Tag Archives: night crawlers

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.

___________________________

Namaste,

Scott

Friday Fictioneers – Carolyn – Bring Home the Hay – Horror Rated R

Well, Carolyn’s story is drawing to a close.  You can read all the parts in her page listed to the left on this blog.  The snippet below is for this week’s prompt to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  Click > HERE < for the rest when done.  Enjoy!!!

Source: Copyright -Sandra Crook

Bring Home the Hay

Scott L Vannatter- 100 Words

Carolyn burst through the door of the elementary, killing night crawlers in the process.  She continued fighting.  Her thoughts kept drifting to how much the girls were hoping for some sweets this time in her search through the town.  Jenny kept saying, “Bring home the hay!” Carolyn had not been certain where the saying had come from, but she got the idea.  Now, there were night crawlers in the building going for the girls and Carolyn was not certain they would get through this one without injury or worse.

She snapped back.  A crawler had Jenny pushed to the wall.

_______________________

Namaste,

Scott

Keeping Watch – Part Nine – “Preparing for the Storm” – Carolyn horror – Rated R

Well, here is part nine of Carolyn’s story.  I told you it should be done in no more than ten parts.  I still hope to do that, however, Carolyn and I have talked and we both don’t want the story to be ragged just because we refused to run over a bit.  I now know what’s going to happen in the end and, while it is possible for it to all get finished in the next part, I also don’t want to make that last part a lot longer than the other ten.  So, if it comes to it, I will split up.  We shall see.  It’s nice to know how it’s going to end; what I am anxious is to hear how you all feel about it.  I also hope a few of you consider volunteering to beta read the entire thing when I put it out into one post in the next few weeks.  I will need honest criticism and some notations what you think needs changing.  It’s up to you.  As I have stated, I can’t pay you, but will mention your names and give a link back to your sites as a thank you.  I will also give you some credit in the published material if I can.  If someone else publishes it, I may not be able to; however, if I self-publish it on Kindle, then I can do as I choose.  Enjoy!!!

Source: wiki – general reuse rights

She began with her life before Hell Day and talked about her daughter, her death.  Then she continued on with the divorce, her moving into a smaller apartment near work, then Hell Day and what it meant for her life, and delved on into her search, life with Jordan, and ending with Billy’s death at her own hands.

When she finished, all sat in a sort of trance-like state, just looking at her.  Finally, one of the younger girls, Sarah, whispered, “Whoa” and the trance was broken.  All four girls jumped up and hugged Carolyn, who, held back, but started crying within minutes.  Their hearts showed in the moment and when they finally stopped, Sheila took the initiative and put her arm around Carolyn before speaking.

“Your trials and fires have helped build you into someone strong enough to handle whatever’s coming, and I have a feeling it will take it all to weather the next storm.  Will you help us?”

Carolyn looked at the woman, noticing for the first time Sheila was several years her elder; that fact showing only because makeup was a thing of the past as was hair coloring and fingernail polish.  She summoned up her inner strength and put aside the demons that lived along with it and looked Sheila straight in the eye.

“I’m not very religious, but if there is a reason for all the shit I have been going through, then let’s get prepared for that storm and I promise I will do everything to keep us alive.”

With a skill born from teaching, Sheila turned the show over to the girls.  They immediately began talking at the same time, eventually working their way around to giving Carolyn a tour.  Carolyn patiently walked with the children as they showed her their new home, the elementary building.  It was old and had character, but had also been beaten by the elements.  One room did not have a window and the sand and dirt had blown in, covering the floor and parts of the wall and doorway.  Carolyn knew this was an open invitation to night crawlers and needed to be sealed.  She made a mental note to share with Sheila later.

After the tour, she and Sheila sat down and seriously discussed what needed to be done to improve the security of the building and better protect everyone.  The dusty room was brought up, the need to board up many windows, as well as preparing the doors to be locked and sealed quickly when the time arose.

After the girls were laid down for bed that evening, Carolyn and Sheila sat up by kerosene lantern light and continued their security discussion.  Carolyn knew there was one more very important area that had not been discussed.  She removed her hunting knife and her Berretta.  She laid them on the table by the lantern and looked at Sheila.

“Do you know how to use either of these as weapons?”  The question was blunt, the intent clear.

“No, not really,” Sheila responded.

