I liked that, bit sleep deprived…but I’m guessing aliens .
I was actually thinking more along the lines of demons but aliens are also cool
K so I love reading up on things like ghost stories and folklore and things like liminal spaces are like my favorite thing in the world even though they scare the hell out of me
Does anyone have any ideas/headcanons on what superstitions/urban legends/general weirdness would pop up in a post zombie exodus world?
The ZE series has a definite supernatural element. Being not quite living but also not quite dead, I always saw zombies as kind of walking liminal spaces so I think the veil would be thin or even broken so the potential for weird shit is HUGE. I kind of love figuring out how characters would adapt living in a hell world that they understand even less than they previously thought
(I used to be really into Night Vale until I got too busy to keep up with updates and I never really got into creepy pasta but I think there was like one or two I remember liking and I’m not really religious but I think I’d call myself spiritual? I have times where I forget about it an obsess over other things but I always feel really drawn to occult type stuff and keep coming back to it in one way or another. edit: Also when it comes to reading spooky stories and stuff I tend to skim and miss a bunch of details and I haven’t watched a single horror movie before BECAUSE I’M A HUGE WUSS but I’m really into hearing about stuff that other people have experienced or heard about. I want to visit haunted sites and stuff but I haven’t before, partly because of money or just because I’m a wuss, and partly because most sites are like grave sites and stuff and I don’t want to disturb the dead both because I find it disrespectful and because it just generally sounds like a bad idea)
I want to apologize for milking this AU/concept dry and also for overusing run-on sentences
Wanted to write my MC from another perspective and things got long from there and I hope I haven’t done too bad on writing Devlin? Avoided dialogue tho because no matter how many times I reread his interactions, I just can’t nail down his speech patterns
Posting at midnight this time, not 3 AM
The world works in ways that it shouldn’t and after a decade and a half, you just get used to it.
Like when something’s outside at night terrorizing the chickens and you go outside to shoo it off and what you thought was just a dog gets up on two legs and walks away, you go back inside, maybe just a little more disturbed than you were five minutes ago, and you get on with your life.
Or when the cupboards start rattling on their own and shadows seem to start reaching for you menacingly when you turn your back, you just head down to Fred Wilson’s, ignore how Abby Wilson hasn’t aged a day past sixteen or so since the place opened up, and buy another ward. Gene learned how to make wards himself last year though (you aren’t sure where he learned it from, but it’s probably too late to ask at this point), so that’s not much of a problem anymore.
And when one chick grows up to be a rooster with a freaky third eye in the middle of its forehead, you let your nine-year-old daughter name it Irving. And after a lot of negotiation (with Sarah, not with Irving), he gets to live inside the house so the other chickens can’t bully him anymore. Irving turns out to be one of the sweetest, cuddliest animals you’ve ever seen and, while you’re not entirely sure on how smart chickens are supposed to be, normally, you get the feeling he knows more than a chicken should.
The closest you’ve come to really worrying about it these days is probably times like when some kid points out to Michael that, as of last week, part of a science lesson of his is no longer necessarily true and he puts it on himself to try and figure out why, because this is the guy who, upon hearing that you’d been bitten and survived, dropped everything and tried to poke you and then spent like a year and a half trying to figure out a cure for the Zeta virus using only equipment scavenged from a high school, of course he would, and you have to physically drag him to bed before he works himself to death.
But then, Gene and Sarah don’t come home from school one day.
You and Michael aren’t too worried at first, Gene is old enough to walk home on his own now and you trust him to keep an eye on Sarah and sometimes they stop by a friend’s house before coming home, but then you keep waiting and they still aren’t home by dinner.
Normally, they’d let one of you know if they wouldn’t be home in time, and the town has an unwritten rule about not being outside alone after dark because sometimes, some things get up and walk during the night and you really wouldn’t want to get in their way, and that’s when you and Michael really start worrying.
The two of you start asking the neighbors if anyone’s seen them and no one has. New Temperance is a small town, so pretty soon, everyone gets word that your two kids have gone missing, and for such a small town, this is a big deal. It’s getting darker and there’s a search party being organized and you and Michael are ready to join it because it’s your kids missing and you want them safe and home, but then Mindy stops you. She tells you to go home and let the council handle it because it’s dangerous out there they wouldn’t want to find Gene and Sarah only for one of their parents to get hurt or worse in the process. There’s a lot of arguing and a bit of cursing, the latter coming more from you than Michael, but eventually she manages to convince the two of you to go home.
By then, dinner has long gone cold and neither you nor Michael are hungry anyway so you just sit in silence as Irving clucks quietly by the door waiting for Sarah to come back.
The next morning comes and there’s no news.
The day after that, still nothing.
Three days have passed and everyone else has already assumed the worst.
You and Michael don’t want to give up yet, the two of you don’t want to stop searching. Hope isn’t something you’re used to but you don’t want to think about all the things that could have happened so you just keep telling yourself that they’re okay and they’ll be home soon.
And when the funeral director comes by, you slam the door in his face.
Neither of you have been able to sleep much for the past few days. You’re in bed together trying get some sleep despite knowing that neither of you are going to get it when Irving suddenly starts crowing and scratching at the door. Michael gets up first to see what the fuss is about.
