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Old 03-08-2016, 06:22 AM
otis otis is offline
I smell a batch of fart
 
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Default A short story for your entertainment.

I joined a writer's group and we were given a challenge to write an apocalypse story. I don't typically write this genre, but they were having a hard time finding participants, so I decided to take the plunge. Honestly, I have creeped myself out. Some of you may enjoy it.

Bathing was dangerous. The spot she had picked in the creek was sheltered, but the water was noisy. The dog that had found her months ago made a good companion, but she was no watch-dog. The mutt stood panting in the shallows watching the naked woman dunk her body once then stand up in the chill air. Ribs stood out on the pair of them. Once full breasts were deflated of healthy fat. Lean muscle and sinew rippled under thin skin.

She hurried through lathering up with the hard lye based homemade soap. It was rough and stung the open gash on her leg; her injury from trying to harvest a cow with only a hatchet on hand. She paused to look around. Hypervigilant, she assured herself that the noises she heard were just the wind picking up. She had not seen another human being since long before the dog showed up.

Her knife had broke mid-butcher and she didn’t know when she would make it back to the carcass, or if it would even be there when she could. She lifted her foot out of the water and rested it on a large rock, inspecting the wound more closely. The edges were clean, thanks to a well kept tool. The hatchet had penetrated all layers of skin and nicked into the muscle of her calf. She needed to sew it up if she wanted to survive another winter. Blood mixed with water ran in a small thread down her ankle and off her foot.

Shaking her head, she finished the task of cleaning away the smell of hard work, unsanitary conditions and blood flowing from one life to another. Goosebumps popped up down her arms and legs. Sensitive parts hardened against the touch of air. Her mind was not in the routine. She was thinking about where she had stashed the first aid trauma kit she had raided from the local ambulance garage. She had help then. She still had her family. They still had fuel, they still had wheels. Her husband, her grown children; all of them had stuck together and they had done well. The initial EMP attack and the subsequent raid on local resources had been a cakewalk. They were prepared. Watching neighbors die off one by one was harder. Trying to convince the community to work together had proved fruitless. Hungry, tired, and scared they made decisions on the most basic of instincts and without hope. It proved their undoing. Her family had survived the foreign military presence, they survived the manufactured virus left in their wake. Together they had outsmarted and survived everything they had planned for. Her husband, his name barely a whisper in the fog of her mind, had led them all. He had protected her well, and still did.

Aware of her rambling mind, she snapped back to the pool before her. She turned around a few times, scanning close and far for threats. She left the soap out on a rock for the next time she was in the area for a washing.

She climbed out of the rushing water and started pulling on her clothes. From the edge of the creek, she could see the tops of the mountains. They were capped with white. The dark clouds she saw yesterday skimming the horizon had left snow already. A fresh shiver ran down her spine. She wished she was brave enough to go to her love. Her pants stuck to her leg where the trickle of blood did not stop. The dog had gotten out of the water and was trotting a close perimeter with her nose to the ground. Out of the cold weightlessness of water, she was beginning to feel the throb and burn of her injury. Lacing her boots and shouldering a large pack filled with useable meat from the cow, she began a long limping walk towards town. She was at least two miles out from the tracks. It would take her until the sun was almost down to reach her cache.

“Here girl,” she spoke softly. With only the wind to compete with, her voice was never above much of a whisper these long days. A quarter of the way to her destination and she needed to rest. She collapsed to the ground, favoring her injury. She opened her pack and peeled back the layer of garbage bag that held the meat. Taking the hatchet, she awkwardly sawed off a piece of raw cow flesh for the dog. She tossed it on the ground a few feet from where she sat. The dog sniffed before licking and finally taking it in her teeth and setting back on her haunches to choke it down.

The woman’s eyes consumed the scene of sagebrush and scattered lava rock. Another hundred yards would bring her to a dirt road and the farmground that was easier to traverse. With ease came competition. She would be closer to her family, closer to danger. She sucked on a water bottle and chewed some flavorless dried fruit to keep up her energy.

