Over at the Reanimated Writers Fan Page on Facebook, we love trying new things. This time Author Jessica Gomez offered to run a live write in. What is a live write in? Well, two authors are shown a picture and over the course of an hour they go back and forth writing portions of a story to go with the image they have been shown. It is like a literary version of a tennis match. So, without further adieu, here are the three stories that were created during the first event.
Picture for round 1
R.L. – Lydia clutched her bear tight to her chest. She loved Mr. Snuggles. He had been with her through everything. Before, he had been vibrant and soft. Now, the bear smelled like sweat with dirt matting his fur. She still loved him though.
Lydia always had to stay behind when her mother went out. It was too dangerous. The monsters were out there. Her mother had been gone a long time. Lydia had tried to keep track of the time, but she had lost count. She was hungry. She missed her mother.
The worst was the nights. Their screams kept her awake. They were all around her. If she made a sound, they would find her.
Baileigh – Lydia climbed out of the old bathtub she slept in every night. It made her feel safer. Sheltered. She cut her hand on the chipped corner, and a drop of blood spilled onto Mr. Snuggles. It was a small cut, though, so she hardly noticed. Such small hurts didn’t matter anymore. Not in today’s world.
R.L. – The cut wasn’t what made her heart race. It was the monsters that would come. They were drawn to it. They could smell the blood.
Frantically, she wiped the blood from her hand, pouring bleach on the cloth and her small wound. She scrubbed at Mr. Snuggles. The blood smearing across his dirty fur, adding to his mottling. She poured more of the bleach on to the bear, knowing he would be ruined.
A long roar reverberated through the walls. It was quickly joined by others. Lydia froze. They were here. And they knew she was here.
Baileigh – Another loud roar tore through the air, causing her to flinch. With that small movement, her muscles unfroze and she ran across the tiled floor into the bedroom. She had to get into her hiding spot. Now. Before they got inside. A tattered moss green carpet marked the spot, and Lydia fell to her knees beside it. She pulled it aside, revealing a trapdoor. With both hands, she tugged on the heavy wooden square, but it wouldn’t budge. It was too heavy.
Her heart banged painfully in her chest, threatening to break free of its bony cage as a loud crash sounded from the kitchen. She pulled again at the rusty hinge, straining with every fiber of her small being. The door lifted just enough for her to scramble inside and tug the rug over it. As she huddled in the tiny dark space below the floorboards, she realized one thing. She’d left Mr. Snuggles outside.
R.L. – The basement was dark. The electricity had gone out long ago and without windows, there was nothing but pitch black darkness surrounding Lydia. Her heart thundered in her ears as she felt her way to the cold concrete wall. She was sure the monster could hear it.
Their feet raced across the floor above as they tore through the house looking for her. Their screams echoing through the house.
Lydia placed her foot on the bottom rung of the ladder. She couldn’t stay down here alone. The darkness was closing in on her. Suffocating her. If she just had Mr. Snuggles she could get through it.
Baileigh – Lydia craned her neck toward the trapdoor above her. She could hear their footsteps, racing across the floor. One of them must have brushed aside the old carpet, because faint light stole through the gaps between the boards, shining onto her face. Mr. Snuggles was there, almost within reach. She wanted him. Needed him. He was all she had left ever since Mommy… Tears burned her eyes, and she found herself beneath the trapdoor again, one hand hovering against it as she prepared to push.
Loud screams halted her movement for a second as one of the monsters roared. He’d found something, something he liked. Lydia recognized the sound he made. It was their feeding sound, their groan of triumph. She smothered a gasp when she heard the tearing of cloth, the rending of thick woolen material. The smell of bleach hovered. Mr. Snuggles! The monster had found her bear, smelled the blood despite her efforts, and now he was tearing him apart.
With a sob, Lydia pushed the door open and burst into the bedroom with a cry. “No! Leave him alone!”
