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I'm a bit of a critic. 6/10 - need to work on your punctuation, as it made many of the sentences confusing to read. :)

Alright, for this section I decided to make another short story (haven't written a short in probably a decade).

And then there was the time when rabbits came upon us

Desperately we hung to the edge of the canvas, attempting to raise ourselves to the outcropping, intent on survival. Gretchen screamed as a feral bunny raked across her calf, long incisors glistening in the bright morning rays of the sun. Desperately she scrambled over the edge. Then, frantically, I reached for her as she staggered, but there was nobody there. I sensed a life, a cold one, cruel. A bitter and distant past. I knew it had to be a darkened soul, a fearful form surreal. Treasures of the heart held past, feeling the cold sinew. The dread of life long past due, a wicked clash of age. Without thought, I let her go, back to the mass of decrepit souls, one more mindless visage. Gretchen had succumbed. One thirty three, one ten-score sixty, we shivered but an hour.

Listening intently as music etched its way past the scores of melancholy moans, the stranger beside me absently asked what song it was. I looked briefly to him, his dull blue eyes wide in disbelief, a stark contrast to the question he posed. I answered, but could not recall what came out of my lips. I suppose we were both in shock. A reasonable state of mind, considering. Still, the mellow music clung to my ears as I clung to the canvas, staring blankly in return to the blank stare Gretchen provided me below.

“David,” said the stranger. An odd thing to say, until it dawned on me that was his name. He was introducing himself. Ironic. I tried to illicit another response, but I suppose it had been spent naming the song, as my mouth opened, then closed. I looked at him again. Yes, he was clearly in shock. I wondered how long he would last. His Armani shoes clashed with the dust-covered gore that decorated his tailored suit. Didn't much care for that tie. How old was he?

“How old are you?” I blurted. If it was possible, his face contorted in even greater disbelief.

“Wha? I'm --- why?” That was the best he could muster. I let the question die.

“We can't stay here. No food.”
I pointed across the mall, to the food court. “that's likely where the music is coming from, and where we'll find a meal.”

David merely nodded. Looks like he expected me to save him. Too bad, I was only intent on saving myself.

I looked down at Gretchen again. Those vacuous eyes seemed to enhance that voluptuous figure. I guess I am shallow after all. Still, she seemed more attractive now. Maybe it's because she wasn't talking. Maybe it was the moaning. Nice figure.

Mentally chastising myself, I tore my eyes away and looked about. The outcropping was more a dusty walkway. From this vantage, it looked to run the edge of the mall, far above the ground. But it was a risky venture nonetheless. David here, with his fancy shoes. Me, with my limp. I think I'll call him Robin. Too bad I didn't have one of those cute utility belts.

“Robin, you have a utility belt?” I chuckled as I tossed out the nonsensical question. I chuckled some more as David's face contorted yet further. Poor guy. In a pinch I can use him for bait. Raising up, I caught my balance and proceeded to our destination. David followed, a good little sidekick.


Finding solace in arms akimbo

Mellow music to my ears, I lifted myself onto the balcony at the end of the outcropping and traversed the empty food court, leaving David to struggle on his own. Armani shoes. Poor guy. Love the irony.

I entered the doorway clean, McDonald's self-serve. Double patty, pickles, mustard, ketchup. David's lofty lifestyle will have to take a backseat today. As I finished my meal, I contemplated our situation. My situation. I could probably get to my car if David acts as interference. Not sure I can sucker him into that. Looks clueless, but not stupid. Probably should consider camping this out, at least until I'm confident where my head is. At the moment, it's still with Gretchen, finding solace in arms akimbo.

I try not to sound alarmed when I notice a rabbit at the far side of the court. It is, after all, just a rabbit. I call to David and point. As expected, he panics. Preppies are good at that. All the stock market crashes have honed their panic skills to an art form.

As I grab a dolly and pile boxes of food and condiments, David piles things on the front counter. Comical, to say the least. I leave him to his insanity as I secure the boxes, then proceed to the back door, calling out to him at the last minute. On queue, he turns about, now all covered in mustard and milk shake, then sprints in place as he slips on the mess he made before finally securing his footing and propelling himself along. I close the door behind him. No lighting, but enough illumination slips in from the ends of the employee hallway. I pick a direction. Two thirty three, one ten-score sixty, I shivered but a minute.


Meh, that's all i'm in the mood for today. Maybe I'll continue with this some other time. hehe
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I have to admit I enjoy the raw self centeredness of the fellow whose narrating the story. I did find it slightly confusing however, simply because there are a lot of things unexplained, I suppose that's what inference is for.


(I'm going to miss you)

8/10 - The storyline was confusing, because it didn't give any indication to anything except David & McDonalds. Where were they at the start? What's wrong with the rabbits in it?

David Schofield

9/10 Hellstromm, that was a sweet piece'a work right there. It came in without any prior reading, much the mistake I make, but hey, there was a guy named David, and I was able to somewhat imagine Gretchen's looks and mind-set right when he mentioned how she seemed prettier with her mouth shut. I liked the emotion 'David' conveys, and he seems like a decent one to keep going and build upon (that means I don't wanna see him die quiet yet...) and I think that the choice of Feral Bunnies as enemies pays great homage to Monty Python! Lord, I love the quest for the Holy Grail, lol.

Anyways, as per-postage, I guess I'll throw my First Chapter to a 'sequel' to my first novel I've been writing into the lot. I've done a lot of editing, so that way it's appropraite, linguistically.


