This is my first story and first post on these forums. Feel free to give constructive criticism, plain criticism you can keep to yourself, thanks.
I was not inspired by anything to write this. Nope. Nothing at all.
Name changed to be relevant to the plot.
Chapter One: I survive the tsunami
I wake up, but my eyes are still closed. My body is being swung back and forth by the sour tasting salt water I float in. My clothing is soaked and their weight pulls me down into deeper water. I kick for the surface and gasp as sweet air fills my lungs. I can feel the sun on my face, so I open my eyes. There’s the sky above me, the sun hanging in it. In front of me is the ocean, no surprise there either. I kick myself around to get a three sixty view. Behind me is the coast. I can see green, chloroform rich plant life.
But how did I survive? The wave was so tall. I remember it in horrible detail, the rush of water picking people up and depositing them into the ocean as easily as if it were a person throwing old wrappers and broken pencils into a trash can. Cars and even homes being flipped over and over against the unstoppable force and sent crashing into other homes and cars and even more crowds of people. The wave was right on top of me when I blacked out.
I take long, gentle strokes through the rocking waves. When I reach the coastline I heave myself out of the water, and my sagging clothing feels even heavier than it was in the water. My years as a boy scout come back to me. When lost at sea, follow the coast. Venturing inland will only confuse me further. Follow the coast until you find civilization.
I reach into one of the trees and tear off a broad, low hanging leaf. I hold it over my head and begin trudging right. The sun is too high to judge which way is north.
After a few hours I determine I’m heading west, much to my annoyance. The sun continues blinding me until it goes down, and my beaches are now lit up by the silver light of the moon and stars overhead. My clothing is dry and crusty, so I strip and hang them from the trees, occasionally beating them to knock some sea salt off.
As I beat my clothing clean I feel an urge to go swimming. But I can’t; I am sun burnt everywhere but my face, which was the only place the leaf protected. It’s a little strange that I haven’t encountered any other people or rescue vehicles or anything to give any indication of human life yet. Perhaps I was swept to the coast of some wildlife preserve and I was going to be mauled by Pandas. I remember something from high school, when my friend did a Biology project about them.
They may look cute and friendly but they’ll maul you like any other bear.
But then again, there was no bamboo in sight, so I’m probably safe from Pandas.
After a while longer I put my clothes back on and go walking again. Suddenly I see a movement in the trees. A man shaped thing stumbling blindly through the thick brush.
“Hey! Hello! Are you okay?” I shout to the person in the woods. The silhouette’s head jerks up, and it raises its arms. It begins walking again, still stumbling, but with much more purpose and strength in its stride.
“Hey, are you okay?” I shout to the person again, and am about to ask again when they break out of the foliage that had been hiding its features. It has clammy gray skin covered in tears, and is wearing rags that barely cover its more sensitive areas. Its mouth is wide open, revealing jagged yellow teeth and a bulbous purple tongue. Anyone with exposure to pop culture would recognize the thing; a zombie. Something that sounds like both a moan and a sob issues from its dead throat and it breaks out into a slow jog, its arms clawing at the air as if doing that would help it reach me faster. Of course I’m already running away, looking back occasionally to make sure it isn’t catching up. Its sagging dead bones don’t carry it all that fast, thank god, so I sort of back pedal while scanning the beach and woods for something that could serve as a weapon.
Then I see the perfect zombie killer; a stick. It’s thick, long and pointy, and I wrench it out from the beach sands and turn to face my oppressor. The zombie is still a few yards away, so I take up a stance and raise my stick. As it reaches me I formulate a plan in my head. Duck the zombies bite or claw or whatever, and hit it hard in the knees. When it falls over stick the pointy end into its head; perfect.
It reaches me and swings a fly ridden hand at me. I notice the fingertips have been reduced to bare bone as I duck, and then I use my momentum to swing the stick into its fragile knees as hard as I can. It falls on its face. I scream a throaty battle cry and force my stick into the back of its head. Unfortunately I forgot to use the pointy end, and the zombie gets up again, undeterred. I try to poke its eye out, but the zombie bats the stick out of my hands effortlessly. I dodge another clumsy swing and pick the stick up, but when I lift my head I see more of them in the trees, attracted by the fight, or maybe just my battle cry. “Oh, ****.” I say to myself, and decide to run away again.
