A Family by Skyler Goldman – Second Draft

The family was all lined up, each with a noose around their necks. All had been captured by the bandits while trying to make their escape to the safe haven, Merideth, where they would be able to start a new life for themselves and their daughter. The father would have had his own general store spending his days talking with customers and selling things he had traded for. The mother would stay home and do general house work. At the end of the day the father would come home and she would greet him with a hug and a kiss. Their daughter would go to school and learn. At the end of the school day she would skip home to her mother. Merideth was supposed to be their salvation. They could start a new life, away from all the violence of the outside world. A chance for their daughter to live a normal and happy life. But that chance was gone and would be the last thing the family would think about before their lives ended. Each one of them would have a different ending and each one knew their ending from the stories that had been told and passed on back at the old camp that they once lived in.

The father was badly beaten from trying to protect his wife and daughter. His hands tied behind his back and the noose around his neck kept him from moving and trying to escape. His hair, once neat and well kept, was now dirty and rustled. His glasses were missing a lens from when they jumped him and attacked his face. The lightweight dress shirt he was wearing had become torn and ripped from the struggle, and his jeans only had stains from the dirt. His face, not full of anger, but disappointment that he was unable to protect his family and they were to die because of him. After he is hanged, the bandits will cut off his arms and legs and serve him at a feast.

The mother was practically untouched from the bandits, in an attempt to keep her body smooth and unharmed, so that it would be more pleasurable to look at. Her hair had been rustled in some places from when she had fallen. Her lipstick had been smudged. She was wearing a bright yellow sundress that had been covered in some dirt stains and ripped at the neck. After she is hanged the bandits will make a dash for her body while it is still warm. Once they are done fighting over her body the winner will have the chance to have sex with her corpse. After he is finished he will pass it on to whoever he wants and the cycle will repeat until her corpse begins to rot. She knew this is what would happen after she dies.

The young daughter, the noose around her neck and hands tied behind her back just like her parents, too short for the noose. She was placed on top of a wooden crate, bringing her to eye level with her parents. She had blonde hair just like her mother pulled back in a ponytail. She had not been touched by any of the bandits. She had on a purple shirt that had a graphic of a smiling sun on the front of it. She had on lime green pants that matched the shirt and her white sneakers. She stared forward into the sunset, her face was emotionless but her face was red from when she was crying earlier but no more and her tears had dried. Her fate after death could go either way. She could be served as a feast or her corpse would be kept around to rape.

Click. The father dropped through the panel and the rope caught his body, breaking his neck. The mother screamed and began to sob uncontrollably. The daughter didn’t budge and continued looking outwards.

Click. The mother fell through the panel and the bandits rushed in. The first one to reach her was yanked back when another pulled a knife and stabbed it into his neck. It was a brawl to see who would win. One of them had grabbed her body while the others were fighting and ran away with her. He had already begun to undress her.

Click.

Something I Am Working On! Chapter One

So in a spur of inspiration I began working on something today. This is a rough draft of the first chapter of what I am writing. Some content may be missing and somethings may not sound right, but that is because I haven’t had a chance to go over it yet and edit. I hope you enjoy.

 


“So, you never told me what you do.” Said Rich

“What do you mean?” I replied

I was at the only bar in Rosalin. The crowd was rough and rowdy, but I wasn’t going to waste a day traveling somewhere else just to get a drink. Luckily there weren’t many people at the bar during the day when I would go in. It was usually just myself, Rich bartender, this girl that would sit at a table in the corner by herself, and Teddy. The bartender knew me by name but didn’t know my history, he’s a nice guy, always welcomes me with a smile as if I was the only one to care about him. I never talked to the girl. Even though I’m one of the top bounty hunters in the area, I still have trouble talking to some people, she just happened to be one of the people. And then there’s Teddy. God I loved that son of a bitch. Great guy, went hunting a couple times with him. We always split the bounty 50/50 and we never argued. I would come in and sit at the bar and he would sit with me. We would talk and drink for hours. He was always like a father to me. Whenever I was in town he would force me to stay with him and wouldn’t accept any money I tried to give him, but I always left something when I would leave. It was either money, food, or jewelry for his wife.

