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Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES

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2020 has been one huge dumpster fire, so in the spirit of the ending of the world, I present to you our Halloween writing contest for 2020!

 

Our theme: THE END OF THE WORLD


This year, your story should be about anything involving a post-apocalyptic world. It could be virus or pandemic related. It could be a zombie invasion. It could be nuclear war. It can really be anything as long as the world ends! 

 

PLEASE ONLY POST STORY ENTRIES IN THIS THREAD. Any discussion can be held in the discussion thread found here

 

Due date:

 

October 31st 2020

 

Prizes:

 

$100 to 1st place

$50 to 2nd place

$25 to 3rd place

 

Judges:

As of right now, just me, but I am looking for two more, so that we have a tiebreaker. I’ll post once the 3 judges are finalized. I wanted to go ahead and start the thread though so that you guys have time to write. THAT SAID-----Please write!

I absolutely play fair. So if I’ve ever banned you before, write anyway. If we hate each other’s guts, write anyway. Don’t skip out on the contest because you have a ban record or have had a thread deleted. Please write! I’ll read it!

 

Rules/Info:

 

Submit multiple pieces or just a single piece. While I don't necessarily mind multiple pieces, it would be nice to see the effort and time put into a single work instead.

 

Please write original pieces. While I wouldn't really know that you pulled up an old piece of writing you made years ago it does kind of defeat the purpose of the competitions. (To write!) If I find it posted on the internet anywhere else I will assume that it is plagiarized and it won't be entered into the competition.

 

Short story format only please. The last couple of years I've also allowed poems, but we find out that no matter how well written a poem is it never places against a well written short story.

 

Other than that no word count or topic limitations. Just make it end of the world related!

 

Other:

 

It's a good idea to write in your preferred program and then copy/paste into notepad to get rid of some of the weird formatting between Word and newgrounds that can happen. Whenever I post I write in word, copy/paste into notepad, then copy/paste into an old newgrounds blog page to make sure the format look good before posting.

 

Try to keep your story posted together. It just makes for smoother reading. If you see someone else posting their story please wait until they've finished.

 

If your story will be multiple posts it's not a bad idea to write "continued on next post" or something similar to help judges and other people who are posting stories stay organized.

 

Don't comment in this thread unless you are posting your story. Please comment in the discussion thread posted here and on the top of the page.

 

This is something I talked about with @fro a lot this summer, so I stole these rules from his thread last year. He’s taking a well-deserved break---but just know he is the original Halloween writing contest fella!


In the spirit of the apocalypse, here is my favorite apocalypse artwork, by the one and only @Deathink

iu_167772_1414829.jpg


| It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose|||Love belongs to Desire, and Desire is always cruel.||||

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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-13 22:29:09


@TomFulp if there's any way you could pin this thread and the contest discussion thread at the top of the writing forum, I'd appreciate it.


If you'd be willing to give the contest a shout out in your upcoming front page posts/any Halloween related posts, that's appreciated too.


There are money prizes! Everyone loves money!!!!


@TheTankTribune if you could manage a shout out as well, I'd owe you 5 cookies at least.


| It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose|||Love belongs to Desire, and Desire is always cruel.||||

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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-14 09:05:06


At 9/13/20 10:29 PM, SevenSeize4President wrote: @TomFulp if there's any way you could pin this thread and the contest discussion thread at the top of the writing forum, I'd appreciate it.


Stickied and up on the calendar now!


Working on Nightmare Cops!

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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-15 12:16:56


<3<3<3


"A reward is it's own reward." - Killgar

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-15 17:21:27


                                    Promised Land

We were promised the world. What a bullshit promise to believe in.

---

“I’m not gonna start at the beginning, because you already know how that shit went down. I’m also not gonna bother telling you what my life was like before everything got fucked up. I mean, who cares, right? Besides, I don’t like to remember it anymore. Just makes me angry as shit. FUCK!”

She swings the rusted blade through the air, furious at the invisible enemy standing ahead of us as we both keep trudging forward. I don’t flinch. This behavior is expected these days. On edge. Sharply on edge.

I don’t know her full name, and she didn’t care to ask mine when we ran into one another a few hours ago. B, she said, and that’s all you need to know. I figure I’ll tell her my name eventually, if we make it far enough.

B huffs before continuing to speak, “Why do you care about this shit anyway?”

“I just think talking makes the journey go quicker.”

“I told you exactly how long it’s gonna take to get there… if it’s even still there.”

“Okay, then it makes time feel like it’s going faster.”

“Not for me.”

“Alright then, I’ll stop asking personal questions.”

“You can just shut up in general.”

I’m beginning to reconsider tagging along, but my stomach gurgles and reminds me how necessary the journey is. I don’t know how exactly to get to the settlement B had mentioned when we met. I had been digging through the rubble of an old convenience store, trying to find something to eat, when she almost shot me. Jesus Christ, I thought you were a feral. Yeah I know I’m not a fucking supermodel, but I’m not that ugly, either. While I didn’t find any food, we both managed to scrounge up some scrap metal. It was then that B told me of Promised Land, a settlement about three days of walking to the north, where we could trade for some food. I hadn’t had much luck scavenging lately, so I asked her to show me how to get there.

“Alright fine, now you’re being too quiet.”

I laugh. “Okay, what do you want me to say?”

“Nothing in particular, just don’t ask me about myself. And don’t talk about before.

“Deal.”

I tell her about the raiders that I had spotted a few miles southwest of the convenience store. A few days earlier, I had tried my luck in an office building, hoping that some vending machines might be untouched. It was one of the few larger buildings in the area that hadn’t blown to bits, as it fell just outside the blast radius. I had made my way up the building, sweeping each floor and hopeful I’d find something to keep me going another day or two. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a single damn vending machine in the entire building. On the top floor, there was a massive corner office, and even though I doubted there’d be any food in there – those asshole CEOs usually just went out for lunch every day at some fancy fucking bistro or whatever – I at least wanted to amuse myself by sitting in there and pretending to run my own imaginary company. Upon opening the door, I found the asshole CEO still inside. He was dead, obviously, with a revolver still clutched in his hand as his lifeless body slumped over onto the desk he probably used to fuck his secretary on. I moved him out of the way so I could sit in his leather chair. I leaned back. That’s when I spotted it. A half-empty decanter of scotch. I chuckled gleefully, nearly forgetting what a terrible idea it would be to drink it on an empty stomach. Even before all this shit went down, I’d never gotten the chance to try the really good shit. I was an office drone, not-

“Quit the before talk and get to the point.”

“Right, sorry.” I continue, “So I took a small sip. Just to taste, y’know? And holy shit you’ll never guess what it was?”

“Piss?”

“Very funny. Nah, haha, it was cheap vodka with like food coloring in it or something. I ended up looking through the books in the CFO’s office next door and apparently the company had just gone under like a week before, well… you know…”

“Vodka?”

“Yeah, the cheap shit. They were probably trying to keep up appearances for investors or whatever. You want a sip?” I take a bottle out of my bag and hand it to her. “I cleaned this thing out pretty good and only spilled a tiny bit of the booze while pouring it into here.”

“Why didn’t you keep that fancy-ass decanter?” She takes a swig and smiles a bit. The first smile I’ve seen stretch across her face. She hands me back the bottle and I take a small sip before placing it back in my bag.

“I did, but I didn’t want the vodka leaking out. This shit’s apocalypse gold.”

“Sure as hell is.” She laughs a bit. The vodka has lifted her spirits considerably… but I’m still not gonna bother her with any personal questions while she’s still holding that machete.

“When we get there, let’s have a toast.”

“Sounds good to me.”

The sun dips down over the ravaged horizon, and I feel content for the briefest of moments as we walk onwards towards an otherwise uncertain future.


Just another nobody trying hard to be a somebody.

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-16 09:14:05


Heck yeah Seven! This sounds awesome! I may contribute to this and if it looks like you’ll need a judge still, let me know and I’ll help with that instead!


You need a voice? I got plenty for ya! :D

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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-16 14:42:12


Her eyes stare blankly ahead.


It's best not to look around much. Put it all behind you. Everything worth having you already have. Holding on to what was will hold you back.


The straps hold her tight to the chair, and her neck couldn't have swiveled to take a look around even if she wanted to.


 Kepler-452b.


That's all she knew. Kepler-452b.


Don't think about your mother. Don't think about Kevin. Don't think about Bobby. Don't think. Don't.


She didn't know how much time passed as the stars drifted around. A minute, a day, an hour? They'd warned her time was flexible. They warned her that was part of the plan. "They." They were all dead, now. There wasn't time for explanation. They said it was all relative.


Relatives. Like her mom. Like Kev. Like Bobby.


DON'T THINK. STOP THINKING. NOTHING HAPPENS NOW. LET THE NOTHING HAPPEN.


It felt like night. It gets cold at night, and it was very cold. That is what she told herself. The needles, cannulas, and catheters were a part of her now. She couldn't feel them. She couldn't feel anything, like the cold night itself.


Choose not to move. These straps will hold you whether you fight them or not.


She'd done nothing wrong. It was so unfair, when they dragged her in front of the council. No one was okay with this, it was against all the rules, yet it happened anyways.


A ring of crusted blood formed around the perimeter of the needle.


GODDAMNIT CAROLINE PARKER, GET YOUR HEAD TOGETHER!!!!


How was she not supposed to be mad? She had a right. She'd lost so much.


When they came to lock her up, they said it was for her own good. She'd seen the fires, the riots, but she survived, keeping her head down, acting like nothing was wrong. It was all so stupid and wasteful, she didn't want to be involved. She'd kept the faith, like a fool.


She must have spent a year locked in that cell, only allowed to contact the outside world through a computer screen. No trial, no crime, her food sterilized and pumped through a spigot in the wall, without the dignity of a tray slid under the door. There might not even BE a door. They told her they were worried about her mental stability. HER MENTAL STABILITY. Police were dropping napalm on kindergartens, but SHE WAS MENTALLY UNSTABLE.


Clench your jaw. Don't scream. You'll deafen yourself screaming in this coffin.


They never told her they were limiting what she could see. They just put something bitter in the stuff they were feeding her and one by one, the websites quit working.


The reality she knew was crazier than her blank expression.


It was an automated message. There was no one alive left to give it. There was a lot of math, but the gist of it was physics, propulsion, and a little golden congratulations text that she'd be traveling faster than any human ever had.


Distance is velocity multiplied by time, in the same way E=MC^2. Mass is energy. Time is space. It's all Relative.


Kepler452b.


The destination. Because there was nothing left of the other place. You know, "earth."


Fertilized frozen embryos sat in row after row behind her, each one with a tiny pink or blue light. Not her babies, but babies all the same.


Occasionally a buzzer would sound, a warning that one of the predictions had gone wrong, and the course was correcting itself.


She wasn't crazy. She was on a spaceship to Kepler452b. She was the last uninfected human from a plague that not only wiped out the human race, but every form of life right down to the lichens growing in Antarctica. They said it was a mutated virus brought in from an asteroid. The closer she got, the more corrections came: the planet was smaller than predicted, which was good. It wasn't supposed to be earth. She blinked when she saw the global images. The continents and oceans were eerily familiar. Maybe she was insane. She counted the rocks from the sun. The destination planet was the third rock from what turned out to be a single star after all.


More buzzers rang.


You know, like she could do something about that.


The crazy started to set in. Surely this is a nightmare. I'll wake up. I'll wake up and little Bobby will jump on my lap and Kev will give me one of those sweet good-morning kisses and we'll pull the covers wrapped around me off....


But when her eyes opened, the blankets turned into straps, and the little blue blob had doubled in size.


Why is there a continent that looks like Australia on Kepler452b?


Or a frozen content to the south? Or...


That's Africa. Nothing looks like Africa but Africa. And South America.