Russell cracked open the lid of the fresh beer, freshly pulled from the ruins of a roofless Liquor store; itself being the victim of a long-extinct fire, possibly. He took a gentle sip as the cold winds blasted snow off a metal sheet above him. He pressed is tongue against his teeth as he felt the bitter taste of the icy beer. “Hey guys, found a cold one.”

A voice called over from the other side of the cement wall; “You did?” Isaiah leaned into the store, running his fingers through his beard as the brittle sheets of snow crunched beneath his feet. He shivered, feeling the chills of the cold wind. “You’re not drinking it all, I hope.”

Russell smiled. “Nah, you remember what happened last time.” He grinned, taking another sip of the beer. “I’m afraid my tongue’ll stick to the can.”

Isaiah shook his head, pulling his hood over his head as he noticed Russell’s hair was encrusted with snow, eyebrows and all. “Well hell, Russ, imagine how the zombies feel about it, poor things’ll be dead by Christmas.”

“I doubt that.” Russ said, clicking open his Stoeger Uplander Double Barreled shotgun, one-handed. “Mind taking out these shells, by the way?”

“What’s wrong with them?” Isaiah asked, just then noticing the punctured primers. He took the shotgun.

“You didn’t hear me shooting’ earlier?” Russell chuckled. “Hope you’re not going deaf on me, kid.”

“You’re six years older than me, and I ain't a kid, I’d be more worried about you.” Isaiah leaned the shotgun against the wall of the ruin they stood in, leaving it broke open as it sat. Isaiah crossed his arms and shivered.

“Hey, give me a target, I can hit it, more than I could say about you.” Russell downed the rest of the beer, and gave a weak laugh as he tossed the can into the sky; wanting to see how far the wind would carry it. The can fell down to the ground less than a few feet away from where he’d angled it.
Isaiah shook his head. “Cold.”

“Where’s Frank?”

“Frankie’s messing with a truck.” Isaiah said. “Still no decent vehicles, most of them are dead on the batteries from being stagnant, or he can’t hotwire them... I think it’s that he can’t hotwire them.”

“You know,” Russell muttered, “I think it’s funny as hell that I was a deputy before all this crap. Imagine my insubordination record right now; I’d be out of a job in a snap.” He snapped his fingers to emphasize.

Isaiah looked to the dull, gray winter sky as he heard the engine of a truck sounding. The low buzz echoed around them, the sound of falling snow and desolate wind were the only other sounds.

“Three months.” Russell grunted.

Isaiah turned to face him. “Three months?”

Russell nodded. “Of this crap we’ve been through so far.”

It was cold enough to see Russell’s breath. Isaiah exhaled, marveling at his own attempt at a breathed smoke-ring in the cold weather. It was a failure, no doubt, but his breath was a deep white color. Somewhere below freezing. He turned to Russell again. “Who’s keeping track?”

“Well, October, November, December. Twenty-something-th.”

“Damn this winter,” a man’s voice from behind them said. Isaiah shivered as he turned to see Frankie; shivering in his jacket, walk over. “What are you guys doing? Drinking? Give me a beer, damn it.”

Russell shrugged, “Sorry Frank, all out.”

Frankie raised an eyebrow.

“I’m messin’ with ya, here you go.” Russell reached down and grasped a cold beer from the same general area he had taken the previous. As he pulled out his hand, a faint human-howl in the distance shook him; he scraped his hand forward and felt his hand bump into a block underneath the rubble. “You hear that?” Russell asked.

“We’re going to have to get moving, sounded close.” Isaiah said.

“Not that close. Even if it knows we’re here, it’ll take ten minutes for it to move it's rear this way.” Frankie said.

“We don’t have anything to worry about unless we set up camp here.” Russell handed him the cold can.

“Hold on a second.” Russell said, reaching back underneath the rubble to grab the block.

Isaiah tilted his head. “What is it?”

“Don’t know yet. Think it’s a gun.” Russell clutched whatever it was in the pile; and began to drag it out from the rubble, a smile across his face. His hand emerged from the cement hole; in it was a small picture frame. “Darn...” He muttered, looking at the thing he had pulled a couple times. In the picture, a bride and groom were kissing, the woman with short brown hair, and the groom with hair ironically longer than her’s was.

“What is it?” Frankie leaned inward to see, shivering a bit. “Is that two dudes?”

Isaiah chuckled, leaning back against the standing wall of the ruin. “You wish, Frank.”

Frankie sneered. “Up yours.” Russell grinned, and shook his head.

The howling sounded again; this time closer. Much closer. Russell looked up at the sky, intensely listening for any fragments in the silence. “Isaiah, I told you to put two more shells into the shotgun.” he casually muttered, he took a lone step forward, his eyes wide as he looked into the urban abyss of snow ahead.
Isaiah knew he was not kidding him. He quickly took the shotgun from beside the wall, and tore out the spent cartridges, carelessly letting them drop as he loaded in two fresh ones. “Here” he muttered, handing Russell his shotgun. “Where is it, Russ?”

“Straight ahead, I think.” He shivered; a mixture of fear with the cold, and the lack of comfort that he felt earlier. He pointed the shotgun into the flurry of snow, observantly watching for any blemish on the deep gray outcrop ahead of them.

“Maybe I should start that truck...”

“Frank, it’s too late for that. Get your pistol ready.”

Isaiah followed the order as well, drawing his .40 caliber Springfield XDm as he heard a grunt in the distance. “They make me sick.” He yanked back the slide, hearing the satisfying smack of the metal knocking in the cartridge and seating itself in line with the pistol.