“Well you’re in here a lot and you always have cash money. You have to have some sort of job.” He continued

“I thought you would know what I did by now.” I said chuckling

He looked at me with an angry frown on his face, disapproving that he in fact didn’t know what I did.

“Alright alright I’ll tell you. But, you have to guess.” I smiled

“Oh Christ here we go. Another one of Tyler’s famous guessing games!” said Teddy sitting across from me.

“Fine.” Said Rich

“Alright” I began

“Who am I always hanging out with when I am in town?”

“With Teddy.” He pointed at Teddy

“And what does Teddy do?”

“You’re a hunter, right Teddy?” Rich asked Teddy

“You know I am” Said Teddy

“Two for two Rich! Now, why am I always traveling and when I’m in town I’m always at the bounty office?’ I said with a smirk on my face

“You’re a hunter?” Rich asked

“He’s done it! He’s got the questions right! Tell him what he’s won Teddy!” I yelled enthusiastically

I looked at Teddy and all he was doing was shaking his head at me, but I could see that stupid little smile of his.

“Ha ha ha, very funny Tyler. But really, you’re a bounty hunter?”

“Yep.” I said proudly

“Well you can’t blame me for not knowing, you are only 18, that’s a little young for a hunter.” He frowned in a disapproving matter

“Well there isn’t much else I can do.” I said

“I could either be hunting or working in a field somewhere doing something I don’t like. If not for hunting I probably would’ve killed myself by now.”

It’s true. If not for hunting I would have killed myself by now. I hated work and I hated being told what to do. Being a hunter allowed me to make my own career and do what I want. I felt like I really had a life as a hunter.

“Also, if not for hunting. I never would have found this big guy right here.” I said as I patted Teddy on the back

“Aw how sweet.” Teddy smiled

“Ding ding ding ding ding.” Came from the bell outside.

“Ah damn, guess I’m outta here Rich.” I said as I put my money down for the drinks.

“Alright fellas I’ll see you later. Good luck hunting.”

“Come on Ted we gotta go see what new bounties were posted.” I said

“But I don’t wanna!” Teddy whined

“Such a whiner, let’s go.” I said, pulling Teddy out of his seat.

I turned around to leave as Teddy was paying for his drinks when I noticed that the girl had left, leaving money on the table. But that wasn’t the only thing she had left. There was an envelope on the ground by the chair that must have fallen out of her bag. I picked up the envelope and placed it carefully inside of my bag. I hoped I would be able to see her around again so I could return the envelope.

“Alright let’s go. Hey what’s that envelope from?” Teddy said

“Oh, that girl that was sitting here must’ve left it. Thought I would return it to her.” I said. I could feel my cheeks turning red.

“Ooooh, sounds like someone has a crush.” Said Teddy with a grin on his face

He held open the door for me and said “After you m’lady”

“How sweet.” I said pinching his cheek

We walked outside into the heat of the day. We were in the bar for so long our eyes had become custom to the darkness. I began to walk across the dirt road towards the bounty with Teddy following behind. The bounty office was this little building that had a bell outside of it. When the bell rang, that meant that there were new bounties in. The doors were made of steel and had a locking mechanism on them to prevent any of the captures from escaping. We walked inside and were greeted once again by the darkness. Inside was smaller than you would expect. There’s a counter where the manager stands and gives you the bounties. On the wall behind him are the available bounties with a picture of who you had to get. The price of the bounty depended on three major things, the severity of their crime and if they were dead or alive. Normally the bounty for them captured alive is much higher than them being dead, but sometimes the price is the same because it’s not worth it to the manager to have them alive. To the left of the counter is a hallway that leads to the captures. They are usually kept inside a jail cell where they will await their hanging.

“Hello gentleman! If yall could give me a minute to finish up with this lil lady than I’ll be happy to help you.” Said the Manager

It was the girl from the bar. She looked up when she heard the manager speak and looked towards us. There wasn’t much light in the building but I could still see her clearly. Her eyes had a dark red tint to them and her hair was short and full of blue coloring. I realized I was looking right towards her behind and quickly turned my gaze away and began to scratch at the back of my head. If my cheeks had been any redder I swear they would have been glowing. I could hear Teddy trying to muffle his laughing behind his hands.

