Posts Tagged ‘serial story’

If you missed part 1 or 2, click here. I hope you enjoy the continuation of my serial story, The Painter, a story I decided to bring back for everyone! Let me know what you think.

Part 3

“Why do you paint out here? What is this place?”
My question lingered in the air for a few moments as Sal dabbed his brush into the multi colored palette. He looked at his painting with his head cocked to the left, tapping the tip of the paint brush on his hand.
The look in his dark brown eyes was almost one of love. He cleared his throat and swiped some more paint onto the canvas with professional ease.
I wondered if my question was ever going to be answered or if I was going to stand there, looking like an uncomfortable idiot. The sun was beginning to dip down lower behind the dark trees in the distance, casting an eeriness around us.
“That is an interesting question, you know,” he finally said. “You should take a look around you for the answer. I’m not sure I know the words.” Sal smirked.
I did what he told me to do. It all looked like a normal lake surrounded by a wooded area. Sure, it looked pretty  with the sun setting in front of it, but I didn’t see the magical quality I think he saw.  When I told him what I saw, he scoffed and shook his head hard.
“You’re not a painter, that’s why!” he exclaimed, never taking his eyes off of his canvas. “But you will be.” Sal slid his eyes towards me and smiled. The wrinkles around his mouth becoming more evident. “I think there is hope for you, Ella McCormack.”
I’m certainly glad someone thinks so, I thought. For the next hour, I sat there on a bench beside the easel. I sat there, just watching Sal paint like a madman. It was almost  like he was driven to finish this painting before it got too dark.
As he finished up what he was working on, he chattered about his life in Mexico as a child and how much he loved it in Oregon.
“This place is the definition of peaceful art,” Sal said, wiping his brush clean on a paint splattered cloth. “This is where I was truly meant to be.”
“Why do you say that?”
He shrugged his bony shoulders and started putting away his supplies.  “One day, you’ll start to appreciate life for what it really is,” he said. “It took me awhile to open my eyes and see the beauty around me.”
I stood by him and looked at the painting he had created. I had never seen anything like it.  The colors of the night sky looked more real than what I could see above me. The lake had taken on a personality of it’s own. It felt like it was alive. It was mesmerizing.
Sal took the painting and his suitcase, walking  back into the woods.  I followed quickly behind, my feet moving almost automatically.  We were both silent as we walked. I had no idea where we were going. Were we going back to our houses? What was he going to do with that painting?
When we got to the part where the woods separated and instinctively I started going straight. Instead of following me, Sal went left, and I stopped in my tracks. Where was this old guy going?
I didn’t have to walk too fast to catch up with his slow steps.  I wasn’t even sure why I was following my strange painting neighbor into some unknown part of the woods.  I asked him where we were going and he waved his hands to dismiss the question. Realization was starting to hit me that Sal could be a man of few words sometimes.  I glanced at my watch and saw that it was almost 8 o’clock. My parents would be home soon and I wasn’t sure  how they would respond to the reason behind my absence. Glancing at Sal, I could tell he was deep in his own thoughts.  I wondered what he was thinking about. What kind of things went on in his artistic mind? Whatever it was, it was probably very colorful, I thought with a smirk.
Right at that moment, Sal turned and I was soon looking at a small white cottage. It looked like it belonged there among the tall trees and wildlife growing nearby. Sal walked up to the door and retrieved a small key from his pocket. Once he opened the door, I started to follow but  he stopped and turned to me.
“Stay out here. I don’t want you to see what is inside.”
I opened my mouth to protest, but  he shut the door in my face. What was that about? I sat down on the wooden steps and crossed my arms in front of my chest.  The darkness was spreading through the woods and I began to get scared. Maybe I should not have came all the way out here. I should have stayed home where it was safe and well-lit.
My heart began to pound in fear and I kept turning my head to see all around me. The shadows were beginning to play tricks on my eyes. With every sound, fear clutched at my throat. A bird cawed in the distance and I jumped up to my feet.
“Calm down,” Sal said, behind me, causing me to whirl around. “Nothing is going to get you out here.’
The painting was gone and instead, he clutched a glowing lantern.  “We should probably get you home. Your parents will worry.”
I let Sal lead the way home. We made it there in record time. Sal didn’t talk the whole way. There were so many questions I still had for him, but I didn’t know how to ask.  As soon as I saw my parent’s car in the driveway, my heart sank. This was not good.
Sal smiled and walked to his backdoor. This was my last chance to find something out.
“I see potential in you, Ella,” he said. “Meet me tomorrow evening and I will teach you all you need to know.”
“About what?”
He smiled. “I’m a painter. What do you think?
With that, he disappeared. Now, I was left to go inside and face my parents. I took a deep breath and opened the door. Here goes nothing…


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I was hoping to get the next part of my serial story up by now, but I haven’t had time to work on it yet. Ever since I got behind last week, it’s just messed up my entire schedule with writing. I promise to have it up by Friday. 🙂 I may even have it up by tomorrow if I’m able to sit down and really concentrate on it.