She always walked with her eyes up, but the pain in her leg was growing and becoming distracting. The pulsating throb had morphed into a constant burning ache. Every step shot pain up and down her body; the effects of the cut muscle. She compensated for the weakness and the off kilter gait strained the healthy leg. It reminded her of coming closer to her husband and children. A healthy person, a damaged person, one sucking life from the other.

The sun was at it’s highest point now. Her journey was taking longer than she had time. Breathing in sharply, she weighed her options. The collapsed lava tubes of the desert sheltered darkness. She would pass many shadows and crevices if she went straight from here. If she didn’t, the darkness of night would be here before she reached shelter. Darkness was where the pain dwelled.
Her leg burned. She rolled up her pant leg to see if it was any different. The blood had slowed, and bruising was beginning to appear. It was swelling as well. She couldn’t press it shut anymore. She had nothing in her pack to bind it. The smell of damaged human flesh followed her steps.

The dog cocked her head into the wind and whimpered. She stood and started pacing circles, nervously nudging the woman. It was time to go.
The woman held still as a stone. Her ears listened past the wind, her eyes focused beyond the bright sun. She had to trust the dog, but she didn’t know which direction to follow. Any direction was better than none. Tenderly, she rolled her pants down. She emptied half the meat out of the garbage bag in her pack. She lifted it again and pressed forward, hobbling from one bad leg to the other. The dog did not stop to eat the meat, she simply trotted off towards the desert. The woman hesitated. The dog turned for a moment. She feinted from side to side, let out a yap at the woman then turned in a full run out into the lava fields.

The woman watched the dog go. Soon she was a black spot rising and falling over the terrain. One more rise, the wind fell silent. She heard a distant yelp echo back to her. The dog was gone, just like her family.

She looked in the other direction, towards the farmland that had laid fallow for three seasons. The dead irrigation pivots were finally starting to tip and bend to the elements. Closer to town, the wheel lines had been scorched and melted with the rampant wildfires from last year.

Go by the road and risk sure darkness. Go through the desert and risk the shadows. Go by the road and see her family once more, to through the desert and stay alone.

Pain made her breathing shallow. She wanted her husband. Dropping the sack, her steps were more determined and effective. She would find him and shelter by nightfall. Leg be damned, she had to keep going. Afternoon heat rippled the air in the distance. The gravel road was easier on her legs than the desert had been. Her pace picked up without the weight of the pack.

He would fix her wound. He would know what to do. Hope sprung up. She knew where to find him. The fear of where he was and what surrounded him began to fade with the desperation of pain. It had been months. She couldn’t stay away any more.

The sun made it’s steady arc towards the west while she tripped and struggled down the road. Her eyes were fixed on the spot that she knew she would be able to see him. Unknown tears streamed down her dusty face, making tiny rivers of mud. A whimper escaped her throat every few hours. She shuffled, bent into gusts of wind. She pulled her jacket tighter. Hunger faded; fever began to set in. Her head pounded and her body moved on auto-pilot. Just a half mile more, she willed herself. Just a half mile up that hill and she would be able to see him.

A quarter mile later, she heard something rustle in the ditch. Her steady gaze broke from her goal and glanced at the direction of the sound. The dog that had been at her side for a brief time hung sprawled and staked on the fence. The dog’s mouth was shaped into a gruesome rollicking smile. The woman smiled back. The dog had come to stay with them. No longer lucid, she gave no thought to the twitching waist high grass beyond the fence. The wind licked and matted the field, but an obvious obstruction followed the limping figure.

Just one more rise before she could see her husband. He would be right where she had left him. One foot in front of the other, up the hill. Wind tore at her side. Cloud cover had moved in and shadowed the land. The heat had been stolen from the day and whisked away to another valley. One heavy breath after another labored all the way to the top.

