Free Read: OUTBREAK!

20 Jul

So this little YA story was originally posted on my Tumblr, but since that Tumblr has since been brutally deleted so that I would actually do something with my life aside from reblog pictures of cats, it ceased to exist online. Until now, when I decided this blog was sad and empty and needed more posts on it, especially some free read type things. (Another, longer story will likely be coming some time next week.) It was originally spawned by a prompt on stayintheroom on dreamwidth, which listed the words magazine, silo, fever, carriage, bully, graffiti, and epidemic and said to use three in a story. I, because I am an overachiever used all seven.

So, without further ado, here is OUTBREAK!, a zombie YA comedy ficlet.

Milo has an axe and no emotional grip on his present situation.

Oh, he knows he’s about to be devoured by the risen corpse of a schoolyard bully—Bret Mitchells, who is possibly even bigger and uglier when he’s been reanimated by a virus that has swept across the nation like Bieber Fever only with more ravenous zombies—he just hasn’t emotionally accepted it, yet.

“I still haven’t kissed a girl,” Milo says, as Bret closes in on him. “I just want you to know you’re taking that life experience from me.” Bret curls his lips back from his teeth and drools some more. It’s both unattractive and terrifying. “And I definitely never got the chance to steal my dad’s awesome car so I could have sex in the back. So just … consider what you’re doing here.”

Bret looks decidedly unaffected. Unless you count “ravenous hunger for Milo’s brains” as an effect, in which case, Bret has that covered. Milo’s really smart. His brains are probably delicious. Curse the AP classes he took that made him such delicious zombie fodder! This never would have happened to him if he’d taken remedial math.

Milo’s trapped against a grain silo on the edge of town—getting as far away as possible from populated areas seemed like a good idea until he had to go mano-a-mano with a zombie on a farm with no one remotely nearby to save him—and the wall behind him is decorated with graffiti dicks, so no part of his death is going to be dignified.

“I was supposed to grow up and be on the cover of Science,” Milo says, as Bret closes in on him—curse his propensity for skipping gym classes that has left him puny and entirely incapable of wielding an axe effectively against a member of the undead. “Or maybe TIME magazine. Honestly, I wasn’t going to be picky as long as it was the cover.”

Bret shambles closer—close enough that Milo can smell his rancid breath.

“Alright.” Milo hefts the axe in his hands. “Just you and me.”

As Milo prepares for his first swing though, he hears someone shout “Kowabunga, mother fucker!” followed by the thundering sound of horses sprinting and before Milo can even react, an actual horse-drawn carriage rounds the corner and brutally crushes Bret beneath a combination of hoofs and wheels.

Milo looks up and sees Mason holding the reins.

“You just ran him over with a horse-drawn carriage,” Milo says, because he is very intelligent but not above stating the obvious under the influence of total shock.

“Yep,” Mason says, dropping the reins and hopping down.

“Why didn’t you hit him with … a car or something?”

“I don’t know how to drive a car.” Mason walks over to Milo then stops in front of him. “And my mom said Junior Rodeo would never pay off! Well guess who just saved the day with fucking horses, Mom!”

“Yeah, that actually was pretty awesome.”

Mason smiles at him. “Also, I can’t help you with your girl kissing problem, but I could kiss you. I think you even kind of owe me since I saved your life.”

Milo just stares at a Mason for a minute, trying to figure out if he’s being serious, or just being Mason. Finally he says, “Okay, sure. Why not.”

A New Release and a New Motivational Writing System

10 Jul

So I figure it’s about time to announce this, since I got the acceptance letter almost a month ago, but I have another title, a novella, that’s going to be published throughout LT3 press, called Everyone’s a Casualty. Do not fear the name, gentle readers, and consider the publisher: this story does end happily, even if the characters have to slog through some angst to finally get to their HEA. 

The story stars Joel, a writer whose career could kindly be referred to as “failing,” and Sparrow, a character in one of Joel’s novels. Wondering how I managed a pairing between a writer and his character? Simple! Joel has a door in his bedroom that leans into the worlds he creates. Yes, the story’s a little trippy to start with and gets extremely trippy by the end. Because in that other world is a force Joel can’t control, which eventually locks him out and emerges into his world, to rather upsetting results. In the end, Joel has to choose between staying in that world, separate from what he loves, or helping to tear it down entirely. Or those would be the only two options, anyway, if the ending weren’t a twist because, yes, I’m an asshole who loves twist endings.

In other news, I’ve come up with a new motivational writing system that has turned out to be quite effective in getting me to produce every day. I bought myself a desk calendar and started writing my word count on it each day. Then I got a genius, if fairly childish idea, and decided to institute a reward system: for every 1,000 words I write in a day, I get to place a sticker on that day in the calendar. I instituted the reward system on the 5th (the 1st was a retroactive sticker day because never let it be said I passed up the opportunity to put a sticker on something) and, as you can see from the picture below, it’s been a pretty damn effective system so far.

2014-07-10 16.35.15

Admittedly, it probably wouldn’t be so effective if I weren’t six years old at heart and still in love with getting to put stickers on things. But I’m not going to argue with the end results.

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