Monday, November 29, 2010

You can't call them Zombies!

“Let’s have a look inside.” Anna said. Her legs twitched with exhaustion. She didn’t have the energy to search for another safe place. The rest of the street seemed clear of buildings, but maybe around the bend in the road a little ways there would have been a small town.

His eyebrows rose in a high arch on his forehead like she just surprised him. The fearful look in his eyes disappointed her, but she smiled. At least one of them needed be brave now.

“We can’t go much further like this. We need to rest.” Touching his hand brought a grin to his lips.

The girl groaned on his shoulder and opened her eyes. “You’re right. Let’s go, but follow me.”

He picked up a nearby softball sized rock from the gravel driveway and headed toward the door with the large glass pane. The sign inside was flipped around to Closed.

Kyle peered inside and then twisted the doorknob. It jiggled, but didn’t open. Shoving it didn’t help matters as the glass quivered from the impact. “I don’t see anyone inside.”

Anna moved forward and peered in one of the side windows. The dark displays were neat and organized, like they hadn’t been touched today. Hope bubbled up within her and she started toward the side of the building. Her feet crunched the gravel as she searched for another way in.

Around back, with the forest hiding the creatures nearby, she found a single wood door. Kyle continued to work on the front door and the curses echoed through the night air. He wasn’t making much progress. She expected to hear the breaking of glass any second now.

A sense of dread washed over her as she tried the knob on the door. The cold metal was a relief against her fried body. She twisted, knowing in her gut that it would be locked, but hoping she was wrong. She was wrong.

The door swung open and a poignant smell of lavender smacked her in the face. Her eyes welled as it brought back memories of her mother’s perfume. She spun at the sound of gravel and found Kyle, sweat running down his face and his eyes filled with rage, staring at her.

“You could have told me where you were going. I didn’t even see you leave.” He seethed. The rock remained in one shaking hand.

“Sorry.” She said and turned back to the gaping darkness from inside. The lavender beckoned safety to her, but still she lingered. What if they were in there waiting for them to enter? What if they would be trapped inside when the creatures came? What if it was safe?

The last thought gave her the motivation to move and she entered the small store.

Kyle followed her without another word. The raggedness’ of his breath revealed how spent he was. He needed the rest as much as she did.

On instinct, she flipped the light switch and almost ducked in fear as the fluorescent light flooded the dark back area.

Kyle killed the lights a moment later and hissed, “It might attract them.”

“Good thinking.” She pushed the door shut, cutting off the small source of light left.

“Now what?” Kyle asked. He knelt on the ground panting. “This girl is heavy.”

“Stay here. I’m going to take a look around.” She patted the wall as she moved. The blindness reinvigorated a long concealed fear as her heart raced, her chest clenched, and her stomach gurgled. Being scared of the dark had new meaning now.

Making her way down the hall, she walked directly into a wall. The hard wood smacked her dead center of the forehead. Bright stars flashed before her vision as she staggered back from the blow. She cursed under her breath and found the door that lead into the front of the store.

Compared to the night of back room, the front was nearly day time. The room was bathed in moonlight, giving normal items a magical hue. She saw many shelves stocked with canned and boxed goods. Her mouth salivated at the thought of a decent meal.

“Kyle. Come out here.” She said in a hushed tone. Her voice traveled through the darkness, and nothing came in response.

She turned back to the door and pulled it open. “Kyle?”

“Yeah?” He responded. “I was just making sure she was okay.”

“What’s wrong?”

“She’s shivering.” Kyle said. Panic clung to his words, stinging her.

“What happened?” She held the door open to get as much moonlight to the back room, but the darkness devoured it all before it got too far.

A growl rose up from somewhere. She couldn’t tell if it was inside the store, or outside, but the hair on the back of Anna’s neck sprung to attention.

“Help me.” The girl said. Her voice weak and quivering. Her teeth chattered as she finished her small sentence.

Anna rushed to their side and immediately pulled the girl into her lap. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m cold. I’m dying.” The girl said with a clarity that chilled Anna.