You two watch Irving run to the end of the hall and back a few times before he starts pecking at Michael’s feet and you realize that he wants you two to follow him. He’s never been so worked up about anything before, so you do and when he scuttles over to the front door and starts pecking at it, each of you grab a weapon, thinking that he saw or heard something you didn’t and got spooked.
When you get out though, you don’t see anything out of the ordinary and Irving keeps running a few feet ahead and then stopping to make sure you’ve followed. You keep following and soon you reach the edge of town and soon after that you’re heading into the forest.
You and Michael stop and share a look of ‘Really? Are we really following a chicken into the woods in the middle of the night?’ and the answer is yes because the longer you two stand there, the louder Irving squawks, and you really don’t want him attracting any unwanted attention.
So onward you go. In all honesty, you’re terrified, but like hell are you gonna show it. Michael steps closer to you though, and takes your hand in his and weaves his fingers through yours as if to say ‘It’s okay, I’m scared too’.
You keep walking and eventually the noises of the animals normally out at night begin to disappear and pretty soon the only sounds are Irving’s quiet clucking and you and Michael breathing.
Irving stops suddenly and, it takes a second, but you realize you’re in the presence of something big and powerful and ancient. You look up and up until you see it staring down at you from where the night sky is supposed to be.
It feels like taking the bar exam after having spent more time procrastinating than studying.
Like waking up in the morning to the realization that you don’t know what your purpose is anymore or if you even had one in the first place.
Like being left behind, like being bitten and then waiting, waiting, waiting for something to happen.
Then there are feelings you don’t recognize.
Being yelled at and yelling back. A door that you aren’t sure is physical or metaphorical being slammed shut. A home that isn’t a home anymore.
Getting into a car and realizing a second too late that there’s a stranger already in there.
Going too fast. Falling. Water. Figuring out that something has gone very, very wrong and that the signs have been there from the very beginning.
You tear your eyes away and look down at Michael, who’s still staring up at where the sky is supposed to be. He’s trembling. So are you.
Something in him clicks, it seems. He knows what the two of you are there for. You think you do too.
He gulps, takes a breath, looks the being above you in its countless eyes, and there’s more fire in him than you think should be able to fit in someone who’s five-foot-nothing and weighs a hundred pounds soaking wet. He just looks up and says, “I don’t like being toyed with.”
You look back up and at first, nothing happens. You look up at it and it looks back down at you. And then it seems to shudder and recede and soon it’s disappeared and the night sky is up where it’s supposed to be again.
The forest around you appears less dense and the shadows less deep. You wait a minute longer, not entirely sure what for.
Then the bushes rustle behind you and you turn to see two figures step out in the darkness.
You hear a small voice call out.
“Dad? Is that you?”
edit: Oh and also this was semi-inspired by how several cultures have folklore that has something to do with otherworldly being stealing children. Like Europe (or maybe just Ireland but idk much about European things tbh) has changlings and all those fairy tales with witches/fairies trading things for people’s firstborns and Vietnam still uses ugly/diminutive nicknames to make ghosts think you have ugly children so they won’t steal them and the oldest child is always called the second child (literally “Brother/Sister #2”) to make the ghosts think that someone already got the firstborn and I think I heard that China has a similar thing but I’m not sure?
Not sure how good this is, but haven’t posted in a while, and like this thread, as it’s a great place to work that writing muscle on a great subject (and you know work that muscle to get it stronger and all , but yeah, I find this a good thread to practise my writing)
Anyway, the context of this little bit, is that my college student mc is teaching my nephew taekwondo.
Bruno fired off another front kick, trying to copy Lauren the best he could. He had mostly enjoyed learning taekwondo from Lauren, but had found it hard work, and Lauren was a very serious teacher, meaning practise sessions were often lacking in fun. Noticing the two, Woody walked over ruffling Bruno’s hair. “Hi there, you two having fun?”
Bruno turned to Woody with a goofy smile, happy for the interuption, before frowning slightly “I guess so.” he said with a shrug.
Lauren sighed heavily, turned to Woody glaring “We’re busy, go annoy Jaime or something.” before turning to Bruno "Come on, you need to practise otherwise you’ll never get it."
Bruno’s face fell “see you later I guess.” he said to Woody in a deflated tone.
“I was only tryin’ to be nice.”
“We’re busy, we don’t have time for your nonsense.” came Lauren’s response.
“You shouldn’t train him so hard, he aint used to it.”
"He’ll get used to it, he needs to, reading stupid comic books wont help him survive."
Bruno’s face fell again at this "Th-they’re not stupid."
Lauren gave another heavy sigh “Yes. Yes they are. They give a bullshit view of the world. All rosy and rainbow like. That’s bullshit. Want to read something that isn’t stupid? One of my favourite books, one I managed to salvage is a book called Penpal. That’s a good book, it tells it like it is. Plus you’re getting too old for comics. But anyway, it’s time to train, not time to read. Now continue.” She then turns to Woody “That’s your cue to leave, if that wasn’t obvious.” she says with her usual death glare.
Woody’s face fell, and he looked to Bruno sympathetically “Bye little guy.”
“see you.” comes Bruno’s response. With that Woody finally leaves. " I like Woody, he’s nice." He then says to Lauren with a smile.
