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The Living


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#1 GangstaGirl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 05:47 AM

It'd be sooooo nice to get some feedback on this!!!

Chapter 1

"This city is a wasteland."

These were the very first words that were uttered from Brandi's lips when her white shoe first hit the weathered pavement of the foggy city. She was surrounded by deserted buildings and dusty cars, vacant shops and overturned garbage cans. Stepping over a fallen stop sign, she walked into an empty building, which was only occupied by few stray pieces of paper and a thick dust. She brushed a few stray auburn hairs away from her sapphire eyes as she looked to her left. Tall buildings lay on the horizon, circling around her in an eerie presence. She directed her view to a small lot behind her that seemed to harbor nothing but the humid air that she apprehensively inhaled. She had no idea what had happened in this forsaken city, but she somehow found herself in the midst of it.

"Everyone just LEFT." Her friend Kendall stated, pulling on his grey T-shirt. He still held his usual confident pose, but his cocked head and perplexed face betrayed his posture. He wandered into the blank lot while Brandi cut through the surrendered cars that filled the streets. "No. They didn't leave." A rough voice boomed. Brandi turned her head to see an angular face behind her. He walked past her and Kendall with a vigilant eye, as if watching for some kind of predator. Dropping to his right knee, he scraped his fingers across the dry concrete next to him, and lifting his hand into the air, he announced, "Blood." He shot them a sideways glance. "We're not alone here."

Brandi walked stealthily away from Mac, now with a new attitude about her sinister surroundings. She walked past the entrance to a pitch black parking garage that stood several floors high, and peered into its murky depths. Blood was spattered on the floor and walls that led toward the back. "What happened here?" She breathed. but just as the words passed her lips, she caught a faint glimpse of a figure moving across the bare back wall. "Mac." She called. "There's someone back here!" But before he even had a chance to raise his head, Brandi darted off into the darkness. "Brandi, wait!" Kendall pleaded, but he was stopped by a strong hand on his shoulder. "Let her go." Mac growled. "She's not meant to live in this world." Kendall lifted his lip in protest, but instead just glared through his light brown hair, and took off after the faint flashes of Brandi's yellow hoodie.

"Do you need help?" Brandi asked into the fog. All she could hear in return was heavy, labored breathing as the shadow slid across the wall and seemed to move closer to her. "Can you hear me? We can help you!" Brandi reached out again. She confidently stepped forward although the figure continued to stagger closer. "Brandi.." Kendall warned as he looked cautiously through his thick-framed glasses. He caught sight of Mac, who had the figure in the sights of his gun, ready to defend them. But just as Brandi's foot hit the ground, having advanced a step forward, the body did something that none of them were expecting.

"No! No! NO!" Brandi screamed shrilly as the figure ran towards her and clawed at her skin. "GET IT OFF!!!" She frantically demanded, while it snarled and hissed in a furious struggle. The creature slavered from its blackened mouth, which was outlined in blood. Its skin was a sickly yellow, and its eyes a wild, soulless red. Brandi struggled for only a second longer, before the creature fell to the ground with a violent spray of dark blood. Mac lowered his gun as a wisp of smoke raised from the barrel. Brandi struggled to her feet and gasped. "Thanks Mac." She said breathlessly.

"What IS it?" Kendall shuddered walking towards the body. "It looks human.." Brandi suggested as she brushed herself off. She was right; it was the same shape as a young man. Although half of its jaw had been torn off, and its hands had sharp black claws on its fingertips, it wore a tattered flannel shirt and ripped jeans, like it was just like a human. "Here." Mac asserted, handing Brandi and Kendall each a black handgun. "You'll need it."


Chapter 2

Brandi whirled around to the hissing of another creature. She cocked the gun; just like her mother had taught her, and pulled the trigger. The single shot impacted in the center of the figures head, causing it to collapse. "What are these things?!" Brandi shrieked. "I don't know," Mac admitted gruffly. "But this city is crawling with them."

Kendall fired 2 bullets as a second horde of these beasts. "They look like zombies!" He observed, shouting over his shoulder, while he shot a few more bullets. "ZOMBIES?!" Brandi questioned in disbelief. But Mac showed no reaction. "Whatever they are, we can't just keep killing them! We have to do something!" Brandi compromised. "Girlie, there's one thing about creatures like this." Mac told her, with a couple more shots above her head. "They're DEAD."

The dark, almost black blood that flew from the heads of each and every creature that dared approach them made Brandi feel sick. "We have to get out of here!" Kendall screamed, with a look of cold urgency in his forest green eyes. "There!" Brandi suggested, pointing her finger; chipped blue paint and all, towards a red emergency ladder on the left side of the floor. Without dispute, Mac led them up the ladder and all the way to the top level, with Brandi hastily bringing up the rear. Once they set foot on the windy summit, Brandi's lips twisted into a look of grim satisfaction as she shot a lone creature that stumbled about on the roof.