She felt Kyle stare on her and didn’t know what to do. The girl seemed normal when they left the crazy cabin and throughout the forest, but now she was sick.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

NFL Pick em Week 12

Since I'm working today, I figured I would post my NFL Picks:

Patriots @ Lions - Patriots
Saints @ Cowboys - Saints
Bengals @ Jets - Jets
Packers @ Falcons - Falcons
Steelers @ Bills - Steelers
Panthers @ Browns - Browns
Titans @ Texans - Texans
Jaguars @ Giants - Giants
Vikings @ Redskins - Vikings
Dolphins @ Raiders - Dolphins
Chiefs @ Seahawks - Chiefs
Buccaneers @ Ravens - Ravens
Eagles @ Bears - Eagles
Rams @ Broncos - Broncos
Chargers @ Colts - Colts
49ers @ Cardinals - Cardinals.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

You can't call them Zombies!

Panic had set in long before she realized it, but now that they were faced with insurmountable odds, she felt calm. At peace and ready to die if it came to that.

“Anna, come on.” Kyle said looking fearfully into the shadows.

Anna’s legs wavered as she felt the presence of dozens of those creatures leering at her. She couldn’t see them, but the hunger in their eyes picked at her skin like ravens taking to a corpse.

The girl stirred in her arms, her knotted hair tickling Anna’s forearm. “Where are we?”

A surge of energy rushed through her like a bolt and she responded to Kyle’s presence. He stared at her with an intensity that she didn’t expect from him during the crisis and she hurried after him. “Kyle, do you know where you’re going?”

“Anywhere but here.” He shoved lowered tree branches out of the way as he made a path for them to travel. She could only imagine the amount of splinters that were lining his hands as he moved through at an uncanny pace.

“Follow the stars.” The little girl said. Her eyes searching the sky between the tree canopy.

“What the hell is she talking about?” Kyle stopped to catch his breath. “Stars?”

“The bright one.” The girl pointed at the sparkles in the sky. “It will lead us out of here.”

They both looked up at for a moment, but twigs began snapping around them. The growls were moving in fast.

“Kyle took her hand.” It was slick with sweat and she clutched the girl to her hip as they followed the star.

After what seemed forever, Anna couldn’t move her legs, her arms were sore from switching the girl from each side. The girl had fallen asleep again during the trek up through the forest. Her head now lolled from side to side with each painful step Anna took.

“I need to rest.” She dropped to her knees. The soft ground softened the blow, but a sharp pain ran up her spine.

The growls were farther behind now, but they had made it to the edge of the forest. Large buildings loomed in the distance and the sliver of moon illuminated their resting spot well enough.

Kyle crouched next to her, his knees popping as he settled on his heels. His hair clung to his sweaty brow. Small lines of blood and dirt littered his cheeks. He glanced at his palms and she saw for the first time that they were covered in blood. The slivers weren’t even visible as the blood had dried over during the journey. “Pretty bad, but I’m fine.”

“Want the girl to heal you?” Anna asked like the girl was an object she could command.

“No, that’s ok. The throbbing is what’s keeping me awake right now.” He flashed a brave smile, but she could tell he was terrified.

“How much longer till morning?”

“I would guess 3 hours or so.” Kyle said looking up into the horizon.

“You think those things are coming still?”

“You think they would give up?” Kyle asked.

He had a point and just to slam the exclamation point on it, a growl roared somewhere nearby.

It was enough to get her up off her knees and to trudge along.

“Here, let me hold her for a bit.” Kyle reached for the girl.

An unexplained wave of jealousy ran through her for a moment as Kyle took the girl into his arms. The darkness hid the heat rising to her cheeks as she moved onward toward the buildings.

“We should try to hide in one of these places.” Anna suggested.

“They could be hiding inside too.” Kyle said as they stepped out of the forest and in front of a small log building. “General Store” hung above the entrance. The dark windows would hide any sign of creatures or other people inside.

Monday, November 15, 2010

You can't call them Zombies!

“Anna?” Kyle said.

A wave of dizziness washed over Anna as she pulled herself back up. The man’s eyes were wide with fear. Drool ran from the left side of his mouth as he mumbled about justice.

