Chapter3: “The Serpent of Old”

The darkness pressed heavily down on John.

It beckoned him to fall down to his knees, to submit.

He struggled to stand, though immobile.

John curled his fingers inwards and felt his palms begin to dampened. His breaths shortened.

It wasn’t that he couldn’t see anything that was scary. No, the scary part was that he didn’t know what to fear to begin with. He began to understand the terror of loneliness, of not existing. John closed his eyes and thought of his mother’s cold hands cupping his face. He thought of her eyes, stern, her lips, pouting. She was never the one to yell or even raise her voice. He felt the love behind her scrunched eyebrows and crow’s feet which he learned from his father never to mention. He opened his eyes again, and it crushed him harder, even now.

From behind the thick drape of blackness, a monotonous drone drowned out his breathing. It had always been there. The slight pressure against his eardrums was becoming unbearable now, filling his mind until it was empty of thought and fear. The constancy of the sound lulled him into an uneasy stupor, helpless to even shield his face from the unseen horrors.

In the darkness he felt tiny. He wondered if the end was an arm’s length away or if the expanse even had an end. Afraid of being pulled into the emptiness, he kept his arm by his side and tightly balled up the end of his loose shirt.

He peered into the infinite blackness, trying to uncoil the void before him. The sound segmented into a rhythmic pulse, echoing all around him. The pulsing didn’t go very far before it came back twice as loud, sharpening into a hiss that pierced his ears. John saw a sudden movement as the noise cut off. In the darkness all he could make out were two angular eyes, yellow and glazed, and fleshless lips framing a set of polished fangs. Out from the shadow, a snake sprang at him. His muscles unlocked and with a swift, fluid motion he stepped to the side. He felt the smooth scales brush his face and a chill emanate from his spine. As he completed his revolution, he met another pair of eyes.

Just like that he was frozen again. There was no sound of struggling, but John could see the snake coiling around the figure’s neck, about half a foot below his bloodshot eyes. Despite the hostile hisses and display of the porcelain fangs, it seemed like the snake had no intention of biting its victim. Those eyes held him there. There was a feeling of betrayal behind them. “Why are you just standing there? Why aren’t you helping me?” they seemed to ask.

John turned around again and ran. It wasn’t his fault. In the stillness it seemed like he wasn’t moving even though his lungs burned and his legs ached. He didn’t mean for this to happen. He felt like a child, locked inside a room, madly pounding at the door, desperate for the sliver of light peeking through at bottom. It was an accident. He couldn’t face the darkness looming over his shoulders. He couldn’t look back. Although he knew the real danger was on the other side, he longed to join the shadows dancing behind the door.

“Why aren’t you helping me?”

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Here you go! Hope you guys enjoy this. It’s sort of like an intercalary chapter and this sort of theme will be repeated throughout my writing. As always, feedback is very much appreciated and need. Crush my soul as long as it’s with constructive criticism. Thanks and hang on tight for the next chapter!

For past chapters click here.

 

Chapter2: “Moon under her feet”

The thing’s mouth unhinged and an airy rasp came out in place of a groan. OK. Not the time to panic. I pulled out my wand and blasted it with some Lacarnum Inflamarae.

Damn it! Still a muggle.

With the bitterness of old wizarding dreams crushed long ago, I sprinted across the room as the thing got its head through the window. I gave it a shove and felt my hands pass right through it. Its decayed flesh crumbled between my fingers like dry sand.

I couldn’t stop. My body kept going forward as if I had passed through little more than a cloud of thick musk. The momentum carried me over the ledge and out into the biting winds.

CRAP, CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!!!

Cold air whipped my face for a split second. This might be a good time to mention that my room is on the second (and three quarters) story.

The thing’s snarling was quickly replaced with the crunch of my ribs splintering. The thing about Newfoundland’s winter nights is that the fluffy white powder we all know and love freezes over pretty hard. But hey. Instant ice pack, right?

My lungs were emptied along with a good deal of my bladder. I took half a breath in and felt my limbs go numb and my chest explode with burning pain. My blood pumped faster and harder against my battered insides, forcing me to let out the little air I was able to take in.