“Thank’s Mr. Doliato, I’ll have this bounty back in no time.” She spoke

Her voice sounded so sweet and innocent, but if she was a hunter then there was no chance in hell that her personality matched her voice. She picked up her bag and slung it over her back and began walking towards us. I stood there and didn’t dare move. She was getting closer and the closer she got I began to realize how intimidated by her that I was. Finally she was a foot in front of me. Oh my god, what do I do. Holy shit I am freaking out.

“Excuse me?” She said in a harsh voice

I was frozen and I didn’t know what to do.

“I kind of have to leave out that door.” She pointed to behind me towards the door

Oh Christ I’m blocking the door she must think I’m a fucking idiot.

“I’m, uh, um, uh, sorry.” I said in a broken voice as I moved to the side

“Thanks.” She said in a sarcastic tone

She had begun to push open the door when I remembered.

“Wait, miss, I, uh, I have something for you.” I said

“Oh?” She stopped in her tracks

“Here.” I bumbled

I dug into my backpack and pulled out the envelope. I extended my hand towards her. My whole arm was trembling and I couldn’t stop myself. She turned towards me and gasped when she saw the envelope. She pulled it out of my hand and the next thing I knew I had a knife pressed against my throat.

“Where the fuck did you get this from!” She demanded

I couldn’t form words. I was frozen, not from fear, but the fact that she was practically touching me.

“Where!” She demanded again, pushing the blade harder against my throat

“Hold on miss.” Said Teddy, finally stepping in

“Look, he found that letter at the bar on the ground. He was just trying to give it back to you. Isn’t that right Tyler?”

I nodded my head.

“Fine” She said pulling the knife away

“Sorry about that, it’s just that I need this”

“No problem.” I said in a wheezy voice

She walked out the door and had said “See you boys again soon.” before the door shut. There were so many thoughts flooding through my head, who is she, what was in the envelope, why did I freeze when she touched me? I hoped to see her again, I had to know more about this girl. I looked over at Teddy to ask him if he knew anything, but he was laying on the floor laughing enough to cause the ground to shake.

Those Left in the World by Skyler Goldman – Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Introduction: Lucia

 

“Come on baby don’t you want to have a little fun?” said one of the thugs

There were three thugs. One was holding Lucia up against his chest while the other two stood guard keeping watch and waiting for their turn with her.

“Come on Brick, let me have a turn.” said one of thugs, licking his lips

“Shut it red!” Brick snapped back

“Besides, I’m pretty sure she is coming around.” Brick said as he began to lick the side of her cheek. Lucia shivered and tried to squirm away.

“Just let me go, please.” Lucia begged while pushing against Brick’s body

“Oh come on baby.” Brick started

He grabbed her breast

“I was beginning to think we had a real connection.”

Brick smiled, revealing he was missing some of his teeth. He leaned in close to her face, mouth open, for a kiss. Lucia accepted her fate, closed her eyes and opened her mouth. He began to explore her mouth with his tongue. Lucia winced, his breath smelled like a rotting pile of Scatter corpses. Lucia opened her eyes and suddenly Brick began to start screaming, tongue still in her mouth. His screaming began to intensify, hurting Lucia’s ears.

“Brick what’s wrong?” one of the thugs asked

“Get this chick off of me!” Brick yelled through his screams of pain

Both of the thugs grabbed Lucia and threw her to the ground, Lucia and Brick both collapsed away from each other.

“Boss you ok? What happened?” asked one of the thugs

Brick’s mouth was bleeding, heavily. Lucia stood up and all eyes were on her. She smiled, revealing her teeth were covered in blood. She then spit something at them, it landed on the ground with a cold thump. She had bitten off part of his tongue.

“That fucking bitch!” came out of Brick’s mouth in a garbled mess from the loss of his tongue and the blood filling his mouth.

“Get the fuck off me and get her!” Brick yelled at the thugs

The thugs left Brick’s side and turned their attention to Lucia who was still standing in the same spot, smiling with pleasure.

