Hangman

Hi everyone! So I’ve neglected this blog…woops. I’ve been blogging about fashion and beauty over at www.sabrinajaine.blogspot.co.uk, so if you like either or both of those things, please check it out! I’m back with some creative writing again for the first time in ages. I am a little nervous publishing this because it’s not really my best. This short story turned out to be quite creepy and dark. I started out by wanting to write an interesting/different ghost story but actually ended up editing out all mentions of the word ‘ghost’ in the story as it just sounded lame for some reason haha. Anyway, I hope you like it! 🙂

He kept on running, even when his body willed him to stop. Luke was always an anxious person, but he had been so unprepared for that sight. He thought that his mind must have been playing tricks on him, or his vision was somehow impaired, as what he thought he’d seen could not have been reality. He went for a run, focussing on it completely, and tried not to think about it. There had to be some logical explanation to what he saw. He hoped he wasn’t losing his mind.

He couldn’t escape from the memory of that man’s stare. He’d never seen anything like it, an unforgettable and horrific blend of animosity and despair from the wide open eyes of a corpse hanging from a loop of rope next to the window. It couldn’t have been a corpse, but he didn’t recognise any life in that being. It may have been about to speak to him, but Luke had rushed out of there like there was a fire to escape from. He had stood in the hallway not knowing what to do, wishing that he could simply open the door and see that the man was gone. He deliberated over it fora minute, breaking out in a cold sweat.

He couldn’t bring himself to do it, he just didn’t feel brave enough. Instead, he wanted to run, as running always helped to clear his mind. He wasn’t in his running gear, but that didn’t matter to him. He told himself he would go back to his bedroom after the run and see that the sallow, undead figure was gone, that he clearly imagined it.

He had been running for almost an hour by the time he got back. It was late, and everyone else he shared the building with was either out or in bed. He didn’t feel any more relaxed or ready to face the man, but what choice did he have? He didn’t want to have to ask to stay over at a friend’s place over this. He wasn’t about to a had to get into his room, try his best to get some sleep (which he knew was going to be difficult or even impossible) and try to forget about the figure and his inhuman stare. He opened the front door to the building and noticed that instead of feeling warmer inside, he felt colder, freezing in fact.

He walked upstairs carefully and quietly, trying not to be afraid, but when he reached his door, pure terror was running through him and almost seizing him on the spot. But still he opened the door.

For a moment Luke couldn’t see the figure, but his relief was short-lived. The man turned around out of the darkness and into the shining moonlight from the window.

“What a pain in the neck this is.” The man said, tugging at the rope slightly with a knowing smile. “Do you want to join me? You look like you do.”

The man grabbed some rope from the darkness. Luke stood frozen to the spot.

“Only, I could use a friend. I never had many friends. You don’t seem to either…we don’t have to be lonely.” The man continued to stare at him, grinning like it was the most relaxed thing in the world, while Luke backed away then turned and tried to leave and found the door would not open, even though he hadn’t locked it. He struggled with the doorknob, shaking and twisting it desperately in every way he could, to no avail.

“Don’t go. Stay and be my friend.”

Luke shook his head fervently.

“But you’re not leaving. So you might as well. We can tell each other secrets. Luke, you can tell me about how you lie about so many things. That’s why you worry so much. You worry that one day you’ll be caught out, and people will see you for what you really are.”

“Leave me alone!”

“It’s too late. You should end yourself, Luke. It would be a good thing, honestly. I’m telling you that as a friend. And it would help you to recover from the guilt you feel at what you did.”

“What I did?”

“You drove your friend to suicide, Luke. I can’t believe you don’t recognise me! It’s Tom, you know? From school. You bullied me to death.”

Luke tried to think, but he couldn’t remember a Tom from school. He was sweating now and panicking, with a deep sinking feeling in his stomach as if what the figure was saying was true.

Then he remembered, or thought he did. He couldn’t tell whether he was remembering something something that happened in a dream or something that was real. He recalled how he used to laugh along when a nerdy, awkward boy was tripped over onto the ground. Luke had played with Tom when they were little, but they were never close friends. But when Tom actually got beaten up quite badly by Luke’s older and cooler friends, he stopped laughing, at least when no one noticed. He didn’t stop the bullying, even though day by day it got worse. It had all started with forcibly copying Tom’s homework and now he barely showed up to school. Tom’s parents tried to get the school to do something about it, but the school didn’t know who was responsible and Tom was too scared to reveal anything. Near the end of the school year, he hung himself.

