Thursday, 27 November 2014

Getting Stuck

This applies to basically everything (well, everything I do): writing, drawing, gaming, etc. You're going along, just as happy as could be, until suddenly! You hit a snag. It could be a plot hole you just can't figure out how to fill, drawing those hands on that character (it's always the hands), or beating that one stupid boss level. You just can't do it. YOU JUST CAN'T!! *commence wild weeping and fit-throwing*

And so you move on to something else, telling yourself you'll come back to it later, once you've rested, calmed down, cleared your head; once it doesn't seem so daunting any more.

Pfffft. Yeah, right.

I know I can't speak for you guys, but for me? 90% of the time, whatever I was working on just sits there forever, and I never touch it again. Or, if I do touch it again, I'll start it over from the beginning (where games and writing are concerned), because it's been so long since I saw it last, I've totally forgotten everything about it. Or if I do go back to it, and I do start from where I was last, I find that it's JUST AS FRUSTRATING AS LAST TIME OH MY GOSH I'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO DO THIS IT'S TOO HARD EVERYTHING SUCKS AND I HATE ALL OF IT.

*cough* Um, or something like that.

So, what's my point? My point is: nothing. I have no definitive advice to give, especially because I'm the main perpetrator for this. Are you required to finish whatever you're working on (e.g. commissioned artwork, book deadline)? Then YOU CAN DO IT, DANGIT!! You're so skilled, you've worked so hard, you've already come this far. You can totally take it all the way! In this case, when you know you must come back to it, taking a break to refresh your brain and hands is a good idea if you're stuck. You'll still have the motivation to finish it.

Are you simply doing whatever-it-is recreationally? Then IT DOESN'T MATTER. That sounds bad to say, but really: what are the consequences of NOT doing the thing? Nothing? Then why torture yourself with it if it's really frustrating you?

Now sometimes, it's a matter of pride. You're not going to let this thing beat you! Well, great, if you can do it. Oftentimes, you can. But it can be stressful for everyone. Because you're getting frustrated, and everyone else in your house can hear your angry growls (unless you live alone, in which case, your neighbors can hear you screaming in rage), or can feel the weight of your sullen, brooding silences, and that makes them tense and upset. And while they may listen with a sympathetic ear the first three times you rant to them about your struggles, anything after that just gets increasingly irritating, and they wish you would just quit it.

Yes, I speak from personal experience on BOTH ends of that.

*blows a calming tropical breeze over you* *whispers* just let it go.

Unless it's required for your livelihood, or to fulfill a (paid-for) promise to another, you really don't need to cause yourself so much stress. Hey, even if it IS required, you shouldn't stress. Relaaaaaaaaaax.
I'm not saying that giving up on everything is good.
I'm saying that you need to know, for yourself, when to quit, or at least when to take a break. I'm saying you should only go back to a project if you can approach it calmly. I'm saying you shouldn't kick yourself when you're down, nothing gets accomplished that way.

.............like Troy in High School Musical. Whenever he was upset, he'd try to shoot hoops, and would miss every time, and would get more and more upset.

*coughs again* uh, moving on from that analogy...... XD

Ok ok ok, I'll come to the LEGIT point of this ramble: Take it easy. Don't stress yourself. Life is good, God is good, YOU are good. Feel free to stop and breathe. That thing will still be there when, and if, you go back. There is no shame in giving yourself a rest. There is no shame in knowing when to put aside a project and when to pick up another. Or when to pick up nothing at all. Just give yourself a high-five regardless, because you rock.



Now that we've established that......I guess I'll go try that one boss battle again. XD

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

What's in a Name?

GUYS quick question: what are your thoughts on video games?

Let me clarify. I am a self-proclaimed gamer. I mean, my dad and brother are the true video game masters of the house, but I enjoy those virtual worlds as much as the next person. So I was thinking it'd be cool to blog about them sometimes.

BUT!

I've read (somewhere. I forget where) that it's good to have a blog name that encompasses what you blog about. "Secret Scribblings" can cover writing, reading, and even drawing, but I don't know that video games or tv shows (I love me a good tv show) can fall under the umbrella of my blog name.

I've also read (again, who knows where) that a blog name change is not to be taken lightly. So I don't wanna just jump from name to name because I feel like it.

Yes yes yes, it's my blog, I can do whatever I want. But let's be professional about this. What do you think: should I change my name to suit my tastes, or post whatever I want on my blog and say "meh" to professionalism?