Frankie hesitantly pulled his Kimber Grand Raptor from its holster, patiently admiring the rosewood grip with the Backfire PMC insignia. He snapped out of the phase, and clasped the pistol in between his hands, aiming forward, joined by Isaiah.

They looked out into the street, which sat disguised by the layers of ice and snow. “Behind that car.” Russell whispered. They looked out past the bluff of snow that coated the car in question, and listened intensely as the creature moved around. “Hear it?”

Frankie nodded.

Isaiah just shrugged. “Sounds like a dog to me.”

Sure enough, he was spot-on. A Doberman Pincher with cropped ears, running its nose through the snow, emerged from behind the car. It was as if he were looking for something of importance; aggressively battering the smooth snowdrifts with his nose. Frankie cocked the hammer back on his pistol; “Think it’s infected?”

“Disease only targets humans, remember?” Russell raised the shotgun to his shoulder, “I don’t know, should we let it be?”

Just then, the Doberman’s ears twitched to the sound of his voice. The dog stopped; and quickly tilted its head, and looked directly at them.
“Well, it sees us,” Isaiah said.

“No, really?” Frankie replied.

The Doberman just twitched an ear to the side, and went back to huffing through the snow. Russell could not help but chuckle. “Freaking dogs.” He shook his head.

Frankie looked over at him, lowering his pistol. “Got to love em’.”

Russell blew into the cold air. “Yeah? You have one before the outbreak?” Isaiah copied Frankie, dropping the pistol down by his side as he watched the dog scurrying around.

Frankie shrugged. “Yes and no. There was a German Sheppard, but I got him during the outbreak. Damn good dog, he took out a zombie to save my life.”

“What happened after that?” Russell asked.

“A zombie bit his neck.” Frankie sighed. “I didn’t care that I was low on ammo, I put every last bullet I had in my AR in that creep.”

Isaiah gasped at Frankie’s answer. “You shot your dog?”

Frankie shook his head. “No... The zombie.” He said with disgust.

“So,” Isaiah said, clearing his throat. “Where to now?”

Russell paused for a second, listening to the cool wale of the constant wind. He thought. “Maybe... Maybe just take a different route home.”

Isaiah nodded. “Stop and see if we can find anyone else?”

“Even zombies aren’t stupid enough to be out in this crap,” Frankie asserted.

“He’s right. It feels like it’s ten below out here.” Russell said, leaning against the wall as he kept his shotgun on the Doberman, who was simply stirring through the snow as if a rodent underneath the cold layers was trying to evade his wretched teeth.

“Maybe it is,” Isaiah said.

Russell twitched, remembering the situation. “We need to stop shootin’ the breeze and move our butts.” He lowered the shotgun, and took a second to listen to few flaws in the ambience. Few flaws they were; the only sounds were the winds; and the Doberman, still wandering the street.

Frankie cracked open the can of beer, smelling the deep yellow-colored liquid inside. “This stuff smells like fresh pee...” He mumbled, moving the can up to his lips as he took a sip. Russell stepped out of the ruin, and looked around. “You know, I don’t know why I drink this stuff.”

“It’s good,” Russell said, “that’s why.” He noticed the Doberman stopping to keep an eye on him, and then it continued scavenging, or hunting whatever miscreant was under the snow. Frankie and Isaiah followed Russell close; patiently listening to the howl of the wind and the clish-closh of their feet pressing into the snow during each step. Some patches of the snow were frozen over enough, that they could walk with doing as little as partially indenting the iced-over surface, if they kept their feet light. “We taking that truck, you mentioned?”

“Engine won’t start. It turns over plenty, but I think the ignition’s messed up.” Frankie then rose up the can and took a gulp of beer.

“Frank, it’s a truck.” Russell shook his head.

“So? Still does not mean that some moron can come over and yank out the spark plugs and yet keep it working without them.”

“Where is this truck at, anyways?” Isaiah asked.

Frankie looked back, seeing that they had paced thirty-yards away from the skeletal liquor store already. “If that howling jerk was headed our way, we wouldn’t have enough time anyway. Chances are he's got himself a group.”

“Suppose that’s true.” Russell confided.

“Damn right it is,” Frankie smiled. He shook the can; the sour-tasting beer was still swirling inside, but he felt he had enough.

“Enough.” Isaiah said. “Stay focused, I don’t want Ravagers eating my hind end out here.” Frankie tossed the can into the snow.

Russell popped him in the shoulder. “Relax; they’re all probably sheltered in some big gymnasium, or something.”

“Hope you’re right.”

“Hey, Frank, you remember that time I got in a fight with the one outside Fort Grainer?”

“Fort Grainer...” Frankie muttered. “Yeah, the one with the M-16?”

“Yeah, that one.” Russell chuckled. “You should ‘a been there Isaiah, killed it with my bare hands...”

“I’m sure you did.”

“How long ago was that, a month, now?” Frankie asked.

“No, feels like a year. I’d say though it was probably Halloween though.”

“The irony.” Frankie chuckled.

“Hate to interrupt;” Isaiah said, “but, what’s that?” He pointed his finger down the street.
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10/10 A great story. Very good descriptions within the story, and I love endings of stories like yours. It builds excitement to the next part. I guess this is based as a Past Apocalyptic book you're writing or just a zombie based one?


A laundress, newly moved to Charleston following the Civil War, found herself awakened at the stroke of twelve each night by the rumble of heavy wheels passing in the street. But she lived on a dead end street, and had no explanation for the noise. Her husband would not allow her to look out the window when she heard the sounds, telling her to leave well enough alone. Finally, she asked the woman who washed at the tub next to hers. The woman said: "What you are hearing is the Army of the Dead. They are Confederate soldiers who died in hospital without knowing that the war was over. Each night, they rise from their graves and go to reinforce Lee in Virginia to strengthen the weakened Southern forces."