But I am here with this week’s Writing Prompt Wednesday! Enjoy!

  • One morning, you wake up and realize the life you thought you had was just a dream and now you are living a completely different one. Write a story based on your experience of discovering this eerie fact.

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I just wanted to write a quick reminder for everyone who has been keeping up with my latest serial story, Muhhhh: A Zombie Love Story. Usually I post the story every Tuesday during the early morning, so a lot of people can have the chance to read it on Tuesday. Last week, I had internet issues so I had to post it on the following Friday. This week, I may be a little late posting it as well. I’m pretty sure I can get it up on the blog by Tuesday night (central US time), but I’m not 100 percent certain at this moment. With everything else I have had going on, I haven’t had much time editing the next installment. I’m not about to post anything that isn’t carefully edited, so I hope you all are patient while I get it done. Tomorrow I have to go out of town for a few hours and once I get back home, I will make sure to get to work. 🙂

What have I learned over the past couple of days? You have to go with the flow sometimes. If you don’t, you are bound to go insane.  Nothing is going to work out perfectly whether you want it to or not.  Does it help that I’m somewhat of a procrastinator? Probably not haha.

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Due to my internet connection being down for a few days, I am unable to post the next installment of my serial story, Muhhhh: A Zombie Love Story. The phone line outside our house was hit by lightning on Saturday, so I wasn’t able to get the story up and ready to go for today’s posting. I’m thinking about posting it on Friday instead. I will let you all know if that happens or not.

Sorry for the short post (and lack of posts…). I’ve been trying to work hard on my other writing! I hope your writing projects are going well!

Also, I’m still looking for some guests to post an entry on this blog. If you’re interested, please let me know either by the comment section below or by my e-mail: thestoryinme@gmail.com. If you want me to guest post on your blog, I am also looking to do that. 🙂

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“Meg? What’s going on?”

My mother repeated her question as I stood there with the shot-gun feeling pretty heavy in my hand.  My family looked down at the gun and then back at me, expecting an answer.

“Well, it’s a pretty funny story…”

Chub cut in with a smile on his face. “You see, I needed some help chasing off a zombie, so Meg here decided to help out.” He patted me on the shoulder. “You raised a nice kid here.”

Everyone looked at me again. I nodded my head slowly. “Yeah, that’s it.  My assistance was needed. Good thing I stayed home, huh?”

The only one who didn’t look convinced was my father. “Wait, you needed help, Chub?” he asked. “You never claim to need help when I offer it. But, you need assistance from an 18-year-old?”

The attention was then put on Chub who didn’t seem to let the phase him in the slightest. He shrugged and placed the rifle on his shoulder.  “Maybe if you were nicer, I would enjoy having you help me.

“Being nice doesn’t kill zombies.”

“Well being grouchy doesn’t help me,” Chub said with a smirk. “Watch it, old man. I’ll slap the face off your face.”

