- Bad Luck Charm -----------(Zombie horror)
- The Bleak Tale of Jones --(Humorous insanity)
- The Drifter --------------------(Psychological thriller)
- Protector of the Fallen -----(Sci-fi war sorta thing)
Okay so here’s the deal - I’m seriously thinking about submitting something I’ve written to magazines to try and start my path to being a real published writer but I’m not sure which to pursue. So I ask you to please help me by voting on which of these you like best based on the excerpts I give. As a bonus, whichever one wins will be the one I start writing and submitting AND I’ll let you guys read it first for being great!
Your vote should be based solely on which you think is the best idea, not which one I’ve written best as some are from earlier in my life and some are recent.
Also, two of these are actually excerpts from unpublished novels I’ve written, but if you guys choose one of them then I really want to try and ‘squish’ the gist of it into a shorter, condensed one-shot.
Feel free to read them at your own pace, and I’ll give a full week starting today to vote! Thanks so much for reading! Some are long, and some are short, but I think they each have something to offer! Comments are appreciated and thank you so so much!
#Bad Luck Charm
“What is it now? Six months? Eight? Who knows anymore…” I sighed and lit up my last cigarette then threw the empty pack off the edge. I enjoyed it as though it’d be my last. Who knows, maybe it will be. I laid back on my chair and put my feet up on the ledge. Relaxing isn’t easy these days, but you take it where you get it. I started dozing off…
Darkness surrounded me as I went through a door. I felt around, looking for a light switch and eventually flipping it on. “Burned out. Figures.” A thick musty stench filled the air as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. It felt as though the gray walls were surrounding me, suffocating me. I bent over, closed my eyes, and slowly took in deep breaths as I composed myself.
I opened my eyes and they began adjusting to the light. The blood-soaked carpet looked familiar. I looked up and saw my old tv, still hanging on the wall. This was my apartment, exactly the same as when I left it. Suddenly I started walking towards the bedroom as though I was drawn to it. I felt the blood beneath my boots being displaced with each step I took. Closer and closer I got to the door until finally, there I was.
As I grasped the knob, a chill was sent up my spine. Something was behind this door and my body could sense the danger. “I need to go… I need to go now.” I said this to myself over and over. I could think of nothing except getting the hell out of here but my body resisted. My hand turned the knob. Leaving was no longer an option. The door slowly creaked open, I saw a figure - a dark silhouette of a woman. She stood in front of the bed, staring down at it.
I heard a name echoing in my head - Sara. “This is it,” I thought to myself, “this dream again…” Suddenly I had a sort of “out of body” experience. I saw myself as though I was just an observer as I flashed back to that day.
“Sara? Sara is that you? Come on we need to go, somethings wrong.” The woman remained motionless to his calls. “Honey, come on we need to go now!” he walked toward her and grabbed her by the arm. I watched as fear and apprehension took over his face. I still remember how cold she felt that night… He let go of her and took a step back, “Sara… you’re cold…” He kept walking backwards until he was at the door, “no… no… it can’t… Sara turn around…” A groan came from the woman, followed by a squishy plop. In front of the woman now laid the bloody and half eaten body of our son. She still chewed on his arm as he backed out of the room and closed the door.
A gunshot awoke me.
#The Bleak Tale of Jones
“You idiot,” Hydra exclaimed as he turned around atop How’s head, “you’ve been walking for less than thirty seconds, and already you need a break? Didn’t you already have enough of a break spooning with the ugly man-girl dwarf in that cell? We should’ve just left you there to rot!”
“But… I broke out and saved you guys; you couldn’t leave me anywhere…” Jones replied with a puzzled and slightly hurt look.
“Yeah, but… still… we should have thrown you back in there!” Hydra didn’t enjoy the fact that he had just made a mistake, and even worse, he hated the fact that he made one whilst insulting Jones and was found out, so he promptly turned back around and went back to sleep.