The next night, the laundress slipped out of bed to watch the Army of the Dead pass. She stood spell-bound by the window as a gray fog rolled passed. Within the fog, she could see the shapes of horses, and could hear gruff human voices and the rumble of canons being dragged through the street, followed by the sound of marching feet. Foot soldiers, horsemen, ambulances, wagons and canons passed before her eyes, all shrouded in gray. After what seemed like hours, she heard a far off bugle blast, and then silence.

When the laundress came out of her daze, she found one of her arms was paralyzed. She has never done a full days washing since.


There's a girl driving along I-70 on the way back to Colorado after visiting her relatives in Illinois. It's about 1:00 am and it starts raining when she realizes she's almost out of gas. She sees a sign for a gas station about 3 miles ahead and breaths a sigh of relief. But when she gets there she sees it's one of those old run down family-owned gas stations. She's scared to stop but she really has no other choice. As she pulls in an old man with a disfigured faces comes running through the rain. He puts the pump in the tank and asks for her credit card. She hands it to him over the top of the window and he runs back inside.
After a few seconds he comes back out and tells the girl she will have to come inside, her card has been denied. Reluctantly, she walks inside. The old man grabs her and tries to tell her something but she hits him with a can of oil sitting on the counter. She runs back to her car and takes off with the old man screaming and flailing his arms at her. After driving for a few miles she turns on the radio and starts to relax. As she looks in the rear-view mirror, she sees someone pop up in the back seat holding an axe above their head. It's the last thing she ever sees. Apparently, the old man at the gas station was trying to warn her.
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The Age Of Darkness

As if the world itself new what was coming a cold breeze swept across the ground. Suddenly, it happened, utter darkness. The last of the sun's light had reached the all too knowing planet. Citizens who had stood by in awe just minutes before now erupted into panic. Looters filled the streets, lights blared to their full capacity. The world was over, a new age had arrived. The Age Of Darkness. Police tried the bestcthey could but nothing could stop the endless waves of people from doing whatever pleased them at the moment. Bullets littered the streets as people killed each other over nothing.

*Top secret government base*
Location: Classified
Date: Classified
Time: Classified
Mission: Classified

"Attention!" yelled a commanding man in black. "We must bot forget why we are here!"
"Umm..." began a nervous looking man "why are we here sir?"
"We are here to make sure all of out planets species do not obliterate each other in a trivial fight for survival." stated the man in black. At this point a roar of approval, disapproval, and general chaos erupts. Guards nervously look at each other realizing that they can't hold the mass of all the world dignitaries at bay if they riot.
"Enough!" yells a women dressed from head to toe in scarlet. "We have a plan."
"Oh yeah!" yells a voice from the crowd. "Does it involve saving you and your families!" Once again chaos over takes the crowd.
"No!" yells the man in black. "Just because we are government officials gives us no more right to escape than the regular everyday citizens. We will save only a two. Two randomly selected citizens. Ones who have no say in the matter. And neither do you." Rage from all now comes forth and guards must physically restrain many.
"They are not fully of our species" the woman in scarlet begins "they have been beneficent engineered by our top scientists to withstand the climate of a new planet we will send them to. Now we unveil the planets cordinates. We will be sending the new species members, named Adam and Eve to..." The man and black and the woman in scarlet raise their fourth arms in sync, "...planet Earth." They finish together.

(This is my first real story, but please rate as you would anyone roses so I know what to work on!)



I don't judge stories by length, and I'll make no exception here. However, it seems that everything happens suddenly and without much provocation. Again, I'm not telling you just to make the story longer, but try to add some background into that. It will make more sense to the reader and make a better story. Also, the "Top secret government base" part is cumbersome and doesn't offer much to the story. Basically, my advice is to cut that part and expand the rest.


I got this idea from the old RP the office.