Her brow furrowed. “He’s a smelly idiot who doesn’t know how to follow orders. If you want someone nice get a dog. Plus a dog has the added benefit of, you know, actually being able to follow orders.” She says angrilly, still feeling angry with Woody for disobeying her order when dealing with the Makarovs. When she says stay she means it. A dog doesn’t have trouble following that order, so why does Woody? Simple. He’s a useless fucking moron. “Besides. Some dogs are cute, like labradors. Can’t say that about Woody now can you?” She says with a snicker.
Bruno, slightly shocked from Lauren’s verbal onslaught on Woody remains silent before finally responding with “But Woody was only trying to help when he went to the Makarov’s. Plus you can’t compare a dog to a human.” Bruno takes a slight pause “Besides Lopez thinks Woody is cute.” he says with a mischievous smile.
Lauren rolls her eyes “Great, some random idiot who nearly died thinks Woody is cute. And I care because? Oh wait that’s right, I give literally zero fucks. Now anyway lets get back to training already. The longer we mess about with this senseless blabber, the longer it’ll be till we can rest, so I hope you know that.” Lauren says glaring. The other survivors are a real bad influence on him. She doesn’t like that, all this pointless blabbering, oh how she wishes he’d shut up and train already, if he talked this much in a fight he’d be dead already. At least if his enemy was a big enough of a threat to care about.
Bruno sighed heavily “Ok, fine.” And with that he went back to trying to copy Lauren’s front kick, all be it with a significantly noticeable lower level of enthusiasm, earning him a oh so famous death glare from Lauren.
Sorry for the double post(but hope it’s ok) , but thought of a good idea to show my mc’s more vunrable, less bitchy side with the recentish talk on the main thread about mother’s day. As it’s my mc showing her vunrability, touches somewhat on sensitive subject matters, so will put a trigger warning below, let me know please if it isn’t prominent enough or what not .
Trigger warnings for***:
Drug and alcohol abuse, implied family abuse.
Bruno woke up, his eyes red and wet from all the crying. Today was mother’s day, but he wouldn’t be spending it with his mother. The sadness hadn’t come suddenly, he didn’t even know if anyone else in the group would mention it, but having only recently settled into this safe haven, and getting a chance for things to calm down, at least somewhat…it’s like now he isn’t scavenging with Lauren, constantly trying not to get killed by zombies or raiders, he has no distractions, especially as Lauren is still busy, but just not with him. Though Lauren had disagreed, the others in the group had thought it too dangerous to go with her and the others, so he had been rellogated to help clean the safe haven.
With this in mind, he looked at his watch, it was still fairly early, so he figured he’d go see if Lauren was still in, he knew she liked to do tasks away from the safe haven where there were less people, so he figured he’d go see her now before her day started proper.
Bruno Walked the small distance to Lauren’s room and sheepishly knocked on her door. After a while of waiting, Lauren finally answered, giving a death glare, wearing a black nightie he figured she’d found whilst scavenging somewhere. Her expression softened when she saw it was him "Up early huh? What is it you need?"
Bruno bit his lip, his eyes threatening to shed tears again "I-it’s mother’s day. Can I come in please?"
Lauren looked for a long while at him sympathetically spotting how sad he was. She hadn’t even thought about it herself, she hadn’t spoken to her mother in years. Maybe she was dead, maybe she wasn’t. Before the outbreak she’d had no plans to start up talking to her again, thinking more about this or what could’ve happenned was pointless. She knew she was due to go scavenging with Parker soon though, Jaime had put the two together as Parker was someone Lauren felt indifferent too, and Parker felt the same, as Lauren barely spoke to him, he appreciated that she was good at scavenging, even if the lack of conversation was hard to bare at times. But fuck it, she didn’t ask to become Bruno’s surrogate mother, what would they expect her to do when Bruno is on the edge of tears? Just say she didn’t have time? She knew she couldn’t spend ages with him, but if Parker or anyone else had a go at her spending at least a bit of time comforting Bruno, then she’d just slam the door in their faces and tell them where to go. She offered a sympathetic smile to Bruno "Ok, I can spend a bit of time with you, but I’ll have to go out soon ok?"
Bruno smiled grateful “Ok.”
Bruno followed her through and sat on her bed next to her.
Lauren struggled hard thinking what to say, but her mind was blank. She began to bite her lip and lightly scratch her arms feeling nervous. She wasn’t a people person at the best of times,comforting people really wasn’t one of her strengths. She wished she knew what to say, but nothing came to mind. So she resorted to the only thing she could think of in these situations, and edged towards him, before bringing him in for a hug and resting his head against her.
It was all pointless though…Her sister wouldn’t have survived through this. Lauren often doubted how well she was coping through it but her sister… Her sister Freya had coped with their fucked up family differently to Lauren. Where as Lauren had coped by being bitchy and abrasive as fuck, as well as strongly detaching from her emotions and reality somewhat too, Freya had turned to drink, drugs and sex, more so when she found out she had developed cancer. She thought about saying this to Bruno, that if it hadn’t happenned when it had, Freya would’ve died eventually, but in his emotional state she doubted he’d respond well to that. She wondered what Bruno was thinking, what he thought Lauren was to him? How would his mother’s death change their relationship? Before she died Bruno had gotten along fairly well with her, but they didn’t see each other much, and they were hardly close, not like this.