* I wasn’t sure if the last bit (after the dialogue) was necessary or not, as it originally ended with that last line of speech, but I felt like that was a bit too much of a cliffhanger so I added some more context! I really like cliffhangers in my short stories though. Also, I don’t really know why I called it Hangman, it just seemed like more of an interesting title than ‘The Figure’ or something similar!

Sabrina x

The Newsreader

Hi everyone, I have some more creative writing to share! This a continuation of my work in progress in the form of an introduction to one of the main characters in what could be a zombie novel or novella. I’m quite keen on his story though, so who knows, it may end up just following him. It’s a bit unusual for me to focus on an unlikeable character as the main narrator – not that he’s a villain, but you’ll see what I mean. 😉

Tom killed just one zombie when his workplace was attacked – his colleague Joanna. Another colleague, Simon killed two zombies before he died. His workplace is now relatively safe, although Tom has no idea that there are still zombies in the TV network building…

Taking refuge in his workplace, Tom Knight records a message, transmitted on repeat to the nation.

Tom had cheated on his wife with a colleague in the months before the zombie outbreak. Just before the outbreak, his wife Alice took their child Sophie and left without telling him where they were going. He already tried to ring his In-laws, but had no answer both before and after the outbreak. Now he holds out hope that his wife and daughter are still alive, but he has been too scared to attempt to look for them so far. Will he find the courage to sacrifice his own safety to try and find his family?

As always, comments are very welcome. Hope you enjoy it!

———————————————–

Tom Knight – The Newsreader

Alice Knight, please, if you’re listening – come back to me. I can’t keep you safe if I don’t know where you are. I just want – no – I *need* to know that you and Sophie are alright. I understand why you left, but things are different now. I promise I will never hurt you again. Just come back to me. Please. Please be okay. I love you both.

He stops and gets up, not wanting to cry on camera to the nation. Then a while later he is back. He takes a deep breath before speaking.

To anyone else – you might just be watching this out of curiosity, to see if there’s still TV out there. Well, there sort of is. I’ll play this message on a loop so maybe everyone will see it. Actually, probably not everyone, because most of my audience is dead…

Anyway, I’ll be honest, I don’t actually really have anything to tell you that you don’t already know.

I mean basically we’re fucked. Eventually one of those things will find its way in here and kill me but until then, what am I living on? Snacks from the Green Room.

I hope wherever you are is safe and has food. I don’t think going to a supermarket would be the best idea but if you’re brave or stupid enough to risk your life for food then go for it champ. But seriously, you do have to think about food. Those bastards clearly do. You have to find a shelter that has food.

I should tell you as well, if you don’t know already, that it seems like the only way to kill these fuckers seems to be by getting them in the head. I don’t know why, okay? I don’t understand any of this. If you’re turning on the news hoping for an explanation then I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. We certainly had no warning.

And there will likely be no messages from any government figure unless they are somehow alive and willing to wake their way through the dead infested London to come to the studio. Wipe your fucking feet when you come in, won’t you?! Yeah, this place is safe because I managed to make it safe.

Oh fuck, how is Alice meant to get here? And I can’t get to her. Shit!

He takes a long gulp of vodka, scrunching up his face at the taste. He then stops to look down the left side of his desk for a few seconds.

Hey, you know what just crossed my mind as I was just looking down at the body of my colleague Joanna which I haven’t moved yet? – What if we could eat them? I don’t want to eat her, obviously, but I have only so much food left, that’s it like, what else am I supposed to fucking do? But I just wonder if eating her would infect me with whatever fucking thing it is she had that caused her to bite Simon and then try to bite me.

I can’t help but think though, haven’t we all wondered what human flesh tasted like at some point? I heard it’s like Pork.

Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. Maybe I’m off my head. It is nice talking to a camera again, though. I guess it’s what I was born to do.

Sorry, that’s also ridiculous. I can feel myself sounding even crazier. No, hear myself…Ah fucking hell.

He has another drink of vodka.

