Friday, June 25, 2010

Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest: Three Steps

The caravan was gone for weeks looking for generators to power the lights around the compound’s perimeter. Fences had been fortified and walkways established, but still people preferred the safety of their homes to the courtyards.

Cora had been pacing since the caravan left with her husband two weeks ago. Being the soldier he was, Oliver offered to travel alongside the caravan to help fend off the sea of undead. He left Cora safely behind the fence, alone.

While the distant moans could not penetrate the walls of her home, Cora knew they were out there past the fences feasting on what was left of humanity. She hoped Oliver was safe, but it was not looking so good. The round trip should have taken a week at most, and now with every day that passed she grew more and more anxious.

The pacing had started inside the confines of her safe house but progressed to the front gates of the compound. No matter how many times Cora checked the front door or the gate, Oliver was not there.

Moonlight flickered off the new fence as she walked the perimeter, occasionally passing a patrolman with a torch. No words were ever exchanged; each pretended the other didn’t exist. Cora tried to focus on the movement of her feet and the sound of her heart in her ears instead of the moans on the other side of the fence.

Stopping at the front gate, Cora stared down the dusty gravel road. There were no lights in the distance; only shadows of what were once people staggering across the road in different places. One more time around the perimeter and she would retire to pacing her safe house.

Around the corner, Cora spotted people in the park on the other side of the fence. She walked closer to get a better look; it was a man and a woman. Their faces were emotionless, but he held her hand with the utmost care. Cora found it hard to believe that they were undead like the others.

Cora sat quietly on the ground and placed a hand over her mouth, watching the couple. They made their way slowly toward the old swing set. The man helped his partner gently into the swing. She stared blankly at the heavens as he pushed her softly.

The next day, Cora did not pace. She sat at her small dinner table, set for two, and cried into her coffee. That evening she slipped into the night filled with the eerie call of the undead.

The couple was closer to Cora’s house than they were the night before, under the tree that overhung the old campgrounds. They sat across from each other at an old picnic table. Again Cora sat down, rested her elbows on her knees, and watched.

The man leaned across the table and brushed the hair from the woman’s brow with broken fingers, trailing blood across her forehead and cheek. It glistened in the moonlight. She tilted her head and followed his face with her cloudy eyes. He softly brushed her lips and covered the top her hand with his own.

Cora felt jealous of the couple. Their love was so great it passed into their next life. She didn’t want to think that Oliver might not make it back, but there was a nagging pang in the pit of her stomach. What if he’s wandering around, undead? Would he be looking for her?

In her dreams, she saw the couple very much alive, picnicking on a red gingham blanket in the courtyard. The woman’s crimson smile spread wide as she fed her partner grapes that sparkled like rubies on the vine. They laughed, kissed, and basked in the company of the other, while Cora sat alone in the dirt.

The pacing began again. Her thoughts were consumed with images of the couple. Each night she crept into the courtyard and watched their show of affection. While it wasn’t quite like she remembered, it was most definitely love, and she ached for it.

The perimeter was still unlit three weeks after the caravan left. Cora made her way around the grounds looking for the couple, but they were gone. With a heavy heart, she headed home

As she rounded the corner, she saw the silhouette of a man. He was standing quietly by the fence. Cora’s heart stopped.

“Oliver,” she breathed and ran toward him, but stopped short. His eyes were milky white, and blood stained his lips. His uniform was ripped, his hair matted. He stood there unbroken.

She took a step closer. Oliver didn’t move. There was one long stride separating them.

She stepped closer, and he stuck his fingers through the chain link and pressed his face to the fence.

One more step, and she entwined her fingers with his. She pressed in close to him, her heart racing. He stood perfectly still as she touched his face and ran her fingers through his hair. He closed his eyes and let out a soft moan.

Cora gathered her determination and her strength and attempted to force her hand into Oliver’s mouth. His eyes shot open and he pushed away from her, stumbling backwards.

“Where’s your teeth?” Cora said in a panic.

Oliver stepped backwards.

Cora threw herself at the fence, “Where’s your teeth, Oliver! Where’s your teeth!”

Oliver took another step backwards as his wife flung herself into the fence screaming and moaning uncontrollably.