Syn buried his face in his hands, exhaling sharply, then running his hands through his short hair aggressively, as if he had a massive headache. He then locked his fingers behind his neck, letting his head hand low, and squeezes his eyes tightly shut. Suddenly, a tear falls from his face onto the concrete below. His breathing starts to become more and more labored, and he squeezes his eyes shut even tighter as he begins to let out all his suppressed sorrow in one pathetic but private display of weakness. The past few weeks have been both mentally and physically overwhelming for him. The constant fear of a bandit invasion, a zombie horde breaking through the walls, him or one of his friends not coming back from a supply run, betrayal from within the group, running out of supplies, the never-ending anxiety that he can never control that forces him to constantly worry about his relationship with his girlfriend, Madison, and his best friend, Jaime, or even his friend Sylvia, and the additional fear that his constant stress strains those relationships and weakens him, all on top of the pressure that’s put on him since he’s in a leadership position, all combine into one giant burden for him, an unfathomable weight seemingly permanently on his shoulders. Soon enough, the sorrow turns into rage that he also always kept locked up. Syn begins clenching and unclenching his fists, gritting his teeth, cheeks still stained with salty streams, eyes still watering, and now burning. His breathing is now deep and deliberately slow, attempting to calm himself. He slowly looks up into the bright blue sky, the sun partially blinding him, then back down, and at his surroundings.
The boy sits atop a concrete step that leads up to the porch of a two-story suburban home. Inside lies the bodies of a zombified family of four that he dispatched before searching the place. After awhile, Syn stands, feeling lightheaded, with his trusty claw hammer, bloodied, dangling at his right hip, and his crossbow shoved headfirst into his backpack, it left half-unzipped, so he can draw it easily. After wiping his face with his sleeves, and recollecting himself (mostly), he moves on to the house across from his current location, crossing the roundabout road to the last home on this street that he didn’t ransack. It’s a red brick two-story home, like the other one. The windows are visibly barricaded with wood, and the door surprisingly shows signs of little damage, only having multiple old blood splatters caking it, along with a few scratches. It’s a white door, contrasting nicely with the red around it. The sun, clearly beginning to set, burns brightly overhead, casting an almost unnatural orange glow as the lone young man crosses the street and into the lawn of his last stop, the grass largely overgrown, rising up to at the least Syn’s thighs, almost matching the vines threatening to engulf the left side of the house he’s heading towards.
Syn freezes after passing the rusty, crooked mailbox that displays the number 4556 in faded black on it’s sides. The boy concentrates and listens intently for any sounds possibly coming from within the building, while also looking all over it’s windows and roof. When he’s sure it’s safe enough to advance, he makes his way up the front steps and to the front door. He runs his hands over it, feeling for any resistance, then gives it a couple light pushes. Yep. Blocked from within. He doesn’t have much time left, though, so, after turning around and ensuring no wandering zombies are around, he backs away, then delivers a fierce push kick to it. The door opens a bit, and Syn pauses a moment to look around inside at what he can. HE was correct. A few couches, tables, and chairs were shoved in front of the door. Good. Always easier to open then a fully boarded up one. Syn then gazes around. The living room is clear, and there’s what looks to be a kitchen to the left. All he can see is part of a white old-style refrigerator. To the right, a staircase leads to the second floor, with a wooden railing. To the right of that, is another room that he can’t see anything of. Two more kicks and the door is ajar enough for him to squeeze through. Syn pushes the door shut and stares at the poorly-constructed stack of furniture that failed to do it’s job. Why the fuck were the windows expertly barred, but barely any attention given to the door? Did a horde arrive immediately after the windows were sealed? Why wouldn’t you do the door first? He did.
Ah, fuck it, he thinks and looks around the first room, unaware that he was being watched outside.
“Ah. c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon. You gotta hve somethin’ for me, you just gotta. Let’s see. Shit, shit, shit, more and more stupid fuckin’ shit,” Syn says as he rummages through what he thinks is the guest bedroom. The dresser sits empty, all the shelves yanked out, the desk ransacked just the same, the closet now a complete and utter mess, the bed undone and flipped over, what was underneath it strewn about, and the boookshelf now disorganized, most of it’s selection decorating the floor. So far, Syn has only found a few kitchen knives good enough to take, two cans of food (tuna and corn), a can of most likely flat soda, one sports water bottle (empty), and two small plastic flashlights (one works, one is being a bitch). That’s hardly a load good enough, considering all the other houses on this street had comparably way better contents-
The sound of one of the downstairs windows shattering literally out of nowhere startles the boy so badly he instantly freezes in place almost perfectly, instinctively turning his head to listen for any accompanying noises. What is clearly people climbing in fills his right ear, and his instincts automatically kick in that exact moment. He quietly takes his backpack off, and slips it under the bed with his crossbow still inside. He knows he’s gonna have to fight. No hindrances. He then draws his hammer, quickly yet silently makes his way over to the bedroom door, and carefully closes it. Then his head turns to the open closet, and, about 7 seconds later, he is inside it, crouching, yet not sitting, ready to attack, alone in the slight darkness, the door completely shut.
Voices sound from below. Syn can barely make out one of the intruder’s voices:
“You two, with me. You guys go check upstairs. He’s in here somewhere. Watched him sack the house across the street. He musta cleared this whole damn neighborhood, little punk’s got a nice sized pack. Think he has a fuckin’ crossbow, too. I have dibs if anyone finds it. Now be careful. Don’t hesitate!”