She blinked, hard. If her arms weren't strapped to her chair and jacked full of needles, she'd be rubbing her knuckles into her eyes in disbelief.


Relativity, they said. Infinite monkeys, infinite typewriters, infinite time... but this ain't Shakespeare.


Alarms she'd been learning to ignore for an eternity were throwing a rave in the control surfaces around her.


Hitting the atmosphere was like getting slapped by the Hand of God.


It got hot quick after that.


The controls said the landing gear had melted off. Some of the disco lights went dark. Her breath became stifling.


Half the embryo lights had gone dark when the ship exploded. She found herself floating from a chair, the hope for rebuilding now molten slag slamming into the ocean. The needles retracted from her flesh like cat's claws, but not before injecting her with a powerful dose of amphetamines.


She watched a metric ton of molten slag crash into the ocean under her feet, still miles from the shore, her parachute slowly guiding itself to the shore like a paramotor wing. Now that she could reach around, she found the release button, only to realize it was jammed.


DON'T THINK. YOU'LL GO INSANE IF YOU THINK.


She had plenty of time dangling from the strings in her chair to get bored, still powered by that frantic injected amphetamine energy.

Time multiplied by velocity is distance, and sure enough the distance closed meter by meter, between her and shore, and between her and the water. It was a race to a terminal collision, one way or another.


The water was winning.


It was when the polystyrene pellets filling the buoyancy tanks keeping her chair afloat starting drifting off into the waves that she began to worry.


And sink.


Still, she waited right until the water was up to her neck to start frantically banging on the the seatbelt release. She ran her hands across her armrests in frustration before she felt the handle of the emergency strap knife. She could have been carried to the shore by the tide, but no, those bastards had to betray her at every turn, didn't they?


She slashed the straps from her arms, wearing nothing now but the same shorts and t-shirt she was stuck wearing all those months locked in the hole. Her ejection seat sank beneath the waves as if it had never existed at all.


Maybe it never did.


She swam until she was exhausted, and with the amphetamines coursing through her veins that was ten long hours. She felt the waves drag her across the sand.


"OI!" screamed the first unfiltered voice she'd heard in what felt like years.


"OI!!! ARE YOU OLRIGHT?! OI!!!"


Kepler452b apparently was populated by beings that spoke modern english. But maybe it didn't.


She coughed. They won't believe you. Everyone thinks you're insane. Keep your mouth shut.


Salty seawater and phlegm gushed from her stomach as she wretched into the balmy sand.


"OI!" The inhabitant of Kepler452b ran on what for all purposes seems to be human legs, with human feet, shod with brand name human shoes. He waved his arms, gathering others to surround her.


"You okay miss? Looks like you nearly drowned! Somebody get this woman a towel! YOU THERE!!! CALL TRIPLE 0!"


Caroline coughed again, a speck of blood landing in her palm as the amphetamines wore off.


Just like the blood coughed up by the people wiped out on Earth.


She collapsed.


She woke up in a hospital bed, an oddly familiar squat nurse with a bad skin complexion standing over her. Looks like my mother....


Her name badge says Caroline Parker. My name. But she looks 20 years older than me....


The nurse pulls the trigger without looking.


Me playing accordion and singing, even though I'm totally a drummer.

HATE.

Because how else do you explain 1.2 million years of perpetual war?

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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-18 23:32:05


The Call Center at the End of Time REDUX - A REDONE short story about the heat death of the universe, based off of my emotional experiences in quarantine.


REDONE PREFACE - Impostor syndrome is a bitch.


It has been roughly Seven Weeks, Three days, Ten Hours, And Ten minutes since the last hint of any thermokinetic energy went inert in the cosmos.


Correction ; Eleven Minutes.


The last vestiges of all life in the universe, Sapient, Or otherwise vegetative, Exists on Pathos. I don't know the exact date when Pathos was made, It's not important to me right now. Nobody asks me that. Instead, What they ask me, When they call me, is a multitude of things. Mainly how to repair something. Most of the time, I'm the IT Guy. And whenever I play that role, I have one question myself, that ends up branching off into several more. Everyone on Pathos is among the most intelligent of their species, So why can't they troubleshoot their own supercomputers? What happened to automation? Was I born far after we decided that automating anything was too risky? Did it need too much energy? That doesn't matter either. I do like my job though, Despite the fact that it takes up an entire half of my already cramped house with the Cubicle I need to sit in when I'm not on break. Because there's one kind of call I love taking.


"Hey, So I've been feeling really down recently..."


And I listen. I play swivel-chair therapist. Whatever problems they have on the other end, They end up working out on their own, It's not in my payroll to respond in any meaningful way. But it's a strange, Schadenfreude sense of enjoyment I get. That the other person is having a bad time too. It's nice.I find it strange that nobody on the top-crust layers of Pathos don't call each other, Or at least, Seem to on the job. Counterintuitive, I suppose. Here's the thing, I get a lot of calls from the lower layers, Closer to the Core. The Core, Where all the energy in Pathos is generated, And those who have the privilege of living there are deemed the luckiest, because anyone to lay eyes on what the Core is like, Describe it as one thing, and one thing only. Heaven. Nobody has any other word to describe it other than that. I fail to buy it.


I don't buy it, Because I get calls from residents of the Core of Pathos itself at least 3 times a year.


So even those who live in Heaven itself are disillusioned. Heaven Itself is Hell for some. This isn't to say that the whole of Pathos is any better, No matter what species, Human or otherwise, You have a very decent chance of dying. It doesn't matter what precedes it, A friend, a family member, your loved one, Sometimes even your child, Something terrible will befall you, Be they the worst crimes imaginable short of murder, And then they will take their lives with yours. The final violation of a world manufactured to remain unviolated even when all time grinds to a halt. It doesn't matter what time of day it occurs, Where it occurs, Who it occurs to, You will hear of such a thing. It is a trend, and it is a trend among those who believe one of three things about the ultimate purpose of Pathos. Because Pathos was made. It wasn't a place we found, We made Pathos, all of us here, or all of our ancestors, at least.


Pathos was made to survive the Heat Death of the universe itself, And it has happened.

So all that's left, Is for us to wait. Waiting for what, depends on what that one of three things you believe, You either believe that the universe will kickstart itself, And when the heatwave passes over Pathos, (Of which I doubt we will survive), We all scatter off into the cosmos with Pathos as our little... something. If you don't think that the universe will kickstart itself, It might not (Quantum Theory is a Weird thing), Then you believe that Pathos is the sole thing left to be the thing to somehow reboot the universe, And if not, You believe the third thing. The Last thing that, with how plausible it seems, it's no wonder that so many terrible things happen all across Pathos. You believe that Pathos is the last thing still alive, and it as a collaborative effort is a waste, because the universe will never reset itself. And that the Universe dies with Pathos.


And so, With that belief, You take to whoever is closest to you, Do unto them something unspeakable, and snuff their lights out with yours, To speed up the entropy that's creeping across ever soul on Pathos.


But that doesn't mention the Druggies. People who want to dope themselves to numb the pain of the ultimate apocalypse, and it doesn't matter what you smoke or snort or shoot, You will be given an offer by someone. A chance to feel happier than when the universe was first exploding, from a small yellow tablet called Nil. Nothingness. The chance to feel happy is astronomically small, at least, if don't you count the bliss of death. I have seen so many articles about Nil, that I am numb to all but one aspect. The fact that everyone who takes it, Dies with the most Blissful of expressions upon their face.


It is one of the scariest things I have seen, and it scares me because it happens every time.


I don't do much with myself. I sit, Like before, In my cubicle, Until breaktime, or my shift ends. Then I can do whatever I want until the lights all go down. Electricity goes dim after 17 Hours, Fully off after 19. Then everyone in this neck of the woods sleeps, and the next sliver of the hemisphere gets to wake up and do our jobs. Pathos itself is a beautiful place on the surface, and down below, There are so many natural wonders just within walking distance of my small little Five room brutalist white-cube neighborhood of other Brutalist white-cube houses. But even that gets boring. Even the Screen-wall in my "living room" gets boring, and the colors grow dull. It's getting harder to actually go far on those walks, Because the days seem to get shorter and shorter. I find myself winded after getting up from a particularly long call, Unhealthily so. It's with all those factors that I decided to beg for a few thousand kilometers' clearance, and went down yesterday, on a vacation day, to a red-lights district below the surface.


I remember nothing of it, Except I somehow came home with a tab of Nil.


So here I sit. On my pleather couch, With my screen-wall playing a Sitcom from trillions of trillions of years ago, Staring at a small yellow tablet of death and happiness in my hand. I've debated throwing it away. I've debated informing people, I've debated doing it with people. My thought processes are not in the proper array. But there's an Itch, That led me to go on vacation in the first place. That led me to bring home a tab of Nil. I've made the executive decision that, There is nothing left for me, at least. I could relocate, But then I burn off more time in my life, Waiting for a safer chance to reach the euphoria that this promises me. That it promises all of us. My death will likely be tragic, It will likely be talked about, But it won't set examples until people read what I have read.


Because I realized something, That led me to do this. I realized that, For about Seven weeks, Three Days, Ten Hours, And now Sixteen minutes;


Everyone on Pathos has been dead all along.


(OK, NO ERRORS THIS TIME, NO REMNANTS OF THE DRAFT, THIS IS GOOD, I'M GOOD, I'M FINE, I'VE JUST NEVER HAD THE URGE TO VIOLENTLY REVISE SOMETHING THAT POURED FROM MY MOST TERRIBLE EMOTIONS. HAPPY HALLOW'S WIENERS. ALLOW ME TO SCREAM INTO A PILLOW WHILE LISTENING TO KEYGEN.)


Combocast :

Panacea - All Negative Statuses removed!

Prismatic Aurora Blast LV3 - Critical Weakness, Quadruple Damage! The Enemy has been Defeated!

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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-27 18:07:53


Here’s my entry, I had to split it in two posts because of the character count. This story has a lot of symbolism, I guess: hidden treasures, forbidden places, an old guardian and above all the danger of approaching riches without having the necessary “spiritual vibration” (which can lead to unleashing terrible disasters).


Apsu — the waters abyss” – Part 1


It is the first hours of a silent night; a bandit leaves his camp with an iron lantern and looks around. The wind blows out his candle, and his sweaty, powdered face remains impassive. Looking up, he contemplates the slately sky, swirling with glowing clouds. He decides to take a break in that temporary shelter, a few kilometers from the last village he visited. He tries to rest until the storm passes, but he’s too eager to possess those relics mentioned by the villagers.

As they say, very close to the old cemetery, there is an ancient secret passage whose access is forbidden to anyone. They claim that it communicates with a huge mountain, protected by high and dangerous hills. At its very top, there is an old tower with hidden old treasures, but they know that a maze of streams borders that mountain. Its dangerous currents ripple if anyone tries to get nearby; in ancient times, the old cemetery was destroyed by those treacherous waters. Until one morning, after a huge earthquake, gigantic stone walls fell from the mountain and confined the course of the streams. To avoid future floods, no one should disturb that area and it is sacredly respected by the village.

But that restless bandit decides to break camp and embark on a long and dangerous expedition. Deceptive roads lead off cliffs and the path is always obstructed by trees and weeds. He crosses a dry riverbed and thinks he’s getting close; those must be the ancient streams of water that they’ve mentioned. When he walks up a very high hill, surrounded by thorny plants, he trips over something. The stone of a tomb, covered by the advance of vegetation. This indicated that he had reached the ruins of the old cemetery, all the tombs are in regrettable shape and condition; the roots of the plants climb their inclined crosses. Amid the roar of thunder and the howl of the wind, a downpour breaks, forcing him to take refuge in a hole between some rocks. Upon having contact with his body, a stone opened slowly, revealing a hidden corridor. Faced with the violent rain, the bandit ventures through the narrow hole and finds himself in some kind of catacomb.