"How are we supposed to deal with all these zombies?" Kendall asked. "Don't call them zombies!" Brandi snapped, unwilling to accept his terms. "Then what am I supposed to call them!?" Kendall disputed. Brandi walked to the edge of the roof and watched as one of the creatures drug itself with its two thin arms in the street that they had occupied not long ago. She could barely make out its shape due to the thick haze that floated below them. "Crawlers." She whispered, backing away from the edge. Pangs of sorrow stabbed at her like knives as she tried to remember her father, who died only days after her birth. "We need to get across the city." There might be a way out." Brandi spoke up, shoving her gun into the pocket of her tight jeans. "Why can't we just leave?" Kendall begged. "We're trapped here!" Brandi reminded him harshly, with glints of pain in her icy eyes. He could tell by the sound of her cracking voice that this place was already starting to tear her apart. She replaced her abrasive stare with a caring look of empathy, as if to apologize silently.

"There's no way out." Mac growled from the right corner of the roof, where he kept watch on the street below. Brandi turned to look him in the eyes, but his gaze was locked on an emaciated Crawler down below. None of them dared to shoot it; the sound seemed to attract more of them. "The whole city's been locked down but that won't stop them. They've already penetrated the walls." Mac observed with a stone cold voice. "If you want out of this mess... Then we're going to have to end it."













That's what I got so far! Will post more as I write them :D




#2 Amaryllis

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:16 AM

The start really grabs the reader's attention, which is good, and the action creates a fast pace. A few details might help though, like how Brandi got there--does she know? Did she just wake up and find this? Was there something going on? And maybe some information about Mac and his relationship to the two friends. I wouldn't recommend a lot of detail, as that would clog up the fast pace you've set, but a few carefully placed sentences could probably give the reader a bit more perspective.

You have some nice descriptions about setting and body language, but some details are a little lost with the blocky paragraphs. Writing isn't just about the words you put on the page, it's the look of them on the page, too. For a fast-flow, you want to keep the paragraphs short, so maybe change up your spacing a bit.

If I was editing this story for print, here's an example:


> Brandi whirled around to the hissing of another creature. She cocked the gun, just like her mother had taught her, and pulled the trigger. The single shot impacted in the center of the figures head, causing it to collapse.
> "What are these things?!" Brandi shrieked.
> "I don't know," Mac admitted gruffly. "But this city is crawling with them."
> Kendall fired two bullets as a second horde of these beasts. He shouted over his shoulder, "They look like zombies!" and continued to fire.
> "ZOMBIES?!" Brandi questioned in disbelief, but Mac showed no reaction. "Whatever they are, we can't just keep killing them! We have to do something!"
> "Girlie, there's one thing about creatures like this." Mac told her, with a couple more shots above her head. "They're DEAD."



The '>' shows where I would indent.

The story is really interesting. You show a lot of talent as a writer. I can wait to read more! :)

#3 GangstaGirl

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:34 AM

The start really grabs the reader's attention, which is good, and the action creates a fast pace. A few details might help though, like how Brandi got there--does she know? Did she just wake up and find this? Was there something going on? And maybe some information about Mac and his relationship to the two friends. I wouldn't recommend a lot of detail, as that would clog up the fast pace you've set, but a few carefully placed sentences could probably give the reader a bit more perspective.

You have some nice descriptions about setting and body language, but some details are a little lost with the blocky paragraphs. Writing isn't just about the words you put on the page, it's the look of them on the page, too. For a fast-flow, you want to keep the paragraphs short, so maybe change up your spacing a bit.

If I was editing this story for print, here's an example:


> Brandi whirled around to the hissing of another creature. She cocked the gun, just like her mother had taught her, and pulled the trigger. The single shot impacted in the center of the figures head, causing it to collapse.
> "What are these things?!" Brandi shrieked.
> "I don't know," Mac admitted gruffly. "But this city is crawling with them."
> Kendall fired two bullets as a second horde of these beasts. He shouted over his shoulder, "They look like zombies!" and continued to fire.
> "ZOMBIES?!" Brandi questioned in disbelief, but Mac showed no reaction. "Whatever they are, we can't just keep killing them! We have to do something!"
> "Girlie, there's one thing about creatures like this." Mac told her, with a couple more shots above her head. "They're DEAD."



The '>' shows where I would indent.

