Tag Archives: apocalypse

Friday Fictioneers – Picture of the Present – Apocalyptic Fiction – PG13

Rochelle Friday Fictioneers – Mine below – rest > HERE < You get the idea…now, enjoy!

Source: PHOTO PROMPT Copyright- The Reclining Gentleman Click on pic for page

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Picture of the Present

By Scott L Vannatter – 100 words

Perry stopped to look at the long table of pictures set up in front of the scene. The first showed the lake in all its glory spread to the winds, the picturesque nature all around. The scenes then progressed, showing the lake as a few homes went up, then a dock, pier, buildings, a small town, big town, now a city, on and on, until now.

Perry picked up his satchel, took out his brush and paints, and began. It was so difficult to paint the current scene, so much had happened since the last war, not enough brown paint…

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Namaste,

Scott

Five Sentence Fiction – Moments – A Carolyn Adventure – R – Horror 1/4/14

Five Sentence Fiction –  A complete story (or good thought) composed in 5 full sentences.  Hosted by Lillie McFerrin.  After reading my entry below, click > HERE < to read the other selections!!!

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Moments

FSF – Scott L Vannatter

1/4/14

A Carolyn (Keeping Watch) Adventure

The man who stepped from the trees was gorgeous (in Carolyn’s eyes) with dark wavy hair, in his mid- thirties, muscular, fit, and eyes that could just knock the socks off even a seasoned model.

The axe he carried over his shoulder was not lost on Carolyn as she tried to speak first and keep the shaking out of her voice.

“Sir, my name is Carolyn and I am passing through the area looking for someplace safer than the city I just left.”

“Jordan, ma’am and this here is Billy, my boy and only family since …”

“I believe I understand…”

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The continuing adventures of Carolyn, all collected in Carolyn’s page on this blog.  Enjoy.  I certainly am.

Namaste,

Scott

Keeping Watch – Part 2

As promised, here is the second installment of my short story “Keeping Watch”.  It is looking to be longer than the 3 parts I originally thought, so please have patience as I doubt it will be finished next time.  It is shaping up well, I think, though you all are better judges for that.  Again, let me know about any errors you see or suggestions you have.  You are all wonderful and I look forward to hearing from  you.  Enjoy!

Part one – Here

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___Part Two___

Carolyn’s neck hurt as she snapped awake.  Looking at the watch she had taken from a jewelry store, she saw that she had only catnapped for a couple of hours.  She looked around and things were quiet for the moment.  She sighed.

She went into auto-mode, checking her inventory and it’s condition.  She emptied the two front pockets in her pants and the four in her jacket as well as the one in her blouse.  Carolyn stared in the dim moonlight at her life’s property all sitting in a little line.  She had her berretta, cleaned and accompanied by six bullets in the gun and two clips of six each.  The long straight hunting blade with the notches on top that could cut wire rounded out her arsenal.  Food was another thing altogether.  She had eaten about half of her bread and only had the small jar of olives to go with that.  The flask held about 2/3 of a cup of water now, almost half empty.  A pair of cotton work gloves, a lighter more than half full of fluid, a two ounce bottle of rubbing alcohol, her lock picks, 3 band aides, the small LED light, and 1 wrapped Hershey’s kiss (dark chocolate she was saving).  “It was not very much,” she thought,” but it would have to do for now.”  With that she moved closer to the kitchen room door and out of direct sight.  Then she tilted her head a bit for some much needed rest.

When Carolyn opened her eyes, she was a little alarmed and amazed.  It was daylight, meaning she had slept nearly twelve hours.  She was a little groggy from the sleep, but felt wonderfully refreshed, though hungry.  The bread was beginning to get fairly stale, so she ate it, opened the olives and ate about a third of them, finishing the flask of water afterwards.  There was enough pressure in the sink for about half the flask and she got the rest of the water by emptying both coffee makers.  She did find a pack of cinnamon gum and two rice cakes in a zip lock baggie all stashed in the back office desk.  There was some cheese, but she did not like the texture or the color, so she left it lying.  Her watch read seven forty-eight when she headed out into the dangerous silence of the town.

Her steps took her to the far end of town by noon.  She had seen no one and the night crawlers, her own term for the brain dead monstrosities that took over everything at sundown, would not be seen outdoors for hours.  She looked up as a shaft of reflected light struck her eyes.  The reflection came from a second story window in a suburban clinic.  She had never been to this one before.  Her mind told her to stay awake, but all she could think of was that, perhaps, there was some food, water, and antibiotics in the place.  It may have been picked clean, but she was willing to risk it being full of night crawlers to find out.