EDIT: I'VE DECIDED! Thanks to some lovely and helpful friends, I've decided to keep the name as it is, and blog whatever I feel like blogging. "Secret Scribblings" shall not mean secret writerly things, but instead it shall mean all the secret things I feel like scribbling about on here. X) lol that sentence wasn't confusing at all, I'm sure. ;)


What I'm playing now:
Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Best Blogging Buddies Award

Hey! I almost forgot I was nominated for this! *whew* Close one. XD Thanks to H.M. Wilson for the nomination.

First, the rules:
  1.  You must make a post to show your award on your main blog. (check!)
  2. You must tag the person who nominated you in your post. (check!)
  3. You must nominate all of your best buddies, and those whom you want to become best buddies with, who, to your knowledge, have not been nominated for this award.
  4. You must ask your buddies at least 15 questions in your post.
  5. You must answer all of the questions your buddies ask you on your post.
Ok! On to:

The Questions!

1. What would your pen-name be if you chose to publish under one?
Maybe Dakota Densmore, since that's a pseudonym I used on the internet a lot. OR! Elizabeth Marks, something I came up with when I was younger for secret reasons. X)

2. If you could travel into any book of your choice, which one would it be & why?
Oh, goodness . . . maybe . . . maybe the original Sherlock Holmes stories? I could live in 221A Baker Street, and be a nosy neighbor. XD Yes, Sherlock would be, dare I say, an ass in real life, but he's just so awesome . . . and I find that he seems a little nicer in the books than in his tv portrayals. But maybe that's just me. 

3. If you could become any character, who would it be?
THESE QUESTIONS! Haha. BECOME any character, hmm? . . . perhaps . . . oh gee. I don't know. At the risk of sounding ridiculously shallow and cliche'd, I'm going to say: anyone who gets to marry a really sweet, awesome, attractive man. XD HA!! Ugh, I just reverted to my 12-year-old, boy-obsessed self. Whoops! *claws her way back to 19* Hmm, it's not that much different up here than down there. Welp. 

4. Who is your favorite author?
Can't choose one. Nope nope nope. So I will give you my usual list: Julie Klassen, M.L. Tyndall, Jill Williamson, Wayne Thomas Batson, Donita K. Paul, Mirriam Neal . . . Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. ;D

5. Favorite Writing Quote?


This one, because it made me laugh. XD that's one way to put it. X)

6. Fantasy or Sci-Fi?
Fantasy is pretty much my favorite genre ever; to read, write, or watch. X)

7. Fiction or NonFiction?
Fiction, usually. :)

8. Favorite time period?
Oh goodness. While past times were awesome with their propriety and chivalry and whatnot, they also had a LOT of downsides. Like a lack of sanitary toilets. Can I travel to the year 2364 and be on the Enterprise with Captain Jean Luc Picard instead?



Also, the 50's. I love the 50's, don't ask me why. XD

9. Contemporary or Classic?
I'mmmmm not sure what that means. I'll say classic. ^.^

10. Best hero?
Aw man, now I have to remember everything I've ever read. Maybe everything I've ever watched! *thinks really really really hard* *has an aneurysm* *dies* Oh my gawwsshh I can't think of one!! Maybe . . . maybe . . . maybe . . . ! You know, I'm just going to fall back on Sherlock Holmes, because I'm a freaky fangirl of his. :P hehe if I think of anyone else, I'll edit them in. 

(sidenote: I went through my goodreads "read" list for inspiration, and there's like, 16 solid pages of kid's books in there. Out of 26 pages. No lie. XD so, that wasn't a whole lot of help.)

11. Best villain?
For sneakiness and cruelty (also because the dvd is sitting next to me), I'll say Hans "of the Southern Isles" from Frozen. XD Also Loki from Avengers and Moriarty from BBC's Sherlock, because they're fan favorites. Them fandoms, tho.

12. Best soundtrack?
I'm excluding soundtracks where most songs have words, because that's harder to write to. And weeeellll . . . there are two game soundtracks my brother and I have always loved (because we also loved the games). They are Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, and Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete. However, I also like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings soundtracks (I love anything LOTR-related). So . . . there's 4 for the price of 1. X)

13. Favorite writing song?
I actually usually write in silence. Much as I love music and soundtracks and things, I am waaayyy too easily distracted. 