Two yellowed eyes in a mottled face turned towards her. Lips parted to reveal rotted teeth, and the monster’s skeletal frame shifted around. The stench of death filled her nostrils. The monster dropped the stuffed bear to the floor, intent on its new victim. It growled.
R.L. – Lydia moved fast. She launched herself at the dresser, yanking open the bottom drawer. Inside, it’s only contents was a loaded handgun. She grabbed the weapon. Her mother had diligently taught her how to use it. It was easy. Just pull the trigger.
As she turned back toward the monster, it reached for her with fingers that had been worn down to the bone. Its hair hung in long and stringy tendrils that clung to its face. Bits of stuffing clung to its lips.
Lydia’s lip trembled as she pointed the gun at the monster. The monster whose loving embrace had comforted her for so many nights. The monster who she loved, but couldn’t love her.
Baileigh – “I’m sorry, Mommy,” Lydia whispered as she pulled the trigger.
The bullet punched a hole through her mother’s skull, blowing the fragile bone to pieces. Lydia didn’t see, though. The recoil of the heavy gun knocked her over, and she lay motionless on her back, staring at the ceiling. Her body felt as light as a feather. Weightless.
Everything that had held her on this earth was gone now. Mr. Snuggles. Her mom. She was ready to die. Ready to go to Heaven. Besides, the other monsters were coming. She heard them, screeching and howling. Always howling. The first one burst into the room, and she closed her eyes, determined not to cry.
Then, just when she felt the cold fetid breath of the monster on her skin, gunshots sounded outside. Over and over. The shots were followed by cries, and the monster screeched before scuttling away. Minutes later, warm hands lifted her in the air, and a soft voice whispered. “It’s okay. You’re safe now. You’re safe.”
Picture for round 2
Stefan – The woman peered into the room. There had been a door before, but it had been torn off the frame. She had thought she was safe in the abandoned building. It had previously been a sanitarium, and she thought that the thickly framed door would keep the monsters out.
LC – But if they’d torn the door off, where were they? Could they even do something like that?
Sarah had only glimpsed them as she fled for her life from her wrecked Honda. She’d swerved to miss a woman in a tattered dress. Too bad that tree jumped out in front of the car. The woman was nowhere to be seen by the time Sarah scrambled from the mess.
Then…then the figures came. They came running up the road. They did not come to help – their screeching told Sarah that.
Stefan – First the sanitarium, and now the car. Dammit, don’t these creatures ever tire? Or get hungry? “Here, have a coke and smile.” Yea, Sarah didn’t think that was gonna work with these lurching bags of puss and fetid flesh. They were relentless.
Sarah reached into the wrecked car and pulled out her treasured Reaver Cleaver. It looked like a giant meat cleaver on steroids. It was sharp as a diamond blade and could cut through a neck if she put her weight behind the swing. She gripped the leather covered metal handle and looked around for a place to make a stand. Except for the tree, the best ground she could find was on the roof of the car. By the time she reached the top, the creatures were almost on top of her.
LC – They gibbered and screamed at her as they closed in around the vehicle. Chunks of their oozing flesh had begun to slough off. The nearest thing’s chin dripped onto its chest. “That’s taking a turkey neck too far.”
She wrinkled her at their stench.
The closest two lunged at her. She sidestepped one and brought the cleaver down on the other’s skull. Rotting brain splattered.
More were coming. Killing this one had really pissed them off.
Stefan – Treading carefully so as not to slip in the splatted brain, Sarah steeled herself. She noticed one of the creatures was trying to crawl up on the hood of the car: it was getting close to success. Another tried to grab her ankle with arms that belonged in the NBA – well, would have belonged in the NBA. She pulled the giant clever over her head, took a half second to aim, and brought the weapon down on the creatures arms. The cleaver whooshed through the air as it whistled toward its target. The weapon connected with the rotting flesh and sliced through the arms, bones and failing muscles severed with the precision of a chain saw. Thick, fetid, dark mucous oozed form the beast’s stumps.
