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Story Time Contest: Hero Edition
24th Jul 2012 at 5:33 AM
Firstly, I'm going to respond to your critique/judging.
Basically, I write weird. So eventhough this story is set in an apocalypse, i want it to be more focused on the people. (Kind of like that movie 'The Women' where they spend the whole time talking about guys, but there isnt a single guy in the entire movie) I wasnt actually going to show the zombies, but I guess you want them, so I'll give them face time next chapter
Anyway, I write weird, as in the story is supposed to be confusing. I wrote (Yes i am quoting myself) "filled nightmares and hollow naps until horror and reality had merged and no one could ever be sure they were awake, and that throbbing in their feet wasn’t an A-bomb gnawing on their toes." As a kind of lead-in to the idea that maybe the characters are losing touch with reality.
I've never written with pictures before, but basically the prologue was effectively supposed to be 2 events shown simultaneously (it would work better as a tv show) ; the event of Ax's mother being bitten (past) and Frank being bitten (present). So for Ax these would kind of be like flashbacks. The events differ showing that Frank was a better parent/ had faith in Ax. And where Ax's mom died, he was kind of 'weak' and Frank took charge i.e Frank was the Hero, but when Frank gets bit, Ax becomes the stronger one for Delaney, AKA the Hero.
So Delaney is supposed to be the 'Damsel in distress' type side-kick, i tried to set this up by Frank wanting Ax to protect her. (maybe i failed).
PS. I never write to a word limit per chapter for a short story, so this is difficult for me.
So, here’s what you missed last time on ‘A-bomb’
The whole universe was in a hot dense state... just kidding
The A-bombs happened (we don’t know how). And then Ax’s Mom got bitten,
Frank followed them to the abandoned warehouse and recruited Ax to protect Delaney, Did he know Ax was resident bad boy? They left the city, and returned some time later to find ‘the cure’ but then Frank got bit, and now Ax is in charge.
And that’s what you missed on .... *weird strangled noise*
Round 2: Chapter 1
“Where’s Marguerite?” Ax asked, having walked the 20 flights of stairs to the high-rise apartment, and pushing aside the butt of the gun Roxanne had aimed at his head. He shot her a knowing glance and she shrugged.
“Her last client got sprayed in the mouth, poor girl didn’t realise til he was biting out her tongue. Had to do ‘em both!” Roxanne’s voice was smooth and glossy, like she was born only to be a prostitute. The apartment was cluttered with the remnants of beautiful pleasantries, coated in layers of dust and filth.
Ax remembered the times before she was so ‘high end’, working with his mother.
“Frank’s dead,” he muttered, glassy eyed. Roxanne only furrowed her brow.
“Where’s the..Princess?” A small smile crossed her face in mocking of the way Frank spoke about Delaney those years ago.
“She’s safe.” He spoke in a monotone way, pale and distant; he needed to grieve too. Roxanne sensed that.
“So what have you got for me?” She seemed oddly hopeful, almost desperate. Ax produced a some bullets, a packet of cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey. A tear almost appeared in her eye.
Roxanne’s face softened, “Do you remember when you were younger, and I always took care of you when your mom... and there’s was that one guy that used to scare you so bad, and you said, I remember you said "Don't leave me here alone". And that was the only time anyone ever needed me.” A black line ran down her perfectly made-up face.
“Why don’t you come with us?” He was trying to comfort her, but he was never any good with girls and crying. She shook her head firmly.
“No,” she shook a little more. “After this, after you leave, I’m done. I’m just gonna bite the bullet.” She started kissing him then, hard, damp kisses;
the way Marguerite used to when he was too old to be ‘looked after’. She was his age, and he became one of her ‘regulars’, but she always used to say “a whore is a whore”. And that is what they were doing now, a simple transaction; Ax’s way of grieving.
Delaney was stuck. Her safe place had stopped being safe when she had knocked over a crate, loud enough for anything nearby to lurch in her direction. The shipyard used to be the place she visited with her Dad. It made her physically sick thinking of those abominations filling their rotten stomachs with his flesh. She shut his eyes before they left so he wouldn’t have to watch, but there were pieces of his brain so far up the wall that nothing she did mattered.
She remembered the first time her and her father heard about the a-bombs. She ate her breakfast quietly, Frank reading the paper as the TV flickered in the background. With teary eyes she replayed him suddenly laying the pages down, palor touching his cheeks, as he raised the volume of the press-conference.
“The order is to shoot on sight. That order is for every man, woman and child. Those things are not human, they are an Abomination” The President screeched, sweat drooled across his red face. “The government does not condone their existence.”
A cool reporter raised her hand higher above the others and the hushed chatter. “Tell me, Mr President, what exactly is the origin of these ‘A-bombs?’”
Delaney laughed, she’d wanted to be a reporter, just like that woman, at press conferences, coining phrases, but Frank was so shaken at that moment that the whole dream just drifted away.
She was screwed. Why did she lock herself into a room with no way out? She could barely see, her eyes all swollen and red like a bad allergic reaction. She groped around in the dark for a weapon, knowing the gun at her hip would just draw more attention. Delaney’s breath quickened everytime the door shook; groans sounded; claws scratched.
‘Maybe I should just end it all here’ she thought, knowing that if it wasn’t for Frank and Ax she would have been dead a long time ago, and now she had nothing to live for, but a pipedream.
Heads and fists were hitting the walls. Boom! Boom! Jaundiced eyes peering through a window in search of its next meal. One of them notices the reflection of the moonlight in Delaney’s scared eyes as she clutches for the gun.
She wants to go out just like her daddy, not ripped limb from limb. She shivered, the sea air pooling a mist around the porta-cabin. Her finger caressed the trigger, but her hand was shaking so violently now that her nails clattered on the metal.
The calls of starving cannibals; barely screams, broke the damn on another river of tears.
“3..2..1..”she counted, placed the cold tip to her forehead.
Ax was above her, calling her name. She looked about dazed until she realised he was breaking through the roof.
His hands shot down, grabbing for hers, like those creatures were trying to do. And when he finally had a good grip, he hauled her up into the sky; the fresh night air. Before she could gasp, Ax threw both of them off the roof, a fence separating them from those lusting after their blood. Feet pounding on concrete; the steady slap slap of Delaney’s awkward daps; blood pulsing in ears; they finally made it to another safe place, another factory.
“You were going to shoot yourself weren’t you?” They were both breathless and cold, but Ax’s words seemed harsh. Delaney nodded meekly, unable to speak.
“If you are going to kill yourself, then do it. People wanting to die just makes it harder for the rest of us to survive!” Ax was angry now. Delaney cowered a little.
“If I died, there wouldn’t be people, it would just be you,” she whispered. “I’m not gonna kill myself.”
A sense of relief washed over him, but he didn’t show it.
"What happened when he got bit?"
Delaney's eyes widened like a deer caught in headlights.
"Umm.." her voice was shallow and uncertain. "He said there was a scientist interviewed on tv who talked about the original A-bomb, and a lab with an anti-serum. They didnt say where it was, but he thought he recognized the view from the window.." she trailed off. They both knew it was a pipedream, but no one would admit it.
Ax got up and paced, before searching through the stash that had been left there many moons ago. Some canned pineapple and a map. He tossed the can to Delaney and told her 'she should eat something', while her unfolded a map of the city.
"What are you doing?" she asked, not touching the fruit.
"I promised your Dad I would protect you, so I'm going to find that cure!"
Current Plot Point: Redemption Quest
Previous Plot Points: Mysterious Past
CC Used: Yes, Allowed: yes
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