There’s at least five, Syn thinks. Sounded like they busted the window at the bottom of the stairs. If just one comes in here, fucking decimate him, get your shit, then bolt down there to it. If it turns out you were right, fucking suicide dive outside, and get your fat ass outta here. Fuck these guys, fuck this house, and fuck my life.
And, with that, Syn waits, trembling slightly both in fear and from the adrenaline overload coursing through his veins now.
The wait isn’t long, but the boy is still sweating by the time he can hear one of the strangers enter the room. Syn has to work even harder to control his breathing and movement while he listens to the rough-sounding man move about, watching part of his shadow underneath the door. Suddenly, his mind goes blank, his pupils grow smaller, and he no longer works to breathe or move. For a brief moment, his eyes don’t move, his hammer doesn’t shake, and his ears only pick up their own ringing and his fast heartbeat. Both grow louder and louder in volume until only blood rushing fills his hearing. As soon as the door flies open, and his eyes shift like a snake to the bearded man dressed in all denim wielding an aluminum baseball bat now standing in front of him with a surprised expression, his target is locked, and his brain reacts.
In a flash, or, what appears to be to the underly-cautious bandit, the young man swings his hammer horizontally after springing up, smashing it into his lower jaw. Blood and teeth spray the air in the direction of the doorway before he can even scream. Syn, bending his knees, swings again, this time vertically, up into the man’s crotch, following up his attack. His opponent drops the bat and merely cries out in pain, and Syn is on him again, wasting no time. He kicks the man’s right knee inwards, forcing him to kneel, then brings the hammer down viciously onto the back of his skull several more times until the man is completely on his stomach, and his bald head is caved in. Syn’s chest hurts from his heart beating so hard, and can’t hear the other man as he sprints into the room from down the hallway. Syn sees him too late. He appears in the doorway, spots him and his dead friend, then fires at the kid with the Beretta M9 in his right hand as he shuffles back into the hallway to take cover, thinking Syn has a gun as well. One of the shots clips Syn’s left shoulder, and he slams into the wall behind him on accident, staggering back from the searing pain. With a grunt, he dives to the floor, pulling the mattress on the bed out, and using it as makeshift cover. Of course it won’t be much protection, it is big enough to hide behind as he checks his new wound, then scrambles for the backpack underneath the bed, struggling to pull the crossbow in it out. When he finally gets it free, he places his hammer down and grips it tightly. It’s already loaded, and the other bolts for it are on a holder attached to it at the front. He only has five total. Better make them count. His “plan” backfired badly, but not in the worst way possible, thankfully. Now, though, he’s going to have to fight his way out of the house. Before nightfall would be preferable. He needs to get home by then, or else…
Think of her, think of her. You have to get back. She needs you.
He pops up from behind the toppled mattress, and, when the man with the pistol runs back into the doorway, angry, he has pulled the trigger, the bolt flying quickly through the air and finding his throat before he can even spot Syn. He collapses, but just as he does, another bandit, a second bald one with a plaid shirt with the sleeves torn off and wielding an AK-47, appears near the top of the stares. He watches his friend fall backwards, gasps, then sees his killer, and fires full-auto at his head. Syn is barely able to duck back down in time, and the man continues to fire, as he reloads his crossbow, forcing him to practically lay on his side while countless holes are blown into the wall in front of him.
Syn is able to reload in time, but panics just as the firing stops and a click is heard to his immediate right. He desperately scrambles to his feet, dropping the crossbow and grabbing his hammer, as the man appears in front of him, eyes crazy and face contorted in rage, with a wicked Bowie knife in his right hand, and his now-empty rifle dangling by a strap at his side. He cries out and charges at Syn, who is able to knock the knife out of his hand using the hammer, yet unable to stop him from heaving the boy onto his shoulders and ramming him into the wall in front of him. Parts of it are caved in from the impact, and Syn now sits atop the waist-high dresser.
The bandit, in a pure homicidal rage, begins to strangle the boy. Pain immediately works it’s way into his head from being cut off from any oxygen, and his throat feels like it’s being crushed. Even his eyes hurt after a few seconds. Mustering all the strength he can, Syn grabs both sides of the man’s face, and shoves both his thumbs into his eyes as hard as he physically can. Crimson slowly oozes down his cheeks as he screams in agony. Strangely enough, he doesn’t release his grip. It actually tighten’s around the young man’s neck in a death vice. Syn leaves his left thumb in the man’s eye as his right hand scrambles for anything of use along the top of the dresser. He grips what feels like a pen, and quickly jams it into his attacker’s right arm, twisting as hard and as painfully as he can. The man screams even louder, headbutting Syn. That’s when an absolute explosion of unbearable pain occurs where Syn’s nose his. The man has smashed it. He spins and tosses the boy off the dresser back onto the floor with force. Syn immediately notices he can’t open his eyes, pain simply too great. He rolls over and feels his way to his hands and knees, and places one hand where his nose is, er, was. He can immediately feel it become literally covered in blood, and can even slightly hear it dripping onto the floor.
All he can do is simply stay there on his hands and knees, sobbing unintentionally. After what feels like an eternity, something hard, like a boot, impacts his ribs. He flops over, onto his back, yelling out in pain. He holds both hands up, and, with significant effort, forces his burning and watery eyes open. His vision is blurry, but a single figure towers over him, aiming a shotgun right at his face. The man he was fighting looks to be sitting up against the dresser, whimpering loudly, his eyes bloody holes. One more bandit is kneeling next to him, holding a pistol.