With a wink and a slap on my dad’s shoulder, Chub walked off to his house, a slight swagger in his steps.  My dad shook his head and muttered something that sounded like, “Like that would happen.” He walked off into the house, leaving us to gather up the supplies and put them in the house.
After dinner, I sat up in my room, thinking about what happened that day.  Even though he had changed so much, I knew that the zombie I saw for the past few days was Zander. It had to be.  My eyes went over to the photograph of me and Zander at our high school graduation. We were both so happy to be rid of the place we felt was prison. We had all of these great plans.  During the summer, we were going to go backpacking through Europe with a few of our friends. Zander always wanted to go to Europe especially Scotland.  Being the romantic that he was, he always told me he wanted to get married there one day. I envisioned us getting married at some old but beautiful castle with all of these green fields surrounding it. Then, when fall came, we were both going to head to New York City where he was going to major in Pre-Law at NYU and I was going to go to film school. We started searching for apartments, groaning about how expensive and small they were, but inside we were excited to be getting out of North Carolina. It was all coming together.
Then, the zombies came and destroyed all of that.  During all of the chaos that happened at the beginning, Zander’s whole family disappeared. I knew something was wrong because Zander wouldn’t have left me. If he was running away from all of this, he would have taken me with me.
My parents sat me down and told me to move on. They told me to let him go because he was gone. They feared the worst and he wasn’t coming back.
Well, they were wrong. He did. Unfortunately as a zombie.
I smiled sadly. I guess nobody saw that one coming. Not even me.  Now what was I to do? I just couldn’t bear the thought of anyone killing him. The image of my father and Chub going on their daily hunts made me grimace. It could easily happen and I had to make sure it didn’t.
I had to be honest with myself. My boyfriend was now a zombie. Perfect, I thought. Just perfect.
A week went by and I didn’t see Zander. I would wait up at night by my bedroom window, hoping he would show up beneath it again. After the fifth night of another no-show, I started to get worried. Whenever my dad came home from his hunts, I would ask him if he had killed any zombies and if he had, I would ask him to describe them. He would always give me a weird look and shake his head.  He never described Zander and for that I was thankful.
The next day I knew I had to get out there and look for him, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sneak out by myself. I needed some help. I needed an accomplice. Who better than someone who wouldn’t talk?

I pulled Jack aside after breakfast and said, “I really need your help.”

Jack gave me a look that I knew said, “I’m not interested.” But I wasn’t going to hear that.

“I’m serious, Jack. It’s important. Please?”

Finally, he sighed and nodded. He raised his eyebrows, wanting to hear more about what I needed.  I knew I had to confide in someone. There was no way I could do this by myself. Plus, I was going to drive myself crazy if I kept it to myself. Maybe Jack could give me some advice. Of course, it would be in his own silent way, but it’d still be advice.
After I told him that I found Zander, his blue eyes widened. He shook his head in disbelief.

“It’s true,” I whispered. “I saw him. There’s just a slight catch..” Jack looked at me, his eyes now narrowed. I took a deep breath. Here we go. “You see, he’s now a zombie.”

Jack shook his head almost violently.  He mouthed “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“I’m not kidding. Please, Jack. Please help me. I have to know for certain or it will drive me crazy. If it’s him, I don’t want anything bad to happen to him.”

My brother whirled around and grabbed a piece of paper and a pen from the stand nearby. He started to write something down furiously and afterwards he shoved it in my face. I read:
There is no way that it’s Zander. He’s gone. Let it go. Even if it is, you can’t do     anything about it. He’s a friggin’ zombie, Meg.  You can’t have an attachment to     a zombie.  You’re going to get hurt and then it’ll be my ass. No way.

I ripped up the piece of paper and threw it in the trashcan. “You don’t understand, Jack. I’m going to do this whether you help me or not. Wouldn’t it make you feel better if you were there? Jack, it’s Zander. Come on. I’m sure he remembers me. He has to.”
Jack rolled his eyes and sighed. He nodded his head slowly and I grinned.

“Great. Let’s get going.”

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As soon as I said those words, I could feel how far of a stretch it would be. He’s been gone for too long. There’s no way it could be.
But, I had to be sure.  I had to know if it was him. He had the same build as Zander, the same broad shoulders and the lean, long legs.  I had to see his face. That was only way I would know.
I repeated his name a little louder this time.  It clung onto the air like a heavy blanket waiting to dry on a clothesline. I could hear the crickets chirping their response, but the zombie below didn’t move. He just stood there, swaying back and forth, moaning softly to himself.  I prayed no one heard him from inside. I knew that practically everyone slept with a loaded gun on their end tables these days.
Just looking down at this zombie made me miss Zander. It made me wish I knew what happened to him.  I missed him. He had the brightest smile anyone had ever seen.  Our high school biology teacher, Mr. Barricks, always teased Zander by telling him he should give up on his law school dreams and become a model instead. Zander would laugh and shake his head.  He was too modest for that.
At that moment, the one standing below my window brought up his head. It was hard to tell if it was really the guy I was thinking of. His skin was an unusual shade of a very pale green and there were patches of skin peeling off his neck.  I could see the blood covering his mouth like he just found his last meal recently.
All of this made it difficult for me to determine if it really was Zander or not. His tan skin was gone and was replaced with this eerie pale green. I took a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at his face.  It was then that I saw past the color or the skin peeling off his body.  I couldn’t see the blood on his face. The only thing I saw was his eyes.  Even though they were bloodshot, I still could see one thing. Those beautiful hazel green eyes. It was Zander.
Once I got confirmation, I didn’t know what to do. I knew what I should do. I needed to just let him go like everyone has been telling me to, but that seemed too cliché.  What would Zander have done if he were me and I was him right now? What would he do if he saw me below his bedroom window, now a complete brainless zombie?
No answer popped into my head. The proverbial light bulb that everyone talks about didn’t click over it either. I sighed with frustration as Zander swayed back and forth below. What was I to do with him?
I leaned farther out of the window and whispered, “Zander, its me, Meg.” Zander merely moaned. I sighed. “I know you probably don’t remember me anymore because you were turned into some mindless zombie which is okay. Well, alright, it’s not okay because it sucks, but I’m not going to judge you for that. I’m sure it wasn’t your fault.”
Great, now I was rambling out of my bedroom window at my long-lost boyfriend who was now turned into something people feared. Super.  Here’s a story to tell the grandchildren.