Just Another Day at the Office
Its Fred’s first day at the office. He arrives at the offices finding people sun tanning in the parking lot. Puzzled Fred gets out of the car and walks to the building to get tripped by someone, as he get up the guy sun tanning says “Sooooo you’re the new guy” Fred replied “I guess so but why is everyone laying in the parking lot?” “You will learn later on” said the guy “but anyways my name Tim, what yours?” Fred told him his name then carried on into the building. He entered and got in the elevator, just as the elevator doors where closing a man with sun block lathered all over him put his hand there before it closed and got in. Fred feeling kinda weird with the elevator music and the sun block guy he decided to might as well learn about what going on and why are people sun tanning in the parking lot. So he asked the guy why is everyone sun tanning in the parking lot. “What are you new? It’s tradition here! Oh ya, you’re the new guy in the office next to me! Nice to meet you my name’s Will. What’s yours?” Fred told him his name and said he was glad to meet him. Finally the awkward moment ended when Will got off the elevator to his floor and saw him start talking to another co-worker as the elevator closed. He stood there listening to the elevator music then it was his floor and got off the elevator he went to his office and started to work on some papers when a women with a serious face shoved the guy in front of her out of the way and went to the office next to him and started typing away at her computer. Fred thought he would say hi so he did. The women turned and Fred saw the anger in her face. But the women said hi back. “What’s your name?” asked Fred. She turned and said “Listen, I don’t have time for this but I’ll tell you my name, my name is Amber.” “That’s a nice name. I’ll let you go back to your work, See you later.” Amber just glanced at Fred and walked away. After she left the guy with the sun block named Will came over and said “She is very serious about her job.” “I noticed.” said Fred. “Anyways here at the office we have a way of you newcomers to become a real member of the office.” said Will. “How?” asked Fred. “You have to pull a prank on the boss.” said Will “Ok, so if I do this I’m in your ‘group’?”asked Fred “Yeah but it has to be taped on video.” said Will Fred agreed then went back to work. Later Fred’s lips got dry and went to go get a drink. As he was getting a drink of water a golf ball came flying thought the window and hit him in the thigh. Will came running to him and helped him up. “They just had to put the building right next to the country club.” Fred moaned but got up and brushed himself off. He looked out the window to see some puzzled golfers and the janitor chasing the lawn mower with a baseball bat. He looked away then looked back to see the lawn mower and the janitor going in circles and decided to go help him. So he went down to the lobby and ran out the door to the tool shed and grabbed a bat and started beating the lawn mower with the janitor. Finally the mower stopped and the janitor said thank you as Fred turned to go back to the building. He walked to the building and back to his office to find a few people fixing the window. He then started typing and looked on the internet for ideas on pranks. He finds one where you take his pens and glue the caps to them on them. He decides to do that. So he tells Will, “Hahaha, can’t wait till I see this on the video. Fred forgot about the video. “I don’t have a video camera.” “You could borrow mine.” says Will. So he takes the video camera and steals a few of the boss’s pens. He also grabs some glue and glues the caps on to the pens while taping it on the video camera. By the time he is done his boss walks out of his meeting and goes to sign some papers. Fred hides in the closet in his boss’s office with the door cracked and the video camera sticking out. The boss takes a pen and tries to open it. He keeps trying and trying when he gives up. He yells a few words then goes in the other room and comes out with a crowbar and starts to go at it with the pen. While Fred boss is having a mental breakdown Fred manages to slip out of the closet and into the hall. He goes to Will who is pretending to work, and gives him the tape of the prank. He slides the tape in to a old TV with a VCR and starts to watch. The two burst out laughing. The watch the video at least five times when they heard a bang at the door. Then their boss come bursting though the door with a crowbar and the pen screaming ‘WHO DID THIS?!?!?!” No one replied. But they forgot about the tape of Fred gluing the cap to the pen. The boss points at the TV and yells “WHAT IS THIS?!?!?” Will replies with a weak voice “I-It’s a video sir.” The boss screams back “THEN IF ITS SO FUNNY SHOW ME.” So Will rewound the tape and played it. The boss screamed Fred’s name and ripped off his shirt and started chasing Fred with the pen forgetting that he dropped his crowbar an chases him down to the lobby where terrified clients watched in horror as the boss tries to poke Fred with the pen. Then the boss and Fred give up. The boss just says “You know what? I lost enough pride today. YOU’RE FIRED.” So that was it. Fred’s first day and he manages to get fired. He goes out to the parking lot. And watches as the janitor is now chasing the lawn mower with the bat again but doesn’t help him. So he gets in his car and drives off the find another job to pay the rent.

By the way, its ment to be weird and random :p
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Willy the Fool

Luck of the West: Part One

On a hot California day, Wilson Donaldson was born. His Momma died giving child birth. His father, holding him in his arms. His Papa was a Trapper. His father hated the Southern Mercenaries because they would do anything for a buck. He grew up, learning how to barter very well. He dreamed of being a Prospector. But, a lot was ahead for this young lad. One day, his Father left town, whispers were about saying a band of Raiders killed him. Wilson left town to try to track his father down. Outside of town, he saw his Papa's dead body laying face first in the Desert sand. He had a Note clutched in his hands.

Son, if you find this I'm sorry. Your mother had a stash of over 50,000 Dollars at the small town of Goodsprings. I was making my way down towards the town of Goodsprings. I'm guessing I was ambushed by some Bandits. Son, go to Goodsprings. In the Saloon will be a man named Carlos Santiago he will help you find the money.

-Your Father.

Wilson felt a tear roll down his cheek. He hopped on his Donkey, and rode East, towards Nevada. On his way, he saw two bandits robbing a Rancher.

Bandit One: Hey, give me that money, or else Ill shoot you!
Bandit Two: Hey Joshua! We got a guy riding up here!
Wilson: Are you guys cowards? Fighting a unarmed Lady?
Bandit Two: Thats it wise guy!

Bandit Two charged at Wilson. Wilson graped his Pick, and hit the Bandit in the head. Killing him. His body lay on the Desert Floor, bleeding out. The other Bandit pulled out his gun, and shot Wilson in the arm.

Bandit One: Any last wor....

The young lady graped Wilson's pick, and hit the Bandit in the head. Giving him the same fate as his partner.

Lady: Come on now, lets get you to the Ranch.

----------------------------------Part Two Tomorrow------------------------------------


About the story above. 8/10 good action and pre-story line and plot. To improve: Add a little more detail.
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Lord Regal

Well-Known Member
I'd give the above a 4/10. You have a clearly defined setting, and your idea is sound...however, it's difficult to see what that idea is, exactly. You kind of jump around, and have random happenings throughout the story. To fix this, I'd recommend focusing on one area at a time, and slowly advance the plot.


Now, this story came from my RP thread Lost Legends. I'm looking for any sort of criticism or compliments on the style of it. It's intended to be a folklore tale...almost of a mythical variety. Think any of the stories from Patrick Rothfuss' "Kingkiller Chronicles", or any other book that has mythical stories in it. That's the style I tried to replicate here:

Lord Regal said:
Ages and ages ago, Soria was a much simpler place. There was no Capital, or if there was, it was not known by that name. The people were scattered, and many were distrul of one another. Other nations raided the towns near the borders frequently, and although the Sorians of that time had animals, they did not know how to fight. Now, one young boy by the name of Lardan lived in one of these towns that the raiders frequented. He became angry...angry at the fate of his town to be raided, and that no one would help the town. He vowed to change things when he turned eighteen.