Chapter 2: Reminiscing and carving
When I was in school I wasn’t at all the athletic type. In fact, you could say I was quite the opposite, if you know what I mean. To graduate you needed sports credits though, so I turned to the sport that required the least amount of running; fencing. I was horrible at first, and by the time I graduated I was only mediocre, but as I run from the zombies one of the central principles of fencing comes to me.
Never retreat to escape, but only to ready a counterattack.
I turn around and raise my stick two handed only to find a zombie right behind me. Maybe he was fresher than the other one. I shudder at the thought and block its swing with the stick, and then, with an unnecessary twirling motion I stab the zombie through its eye into the brain with the pointy end. When I pull the stick it slips out of the twice dead head with a slick splat, draped in cold blood. Two more zombies are right behind. I club the first one to the side and then stab the second through the throat. Its cackling head pops loose when I jerk the stick out, and its body slumps to the ground unmoving. The last one I beat until its head looks like a smashed fruit. Not wanting to pollute the pristine black waters around me I pull the bodies into the brush to rot.
On the horizon I see the sun beginning to rise, painting the cresting waves orange and gold. Before me the dreary beaches stretch on and on. Abandoning my previous plan I begin to head inland. I see some wildlife like sheep and chickens, and I see strange mountains rising out of the ground randomly. After crossing hill after hill, and skirting mountain after mountain, I decide that I’m definitely not in Japan anymore. I had only been there about a week when the earthquake happened, but this is not Japan. Where are all the people and factories and schoolgirls? You’d think there might at least be some random temple of ancient monks, but I find nothing.
It’s been almost two days now since I got here, and I haven’t felt the least bit thirsty or hungry or tired. Maybe I’m in heaven? But that can’t be, there are ****ing zombies, so maybe purgatory. I think that makes sense; if I was in hell there’d probably be a lot more torturing going on right now. Maybe I’m not in heaven or hell or purgatory but just a different place altogether; a different dimension.
As I pass another of the stone cliffs I see something shiny in the dirt. I try to pick it up, but it’s jammed deep into the dirt. With a few hard yanks I pull it loose; a pointy piece of flint. I recognize this metal from my scouting days. I decide that the top of the mountain would be a nice place to set up camp for the night. During campouts I would often whittle instead of help cook or set up tents, so I begin carving my stick into a better weapon. I thin the pointy end and sharpen it until I can almost cut myself with its edge. The wood is strong, so it can probably last a while as a sword. I carve around the thick end of the stick until it’s as balanced as I can get it, and etch a little series of grooves into the handle to give me a better grip. It’s no proper foil, but I think it will do just fine when it comes to stabbing brain dead zombies. I slash the air a few times and am pleased by the swishing noise it produces.
As I wait for zombies to find me I can’t stop thinking about the chances of other people being here. The zombies used to be people. Surely there were more. If I was somehow transported by the tsunami, then there must be others. There must be other people, somewhere out there.
During one of the campouts my father came on he had woken me in the middle of the night and taken me to the edge of the canyon we were camping by. He didn’t say anything, just sat there, and I had sat with him. At first I was confused and bored, but I soon stopped playing with my tummy fat and stared across the natural canyon the same way he was. I could see everything, eagles nesting the crevices in the rock walls, goats climbing unsteadily around, and small deer darting around the thick woods that grew at the bottom of the canyon. It was magical. I blink and am staring at the same canyon again. Then, slowly, the eagles are replaced by chickens, the goats with timid sheep, and the deer by, well, zombies, coming towards me.
I take up a classic fencing stance, more out of boredom than necessity, and salute my opponents with an elegant en garde. For some reason I feel incredibly like a badass, fencing zombies. I wish my dad could see. I’m sure he would be proud. The first zombie falls with a slash across the throat, knocking a second over as it tumbles down the hill it had to climb to get to me. The next blocks my stab, but loses its arm when I drag the sharp edge of my foil across its bare flesh. It’s too close to stab again, so I kick it down the hill to deal with later. But there are more zombies than there were the first time, way more in fact.