How opened the map she had just gotten and started marking locations with a pen she’d taken from Jones’s pack earlier. “Jones, this is where we started out. Here.” She said as she backed up to where Jones was, making him blush and inch away. Slowly, but surely, How got closer and closer to Jones, and slowly, but surely, he got farther and farther away, until finally they were a reasonable three feet away and side by side. This was as close as she could get before he’d start inching away again. She pointed to a small, black circle she had drawn in Kumquat Forest on the southeastern corner of the map. “That was Char, the prison we escaped from.” Jones looked as best he could at the map and nodded even though he could barely see it, and worse, he didn’t know which direction southeast was. She tapped the page until finally Jones noticed she had a finger; he then noticed said finger was pointing to a big, black circle which must have been the prison. “That’s Char.” She then traced a line with her finger through Kumquat Forest to a small picture of a walled village. “This is where we-”
“Wait! Where’d your finger go?!” Jones panicked and yelled, nearly hyperventilating as he believed her finger to have disappeared and possibly fallen off.
“THIS,” How screamed at Jones as he worked on her last nerves, and pointed at the map frantically, “is where we just were, Karabula Village.” She put on a very fake smile that scared Jones and kept him quiet for once. “We’re going here next.” She took her pen and drew a small dotted line over a river and through the woods. Now I’ll give you time to sing that last part, out loud. I, the author, demand it of you, in fact, or I won’t write the next part. So don’t look at the rest of the book without singing it.
How continued drawing a short path past the end of the wooded area and into a mountainous area. Jones looked closely at the map and noticed something written in that area of the map. It read, “If you’re going here, then I suggest you go ahead and kill yourself now; it’ll save us from finding your body later. That means you, Jones.” Jones’s eyes got wide, and suddenly defenses one and three kicked in. As said before, Jones is a bad dancer, even when he’s only focusing on the dancing. Now Jones was both dancing and digging at the same time. He flipped onto his hands and tried to push the dirt down as his feet kicked and flopped in all different directions. How jumped back and stared, thinking Jones was possessed or possibly having some sort of seizure.
I took a few breaths as I stared up at the sky. I now knew that freedom would be mine once again, I just had to grab it. I rose to my feet, dusting off my knees as the two men carefully moved towards me. The younger man’s hands still wobbled with each step, his uncertainty and lack of skill was evident even in the way he moved so casually, tripping on the little cracks in the pavement as he stepped.
“All the little people just scurry away from you, don’t they? Must be tough for you to make friends like that.” I jeered at my old friend once more, a smile coming across my face seamlessly changing into a confident and devilishly devious smirk. My eyes shined narrowed as fate turned to my favor. In just a few seconds, all of the pieces would be in place.
“No…” The voice started up again from inside my head. “Don’t do it! No, please don’t!” It cried out to me. “Not in front of him… not in front of my son…”
Fear and cowardice welled up inside me along with regret, remorse, and a loathing hatred. This was no different from ever before, and these feelings changed nothing — they weren’t even mine. “Please! Please don’t! I’ll do anything, just let me go!” He begged, now screaming inside my head.”
“You want out?” I mumbled, taking a step back away from the men. “Fine, fine… I’ll let you out. Just stop with all the shouting. You’re making my head hurt.” I looked to Blue and raised my head high, straightening my back. Blue’s guard shifted just the tiniest as he lowered his weapon and eyed me carefully, noticing what was about to happen all too late.
“Nice seeing you again, Jay.” I ended, turning my head to the left as my thoughts rushed back to me.
I remembered, as the woman in black had run me down, just how lucky I was. Had she not, I may never have seen the bus coming down the street. My one chance; sometimes it pays to be lucky.
Blue, too, noticed the bus, but it was just too late. He made a full out dash towards me, baton in hand, while his partner fired his gun, eyes shut and so off target it actually hit a passerby that was trying to flee causing him to convulse in a pool of his own excrement and urine. Even had he aimed right, it would’ve been too slow, as I was already on my way. All it took was a leap.
