truck. Window curtains pulled, they settle in and vote on watching something a little older on the dvd player and they pass a bottle around. No point in dying sober and no point in trying to crawl through this grave-worm infested city all that sober either. Two hours pass in relative quietude. The credits start to roll and they all suit back up.

“O.K. We all know it by rote. Fast, quiet and hard. Side-note; Courtney thought we could all use a little extra entertainment so were going to try to find a movie house and grab some copies.”

Another speech. By God, but they do get old. David snugs the SAIGA 12 gauge into his shoulder and swings it in a wide arc. The heft of the twenty-five round drum adding some much needed braking power to the light weapon. . . light in his opinion, anyway. The linesman gloves on his hands making him feel invincible. He flexes his fist and pays delicate attention to the sound of creaking leather as he turns to look at the other two getting prepared.

Matt is cradling his HKM416 and thumbing some dust off the Eotech holographic that rests on top. When David and Matts eyes lock he raises his eyebrows and David holds up a finger. They both turn to look at Kinsey. He is facing away from the other two and adjusting his plate carrier. The single pistol on his thigh rig slowly swaying as he grunted and lifted, twisted and huffed. Finally comfortable Kinsey turns.

“I don't know why we have to wear these fucking things.” He starts to say, when he grunts and shoves a rolled up sock between his left shoulder and the vest. “Better.”

Matt and David both grin. Same shit, different damned day.

“You want a list?” Matt answers.

The snow is falling like rain now and visibility drops to twenty feet, This is one of those things that David probably enjoys more than anyone else about the lack of the common place in this brave, new world. With no weathermen to watch the skies you had to do it your darn self. A self-satisfied grin creeps across his lips.

“All right. Five foot spacing. No deviation unless this shit lessens at some point. We'll just change the plan a hair and stick together.”

David holds up his hand in a wait gesture and drops to his knees. A wracking cough wells up in him just as he wraps his arm across his face and the wheezing sets in. He would be just fine if they didn't have to run the heater. Just let themselves settle into the cold and roll with it but he refuses to push his auto-masochistic peculiarities on other people.

“Matt, Ill be the arrowhead. You take street side. Kinsey. ” a bout of hacking interrupts him.

“Kinsey you ta. . . ” A bout of Kinsey takes him.

“I get it. I got the storefronts.”

The trio of comrades calmly walk down the street like they own it. Only for the sake of maintaining body heat through exertion and to maintain the calm they have found. They are all tensed and ready, they are not unwary, they are just preserving as much as they can should the need arise.

They head north from the Fox theater for one reason only. They climb through the window of the coffee shop one or two doors down and climb through the broken window.

“Matt, take point. We'll load up here.”

Matt nods and crouches in the display window. Relaxed and ready.

David and Kinsey gather up bags of coffee beans and some pre-ground. Not all of you, mind. Always leave a little to come back for and mark them off your map when they are depleted. Hell burn it down if there is nothing else worthwhile around.

The collectors finish up and they head back to the truck. Once they get there they shove the coffee into the sleeper berth and unhook the litter/ wheelbarrow that is used to cover the fifth wheel.

“Kinsey. Your turn for garbage detail. I'll take the rear.” Once David nods they head south from the theater

“You think Hootie and the Blowfish are still trapped under the Arch?” Matt asks. Turning and giving them a wry grin.

Same conversation every time. They just take turns with the delivery.

“You know. . . this IS hell. . . we are trapped in.” Kinsey look back at David

“Don't start in with that shit.” David offers as a response. “If this is hell then why do I enjoy it so damned much, huh?”

“You're the only one.” Matt finishes.

As they settle into a comfortable pace they are nearing the tattoo parlor.

Kinsey sets the wheelbarrow down and asks if they are getting anything from inside. Just as David starts to respond an explosion rips apart a store on the other side of the street. The trio is thrown to the ground. The air knocked from them. David is on his knees and is screaming.

“Back to the truck. . .” Glancing around. The twelve gauge at the ready. “Now!”

The ringing won't stop for a while but the other two need no encouragement and they are scrambling to their feet, headed back the way they came. They distance themselves about thirty feet when gunfire opens up from the beer garden on the west side of the street. Matt and Kinsey double time it for a Chevy Cobalt parked in the side of an RV while providing sporadic cover fire for the third as he searches for his footing.

David makes it to a Harley Soft-tail and jerks it onto its side, laying behind it while trying to catch his breath.

“The beer garden!” Screams Matt

“Thanks for pointing that out!” The sarcasm dripping from Davids tongue.

It is mostly light rifle and pistol fire and Matt starts taking aim just below muzzle flashes. The snow begins to thin but the wind picks up. While visibility increases, it is only marginally.

Seven shots downrange Matt finally gets some joy as two screams start up in unison and the incoming fire decreases enough for Kinsey to put out some accurate return fire with his Sig Sauer M11-A1 with a threaded, seven inch barrel, recessed crown and compensator. As Kinsey starts cranking out rounds the opposition quickly fades from the fight.

David waits three minutes after the incoming fire dies down and belly crawls to the Chevy.

“Time to move.” Kinsey nods as he speaks.