“You fucked up our boss. Now we’re gonna fuck you up!” said one of the thugs

The larger thug rushed her with no warning and tackled her to the ground. He picked her up and held her across his chest. He face her towards the other thug that was running towards them. The running thug brought up a fist and went to punch her when she leaned back against the thug holding her and brought her legs up. She kicked outwards, striking the running thug in his face, knocking him down to the ground. Her feet touched the ground and without hesitation she made a fist and slammed it into the thug’s crotch. The thug holding her fell to the ground, releasing her.

“That’s real fucking cheap.” said the thug through pained breaths

“So is three against one.” Lucia replied

She didn’t notice Brick charging from behind.

“I’ll fucking kill you!” Brick screamed

Nearly instinctively, Lucia kicked her leg back, striking brick in his already pained mouth. Brick fell to the ground with a loud thud.

“Please, no more.” Cried one of the thugs

“Yeah lady, we’re done messing with you. We were only doing it because he said he would chop off our fingers if we didn’t” Said the other thug, pointing to Brick

“Fine, get out of here and don’t cause any more trouble. You understand?” Said as Lucia returned her attention to Brick

Both the thugs got up and ran to their bikes that had been parked outside the bar.

“Sorry Brick!” yelled out on of the thugs as they drove away

“Now to deal with you.” Lucia said smiling

She grabbed his testicles through the jeans he was wearing. Brick winced in pain, between a chewed off tongue and Lucia’s testicle crushing, he didn’t know which was more painful.

“If I ever fucking see you again, I will cut off something off yours that will make you regret fucking with me.” Said Lucia as she tightened the grip on his testicles.

“Yeah sure, whatever, I’ll leave you alone. Now please let me go.” Whimpered Brick, nearly crying

She released him and like the thugs, he went to his bike and drove away. Lucia began to look herself over, wiping away the dust and pavement that stained her clothes from the encounter. Lucia began to walk towards her own bike, a custom built death machine. It had the body of a normal motor cycle but had some of her own touches. It was all black and had a passenger seat on each side, filled with her gear. Across the handlebars of the motorcycle were two chainsaws that could swing out and start at a moment’s notice. She got on and began to pull out of the bar’s parking lot. Sighing she took off towards the next outpost, the wind blowing her dyed red hair behind her as she drove down Sentinel Highway.

Writing Prompt – A Story About Time Travel “We Can’t Take Her With Us.”

“What do you mean we can’t take her with us?!” I yelled

“I told you, she’s infected with the bubonic plague and I’m not bringing her back. Who knows what kind of damage that would do in our current society.” Replied Tommy

We had gone back to the 1700s to see what life used to be like, back when things were simpler. We had brought only a few people who wished to see what it was like. There was myself, Amanda, and Tommy. Everyone else preferred to stay back. The time machine we had was one of the simpler models and didn’t give warnings. We had arrived at the peak heights of the bubonic plague. While Tommy and myself were discussing what are next plan of action was, Amanda had wandered off. When we found her she was laying on the ground with a bleeding bite mark on her hand.

“I’m sure we have the medicene to treat her.” I said

“We don’t Markus! The black plague died out and we had no reason to have a cure around for it!” Tommy replied

We decided it was time to bring Amanda back to our time since it seemed too dangerous for her. Before we used the time machine we each had to be scanned to make sure we didn’t bring back any diseases. Tommy and I both passed but the buzzer had gone off on Amanda. Tommy’s face had lost it’s color and he looked like he would be sick.

“But she’s your daughter! Does that not mean anything!” I screamed

“Do you think I don’t know that!” Tommy yelled back through tears

Tommy composed himself and walked over to Amanda who had been watching us argue the whole time. She didn’t understand what was happening or why we would have to leave her. It was a choice between leaving her or having her killed when we got back home.

“Amanda, sweetie. I need you to stand here for a few minutes ok?” Tommy said with tears in his eye

“Ok Daddy!” Amanda said with a smile on her face

Tommy grabbed my hand and begun to walk away from Amanda. Tears had begun to stream down his face. We stood on the teleporter and prepared to transport. Tommy looked up and said “Goodbye.” right before we teleported. The whole time we had discovered she had the disease all I could think of was one thing. How is he going to explain this to his wife?

I Need You by Skyler Goldman

This was the first story I wrote that had received good reception from multiple people. I have since edited it and haven’t looked back at it since. It was originally wrote for my English Writing college class.