I jumped from sidewalk to road just before Blue reached me. A powerful and bone crunching force slammed straight into my back. My sides crunched and twisted as I dropped to the pavement only to have my flesh torn away, stripped and discarded along the road as I was dragged some fifteen feet before it finally came to a bloody stop. The bus hit that powerless, heaving pile of meat, crumpling it and crushing bones, skull and all along the pavement and into it’s tires and windshield.
“Just keep walking, just keep walking.” I said to myself while taking a deep but subtle breath. I attempted to stay calm through the exhilarating rush and excitement of a change, but it wasn’t easy. I wanted to gloat, to rub it in Blue’s face as he cursed up a storm. I turned to look as Blue slammed his baton into the ground. Passengers exited the bus from both the front and the back, some even stepping on my remains as they retreated, screeched, and groaned till they reached the sidewalk. Blue’s partner relieved himself of his lunch right then and there, tears streaming down his cheeks as he pounded the ground with his fist, gun still in hand.
Another voice came into my head, my new head, that is. “Who… what happened? What am I… doing… Is this a dream?” Her thoughts were much softer, much more tolerable, and this body I could already feel was more flexible and fit. Even though it had only been newly acquired, I could tell it was incredibly different from the last. I wanted to test out my new accommodations, but I knew that’d raise too much suspicion, especially with Jay so close. I just has to keep walking along as though everything was perfectly fine.
I graced the feminine voice inside me with an answer, as I’d actually found this host to be much more tolerable than the last. “If I were to have a name, I would be called ‘Drifter’.” I replied, touching my lips and feeling the lipstick atop them then patting my suit jacket pockets. “Your body is mine now, and this is one I intent to keep for much longer than the last.”
Protector of the Fallen
They came without need. They came without reason, without compassion, without anything but these weapons of theirs. Those ships from the skies, their weapons, their hate. They came to wipe us off the face of this world, of OUR world. Why? Maybe it’s because we look different, maybe it’s because we act different, speak different. Maybe it’s fear, who knows? They didn’t come to talk. No, they came for war. Simply to kill.
Five years ago they invaded. We thought maybe they would be friendly at first. Cautious optimism, I guess. It ended with our government wiped out, our cities destroyed, our very existence cut away from our own planet. Our home planet, and why? That’s the question we’re all asking down here. Why?
I stared onward toward the dark, sullied eyes of my comrades. We stare death in the face. It’s cold eyes never blink nor waver as it’s hand reaches closer to each of us, taking a friend, a lover, a child, every day. Famine, disease, even greed, all caused by this war. War… it’s not even a war, it’s just a slaughter. A massacre that will never end. We can’t stand up to their weapons, their technology… and we could never stand up to their depravity, their want, their need to obliterate, desecrate, to take everything from us. Their need to consume all around in fire and death until the last survivor is simply the last victim.
I look to my comrades, the ones that were left, thinking of the many I’d lost long ago. No one here was a soldier. No one here was a fighter. We were workers. Laborers. Those given tools and told to do a job, only now our tools were guns and our jobs were to protect. Fight for our survival as though surviving was the only thing left. We have no resistance against them. We have no tale to tell of a world we win back, we have only our lives and our last words to be passed on until they’re all spoken up.
If I could, I’d like to know why. Why they came to our world, why they had to do the things they’ve done. I stared at the lifeless husks of my comrades as I wrote my final note. This is no war, it’s a massacre from another world which has no love left inside. These things that came… these “humans” as they’re called… I just wonder why.
- Anadu Delah-Paroof, First Protector of the Fallen.
I read the words in his journal, one of the few new books in this world we’ve lost so much to. My grandfather’s last words brought hope to so many. We have survived, we still live strong. The surface may be gone, but we have our lives. We’ve grown, and now it’s my turn to grow too.