“Yeah. If they had time to ambush us I thought they'd have done it while we were in the truck.” David squeezes the pistol grip on his Saiga and slams his heel into the curb. He switches out the red taped drum for the blue and racks the action. Cycling out the double ought and chambering a Hornady 12 gauge, sabot round. 3.5 inch chamber he turns to the other two.

“Ill take point.”

The group darts from car too car, heading north again. Better to cut the losses and rest up back at camp.

The wind drops down to ten or so with a little gust and as the Freightliner comes into view. He can see a couple of grave-worms shuffling around on the street. More in the distance announce themselves via the pale white shimmering of their eyes.

Davids temperature spikes and he charges in, muzzle out. He drops one hand to his side and makes a fist. His sign for 'leave this shit to me.'

The first one is facing the trucks radiator grill and David comes up in a half circle and drops him from fifty feet, Quickly moving on to the next.

He pops two more, along with a third he finds chewing on a rear tire. Once the area is clear he squelches the radio handset twice and climbs in the drivers door. Shoving one foot in the hinge and rolling the window down he scans his side with a rage he can barely suppress. He takes a huge gulp of frigid air as the passenger side door opens, two clamber in and it slams shut.

“Fucking waste of time peiceofshitBUST!” David slams the meaty palm of his hand on the steering wheel and throws it into gear.

Three days later.

“We NEED more people. . . ” The emphasis trailing off into the gusting, frigid air. “Seven weeks of this shit. We need to do something and quite frankly, I am tired of doing the thinking. Can we please brainstorm as a group without it turning into a damn war” David pulls out a lighter and a pack of Lucky Strikes. As he lights one he surveys the assembled group.

“Word on the radio is that it's better down south. . .” A black man sitting in the back throws out. His name is Zaviar Undigway. He was attache to a group of dignitaries that was visiting Kansas City. When shit hit the fan he grabbed a car and tried for Washington. He made it out of the city with two of his countrymen. When the group found him he had crashed on I-70 and was fighting off what remained of the couple in the stationary car he had hit. That was six weeks ago.

“Better What!” David snaps. “Better warmer; better, no graveworms?” We have to stick to what we know for the time being and since most of us have traveled our fare share I think we ought to reach into that hat.”

“Now!” David takes a stance, shoulder on a door frame, smoke dangling from his lips. "I am familiar with the northwest; Washington, Oregon. Bout an eight hundred mile circle centered on Denver.” He wheezes for a minute then goes on. “Who's next.”

January 7th, 2013, 02:00 AM
OK. I need to delet this post and just upload the file instead of the copy paste thing. Any help with that?

January 7th, 2013, 02:48 AM
Hi Ovaraptor
It's better that you post your story bits in the dialogue box rather than just posting a link, because not everyone will be able to open it, and many ( like I ) wont for fear of getting virus' and such.

And by the way, that'd be " per se " as in: Of, in, or by itself.

January 7th, 2013, 03:01 AM
Duly noted. Thanks for the heads up.

January 7th, 2013, 03:38 PM
Well written. I like the way this was paced; not too slow, but not too quick either. There were, however, some places in which I got lost. I would recommend going over it again, maybe adding some explanations here and there. There are definitely some good questions the reader will be asking by now, which is going to hook them into reading the rest of the story.

The majority of the errors I found looked like they were just typos; easily corrected.

Light stippled the ground in front of the corpse, revealing in its absences the dried blood between the grains in the concrete. The fingers on the torn hand twitched as the possum on the back tears off another strip of flesh.

"Light stipples the ground in front of the corpse, revealing, in its absence, the dried blood between the grains in the concrete. The fingers on the torn hand twitch as the possum tears off another strip of flesh.

Just some confusion with tenses. I also think a comma was needed before and after the phrase "in its absence," and I took out "on the back" at the end of the sentence because I felt it wasn't needed.

With no weathermen to watch the skies you had to do it your darn self.

Also, I noticed a tiny inconsistancy with your use of curse words. The characters obviously have no problem with them, which is why I thought it strange for this sentence to use the word darn. It just seemed a bit out of character.

“Kinsey you ta. . . ” A bout of Kinsey takes him.

Wha...? I'm pretty sure you didn't mean to say "a bout of Kinsey."

The three climb out the back door they added after they picked it up and start moving seats into the gaps

The wording is a bit confusing here. Perhaps a simple rewrite?

“I don't know why we have to wear these fucking things.” He starts to say damned when he grunts and shoves a rolled up sock between his left shoulder and the vest. “Better.” He grunts.

You don't need to use the word grunts more than once here, replacing the second usage of the word with something else.

You should try reading this out loud to yourself. It's a great way to catch errors and flow problems. But overall, you're off to a great start. Good luck with your writing.


January 7th, 2013, 05:07 PM
I actually did mean a bout of Kinsey. I fully intend on developing Kinsey as one of those guys that always tries to finish your sentences and gets it wrong bout 60% of the time.
Thanks for the pointers. I'll try to start reading it out loud. I mostly just wanted to get an idea of its quality before I invest six months to two years working on it.

January 7th, 2013, 05:21 PM
I actually did mean a bout of Kinsey. I fully intend on developing Kinsey as one of those guys that always tries to finish your sentences and gets it wrong bout 60% of the time.

Ah. Okay. Perhaps a little clarification then, so readers don't get confused, like I did.