“God fucking dammit, man! How the fuck did he-” is all he hears him say.
Another kick to Syn’s chest.
“You pussy little piece of shit!” The man standing above him shouts. He readies his gun like he’s going to shoot. All the boy can think of to do is hold one hand up in a plea for mercy. Before his very existence can be ended in a literal flash and boom, though, the kneeling bandit barks an order ferociously.
“No! Don’t fucking shoot him!” He turns his head ever so slowly to Syn.
“What the fuck do you mean?!?” The shotgun man responds.
“Look what he did to Lenny,” the apparent leader of the group says, nodding towards the crying, wounded man in front of him.
“So we can’t just kill him!”
“Well why the fuck not?”
The leader then slowly stands, marching over to the crumpled boy lying on the floor.
“Fucker went too far! We do the same to him,” he says, his head tilting slightly to the right, seemingly studying Syn.
“We can’t just kill hi-”
Suddenly, Syn is seized by his shirt, pulled to his feet, and pushed to the wall back-first by the leader. This ignites the last bit of fire he has within him, knowing all too well that he is serious.
The boy quickly sinks his teeth into the man’s throat as best he can, then yanks his head back, managing to tear out a small chunk of flesh. He hears nothing but gurgles and a scream, then shoves the man back as hard he can into the shotgun man, who is standing behind both of them. They both topple over. Thinking quickly, Syn races over to the shotgun, yanking it from the remaining bandit’s grip, then bashes him across the face with it’s hard plastic stock. He flops over onto his stomach. Syn finally stands on his back to keep him down and pulls the trigger. The result is a massive flash and boom, along with a recoil so great it bruises his shoulder. But the man’s head, along with some of the floor beneath it, are now blown to smithereens. Syn falls to his knees, dropping the weapon. He then collapses to his side and onto his back, entire body feeling numb and completely devoid of energy. He then realizes he’s right next to the wounded man, and grips his hammer that is lying on the ground next to him, pushing himself to his feet. The man simply sits there, cowering, blood covering his lower face and shirt, arms over his head. He’s trembling a great amount.
“Please…please…I have a daughter…”
Syn stands there, face also covered in blood, staring straight into the gaping holes that used to be the man’s eyes. His legs feel as if they’re about to give away, and a great deal of fear still runs through him.
“Kill me!” The poor man suddenly cries. “She can’t see me like this! She…she can’t…kill me! Fucking kill ME! What are you waiting for!!! I can’t take this fucking pain! Oh God! Kill me! KILL ME-”
The hammer is brought down hard onto the man with five sickening crunches.
Best thing I read all day.
Wrote a blurb at like 3:00 AM in the morning. Hope my writing isn’t too cringy.
“Juliette, you okay?”
She didn’t know how quite to answer, nor was she exactly in a position to. As the first tear broke free, more followed in an unbroken stream. Juliette soon found herself kneeling on the ground, crying with the force of someone vomiting on all fours.
Juliette slowly rose her head to look Brody in the eye, and was able to regain some voice back after seeing the genuine worry in his expression.
“I’m… sorry…”, she blurts between gasps of sobs, “I… just… don’t know how much longer I can last like this!”
Brody says nothing, but helps Juliette to her feet. He sits her down on a crate, giving intermittent awkward pats on her back. The girl continues to cry into her palms for a whole tense minute. Finally, with lips still quivering, she starts speaking,
“I’m really sorry you had to see me like this, I really-”
Brody cuts her off, “What are you apologizing for? Don’t be sorry!”.
“It’s the literal apocalypse, you have to be strong now. I have to be strong, to take care of Timmy and not be a liability to the group, but I can’t! Most people in the world right now are dead, or worse than dead! At least during the Black Plague they were able to bury their dead and be done with it! We have these walking nightmares stalking us, preying on us! Day in and day out! And- and-!”, she coughs violently.
“Take it easy, we got time. Need some water?”
Juliette shakes her head, “No, I’ll be fine. I just really miss my parents and my sister. I still can’t believe they’re gone, or possibly turned into those… things. And I’m just plain scared! That’s the thing!. Scared of the undead, scared of the living, and scared of my place in this freakin’ group! Like what am I to the rest of these people? I can’t fight, I can’t shoot well… I can’t even peel a potato without a peeler! I know Kelly hates me, and I’m getting scared that others will start to feel the same. And then where would Timmy and I be?”
“I’m sorry Brody, I know you lost family too. We all did. I’m sorry for breaking dow-”
“Hey, no apologizing, remember?”, Brody interrupts with a slight smirk, “And I’ll be honest, for someone who says she’s scared shitless, you were totally brave back at school when you distracted Rosie away from us.”
“And useless? Juliette, you set up a computer connection-thingy with other groups elsewhere when the internet stopped working! I always knew you were smart, but DUDE! Give yourself some credit!”
“I mean, sure-”
“And you’ve been collecting all these zombie samples too! With you and the doc on our team, I’m sure there’ll be a cure or vaccine or whatever in no time! I mean, you made it to the World Chemistry Olympics!”
“International Chemistry Olympiads.”