By the time I notice it I barely have time to dodge the flint tipped arrow that zips towards my head. It came from a skeleton I see near the back of the approaching zombie horde. I shout thanks to the oblivious skeleton and pull it out of the tree. It could serve as a makeshift main gauche. I retreat into the trees so that the zombies can’t rush me all at once. Thanks to the magic of this place I don’t get any more tired as I continue to kill or injure the undead creatures coming at me, but there seems to be no end to their numbers, and I’ll mess up eventually. I only need to mess up once to die.
I retreat up the hill and through the woods, but this time there is no counterattack. There are too many, the only ones I can attack are the extra eager ones that get too close. I see multiple skeletons climbing in the zombie’s ranks as well, notching their arrows. Why do only they use bows? I take another step backwards, and then tilt backwards. I wave my arm like a maniac, but it’s too late, I’m falling.
Chapter 3: I didn't actually survive a tsunami
I expect the next thing I feel to be the ground's rock hard embrace, followed by whatever it feels like to have your ribs pierce your chest. Instead I land on a branch, which promptly breaks, followed by three more that all bend a little more than the one before them before they snap too. When I hit the ground it's a lot less painful than I expected, though I still have the wind knocked out of my sails.
My breathing goes out of control, I have to exhale and inhale so fast that it feels like I'm gradually suffocating. Suddenly three zombies jump down from the cliff after me. Two land on their heads with equally sick splats, and the third lands on its comrades bodies. It stumbles onto its feet and bares its claws. A couple more jump after these three and most of them stand up again. I pull myself up against the tree that saved my life and prepare for my last stand. I throw my arrow at the first zombie's head and amazingly the tip goes into its eye and kills it. I raise my wooden foil and slowly pull myself onto my feet, swinging my sword helplessly as the zombies grow near.
Just then the sun rises. At first it's just a thin band across the zombies faces, then their whole bodies are illuminated. They begin smoldering and then burning horribly, but keep advancing on me. Their bodies crack and snap like bags of dead leaves as their flesh melts off and their blackened bones begin crumbling. The zombie closest to me raises its hand to swipe, but the quick motion makes the fragile limb snap off, and by the time the hand hits the ground the rest of the zombie is long gone.
I wait a moment to catch my breath before retrieving my arrow from the zombies head. I slide my makeshift gauche and foil into my belt and set off again, towards the sun. I keep travelling, still feeling no need for food or water. As I walk the trees disperse and give way to flat plains full of pigs and cows, and then rolling hills and deserts. The sun sets and I run from monsters and fight when I have to. The sun rises and I continue heading in that same direction. I'm not sure how long it's been when I see it; a gleaming white city.
By sundown I am at the city gates. The walls are bright white marble, but the metal gates are ancient, black iron. They are also shut, and the zombies I've been running from are right behind me. I see two guards behind the gates, staring at me impassively. They are dressed in shiny iron armor with only slits for eyeholes, and have red colored leather adorning them, perhaps showing rank. I bang the rough iron doors and shout, "Let me in!". One of the guards steps up and bangs my fingers that are grabbing at the bars painfully.
"Get off the door you bloody scavenger! The gates close after midnight. No exceptions!"
He steps away again, but the other guard looks troubled. I'm about to plead to him instead when the first zombie is on me. I stab it through the ear with my arrow and stab it again with my sword. The next I cut across the stomach, and it trips away for a minute, stumbling on its own organs.
"Please! Let me in!" I shout again, this time talking more to the sympathetic guard. He turns to the one who hurt my hand, pleading.
"Come on, man. He's a good fighter, he has a place here."
The other guard snorts. "If he's a good fighter he can wait until morning. It's not like he'll be getting tired any time soon."
I swing at a third zombie and my sword breaks on the side of its head. I throw the useless handle at the gutless zombie that just got onto it's feet, knocking it down again. My ever reliable arrow breaks when I try to pull it out of the chest of the zombie that broke my sword. Damn, this one zombie really has it in for me. With no weapons I punch it in the face, knocking it to the ground.
"Jesus Christ!" I shout to the guards, "At least throw me a sword or something!"
One of the guards looks to the other and they nod as one. The gates shoot up and they come out, swinging their double handed broad swords expertly in unison. In seconds the zombies are decimated.
