Tag Archives: keeping watch

Five Sentence Fiction – “Doors” – Carolyn Revisited

Lillie McFerrin brings us Five Sentence Fiction with the word prompt of “Doors”.  After reading mine below, please click > HERE < for the rest.  Enjoy!!!

Carolyn Revisited (Keeping Watch)

It had been several days since she had been able to sleep more than a couple of hours and almost two days since she had eaten.

Carolyn stepped through the doorway of the abandoned office building and, trying to step around the broken glass and pieces of trash, she was managing to be very quiet as well as moving with reasonable speed to reach a place of relative safety.

Her senses were on high and she pointed the Beretta at anything that set those senses off; the latest offender had been a sparrow.

But the sloshing, plodding noise she heard along with the breathing told her she was not alone even here with the deathly visage of damage in the city; the night walkers were here as well.

She put her Beretta in its holster, safety off, preferring her large hunting knife for close, quiet work, and trekked deeper into the modern tomb.

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Namaste,

Scott

A Huge Step for Me!

Source: Amazon.com (I own the rights to the cover)

I won’t keep you too long tonight for this post.  It’s more one of those I hope you will reblog or in some other way pass it on through your Twitter, LinkedIN, Pinterest. or any other way you can see fit to show it to others.

I have self-published my first anthology of horror stories!

After months and months of work and the joy of allowing all of you to read a couple of them (“Keeping Watch” – on this blog and “The Way It Is” – which was on a now-defunct site) and then the joy of having 3 others that have been published and 6 never-seen-before tales!

I am proud of this collection.  Not only because I wrote the stories, but because I managed to handle Amazon’s Kindle publishing.  It was a steep learning curve, but more frustrating than actually difficult.  The entire process took me several days, but I had to purchase Word so that I could format it into Web,filtered output (HTML), format the entire thing to appear nice once on Kindle, and create those intro pages that nobody really reads, but are necessary.  Thank you Andrea Stephenson for proofreading “Keeping Watch” and giving me some great info on how to improve it.  You are mentioned in those introductory pages and acknowledgements.

I had my cover illustration done by a person from Romania whom I met through http://www.fiverr.com/  The cover cost me $10 and I like it more each time I see it.

Currently, the price is $2.99 for the 11 stories on Kindle.  I felt that to be a fair amount.  Kindle estimates the book at 128 pages.

Here is the link:  http://www.amazon.com/Transfixed-Keeping-Watch-other-Terror-ebook/dp/B00K5C16LU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1399440772&sr=1-1&keywords=transfixed

I hope you will use it!  If horror’s not your thing, I understand.  Wish me luck and pass it on…Thanks

_______________________________

Namaste,

Scott

The Blog Hop – My Entry

The Writing Process Blog Hop

 

Writing? So you want to know about writing? My writing? Well, you have come to the right place!

Writing is an individual thing. Some people write for fun; others write for money; some get to do both.

Some people write the first thing that pops into their heads and it works. There are those who sweat over the small writing things.

I write for three writing prompts per week. One is 100 words (exactly if you can). One is 5 sentences (semi-colons are lovely parts of speech).

The third one is 150 words (+/- 10). All three of these exercises do not take me a long time; writing comes pretty natural for me.

Not so for others.

Regardless, a couple of weeks ago, Arianna from http://ariannasrandomthoughts.wordpress.com wrote to ask me to join her in a blog hop.

After reading her explanation and then reading her blog post that was for the blog hop, I understand it.

So, in the next section I will talk about Arianna. Then I will answer a set of questions about my writing.

Right now I am going to do what Arianna did: if you have not participated in the blog hop, I invite you now to do so.

Simply, write a brief introduction like the one above. Then talk about me for a paragraph or so as below. Then answer the questions and invite at least 3 people who haven’t been in on this one to become a part. You should ask them to respond if you only ask three. I decided to invite all of you because I would enjoy reading about your writing. Good luck! Have fun!

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Arianna Merritt, M.Ed., is a Canadian Psychotherapist who has a strong desire to help people and to write. Her blog (above) takes a very positive position on empowering you to accomplish whatever you set as your goals in life. She is a wonderful person and I feel so lucky just to know her. That joy is accentuated by having received emails from her and being able to call her a friend. I have read her book “Stand Tall and Speak from the Heart” (http://ariannasrandomthoughts.wordpress.com/book/) and enjoyed it immensely. She is very full of good, common sense and a vast personal knowledge of overcoming problems and achieving your goals. Read her book, read her blog, get to know her. She is a wonderful, caring individual who I am so proud to know. I have decided that, should I ever visit Canada and am anywhere near where she is, I will try my darndest to visit her.