“Whatever, my point is, stop selling yourself short. I know that most of the team loves having you around too. Always smiling and brightening our days. Makes sense you have to cry too to even that out. And you can always let it all out around me if you need to, it’s the least I can do. Who cares if you’re not good at bashing zombies’ skulls, leave that to me.”
Brody flexes his right arm and starts punching the air as if fending off invisible undead assailants, leaving Juliette no choice but to break into laughter.
Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven -- Part 2 Discussion
Sometimes when I’m alone
I wonder aloud
If you’re watching over me
Some place far abound
I must reverse my life
I can’t live in the past
Then set my soul free
Belong to me at last
These lyrics, these words, echo through the boy’s mind as he watches the sun fade, willingly being engulfed by the darkness of the new night. For a moment, it’s all too real; a symbol of life’s constant battles: the sun, hope rises, until the night, something, another problem, another fight, forces you to sing back down, further and further, until it has consumed you.
These were his thoughts even beforehand. The apocalypse has taken those feelings and amplified them a thousandfold.
It’s almost too much.
A momentary glance at his side reveals Madison has fallen asleep in the grass. Syn chuckles quietly to himself. The sight, for many reasons, makes him remember something Jonah had said years ago when he was going through major surgery:
“Life isn’t over until you have literally nothing.”
This stuck inside Syn’s head ever since; he really liked it and even told it to himself when he was feeling depressed.
Just now was one of those moments.
The boy takes his earbuds out, shuts off his iPod that has almost died (it’s a miracle it still works, all his songs were downloaded onto it, so the fact that the Internet was no more meant jackshit), and slowly and quietly climbs to his feet, silently leaving the girl.He manages to not wake her on accident, and heads to the oddly parked circle of vehicles and tents that are the rest of his group.
He walks to the makeshift campfire in the middle; logs and stumps have been moved around it for seating. Only three other people, Brody, Ylva, and Sylvia, are still up though. The fact that none of the adults are up pleases Syn.
“Hey man, Mad doin’ okay?” Brody says, sitting on a stump, as Syn takes a seat on the ground to his left.
“Sleepin’ like a baby. I’m only gonna be over here for a few minutes; got cold, gave her my blanket.”
Brody smiles at this. “She really wanted to watch the sun set, huh?”
“Heh. Yeah.,” the other boy responds, putting his hands up to the fire.
“Listen. I really appreciate you takin’ care of here. Seriously. It means a lot. She…really likes you.”
“I know. No problem.”
“Oh, hey Syn. You usually aren’t up this late,” Ylva says, looking at him. She sits on a log in front of him with Sylvia, who hasn’t once looked up from their card game.
“Like I told Brody: the col’s being a bitch tonight.”
“Well, winter is coming up, moron,” Sylvia says, finally speaking. She looks at Syn with a playful smile, the focuses back on her game.
“What’s the matter Syl? You losin’?”
“Ha. Lose to this bitch in War?”
“Well, you’ve gotta win at something,” Ylva smirks, winking at Sylvia.
“You two don’t go fuckin’ each other’s brains out again now, y’hear?” Syn says sarcastically.
This makes Sylvia perk up suddenly, but she still doesn’t return Syn’s look. “Ha. At least we’ve done it. When are you and Madd gonna-”
“Yep, this conversation’s over,” Syn interrupts, smiling and even blushing a little. “I can’t even come over here for five minutes just to warm up my hands.”
“Not our fault you can’t stand the outside world,” Ylva laughs.
“That made zero sense. Goodbye now.” Syn stands and begins to walk off.
“Zero sense? Like how you have zero chance with Brody here’s sister?” Sylvia teases.
Syn doesn’t turn back. Instead, he keeps walking and offers the mocking girl a simple flip of the bird. The trio still at the fire laughs.
The boy gets halfway back to the spot on the big hill where his girlfriend is before, out of nowhere, a large black figure springs from the thick brush to his immediate left and rams into him hard, sending both of them to the ground with a thud and gasp from Syn.
The panicking young man reaches for his hammer that is tied to his right side, but in doing so, leaves himself open, and gets a punch in the face for his troubles. This enrages him, and he jumps up just as his attacker does. It’s a grown man; looks to be middle-aged, wearing a leather jacket and black beanie with a scruffy beard.
A bandit. Was he stalking the camp?
This possible revelation only fuels his rage further, and so the boy charges low, tackling the man’s legs just as he stands. Syn’s speed and strength allows him to successfully take the man down with a small but impact slam. Wasting no time and risking nothing, Syn mounts his opponent after realizing he’s unarmed, and postures up, grabbing the collar of his now dirty jacket with his left hand and viciously beating the man in the face with his other.
After several hard and quick punches, the bandit’s struggles cease, and Syn is mercilessly wailing on an unconscious man. Blood from the boy’s broken nose drips onto his bloodied shirt. He continues to pound his new foe until the trio from the fire runs over, weapons drawn, faces masks of worry at first, then confusion.
“Woah, what the hell?” Ylva shouts.
“Syn…are you okay?” Sylvia says.
“Yeah,” he mutters quietly, checking with one hand to see if his nose is still bleeding.
“What happened, man?” Brody asks, his heart racing.
Syn takes a moment to collect himself first, then replies.
“I…I was just walking back, and this motherfucker tried to jump me!” He kicks the man’s body, although it does little to abate his still-strong anger.
“Wha-wat?” Ylva says.