Sarah jumped down on the hood of the car, raised the cleaver over her head and swung with the might of a Greek DemiGod. At least that’s what it felt like to her. It might have been the adrenaline pumping through her veins, but right now she felt like she could take on Zeus in a contest of wills. The blade found the back of the skull of the zombie trying to climb on the hood. It cracked open like an overripe cantaloupe, and the creature lay as still as King Polydectes after looking at Medusa.
LC – But the monsters, as terrible as the Titans who warred against the gods, kept coming. She slashed at the pussy bastard who surged toward her. The strike opened its bloated belly. Guts poured out like a bucket of night crawlers.
Sarah nearly gagged from the stink.
Damn it, the only hope lay in going back to the sanitarium. There had to be some room she could block off. She broke into a sprint toward the building that looked ahead. Trees lined the road, holding more darkness.
Stefan – Screw it! If she stayed here she was going to die. There were just too many to kill in open combat. She would have to hope that her muscles could move her faster than their rotted flesh could propel them. “I hope none of those bastards have made it inside yet,” she thought to herself.
She swung the weapon at the nearest outlier of the group surrounding the car and opened his throat. Her swing didn’t kill the creature, but it bought her enough room to jump through the hungry mob without being caught in midair by one of them.
She landed squarely on the ground, rolled forward, and came up running. Running for her life. She sprinted toward the sanitarium doors as fast as she could. Where were winged boots when you needed them. She cursed at the gods for her predicament. Still she ran. Hard. Muscles churning. Adrenaline pumping. She was almost there. She could see the front doors. Still she ran, sweat almost blinding her.
LC – Sarah tore through the doorway. She whipped her flashlight from her pocket. The beam pierced the gloom and played over the mess around her. Broken chairs, overturned gurneys – all of it at least a decade old.
Her sneakers thudded on the tile as she sprinted down the main hall. Empty doors opened off the sides of the room. Some held seats where the “doctors” probably did lobotomies. Ugh.
A light glowed ahead around the corner.
Sarah skidded to a halt at the hall’s intersection, skidding on the tile flakes.
The woman in the white dress stood before her, glowing softly like a ghost or a Christmas angel decoration. She waved Sarah behind her.
No time to worry. The monsters were roaring down the hall toward the women.
The instant Sarah passed the woman, she raised her hands. Light glowed from them. The monsters halted. Screams tore from them as the light washed over.
“I am the Hunter, I am the Moon. I am the Goddess of War.”
The voice echoed.
“And I have found my Avatar.”
Picture for Round 3
Valerie – She could see his stupid face across the courtyard. He had been tormenting her for months in the compound, and now he stood by himself defenseless. There really wasn’t any reason she could think of not to sneak over to the fence and knock out a panel where he was standing. The dead would pour in and take care of him without it ever being pinned on her. Then she could go on living here without having to listen to him chew his food with his mouth open or cackle ridiculously at anything that was mildly funny.
Grivante – He could feel her eye’s on him. The little tramp. Locked in her cage. He had saved her, found her out in the deadlands, surrounded and trapped inside a broken down bus. From the piles of bodies that surrounded it, she was a strong fighter. He liked that. Still, she had become trapped in there.
He’d thought when he rescued her, she’d show some gratitude. Instead, all Todd Thomas got was attitude.
Valerie – God damn it! He was doing that thing where someone knows your looking, but doesn’t want you to know they know. He isn’t even acting like he is there for a reason. Jesus, at least move around like you are checking the defenses. He had pulled her out of the deadlands, and expected her to fall all over him like some kind of damsel in distress. That wasn’t her style at all. Hell, she had been able to survive just fine until he showed up big muscle and little brains. What could he possibly want now? He already got the others to put her away for a little “time out”.
Grivante – She’d learn in time. This is the way things are done now. The big rule, the little bow.