The thing had disintegrated underneath me, and the dust from its remains filled my throat. The particles hovered around me, eager to replace the dust that I managed to feebly cough out. The ringing in my ears was fading now, and I was able to pick out some faint moaning. I shifted my weight to the left where I felt like there were fewer broken ribs. Sheer horror washed over me as I rolled onto my back. There were more. More of the things. Zombies. Walkers. The undead. Whatever you want to call them.

I screamed for help. Loud. I don’t know what nonsense people tell you about being so scared they can’t make a sound, but through the splitting pain and all, I yelled with everything I had.

It felt like the desolate town absorbed the sound of my desperate cries and ravenously devoured every thud from their approaching footsteps. Not an echo. A blanket of silence had fallen over, muffling, suffocating me.

I had never felt so alone, so helpless. The cricket chirps ceased. The snow felt warm between my bare toes. I couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think. With every exhalation I could feel the life leaving my body. I was trapped.

As my vision faded in and out I saw the corpses become corpses again. Their limp bodies fell to the ground. All but one. A girl. She wasn’t the same decayed earthy brown. Her pale skin made her look dead but in such a different way. A beautiful way.

The pain in my chest melted away as I stared into her blue eyes and my breathing steadied to the rhythm of her gentle footsteps. These weren’t generic blue eyes. They were that exact shade the dawn sky gets right before the sun breaks its horizon. Soft and tranquil, but tinged with a fierce purple-red.

I closed my eyes and let the darkness envelop me.

“It’s okay. I’m here now.”

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I’m terribly sorry for the wait guys. I’ll be sure to get these next chapters out faster, but out of everything on this blog, I want to maintain the quality of the novel itself.

As a novice writer, I’d appreciate any and all feedback (positive and negative) from you guys. I really hope you enjoy reading this chapter!

If you haven’t read the previous chapter yet, click here.

Chapter1: “Coming with the Clouds”



I wake up with a breathless gasp and kick my blanket off. My legs roll off the side of the bed as I grab a handful of my sheets. Breathable Egyptian cotton, 1000-thread count, soaked with cold sweat.

One good night of sleep. Please,” I mumble between shallow pants.

There wasn’t any hope of going back to bed now. I knew the routine. It’s been going on for over two months now. Ever since I moved to this stupid town. The dark bags under my bloodshot eyes said it all.

I’m just glad I didn’t scream this time.

I’m sick of the therapy. Sick of that pretentious Dr. Hetvick acting like he understands what’s going on with me. The way he constantly bobs his head and squints, I swear the guy’s doing some messed up Robert De Niro impression.

“John’s been through a lot. -insert generic pseudomedical b.s.- He’s going to take some time to get used to his new surroundings…but he’s getting there.”

Some time. Probably just enough time to pocket another few grand from my parents.

No. I’ve put in too much work, faked too many smiles for another night terror to set me back to square one.

I glance over at the clock. 1:11 a.m. Awesome. Three hours of sleep. That must be a new record.

I lay back down and stifle in a violent yawn. Outside my frosted window, dark clouds had rolled in to hide a moon that never seemed to want to shine. Its light was quiet. Mute even. As if to say, “I don’t want to be seen. I’m afraid to be seen.”

There isn’t a single thing I don’t hate about this God-forsaken town. Petre, Newfoundland. A 6,000 acre peninsula bordered by steep coves. Population: 3,500. Motto: “Tene Et Consta.”

But how could I be angry? Moving meant my family could stay together. Dad’s doing his best to provide for me and Mom. Even if it means taking a job on the other side of the continent as an oil-rig dive tech, I’m in no position to complain.

The job pays well, but I’ve never been very fond of the ocean. And that was the shimmering Pacific of grand-old California.

Newfoundland. It’s something else entirely. No warm, sunny skies or buzzing piers. No beach-goers tanning along the shore. No loud, squawking seagulls.

The birds here silently run from the waves as if they’re afraid it’ll snatch them up. The 15 mph winds keep them on the ground, only able to take short, frantic steps. The waves trail close behind – erasing the prints in the grey sand – promising to do the same to any bird not quick enough.

Didn’t trust the ocean then, definitely not starting now. Even those obnoxious surf dudes would be a welcomed sight in this dead town. But it’s best I forget about that life and focus on the things at hand. Like the literal zombie climbing in through my window right now. How’s that to start a day off?

My name is John Sonner, and I hate this stupid town.

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For a complete list of the chapters I have out so far, click here.