Now in the due course of time Lardan was sent out to find his animal partner. His parents wanted him to find an animal that suited him, as has been the tradition, but Lardan knew he must have a Great Beast in order to unite the land. Great Beasts, of course, were what Legends were called in that time. Lardan traveled over most of Soria before finally dropped of exhaustion, near death. He cursed his ill fortune, that even though he had the noblest of purposes, he could not find a Beast. It was then that a dragon came upon him. Hearing his plight, the dragon was moved, and it brought him to a place high in the mountains. There was a valley of a sort in the center, and this was where the Great Beasts met to discuss events throughout Soria, for they were all wise and knew the ways of the world. When the dragon bearing Lardan reached this valley, it told all what it had heard. A pegasus was then asked to heal the boy, which it did. Lardan then was asked to relate the events that had brought him here. When the Beasts heard his tale, they were very moved and pledged to help Lardan unite Soria, for they too believed it was the only chance the land had to survive. The dragon that had first met Lardan bonded with the boy in order to better assist him. It then told him that all of the Beasts had power over two different things...and the eldest of them had three powers at their command. United, Lardan, his dragon, and the Beasts swarmed across Soria.

The people in each village and nomadic tribe were understandably terrified when a Great Beast appeared before them, but they pledged their strength to the cause as the Beast explained the situation. When all of Soria had been united, together they drove out the raiding parties and bandits who had infested their land, with Lardan and his dragon at the head. When the work was done, the people and Beasts held a conference. It was decided that in order to prevent such a complete invasion from occurring again, a great Capital would be erected in the center of Soria, from whence a king, elected by the people, would rule over and protect all of Soria. The work took a decade, but the great Capital and palace we have today was constructed. The people then voted Lardan their king, as he had led them wisely throughout the battles. He ruled until he was 100, then died peacefully. His dragon vanished shortly after the funeral, and was never seen again.

Over time, the Beasts became harder and harder to find, until they finally became the Legends we know them as today. The Valley of Meetings that we know of now lies empty of any animal, as if it is cursed. The king is no longer elected, but goes through a bloodline. Much has changed since then, but every word is true.


For your story. 10/10. Amazing had detail. Story plot. Everything a good story needs in my opinion .
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David Schofield

"A Distant Hail from Home"

Twenty-seven year old Captain Jack Carpenter walked down the pier, lugging the baggage for the weekend trip on his back. The brown leather suitcase was heavier than he had thought at first, with the rattles and bangs of the camera equipment inside making him worry that they would need to mark it fragile. The scent of the bitter Oceanic waves gave him enough strength to carry it, though he’d much prefer to take off the Mauna Loa shirt, but he didn’t have much choice, having used up the last of his opened sunscreen on his arms and legs. He knew he’d need his unopened bottle for the entire journey. “Why don’t you guys get off your butts and help me out here? I don’t pay you to sit around and drink up beer, do I?”

Carter rolled his eyes. “Whatever you say, chief.” He ran his finger through his untrimmed moustache, and lazily stood from his lawn-chair perch. He knocked James on the shoulder, urging him to put down his beer and get up. Roger had already gotten on his way back to the base of the pier and had grabbed a large crate of the crews’ own supplies that would serve as extra gear for the trip.

“We’ve got two more bags, if that’s ok.” Amanda smiled. “I guess all of your men will get to enjoy carrying them.”
“Yeah, thanks lady,” Carter said, brushing his hand across her skirt.

“Excuse me, why did you just touch my fiancée?” Jason asked.

Carter chuckled, “Got to wipe off the Cheetos somewhere.”

“What the hell’s wrong with you, Carter?” Jack said, setting the leather Camera bag down in the boat. “Cheeto powder’s the best thing about eating the damn things!”

“No, to me it’s not,” Carter mumbled. “Nothing’s worse than covering your fingers in spit right before you tug in a patron’s stuff.”

Roger hoisted the box into the boat, and dropped it down on one of the suitcases they had already loaded into the ship. Amanda gawked. “How unprofessional.”

James smiled. “Relax miss, aside from loading up things; we are the best crew on this side of the Pacific.”

“How is that, exactly?” Jason smirked.

“Well, we all been in a war,” Carter said, tugging a bag across the pier. “I served in the Navy with Jack and James during the Iraq war, Roger him self’s a Gulf War Vet.”

Jason shook his head, “I know that already.”

“Then why’d you ask?” James proceeded to lift up the final bag; it was a lightweight black nylon pouch. Nothing heavy seemed to be inside.

“I don’t know, to pass the time, I suppose. That should be the last of them.”

“Good,” Jack said. “You’re going to love this, let me tell you right now, you will get your money’s worth, I can promise you that. You got any concerns, just tell Roger. You got a growling stomach, just tell Roger.”

“He’s a damn good cook,” Carter added.

Jason nodded. “I’ll do that. When do we set sail?”

“Well, we’ve got a few things to work out before we go, make sure all safety inspections are in order, and got to make sure we’ve got enough fuel to make it all the way to American Samoa.”

“I like this yacht,” Amanda complemented. “How much was it?”

Jack chuckled. “Let me tell ya’, it wasn’t cheap. All four of us chipped in. Considering I live on it...”