“I just need you to listen to me. If there is some part of you that can do that, just try. You have to stay out trouble, okay? You do know what trouble is?”

Another moan response. This was getting me nowhere. I pointed out towards the woods. “Go back to where you came from. Please? My dad will shoot you if he sees you here.”

I tore myself away from my window and closed the shades tight.  Hopefully, he’ll just go away. It was crazy to think there could be any slight remainder of the human Zander left in the zombie one.
The next morning, my father didn’t discuss finding the zombie version of my boyfriend in the back yard, so I figured Zander wandered off.  I didn’t know  how I was going to find him, but I had to try.  The hardest part would be getting out of the house.
That day, my parents decided to make the trek into town and get some supplies. There were a few stores left standing and even they had their troubles. All three of them went through a remodel and now they’re like mini fortresses that no zombie could penetrate.  My father hated going into town though because he hated how people talked. He knew they were talking about Nick. Word spreads around fast.
I took this as an opportunity stay home and sneak out to find Zander. Was it the smartest thing I have come up with? No. But, I had to do something.

“I don’t think you should stay home alone,” my mom said after I told her that I didn’t want to go. “What if something happens and you don’t have anyone to back you up?”

“Seriously, Mom, stop being so dramatic,” I said. “You and Dad made this house into it’s own prison. Nothing is getting in here unless I let it in.”

My mom glanced at my dad who shrugged. “It’s one less person I have to keep eyes on,” he mumbled while inserting certain guns into their holsters.

After a few more minutes as I was able to send them on their ways and I was able to go on my own.  I remembered to take the appropriate weapons and said a quick prayer before I left.
If the zombies didn’t get me and my mother found out, she would kill me. Either way, it wouldn’t be good.
I stopped in the middle of my hard and stared out into the dark woods in front of me. What was I doing?

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As soon as my eyes fell upon him stumbling around the woods at a distance, I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I glanced over at my family who were still struggling with Nick’s body. The gun I held in my right hand felt extremely heavy now and my finger twitched on the trigger.
I knew I couldn’t shoot him though.  There was something about him that was so familiar. It was almost comforting. I prayed that he kept quiet and didn’t alarm my father. I didn’t want to have to shoot him.
Luckily, my father got everything situated and we hurried home as fast as we could. I dreaded for the moment my mother found out about Nick. I didn’t even have time to mourn for him yet. It just didn’t feel right. Nick was the strongest and fastest out of all of us. How could he have gotten caught and killed by one of them?
The image I had of my mother racing out of the door and falling to the ground came true as soon as we walked up to the house. Her face drained of all of it’s color when she saw Nick on my father’s shoulders.

“I just knew this would happen,” she said, wiping away the tears from her cheeks. “I just had this feeling that you would come back with horrible news.”