When she’d tried to leave yesterday, I knew she needed a lesson in how bad things could get. So, I had the others put her in the cage we use to keep those that might be sick from turning and attacking others. Let her live in that filth for a few days. If she survives, maybe she’ll come to her senses and into big Todd’s arms.
Valerie – Well, at least he wasn’t hiding his intentions anymore. He was standing there with that creepy I might burn you alive look on his face. She smiled back and blew a kiss. Maybe, he would be dumb enough to come close enough for her to grab him by the throat. Probably not, but it was worth a try. What he didn’t know was she had spent the entire night digging away at the back of the cage, and had a nice little escape hatch to pop out of and teach him a lesson tonight. That is if she couldn’t convince him to get within arms reach. It would save her the trouble of sneaking out to find his bunk in the dark.
Grivante – When I turned and saw her looking at me, I couldn’t help but smirk. I can see it in her eyes. She knows she can’t escape, she knows she’s mine now. She was probably checking out how big my arms are. Slaying the dead really builds bulk.
Now, should I let her keep simmering or see if she’s ready to play nice?
Valerie – Holy shit, he is actually considering it. Come on big boy, make your way over. They would probably kill her if she took him down. Maybe not though. It was a group of meatheads, and even more important, it was a group of mostly male meatheads. They may overlook her killing the competition. Maybe not. She would definitely have to try to take off as soon as his body hit the ground. It would be better to not have to chance it. Now, time for the best acting of her life. She had to somehow convince him that she had done a 180 and wasn’t sitting there plotting his death, but was actually ready to succumb to his advances.
Grivante – As he approached, he saw her face shift. She melted from a hard stare to a broad eager smile. He liked that look. He knew exactly what it meant. She was his.
“You look good behind those bars. But you’d look even better, some place else. Are you ready to see the Todd Thomas way little one?”
Valerie – Puke rose up in her throat. She swallowed it back and hoped he wouldn’t notice. By the look on his face, she was pretty sure he wouldn’t notice anything but attraction to him, because that was what he wanted to see. Funny thing with people, you didn’t have to fool them, you had to get them to fool themselves.
Grivante – The way her lips puckered, almost as if she was about to open her mouth involuntarily, made his brain short circuit. He liked it when a woman lost control. Something about being behind bars must have really turned her on. He’d explore that fantasy with her more a little later. “Are you ready to come out and play now?”
Valerie – What neither of them had thought about was his actual need to check the defense. He was so wrapped up in trying to get in her pants that he hadn’t heard the shuffling behind him. “I think it is a bit too late for that Todd!” she exclaimed as she let out her own ridiculous and annoying cackle.
Grivante – His brow furrowed as he tried to figure out what she was talking about, then he heard the clang of metal as the south wall caved to the mass of undead outside. He spun, saw the horde surrounding him and panicked. Shoving his hand into his pocket, he grabbed the keys to the cell, unlocked the door and opened it. He pushed Jessie back inside the cell, slammed the door and locked it. He turned just in time for the first of the dead to slam into the bars.
Valerie – “Seriously! You couldn’t just die! Well we are going to have to fix that!” she screamed as she dove at him. Digging into his eye sockets caused him to roar like a bear. She kneed him in the crotch, and down he went. She tried to wrap her hands around his throat like she had dreamed of for so many weeks, but it was too big for her to get her fingers latched. She tried her best to put the pressure needed to knock him out, but he tossed her back like a doll. Landing hard on her ass was embarrassing as hell, and she was freaking out inside. He would never believe she wanted him now, and his revenge was probably going to be painful in too many ways to count.
Grivante – Todd coughed and spat as he struggled to regain his footing. The knee to his balls made his insides scream in agony and his eyes blur with tears. His head spun, where was she? He stood, staggering around. He squinted, there she was. Right there, he was going to make her pay. He stumbled forward, reaching for her. When his hand met hers, his last thought was, she seems awfully cold, before the hands of the dead reached through the bars, pulled him close and gave him the devouring kiss he longed for.
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