A suitcase is tied to the bandit’s back, with various artifacts and cloth bags. He takes out a small wooden tablet inside, with a notch in the center. He rubs a dry stick non-stop and accumulate a little sparkle, enough to start the combustion. He lights his lantern and loads the suitcase on his back, swinging the flashlight as he enters that cavernous tunnel. His footsteps resonate on the chalky floor, he drags his hands over the cracked walls so he can orient himself as he goes. With only a small oscillating light as a guide, he stops moving as he heard something. A buzz very close to his position, which in his mind, could meant a way out. The road begins to feel wet and when he touches the ground, he discovers that it is mud. He accelerates his pace towards the noise and the water reaches his waist, the void of darkness seems to expand. The bandit discards all of his belongings, takes a long puff and dives into those black waters. Swimming with his arms extended forward, the space becomes increasingly narrow. He cuts his hands with sharp rocks and swims through several of them piled up against each other. His chest calls for air, he pushes a heavy block of stone and goes out into the depths of a stream. He now swims desperately, gulping down some water as lightning flashes around him. He reaches the surface, coughing irregularly and breathing in between breaks. Close to losing consciousness, he reaches the banks and lies down for a moment.

A large forest of stones surrounds the bandit, with strange geological formations. In the middle rises a hill, at the top of which is a crystal well. The bandit approaches the well and drinks from its water, when suddenly a great reddish dust blows. He covers his eyes and when he opens them, he discovers a tree, full of a thick resin that is green on the outside and yellowish white on the inside. He takes a handful with his hand and spreads it to the wounds on his arms, miraculously healing them. The tree has a thick and tall hollow, inside lies an ancient manuscript full of illustrations. When he tries to get closer to observe them better, the hum of streams returns to his ears.

Upon awakening, the bandit notices a very tall stone wall blocking the stream where he nearly drowns. Its archaic mud walls are eaten away by time, the bandit rubs some water with his hands and smiles perplexed when he discovers that his wounds are no longer there. The scent of wild flowers floats over the land and the wind bends the tops of a leafy tree, laden with tasty fruits and with broad protruding roots. The bandit climbs it to eat the small fruits and continues his march, tracking that noise that deafens the environment. He walks the forest delicately, without cutting any branches. He has the certainty of having contemplated between the shadows of the trees, a tall figure that was staring at him. The rain makes the path slippery, so his steps are steady and slow. To his surprise, he discovers that he is sinking more and more. He stops walking and gets stuck, wondering what to do. He feels that he cannot move his legs anymore and tries to bend his knees without success, the rain softened what appears to be a kind of quicksand that’s absorbing him quickly. When he was already buried up to the waist, a ragged old man, hunched over and with white hair appears from behind and throws a log to get him out of there. The bandit looks at him in disbelief, he looks harmless and hermit-like.

At the top of a small promontory lies the hut of the old sentry, the jealous guardian of the mountain. Beside his farms are steaming pots, boiling herbal teas under a copper roof. The old man serves him a plant juice in a leather flask and the weakened bandit drinks the concoction in an instant. The farms are covered with abundant grass and extend to some hills covered with stones, where innumerable streams flow. In the middle of the extensive plain, a great river with crystal clear waters descends from the top of a soaring black mountain, generating that overwhelming noise he was chasing. His eyes widened when he saw that, at the top of the mountain and among the trees, looms the tip of a hidden tower. At the top hangs a flag, with the drawing of a rose. The bandit gets up immediately, but the old man takes him by one of his wrists and warns him: “it is made of fine gold and there is no other like it, but that river is broken and its currents get wild if you look at ‘em”. Smiling warmly at him, he takes some tobacco out of a woolen bag, wraps it in corn bread, and offers it to the bandit. He accepts it, hypnotized by that tower on the mountain.

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-27 18:08:46


Apsu — the waters abyss” – Part 2



He decides to wait, under the shade of a tree, for the first light of the morning to come. He steals a machete from the farm and a roll of jute, and moves away from the promontory, ignoring the guardian’s advice. Looking up at the sky, still full of black clouds, he walks on the soft grass in the intense heat of the day. He goes through the skeletons of ancient cities and old shrines, inaccessible in their current state. He comes across with a small plateau, where he finds the collapsed trunk of a hundred-year-old tree. From there he observes that, on the top of the mountain, a white path leads to the tower. But to get to the foot of the mountain, he must go through the labyrinth of streams. He carefully cuts a part of the log and manages to improvise a wooden raft, tied with jute twine.

After much effort, his trembling hands begin to drag the boat towards the banks of the stream. The river that surrounds the mountain is large and deep, a waterfall lies directly under the tower. As he gets closer, the ground begins to shake and the waters to ripple. The bandit jumps on his raft and among the swirling waters, he advances through the zigzags of the current. Herds of fish, some huge, jump on board and slam into his face. The raft dodges some rocks along the way, swaying randomly. He moves until he reaches the waterfall and observes that behind it, is an opening. He dives to get through it and when he emerges from the water, he goes down the hidden road. As he goes, there are fewer plants and the grass grows no more. His eyes, fixed on the arid and hardened earth, discover that the road is full of cracks. On the floor he comes across dry, yellow bones, broken skulls and animal horns. The bandit, expectant, comes out of the darkness and finds himself on the white road that winds around the hill.

Bordering the summit, in a mountainous circle, rises the mythical tower. At its entrance, there are chests full of emeralds, jewels and rings. Enraged, the bandit puts his hands on the coveted metals and laughs shyly. He walks up the stairs of the tower, full of disbelief. When he reaches the top, he pauses. A bright light shines on his face, a golden bell refracts the sun's rays in all directions. He closes his eyes for a moment and feels the sweat on his forehead, he impulsively throws himself towards the golden uvula and takes it with all his might. Not giving in, the bandit trips and falls to the ground. The ball hits the hollowed-out glass and emits a loud bell, which fades in the distance. Very serious rumblings are heard inside the mountain and a flock of birds flies from the trees that surround the tower. Huge columns of hot air are ejected between the rocks and the walls of the tower tremble, they begin to sway slowly, ringing the bell at intervals. The bandit takes a few steps back and for the first time his eyes show fear and madness, the mountain seems to get up after waking up from a deep slumber. The bandit staggers and falls abruptly down the stairs, until he reaches the bottom. His body contracts in pain, amid the piling up debris. The tower appears to move, generating huge clouds of dust. The breath of the mountain makes the rocks roll, as it separates from the stream uprooting many trees. A giant rip itself off its foundations, breaking free. The tower falls apart, burying the treasures with the bandit. The enormous mass of flesh and bone advances aimlessly and towards the western hills, slowly destroying everything on its path. Sinking with every step, it absentmindedly destroys the stone walls that bordered the stream and unleashes the terrible waters heading directly towards the conglomerate of villages…


Catherine's fingers tightened between his, laced as they had so many, many times before but never with the anxious rigidity of a fear she previously had never the right or reason to feel. He hated more than anything that this woman would ever in his or any company be subjugated by such an emotion but he was its victim as much as she was, helplessly clinging to the presence of the other as uncertainty yawned open in front of them through their television set. Her icy hand quaked but of course it had nothing to do with cold. 


Lucy played quietly in the corner, oblivious to the television set but her gently muted demeanor in what she appeared so single-mindedly engaged communicated volumes about how much she picked up from her parent's disposition. Her ethereal sparkly voice lowered fractions of an octave as if she feared to disrupt the unfamiliar tension that haunted the air between them now, unsure of what retribution would come from her unmodified presence. Not that she had anything to fear, she was beloved, in this moment even in new ways she couldn't begin to understand, unaware that their fear in many ways was for her. Their beautiful century-old child. 


War had been fomenting on the Asian continent for months but the artifice of negotiation sank before their eyes, boiling smoke and sliding under oil-blackened waters as the INS Arjuna rolled disembowled into the Indian Ocean, slit open by a restless Chinese navy. The politics were familiar and repetitive but the scale of escalation was not. There was a tone that felt new, a feverish untrained posturing by the usual outside moderators, pride and indignation at the disorderly conduct that fell outside of the influence of their capricious agendas. The pedigree of man's monsters had declined and now loose proud tongues waxed publicly in broad terms about nuclear war.


Max looked at his wife, her large brown eyes gleaming in the electric moonlight of the television, her hand clasped in a death grip as if any minute she and everything around her would be hurtled through that screen, save for her beautiful husband who would anchor them with the protection of his love. Neither could feel the other gripped back with the same desperate hope in kind. 


The food was killing itself.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“Can we even eat them if they are irradiated?”


“I don't know.”


They stood in the kitchen, a fully furnished novelty disguise that saw no gesture of activity besides a dutiful wiping of dust. Max leaned, shoulders heavy, on the unscarred linoleum, trying his best not to sound frustrated at the question. They weren't questions that had been contemplated by others in the community since the warmest parts of the Cold War and Max and Catherine had been otherwise occupied with aspects of Lucy's rearing to have socialized much during those years. There was a faith in mankind's animal instincts of self-preservation they had abided by in those days, a concern but a distant one. Now they had settled in for another long haul of warm comfortable existence, a reliable habitat had become a meaningful home, the food was plentiful and easy to manage, and Lucy had developed in her short life into the first blossoms of the unique perennial beauty of her frozen childhood. Catherine and Max had starved, they'd hid, they'd survived in undignified conditions under the unstable movements of the food's lurching civilization over the years, but they'd weathered it as predators. Even feeding cold from an emaciated corpse barely maintained in a ditch during the famine following Fyodor Ist's death Max had never seen anything less than the outraged fire of survival now absent in his wife's eyes. Helplessness in the face of a problem unanswerable with the usual steel of cunning and blood. 


“I think I'm going to try to talk to Michiko. I don't know if she'll be open to me reaching out but it's hardly the time to be hanging on to grudges. You should call Ossip.”


Max nodded in agreement. He wish he didn't feel jealous of the quiet hunger he could hear in his wife's voice to talk to her estranged friend, as if it were a reflection on his ability to be the entirety what she needed in companionship, but he understood the pull to bring spirits back into her orbit while they still could. And it would be good to talk to Ossip again.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“I hear they are making a farm out in the Nevada desert. Old missile silos. They keep stables with stock in induced comas. Staggered out breeding with untangled pairs to keep the bloodline unfucked. All for maybe twenty of the bastards to live on. Rich cunts.”


It was good to hear his voice, strangled as it was by Ossip's cheap laptop's microphone and poor Internet connection. His large dark sunglasses shone like limousine hoods under gas station lights, his wild beard a woolen raven tangle that made him look older somehow despite his inability to age. They conversed in the language they spoke when they first met, albeit awkwardly from disuse and Ossip's delightfully ugly accent of a tongue dragged over a dozen mutually incompatible lifetime languages. 


“You're pretty close to the capital, what is your plan to vacate?”


Ossip snorted harshly. “And go where, my friend? The fucking radiation may not get us but the cattle will rot and what isn't hoarded will have to be pried out of holes. And how long can we do that? No, better to wait on the bomb or see what happens. Too much trouble for nothing. Who knows, maybe the pigmen will fuck themselves so hard at the start they will unfuck themselves.”


Despite the grim tightness in his face Max couldn't help but creak out a stiff smile at Ossip's attempts at remembering how to curse coherently. “I don't have the luxury of thinking that way anymore.”


Ossip grunt-sighed heavily in reluctant understanding. “I am sorry, you are right. You deserved more from the life you have built with good Catherine. But all things must end. Maybe this was the only way it could happen to us too.”


Cont. in Part 2

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-27 20:30:39


Prt. 2


Uncertainty. Rushes on material goods, hoarding began. The cultivated privacy that Max and Catherine had genially maintained became even more comfortably broad as neighbors stopped paying the customary gestures of solidarity and began hardening themselves for true individualism. This made it easier to work.