"That wasn't so hard was it?" I say irritably as they shove me inside. The sympathetic one keeps dragging me as the angry one resumes his post by the gate.
"Where are you taking me?" I shout at the guard. He pulls his helmet off to reveal a thin flushed face matted with sweaty brown hair.
"We're getting you identification papers. To live here you need to become a real citizen."
I go limp and let him drag me. "A real citizen of what? What is this place?"
He pauses as if he can't remember. "Tropa. As far as we know its the only city on this place. How did you get here? God damn it, stand up."
He hoists me to my feet and lets me follow him. "Tsunami. It was right on top of me but then I woke up here."
He nods understandably. "I was in World War Two you know. I was running up those beaches, and the next thing I knew I was on a different beach."
"Mmm." I reply, and in a minute we arrive at a nice white building with enough windows for an ignorant person to call modern. As he pushes me through the front doors gently he calls out to me. "My names Carter. Meet me later by the gate if you want to find out what the hell is happening to you." He slides the stuffy helmet back over his head and heads back to his post. I walk up to the front desk where a little old lady waits.
"Ya here for citizenship?" she asks between big chews of gum, though I'm not sure where she would get it in this place.
"Can ya wait?" her voice is very hoarse. She's probably a smoker.
"I'd rather not." I say with a meek smile, but she returns my friendly probe with a glare.
She flips through a little notepad and makes a check.
"Douglas, first floor, room five."
I enter the hallway behind her and go through the fifth door. An ordinary man sits there, shifting papers around. He looks surprised to see me.
"Oh, hello. Did you need something?"
I'm confused. "Isn't this your job," I ask as I take the seat in front of his desk, "to grant people citizenship?"
He coughs and looks up. "Um yeah, I just thought that the old crone and I had an agreement. . . Nevermind. Alright let me see if I remember how to do this."
He picks up a yellow paper and holds a quill above it.
He looks up, annoyed.
"And your last name is?"
"Oh, sorry. Chase."
He scribbles it down messily. "Funny name," he says chuckling at my expense, "okay, how did you die?"
I'm confused again. "I'm not dead."
He looks exasperated again. "You got here by dying, will you just answer the question?"
"I can't be dead," I say loudly, "I can't be!" my voice rises to a shout.
"Quiet down you bloody idiot." Douglas says, crossing his legs on his desk. "You're not dead anymore are you?"
I guess it isn't so bad, being undead. I'm not one of those zombies at least.
"Okay. The last thing I saw was a tsunami. In Japan."
"Mmm." he answers writing it down. "We've got a bunch of those lately."
"Cool. Maybe I'll recognize one of them."
"Well, half of them are Asian, and you know how they are." He sees my confused look.
"I hadn't noticed."
He sighs and shuffles some papers around, and holds out the yellow slip to me.
"Well that's it. You're the first guy with that name so no more specification needed."
I blink. For some reason I feel shortchanged. "Oh. Okay."
He shoos me to the door and I still feel confused.
"What now? What do I do now?"
"I don't know. Get a job or something. Bye."
He slams the door while I'm still half in the room, banging my leg. Maybe I'll take Carter up on his offer; I've got nothing else to do.
Chapter 4: I get a job
Once his shift is over Carter takes me to a bar. I get some water. Carter, however, hammers shot after shot.
"I've been in this place so long man." he says with a slurred voice, "sometimes I just want it all to end. I don't ****ing age man!" he smashes his cup, and the bartender puts a new one in front of him. My thoughts are getting slurred too, but mainly because I feel tired for the first time since getting here. It feels good to drink and eat, even if I don't need to.
"Will there be a body for my family to bury?" I ask Carter. He shrugs. He's still in his heavy, uncomfortable armor.
"Where are we anyway?"
He shrugs again. He's stopped crying and just sits there complacently.
"Do you think," I whisper, suddenly excited, "do you think there's a way to go back?"
Carter seems to be pondering it and my hopes rise. Then he shrugs.
"Hey, Adam, I like you." he says. "Be a guard." he downs another shot.
Be a guard and sit in front of a door all day? It doesn't seem too appealing.
"I don't know, there are probably less dangerous jobs I could do, right?"
Carter laughs. "Do you wanna sit in some office all day pushing papers? Really? Besides you could do something easier, that doesn't require all this ****ing armor. Sit on the wall." That didn't sound bad actually. A lot better than standing in place.