“Anna!” Kyle screamed. She didn’t understand the urgency in his voice. She covered her mouth as bile crawled up her throat. It stung, bringing tears to her eyes.

“Anna, wake up. Come on.” Kyle yelled and slammed his feet against the ground.

She let loose, the vomit spilled out of her mouth. It splashed between her hands. The smell made her nose burn. Still shaky she used the chair to stand up and looked at Kyle. The woman was stirring. Her hands twitching and a guttural growl came from her.

Not again. Anna thought as she fought down the urge to vomit again.

“Anna? She’s waking up.” Kyle said. “Come untie me.”

Still weak and uncertain of her balance, she shuffled toward him. Taking extra caution she stepped around the woman and crouched behind Kyle. Her fingers tugged at the knots, but with the mixture of sweat and nerves she made a mess of the rope. Rubbing the tears out of her eyes, she cursed under her breath and started again.

The knots were too tight and she didn’t have time to waste. A slurping sound caused her stomach to clench. A growl rose and Anna peaked around the chair. The woman had stood up. Blood poured from her cheek where the gunshot exited. Most of her teeth were missing before and now she only had two at the top of her mouth. They gleamed pink stained with blood. Her eyes locked on Kyle and she started toward him.

Anna grabbed the nearest item, a bible off the end table and raised it as she stood. “He’s not for you.”

She swung, knocking the woman down. It got her attention off Kyle, but now it was on Anna.

The woman stood again, her dead blank stare on Anna. Blood ran in congealed streams from her cheek across her shirt.

Anna backed away, keeping her attention as she made her way toward the rifle that rested on the floor in front of the man. If she could manage to get that before the woman got her, she would be in good shape.

“Come on.” Anna yelled her nerves still fried and not sure if the woman would follow with two meals not trying to escape, but she did. Her staggered steps shuffled along the wood floor. The growl she let out was met by more outside. Not a good sign that they were nearby.

Inching her way toward the rifle, she held the bible in one hand as she glanced at the gun.

With the woman only three steps away, Anna tossed the bible at her head and dove for the rifle. The cold steel set her adrenaline on fire and she knelt down trying to figure out how to use the gun. The trigger didn’t do anything and the woman closed in on her. Her teeth snapping as she moved in for the first bite.

Giving up on the rifle she used it like a bat and hit the woman in the head. She fell against the man, who groaned as the woman slumped against him.

Anna spotted a knife strapped to the man’s leg and went for it. The woman growled, the man screamed and Anna ripped the knife free. “You two deserve each other.” She said and moved back over next to Kyle.

“Honey, I fed you in life, and I’ll feed you in death.” The man said moments before the woman bit into his uninjured shoulder. He laughed as she tore the flesh from him. “I love you.”

Anna, not wanting to look, focused on the rope. The knife sliced through the rope easily and Kyle stood. “Get the girl. We need to leave.”

Anna slid over next to the girl and sliced her free. The metal pole fell free and she picked up the girl. The fire behind her felt good on her shaky legs. “Where? They are out there.”

Kyle picked up the knife and slowly made his way toward the rifle. The front door swung open as he grabbed the gun. Two more creatures shambled inside and ignored them. They went straight for the laughing man and started to feast.

Kyle waved her toward the door. With a look of his eyes, she knew to remain as quiet as she could. With Kyle behind her, they left the house. Darkness surrounding them and sounds from every direction. The creatures were coming and they were out in the middle of nowhere with very little in weapons and an unconscious girl.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holiday Schedule

With the holidays right around the corner, I'm going to post less over the rest of the year and probably return to a regular schedule in January. All I know right now is that the Choose your own adventure story will be here every Monday, the rest of them will be as I have time. Hope you enjoy your holidays.

NFL Pick'em for Week 11

Wow my Panthers really suck this year and injuries just aren't helping the cause. Well here are my picks for this week.

