Zombie Fiction Writing Challenge
Use a Story Start
(Warning: the story start contains strong language)
Below is a 600-word story start. The setting is a classroom. The time is approximately three weeks after the outbreak.
There are 17 characters. Some of them speak, some are simply mentioned.
Every character, in every story, has a history that led them to this location and this moment. Let's run with that and create 17 distinct vignettes.
Create a CharacterUse this starter to create the a vignette that illustrates the past for any ONE of the characters. The vignette should illustrate an event in the character's past that connects to the story start in some way, however remote that may be.
The vignette should be a maximum of 750 words long. It must use the character's name in the title. The vignette should be original and not previously published elsewhere.
Choose a character. Read the story start. Write a vignette.
Send vignettes, messages and questions to juleromans (at) gmail (dot) com.
The fine print: Vignettes submitted should be original, artfully polished, and free of grammatical errors. Jule reserves the right to edit vignettes as needed. Vignettes will be published based on their adherence to the guidelines.
The 17 charactersGabe
The Story Start
“That bitch has NO Fucking Idea.”
Three male voices copied the first. Brady, Tristan and Garrett were only freshmen, after all, so what did they know? Nate stood and watched as Gabe drew casual aim on a lone, stumbling figure. The former teacher had a tattered lanyard around her neck, with three pieces of twisted sharpened metal still attached. She clutched them in her plump, battered hands. As her fingers slid back and forth over the shards, they left drops of blood against the brass remains of her former badge of power- what used to be keys. She had clearly been doing this repetitive action for some time. There were streaks of darkened blood on the front of her white blouse. Some of the streaks were bright and wet, while others were flaking with age.
“That’s the weird thing.” Nate’s lips barely moved, but the others heard him perfectly. They’d learned how to listen to him, the way he was now. “You’d think they’d run out of blood after a while”
“I know, right?” Brittney responded in a husky undertone. “I’ve got a theory about that. Later.” She held her breath a little while she let her fingers play across Emilie’s forehead. “Just let it happen, baby. There’s nothing more you can do.” Emilie flinched and whimpered a little, but held still with the bait in her outstretched hand.
Underneath Emilie’s arm, four of the girls grunted with the weight of the table they supported. Emilie didn’t amount to much, but it took all four of them to keep the table high enough to do the job. Mattie, Jen, Cienna, and Mariah were growing steadily weaker. All four knew it wouldn’t be long for them, either. Each of them, in turn, had offered to take Emilie’s place. Each had been overruled. Emilie was the one. This time.
Haley heard Nate, too , but from her position curled up on the floor, all she could see was feet. Not that she was noticing much right now. An unintelligible moan escaped her lips. Jamie leaned over her and reached for the last bit of water in the pan. She dipped the rag in the brackish, dirty liquid, using it to wipe Haley’s blue, distended calf.
“Help me, idiot.” Jamie glared at Kassie. “You see me struggling here. Help me.” Kassie didn’t respond. She sat with her back against what was left of the wall, wearing the same blank expression on her face. Kassie’d kept the same position ever since the decision was made. “Dammit.” Jamie gave up. “Some people are just losers no matter what--- in the high school cafeteria or at the end of the world.”
In her mind, Jamie heard Kassie’s voice reply in sing-song: “You’re the loser, loser.” This time, like the twenty times shed tried before, that response never came. Jamie wondered if it ever would again. Kassie’s cheek muscles moved just the tiniest fraction, but that was all, then her face settled back into a solid mask.
Maybe when the boys come back, Jamie thought. Shane, Dalton, and Zach were still out there, foraging for anything useful left in the ruins of the school. They couldn’t go far, but even a short reconnaissance could be a very long time.
“Bitch!” Gabe called out “You… Have…. No…” With a sharp, quick pulse of air, the dart left the straw and found its mark on the female’s neck.
“Fucking.. I… De… AAA!” Tristan, Garret and Brady shouted while they hurtled shoulders-first through the broken shards of glass in the three remaining classroom windows.
Turning to Nate, Gabe snickered and let out a short sigh. “Stupid.”