Finally, hunched against pain, wind and cold, she saw him. Her whole family surrounded him. He was the tallest.

“Darling,” chapped lips gasped. Her pupils dilated, focused on trying to see his face again. She crawled the last twenty yards. The summer had been good to him. The dry heat had tanned his face and stretched his skin across his high cheekbones. The birds had pecked out his eyes long ago. His beautiful straight teeth were never covered by lips anymore. Her sons, her daughter, they flanked him. They all stood staked out in warning.

“Darling,” with her last voluntary motion, she pulled herself up his tattered pants, reaching up to stroke his withered face, “I’ve come home.”

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  #2  
Old 03-08-2016, 07:16 PM
Casey Casey is offline
I didn't think there were any of your kind out there anymore.
 
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Thank you for sharing! That was good! I really like the ending. You had me guessing 3/4 of the way through.
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2016, 08:34 PM
~Isme~ ~Isme~ is offline
I'm a back hooker.
 
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Thanks for sharing! I like creepy.
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  #4  
Old 03-08-2016, 10:31 PM
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Treighsie Treighsie is offline
I am SO EXCITED!!
 
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Very creepy! But very cool!!!
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2016, 11:40 PM
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raindrop_333 raindrop_333 is offline
my nipples grew
 
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Ooh, bravo!
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2016, 08:37 AM
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RowBabyRow RowBabyRow is offline
can bring the best porn
 
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I like it!
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2016, 10:48 PM
otis otis is offline
I smell a batch of fart
 
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Thanks for the positive feedback!! I decided to submit it to some literary magazines and see how it goes. Kind of terrifying!!
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2016, 03:34 AM
aschrimp aschrimp is offline
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Oooh, I love it!
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2016, 11:19 PM
Stef Leppard Stef Leppard is offline
all I can think about are intestinal worms, if I have them,
and if it's better just to have them in there and not know...
or know and have them come out.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otis View Post
Thanks for the positive feedback!! I decided to submit it to some literary magazines and see how it goes. Kind of terrifying!!
I REALLY liked this! Really great description and tension. If you like writing short stories, there's a few ongoing contests I've been participating in for the past year or so you might want to check out. It's fun and challenging and gets me writing! (I'm actually finishing up my entry for the second round of one of the contests tonight!)
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:01 AM
otis otis is offline
I smell a batch of fart
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stef Leppard View Post
I REALLY liked this! Really great description and tension. If you like writing short stories, there's a few ongoing contests I've been participating in for the past year or so you might want to check out. It's fun and challenging and gets me writing! (I'm actually finishing up my entry for the second round of one of the contests tonight!)
Oh! Share!! After submitting that story to a few different places, I'm like...MOARRRR!!! The rush is kinda like crack. Waiting is no fun. I need to get more written, more out into the oblivion.
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  #11  
Old 03-22-2016, 12:49 AM
sourpatch_babe sourpatch_babe is offline
part werewolf
 
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Dang it woman, now I need to know MOAR! Who put the family in pikes?
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2016, 09:46 PM
Watermelandrea Watermelandrea is offline
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Soooooooooooo I can't stop thinking about the story. Which is the point, right?! I have all these questions. You're a great writer.
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:42 AM
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Paty's Loveys Paty's Loveys is offline
Well yes I'd love to take your virginity
 
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More please, loved it!
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  #14  
Old 03-31-2016, 02:49 AM
Dalila Dalila is offline
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Did she put them on the spikes? And the dog too??? So the dog was an apparition, since I imagine he's been dead for a while, right?
~~~~~~~
Great job by the way!
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Last edited by Dalila; 03-31-2016 at 02:50 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost by CDN
  #15  
Old 03-31-2016, 11:27 PM
sciencefair sciencefair is offline
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I admit, I skimmed the first few lines then skipped ahead to read the comments But, I love that you did it and enjoyed it!
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