Bears @ Dolphins - Bears
Bills @ Bengals - Bengals
Cardinals @ Chiefs - Chiefs
Browns @ Jaguars - Jaguars
Texans @ Jets - Jets
Redskins @ Titans - Titans
Packers @ Vikings - Packers
Ravens @ Panthers - Ravens
Raiders @ Steelers - Steelers
Lions @ Cowboys - Cowboys
Falcons @ Rams - Falcons
Seahawks @ Saints - Saints
Buccaneers @ 49ers - Buccaneers
Colts @ Patriots - Patriots
Giants @ Eagles - Eagles
Broncos @ Chargers - Chargers

Work In Progress

I haven't had a chance to update my word count in NaNo because I've been busy working on my current project, so I think I won't complete NaNo this year. Oh well. It gave me the piece I'm working on now, so it's not that big of a loss.

Currently, I have been focusing on developing deeper characters and letting them take more control of the story instead of how it was before. So far its hard, but it is paying off and I feel that that first 4 chapters are pretty good proof of how far I have come.

What are some of your tips for developing your characters?
Have you ever completely scrapped an opening and rewrote it so it worked better?
Has that backfired?

Scott Pilgrim vs the World Review

I'm a bit of a video game nut and thought that this movie might hit the right notes based on the previews. So I picked it up over the weekend. My initial response to the film was that it was sort of bland to start, but once Ramona came into the picture it picked up pretty well.

I enjoyed the nerdy video game references that were sprinkled throughout the movie. I enjoyed the acting and actually for the first time sat through an entire Michael Cera movie which is an accomplishment on its own. I just turned off Youth in Revolt halfway through the other night.

Now that I didn't like with the film was that pacing was a bit slow in between the fights with the evil exes and the band members were sort of annoying throughout.

I did enjoy the small special effects such as "KO" and the points after each fight. It made me want to play video games after I was done watching it. I also liked the way that it ended.

I would give this film a solid 4/5, and considering that I have heard things about the movie, it lived up to my expectations.

Monday, November 8, 2010

You can't call them Zombies!

Waking up, Anna blinked as fear seeped into every fiber of her body. Only a sliver of moonlight slanted across the room from the skylight. Beneath the blankets her body ached. Not having much time to rest had worn her out. “Kyle?”

Her voice drifted through the darkness with no response. Flexing her fingers she gripped the comforter and slide out of bed. The carpet scratched between her toes and she shuffled toward the door. She held her breath and leaned against the wood. Not a sound emanated from beyond and she thought the worse.

The doorknob hung beneath her and her hands refused to reach for it. She couldn’t bring herself to open the door.

Someone moved behind the door. The thudding of boots continued away. That caused her adrenaline to flood her system and she forced herself to open the door. It swung open and she stared at dark hall. Fabric rustled further in the dark and a squeak shot from her mouth before she could stop it.

“You’re awake?” The older man said. He emerged from the darkness, his face half shadowed by darkness. “Come downstairs, the rest of your friends are down there.”

Rest of my friends? Anna followed the man as he hurried out of sight.

She stopped at the top of the stairs and looked down. Candlelight flickered below. She didn’t understand why it didn’t reach up to her room, but started down the stairs.

Each step creaked, but she didn’t remember hearing his footsteps cause the same sound. Reaching the bottom of the steps, her heart froze. Kyle was sitting in a rocking chair near the fire, his eyes glazed over like he was on some sort of medicine. The little girl was tied up in front of the fire. Bound and gagged, a pole was jammed down between her limbs like they were ready to roast a pig, except it was the girl.

The woman sat in the recliner, her beady eyes looking at her. Candle light flickered in her pupils as she stared. “What did you bring here?”

Her mind felt clouded as she stared at the scene before her. The older man remained nearby, his rifle in one hand, but his gaze locked on the woman. His chin quivered as she stood there.

“What do you mean? We came here looking for help.” Anna said. Anger tightened her stomach as she took a fateful step forward. “Why are you doing this?”

Anna dared to challenge the woman and her face changed. A storm washed over the woman’s face, her brow wrinkling and she clutched the arm of the recliner scratching the fabric. “You came here for help? What kind of people you think we are? Helpful people? With those things around there eating all of our animals. We have no food.” The woman’s voice continued to rise and the jowls of her cheeks vibrated with each raised word.

“Food?” Anna looked over at the little girl. “Let my friends go, and we will leave. We didn’t mean to interrupt you guys.”