14. A word you wish was said more often?
Lately I've had the phrase "a most egregious error" stuck in my head (you know, like a song, but instead of song lyrics . . . a random phrase). So, if it were normal to say that out loud, that'd be cool. Especially if you could say it with a really pretentious accent. Also the word "splendiforous" should be a thing.

15. Favorite blog?
Hmm. Probably Go Teen Writers, because they give awesome advice and are actually professional authors. Hehe but I love a lot of blogs. 

~*~*~*~

Now, the nominations. To the best of my knowledge, none of you have been nominated before, but if you have, feel free to ignore it. Or, ya know . . . do it again. X)

Nominations:
So if you are one of these awesome people (or just feel like answering questions), feel free to grab this list and make your own post:

My Questions for You:
  1. What is your favorite book from your childhood?
  2. What is your method for keeping track of your writing ideas? (e.g., I have mine all categorized in a three-ring binder.)
  3. Have you ever participated in any writing contests (e.g. Nanowrimo, 100/100), and how did you do?
  4. Tea or coffee (or hot chocolate)?
  5. Have you ever traveled outside your country? Where?
  6. How long have you been blogging? Is this your first blog?
  7. Where do you usually do most of your writing?
  8. Of all the characters you've ever written, who is your favorite and why?
  9. Do you have any pets? Do you want any?
  10. What do you do when you're not writing?
  11. Do you ever get writing inspiration from tv shows/movies?
  12. Horror or thrillers, or neither of them, ever?
  13. Was there ever a time you thought the movie was actually better than the book?
  14. What is your favorite holiday/special occasion and why?
  15. Would you rather BE a dragon, or HAVE a dragon?
BONUS ROUND:
And now, these age-old questions; Which is better:
  1. Pirates or ninjas?
  2. Ninjas or Jedi?
And why?


Now that that's done, let's check that rule list again:
  1.  You must make a post to show your award on your main blog. (check!)
  2. You must tag the person who nominated you in your post. (check!)
  3. You must nominate all of your best buddies, and those whom you want to become best buddies with, who, to your knowledge, have not been nominated for this award. (check!)
  4. You must ask your buddies at least 15 questions in your post. (check!)
  5. You must answer all of the questions your buddies ask you on your post. (check!)
Look at that! I did it! WOOHOOOO!!! :D Your turn . . . ! ;)

and also, pass along this adorable owl!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Beautiful Books #2



Head over to The Notebook Sisters to learn more about this awesome linkup, and maybe join in yourself! :D 



Be honest: how is your writing going?
HA! My friends, let me tell you: I quit Nano after three days. Now, you might be facepalming, thinking, "What's wrong with this girl?" 
Well, I don't do well under stress or pressure. The thought of doing at least 1667 words a day was kind of crushing my spirit. 
My dad pointed out to me while I was having a meltdown at 12:30 a.m. that I've always held myself to this unattainable standard of excellence and perfection, and I have to stop that, because just because I can't do something perfectly, doesn't mean I shouldn't do it at all. And also, I'm not obligated to do ANYTHING. Nano stressing you out? Then STAHP IT. Writing getting you down, not fun anymore? You can stop that too. 
I won't stop writing, of course, but I did stop Nanoing. But I'm still doing Go Teen Writers' 100 for 100 challenge. That's going well. XD

What’s your first sentence/paragraph? 
Sweat poured down Rolf’s face and back as his feet dug into the grass. His muscles strained and shook against the mighty pressure applied to them. Then the pressure was gone, and Rolf lurched forward, caught off balance. Something thick and heavy smacked against the back of his skull, and Rolf fell to the ground, bright pinpoints of light stabbing through his vision.

“You’re dead. Again.”

Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book? 
Just the picture of the city, which I've used a few times on the blog, and which I was using for a Nano cover: 


Although, this one might work too:

pulled from Ink Made Maiden's blog


Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.) 
PICTURES!! Hehehe, oh, I have pictures. In fact, I shall give you pictures of AAALLLL MY CHARACTERS!!!!!! XD What? TMI? shush.
With the exception of Rolf and Amadan, the rest of the pictures are possibly subject to change:
Rolf, my male MC
Kat, my female MC (tho her eyes are a little dark)
Amadan, my first villain
Boros, the SpyMaster, and Rolf's father.
Yes, this is just a dress. I realize that. But just picture a haughty older woman with her hair piled up in an impossible style, and you've got Kat's mom, Lillian.
Kat's mentor/friend. Take away the weird bat creature and the redonkulous beard, and holy crap man, that's Eli! Right down to his glasses! 
King Thalion
Rowan, a prince.
Allistar, a Class-A jerk
Havenlord, my second villain
Aria, my third villain
Wolfe, freedom fighter
Caden, Captain of the guard
There's also Zane, though I don't have a picture of him. It's hard to find a picture of a creature you've completely reinvented. He can sort of shape-shift though, so I'll give you a pic of that:

Zane in his elf form. A little flashier than what I picture, though. Take away all the green stuff, and you've got it.
In his normal form, Zane is a slender ogre. Yes, ogre. If you were here last time I talked about my book, you'll remember I was talking about dispelling stereotypes. Zane's skin is a deep blue color, his eyes are grey, his hair is fashionably short and pitch black, he wears a white shirt under a black jacket, brown pants, and black boots. He uses magic to change his appearance and cheat at cards.

What scene are you most excited to write?  
Ohmygoodness. Ok. It's probably this one scene that would be nearer to the end of my book where we see this complete turnaround for one character. OR, since we don't know if I'll even make it that far, then maybe it's one that's coming up soon, where I introduce an awesome character.

Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.
“We should take him to the guards.” Kat advised.

“No! They’ll kill me.” To Kat’s continuing shock and dismay, both men said this at the same time.

“What, both of you?”

“Me, probably. Him, eventually. I’m Rolf, by the way.”

Kat acknowledged the return to propriety with a nod of her head, “Kat. That’s Zane, or so he says. And I understand why they’d kill him,” At this, Zane mumbled something indignant into the ground, “But why would they kill you?” she shifted her weight to her back foot, prepared to make a run for it, “Are you a criminal?”

Rolf sighed, and his face took on a pinched look, angry and sad at once. “No. But that won’t stop them.” He paused and took a deep breath, like his next words were physically heavy, “I’ve got to leave the city.” With a surprising show of strength, Rolf hauled Zane to his feet, “And I’m taking this one with me.”////


“It’s in the basement. Hang on,” Zane darted around a corner and was back before they could even protest. He shrugged a white lab coat up onto his shoulders. A pass dangled from the front pocket. “Well come on.” He headed in the front door.

“Do you get the feeling he’s running this show?” Kat asked Rolf.

“Uncomfortably so.”////


Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?
*dies from laughter* only always. My characters, just...yep. Off they go, on their own.

Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?
For some reason, I find female characters harder to write than male characters. I don't know why. Also fight scenes, or anything with tension in it. X)

What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?
Zane has always been my favorite character, though he's freaking me out a little right now. I'll have to change it later, it's a little . . . much. 

Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?
HA! *cough* um, nope. Not that I know of. XD

Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?
Well, not really, tho I have a few songs that make me think of certain things. Like, this music is for bad guys and danger: 


This music is for less savory characters and/or sneaky moments (perhaps even goofy moments):


Yes, they're both from the same game. 

Aaaaand...........yep! That's all I have for now. I don't really listen to music as I write; I'm too easily distracted. :P

Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?
Probably Wolfe. I don't know her yet (she was originally going to be a he, but then I saw that picture and I thought, "nope, that's Wolfe."), but she's awesome. 

How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)
I can't motivate myself. If I want something, I go get it, despite my own inner protests. XD But since I'm just doing the 100/100, I don't need a whole lot of motivation, it doesn't take that long. :)

What your favourite writing quote or piece of writing advice?
My dad telling me to just have fun, I don't have to do anything I don't wanna do. XD

How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?
I'm always really excited for my stories at first, then it gradually tapers off into "meh." and I move on. X)


Well, that's my Beautiful Books contribution. X)

In other, totally unrelated news, Gene Kelly (brown shirt) is so light on his feet, I might cry:


Friday, 7 November 2014

Zombies Zombies Zombies!

So. Somehow my cup of tea this morning inspired me to write a short story about two people fighting the zombie apocalypse with SCIENCE!

Well, I don't actually consider it a REAL "short story," because in my mind, short stories either A) have a shocking twist ending/surprise reveal, B) have a ringing moral message, or C) make you think deeply/make you sad.

My story does none of these things. It's just something that bubbled up from the depths of my mug full of tea.