“Straight up!” Syn sniffs, then finishes, “I think he was staking the camp out, watching us. No idea how long, though.”
After he says this, the others begin to study their surroundings, as if expecting more bandits to pop up.
Suddenly, they simultaneously turn back when they hear Syn whip out his hammer.
He’s gripping it tightly, a cold gaze set on the unconscious man.
“That was too close. Had I stayed at the fire, he would’ve wandered over to Maddie! And she’s asleep!”
“Woah,” Brody starts. “Now just wait, let’s think about this. We could question hi-”
“Syn! No!” Sylvia screams.
She gasps as the boy begins to bash the bandit’s skull in, stepping forward.
But Ylva puts an arm in front of her, then gives her a look, shaking her head. She then watches on.
…This was part one of a story I hope to finish later on. Thank you.
A commission I did of @rosepetals’ MC Clarke Miller
(Just a note, my commissions aren’t really open currently, I approached @rosepetals from the post on the main ZE:SH thread. I’m planning to open them either this weekend or early next week and will be making a thread, so keep an eye out for that in case anyone’s interested. Classes just started again and I just want to take a bit of time to adjust and see how my workload there is right now before I commit to anything)
I got Clip Studio Paint this weekend because it was on sale and doodled some busts of (left to right) my con artist MC’s nephew, Johnny, my teen MC, Piper Flores, and my con artist MC, Felix Huynh, to get used to the program
I hate Piper’s hairstyle so I’m gonna change it eventually and Felix looks too young here, but Johnny looks pretty good, which is surprising since I basically never draw children
Redid the bust of my teen mc. Her hair looks more ombre than grown-out roots, but it looks a lot better than the last attempt so ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Also drew my Zombie Exodus MC, Michael Romsee, and Emma. I finally figured out an official last name for him after having a placeholder name for like forever
Emma is like an inch taller than him and he hates it
This was one quarter me wanting to draw from ZE ocs, one quarter needing to get some examples for commissions done, and half procrastinating on my homework
So apparently I’ve made about 21% of the posts on this thread and I’m wondering what that says about me and what I’m doing with all my time…
I’ve been meaning to do some more commission samples (still need more waist-ups since I have only one and figured I should do one of a character with a tattoo) but I’ve been stressed and burnt out so I decided to try my hand at making a moodboard/aesthetic thingy for my Zombie Exodus 1 MC (I don’t feel like my ZESH ocs are developed enough yet)
This is the first time I’ve made one of these things and the first time I’ve played around with filters and effects in clip studio paint but it doesn’t seem that different from photoshop. I’m not totally into the composition but it was super hard trying to find nice photos and it’s getting super late so I guess I’m done with it
The top right image (your screen’s right) is from a book called The Mincing Mockingbird: Guide to Troubled Birds, the middle image is of a Viet pop star named Rocker Nguyen (I wish I could’ve found a Thai and/or trans male model but I couldn’t find one who fit ), and the quote from Pacific Rim (said by Newt). The rest of the images as well as the background texture for the quote are from stock photo sites
No wonder I found that guy familiar. Lol
I’ll do you a solid and post this commission I never managed to share in this thread rather than the other like I tended to do in the past.
I kinda got dragged off the forums by the sudden appearance of a social life over summer, but I’d commissioned a small sketch of Woody being all fussy and worried over my college student MC, Remy, after he decidedly did something very stupid and reckless to ensure the group’s safety. He’s the kinda fella that tends to act before he thinks, but thankfully he’s athletic and handy enough with a knife that he can tend to handle himself. Y’know, with some scratches and bruises… sometimes a lot of them. Poor Woody’s gonna find himself with high blood pressure worrying about this boy.
Oooh, who’s the artist? That style looks really familiar It’s lovely, by the way
That one was done by wayriding over on Instagram, though if you have a tumblr, you may have stumbled on their art before. Maybe.
I thought so but I wasn’t totally sure. I’ve wanted to commission him for a while but I have terrible timing and never have the money for a commission when they’re open Lucky!
I meant to do inktober and had some ZE related prompts but unfortunately I’m neck-deep in school and haven’t gotten any of it done I still want to do inktober, but I think I’m actually gonna move it to November instead since I have midterms coming up and don’t have the time to catch up on inktober
In the meantime, here’s a sculpture of some dude being attacked by a zombie I did for a class last fall (please excuse the terrible film quality and background noise) It’s not the best, but I was really proud of the posing at least
This was actually done a month or two before I got into ZE. The assignment was just to have two characters interact in some way and, since this was started in October, I just wanted to do something Halloween-themed. I no longer have the sculpture though since it was taken apart for me to use to clay for the next assignment
This is less of a fic with a plot and more of a character study/introspection?/vent because I’ve been depressed and unproductive for the past two days so clearly I have to project everything onto my OCs (I mean like, I’m not going through the stuff my MC is going through in the fic or anything but like I wanna make him sad too)
It’s a bit of a bummer and there’s very vague and non-explicit allusions to an unhealthy relationship and I figured I should just throw that out there just in case. Also maybe a little bit of internalized homophobia at the end but only very vaguely implied if you squint bc I’ve been feeling really crappy about being gay lately but I wanted to like make it slightly less of a huge bummer and ended up not writing it all in
(Also Piper is my teen MC and Madison is still there, like she’s not dead or anything, the dog just doesn’t like her as much as Brody or my MCs)