It's a simple thing to build something when your muscles don't physically tire and sleep is a trifle. The secret basement beneath the basement was already extensive but the reenforcement and expansion was still a feat of constant attention. It had to be equipped in ways they never would have imagined having to consider. A space had to be made for living quarters.


They worked in shifts, not out of physical necessity but to split time tending to and doting on Lucy, which in turn reenforced the very reason they bothered with the labor at all.


--------------------------------------------------------


A very grim reality was the more the world outside fell apart the easier it was for Max and Catherine to conduct their business outside of the home. For once it was easier to kill to get what you needed than it was to buy it. People were more skittish and better armed but of course only with conventional weaponry.


----------------------------------------------------------


In major population centers, civilized open sex personals were a reliable and functional, if not regular tap, for the best quality food. The moderately healthy in the best circles of casual erotic interplay provided medical records proving the relative cleanliness of their interior well-being as well as offering an easy inlet to networks of privately maintained trust and legal entry to the most private of abodes. Where in the best of times this would serve as a fine-dining menu now it became a more clinical map of necessary stock. Enduringly healthy. Reproductively young. Compatible. The networks of trust also no longer had to be so rigidly navigated and preserved. Nobody kept up with each other anymore. Some people just needed to fuck.


----------------------------------------------------------


“Most people don't bother with the health reports anymore...you know...what's the point, right?”


Max and Catherine were both beautiful enough to be desirable as one of the last people you could spend the night with, a fact they never felt more grateful for before now.


“You think it's all really going to end?”


Reza smiled what would be called a grin if it wasn't so sad. “You think it isn't?”


Max took off his suit jacket and set it on the couch.


“Uh, what is that? On your arm...”


“It's a heater, Reza. It circulates warmed fluid in my veins to simulate the heat of a working circulatory system.”


“Oh god...” Reza's hands raised at the sight of the gun, instinctively drifting around his midsection as if anticipating a bullet might protect him from it.


“You came here expecting to die in the near future, Reza. You came to me and my wife's house because you wanted to be alive with us before that happens. I want you to listen to me closely, because if you do exactly what I say you will get to live.”


-----------------------------------------------------


The bomb was inevitable. The bunker was built, stocked, and Lucy had been acclimated to their new life as much as she was able. For the first time since the beginning of the end Catherine and Max left the house together, Lucy safely occupied in the new space enough for them to indulge one last time in the world outside. They were taking each other to dinner tonight. Meals that had previously been off limits for being too high profile, too difficult to obscure, became a parting luxury with a world that would cease to be. As broken window glass crushed musically between the sidewalk and their shoes they delighted quietly in the nakedness they could operate in. They weren't as sadistic as some of their peers or even a cruel as they had once been but they ate as fresh as they could, which was never tidy.


---------------------------------------


Even as far as they were from the epicenters the walls still quaked. They didn't wait for the radios to go dead before they turned them off, having made peace with the end as best they could while still existing on. Catherine stroked Lucy's hair in silence as the walls trembled their last rages before a the great coming silence. They couldn't hear the stock from their part of the bunker, the living quarter functionally secluded enough for easy access but nothing rising to co-existence. They would be fed, maintained, and bred. In return they'd get to be alive. Max didn't think about what they thought frequently but in this moment he wondered behind the heavy doors leading to the quarter if they wept or simply endured the compounding terrors of their existence in silence.

Catherine's icicle fingers ran in paths of calm down the dark waves of her daughter's hair. Her other hand reached out to her husband, who took it in his. They didn't grip each other. They held.  

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-09-30 21:54:09


The Boy in the Bell

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From atop the village's church, a bronze bell rang once. It echoed through the green pastures and whispered into the far-off German mountains. The young boy Eugen, startled by the sudden and loud clang, awoke on top his stone perch. He took his moment to come to and looked upon the horizon. The quiet tractor in the fields and the sounds of the market below stopped. Birds cawed in the distance--a black swarm ascended to the sky and flew east past the town. The boy turned towards his rude-awaker and froze. A boy of bronze returned his stare--with no mouth, no hair, no expression. Dark clouds began to shadow the fields, but Eugen remained entranced by the boy in the bell. It was alien, yet still familiar. The wind blew backward, and the crowd of birds returned, this time swallowing the bell tower in a black veil. A stray crow hit Eugen in the face, scratching deep into his forehead. Eugen cowered--and the boy of bronze faded away. Blood ran down his nose, dripping into the darkness of the tower and ending with a loud splat. The birds passed, returned, and flew circles above the building--slowly climbing higher in the grey sky above. Eugen gazed down to search for his fellow villagers--only to be greeted with an unbreaking stare of a faceless choir. He had no words to muster to confront the crowd; he looked at his community peer into him. The howling wind was his only reply, which was killed by another ringing of the bell. It rang again. A black blur dropped from the sky. It rang again. Another blur. It rang again. Suddenly, a black flood covered the tower's openings. Eugen watched as the eyes of hundreds of crows flashed past him; dark pupils all pointed towards him. When the black wall stopped, Eugen looked down at the pile of broken corpses of crows littering the ground. Eugen, almost hit by the bell's swinging, glanced up and beheld the oncoming apocalypse. 


The distant grass covered in shadow became muddy brown, a slow border heading straight for the town. Flowers began to turn into massive vines with gut-piercing thorns. A farmer, with the same blank, emotionless stare, entered the oncoming brownfields. Eugen watched in horror as the distant farmer dissolved into a pile of gibs. The remains then slowly slithered towards the town, moving along with the grass-killing shadow. Eugen looked behind the bell, searching for a direction to run--only to discover the east mirrored the west. The sun, swallowed by dark clouds, disappeared for good.


The boy gazed back west, watching the farmer's remains consume a house like overgrown moss. Several homes and shops began to vomit guts from their windows and doors as the mass of organs slowly crept to the church. The streets started to flood with entrails--with each pedestrian melting away into the sea of red. Acid bubbled the blood, bones smashed against walls, teeth clattered and dispersed. When the wall of organs reached the crows, Eugen saw the flesh-mass tear each of the crow's feathers and beaks, leaving nothing but bird meat. As the encircling terror grew closer, the bell pierced Eugen's head wound with each clang. He began to cry in both fear and pain, bursting out a muted call for his mother. The flesh crept up the stone church, flanking all sides. The boy tried screaming, his lungs dying to release noise, but he knew no one would be willing to listen to it. Stomach lining climbed into the bell's chamber. The last sound of the world, the bell, kept ringing. Eugen, begging God for the bell to stop, faced towards the bronze behemoth. The boy of bronze returned a glare as a response. The boy's vision blurred and darkened. He staggered forward, falling into the bell tower. Darkness engulfed him, and the ringing ended with one loud crack.

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-02 15:48:22


afterlife with archie:betty r.i.p wedding crashers


three months later after betty's 18th birthday and they're going to raccoon city the home of resident evil fans,to celebrate the wedding honor of archie and betty,meanwhile josie and the pussycats heading to riverdale turns into a ghosttown and more of horde zombies and they're attacked with claws for past 2 months ago...,back in raccoon city,betty and archie ready for the big day at the wedding in abonation church,josie and the pussycats bring zombie reggie and midge to the wedding,reggie kills betty with a neck snap quick,archie lost betty during wedding day at the church,alice comes to the resuce with archie and his friends,alice shot reggie and midge's head shot blowout with a shotgun,josie kills veronica's dad and he pulled heart out of the chest,alice is already team up with archie and his gang,and they're gonna find sabrina the teenage witch on the mission,sometime meanwhile later at wesker's mansion and they're already kidnapped kathy keene and already brainwashed just like jill valentine.


next issue:journey to the center of raccoon city is a 5 part final issue


i am 1# newgrounds first celebrity,call me ninja kitty,i am a guardian christian of canada

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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-03 21:10:23


This was a movie idea I had about The Apocalypse it’s more of an outline of a story though...


Satan starts sneaking people from hell into heaven and they start doing something like suicide bombing the inside of heaven (only don’t make it suicide bombing because it’s too cliche it should be more Biblical) and angels and people start falling from heaven like a hail storm of bodies Heaven closes its gates to prevent any more “suicide bombers” and then the rest of the “suicide bombers” in line go off! Bodies rain from the heavens onto the earth which then get back up and turn into zombies all hell breaks loose on earth and then hell spills forth onto the earth and there’s earthquakes and volcanos erupt and there’s hurricanes and riots and a whole bunch of bad things start happening and Satan and his demons emerge from beneath the surface of the earth and the forces of hell flow forth conquering the earth nuclear bombs start going off its literally the apocalypse! The angels who fell from heaven try to fight the demons but they are over whelmed and there’s like giant lord of the rings type battle scenes between heaven and hell and all the humans wind up dying and Satan rules the earth but Heavens forces manage to eventually subdue them and drive them back into hell and at the end of the movie there’s just one guy named Adam who survives the apocalypse and God makes him a little garden to live in.

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-07 20:14:10


I am in no way a writer, but I liked imagining this up. Hope someone enjoys reading this very short thing


Aftermath


A high pitched squeal lowers in Monty's ears.

"Monty... Monty, what happened?".

He focuses on Tony's voice to try and gather his bearings as he brushes his palms over where his eyes should be. He feels nothing but wet.

"Tony, I can't see, what's happening!?".

Panicked, he reaches out into the darkness, hoping for any form of comfort at the other end. He only finds what feels like a metal bar and holds on.

"Monty, I can't breathe."

The urgency in Tony's voice is unsettling, but all he can do is hold on to prevent himself from falling into the dark abyss.

"Tony, where are you? Have the lights gone out?",

Monty feels a deep burning in his lungs with each breath.

"The flash..." Tony says, "My eyes."


Monty's arm suddenly begins rattling through through the bar, forcing him to strengthen his grip. It spreads through the entire room, sending all surrounding objects into a cluster of distorted sounds.

"No, please not again." Tony pleads.

His whimper is obscured by a thunderous clack. That same shrill whine bleeds through Monty's head. His grip tightens as he stands hoping the intense heat in his chest is internal. Burning to death had to be the worst way to go. He thought his ears must be shot by now, but it's slowly replaced by the haunting whistles of distant car alarms. He adjusts his jaw, attempting to correct his equilibrium for a moment.

"Tony...".

The crackling of a nearby flame replies. The rising dread fills Monty's throat.

"...Tony?"

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-09 11:01:55


ILY


It was quiet.


All Hollow’s Eve and the roads were bare. Even the few teenage delinquents that usually haunted the corner of the run-down street had hurried along as if tonight of all nights when mischief was meant to be rift in the air that had urgent matters to get home to.


Lucy kept watch from her bedroom, unnerved by the strange atmosphere outside. This feeling had been with her all day, but it wasn’t until the sun set and she took up her post by the window that this feeling had warped into something unfathomable in her gut and now staring into the darkness she couldn’t even tell if it was 8pm or midnight.


She wondered idly if this was how a dog feels inside a kennel. Abandoned by their owner with no concept of time, how long they had been waiting, if their owner would even return, and just the general sense of foreboding under their fur.

Or maybe it was more like an itch as if something were crawling all over you but you can’t see it. You can just feel its presence, just beyond your sight, only the minds eye having the image in complete clarity.


She twitched the curtains again.


There were lights on in every house that she could see. She recognised some neighbours staring out into the skies before they sunk back to their solace, sometimes to be replaced by another family member, other times the same person would return to again check the ether.


They must feel it too.


Feel whatever this thing was that was out there. Because there had to be something making her feel this way.


She forced herself not to look again, instead got up and paced her room slowly.


She wished dad were here.