Read her answers to the questions here: http://ariannasrandomthoughts.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/the-writing-process-blog-hop/

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Q: What are you working on?

My life has been taking some turns lately and I find myself working on a lot of different things. My blog is still important to me; however, my writing has picked up. I just finished about 3 months of work on my longest short story “Keeping Watch” about Carolyn, a woman in her early 30s who is trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. It started out as a horror story and developed more into a character-based story of learning about Carolyn and how she struggles and how her mind changes and remains the same in this horrific environment. It is one of the first stories in which I have allowed the character to “write” the story. It is from her viewpoint and I really did not know how it was going to end until it did. I wrote from Carolyn’s perspective and put myself deeply into her character. I think it is my best work. I started out by writing it as bits and pieces to fit my blog prompts, then I would take a week’s worth of those and create a section of the story. Finally, I have put all those together and edited and modified them into a story of about 14,500 words.  The online part version can be found at: https://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/carolyn-keeping-watch-an-apocalyptic-thriller-in-parts/ . The prompt sections are first. The weekly sections are at the bottom of the list. I have changed the story for its final state.

Q: How does your work differ from others of its genre?

            This story differs from others of its genre in that it gets so deeply involved in the main character’s life. All this action going on around her, so many catastrophic events, and yet, you are learning more about her than anything else. I believe that you become enough a part of her mind and thoughts that you start to feel as she does. I have read it multiple times and each time I find myself happy, sad, excited, depressed, based on how Carolyn was feeling or was going through the event.

 Q: Why do you write what you do?

            I have a deep feeling in my soul when I write something like this. There is a need to get it out, to show it to others, to find satisfaction in having someone tell me that what I wrote was good, that it accomplished what I set out for it to. It doesn’t matter if it’s a poem or a grand piece like “Keeping Watch”. All of my writing has a goal and I write to do those goals and to fill those needs. I believe this makes my writing come more from my heart and soul, so it is better. If you go to my other pages (listed to the left of this post) you can see the other types of writing I have done. I write short stories, longer stories, stories in sections, poems, haiku, and posts. I write on all types of topics. I enjoy many many things and enjoy writing about them. My biggest hope is simply that you will like what I have written and will let me know. I can handle criticism (constructive), so I am not looking for mere applause. I just have a need to try and write so that people will get lost for a bit and enjoy, whether it is being scared from horror, shocked from truth, or feeling great from a poem.

 Q: How does your writing process work?

          My process all depends on what I am writing. I have to be in a specific mood for a poem or haiku. I have to feel the emotions tied in with those for them to turn out any good. Short story writing stems from an idea, a very basic plot. “Keeping Watch”, for instance, stemmed from my desire to write something a bit different from the regular “zombie” story. While doing that, I got caught up in the emotions and the trying to show people how the main character felt, why she did what she did, what made it go from A to B to C and then, sometimes, to H before going back to D. I tend to think out of the box, so my ideas are often strange. If you were to read my story,”The Way It is” in the online magazine “Atomic Avarice” you would see a satirical work on what happens when there is a Union to spooks. The site closed down so the best way to read it would be in my soon-to-be-published book on Amazon. I will be putting together a collection of 10 short stories (loosely labeled horror) and will include “Keeping Watch” and “The Way It is”.

Check out this blog to keep informed.

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 Thanks to all for reading and make sure you seriously consider becoming a part of this blog hop and post next Monday.

Namaste,

Scott

Carolyn, part 11, Final, – Armageddon and Aftermath – Horror rated R

Well, this is it…part 11, the last of the Carolyn story parts.  I still haven’t decided whether to lengthen it, try for a book, or leave it alone and try for publishing as it is.  Suggestions appreciated.  Also, any comments or whatever you might want to say.  I am proud of this story.  That doesn’t mean it’s any good; others have told me it is and I believe them; however, I am proud of it because it is the longest story I have ever done (13,000+ words) and it held together nicely.  I said before, it turned out to be more of a character study than a full-fledged horror tale, but I think it is better for it.