“That ends first thing tomorrow.  I will go look for some weapons here in town.”

“Alone?”  It was almost a naïve question, Carolyn thought, but kept it to herself.

“Yes, you say you haven’t seen any night crawlers in weeks, but you also haven’t been out since the cafeteria had stored so much food in cans and such.  I imagine they are out there waiting.  That seems to be what they do when they can’t find food; they wait, saving energy until it’s time to use it.  I don’t want any of you with me in case I run across some.  I can handle myself and can move much faster if I don’t have to worry about someone else.”  That statement brought a small cringe to Carolyn as she remembered Billy.  “Also, there will be plenty of work here for all of you to start while I am gone.  Sound okay?”

Sheila hesitated, thought, then nodded.

“Good.  Tomorrow it is then.  It will be nice to sleep with others around.”  She listened to the eight-year-old Gretchen snoring.  “Really nice.”

The two women hugged and Sheila admitted, “It will be wonderful to not be totally in charge of these lives, too.”

Carolyn bit her lip, then smiled.  “Thank you,” she said.

Sheila put her hand on Carolyn’s shoulder.  “Dear, the little boy was not your fault.  You need to remember who really did him harm.  Daddy always told me that you have to shuck, his word, all the crap off in life and just keep remembering the good parts and the ones you did right.  Otherwise, you would go nuts early and not do anyone any good.”

“Your daddy was a very wise man,” Carolyn admitted.

“Yes, he was.  We are going to take care of these girls.  Together, two strong women can do anything.”

Carolyn kept repeating those words to herself as she slept soundly for the first time since leaving Jordan.

______________________

Namaste,

Scott

Flash Friday – Patience – Carolyn – Preparing for the Storm – Horror – Pg13

Okay, after discussing things with Carolyn, we came to an agreement.  The story will have either 9 or 10 parts.  It has 8 to date.  You may read them > HERE <.  It mostly depends on how concise I write, so I am guessing 10. 🙂  We have settled on 1 of 2 endings.  Again, we shall see.  Regardless, here is the next little part of her story used for writing to the prompt at Flash Friday, hosted by Rebekah Postupak.  After reading mine, please click > HERE < for the rest of the entries.  Enjoy!!!

Source: Kolmanskop. CC photo by Damien du Toit.

Preparing for the Storm

By Scott L Vannatter (159 Words)

A Carolyn Adventure

Carolyn patiently walked with the children as they showed her their new home, the elementary building.  It was old and had character, but had also been beaten by the elements.  One room did not have a window and the sand and dirt had blown in, covering the floor and parts of the wall and doorway.  Carolyn knew this was an open invitation to night crawlers and needed to be sealed.

After the tour, she and Sheila sat down and seriously discussed what needed to be done to improve the security of the building and better protect everyone.

Carolyn removed her hunting knife and her Berretta.  She laid them on the table by the lantern and looked at Sheila.

“Do you know how to use either of these as weapons?”  The question was blunt, the intent clear.

“No, not really,” Sheila responded.

“That ends first thing tomorrow.  I will go look for some weapons here in town.”

Preparing, she slept.

_____________________

Namaste,

Scott

FSF – An Acceptance – Carolyn – Horror – PG13 2/14/2014

Lillie McFerrin hosts Five Sentence Fiction, which brings us this week’s one-word writing prompt: Strength.  Strength is a fascinating word with 8 letters and only 1 vowel and 1 syllable (sorry, that’s the teacher in me).  After reading my creation below, please click > HERE < for the rest of the stories.  Enjoy!!!

Source: Nathan Bilow-USA TODAY Sports

An Acceptance

Scott L Vannatter – Strength

Seeing everyone, including Sheila, raising their hands in a vote to allow Carolyn to join their group was almost more than she could handle; the tears flowed freely, and Carolyn felt Sheila’s arm around her.

“Your trials and fires have helped build you into someone strong enough to handle whatever’s coming, and I have a feeling it will take it all to weather the next storm.”

Carolyn looked at the woman, noticing for the first time Sheila was several years her elder; that fact showed only because makeup was a thing of the past as was hair coloring and fingernail polish.

She summoned up her inner strength and put aside the demons that lived along with it and looked Sheila straight in the eye.

“I am not very religious, but if there is a reason for all the shit I have been going through, then let’s get prepared for that storm and I promise I will do everything to keep us alive.”

.

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