He would make her feel better, but dad has decided that he’d rather be with his girlfriend than his wife and kids, so dad was no longer here to comfort her. Her brothers too had flown the nest a while back. Both older, now married with their own babies. So, it was just her and mum. Even before the divorce they never had the closest relationship, but now it was made worse as Lucy felt trapped in this house. She couldn’t be the last one to leave, deserting her mother when she was still in so much pain. So Lucy stayed but resented mum because her life felt on hold even since it became just the two of them.


But right now with the unease she felt she needed someone to talk to.


Quietly exiting her room she made her way down the dark hallway and stairs towards the shining light coming from the sitting room.


Inside was mum, remote in hand, looking but not really seeing the tv in front of her, which was lucky because only static was showing on the screen.


“Mum..” Lucy called gently.


Her mum blinked, shook her head softly as if to spell the demons rested inside and turned towards her only daughter.


“You ok, Lucy?”


She looked then at her mother, looked at her haggard face made worse from the television glow. She knew that her mum was quite the beauty in her youth, but the years had certainly taken their toll. Lucy supposed that being married to a manipulative cheater for 25 years who you bore three children with will do that to a person.


Right now though, despite the gaunt face, her mum’s eyes looked wired.


She wanted to ask, “Do you feel it too mum?” but the words died in her throat and instead she just stared into her mother’s eyes.


It took Lucy back to the summer when browsing the local supermarket her eyes locked with another shopper.


It was a girl who Lucy had spent many years of her childhood close with. They’d had sleepovers together, exchanged gifts, discussed boys, made terrible dance routines to Spice Girls songs but as they entered their teens and had different classes with new friends to be made they just drifted apart, until they stopped even smiling to each other in the hallway. Now six years on from their final year, browsing shampoos they clock each other and they both know they’ve been seen, know that they recognise each other but even as they mentally acknowledge the other person they both look away, away from the conversation on the tip of their tongues, the “Hey, remember when we were best friends for five years and now we don’t even want to stop for one minute to say hello?”


And that’s how it felt now looking at her mum. They both wanted to mention it, this thing happening but neither could bring themselves to do it.


So instead of facing it, just like everything else in her life, Lucy decides to hide.


“Yeah, I’m just going back to my room.” She points behind herself as if mum needs reminding where she sleeps.


“Ok, sweetie, I’ll just be here, watching..” And they both turn to the screen then. To the black and white crackles that despite not making a sound feel like the loudest thing in the room.


“Nothing.. I’ll be watching nothing.” Her mum lamely finishes before she brings her eyes back round to Lucy and she has the same kind of plea in her eyes that Lucy can feel in her own, that she is sure is being reflected back to her mother.


Before either of them can do something stupid, like talk to each other properly, Lucy bolts out the sitting room, away from the chance to break this spell and say what needs to be said, to say words that would make it all too real.


But she doesn’t want to go to her room. It feels too big and too small all at once. Is this how Alice felt in Wonderland?


One pill makes you larger

And one pill makes you small

And the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all


The garden feels like a good place to be right now.


End of part 1


[I've been wandering round but I still come back to you]

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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-09 11:02:18


Part 2


The cool October air bites at her skin the second she steps onto the patio. She should go get a jacket but something at the back of her mind tells her that she won’t be needing one. Instead she crosses her arms hoping to lock in some of her body warmth and feels the prickly ridges of goosebumps all over her biceps brought on by the cold.


But weren’t they there before Lucy?


Ignoring herself she faces the heavens, hoping they have an answer finally as to what is going on tonight. The heavens choose instead to ignore her and the few dazzling stars she can see peaking behind the ominous clouds all seem to be winking or rather laughing at her silent pray.


She can hear dogs barking, which must be Mr Taylor’s from two doors down. They’re usually so quiet. There are cats as well, somewhere hissing and meowing, perhaps from number 37 or 45? They both seem to have a lot of cats. And in the distance, she can hear some birds cawing.


So the animals can sense it too, maybe they can actually see it as well?


She’s not sure how long she stands there, her gaze solely on the dark sky before she hears her mother’s footsteps. Lucy doesn’t look, instead keeps her eyes focused above as her mum saunters next to her.


“You feel it too, don’t you Lucy?” Her mum whispers into space.


A breath.


“What is it mum?” She asks just as quietly, trying so hard to keep her tears at bay now that it’s been mentioned, now it’s been made real.


“I don’t know sweetie..” Then her mother sighs before continuing.


“I tried to ring your father, but he didn’t answer my calls. I thought, maybe.. No. I just wanted to hear his voice..”


Despite the cold, Lucy feels heat rush to her face, fury quickening on her tongue.


She can imagine the phone call she’ll get later from dad. The “what the hell is your mum doing calling here? She knows she can’t call me Lucy. Why is she calling me? YOU need to tell her to stop”.


And Lucy will apologise to dad and he’ll sigh and Lucy will pretend that she’s really ok as she listens to her dad complain about how stressful all of this is for him and Diane, and how her mother is becoming an alcoholic and how it’s pathetic and she needs to move on with her life. And he’ll then remind Lucy of the time her mother kept calling him, drunk, crying, pretending that the grandchildren were in hospital begging dad to answer, as if Lucy could ever forget, as if she wasn’t there that night screaming at mum herself behind wet eyes pleading with her to stop.


Instead of exploding though, Lucy closes her eyes for a spell, breathes, refocuses and only opens them again when she hears her mum gasp beside her. And then as Lucy’s eyes find the sky, suddenly nothing else matters at all.


Because there is something in the sky, in fact it practically IS the sky now. A big red ball of anger, huge with promise, swelling with intent. The brightest thing up there but also somehow the darkest void in this endless night.


And it’s coming.


Nothing can stop it.


It was hurtling towards them all.


She stares up in dreaded wonder, the emotions she’d been feeling all day suddenly making sense. It was their doom coming for them all this time and the primal threat of survival had kicked in, trying to warn them all of the giant hellfire hiding in plain sight, just waiting to become known. It was here and there was no way to escape it. It was here and soon, they wouldn’t be.


Tears fall freely down her face now.


There was so much she hadn’t done yet. She didn’t get the chance to go to college, but she always dreamed of going once mum was better. She hadn’t kissed a boy since a year 9 party game of spin the bottle. She never got that puppy her parents promised her back when she was a little girl. There was a book upstairs she had started, a thriller, and she was so close to finishing it, but now she’d never know who the killer was or why they did what they did because there was no time anymore for anything.


Even now as she cried, the flaming ball grew bigger, drew closer. How was it hiding from them all this time? She swears she could feel its warmth on her skin, replacing the goosebumps with sizzling heat.


It. Would. Not. Stop. Coming.


And then she felt her shaking hand gripped and she looks over to her mum, who was also crying but smiling, her hand tight on Lucy.


“It’ll be ok Lucy. Just, don’t look, ok? Please baby, just close your eyes. It’ll be ok.” And her mums voice sounds so assured, so calm, so unlike the woman she had become these past five years that Lucy could do nothing else but trust her.


Tightening her own hand on her mum’s, she closes her eyes, tries to ignore the light penetrating her eyelids from above and concentrates on her mum’s smoothing voice, her thumb gently rubbing Lucy’s knuckles.


And Lucy wants to tell her mum that she’s sorry. She’s sorry that dad cheated on her, she’s sorry that mum gave her heart and soul for the man and he just walked away, leaving her broken. She’s sorry that mum always had to be the bad cop when they were growing up. Had to be the responsible parent where dad got to be the entertaining one, the one she and her brothers loved more because he was fun. She’s so damn sorry that she’s been bitter to her mum when all this time mum was there for her. When Lucy got depressed, mum was there. When she got bad grades, mum picked her up. She was always there for her from the beginning, even now with the end coming her mum was trying to protect her, still.


She opens her mouth to say sorry, but it doesn’t feel enough. It will never feel like enough. So she says the only words she can say which can express what her mum means to her.


“I love you.” It feels good on her tongue, it feels right.


“I love you.” She repeats, and it’s all she can ever say. She doesn’t even know if her mum responds because the blistering ball is rumbling onward, closer still, loud in its pursuit.


“I love you. I love you. I love you..” She carries on, eyes tightening further against the increasingly bright light trying to pierce her psyche.


“I love you. I love you. I love you..” Her skin feels scorched as she grips her mum’s fingers, entwining them with her own.


“I love you. I love you. I love you..” The tears dry on her face.


“I love you. I love you. I love you..” The noise is deafening.


“I love you. I love you. I love you..” The light is blinding.


“I love you. I love you. I love you..” It’s coming.


“I love you. I love you. I lo-


[I've been wandering round but I still come back to you]

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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-11 01:11:56


 No Chickens Left Behind


Tom Clucker was no ordinary chicken. He was a war hero. He was drafted in the human army in world war 3 during the pandemic, during the bad times. But why was a chicken part of a human army?


The army was doing some testing and had 5 human subjects. The scientists in charge were told to make the humans way more violent, and to see if the human females could produce eggs that could turn into baby chicken soldiers. What was the army thinking? Nobody knows. But it was better than losing to an army of zombies that have been turned due to Covid-19. Once people were infected from the virus, they turned into zombies. Feeding on the flesh of humans, the zombies were unpredictable. Unstoppable.


Tom Clucker was on the front lines of the first battle, and couldn’t move because of fear. Tom Clucker’s commander starts barking orders at him.


‘DAMN IT CLUCKER, I TOLD YOU TO FIRE! DO YOU WANT TO GET EATEN BY THE ZOMBIES!?”


Tom Clucker snaps out of it, and looks at his commander.


“NO SIR!” Tom Clucker yelled.


“THEN DO SOMETHING! WE’RE SURROUNDED ON ALL SIDES BY RONA ZOMBIES AND I’ll BE DAMNED IF I DIE HERE WITH UNCOOKED POULTRY!”


Do something, he says. What can I do? We’re vastly outnumbered and there’s only one option.


“I’m gonna begin the pecking order. I’m gonna start pecking as many zombies as I can so they can follow my lead.” Tom Clucker replied.


‘Are you nuts, Clucker? You’ll be killed!’


“I’m not nuts. I’m a chicken.”


“Gross. Don’t make any more corny lines.” The Commander grunted.


Tom Clucker runs into a horde of zombies and starts pecking left and right.


Is the pecking working? Are they gonna follow my command?


It wasn’t working. The pecking order wasn’t working in this situation, and Tom Clucker was getting attacked by too many zombies. Some of them started to eat him.


“OH GOD NO!” Tom Clucker yells out in horror.


Tom Clucker starts to lose consciousness. The battle was over for him.


3 months later


Tom Clucker wakes up in a hospital bed. His spinal cord is torn and he can only move the upper half of his body.


“Where am I?” Tom Clucker asked.


All of a sudden, a man with an orange face walks out of the shadows.


“You have nothing to fear, Tom. It’s gonna be okay.” President Trump said.


“What do you mean, it’s gonna be okay? I thought there was a war going on?” Tom Clucker asked with a confused look on his face.


“And you also think you’re a chicken?” President Trump retorted.


“YES! Wait, I’m not?”


President Trump gives Tom a mirror.


“Look for yourself, Tom. Do you look like a chicken?”


Tom Clucker looks at his face, and there was no feathers. He was human. Strange.


“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?” Tom Clucker asked angrily.


‘That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Well, I’ll tell ya what’s going on. You were in a simulation. There’s no war. Yet. There’s no expensive military program to build a chicken army. YOU are not a chicken. You are just a grunt, a puppet, a stooge. You see, we put you inside the simulation to test different doomsday scenarios and how our military would react to them so that one day when the real deal comes, we will be prepared. It seems that you were not prepared, in fact, you broke your spine during the exercise.”


“What the fuck? All of this was a simulation?”


“Yes. And you failed.” Trump replied.


“What now?”


“I gotta kill you. This whole operation is hush hush. And since you failed, well, I have no more use for you.”