And before you ask,
YES I have heard of The Walking Dead,
NO I haven't watched it, and
NO I'm not going to.
Everything I've heard about it makes it sound depressing and annoying and frustrating. So no. Also, I'm actually not a huge fan of zombies. They're gross, and they freak me out. Maybe it has something to do with being traumatized by Scooby Doo on Zombie Island when I was young, but it's a moot point. I'm not watching The Walking Dead. So, sorry to the fans of the show. X)

Now, after telling you how much I dislike zombies; my zombie-fighting story! (I make so much sense.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“The brain is the thing with zombies, right?”

“Right. . . .” Ro drew out the word like he was waiting for me to drop the whole idea. He was not impressed with my plan, I knew. I charged on.

“So, we don’t need to wait for the serum to work its way through their systems, we just need to get it to touch their tongues. As soon as they taste it, it will cause the chemical reaction in their brains that we’re looking for.  Theoretically, they should change instantly!”

“Theoretically.” Ro’s voice was flat. I expelled a breath and grabbed his shoulders in a display of frantic glee.

“Don’t you see? This could be our chance! Our one shot at saving the world.” I sobered a bit and slapped the side of his arm, “Our one chance at survival.”

I walked over to the rusty metal cart where rested my invention. Two clear canisters full of a thick blue liquid glistened in the dim half-light. My serum. Attached to each canister via some salvaged medical tubing were two childrens water guns. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't cool, but it just might save everyone.

Ro made his way around piles of rubble and broken junk, as well as a towering pile of empty squirt guns and other squirty paraphernalia, the dull ring of old metal sounding with each bootstep. “Nadia, there’s hundreds of thousands of zombies out there. Even if this works, you won’t have enough!”

“No?” I couldn't help but give him a mischievous smile. Man, did it feel good to smile. I fairly ran over to the nearest cabinet and threw it open, pulling out the drawer inside. It was packed with similar canisters, all full of my glorious blue concoction. Well, glorious if it worked.

Ro stared. I pushed the drawer back in and latched the cabinet. “You see? And that’s not all. They’re all full!” I spun around with my arms open, indicating the dozens of drawers around us, feeling a little like Belle in a library.

“You stored all your zombie-curing serum . . . in a morgue.” Ro rubbed his face.

“Well, yeah. All the zombies are gone, and anyway, they don’t have enough fine motor skills to open these dead-people-drawer doors.” I hoped.

“Dead-people-drawer doors?” the first hint of amusement I’d ever seen Ro show appeared on his face. “You’re the smart one; shouldn't you know the proper name for them?”

“I’m a scientist, not an English professor. Or a mortician.” I picked up one of my creations and slipped the attached straps over my shoulders like it was a backpack. I held a squirt gun in each hand. “Come on, Ro.” I smiled again, loving the feeling it gave me, “Who ya gonna call?”

Ro muttered something that sounded like, “Hopeless,” but went and strapped on his own gadget. “Tell me again why we don’t just kill them?”

I shot him a dark look, more annoyed than angry, “Because, Ro, not all zombies were dead to begin with. A great amount of them are just bite victims, or living people infected with the virus. Since we can’t tell which is which, we’re going to save all of them. The dead will go back to being dead, and the living will go back to being alive.”

Ro raised his eyebrows, “Theoretically.”

I huffed, “Yes. Theoretically.”

“And if it doesn't work?”

“Then we die.”

Ro nodded and held his squirt guns up at shoulder height. “Well then. What are we waiting for?”


  We crept the hospital corridors cautiously, looking for our first zombie. There hadn’t been any when we first used the hospital for refuge, but zombies were always on the prowl, and we’d been here longer than most people would have considered safe. Sensible people would have moved on a week or two back. But we were turning the tables. For once, we were the hunters.

Then I heard one, its shuffling shamble knocking through the debris of the half-destroyed building. It was joined by a second zombie, this one’s gait making less noise. A child, maybe? Or maybe just half a body, dragging itself along.

We pressed our backs to the wall, waiting to see if they would come around the corner on their own, or if we would have to lure them over with some noise.

“We shouldn't wait,” Ro breathed in my ear, “There could be more. We should get them while they’re isolated.”

I nodded slowly, fear and adrenaline flooding my veins, as it always did when the undead were near.

Before we could step out and face them, the quieter shuffling came closer and closer, until it was at our feet. We looked down and were shocked to see a baby. A zombie, yes, but a baby. My heart ached suddenly. Had it died an infant, or had it been attacked? A tragedy either way.

