The rain outside had begun to slow, an unfortunate lull in the storm passing over northern Florida. The sounds of the rain were slowly being replaced by the moaning of the dead outside the sergeant’s hotel room. The skinless fingers clawing at the door…. Why wont they stop? Why wont they leave? I haven’t uttered a sound for hours, yet they still persist…. Regardless of how many of my friends and family they feast on, they still want more…

The twenty-five year old sergeant got up from the bed, and the horrid stench of rotting flesh bled into his nose. The whole room was filled with the pungent smell of death seeping from underneath the door. The tired soldier dragged his feet over to the balcony and pulled open the drapes to see the sea of zombies in the parking lot of The Enclave Suites. Christ… All hope is lost. There’s no reason left to live… Why continue? Why fight? Why should I prolong the inevitable? Die by your own hand, or not at all…

Sgt. Meaker turned from the window, shaking his head to free himself of such suicidal thoughts. “No! I can help. There’s got to be a way. You cant just give up.” The clawing at the door was getting louder. Just let them in. Maybe you can run past them, fight your way through. No… they’d get you for sure. Just end it yourself… Just do it…

The cold barrel of his M9 was pressed against his temple before he knew it. He had hoped to avoid an end like this, defeat rather than honor, but was he really about to end his own life after all he had been through? Meaker pulled the magazine out of the pistol. Leaving one bullet in the chamber, he set the magazine on the table next to him. Perhaps someone would find the ammunition and use it. Zack wasn’t going to use the rounds anyway. A flash of lightning behind him, casting his shadow on the door ahead. A flash of lightning, and a click from his gun…

Meaker stood for a good minute before observing the jammed round, awkwardly stuck in the chamber of the gun. After prying it out, he held it up to his face. The sounds of the storm and the undead seemed to fade away. The world didn’t make sense, with all that had gone on, and with all the spent rounds, why this one? How wasn’t even a factor in his mind… but rather “why”. “All right… you win,” he said in a calm voice, a final sweat drop slid lazily down his cheek after dancing across his brow. Tightly grasping the bullet that saved his life, he carefully placed it in his Multicam right breast pocket before placing the rest of his combat gear on and slapping the pistol mag back into the M9 and pulling the receiver back to load a round in that would do its job.

A switch of the safety and the pistol was steadily holstered to a rig on the soldier’s leg. The coming fight had no place for eleven rounds. Meaker walked with a purpose into the bedroom and proceeded to don his Kevlar clad armor, including a S.W.A.T. Tactical shield on his left arm that he had acquired in the attempt to hold Orlando earlier that week. That attempt that had clearly failed and had supplied the Z’s with fresh soldiers. Meaker slowly unsheathed his bayonet, holding it so the blade was pointed down, great for slashing and better so for stabbing a Z in the head on the return pull of the arm.

Meaker made an awkward movement with his right wrist. Without looking, he heard the hidden blade extend through where his ring finger would be. The rain slowly came back to him, but that was it. Meaker couldn’t hear the moaning anymore, just the thunderclaps and the returning downpour. The twenty five year old let out his last sigh of his war against the undead before raising his right leg and kicking the door of the hotel room open. He didn’t have time to notice the door send the housekeeper’s corpse into the wall of crowding zombies behind her. Meaker lowered his shield like a Spartan and charged into the mob that was funneling into the hotel from the parking lot.

DATE: 03:57 February 27th, 20–
Location: Orlando Florida, Enclave Suites, Near Disney and Universal Studios.
Sit Rep: Special Forces and Conventional Military, along with local police forces were to seal off area in attempt to secure Florida peninsula by using water as natural Barrier. Failure to warn civilian population for fear of Panic resulted in Mass infections at popular tourist locations, resulting in the blockades being overwhelmed on both fronts. Severe Casualties…

5 Responses to “Click…”

  • I threw this together in less time than it would take to put together an M-16. It still needs some heavy review and im sure theres plenty of errors that I need to fix, but at least I finished something.

  • I’m not too hot on the “…” in the title.

  • Rob, would you suggest a ‘.’ or no punctuation at all? Either one makes sense to me.

    Sgt. Meaker (John), meet your new editor, K (Rob), J-E ’06. (Was it ’06? Tempus fugit…) Rob, meet John, a twice victim of my supposed teaching.

    I don’t think there are two more unlike guys in the world. You two hash this out together, and this story will be great.

    I like you both if that means anything…

  • I’m a little to busy too be volunteered as an editor right now.

    That said I will offer a few suggestions here that may help and may be useful to other writers.

    1)In a couple of places the language becomes too complicated for its own good. As a general rule of thumb don’t use flowery prose where at all possible and never under estimate the power of a short sentence. Really pretty descriptions are great but the reader gets sick of them quickly and they lose their effectiveness. If you save it for only certain isolated places in a story the impact will be much greater.

    Another thing to keep in mind: when something is of great importance it is usually communicated as quickly as possible.
    ex. a building is on fire, do you
    a) yell, “Fire!”
    b) say, “the flames jumped and licked the side of the building and smoke billowed” etc. etc. etc.

    2) This piece and others you have written give off a strong military/tactical vibe.

    This is fine. It’s your style.

    One thing I would suggest is to limit the nuts and bolts of that style to dialog. This would include most acronyms, and details such as weapon make, model, caliber, etc.

    This level of detail is good but your narrator should not be concerned with it. Sticking it into your dialog gives the characters more depth and gives the feel you’re looking for without cluttering up the bulk of the story.

    3) This character strikes me as a bad ass, however there are real problems from a writing standpoint that come with bad asses. What it boils down to is really reader investment.

    If you have a regular Joe or better yet a character that is deficient in some way you never have to worry about keeping your reader interested. As soon as you put that character into a harry situation you reader will immediately be worried about them. After all, they kind of suck, so you reader will be thinking, “Oh, crap. How does he get out of this one?”

    But with a bad ass character the readers thoughts are more like, “Meh. He’s so bad ass he’ll get out of it somehow.”

    Thats why in most movies or books the bad ass isn’t the main character. He’s usually on the periphery, just close enough so you can watch him being a bad ass but far enough away from events that he can be killed off on a whim.

    Just within zombie horror flicks this rule can be applied easily. The bad ass never survives. He’s always the one that does some really cool stuff, but then gets bitten and becomes a really tough zombie.

    This isn’t an attack on the character, just a warning. By all means, keep using him, but make sure to keep it in the back of your head.

    4) I’m not an expert. Feel free to disregard anything I’ve written.

  • Not bad advice at all. I’m going to plagiarize that (with attribution) and put it on the guidelines page.

    I’ll take a crack at grammar after a couple of housekeeping chores. Sgt. Meaker, review it in light of the advice and then we’ll see where to go from there.

    I meant the editing post as a compliment. Sorry to presume/volunteer you like that without prior permission.

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