 

Roger sat there in his study, tapping the desk, waiting for Annabelle to answer her phone. Seconds pass before the answering machine begins its pre-recorded message. “I’m not near my phone right now please leave a message after the beep, thanks!” Roger sighed and began to leave his message. “Annabelle please call me back, I’m sorry. Please come back so we can talk about this. I promise I can change, just give me a chance. Please, call me back.” He put his head down on the desk as tears began to form in his eyes. After weeping for what seemed like an eternity to Roger, he lifted his head and began to read Annabelle’s note again. “Roger, I can’t stand to be around you anymore. You’ve become an alcoholic and I’m tired of the abuse. Every night you come home drunk and I’m forced to worry that you may hit me. There will be no more chances, I’m done. I’ll come back at the end of the month to pick up my things. Don’t try to find me. Goodbye forever, Annabelle.” The note fell from his hand as he rested his head against his arm. As he has done countless times before, he opened the side desk drawer, revealing its contents, alcohol. A bottle of whiskey, a bottle of vodka, and a small bottle of bourbon.

He reached for the bottle of bourbon and pulled it out. He began walking towards the kitchen with his bottle of bourbon in hand. Reaching into the cabinet he pulled out a small drinking glass and set it down on the counter. He opened the freezer door and picked up the same amount of ice cubes as he had done countless times before. He opened up his bottle of bourbon and started to poor. He picked up his drink and began to wonder through the house, remembering the good times he used to have with Annabelle. He took a drink and began to think about what good times did they have. He stood there, confused for some time trying to think of why there were no good times, they had been married for five years, so why couldn’t he think of any good times. He took another drink and began walking back to his study. He sat down and took the bag out of his pocket and emptied the contents onto the desk. He walked out of his office an hour later, swaying and tripping over himself with every step. He began stumbling through the house, knocking over pots and paintings that were in his path. He stopped in the hallway on his way to the bedroom and looked at the picture on the wall. It was a picture of him and Annabelle on their wedding day. Him, black hair brown eyes with a big smile on his face. Annabelle, red hair, blue eyes, and a smile that could match his. “I loved you.” He said to the painting. “I gave you everything. I married you, I loved you, and you told me you loved me. You lied to me.” He took the picture off the wall and continued walking to his bedroom with it. “I thought we were perfect for each other.” He reached the bedroom and stood in front of the large mirror he had up against the wall. His eyes were red and he looked like he had been told everyone he ever loved had died. He brought the picture to the front of his face and took another look. He spoke “I loved you” before throwing the picture against the mirror, shattering it into pieces. Some of the pieces flew back and scratched against his face, but he was unphased. He finished his drink and laid down in his bed, falling asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

The sunlight was shining in through the curtains, directed into his face. He woke up and turned away from the light. He laid there for a few minutes before he began to feel sick. He got out of the bed and ran to the bathroom. He began to get sick before he reached the toilet, coating the floor of the bathroom in his vomit. He began hugging the toilet to keep him from falling over. Heaving over and over again into the toilet. He lifted his head from the toilet, with tears streaming down his face he wiped his mouth off with the sleeve of his shirt. He began to strip off all his clothes and step into the shower. The warm water against his face, washing away last night’s mistakes. He showered off and changed into a new set of clothes and began walking downstairs. He swallowed some headache relief pills and started drinking the coffee he had been brewing. He could barely see, his hangover had nearly blinded him, but he was used to it. This wasn’t the first time he had become incredibly drunk, it was almost a weekly occurrence. He would come home, drink and drink some more, become violent, fall asleep, and wake up hungover. Except when he would rush to the bathroom Anabelle had been prepared and was always already awake waiting for him, to hold him and stroke his back while he would vomit into the toilet. He tried not to think about the past, the harder he thought the more his head pounded.

He got up from the table and walked to the front door. He took a deep breath and walked out the door to his car. He started driving, going much faster than the speed limit but he didn’t care, all he wanted was to get there and bring his wife back home. All he had to get to Annabelle’s mothers house was his memory from when they went to visit her for Thanksgiving the year before. Annabelle had been begging him to let her visit her mother’s since Roger and Anabelle’s mother never really had a chance to talk since the only time they’ve ever met was at the wedding. Anabelle loved her mother. Her mother was her only living relative left and she knew that she wouldn’t live forever. So after countless begging he agreed they would visit. Her mother didn’t like Roger and he knew that which is why he didn’t want to visit. But she loved her daughter and wanted her to be happy.