It was hard to see my mother so distraught over her first-born child. My father did his best to comfort her as the rest of us stared down at Nick.
It was almost as if I could feel all of the zombies staring at us from the woods. I could hear their low moans in my head and it was too much to take.  Turning around, I headed into the house and straight into my room. I locked the door behind me and took a deep breath.
My mind went back to the way things used to be. Back when you didn’t have to carry a weapon to walk outside your door or be in fear that some zombie was going to make you his next meal. I never really feared them though. Maybe that made me foolish, but they used to be people.  It was hard to pull the trigger at a zombie who used to be a person like me.
I thought about the one I saw in the woods, the one I couldn’t shoot. He reminded me of someone I knew, someone I trusted.  My father would be furious if he found out I walked away from killing a zombie. That’s why he never had to find out.
Opening up the shades on my window, I watched the sun start to set. This was my favorite time of day. I knew there were things wandering around that wanted to eat me, but at that moment, it didn’t matter. None of it mattered.
We buried Nick under his favorite tree in the backyard. He would sit under the tree for hours, listening to music and playing his acoustic guitar. He had dreams of becoming a famous musician and touring the world, wooing the ladies with his guitar and boyish charm.
He didn’t get that chance, but at least he could be in his favorite spot forever.
The next day, we had to pick ourselves up and move forward with our lives. My mother did her best to put on a brave face. My father took over the hunting duties with our two next door neighbors. He felt guilty for letting Nick go alone

“I shouldn’t have let him talk me into going by himself,” my father said to my mother before he left that morning. “I should have known better.”

There was no turning back time and my mother told him that. She kept herself busy all day, cooking up a storm for when the guys came back from their hunt.  Jack stood watch on the porch, making sure nothing came up to the house that wasn’t supposed to be there.  I stayed in the living room sitting on the windowsill, daydreaming about the times I was able to go out with my friends and enjoy the summer.
I missed my friends.  I only got to see a few of them on occasion. The others were lost to this plague that has taken over the world.

“Meg, I need help setting the table!” my mother called from the kitchen. Some things never change.

That evening, our two next door neighbors stayed for dinner. Both lived alone, but were well protected from anything that thought about invading the area. The one who lived on the left side of us was Neil Potter. He had a stern face that was covered in freckles. He rarely smiled and didn’t talk much.
Our neighbor on the other side was quite the opposite.  Chub Johnson was quite the joker, but that was well needed these days.  He knew how to make anyone laugh and never hesitated pulling a practical joke on anyone.

“How did the hunt go today?” my mom asked as the table fell into a rare silence.

My father shrugged. “It was okay. We got a few animals, but I think we’re going to have to get more supplies.”

“You know I don’t like going into town.”

“Nobody does anymore, but we have no choice.”

Chub merely grinned. “It’s not so bad, you know.” He leaned back in his seat and wiped his mouth with his napkin. “I like to go into the supply store and mess with the old geezers who still hang around there. How they have managed not to become zombie food is beyond me. I mean, they can hardly get around.”

“Those old geezers can shoot a gun better than any of us combined,” my father reminded him.

“You’re probably right. What do you think about it, Jackie boy?” Chub asked, jabbing Jack in the ribs.

My brother merely glanced at him and looked away, shaking his head. That didn’t phase Chub in the slightest.
“That’s exactly what I was thinking. You read my mind, my friend.” he said.

Later that night after Neil and Chub left for their own homes, everyone went to their own rooms for privacy. It was hard to have family time these days. Not with what was going on around us.
I sat in my room, thinking about Nick. I glanced at his guitar, now sitting beside my bed. I liked seeing it. It was almost as if I could hear him playing it in my head.  I wondered how he got caught and the type of zombie who was able to do so. He must have been caught off guard somehow.
The air in my room started to get thick and I knew I needed some air.  I wasn’t allowed to sit out on the porch during my bouts of insomnia like I used to. Now, I had to settle for opening my window on the second floor and hoping a breeze hit my face.
The midnight sky was full of stars. Not a sound could be heard for miles, not even a moan from a distant zombie. It was peaceful and that was rare now.  I took a deep breath and inhaled the fresh air deep into my lungs. Looking out into our empty backyard made me feel even lonelier than ever.  I missed all of my social interactions with people who were fun to hang out with. Ever since the zombies invaded our lives, nobody could go anywhere. We were stuck.
I think most of all, I missed him.  My eyes looked over at the photograph sitting on my dresser.  He was the one person who understood me most of all. Nobody knew where he was. He just disappeared. Everyone feared the worst and told me the bitter truth. The boy who had my heart was gone and there was no getting him back.
No tears came this time. Maybe that was a good sign.
In the distance, I could hear the low moan typical of a zombie. I leaned farther out of the window to catch a better look. I knew I was safe here in my prison-like home, but I was curious to see this zombie. I wondered how the zombie I saw in the woods was doing.  It was crazy how I was so worried about the welfare of him. I knew I shouldn’t be.
The zombie started to break through the woods into my yard. I tensed up as I caught a closer look.  No, it couldn’t be. There’s just no way that it was possible.

“Zander?” I whispered in the darkness.

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