Anyway, I probably won’t have a bite of Joanna until I’m really desperate. Although Simon or someone would probably be fresher. God, what am I saying?!

You know what, to everyone out there: I’m sorry this broadcast was useless and confusing and unhinged. But I am not a hero, okay? I cheated on my wife. I let down my little girl. And now I’m sitting here contemplating eating someone I used to work with.

So yes…I’m very sorry. We will probably never meet, but I hope you can forgive me. And the best of fucking luck to you all. Try not to fucking die.

The Package

Hello all, so I have another piece of prose to share – although I don’t really think this one is all that good. I’m not sure, so let me know in the comments if you like it! 🙂

The Package

It was tipping it down at four in the afternoon in December, and Margaret was alone, watching television even though there was nothing on, when the doorbell rang.

She lifted herself up from her seat, grimacing as her back ached. She didn’t really feel like walking to the door, but she thought she should see who it is, she wasn’t expecting company.

The doorbell kept ringing, and Margaret called out “On my way!” trying to disguise her frustration that whoever it was was being so impatient. She was a seventy-four year old woman and she didn’t like to rush herself.

When she reached the door and opened it, there was no one there, but whoever it was had left a package. Margaret looked down at it, confused. She had not ordered anything. She didn’t even use the Internet. Surely this must have been delivered in error? And why did the postman not wait for her to sign it or do whatever she needed to do? She felt slightly annoyed that they’d gone, as the confusion could have been resolved quickly if they’d stayed.

Suddenly a door banged from inside the house, startling Margaret. She wouldn’t have thought there was enough breeze to cause a door to bang.

She leant down and focussed on picking up the parcel with the least amount of nerves or shaking. She rested one hand on the door frame for support and bent down slowly. The package was heavier than it looked so her other hand struggled slightly to lift it. When she’d lifted it, she noticed the address, and the package was definitely for her.

She went back inside and put it down, taking a moment to rest before attempting to open it.

There was a great deal of tape and cardboard to get through but eventually she found a large photo album inside, simply titled on the front – ‘Memories’.

There was also a letter.

Dearest Margaret,

I am sorry it took me all these years to get back in touch. One can only hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me. Your mother may not have wanted anything to do with me but I have a right to see you, and she can no longer hinder that.

Please do not take that to mean that I’m glad she has passed – I loved your mother very much.

Please accept my apologies for all I have missed in your life.

I am with you now – and always.

All my love,

Your father, Albert.

Margaret stared at it, astounded. This letter could even not be possible – it had to be someone’s idea of a joke.

When Margaret was ten, her mother had told her that her father died in the war only two months after Margaret was born.

 

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(So basically, the father could now be a g-g-ghost, or the mother was lying. The first option might make the story a bit silly and especially made me very tempted to put “I am with you now – just look behind you” in the father’s letter, which would be ridiculous. Anyway, I’ll leave it up to readers to interpret! Also, I was wondering if this story is better suited how it is at the moment or whether it needs to be continued? As the ending to me feels a bit sudden/rushed and I hope that doesn’t make it disappointing for readers.)

 

The Night I Died

Hi everyone, so I don’t have any more flash fiction for the moment – this is a piece of zombie fiction I wrote the other night. It’s basically a small part of what may become a zombie novella. I have written other parts already and the basic idea is it focusses on five very different characters who are all affected in different ways by a zombie apocalypse. Their stories then interweave because they meet each other to form a small group of survivors. Each character gets their own first-person chapter which outlines how the outbreak first affected them and how they’ve come to survive so far. I’ve already written a few of these so they may be published on here soon if I’m feeling brave enough.

(The character in this piece is obviously not going to become one of the main characters at any point – the title kind of gives away the reason for that, haha. Their story would probably be part of the introduction.)

Comments are very welcome, but please keep any criticism constructive, this is part of a work in progress 🙂


The Night I Died

The night I died everything that had once been calm and normal was gone. I remember feeling very claustrophobic, having a doctor or a nurse at every turn. I didn’t feel looked after. I felt imprisoned in my bed, never getting any better despite everything they tried. Early on they’d suggested I try an experimental drug, and thinking I might as well, I took it, but all that was noted was that it slightly slowed down my advancing symptoms.