“No!” The man spoke. “Hungry.”

Anna flinched and looked at the man. His arms quivered, but his stare remained on the woman.

“Yes dear, I won’t let them leave.” The woman said in a soothing voice. It reminded Anna of her grandmother.

Something didn’t make sense. The wound on the woman’s arm had turned a putrid green. “You were bitten?” Anna asked sneaking a couple more steps forward.

The woman looked at the wound. “Yes. A few days ago, but I’ve keep it under control.”


“By eating people that have come here for help.” The woman said without any care. She turned her attention to Alex and the girl. “These two alone will last us a few days. I haven’t tried virgin meat yet.” She licked her lips. They glistened in the candle light. Her teeth were brown with decay, bits of flesh clung between them.

Her stomach flipped and Anna stormed the woman. She punched the wound. Her fist sank in briefly with the blow and the woman howled clutching the bandage.

The man raised the rifle and took aim.

Anna, fueled by love of her friends dodged at the last moment and fell stiffly to the ground. The rifle went off taking a chunk of the woman’s face off. The blood shot across the room and sizzled in a few of the candles. The screams died as the woman collapsed out of the chair. Her eyes rolled around in her head for a moment before resting on Anna. Pure evil poured from her eyes.

Anna jumped up; fists clenched and stared at the man as he stared at what he just did. She lunged at him driving him against the wall. An antler of some young buck ran through the man’s shoulder. He groaned and dropped the rifle.

Anna slumped to the ground as her knees buckled beneath her. She needed to get out of here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Holiday Season

So this time of year is probably the busiest time of the year for most people. My question is, what are you doing? Anything big family wise?

I think I'm working on both Thanksgiving and the day after, but that could change. Other than that I'm pretty much status quo for the month of November. Got to get the Christmas shopping done for the kids.

I think I'm taking ten days off around Christmas due to family coming up.

What about you, are you doing anything fun? How will it impact your writing? I know for a fact that writing time will be almost nill during the Christmas holiday with the family in town, but other than that I plan to keep on with my daily after kids go to bed hour or two a night.

NFL Pick'em for Week 10

So with the introduction of Thursday night football this week, this post is now a bit earlier.

Ravens @ Falcons - Falcons
Titans @ Dolphins - Titans
Jets @ Browns - Browns
Bengals @ Colts - Colts
Texans @ Jaguars - Texans
Vikings @ Bears - Vikings
Panthers @ Buccaneers - Buccaneers
Lions @ Bills - Lions
Chiefs @ Broncos - Chiefs
Cowboys @ Giants - Giants
Seahawks @ Cardinals - Seahawks
Rams @ 49ers - Rams
Patriots @ Steelers - Steelers
Eagles @ Redskins - Eagles

Bye week: Packers, Saints, Raiders, and Chargers.

Current WiP revelations

I have to give a shout out to one of my crit parters, because she pointed out some major flaws with my character. She said I was trying to give them too many dimensions, and to focus more on a couple so that I can really breath life into those traits.

So I want to let everyone know who is struggling with your current project, keep it simple. Get back to what you enjoy with writing. If it's setting, go for it, splurge a bit. If it's characters, enjoy, get into their head and live them. If it's action, kick some butt.

So with the words of my crit partner, "Keep it simple." Don't make your writing more complex than it has to be. Now go out and write.

Enslaved PS3 Review

So this past week, I played a newer game for the PS3 called Enslaved. It's based on the story "Journey to the West."

The graphics were gorgeous. I loved the way the environments remained varied as you made your way through the world. However, some of the environments seemed built that way only for the fact to allow Monkey, the main character to climb up. Now that isn't a bad thing, but it was a bit obvious at times. The facial animations of the characters was also well done and is one of the game developers major strengths.

Now the story is a different story. It was there, but sort that's it. It is based on the story of another work, but in this piece it seemed to sort of there. I wasn't really emotionally invested in the characters, because of this, which with the way they looked and how they portrayed them, I wish I was more invested. Also the ending was sort of a let down, but I won't spoil it.

Overall, I felt that the game was decent for a rental and glad I didn't buy it as it was on the shorter side, even playing on Hard. 3/5.