“Yeah, it was expensive,” Carter muttered. “Fourth stateroom and double crew quarters.”

“Well, I guess you should have invited more friends along, sweetie.” Jason caressed Amanda’s waistline. She gave him an irritated look, and Jack seemed to notice.

“You two act like a married couple already.”

Jason shook his head, “I know, seems that way, doesn’t it?”
“Sure enough.” Jack looked down at his watch. “We’ve got about three hours, so I guess make yourself at home.”

James the Hunter

Cthulhu - A Story of Insanity

He calls.

It's like a dream really. The voices, the sounds, the images. So vivid and yet, so...unreal. Could it possibly be more? I've read the stories. Cthulhu, spawn of the stars. A creature invented by the storyteller H.P. Lovecraft. Priest of the Great Old Ones. Yet even though he is an entity sent by others, he is worshipped as if he was a messiah. He is pure evil, a creature of such ugliness he can and cannot be explained. His name alone cannot be truly pronounced the way it is supposed to, but yet they follow him. I follow him.

He dreams. He waits.

Underneath the ocean lies the city R'lyeh. Dead, but dreaming. How can this be? Is it true? That is not dead can eternal lie, and with straner aeons even death may die. Yes. He is immortal. But yet...dead. It does not make sense! It never has. Why would it now? This has been a game from the start. I've studied him, researched, yet the answer cannot be found! He's no work of fiction I assure you. He is real. He calls.

A monster. A creature that looks human, but has the wings and claws of a dragon, and the head of an octopus. He is the world's ultimate evil. Yet he has his followers. The Cult of Cthulhu. Worship. I've seen them. Heard the chants. Even I could barely stomach it! The fear, the cold sweat, the chills up my spine. I could feel them then, and I feel them now. They haunt me. Yet I still follow his call.

He hears all, knows all. He can see your dreams, make you hear the dreaded call. Such is his way. He creeps into your thoughts, controls you as if you were a doll to be played with. Yet we don't resist. He is the mighty Cthulhu. He is always here. Under the sea, he dreams and he waits. He calls out. He shall rise and when he does, all that you know and love will be gone. But I will not care. He called me. I answered. My life is meaningless, I am only but flesh and bone. But he is more. He calls.

The Call of Cthulhu. He sleeps, dead, in the city of R'lyeh. He waits. He dreams. Cthulhu calls. Spawn of the stars, priest of the Old Ones. Evil. He hunts you. All nightmare long he is there. The thing that should not be. But he is. He calls me. That great call.

The Call of Cthulhu.

Short story I've been working on. Ideas and creation inspired by the stories of Lovecraft. All rights belong to him.


"Cthulhu" 6/10
A touch too brief, I couldn't really understand if the narrator is truly falling to insanity. Also there was a bit of recycling concerning the lines in relation to Lovecraft's story. I understand that that is roughly what a Cthulhu follower says and thinks, couldn't there be a spin to it though?

"A Distant Hail From Home" 6/10
For some reason I found the characters appealing. I couldn't really figure out how to connect the dots, so to speak, in understanding this story. I do suspect the title has a lot to do with it though.


"Cthulhu" 6/10

Like an extract of Finnegan's wake you know what is going on but you can't actually fit together the whole picture into something that resembles anything. Good writing style though. Don't think it'd be good enough to win a short story compition(I know I've spelt it wrong) sorry.


Hi all. I've been reading your stories and enjoying many of them (tho i am a bit hesitant to criticize at this point since I have no background in this sub-forum) This is one of my older short stories (2-3 years back) and it was written for my Literature class in college. Please feel free to be brutal I am quite used to that by now lol :D Hope at least some of you find it enjoyable ;)

The Pregnant Sun

The desert was a blast furnace that day. A lonesome figure was stumbling over the windswept dunes. The ground sizzled and cracked beneath his feet. Nothing moved because, here, nothing lived. The cause of all this hell was up, high up on the horizon. Looming arrogantly, the pregnant, blue sun was moving across the sky. It was a monster of his creation and sometimes he felt that it ascended each morning just to mock him. It was in a slow decline now, and he could only hope that it would soon set. He looked upon it and shrieked a cacophony of sounds that seemed to spring up from thousand suffering throats. Then he fell on his knees. A whisper escaped his lips: “You ! I am dying so you could live.”


“What we are about to do is constitutes a deathtrap,” Jay said on the day they decided on their course of action. They were huddling in an empty storage unit. There were five of them, all renegade scientists and all traitors to the cause. The game plan was laid and the only thing left was to decide upon a victim.
“I don’t have to remind you that everything depends upon the one we choose,” Jay continued.
“Don’t drag this out needlessly,” said Esther, a shadow of a woman. She was nearing her seventies and was scarce with time so she always cut to the chase. She was like that even in youth, but at the end it did her no good. You couldn’t hoard time and then deposit it. Time was the ultimate consumer. “We’ve already made our decision, no need for voting. It would only postpone the inevitable.” They turned and faced Michael as a unit, all except Jay. He couldn’t bear to look him in the eyes.
“You set out tomorrow at sundown. You won’t be able to see properly but blindness is preferable to scorching heat. Anyway, you’ll learn that soon enough,” said old Katzumy, who hasn’t seen daylight in 15 years. This sun would burn his albino skin to ashes within a minute.
“I’ll accompany you until we’re out of the facility. We’ll fake an early inspection of the water basins. You know that a crucial thing here is to keep calm. The soldiers must not suspect. If they do, we die on the spot. Once out, you’ll head towards The Dome.”
“Michael, you know that no one ever crossed that distance on foot,” said Esther. “That has never even been attempted before. But you must. And you must succeed.” She placed her hand on his shoulder where it gave the slightest quiver. Esther was afraid. He has never seen her scared before. He decided that fear did not suit her. Taking her hand off his shoulder, he turned his back on his jury and walked away.