Her heart beat fast as she pushed on the door.  She sighed, getting ready for yet another lock picking session, when she realized the sign on the door read “pull”.  When she did, it opened into a reasonably lush front lounge.  She did not stop to open anything so as not to give herself away just yet.  The hall to the rooms was fairly dark, but many of those rooms had curtained small windows, allowing the rooms some luminescence.

The search of the first three rooms yielded nothing of value.  She entered the fourth and began quietly opening drawers.  At first, she had been a bit surprised that there were no night crawlers in the doctor’s area.  Then she remembered what the radio had mentioned about people leaving the hospitals and offices before becoming paralyzed, then coming back as night crawlers.  There were more out in the streets and alleys and even inside the stopped cars than inside medical places.  The other places hard hit were buildings where people had come in to work and succumbed there.  That was what bothered her, she realized, there were no doctors or nurses in here with her.  She was relieved, but cautious.

The drawers had some gauze, tape, and a small bottle of liquid soap.  She put all three items in her pockets, and then found a pair of scissors used for cutting tape.  She added that to her inventory as well, then left the room to go farther into the back where the storage rooms would be located.

The back door was locked, as she suspected a storage room would be.  It had not been broken down as had many of the ones she had looked at before.  About twelve minutes of tedious work and some quiet swearing found the lock popped and she turned the handle on the door.  It did not give way easily and she pushed harder, then with all she had.  The door came open and she realized the reason for the resistance as three night crawlers dressed in nursing uniforms came toward her.   Rather than back up, Carolyn pulled the door half closed and drew the hunting knife.  She did not want to use the bullets up or make the noise shooting the gun would entail.  She stuck the knife forward through the arms and into the eye socket of one creature.  There was a sickly pop as the eyeball exploded, then the body dropped as the knife dug into the brain tissue.

Carolyn knew that she did not have to get the brain in order to kill these things as you did with the zombies on the horror channels.  They still had to breathe and all.  She sliced the second one in the throat, getting the jugular in the process.  Carolyn backed up to avoid the blood spray, letting go of the door.  The third night crawler came clumsily out the opening and headed toward Carolyn.

She backed up and fell backwards, her foot getting tangled in a cord on the carpet.  The creature was slow, but Carolyn knew she could never get back up and collect the knife in time.  She pulled the berretta out of its holster, took aim, and fired.  The noise was loud in the enclosed hallway.  The projectile covered the few feet quickly and entered the head just above the left eye.  The bullets were hollow points.  The slug exploded once inside the skull taking out half of the brain matter and leftover hair.  The night crawler tilted backwards and dropped to the carpet.

Carolyn knew two things.  First, the bullet noise might well bring any other night crawlers in the building her way.  The second was that she was not leaving without looking in that room.  She had fought too hard to let it go.  She stood up and hurried back down the hall.

Using her light, she took a peek, opening the drawers and shelves quickly and somewhat quietly.  She estimated two minutes was all she had if anything else alive was in the building, and she was pretty certain there were.  There were too many rooms and such for it to be all empty.

After the two minutes had passed, she decided to leave with what she had found:  a doctor’s bag to carry her things in, two scalpels, some small splints, two bandage wrappings, a thermometer, two small clamps, several bottles of different types of capsules and tablets, three bottles of water, two small cans of tuna, several mustard packs, a manual can opener, another LED flashlight, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

She put all the items in the doctor’s bag and headed toward the front door.  As she turned the corner, she saw several night crawlers trying to get in the back door at the end of the hall which, fortunately, had been locked for security reasons before the outbreak.  She ran to the front, looked out the door, then headed into the afternoon light toward the outskirts of town and somewhere to sleep for the night.  The situation was pretty habitual by now, but, with the doctor’s bag and its contents, her hopes were higher than they had been in weeks.

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Namaste,

Scott

Keeping Watch – A Short Horror Story done in parts – Part One (R)

After a lot of thought and work, here is the first part of the full short story began in story prompts over the last couple of weeks.  This is the first part.  This story was called for by quite a few bloggers and readers who expressed their expectations about Carolyn and her life among the creatures.  I haven’t decided if it will be 2 or 3 parts.  I will let the story decide that.  I hope you enjoy this little piece.  Please feel free to offer suggestions and/or constructive criticism.  I would love to submit this for publication some day.

