Tag Archives: zombies

A Little Personal Time

Today I thought I would share a few things about my life recently. You know, just to keep you guys up to speed.

I just got a new bike. I was hoping to fix up my old one, which would have cost about $300, but the mechanic found a crack in the frame, which meant that instead I had to get a new one. The bike shop gave me a deal, since the old frame was out of warranty, but still, the new bike cost me $650. I can’t really complain, though. I got about eight years of use out of the old bike, putting over 10,000 miles on it over the years. It had a good run.

I’m looking forward to riding again. I had to stop riding my old bike because it was completely worn out. The chain was so stretched out that I probably could have taken at least two links out of it. The gears were so worn out that I was essentially down to a single speed from the eighteen I started with. And I had to keep my back fender on with wire ties, because the screw fell out and I didn’t have a spare. I have been trying to scrape the money together for an overhaul for the last two years, and was finally able to do it when I got a bonus at work.

It’s too bad that I had to spend the whole bonus on a new bike, but at least I’ll be able to ride again. The new bike is pretty awesome, with disc brakes and twenty-four speeds. I’m looking forward to getting it out on the roads and trails and seeing what it can do. I also really need the exercise.

My next news is that I just finished reading Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion. Yeah, it’s the book that the movie was based on. And yes, the movie and the book are very much alike: OUTSTANDING!!! You should definitely go see the movie, and you should also read the book. I’ll leave the order up to you. If you are following me on Goodreads, you will see that I said the book is “worth adding to your go-bag for the next zombie apocalypse.”

And if you aren’t following me on Goodreads, WHY NOT?!

And lastly, my lovely wife of over fifteen years is having a birthday on Friday, so I am taking a few days off of work to spend time with her. Happy birthday sweetie!

That’s it for today. I need to get some writing done now. I hope to see you guys back here on Sunday!

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Why Does This Keep Happening?

So, what do we want to talk about today? Politics or writing? How about the fact that no matter how hard I try to write a nice, PG-rated story, somehow everything turns into a creepy horror-fest.

Is there something wrong with my brain? Have I got some strange kind of disorder that wants to color everything with Crayons from the Dark Side? Or have I just been watching too many zombie movies? (Is there such a thing as too much zombies?)

I do try to keep things from circling down the abattoir to Hell, but it isn’t easy. Take my last story, for example.

It started as a chase, with two people running from a group of soldiers. They came to a field, one where the hero apparently had some prior experience. He led the soldiers into the field, despite the fact that he knew he was in almost as much danger as they were. But he got lucky. He wasn’t eaten alive by the intelligent, land-based piranha people who lived there. Instead, their leader talked to him and somehow it turned into an impromptu wedding to the girl who was with him.

I’m still not quite sure how I turned a horror story into a romance, and it may not really work the way it is, but I’m counting that as a win for the side of goodness and light.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for me to write something that doesn’t require parental supervision to read. Maybe I need to be more careful about plotting out my story. Maybe I need to start watching and reading more romances. Or maybe I need to start hanging around with kids (come here little girl, I’ve got candy!).

Maybe not.

Maybe all I need to do is embrace my dark side and see if I can become the next Stephen King. Because if there’s one thing I have learned in my forty-plus years on this planet, it’s that life is hard and darkness is everywhere.

Depressing thoughts for a Sunday morning. I’ll see if I can do better on Wednesday. Wish me luck on my story for this week! (I wonder what it will be…)

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Filed under The Writing Experience

Flash Fiction

Last week I came across a post from Chuck Wendig. He was proposing a flash fiction challenge. The idea was to write 1000 words on the words “irregular creature”. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have any ideas until this morning, and the challenge ended at noon EST. I finished it just before 10 CST, but since I was at work I couldn’t post it until my lunch break – after the contest was over. But since I went through all the trouble of writing the damn thing, I thought that SOMEONE should read it. That’s where you lucky people come in.

Here it is. Please comment and let me know what you think.

ZOMBIE GUINEA PIG

By Scott Steele

 My guinea pig started the zombie apocalypse. I know, you would never expect that something so cute and fuzzy could cause the end of the world. But it’s true. Here’s how it happened.

I decided to do something special for my wife on Valentine’s Day. She loves animals, but we live in an apartment and so we can’t have a dog or cat. They do allow fish and hamsters, but larger animals aren’t allowed. We have a hamster, a cute little short hair, dark gray with a white beard and white paws, but she isn’t very cuddly. She doesn’t like to sit still and is always jumping around whenever we get her out of her cage. We also have a tank full of fish that we keep over the television, but they don’t like it when we get them out either.

So last Valentine’s Day I decided we would go out to eat. We went to a Culvers restaurant near our house, and had a nice meal. The restaurant is near the pet store where we got our hamster, and I thought maybe we could stop in and get some supplies for the little critter.

We perused the aisles for about fifteen minutes, trying to decide what sorts of things we could get for our little furball. I was considering getting her a new cage, thinking that maybe we could connect it with the one we have so that she would have more room to run around. But the cages were kind of expensive, and we decided to look around while we thought about it.