He was driving through the woods, going over hills, and taking quick turns. He began to slow down, he was approaching a road sign. He was entering a town and didn’t want to be arrested since he was only a hundred miles away from Annabelle. He pulled into one of the bars that were littered around the town. He walked in through the door and took a seat at the bar. He drank and drank, trying to forget what he was doing and talk himself out of trying to take Annabelle back. He knew it was a longshot but he also knew she loved him and would realize she wanted to stay with him. He had one last drink and got back on the road. He had been driving for what seemed like days but it had only been a few hours. He checked the time, it was 1:34 P.M. He was in the bar for three hours, drinking the whole time. He thought that maybe she was right, maybe he did have a drinking problem, but he could change, he could change as soon as he got Annabelle back.

He was almost there, about a half hour away. He took out his phone and began to punch the numbers to her mother’s house in. One ring, two rings, three rings, and then an answer.

“Hello?” asked Annabelle over the phone.

“It’s me Annie” said Roger

“I told you not to call me” she replied

“I know but listen, please come back I nee…”

“No” she interrupted “I’ll be back at the end of the month to collect my things. Don’t call me again.”

The phone went silent. She hung up. If there was one thing Roger didn’t like, it was being interrupted. He pressed his foot against the pedal and began speeding up. He was now being fueled by anger, to get to his wife and bring her back to where she belonged, in his home. He arrived at her mother’s house. He collected himself and straightened himself up and began to walk towards the door. He knocked on the door and waited. No answer. He knocked harder and rang the doorbell multiple times.

“Hold on, I’m coming” yelled Annabelle from inside.

The door opened and there she was, Annabelle.

“Oh my god Roger what the hell are you doing here?” she asked

“Listen Annie, you need to come back with me, we can start over, I can…” Roger began

“No!” she interrupted “I’m not going back with you.”

“Listen!” he yelled and grabbed her arm “You’re coming home with me, right now!

He began to drag her out of the doorway.

“Let go!” she screamed in pain and slammed the door on his hand that was resting against the doorway.

He let go and yanked his hand back. One of his fingers was visibly broken and bent out of shape.

“This is what I get!” he began yelling “This is what I get for marrying you! This is what I get for giving you everything you’ve ever wanted! Fine! Leave me you fucking bitch! You know what, I don’t need you!” he kicked against the door.

“Leave! Or I will call the cops!’ yelled Annabelle from inside.

He collected himself and headed back to the car. He began driving home, defeated. There was nothing left that he could do. He couldn’t go back to her and he couldn’t risk losing her forever. He didn’t know what to do. He began to drift over the road. Suddenly a trucks horn blared alerting him and startling him. He gripped the wheel and tried to turn away but he turned too suddenly and the car flipped and when over the guardrail. He feel over two hundred feet to his death. No one could say that he died happy or lived a good life. He died alone with no one by his side.

Those Left In The World by Skyler Goldman – Chapter One

Those Left in The World was the first thing I had tried writing in a professional matter. This story would follow three survivors in the new world that had become torn and broken, where no laws applied. Only one of the survivors had been alive when the world was normal and was there when it began its decent. The story would follow three different people, Rick, Lucia, and Rusty. I stopped working on it after I finished the introductory for Lucia because I had lost interest and didn’t feel like working on a full length book. If I am able to finish Rusty’s introduction I might publish it as a short story on Amazon or something. But here is the first chapter, Introduction Rick.