Keeping Watch

By Scott L Vannatter

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12/4/2013

Carolyn Bresder cautiously picked the lock on the restaurant’s front door.  Now, usually, they were unlocked, even open, but the owner must have gotten a chance before all hell broke loose.  From the lack of noise, she guessed his chance had not been quite long enough.

She had learned a bit about picking locks from an online locksmith course taken about a year ago.  She had not dreamed how very important that stupid class would be to her livelihood, her life, now.  In the last two months she guessed she had picked close to a dozen locks.  It was much quieter than breaking a window; that quiet could mean the difference between life and death; she chose life.

Stepping into the darkness, she did not use her flashlight; she listened carefully instructing the near-pitch to tell her if something was alive.  Her body stepped inside, but she remained a little poised to turn tail if anything was here with her.  After an eternity lasting all of three minutes, Carolyn brought the LED penlight up and shone it toward the back.  She needed to secure this place quickly; there was not much time left before night hit fully and they came out to … play.

She closed the door and secured it with the deadbolt which had not been thrown originally.  Her feet were light and her steps nearly noiseless, a practice she had darn near perfected in recent weeks.  That incident at the trailer park was not going to happen again.  She moved across the front of the eatery and tested the door to the back for noise.  Satisfied, she opened it fully.

Three minutes of thorough searching told her mind that the place was empty and the doors were secure.  She breathed.  She went back to the front area and sat in a windowed booth so she could watch outside.  She knew it would not be long; it never was.  Her knife had already been drawn; now, she unholstered the berretta, leaving it on top of the table, safety off.

Pulling a slice of bread from her jacket pocket she nibbled it slowly, making it last.  The back of the restaurant had been nearly picked clean, but she had found a cinnamon bun, wrapped in plastic, and a surprise:  a small glass jar of olives.  She had expected bulk sizes on everything, but, perhaps, the owner had bought these for himself.  It did not matter, they would taste good tomorrow.  She slipped the whiskey flask, now a water container, out of her side pocket and drank sparingly.  If she had eaten like this last year she could have had a shot at modeling.

Her muse was broken by a distant sound of something metal hitting the ground.  She had learned to not react with movement, just a perking of the ears and a very slow turn of the head.  That trailer park had almost killed her, but, what was it they said, it had made her stronger.

That’s where her mind went while she scanned for the movement:  the trailer park where her mother had been staying.  When Hell Day, that is what she called it, happened, her first instinct had been to find her mother.  She had arrived just before dark and had not known what to expect.  The news had been unclear.  They had simply said to get inside and stay there, doors locked.  She had driven to her mother’s place, a small one-bedroom unit in the poorer section of town.

When she had arrived she had left the car and gone to the trailer door.  Her knocks had gone unanswered, but she knew she had heard someone inside.  She had taken the spare key out of her purse and unlocked the door.  She had taken her pepper spray out, just in case.  You never knew any more what was going on behind closed doors, even those you knew.  She had pushed it open quietly; thanks to her mother’s phobia for noise the hinges were oiled.  The place was dark; the power failure had reached out here too.

Stepping inside, she had noticed the smell first.  It had been like old leather and spoiled meat.  It had been messy, too.  That had been the clincher; her mother had never been messy.  That thought had been on her mind and it had saved her life.  She had heard the noise of the intruder coming for her and had reacted quickly, something she had done since very young when her drunken father had looked for her.

The person had smelled badly.  Carolyn had sprayed the pepper spray directly in her attacker’s eyes, but the person had not stopped, merely slowed a bit.  That slowing had been enough for Carolyn to use her self-defense training, her husband had been no better than her father, and to raise her foot up and push the person backwards toward the rear of the trailer.

The attacker had gotten up and come back at her much quicker than she would have thought possible then, and Carolyn had grabbed a carving knife on the table and stabbed the person in the chest.  The stab had missed; the attacker had bumped her elbow; instead of the chest, the knife had struck higher, piercing the right eye and burying to the hilt.  The person had fallen to the ground unmoving.

Carolyn had taken several long breaths and then had knelt slowly to inspect her attacker.  Tears had flowed freely when she had recognized the necklace and the blouse on the fallen person.  Her mother’s face had been hideously contorted, with patches of skin missing and bone showing through.  The skin had looked old and rotten; it had felt like leather when Carolyn had made herself touch it.  She had felt her butt hit the floor of the trailer as the full recognition of what she had done struck home.

