While trying to write for City of Zombies I realized that my first draft stopped way short of my needed word count.. well it stopped a couple days ago. I wrote my first post without the guidance of my previous story. It went well. I have an idea where I need to go so I’m not scared or running out.
Ugh… feel like a train pummeled my face…
How is a writer supposed to do anything when he feels like this. I even have most of it written out…. but anyways. I’m still excited over the pace that this new story at City of Zombies is going. I’ve also met an old friend who is a fan of world building. He could help me with this story on this blog. This world is starting really good but it really hit a wall when I realized how much work will have to go into continuing the story. I just told the Writers group about it and they sounded excited. I need to get back to it
Ken shakes dirt from his hair and squints as the small pieces irritate his eyes. He pushes through the roots above him till he can reach through the dirt. He feels around, finds a durable root, and pulls himself upward, thrusts up his second hand to clear some room for his broad shoulders and then begins to breach the ground with his head. Like a newborn child he slowly breaks through the dirt seam into a new world. Above the ground, through the grit in his eyes Ken can see a forest of trees. Someone offers a hand from above him and Ken takes it without thinking. Another hand appears and then a third. Slowly they lifted him through the dirt and help him stand upon the forest floor. It was then that he noticed his lack of clothing but someone offered him a large shirt and pants. Ken put on the clothing, which was loose around his waist. He then dug the dirt from his eyes and looked upon the group standing around him. A couple young men stood with a frown, dressed in World War II fatigues. The fatigues were sand brown and tied underneath a pair of old black boots. To his right stood a large man who smiled widely. It was a frightful smile, almost perverted. “Hi, my name is Gabriel. Who are you?” Gabriel’s smile dropped after the question. It was an accusatory tone saved for a suspect in a crime.
“My name is Ken Addison, have you seen my wife Jean?”
“No, have you seen my brother, John?” Gabriel asked as he began to step toward Ken. “Wait,” said Ken as he stepped back and against the large tree behind him. “He doesn’t happen to be tall and have a bad attitude?” Gabriel’s smile returned.
“Great,” Ken thought as he searched for something positive to say but one of the men in fatigues added. “They must of ended up going through the wrong portals, Gabriel. It’s ok, we will find him.”
“This is bullshit,” complained Gabriel. “All these years and now nothing…”
“I know Gabriel but we will find him. The train stops in two hours. We will climb on and head north to the next entry point. He is probably with this man’s family.”
“What are you talking about?” Said Ken a little louder then he intended. “Is my family with your brother?”
Gabriel slapped a large hammy hand upon Ken’s shoulder and stated, “don’t worry, my brother gets along with everyone.” Ken waited for Gabriel to laugh but he didn’t. The group turned North and Ken followed with a great concern upon his face.
The group walked slowly and Ken inspected this new world. From this perspective there was little he could see outside the thick brown tree trucks and green canvas above him. He could see little light attempting to leak through the cracks in the large canvas but it was only enough to guess that it was sometime during the day. All he knew, it could be day all the time.
“Can you tell me where I am,” Ken asks after several moments of quiet.
“Your in the Forest of Narcissus,” said one of the men.
“Narcissus? Isn’t that a Greek story about a man in love with himself?”
“It is,” said the shorter of the two men dressed in fatigues. He bent down as he walked and picked up a large stick. “Narcissus was the son of a river god named Cephissus and a nymph named Liriope. He was a hunter renown for his beauty but he was also cruel. When a mountain nymph was spurned by him the goddess of revenge, Nemesis, tricked him into falling in love with his reflection within a pool of water.”
“Wow, ok,” said Ken as it sank in that these men were talking about Greek mythology from Earth. “I thought that would be restricted to one world, like Earth.”
“Erik, this guy over here, likes to show off his Greek history skills. He is good to have around in a world like this. His brother Aaron is a bit of a brute but that isn’t without it’s advantages either…” Gabriel laughed loudly as he continued to walk forward carefully walking over small pools of water. “…as far as I know this world is a part of Earth just not quite within the same realm you are used too. We use a lot of Greek references here. A lot of places are appropriately named for stories from that era.”
“Ok, so where am I? What do you call this place we live in?”
“No idea,” said Gabriel, “I just know that we are walking within the Forest of Narcissus and I need to pay attention to where I’m stepping. This forest is enchanted in many ways and I prefer to not run into them.”
“Enchantment? Are you talking fairy tale enchantments? Seriously?”
“Seriously,” said Gabriel. “Don’t step in the water.”
Ken began to step forward but something had a hold of his booted foot. He fell forward and tried to grab the nearest tree but was a foot short of it. He fell to the ground and turned. Ken’s large boot slipped from his foot and he sat staring at a muscular arm thrust up from a small pool of water. The boot suddenly flew past him and landed behind him.
“I told you to stay out of the water,” Gabriel stated calmly as he helped Ken to his feet. Gabriel then smacked Ken’s chest with the large boot and left. Ken leaned cautiously against the tree closest and slipped the boot back on his foot. The muscular arm flailed around searching and eventually gave up and disappeared with the pool of water again. Ken turned, barely missed another pool of water, and quickly caught up to the men walking away from him. Gabriel turned and smiled as Ken slowed to a walk. “Glad to see you didn’t get lost,” he said. “It wouldn’t be much of a loss, wait till John sees him,” said Aaron.