Chapter 1

Introduction: Rick

 

Rick didn’t leave his house too often. The only times he would leave his secluded cabin in the woods was if he needed wood for the fire or had run out of supplies and needed to make a trip to the nearby abandoned town of Chrisline. Rick was sitting in his cabin when the sun began to set. He had not been feeling well so he had not been able to go out and get more wood, but nighttime was coming and he knew if he had no light for warmth and protection he would easily be taken over by the creatures that roam the woods at night. He pulled himself out of the chair he had been sitting in and brought himself to the door. His hand wrapped around the handle of the axe he had laying near the door in case of intruders. Sighing, he opened the door and began to make his nearly daily trek to gather wood for the fire. From the months of walking across the forest there had grown a little path from all of his collective footprints. He made sure to cut down the trees in the back of the forest, away from his house so he would still have protection from bandits or worse intruders. The trees were thinning and the supply of wood would run out, but the way Rick cuts them down there is at least another years’ worth left. However the amount of remaining wood did not worry him, the only thing was worried about was the amount of time he had left on earth. He did not want to die, but he also didn’t want to live in this horrible world anymore. He had decided that if his time were to come he would just accept it, but he also would not go out without a fight. After a few minutes of walking Rick arrived at the spot of where he would cut the trees. He began to cut the smaller one down, all he needed was enough wood to get him through the night and then would go out the next day to get more. With each swing his head throbbed in pain even more. After a few swings the tree came down with a loud thundering crash. Rick began to grow nervous and quickly began working on cutting the tree into firewood. That noise was sure to alert any of the creatures in the area to where he was. He began to count the pieces of wood he had cut, one piece, two pieces, four pieces, eight pieces, sixteen pieces, that should be enough he thought. He began to load the pieces into his burlap backpack. He never went anywhere without his burlap sack, he had been given it when he was a child and it was his only reminder that there was a chance some humanity still existed. As he tied the band around the sack closed the tree leaves from surrounding trees began to shake violently. Suddenly birds began to fly out from the leaves, flying away from Rick. Rick began to think why the birds would fly away now and not when the tree fell. Then it hit him, the birds weren’t flying away from him, they were flying away from another animal. A noise came from the bush twenty yards away from him. It was a growling sound but you wouldn’t know that if you had never encountered it before. Rick dropped the sack to the ground and slowly began reaching for his axe. The closer he got to the axe, the louder the growling had become. It was a sound no animal could make, it sounded like a normal dogs growl combined with a choking sound making it sound like the animal was in constant pain. His fingers reached around the handle of the axe when the creature emerged from the bushes. It was a dog shaped creature but this was no dog. Its fur, or what was left of it, had a gray tint to it. Its body was marked and scared from battles and other people trying to fight it off. The wounds were puss filled and some of them slowly still bled. Its face was incredibly disfigured as if it had been a product of incest among other species. One of its eyes was missing a chunk and could possibly have been blind. Its snout was turned upwards in a way that would incredibly painful for any animal. The teeth, incredibly sharp and stained with blood. The creature stood at what looked like three feet tall and it came up to the height of Rick’s stomach, a perfect place for it to attack. Rick brought the axe up closer and prepared himself to retaliate if the thing attacked.

“Leave! Get the fuck out of here!” Rick yelled at the creature

All the creature did in return was growl. Without warning the creature began to charge at Rick, taking him for surprise. Rick was knocked to the ground and the beast was on top of him. He hadn’t lost his grip on the axe but he wouldn’t swing it for defense, the creature had pinned him. Drool began to fall out of its mouth and began dripping onto Rick’s chest, it burned. Its drool was nearly corrosive. The thing reared its head back and went to take a bite out of Rick’s neck. Rick grabbed the axe and shoved the wooden end of it into the creature’s throat. It quickly fell off of him, making even more choking noises. Rick ripped the axe out of the thing’s mouth and raised it above his head. With one swing the axe came down and plunged itself into the creature’s side. The creature began to whimper, it knew this was its end. It wriggled in place for a while making sounds and whimpers before finally coming to rest, accepting its fate. Rick pulled the axe out of its side. The head of the axe was covered in a black colored liquid, blood. Rick began to reach for his sack when more noises began to come from the bushes around him. These creatures didn’t wait. They immediately made their presence known. Without hesitation they ran out of the bushes and began to charge at Rick. He couldn’t take them all at once. He grabbed his sack and began to run back to the cabin. Dodging trees and jumping over fallen trees, trying to make sure every move wouldn’t be his last. He could see it in the distance, his cabin, not far away. The creatures were closing in, not more than ten feet behind him at any given time. He reached the cabin but it was too late, the creatures had arrived at the same time that he did. Distancing himself away from the creatures and putting his back against the cabin, he wasn’t going out without a fight. The creatures began to surround him, making their choking growling noises. Before they could attack a there was a thump in the ground and some of the trees near Ricks house began to fall down. The creatures began to back away and whimper before they took off running in the opposite direction. Rick was afraid of the creatures and didn’t want to find out what they were afraid of. He ran into his house and closed the door behind him. He tossed some of the firewood into the chimney to keep it burning before running into his room. The closed the door behind him and backed down into the corner of the room. He gripped the axe with all his might before sitting down in the corner. The thumps were getting closer, louder, and heavier. Soon they stopped, outside of his cabin. Rick began to tense up. He started to do silent prayers when the stomping continued away from his house, towards the other creatures. Minutes had gone by before Rick fell asleep from exhaustion. It wasn’t the first encounter Rick had ever had, but it was the first time he had been attacked by multiples of them and then had something scare them away. Rick didn’t have a name for the creatures but others had named them. They were known as ‘Seeping Wolves’. They were named that for the pores on their bodies and how they were always bleeding. Unfortunately for Rick, this was not the last encounter he would have.