We went into the room where they have the small animals and there he was. Mostly dark brown, he has a white stripe down his nose and a large white patch on his left side. He was so cute! There was also a completely white guinea pig in the cage with him, but we barely looked at that one.

My wife knew right away that she had to have him. It turned out to be a lot more expensive than the hamster cage we had been considering, because we had to get a new, larger cage just for him, and all the supplies to go with it. But at least my wife was happy.

We got home and got our new pet settled in to his new home. We set up the cage in front of our television so we could keep an eye on him. It was also the only place we had to put it.

Things went well for several weeks. He was nervous at first, and I found it was best to talk softly to him to calm him down before reaching in his cage to pick him up. But we kept it up, getting him out at least once a day. We would hold him in our laps, petting him gently and feeding him parsley. Eventually, he got used to us and calmed down a bit, allowing us to pick him up without struggling.

Then he got sick. I don’t know if it was something in the hay or radiation from the television. But one day we noticed that he wasn’t eating as much. The next day he didn’t move at all when we went to pick him up, and I noticed a greenish pus leaking from the corners of his eyes.

We made an appointment to take him to the vet, but the next day he was stiff and cold in his cage. My wife was devastated. I had to take off of work to stay with her. Even though we had only had him for a few months he was a part of the family.

We decided to dispose of the body in the afternoon. I found an old shoe box, and we sadly lined it with paper towels. I opened the cage to lift him out, and was shocked when he twitched. It was only a small movement, and I thought that maybe I had just imagined it, but then he moved again. I watched in amazement as he slowly rolled into his normal position, looking at me with his beady little eyes.

I should have looked closer before reaching into the cage. I should have noticed that his eyes were no longer the dark brown that we were used to. They had turned a deep, blood red. I should have seen that his fur was falling off in clumps. But I didn’t.

I reached into the cage and he raced around, avoiding my hand like he had when we had first brought him home. I tried talking softly to him, attempting to calm him down, then reached in again. I finally managed to corner him so that I could pick him up. I pulled him out and gently cradled him in my arms. His little body was still cold, and felt oddly softer than normal. I suddenly remembered when our last hamster had died, and how her body had lost its normal firmness when I pulled her out of her cage. But by then it was too late.

As I stood up to move to the couch where I could sit down and pet him, he suddenly thrashed in my arms, and before I knew it he had taken a bite out of my hand. I yelled in pain and surprise, and tried to pull my hand away. That’s when I noticed his bloody eyes.

I pried his teeth off my hand and quickly put him back into his cage. I washed the wound and bandaged it, but the damage was already done. I quickly got sick, and before I knew it I had joined the ranks of the damned. My wife was the first to join me, followed by the neighbors, members of my church, and my coworkers. By then we had achieved a critical mass, and the infection spread across the world.

So that’s the story of how my guinea pig started the zombie apocalypse.

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Filed under Fiction

Dreaming of Something Wonderful

So yesterday I mentioned that I had a dream for a new story idea. I was on the edge of sleep yesterday morning, just at the point where I can vaguely remember my dreams. This happens to me a lot, and most of the time the dreams are really weird, or they are about my kids when they were little. But occasionally, like yesterday morning, they are fairly lucid and give me ideas about something I can write about. That is, if I can remember the dream long enough to jot down some notes about it.

Some people keep a dream journal next to their bed. This is supposed to help them understand their dreams. It can also be used to jot down some notes about your dreams before you forget about them. I don’t keep a dream journal, even though I have often considered it in the past. Usually just after I lost a great idea.

I like using my dreams as inspiration for my writing. I think that is one of the reasons why I have the dreams. The dreams are my subconscious mind presenting story plots to my conscious mind for consideration. My Finding Valhalla story started with a dream. It wasn’t much, just the name of my main character, along with an opening line. I took it from there and ran with it.

You’re probably wondering about my new dream. It was about a group of people who were on a quest. The group was a mix of humans, zombies, and vampires. They were all working together because there was something in it for everyone. You see, apparently there are two types of zombies. The first type is the typical dumb as graveyard dirt zombie. The second is a sentient zombie (like Mark Henry’s character Amanda Feral), which evolves from the dumb zombie if it gets enough of the right attention (like feedings) from a vampire. The sentient zombie can also evolve into a vampire, and a vampire can become human again, both only if the right conditions are met.

So my group of adventurers consisted of a human, a dumb zombie, a sentient zombie, and a vampire. The human is related to the dumb zombie and wants to help it become human again. To do this, they have to work with the sentient zombie and the vampire, possibly helping them regain their humanity as well. Their quest will take them to some very unusual places and put them in strange and dangerous situations. I’m still working on the actual plot for this. Does anybody have any unusual legends or quests that I can use?

How often does this happen to you? Do you use dreams as inspiration for your stories? How frustrating is it when you dream something cool but then forget about it before you can write it down? Tell me about your dreams!

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