He took one more step backwards as campus patrol rounded the corner. Thru milky eyes, Oliver watched Cora’s rabid expression explode into the night.


Guidelines:

  • Word count: maximum 1,000
  • The story must be a romance between two zombies. Make it as horrific as you like. ;)
  • Stories containing animal cruelty, torture, graphic sex or violence, any form of exaltation of violence, racism or other forms of prejudice will be immediately disqualified.
  • Post your entry on your own blog, with a title resembling this:

Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest: Story Title

  • Leave your story title and a link to the story entry post as a comment at mari's randomities: http://marisrandomities.blogspot.com/
  • Copy and paste the contest logo and the guidelines at the end of your entry post.

Note: If you have any doubts, please give me a shout on the comments or through the #ZombieLuv hashtag. ;)

30 comments:

  1. Very nice, again. I liked this one alot. The story Arc was perfect. I'll be posting mine for the contest next week... I hope. So far it's not cooperating.

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  2. You built up the story really well and I liked picture you built up in the first instance of the compound and the distant moans etc. She got the love she wanted in the end!

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  3. Ah the loneliness of the living! This was heartbreaking.

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  4. What a cool story. This line stood out for me as a real gem.

    "The woman’s crimson smile spread wide as she fed her partner grapes that sparkled like rubies on the vine."

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  5. still thinking about images in this long after reading. nice

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  6. Glad you made it 2. You're on! :D

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  7. Excellent story! Nice to see love survives being undead. Good luck in the contest!

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  8. Touching in the dark sort of way. Good storytelling here.

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  9. Nice feel of tension and longing in this.

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  10. Well done! Good luck with the contest.

    Lovely writing.

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  11. I liked it. That's all I can say since I'm a judge for the contest.

    :)

    Jim.

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  12. Thank you all for reading and commenting. It irritates me that blogger will not allow me to reply to individual comments directly, so I end up leaving generic replies.

    I thought it would be fun to participate in Mari's contest, and I wasn't really sure what I wanted to write this week; so it worked out great.

    ~2

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  13. I could feel the ache in Cora building through this entire piece. Very well constructed story.

    Nicely done.

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  14. The character development in this was incredible. I really felt for them. The ending was tragic. Well done.

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  15. How tragic... *sniff* Couldn't the patrol just let her go outside? This is a wonderful story, 2!

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  16. I really enjoyed this story! The couple on the swings was a very touching image, and sad too.

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  17. Very interesting take on the theme, and very interesting idea about his teeth being removed! I once read an interesting theory that modern dentistry is behind the rise in zombies since a lack of dentistry means people would lose their teeth and not be able to bite...

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  18. Icy - I read a book by Carrie Ryan called The Dead-Tossed Waves (the sequal to The Forest of Hands and Teeth).. in the book there is a cult that worships zombies because they are somewhat immortal... they keep them shackled and remove their lower jaw - so they can't bite.

    It's a great book.

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  19. Tomara - Well you're a great writer. There's that!!! The fact that the story didn't end happily *sigh* This has been rewritten in my head. LOL Excellent. You rock girl!!!

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  20. How sad! And what an unexpected ending, I was sure Oliver would try to bite her.

    I keep meaning to write my own entry to this zombie luv contest... I should really crack down and get it done, huh?

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  21. It's quite a feat to create such a heartbreaking zombie story. The parts about the zombie couple were oddly touching. Nice job.

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  22. Hey <3 ... Great tale. I really admire all you Zombie Love bunch,. Wish I could come up with something just as stirring as this.

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  23. Such a wonderful and heartbreaking piece. So enjoying this contest, such great writers at work.

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  24. "Where's your teeth?" You don't know how sick I am of hearing that!!!!!
    Kidding... great piece!!!

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  25. That was just great. I still feel a little heartbroken for Cora.

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  26. "What if he’s wandering around, undead? Would he be looking for her?" The poor guy did show up...

    Wow, so tragic. This is a fantastic story. You build great suspense for the reader. In our hearts, we knew he wasn't showing up alive.

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  27. Well done. I think this is my favorite of all the Zombie Luv stories I've read. It has real depth of feeling.
    ~jon

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  28. This was really a wonderfully executed piece.

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