“What does that mean?” insisted Ken. “Nothing,” said Aaron with a sly smile.
“I just want to see my wife,” stated Ken, “any other business you three have is nothing compared to that goal.”
“Our business would be over if you had gone the right direction down below. It’s slightly weird how this has happened because usually its fairly simple.” Gabriel snorted. “Well…” Ken began angrily when he noticed a large pool of water up ahead. Several people, mostly naked, stood quietly within it and around it.
“Gabriel, we can’t go around,” said Erik pointing out a large troop of red-dressed soldiers. “Crap.”
Erik’s father Bruce was not an alcoholic he was a drunk. His “life” was so miserable he felt the need to fill every waking minute with beer or liquor. Bruce was more then happy to tell everyone that he was not happy and it was not his fault. He could of been a good father if Erik’s mother would of allowed him to do what he wanted. Erik was nearly ten years old when the incident happened. The night before, like clockwork, Bruce wandered through the front door attempted to sit and relax. Erik’s mother, terminally tired of Bruce’s beer-enhanced laziness would bring up the latest of his misadventures. Bruce being the man of honor he was would then proceed to insult Erik’s mother. They would fight and usually his mother would stomp off and disappear into her room until Bruce passed out. The morning after Bruce awoke find all his belongings had been piled around him. Erik’s mother stood quietly preparing breakfast and helping Erik get ready for school. Like an animal released after a night of beatings, Bruce began to throw everything he could get his hands on. He screamed obscenities on top of obscenities, while Erik’s mother tried to ignore his outburst. Erik could tell his mother was struggling. She tried to keep a fragile smile while she quickly rushed him out the door to his bus.
The bus stop was a quarter mile from the house. The screams from the house disappeared seconds before Erik noticed he had forgotten his backpack. Erik knew going back into that house was not wise. It never was but quietly he wondered what happened after he left for school. He loved his mother and never wanted to leave her in the morning. He knew that Bruce was angry and his mother was never to far away to receive punishment. Erik was within earshot again of the screaming but it was only from Bruce. His mother’s usual verbal volleys were not there. “What had he done to her? What would he find when he opened that door?”
Erik approached the front door. He could see within the kitchen from outside the house. Bruce stood, back toward him, his mother’s dress swallowed up in front of the large man’s frame. Her feet kicked below her dress, she was struggling. Erik threw open the front door. Bruce looked back, surprised he let go of Erik’s mother. She fell to the floor. Erik ran into Bruce and shoved him. He was small but Erik’s momentum was enough to knock Bruce sideways. Bruce fell into the gas stove and it ignited the loose fitted shirt he was wearing. Bruce continued to fall, on fire and knocked a hot pot of water over his face. Erik’s mother screamed. Erik stood watching as the flames ate up Bruce’s shirt. Bruce held his face as the hot water seared his flesh. Suddenly, Erik felt a shove from behind as his mother pushed him out of the way. She then proceeded to fill another pot with cold water and attempt to douse the flames. Bruce screamed and held his face. Erik watched as his mother put out the flames.
After several minutes his mother stood over him and asked pointedly, “What are you doing home?”
The little girl began to sob and Erik held her. After several minutes Erik let her go.
“Listen, little girl. I understand that you were stuck in a crappy situation but you can’t run off.” She said nothing and Erik just frowned dropped his hands and walked back to the car.
“If you want to run away then go, but I’m going to drink a couple warm beers and drive into the city because I really have nothing better to do. I really don’t care if you want to come with me,” Erik reached into the back seat and searched blindly for the beer but failed to find it. He looked back and found them on the floor. He grabbed a couple, set one on the seat and opened the other. The girl stood quietly crying. Erik’s heart broke but what kind of responsible adult take a kid into a suicidal drive into hell.
“What kind of responsible adult watches his wife drive away to her boyfriend and says nothing?”
“Not a conversation I want to think about,” Erik warned his quiet, angry conscious.
“Truly, you are not a responsible adult and not a parent. Just drive away.” Erik pushed the gas pedal to the floor startling the young girl but she then did something surprising and quickly ran to the passenger seat and got in.
This girl didn’t need to be here, he thought and was determined to take her to the gate.
The Mustang’s engine roared as he passed the last couple of wrecked cars on its way back to the gate. The rescued girl stopped screaming and was now just sobbing. Erik wanted to offer her something but only had little food in his bag and a half-drunk pack of beer.
“Do you want a beer?” Erik asked. The girl stared at him through her tear-soaked eyes then put her head down and covered her face with her hands. “Sorry, couldn’t think of anything else to say.”
The gate approached quickly and immediately Erik noticed the high-powered automatic weapons on top of the wall. They jerked and then pointed themselves at Erik, the girl, and the car. Erik drove quickly until warning shots whipped just over the windshield. Erik stomped on the brake and stopped the car.