He sat on his bed, thinking. He knew why they had chosen him and it made sense. He was the youngest and the fittest and therefore best-suited for this nightmare. He was the only one with even the slightest chance to see this through. He knew that and so did they, and he hated them for that. But also, he knew that he’ll do it. After all, he masterminded the whole thing and he knew best what was at stake. He looked at his wife. She was lost in her peaceful dreams and he dared not disturb them. His hand involuntarily reached for her but he managed to stay it. But he could not win the war he was fighting with that invisible hand that was crushing his windpipe and causing him to choke. He ran out of his living quarters and collapsed on the floor outside of the door. He’ll tell Jay to explain everything to her after he’s gone. His father will know what to do.


Michael was still dazed. He couldn’t get her last words out of his head. They were still ringing in his head.
“When you come back you’ll help me decorate the nursery. You’re going to get a son,” she said. Then the door slammed shut.
Here he was now, hours later, dressed as a sea diver and nowhere a drop of water in sight. This suit was supposed to protect him from the great oscillations in temperature, but he didn’t feel protected in it. He felt smothered. Katzumy left a few minutes ago, disappearing in one of the supply shafts. Michael felt more alone than ever. He wanted to go back, he had to go back. He wanted to be with his wife and son when… When what? If he stopped now they would all die, anyway. If he continued at least his son had a chance. He started forward. Then he turned back. Then he started forward again. Then he just slumped down on the sand. His tormented mind produced an image for him. He was not older than five. He sat with his mother at the shore of a lake. They were throwing pebbles in the water, with him trying to make her see the physical laws behind the ripples in the water. His mother just smiled at him and kissed him the forehead. It was the place in the world where he felt the most protected. He wanted that for his son. Michael drew himself up and started walking.

He walked and walked and walked. He walked for so long that the numbness of his legs was slowly making way to greet the queen of all sensations, agony. He forced himself to move on, trying to ignore the throbbing pain. They couldn’t let them do it, not again. Decades ago the monster above him was dying having reached the end of its natural existence. He, a prodigy of a child, was called in by the government along with other prominent scientists to help devise a plan, the means of stopping the permanent ice age. He was 14 at the time. And they did it. A great dome was built in Alaska to gather highly concentrated hydrogen. They were going to give a shot to the sun, making it fell all better. For several days after the launch, the streets were filled with joyous, singing crowds. Soon those crowds turned into angry mobs. The sun was relentless. It kept growing and boiling until it was impossible to walk the streets without getting second degree burns. Then the entire civilization came crashing down around their ears. Many died and many more were killed. Today, there are only few permanently inhabited places, the facility being one of them.
And now those military morons were doing it again. Putting the wrongs right, they called it and allowed no dispute. Michael saw the calculations, and saw that they were wrong. Another thing he saw was doctor Muztagh shot in the head when he decided to voice his opinion.
This was the only way, Michael knew. He did not know the name of the game Gen. Holtzmann was playing nor did he care. He knew one thing and that was that the General would not listen to sense.
He could see The Dome now, at least he hoped so. He prayed to God that it wasn’t a hallucination. He didn’t know how much more he could take. Then he thought of the pebbles and children’s laughter and marched on.


Once a great fuel collector, The Dome now housed and accumulated TCT gas, a highly volatile compound that was supposed to rid the sun of some of its hydrogen. Michael knew that it would, in fact, consume all of the hydrogen, turning the Sun into a small desolate ball of dust.
“A fitting end, considering,” was an imposing thought. He shook it off. He had a quest to complete. He was standing in front of The Dome. The huge steel shutters were closed, preventing the particles of dust to wreck havoc inside. Michael knew that one strayed impurity within The Dome would cause TCT to lump together, producing a useless heap of garbage. He could no longer walk so he dragged himself towards the palm scanner on the outside control board. Leaning against the wall, Michael surveyed the surroundings. Massive black clouds were already rushing towards him. At least the storm was on time, just as they predicted. He knew that storms like this one ripped the flesh from the bones in small stripes. He thought of his little boy to be and smiled at an image of him swimming in the sea. This hell could not last forever. The newest reports confirmed that the sun was already losing its sharp teeth. Perhaps the paradise won’t last forever but maybe it will last long enough. He pressed his palm on the scanner and the shutters flew open. Before the brunt of the storm hit him he could swear that he heard the sound of water rushing by.
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Lord Regal

Well-Known Member
7/10 is what I'd give this. I really liked the plot, but two things bothered me. I liked how I didn't know what was happening at the beginning, as it made me want to read more. However, you don't figure out what the whole situation is until 3/4 of the way through. That's a bit late in my opinion. I also thought that you seem to have trouble determining where details should be added. For example, paragraph two...it adds depth to the story, but it also creates some needless facts. I though Ester was going to become a major character, whereas in reality she vanishes. The final paragraph, on the other hand, contains pretty much all the action in the whole story. A lot is left unanswered. For example, Michael was heading to the Dome to essentially turn off the sun (or at least diminish it.) However, you never hear if he did that, and all of a sudden there are news reports that say that the sun is dimming...and then the storm. I wanted to know what made this storm so different from what we know as a storm, making it so deadly.

Overall, I liked the idea, and the overall plot was good. I just think it lacked punch in its delivery.

(Btw, welcome to the section :) )
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