“But…..my family!” Tom Clucker cried out.


“Your family thinks you’re dead. Sorry pal. Game over.”


All of a sudden, Pence and a few soldiers run into the room.


“MR PRESIDENT! THE WORLD IS UNDER ATTACK!” Vice President Pence bellowed.


“Who is it this time?” President Trump replied.


“It’s the murder hornets. Sir, we can’t control them anymore. They have gone rogue and are killing everybody in sight! The murder hornets have wiped out England!”


‘Wait a minute, is this really happening? Am I still in the simulation?” Tom Clucker asked.


“SHUT UP, CLUCKER!” President Trump yelled angrily.


‘What do we do, Mr. President?”


‘I knew this day would come. We are gravely under prepared for something like this.”


“Sir?”


‘There’s only one thing we can do. Send the nukes. Tell the rest of the world leaders to follow suit.”


“Yes sir! You heard the man, send the nukes!”


Vice President Pence, and the other soldiers run out of the room again. Yelling and confusion can be heard outside the door.


“Mr. President, is this a simulation?” Tom Clucker asked again, still confused.


“You wish.” President Trump snorted.


President Trump takes out a pistol, and points it at Tom Clucker.


“Sorry it has to be this way, but the world is ending kid. Consider this a mercy kill.”


Bam! President Trump shoots his gun at Tom Clucker and Tom Clucker gets hit in the head with a bullet. He dies immediately on the hospital bed, and blood starts to drip on the floor.


“Adios, Clucker.” President Trump sighed.


President Trump also shoots himself in the head, and falls over dead. As a pool of blood begins to surround his body, President Pence gives the order to activate the nukes. All the other world leaders follow suit. Nuke after nuke begins to penetrate the earth as it’s being ravaged by an army of murder hornets. The shock waves from the nukes obliterates everything in it’s wake, and the murder hornets die along with everybody in the world. As a shockwave gets closer to Vice President Pence and his soldiers, Mike Pence salutes the flag.


‘Fuck you murder hornets. Fuck you all to hell!” Mike Pence yelled.


The shockwave hits Pence and his soldiers and they all burn to a crisp. Eventually, everybody on planet earth dies.  


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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-13 20:33:17


Very first post ever to Newgrounds. Here's a story of a man in a world devastated by a winter apocalypse brought by the absence of the Gods and his struggle to survive.


North


By: Ethan H. Reynolds


Wintery gales howled throughout the southern mountains in a monstrous rage. Seas of snow covered the once untouched soil, now creating a vast, white plain across the land. The Gods that once made the land fertile and warm had left, gone to wither in the ether above. The sun had dimmed since the Gods had left, and the dark, gray clouds from a thunderstorm months ago lingered in the sky . All the wildlife in the country had either died or tried to migrate towards warmer ground. But unless they could take to the clouds and avoid the icy hellscape below, the outcome would always lead to frozen carcasses turning to frozen monoliths in the rising snow.

Olfurth looked to the sky and saw nothing but grey with a small, dim light that failed to pierce the clouds. He then gazed to the ground, which was nothing but white. He held onto his fur coat as he trudged through the swallowing snow, shivering with each step. His beard was nearly completely frozen, with dangling icicles dancing on it with each jerked step. His face stung as the winds rose and fell, impeding his slow but steady progress North. He had to reach the North, lest he wished to become a statue of frigid ice and sunken flesh.

Olfurth’s eyes, tired and dark, squinted as he scanned the horizon for anyone, anything. The wind howled for a moment, and then once the gust and snow calmed, he gazed upon the face of a great mountainside. He could see no more than the crags of the ancient obelisk that rose past the trees before him. He was in an opening in the woods and in front of him lied a cliff with trees past a shaky, decaying wooden bridge. He had to reach the obelisk for his people’s sake. Any answer by any God to him pleading prayers would soothe his mind. At least there would be an answer.

When he arrived near the cliffside, he noticed a cave that led inside the bowels of a mountain to his right, and to that sight he chuckled, excited to get away from the snow, if not the cold. His speed rose, and a smile painted across his tired face.

He heard shuffling from the woods behind him.

“You, sera, turn around: slowly.”

Olfurth halted. He calmly rotated his body to face whatever voice commanded him. In his sight was a small figure, no larger than a teenage child. He held a bow, drawn, about four meters away from Olfurth. It shook violently as the chilled wind blew whether from fear or the frigid air. The wind kicked up more snow, obscuring Olfurth’s vision.

Olfurth and the figure stood in silence for some time.

Then Olfurth spoke.

“Whoever you are, I cannot see you. The winds are too strong.”

Silence. 

He spoke again.

“What is your name, thief?”

The winds calmed.

The figure responded with a shaking, high-pitched tone.

“Just- be quiet and give me what you have.”

“I would like to know your name, thief. Are you from Akvia?”

The figure shifted their feet and stepped back about two paces.

“Yes.”

More silence. The gusts roared through the mountaintops.

The figure spoke.

“Are you Akvian, sera?”

Olfurth thought. A lie wouldn’t hurt.

“Yes. My father was second to the Jarl. We were nobility and had the means to escape the war.”

The child sneezed. He wiped his dripping snot onto his shoulder sleeve.

“Nobility? As am I.”

There was silence. The child broke it.

“Are you going to the North?” he asked. “I hear it is cold, but not as frigid as here.”

“Yes.” He hesitated. “I have children who have escaped the war.”

“Children? Then there is hope after all.”

The wind calmed again, and Olfurth squinted his eyes. He saw the body of a child, no older than thirteen. They were wrapped head to toe in noble’s attire, with jewelry and regal furs from across the world. 

“Child; put down the bow. I don’t want to hurt you.”

“I…” The child was violently shivering as he still pointed his bow at Olfurth.

“I have children,” interrupted Olfurth, “They are your sisters of Akvia. Think of them.”

The child paused again. The winds blew with grace; in almost a hesitation.

The child sniffed and wiped away the frozen dripping from their nose .

“Is it warmer to the North? Truly?”

“Yes,” said Olfurth, “Or so I’ve heard.”

The gales rose once again. Snow fell with grace from the gray heavens above, adding to the growing pile of the vast sea of white. 

The child shook his head and drew the bowstring as far as it would hold, barely holding on.

“I will not leave until I have your coin and food.”

Olfurth sighed.

“I have neither food nor coin. You nobles should have clung to it closer than you already had.”

The winds howled, and the snow slammed against their faces.

“What did you say?” screamed the child.

“I told you I am not giving you anything. Now either kill me or leave me be. I have to reach the Obelisk of Kiros”

“Kiros?”, the child shouted, “He can hear us?”

The child’s fingers slid off the drawn bow. The arrow soared through the wind and landed deep into Olfurth’s shoulder. He cried out in pain, eventually left to kneel on one knee in pulsing pain, bleeding profusely. 

“Damn it,” said Olfurth, “I would have let you live.”

With a quivering lip and eyes filled with undying rage, he unsheathed his sword and leapt at the child in the thick blizzard.

“I’m so sorry, sera, I didn’t mean to shoot. The string was too heavy. I need the gold, Please—”

The wind moved on, and the snow followed. The child’s body stood, frozen. Blood trickled down onto the pale ground, as pools of crimson began to form. 

Olfurth, quivering from cold and shock, held the sword within their stomach. He felt the child’s last breaths on his rugged face before they fell into the deep snow. Olfurth gazed into the eyes of the husk as he withdrew the sword from the body. 

Tears filled his tired eyes, and his throat began to sore.

“Now why did you have to make me do that.” said Olfurth. 

Olfurth felt the gales again. He closed his eyes, feeling the icy touch of Nature’s growing temper upon his cheeks. The wind began to howl. 

He knew the Gods were displeased.

He turned around and looked to the cave. It seemed warm, inviting even. He turned once again to see the corpse of the child, still in the snow. It pained him to know the child would never reach the North, even if the myth of its warmth was a lie.

“A fate better than starving or frostbite.” He said to himself, wrapping himself in his fur coat. 

“That’s what I am: merciful.”

He shivered in the bitter cold as he crept toward the cave. He turned around one last time. He could see nothing as the gusts and snow swallowed the land before him.

He had to move forward. The deep cold was settling in.

He turned back around. Tears slowly fell from his wrinkled cheeks. 

“I’m a merciful man.”


<<<<<>>>>>



The Zombie Apocalypse!!!


It was a normal day. I just finished breakfast. I left for school. On my way there, I saw a man in a . Brown suit and red and white striped tie. I said "hi" and he greeted me as well. When I got to school (It was still a normal day) so in the lobby, I was hearing someone talking about wishes coming true. I saw him wearing a silly magic costume and heard him saying proudly : " come forth one and all. This magic "orb" will bring all your wishes true. After hearing what he said, I walked up to him and asked him where did you get that from and he said:" I found it in an old dumpyard glowing and on the side a carving writing "the wish maker" that's how I found it". So agreed to make my wish I was thinking of getting a new bike for my self so as i wanted to make my wish, soon some skateboard junkies just came running and one of them saying:" hey I don't believe you. But I'll make my wish anyway. I wish....... there was a zombie apocalypse that caused the end of the world there I said it. nothing happened". As soon as I heard this I terrified by the wish that junkie made I saw the orb glowing in a shining blue-light colour after that the orb caused a big wide explosion that caused a blackout. The explosion reached everywhere. News spreading across the world like wild fire. Two hours later, a we left school because of the emergency. So everyone at school thought that nothing had happened so did I. As we were heading home I saw the same man which I saw this morning. As I walked up to him to say hi again as he looked at me

GUESS WHAT HAPPENED !!!

To be Continued......


In the year 2000, War was declared and millions of Males and Females were drafted to the US Military. It wasn't until the year 2008, the war would start. Later in 2008, the Government teamed up with Vault-Tec to build Fallout shelters for the Americans, but there was a problem. 328.2 million people lived in the USA and Vault-Tec had to build approximately 328 thousand vaults, then, the Government had the idea to build 122 Vaults so that the economy wouldn't crash. It's now 2016, Vault-Tec finally built 122 Vaults, the Government planned to bomb America in a few decades. A man named Greg Manning got exclusive access to Vault 543, but than, Vault-Tec locked Greg inside the vault so that he couldn't escape. In 2035, Greg was finally released out of Vault 543 and then locked into an Insane Asylum because he was acting crazy. It's 2050, the Government decided to finally bomb America and BOOM, the US was no more. In 2060, the Vault Dwellers finally got access to leave the Vaults and explore the Wastelands. In 2062, Vault 22 was full of mutated plants and all of the Vault Dwellers were mutated with an unknown virus known as VX (Virus X). In 2076, A super mutant infected Vault 76, so as the Overseer. In 2079, a man named Alan Tomson discovered a cure to the VX virus, it was called EX (Erasor X). In 2100, Greg Manning II was born by his mother named Jane Manning. It's 2103, Alan Tomson II rebuilt Washington D.C which took him 5 years. In 2114, Vault 0 was found underwater by Sandy Tomson, unexpectedly, Sandy was never found. In 2120, Alan Tomson died from Natural Causes. In 2146, Thomas Goodman killed everyone in Vault 123. In 2155, Greg Manning II assassinated president Donald Trump IV. In the 2160s, 3 viruses were discovered. These were: Slacg, Ov-wE and Densepdella. In 2173, the viruses became widepspread to the point where lockdown started once again until 2200.