Oh, by the way, I apologize for not reading too many posts the last couple of weeks.  I could give you the excuses, but I just want to say sorry and let you all know how much I appreciate you following and reading my posts.  I will get some more read soon.  I promise.

source: Google – reuse allowed.

Keeping Watch – Part 11

By Scott L Vannatter

Down, to only four night crawlers, Carolyn, for the first time, held hope they might handle this attack without human casualties, until she realized the group could not shoot at the rest of the onslaught because Carolyn was in the line of fire.  She struggled trying to decide what to do.  She was running on automatic and killed two more trying to get through the doorway.  She watched as Sheila knocked one down with the butt of her gun and, surprisingly, the three smaller girls riddled it with pitchforks.

Her thoughts kept drifting to how much the girls had been hoping for some sweets this time in her search through the town.  She had stayed out about an hour longer to ransack a few extra homes for candy and now she had not been there when…whatever it was had come about.  She thought of Jenny, her favorite, the girl who hung on her every word.  Looking up, she snapped back to reality.  A crawler had Jenny pushed to the wall.

Carolyn pushed the dead night crawler out of the way and ran to Jenny’s aid as the last of the creatures brought his teeth down toward her throat, forcing Carolyn to act on instinct as a mother and protector.  She brought her knife up for the kill strike, but had to get the thing’s teeth away from Jenny so there were no scratches, bites, or other marks which drew blood and could turn the young girl into a night crawler.  She knew she was not going to make it in time and stay safe so she did what she knew had to be done and grabbed the horrid thing by the jaw putting her own hand in its mouth and feeling the teeth sink into her fingers.

Plunging the hunting knife deep into the skull of the creature, Carolyn had to ignore the pain and the blood on her hands as she searched the crying girl’s skin for puncture marks and found none.

Jenny saw the blood and bites on Carolyn’s hand and started screaming, causing Carolyn to calm the girl down and make absolutely certain the teen did not misunderstand; she had to make her know she was not to blame for what was to come.

She looked around at the death and the filth now lying all about the six of them.  Jenny was still crying, but softer and the others, including Sheila seemed to be in a bit of shock.  Carolyn did not blame them; she was simply too used to it all to be in shock.  She put her hand, painfully, into a light glove.  There was no sense in wrapping it; she knew that it would not matter in about two hours.

Carolyn and the others sat, looking at the corpses of night crawlers lying around.  Sheila checked the girls to see if they had scratches.  Carolyn did not have to be checked.  One finger nearly severed and two bite marks came from saving Jenny.

Jenny started crying harder again and screaming, “No! No! No!” at everyone around her.  Carolyn finally got her to stop.  She took her good hand and placed it on her shoulder, looked the sobbing girl in the eyes, and talked to her like an adult; like Jenny wanted people to talk to her.

“It wasn’t your fault, dear.  I did what had to be done.  Now, I have to do what has to be done.”  The last statement started Jenny crying again.  Carolyn leaned in close and nearly whispered to her.

“Jenny, you know you are my favorite here, right?”  The numb girl did a sob and snort combination and nodded.  “Now, I need you to listen to me very carefully.”  Carolyn pushed her own tears back.  She knew this was what the girl had to hear.  “You are grown up now, especially in this situation.  You have been through a lot.  Now, I need you more than ever.”  Jenny was all intent now.  “I think you know what has to happen next.”  Hugging her she shushed her.  “I need you to be strong for the little ones.  You will have to be that second adult who helps Sheila.  You will need to be strong for all of them.  You will need to take my place.  Do you think you can do that?”

Jenny sniffed, wiping her nose on her sleeve.  She teetered between crying and thinking.  The thinking mostly won out in the end.  She looked up at Carolyn.  Carolyn knew she had to see how close her own tears were; it seemed to make her even braver.

“Yes, I understand.  Don’t you worry.  I … I will do what has to be done.”  The hug was fierce this time, almost so tight it hurt, but Carolyn did not mind; she understood.

Sheila took Jenny to be with the rest of the girls; returning, she looked at Carolyn.

“So, no other way around it?”  She was tearing up, but holding on for the sake of the girls…and Carolyn.

The others were in shock.  Carolyn simply shook her head.  She turned to the four.