The story is really interesting. You show a lot of talent as a writer. I can wait to read more! :)



Awwwww thanks! I'm planning on spreading out the things like Mac's relationship to the other two, and how they got there. Stories tend to lose interest (mine too!) if all of the information is right up front. if you can spread big bites of information over say, 5 chapters, it makes a world of difference :D

Most of my books tend to be fairly fast :tongue: I guess its because I write a lot of action. One thing I've found is that some of my readers :reading: (I post this on a writing website as well so people can give me feedback :D ) like to have a break, ya know? Since my books usually do have a fast-pace, its nice to calm it down every once in a while for readers to take a breath and notice some tiny details that I've added in there ;D

I really like that formatting! :veryhappy: Once I finish a book, format changes usually happen in editing. :computer: I don't like to leave them in this original format (You're right, it is blocky! :shocked: ) but I've never considered a line-by-line look! It does seem to break it down a lot and it looks sooooo much better than double-spacing or letter-format. :idea:

#4 GangstaGirl

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 01:34 PM

Chapter 3!!! Its called "Grim Courage". (Chapter 1 is "Where The Dead Collide" and Chapter 2 is "Through The Fear of Battle".)

Brandi walked into a bare, concrete hall that seemed cold and lifeless; having descended from the roof not long ago. Her soft, careful footsteps echoed through the passageway, carrying the hollow sound into the stairwell below. It only became apparent to her that her stealth was not at its best when a warning snarl resounded through the narrow hall, sounding to be from just below the stairs. She flattened herself against the icy wall that followed down into the subway, and raised her gun to eye-level. After regaining her confidence and steadying her long arms, it was only a matter of steps to reveal what lied before her. But one she heard Kendall's accusative voice, her courage fell again.

"What are you doing?!" He hissed, holding a strange level of hostility and worry in his eyes. "We need to stay together, Mac is out th--" But his voice fell silent and the harsh irritation in his eyes was replaced with a shivering horror as the two of them watched waves of Crawlers flood across the streets outside. Only seconds slipped by before Brandi realized the cold fact: that Mac was struggling with the army of Crawlers alone. "Come on!" She yelled, not as a suggestion, but an order. She rushed down the staircase and shot the expected Crawler that had been lurking there with a single bullet. Taking a cursory glance, Kendall directed her towards a wider hall across the faded tracks. Up another staircase, and back onto the streets was the path that Brandi and Kendall found themselves taking, only to find a conveniently placed, rusty ladder that took them to the roof of a nearby building.

"You go, I'll hold them off!" Kendall offered, slamming his back to the corrugated metal wall, and proceeding to execute an onslaught of Crawlers. He squinted through his green and black glasses to kill off the last of the Crawlers, before clambering up the rickety ladder. "Hurry!" Brandi urged, pulling him up onto the roof. She ran across to the east side of the buildings wide roof and surveyed over the bloody street below. She could just make out Mac, who was beating Crawlers off of him with the side of his gun. "Mac!" Brandi blurted, shooting Crawlers with a volatile look in her crystal blue eyes. He jerked his head up from the mass of Crawlers at the sound of her frantic voice. Sickening spray of a dark, maroon blood flew gruesomely over Mac’s platinum hair as he defended his position from the savage creatures.

Brandi sent a violent set of ammunition flying through the haze, but its was seconds later that she realized something that she had feared. She pulled the trigger, only to hear a weak ‘click’. She had run out of bullets in her most dire time of need. “Kendall!” She screamed, but he was facing the same unfortunate problem, and by the looks of Mac as he bludgeoned the Crawlers with the side of his gun, he wasn’t in a position to propel any lead through the feral monsters. Flicking a scarlet hair out of her face, Brandi searched the roof. All she could see was dust. “You go help him!” Brandi ordered Kendall, and tacking on, “We don’t have much time!” Without protest, Kendall slid back down the ladder and raced through the alley to his left that separated him from Mac. Meanwhile, Brandi snuck down the outer edge of the building with a fear-induced haste, and dropped down near the road. She dashed towards a red car and ducked behind it, pressing her body against the chipping paint. She didn’t dare pull her head up, and instead drug her fingers along the surface of the car until they finally found what she was hoping for. She grasped the gas tank cap awkwardly between her thumb and ring finger, turned it towards herself and let it fall to the ground. Next, she tore a piece of denim from the hem of her pants and shoved it into the tank. Now all she had to do was light it. She apprehensively poked her head up to make sure that Mac and Kendall were okay. She knew it wouldn’t be long before the horde of Crawlers overcame them. Turning her head back to the task at hand, she took a deep breath and lit the piece of fabric with a lighter from her pocket.





I also am changing the name of the book!!!! It is changing from "The Living" to "They Come In Swarms". :D

#5 Creative Hamster

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:54 AM

AWESOME AWESOME!! You got talent, I love the suspense and I want to keep reading some more. Great job :reading:

#6 Paramorerokerr<33

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:53 AM

I want more.I want M-O-R-E.I want MORE!Your sooooo talented!