AFTERMATH: The population of Earth has been decreased to 0


THE END


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Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-15 11:46:11


The Zombie Apocalypse!!! Pt. 2


I was so shocked with what I saw. That same man I saw this morning his face just changed, he looked like a charming handsome young man but now his eyes turned "yellow", his face changed green, his mouth was drooling, his teeth broken. I ran as fast as I could to my friends. They asked me what happened, I said that "there was a zz.. zzz "zombie". ZOMBIE?!!! one of them said. The foolish skate board junkie didn't believe what I said saying:" no way. A "zombie"? That's impossible". "Serious" I said. Wait I'm gonna check it out" the junkie said. I then told him not to go he then went to meet the "zombie man" the junkie was also shocked saying:" no waaay!!! Before he ran back to us the zombie bit his leg off. The foolish junkie became a zombie just like that man. I told my friends that we should regroup in the school playground. We all rushed to our homes to warn our parents. As I got home I looked for my dad and mum, but I couldn't find them. So I rushed to the school playground I didn't meet anyone there I waited one hour until..... I heard a voice. I rushed to hide behind the bushes when I checked who it was I found out that my friends had arrived so I rushed up to them there were four of us we were two boys and two girls I asked them if they informed their parents. But their parents were no where to be seen so something came to my mind, could it be...... that orb the boy was talking about, was it really magic? I asked my self. So I told my friends what I thought could have caused it. They were also shocked and surprised. Soon we heard a sound. We were frightened. It was a swarm of zombies. We ran for our lives until we reached somewhere it was a cyber cafe. We rushed in and shut the doors. We rested for a while......

Then I said:" we've gotta find that boy with the "orb" and change everything back to normal. We'll stay here till sunrise hopefully with the provisions here, we should last the night". "Agreed" everyone said.


Sunrise.......

We woke up early and went to search out for the boy, the sky filled with pollution, fire everywhere, i could see nothing on the roads but dead bodies and blood on the roads. Nothing felt right. I realized it. "The Zombie Apocalypse" was really here......

To be Continued in Pt 3........

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-15 11:57:35


At 10/15/20 08:47 AM, SirKaotik wrote: In the year 2000, War was declared and millions of Males and Females were drafted to the US Military. It wasn't until the year 2008, the war would start. Later in 2008, the Government teamed up with Vault-Tec to build Fallout shelters for the Americans, but there was a problem. 328.2 million people lived in the USA and Vault-Tec had to build approximately 328 thousand vaults, then, the Government had the idea to build 122 Vaults so that the economy wouldn't crash. It's now 2016, Vault-Tec finally built 122 Vaults, the Government planned to bomb America in a few decades. A man named Greg Manning got exclusive access to Vault 543, but than, Vault-Tec locked Greg inside the vault so that he couldn't escape. In 2035, Greg was finally released out of Vault 543 and then locked into an Insane Asylum because he was acting crazy. It's 2050, the Government decided to finally bomb America and BOOM, the US was no more. In 2060, the Vault Dwellers finally got access to leave the Vaults and explore the Wastelands. In 2062, Vault 22 was full of mutated plants and all of the Vault Dwellers were mutated with an unknown virus known as VX (Virus X). In 2076, A super mutant infected Vault 76, so as the Overseer. In 2079, a man named Alan Tomson discovered a cure to the VX virus, it was called EX (Erasor X). In 2100, Greg Manning II was born by his mother named Jane Manning. It's 2103, Alan Tomson II rebuilt Washington D.C which took him 5 years. In 2114, Vault 0 was found underwater by Sandy Tomson, unexpectedly, Sandy was never found. In 2120, Alan Tomson died from Natural Causes. In 2146, Thomas Goodman killed everyone in Vault 123. In 2155, Greg Manning II assassinated president Donald Trump IV. In the 2160s, 3 viruses were discovered. These were: Slacg, Ov-wE and Densepdella. In 2173, the viruses became widepspread to the point where lockdown started once again until 2200.

AFTERMATH: The population of Earth has been decreased to 0

THE END


What a sad ending. I love it.

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-15 12:16:30


Zombos and Combos Alpha


  Disclaimer: if you wanna learn more about the characters used here then check out my DA. Advertising has never felt so sweet!


  Tonight had a strange air about it. A foreboding sense to it. It is the month of All Hallows’ eve after all. People are all spruced up for the holidays. Autumn setting in and making the air nice and crispy, chilly too. Everything’s all peachy on this chilly autumn night. What are the others currently up to?


  “Come on, I was super close!” Mat is currently playing a video game in the living room. It appears to be Yakuza: Dead Souls. The one game that’s kinda whatever compared to the mainline titles. Also the only spin off localized and released to the states. It sucks but that’s how it is. You’d think after all this time they’d finally send the rest over onto here but nah. They haven’t. It’s a total bummer but what can you do?


  Mary is currently by her side. Holding onto the tomboys arm gently and snuggling up alongside her. It’s one of those cozy nights. The two sharing a blanket. Bags of chips lay by their sides. The two occasionally snack from their respective bags. Tonight is rather uneventful. Just these two doing their thing. They actually binged a bunch of zombie movies together both the classics and modern gems. Even with the way the zombie genre has been shambling one it can still manage to be pretty entertaining. Mary knows a lot about the genre and horror as a whole. She’s nerdy like that.


  The television is the only thing illuminating the room. It reflects off Mats glasses. Speaking of, they're just wearing pjs and not much else. Mat having a timely zombie themed shirt. It’s got reds and cool imagery! Mary is wearing a turtleneck for comfort's sake. Plus it’s chilly this night! Best to keep warm with a blanket and a homie. Their third housemate, Scarlet, is currently out doing something. Probably taking a walk and searching for a good fight. She hasn’t done it in awhile.


  “Where the fuck is everybody? I’m tryna have a fun night here!” Scarlet complained to no one in particular. The streets are absolutely barren this time of night. A few loose newspapers rolling around in the wind. One smacks Scar in the leg and she picks it up. Reading the contents. Something about weird shit going down. Apparently it’s affecting the whole world. Scarlet mostly skims through it cause she don’t have time for that shit. Words seem to jumble up at the end. Whoever printed these out did a shitty job. Suddenly a low groan fills the air as some weird dude shuffles into view.


 “Hey bud! Got anywhere where I can actually find people to find?” She hollered at the strange dude. He’s hunched over and seems to be chewing on something. He’s obscured by darkness. A lone street lamp providing light to the immediate surrounding area. This man walks under the street light. The sound of fleshy gnawing making itself rather apparent. This dude is chewing on some chunky bit of red meat. Scarlet doesn’t recognize this particular type but the smell is something else entirely, “What the fuck? That’s rotting meat….wait...rotting…?” Slowly she puts two and two together. Having pinched her nose while making this connection. Hand reaching for her knife. This is NOT a stable man. His growls sound inhumane. Without warning he lurches forward.


  Mat turns the game off. Having had enough of it. Mary kept close with her bff. It’s oddly chilly in the house. She yawns as Mat snacks from the bag of chips. There’s been something on the news lately about bizarre incidents. Mat doesn’t remember tuning into the news station though. Guess it was just there when she switched it off. The anchorman looked weird. He was stuttering over his words and he didn’t seem to be all there. Not in the sense of not being composed well but more so unnatural. While the two are relaxing in each other’s arms there’s the sound of someone running hurriedly towards their door. Followed by Scarlet barging in. She quickly shuts the door and locks it before heading into the living room. Blood coating her knife, “We need to leave. Now.”


 “Dude what the hell? Is that blood? I-“


 “Shut up there’s no time now grab a fuckin weapon and lets go!” Scarlet ushers them along. Mat confused and Mary a bit freaked out. Mat tries to keep Mary calm as they rush up to her room. Everyone is getting geared up, “Oh here’s this gun I found. Dude dropped it when I stabbed his weird creepy face,” it’s a handgun. It’s in good condition despite just slipping out of the dude when he was killed. Scar hands it to Mary who’s too nonplussed to even respond. Mat managed to find her baseball bat and get some shoes on. Soon after the three are ready to go!


  “So what’s the plan? Dude I swear to god if it’s zombies or some shit then I’m gonna be...fuckin...Idunno!” Mat desperately tries to find reason among all the chaos. Scarlet not giving any explanations to what the hells happening. Mary hasn’t even said a word. Staring at the gun with a wide eyed expression. She doesn’t really know how to use it but she’ll learn as she goes. Mat takes a few deep breaths to calm herself. Managing to do so enough to where she can be coherent, “Aight. What’s the plan?”


  “I was thinkin we would go to Sasha’s. Since she’s got a big fuckin house and can protect herself well enough. Place is fortified to hell and back. Then we just...wait it out, I guess,” Scarlet doesn’t sound too sure of herself. Wiping her eyes and picking up a mask. The other two have already equipped theirs. Scarlet has this jacket on her with a tank top underneath. Ripped jeans are still a part of her attire. The trio ready to dish out some pain.


  Mat isn’t entirely sure this plan will work. However since Sasha is a user of the arcane arts perhaps there’s a spell or something she could use to put the dead to rest? It’s a long shot but it could work. After some mild hesitation and checking to make sure everything’s in order the three quietly sneak their way outta house. The sounds of shuffling feet off in the distance. They pass by the convenience store. Bloody handprints coating the glass door. Lights flickering by from within. The alley next to it housing the vending machine. There’s a hand stuck in the slot. It’s grasping a soda.


  The three sneak through the alleyway. Scarlet snagging the soda from the hand, “Sucks to be him,” she mocked the lone hand. Mat giving Scar a weird look questioning why she’d do that so damn casually. They don’t have time to linger on it as they make it out of the alley. Scarlet popping the cap off the soda with her knife. After wiping the blood off it of course. Taking a few hearty sips she sets it down and stores it in her pocket. There’s little risk of spilling it.


  Eventually the trio make it to the lone street light. The body of the zombie Scarlet took out under the light. His jaw having fallen off and remaining by his side. There’s a noticeable head wound the size of a knife. He remains motionless. Despite his jaw being removed there lacked blood. A few droplets are on his shirt but otherwise that’s it. Mary doesn’t want to look but can’t help it. Gazing at the night and feeling shivers go up her spine. The other two remain less shaken up about it but still freaked out regardless. Scarlet seems almost proud of this thing she killed. 


  After some more walking around the town changes appearance. Both sides covered by the storefronts and the lighthouse way off in the distance. Was the town ever this confusing to navigate? None of the gals are sure but they don’t have much time to think about it as a crowd of zombies shambles into view. Their moans create a haunting chorus. They manage to see the three and make a beeline towards their location. They’ve got no choice but to fight!


-> Continued in next post


 Mat and Scarlet are right into the thick of it as they wildly swing their weapons at the various zombies clawing at them. Mat managed to bash some heads in and knock the heads off others. She’s a strong lass! Scarlet stabbing a bunch of those fools in the head and slashing out their legs! The two are pretty damn synchronized during this time. It’s their finest hour after all! Mary attempts to evade the zombies. Actually doing a pretty decent job. Although she can’t help but be scared. Her knowledge of zombie media does aid in evading the masses. Even managing to blast a few of them right in the face. Weird how goreless the fight is. Well there’s splatters of blood on their weapons and some on their clothes but the actual wounds themselves look strange. Like red jam or low modeled textures. Throughout the entire time they’ve been trekking through the town Mary has felt increasingly off. Like there’s more to this plight than just zombies. Mat feels it too. Scarlet also has an inkling but doesn’t seem to care all too much.


 “Hey. Is it me or does this feel...strange. Like are we only dealing with zombies?” Mary finally speaks up. Her voice shaken but certain in what she has to say. The other two turned their attention to her. Corpses lying by their feet, “I don’t wanna sound crazy or anything. But maybe...our reality isn’t what we thought it was…”


  No one isn’t sure what to make of these words. Mat getting where Mary’s coming from. Honestly if she didn’t know any better she’d think this was some kinda cliché movie or something. Looking around some corpses just fade from existence while others remain. This is wicked bizarre now. All three notice something is up.


  The father they go through the landscape makes less sense. Bits of land missing and various things clipping through each other. Zombies keep coming but they only serve as cannon fodder. It feels fun yeah. Yet the tension just seems so far removed from what anyone’s expecting. The total LACK of tension is ironically more eerie then if there would be.