The baby looked up at us in the curious way babies do, though the rotting flesh and blood drying on its face made it decidedly less cute. It crawled toward us, determined to bite our legs.

Ro nudged me, and I shrugged. As it opened its mouth to chomp, I stepped back and raised my squirt gun, spritzing a little stream of serum onto its tongue.

The baby froze, and so did we. Would it work?

Suddenly the baby began coughing, and its arms collapsed from under it. It began shivering and breathing rapidly, and my heart went out to the little thing. Please work. Please be alive, baby.

Then the baby went very, very still. I could feel Ro holding his breath behind me, and realized I was holding mine. We both released it in a rush of awe when we saw the change come over the infant.

It’s grey-green skin—falling off his body in most places—rejoined with the tendons, muscles and bones, and brightened to a lovely pale pink, the color of a healthy baby. The brittle hair hanging from his head in patches fell off and was replaced by fluffy golden curls. He looked up at us, and his milky, glazed eyes cleared and turned to a bright green.

Before us sat a chubby, healthy baby boy. A little dirty, perhaps, but alive. I gasped out a disbelieving laugh. “It worked.” I spun to grab hold of Ro, “It worked!”

The baby started crying, and Ro and I looked at each other with eyes wide in wonder, silently agreeing it was the best sound we’d ever heard.

Ro reached down and picked up the infant, turning to me with the biggest smile I’d seen in years, “You did it!” he laughed, and I changed my mind. That was the best sound I’d ever heard. He spun around once with the baby in a rare and beautiful display of joy. He stopped on a dime and faced me again, puzzled, “But how?”

I could only shrug in giddy relief and surrender, a smile splitting my face in two, “I think it has less to do with science and more to do with miracles than we might like to believe.”

So distracted were we by our success, we forgot about the second zombie until she popped around the corner and roared in our faces. Almost by reflex, my closest gun arm flew up and pulled the trigger. But instead of the bullets and arrows I’d been firing at her kind for the past few years, a stream of serum entered her mouth.

She coughed, collapsed, shivered, shuddered, repeating all the same symptoms we’d seen in the baby, which I suspected was her son. Even a zombie disease couldn’t overcome maternal instinct. When she unfolded herself from the floor where she’d fallen, I helped her stand.

“W-where am I?” she was confused, “How did I get here?” Then she saw the boy in Ro’s arms, and I could see panic start to flood her features, “David—!”

I held up a calming hand, letting the gun dangle on its tube. “David is fine. He’s your son, I assume?” When she nodded, I indicated Ro should hand the baby over. He did, with a smidgen of reluctance. Or maybe that was just my imagination.

The mother cradled her son, and I quizzed her, “What’s your name?”

“Mary.”

“Do you remember the zombie outbreak, Mary?”

Mary trembled and clutched her child tightly to her, who cooed, calmed now that he was in his mother’s arms. “Yes,” she said. The way her eyes darted to and fro, I could tell that memories were returning to her as she came out of her dazed state, “The zombies . . . we had no warning. The swarmed our house.” Suddenly she winced and touched a hand to her leg, where I assumed she’d been bitten.

This could be important. “May I see?” When she assented, I checked her thigh. It wasn't hard, considering her clothes were little more than rags. There was a faint circular scar where she’d been bitten, but it was clean and pink. No sign of infection, no sign of danger. She was cured.

I straightened, “Well Mary, you were a zombie, but,” I raised my squirt gun and grinned like a goof. I couldn't help it. “Not anymore!”

“Look,” Ro told the bewildered mother, “Head down to the morgue. It’s where we keep the serum. You can stay there with your baby until it’s safe, or you can grab a squirt gun full of the stuff and head for home. Either way, you should go down there first.”

“Ok.” Mary nodded half-frantically, then looked from her baby to us. “Thank you.” She whispered, tears trickling down her grimy face.

I acknowledged her thanks with a smile and a dip of my head while Ro raised a hand in a brief farewell.

We watched her leave, then I turned to Ro, excitement and empowerment welling up inside me. “Let’s go save the world.”

“For Mary and David,” Ro raised one of his plastic guns.


“And everyone like them.” I raised one of mine in turn, and we touched them together, a toast to the world we would restore. Then we ran off into the darkness in search of people to save.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Well, there it is, in all it's shortness and glory. :)

Also, I just made Ro and Nadia up on the spot as I typed, but I'm already shipping them hardcore, believe you me. That's right. I said shipping. XD