 

The Family by Skyler Goldman

A whole family, all lined up, each with a noose around their neck. All had been captured by the bandits while trying to make their escape to the safe haven, Merideth, where they would be able to start a new life for themselves and their daughter. The father, he would have had his own general store and would spend his days working there, talking with customers and selling things he had traded for. The mother, she would stay home and go general house work, cleaning, washing, making dinner, and then at the end of the day the father would come home and she would greet him with a hug and a kiss. The daughter, she would go to school and learn. At the end of the school day she would skip home to her mother, where they would eat lunch and talk about what she had learned at school that day. Merideth was supposed to be their salvation, where they could start a new life, away from all the violence of the outside world. A chance for their daughter to live a normal and happy life. But that chance was gone and would be the last thing the family would think about before their lives were ended. Each one of them would have a different ending.

The father, badly beaten from trying to protect his wife and daughter. His hands tied behind his back and the noose around his neck kept him from moving and trying to escape. His hair, once neat and well kept, had become dirty and rustled. His glasses, missing a lens from when they jumped him and attacked his face. The lightweight dress shirt he was wearing had become torn and ripped from the struggle. The jeans he was wearing only had stains from the dirt. His face, not full of anger, but disappointment that he was unable to protect his family and they were to die because of him. After he is hung, the bandits will cut off his arms and legs and serve him at a feast.

The mother, practically untouched from the bandits in an attempt to keep her body smooth and unharmed, so that it would be more pleasurable to look at. Her hair had been rustled in some places from when she had fallen running away from them. Her face had only lipstick and it had been smudged. She was wearing a bright yellow sundress that had been covered in some dirt stains and ripped at the neck. And her shoes, a pair of black flats. Her face was red from the constant crying after she realized that this was the end. After she is hung the bandits will make a dash for her body while it is still warm. Once they are done fighting over her body the winner will have the chance to have sex with her corpse. After he is finished he will pass it on to whoever he wants and the cycle will repeat until her corpse begins to rot or until they find a new girl. She knew this is what would happen after she dies and the thought of it made her start to cry again.

The young daughter, noose around her neck and hands tied behind her back just like her parents. Too short for the noose, she was placed on top of a wooden crate. Bringing her to eye level with her parents. She had blonde hair just like her mother that was pulled back in a ponytail and had not been touched by any of the bandits. She had on a purple shirt that had a graphic of a smiling sun on the front of it. She had on lime green pants that matched the shirt and her white sneakers. She stared forward into the sunset, her face was emotionless but her face was red from when she was crying earlier but no more and her tears had dried. Her fate after death could go either way. She could be served as a feast or her corpse would be kept around to rape.

Click. The father dropped through the panel in the wood and the rope caught his body, breaking his neck. The mother screamed and began to sob uncontrollably. The daughter didn’t budge and continued looking outwards.

Click. The mother fell through the panel and the bandits rushed in. The first one to reach her was yanked back when another pulled a knife and stabbed it into his neck. It was a brawl to see who would win. One of them had grabbed her body while the others were fighting and ran away with her. He had already begun to undress her.

Click.