  Suddenly they come to an impasse. There’s just nothing past a certain point. Pitch black void beyond this point. An endless abyss that consumes all light that travels into it. Zombies won’t stop coming. There’s only one thing left to do. With little hesitance the three jump down. Zombies falling after them. None of them catch up thankfully. Though their moans echo out briefly before cutting out abruptly.


  They keep falling and falling. There doesn’t seem to be an end to this. Scarlet isn’t all that amused. Letting out a frustrated, “This fuckin sucks!”


 “Yeah I thought there’d be more to this little adventure of ours. Talk about anticlimactic,” Mat responds with casual boredom. More annoyed this adventure didn’t go anywhere. They did sustain damage but it was minor. Some cuts and such. Mat looks at her bloodied bat for a few moments, “Got a lotta mileage outta my baseball bat so at least there’s that.”


  “Why aren’t any of you afraid? This is a zombie apocalypse! Usually one of us would have died by now!” Mary admits with some fear in her voice. Although it’s more carried on by confusion. Pretty much none of what she expected to happen actually happened, “It’s like...a non traditional zombie flick! A video game? Whatever!”


  “I got to stab bitches and that's good enough for me. For the fear thing I’m a fuckin masochist. I’ve been beaten to near unconsciousness multiple times. I ain’t afraid of shit,” Scarlet grins. Her sharp teeth are hidden by the mask. This plus her confidence in her own fighting abilities means that she was fearless. Perhaps to the point of recklessness. She won’t admit it but the first zombie encounter was seriously freaky. Dude was SERIOUSLY unnatural. He barely counted as a human with the way his jerky movements were animated.


  “Eh felt like none of that shit really mattered. Like….like this wouldn’t be anything. To be honest I got beat em up vibes from all this. Guess this is the world's end for the time being. Fallin in an endless pit. Actually this would count as a bottomless pit right? Frickin semantics,” Mat answers Mary’s question. Her chill tone made a return. A part of her though did feel more drab. Mainly due to the fact that the world literally just ended right before their very eyes. Basically being a kill screen.


  Nothing left to do but wait. Scarlet idly plays with her knife. Admiring its look. Mary goes over to Mat and chills with her. The three fall with style for what feels like forever. This would probably be scary if it weren’t so boringly pointless.


  Eventually the black breaks away. Revealing static and whiteness. What started as a slow trickle envelopes their entire vision as reality breaks a second time. Suddenly they find themselves in a weird white void. It’s totally barren save for a couch. The trio migrate to the couch upon spotting it. Least they can wait for the world to restart in style. Cuddling each other till something happens.


  This Weird White Void is nice. Who cares if it’s the afterlife? The three are just gonna chill for the time being. A TV manifests into existence. Alongside some game consoles. Soon enough the trio are just playing video games. They ended the night exactly the same way they started it. Playing Yakuza: Dead souls.

  

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-15 12:39:30


First try at this

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Upon us was the last night, the last night before the harvest. Some of us had already given up hope, some of us had not. None of us knew how or why we were here. Although we did not know what awaited us, we all knew it would be dark. Tales of endless brutal murder, and endless imprisonment passed around the field, yet none of us knew what we truly had in store. As we lay there motionless and in suspense. We hear the engines of the devil, deep sounds of torture, who’s fires are lit in the search for suffering. We hear those faint sounds come closer. We had all grown strong in the months leading up, yet it was all for nothing. One by one we were picked off, ripped from our haven. Disconnected from what gave us life. Not a word was said as we were transported to our hell, although we did not know what awaited us, we knew not to speak of it. For to speak of it would be to give in. Herded like sheep, into small cages made of the remains of our brethren. The devil’s engine roared once more, transporting us to our hell. In the early morning we arrived, the devil engine drove off once more, leaving us behind. Yet we knew this wasn’t over, one by one we picked off again, held by the hands of the devil. I was picked up by a smaller one, perhaps the end wasn’t near, such small devils could never express such evils, perhaps the tales were wrong. The small one brought me into their dwelling and placed me upon their table. Perhaps I was a piece for them to admire, although I missed the field back home, I wouldn’t mind such treatment. But as a gazed into this strange room, I felt a sharp pain in my head. In shock I did not know what happened, but something was attacking me. Soon after I felt my insides being ripped out. Oh, how I begged for the small one to come back and save me. However, as the cutting seemed to stop, and my senses returned. I saw the small one standing In front of me, the little devil was admiring me. In their hand lay a knife and a spoon. Picked up again once more, I was placed outside. And to my horror, i was not the only one whom met this fate. Along street lay my family, one by one being lit up by the devils. Placing small fires in our carcasses. And that was our hell, forced to watch my family rot away marked with the devil’s touch, fire. It was the end our world

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-15 13:24:37


I Promise


Rubble crunched under the short woman’s boots as she trudged through the remains of the city that was once her home. The unrelenting sun beat overhead, burning what little skin she had left uncovered. Her backpack weighed heavily on her shoulders, slowing her journey down and stretching out her arduous trek. Brushing her dark hair away from her eyes, she peered at the ruined buildings around her for the one that would signal the end of her travels.


No, not yet. Only a few more streets though.


She cursed as she attempted to take a swig from her water bottle,  the container having run dry without her noticing. Shoving the bottle back into her pack angrily, she only just managed to notice the shifting shadows in the dark of the alleyway as she passed it by. A dark… something, shot out at her. It was only her own quick movement further into the bright street that stopped it from curling around her waist and pulling her into the alley. The creature hissed at the harsh glare of sunlight against the sticky material that she presumed must be its skin. It whipped back into the alley, burnt limbs slapping against the crumbling walls in pain and anger. She re-adjusted her mask, gave the creature a little nod and continued her trek. There was no use being cruel to the creatures, they had been just as human as her once, back when she could walk the streets of her home without being wrapped from head to toe.


She could have walked at night of course, much cooler, no need to worry about the accursed sunlight. All she would have to worry about were the creatures.


She had heard the creatures be called all kinds of things by fellow survivors; The Burnt, Demons, Shadow-Slitherers, Those Gross Things. She just called them creatures, the tortured remains of the humans who did not get inside quick enough when the damn comet slammed us all so much closer to the Sun. The destruction of the initial comet was devastating in of itself, but the hell the Sun had caused was something no one had expected. She didn’t know what happened to the people who were dragged into the shadows by the creatures but they were never seen again.


So she stuck to traveling in the bright burning sunlight.


A filthy door, covered in beautifully painted flowers marked the end of her journey. She fumbled with the key that hung around her neck, unlocking the door and pushing her way inside.


It was clean inside, well… cleaner. Dust had settled but it wasn’t a ruined mess like outside or most of the other buildings in the city. She had spent quite some time fixing it up over the years, making it almost look like it had when she had last seen it before the comet. The little apartment was quite a contrast to the sun-bleached world outside. Dark, only the bare amount of light allowing her to see the brightly painted walls and paintings that decorated the walls. Moving through the beautiful if unusable kitchen, she made her way towards the back bedroom.


The door creaked as she warily nudged it open. A shudder of dark movement from within. She gently pulled a candle out of her bag, lit it and set in on the cabinet by the door.


“Mama, I’m coming in.”


The walls in here were the only thing that differed from her original home, plastered with pictures of her and her mother, as well as a few other relatives.


The creature on the bed lay still, only twitching its restrained limbs.


“ I am sorry I haven’t been home in a while Mama, we just had too much work excavating new rooms for a band of survivors we found. Lizzie is well, she has a new boyfriend and Drew has just a little baby. I wish we had a camera, I would have brought more pictures for you.”


The creature groaned and hissed. She knew that was her Mama trying to comfort her.


“ I know, I know, just a little disappointed I guess.” She reached out to touch the end of one of the creature’s upper limbs, the mangled mess of burnt flesh and blood and bone fused together.


She could just about see her mother’s wedding ring among the blackened and cracked skin.


It couldn’t attack her, not tied to the bed as it was, but it didn’t try to either. She knew her mother could recognise her, even if her sister’s considered this whole venture a fool’s errand. She sat at her mother’s bedside for a moment, talking about everything had happened with what family they had left before she stood to search through her backpack.


“I know these are your favourite Mama, we have finally started to grow plants and I found a packet of seeds for them and Drew would be furious if she knew I was “wasting” supplies growing them, but I knew I had to. Papa used to bring you them for your anniversary, do you remember?”


The creature gurgled as she pulled out a small and slightly withered bunch of Daisies. She sat back down, patting her mother on the arm.


“It’s okay, I’ll help you remember. I’ll help you remember everything. I promise.”

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-15 13:27:29


Our theme: THE END OF THE WORLD

This year, your story should be about anything involving a post-apocalyptic world. It could be virus or pandemic related. It could be a zombie invasion. It could be nuclear war. It can really be anything as long as the world ends! 

Any updates on our judges yet?

Response to Hall-20 Writing contest ENTRIES/STORIES 2020-10-15 13:37:34


At 10/15/20 01:27 PM, YahayaYahaya wrote:
At 9/13/20 10:20 PM, SevenSeize4President wrote: 2020 has been one huge dumpster fire, so in the spirit of the ending of the world, I present to you our Halloween writing contest for 2020!
 
Our theme: THE END OF THE WORLD

This year, your story should be about anything involving a post-apocalyptic world. It could be virus or pandemic related. It could be a zombie invasion. It could be nuclear war. It can really be anything as long as the world ends! 
 
PLEASE ONLY POST STORY ENTRIES IN THIS THREAD. Any discussion can be held in the discussion thread found here
 
Due date:
 
October 31st 2020
 
Prizes:
 
$100 to 1st place
$50 to 2nd place
$25 to 3rd place
 
Judges:
As of right now, just me, but I am looking for two more, so that we have a tiebreaker. I’ll post once the 3 judges are finalized. I wanted to go ahead and start the thread though so that you guys have time to write. THAT SAID-----Please write!
I absolutely play fair. So if I’ve ever banned you before, write anyway. If we hate each other’s guts, write anyway. Don’t skip out on the contest because you have a ban record or have had a thread deleted. Please write! I’ll read it!
 
Rules/Info:
 
Submit multiple pieces or just a single piece. While I don't necessarily mind multiple pieces, it would be nice to see the effort and time put into a single work instead.
 
Please write original pieces. While I wouldn't really know that you pulled up an old piece of writing you made years ago it does kind of defeat the purpose of the competitions. (To write!) If I find it posted on the internet anywhere else I will assume that it is plagiarized and it won't be entered into the competition.
 
Short story format only please. The last couple of years I've also allowed poems, but we find out that no matter how well written a poem is it never places against a well written short story.
 
Other than that no word count or topic limitations. Just make it end of the world related!
 
Other:
 
It's a good idea to write in your preferred program and then copy/paste into notepad to get rid of some of the weird formatting between Word and newgrounds that can happen. Whenever I post I write in word, copy/paste into notepad, then copy/paste into an old newgrounds blog page to make sure the format look good before posting.
 
Try to keep your story posted together. It just makes for smoother reading. If you see someone else posting their story please wait until they've finished.
 
If your story will be multiple posts it's not a bad idea to write "continued on next post" or something similar to help judges and other people who are posting stories stay organized.
 
Don't comment in this thread unless you are posting your story. Please comment in the discussion thread posted here and on the top of the page.
 
This is something I talked about with @fro a lot this summer, so I stole these rules from his thread last year. He’s taking a well-deserved break---but just know he is the original Halloween writing contest fella!

In the spirit of the apocalypse, here is my favorite apocalypse artwork, by the one and only @Deathink
Any updates on our judges yet?


Me, @The-Great-One, and @Dranj 🙂


| It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose|||Love belongs to Desire, and Desire is always cruel.||||

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