Her mind shot back to the moment, movement drawing her full attention outside.  She watched as the darkness allowed one of its own to be seen.  This was a woman, probably in her twenties, but her appearance did not lend readily to that description anymore.  Carolyn was going by the outfit and vitality of the brain dead creature staggering down the center of the street.  Its path would carry it away from the diner, so Carolyn continued her scan for more imminent threats.

Her killing of her mother had meant she had been directly responsible for the deaths of two parents, though pushing her father down the stairs when she was fourteen had been a bit more of a choice; it had been no less self-defense than the trailer.  He had come at her with a belt, beer in his other hand, going to “teach the little bitch a lesson.”  When the police had arrived, the facts were very clear from the beat marks on her mother and Carolyn lying in a heap near the top of the stairs with a very dead, (and should she say “deserving”?) father broken at the bottom of the steps, his head twisted very unnaturally.

After that financial life had been tough, but life had been more fun.  Carolyn and her mother became friends again and things had gone much more smoothly overall.  Now, her Mom was dead and Carolyn was truly on her own.  She had found out what had happened.  Power had returned briefly to her section of town about a week ago.  The radio on the counter of the home she had been staying in for a couple of days had scared the shit out of her when it blasted on.  Carolyn had turned it to a news station and learned that it seemed chicken eggs were the culprit.  Some preliminary tests had shown the chemicals used to bulk up the chickens in the hatcheries had combined with a strain of flu and then mutated into the virus which had caused Hell Day.  The virus had a ten-day incubation period, so, by the time the problem had started to show itself, more than seventy percent of the population had eaten the contaminated eggs.  Worse, those same eggs had been exported to other countries along with enough infected chickens that the disease had reached more than eighty percent of the world’s population before they had an inkling of how to avoid infection.  By the time word had been sent to the various countries around the globe, the vast majority was infected and, by biting others, had given the virus to all but a few percent of the Earth’s people.

Carolyn had been vegan, and so had not eaten anything that had been contaminated.   Her life had been so full of violence and sheer terror that she had become tough and smart and always aware of what was happening around her; she had the survival instinct to keep going through this crap.

The street was clear of zombies and she had a moment to breathe naturally.  She did not like calling them zombies.  They were not really classic zombies as talked about in the movies and stories.  The infected were not dead.  They did breathe shallowly and had blood and organs.  They were slower and much less intelligent, able to walk and smell and hear, but unable to talk or even open doors.   There did not appear to be any type of communication among them nor did they seem to really notice each other.  What they did notice was anything alive that was not contaminated.  Dogs and cats had been eaten as the brain dead creatures had begun to work up the food chain.

Infection was relatively quick.  Once bitten, the virus took control of the body in about two hours, causing paralysis and severe temperature and internal bleeding.  About three hours later, the paralysis would leave and the person was now a creature, intent only on eating live flesh to try and rebuild its body.  Carolyn had not seen any die without being killed, but it had not been a long time.  Her hope was that, eventually, the virus would burn itself out in the bodies and disappear into history.

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Part Two Next Tuesday at 10pm!

Namaste,

Scott

Five Sentence Fiction – 5/31/13 – “Desolate” – “Apocalypse” Rated PG13

Five Sentence Fiction – Desolate


Click on above picture to go to collections. Read my story First!!! :-)
May 31, 2013 ~  hosted by  Lillie McFerrin

What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.

This week:  Desolate

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“Apocalypse”

He stood in the midst of the shambles which had been The White House;  It wasn’t as bad as the rest of the country;  No one won this war;  Everyone lost, and it was anger and fear that started it.

The US, China, North and South Korea all were perched on the brink with other squabbling countries scattered across the globe; it wasn’t going to take much, and it didn’t.

Iraq had managed to sneak one small nuke to South Korean soil and send it to the capital where it wrecked havoc and had North Korea blaming the US for supplying the bomb arsenal to its enemy.

China sided with North Korea, so when the small country sent its payload toward the US, China sent theirs, and the US responded in like; no thoughts, only anger and fear.

The worst, he thought as he looked over DC, was that both large countries had revamped their guidance systems to target the biggest populations instead of military targets, though they got theirs too, and the result had destroyed so much and so thoroughly that the billions had been reduced to thousands: desolation complete.

Beauty lies within yourself

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