Still, no one at the time really knew what symptoms to expect. I was one of the first, and very unlucky. One minute I lay there feeling confused and very feverish, and the next I closed my eyes, both exhausted and feeling awful, but I honestly didn’t feel like I was necessarily going to die.

No one knew that when I lost consciousness and seemed to be dead I would suddenly raise my head up but be…not myself.

I had died but not died. You’d think it was a medical miracle, but I had become what the surviving doctors in their notes called ‘aggressive’.

I was aggressively cannibalistic. I wasn’t me any more; I was acting like some wild animal who just wanted to bite anyone it could. I don’t think I even ate anyone. I just lashed out and bit for no reason except, I suppose, to spread the virus.

There was a violent struggle in which I snarled as I gladly tore flesh off people’s bones. Some of them tried to sedate me but I was not having any of it. I could not be restrained. Everyone in the room tried to stop me. Eventually they abandoned the private room, locked it, and moved some tables to form a barricade. I hammered at the door and growled at them.

They stood there, frozen, and watched me. I had become like an animal at a zoo. I found it very frustrating, all that food out there and I could not break out. It made no difference in the end. I was shut in there safely but I had already bitten eight people. Before long they too would be trying to bite their colleagues, friends, and family members.

 

Flash Fiction – Something Borrowed

Here is my ‘Something Borrowed’ for Amelia Groves’ challenge! I’ll admit I struggled most with this one – getting a good story involving something borrowed and a purchase in just 150 words was quite difficult! I don’t mind a challenge though 🙂

I had to cut out around 45 words when I first wrote this. It would be more developed (speech tags at the start and more context of their conversation for example) but I just had a lot to fit in in such a short amount of words! I’m fairly pleased with it overall, though. I hope you like it – comments are very welcome!


Something Borrowed

“But I’m clean. I swear. Things will be different this time.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that before. What do you want money for, then?”

“I want to surprise James with something. But if you don’t trust me, I can’t.”

He looked at her. Her eyes were full of pain, and she could not hold his gaze for long.

“Go on then. But this is your last chance, Steve. I mean it. You owe it to James as well as me.”

Steve walks to the shop and passes the alcohol. He tries not to look, but the various selections seem to mock him. He longs for just one drink, for old times’ sake.

But he remembers his promise. He walks out having bought treats for his son. He crosses the street but doesn’t notice the car speeding towards him. The drunk driver slams the brakes, but only when it’s already too late.

 

 

Flash Fiction: Something Blue

Hello! So I know this is in the wrong order – my ‘Something Borrowed’ should be up soon, the delay being due to both that I’ve been kind of stuck on that one, and also quite busy lately! I’m probably going to have a go at ‘Something Old’ as well soon. But for now here is my ‘something blue’ for Amelia’s latest challenge, enjoy!

Something Blue

Josh stared at the rising sun and thought about what the day would bring. He’d been up all night and was no nearer to feeling better. The birds had been chirping for a while and it wasn’t helping his headache.

He had a lot on his mind and had hoped that the calm stillness of dawn would settle him. He noticed the beautiful scattering of colours in the sky and thought about whether today would be different. At least it would be a fine morning. He liked sunny mornings, especially for a Monday. It made everything a little more bearable.

He thought about going back to bed and trying to sleep off this numb feeling until he had to be up for work. But he had no interest in moving from his spot, or even moving his eyes from the view.

A cold hand touched Josh’s shoulder.

Flash Fiction – Something New

Hi everyone, it’s been a while! I read Amelia Groves’ post about flash fiction and decided to have a go at the challenge she set. Here it is, I hope you like it.

Something New

“Granddad told me it was their dog that started the fire.” Julie said as she studied the charred remains of 79 Queens Street from outside.

“No, that just means it was him and he didn’t want to own up to it.” David replied.

“I guess. Do we have to go in?”

“Well, if you’re scared then I can go on without you.”

“I’m not scared.”

They walked slowly into the house, wary of the creaks of the floor with every step. The house was a scene of devastation, frozen in time with traces of the 1930s.

“Here it is.” Julie smiled as she took a tiny key to the little jewellery box that sat on a shelf. It had survived. She took out the contents; a pair of gold earrings.

“Are you sure this is right? Stealing from the dead?”

Julie tried the earrings on, ignoring him.