"I'll look into it. For now I think I'll find a place to stay." Carter waves his full glass as a goodbye before drinking it.
The city streets are empty, but most of the buildings have lit windows. I eventually find an inn and ask for a room. They kick me out because I have no money. I find my way back to the bar where the bartender lets me sleep behind the counter, even though I don't need sleep. It feels good to close my eyes, but since I'm not really tired it's more like dozing than really sleeping. Still, I open my eyes in the morning and feel quite refreshed.
Carter is again my guide and he drops me off at the guard station. The recruiter is just as uncaring as Douglas was.
"You've killed monsters?"
"How do you like to fight?"
"I made a foil and um, fenced I guess."
He raises an eyebrow at this but otherwise shows no reaction.
"Mmkay. You ever fired a gun? Shot a bow?"
"Yes, both, when I was in the boy scouts of America."
"Never heard of it."
"Heard of what?"
There's an awkward pause during which he analyzes me as if he thinks I'm lying.
"Only the best rangers get the flintlocks I'm afraid. You'll have a bow."
"Sounds good, sir." I say. I can't imagine flintlocks being effective anyways, what with the slow reloading and the fifty percent chance of misfire.
He hands me a slip and sends me into a back room. A big man helps me choose my weapons. On one wall are rows upon rows of swords.
"Why you look at those toothpicks?" he asks with a heavy accent I can't place. I am kneeling before a rack of rapiers.
"I fight with these things." I tell him. "Can you help me pick out the best?"
Eventually we choose a fine rapier with a black leather grip and intricate silver guard. It's blade is perfectly balanced with the hilt and is thin and sturdy, an ideal foil. It has a spike at the handle's bottom in case a monster gets too close and the whole thing comes with a fancy scabbard that hangs from my belt. I'm also supplied with form fitting leather armor instead of the full body metal so that I'll be able to perform complicated moves, and let's face it, a knight using a rapier is just stupid. My bow is less fancy than my sword, just a nicely polished curved stick basically. That's okay, my archery skills were never that great.
I'm set to wander the city during the day and to wander the walls at night. After a few days without action I begin to realize just how large the city really is. I suppose it only makes sense; thousands of years of people congregating ending in one place usually leads to big settlements. That's what history has taught us. I wonder how much stone they had to take to make the entire city so uniformly pretty.
One night Carter, Chuck (the grumpy guy), and I are on guard at the city's main gate. It's at least ten times larger than the one I came in through, and it's made of pretty, shiny metal. As usual Carter and Chuck are practicing the art of falling asleep while standing up, and I'm leaning quite a bit on the battlements. I'm about to pass out when I see something on the horizon, a wave of dust that must have been kicked up by something.
Intrigued I hold up my binoculars and see a black carriage pulled by armored boars and a platoon of black soldiers. A black flag waves above this black procession, and on the flag is the picture of a pig in red. Alongside the black flag flies a white one. Apparently these men want to talk with the Council or King or whoever is in charge. I should probably find out what government Tropa has so I can be an informed citizen.
I shout to Carter to ring the bell, and he and Chuck wake up and begin pulling on the bell's ropes. The horribly loud brass thing deafens me, and then all the others in the city begin ringing. Soldiers align in neat rows along the city streets, and the guards are all hustled onto the walls and towers. We wait for about two hours as the carriage boars take their sweet time pulling up to the gate. Then, six figures in fancy embroidered robes walk onto the battlements and we have to make room for them.
"The Council!" Carter says in amazement. "Oh, so that's what it is." I say to no one in particular. I find it kind of hypocritical that every member of the council has some kind of kingly headwear, but of course, I say nothing.
The carriage comes to a stop in front of the castle walls and a figure emerges from a hatch in the top. He is also wearing fancy robes, but he has a pig head. Other than that he appears quite normal.
Chapter two. It's actually longer than chapter one. I couldn't find the right place to stop.
I don't know why, but I don't like reading big stories. I like readin' small things, three lines, etc.
But I readed the first part of the chapter 2, it sounded really good. Keep it up. Even if you don't have feedback, you must continue, because you started here to show your creation, not to be a famous writer... right?