“You all were brave.  Now, I need you to be brave one more time.”  She picked up her Beretta and checked the ammo.  She got up and walked outside.

The air was clear and crisp.  She preferred green grass, flowers, and sunshine to the cold, but the crawlers did not seem to be able to handle this weather and, if so, then this had just become her favorite.  She walked about ten yards behind the building.  They had been going to plant a garden here and had dug the ground down about a foot.  It was still reasonably loose.

“It’ll have to do, I guess.”  She sighed and sat down at the foot of an oak next to the worked soil.  She thought about the entire adventure and had to admit, this was not quite the ending she had for it all, but it could have been worse.  She thought of her daughter, Jordan, and Billy.  She smiled as she brought the Beretta up to her mouth.

“See ya soon.”  The shot was the only sound in the town for a few minutes, then crying could be heard.

It had been three months.  Spring had come in with a huge roar and had now quieted to peace and calm.  The birds had returned.  No one forgot though.  There were fewer night crawlers than before.  The cold had done a lot of them in; however, some had survived the nasty weather and a few new ones showed up.  Apparently, the virus was not quite done mutating.  The government had sent out relief packages and warnings.  The sheets stated that, in cold weather, some of the diseased had hibernated, going still, and were now returning to their movements.  There was a vaccine now for the virus, but it would take a few months to get it to everyone.  In the meantime, organized chaos was in charge.

Jenny turned the metal pole once more, welding the blade to the three foot rod.  She removed the welding glasses after turning the unit off.  She was glad they had managed to get into the high school and the shop department.  The equipment ran off of tank gas, so it was usable.

She admired the spear; it was sharp, pointed, and solid.  It would help her when they came back.  Her vendetta was strong.  She was not going to waiver.  Sheila had tried talking to her, but it had done no good other than strengthening her resolve.  She knew what she had to do.

The young teen put the spear next to the other seven and started on another one after placing her hand on the Beretta and hunting knife she now called her own.  Later, Jenny went to the back of the elementary home they all still shared.  She sat by the hand-dug grave a long time.

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Namaste,

Scott

Flash Friday – Aftermath – Carolyn – Horror Rated R

Carolyn’s story is truly coming to an end.  The final part is planned for my post on Tuesday night.  All of the parts ( except 11) are contained on the Carolyn page listed at the top left of my blog.  Enjoy them.  For tonight, I have double-posted.  The first entry is 159 words.  When I finished I realized I had not followed the guidelines for the prompts at Flash Friday (hosted by Rebekah Postupak).  I then wrote the second one (159 words) which does.  Since they are all part of the saga, I have both posted below so you can fill in some blanks.  After reading them, please click > HERE < for all the other stories.  Enjoy!!!

Source: Gary Plant Tubular Steel Corporation, 1943. Public domain photo.

Vendetta and Aftermath

Carolyn and the others sat, looking at the corpses of night crawlers lying around.  Sheila checked the girls to see if they had scratches.  Carolyn did not have to be checked.  One finger nearly severed and two bite marks came from saving Jenny.

Jenny was crying and screaming, “No! No! No!” at everyone around her.  Carolyn finally got her to stop.

“It wasn’t your fault, dear.  I did what had to be done.  Now, I have to do what has to be done.”

Jenny hugged Carolyn so tightly it nearly hurt, but Carolyn did not mind; she understood.

Sheila took Jenny to herself and looked at Carolyn.

“So, no other way around it?”  She was tearing up, but holding on for the sake of the girls.

The others were in shock.  Carolyn simply shook her head.

“You all were brave.  Now, I need you to be brave one more time.”  She picked up her Beretta and checked the ammo.

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Jenny turned the metal pole once more, welding the blade to the three foot rod.  She removed the welding glasses after turning the unit off.  She was glad they had managed to get into the high school and the shop department.  The equipment ran off of tank gas, so it was usable.

She admired the spear; it was sharp, pointed, and solid.  It would help her when they came back.  Her vendetta was strong.  She was not going to waiver.  Sheila had tried talking to her, but it had done no good other than strengthening her resolve.  She knew what she had to do.

The young teen put the spear next to the other seven and started on another one after placing her hand on the Beretta and hunting knife she now called her own.

Later, Jenny went to the back of the elementary home they all still shared.  She sat by the hand-dug grave a long time.

_________________

Namaste,

Scott

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