Fiction Fragment Friday
Occasionally I like to challenge myself with writing prompts. The prompts could be concepts, first lines, or dialog samples. I have found that I tend to enjoy these stories and the prompts keep writers block from setting in. Like most writers I have far more books on writing than I have room for and some of these prompts come from those. This week though my story comes from a website that randomly generates fire lines. The prompt was “What a day for Armageddon” and it came from https://www.plot-generator.org.uk/opening-line/ As you will soon see I did not take this prompt word for word instead I put my own spin on it.
It was a fine morning for an apocalypse. Bright and sunny with birds chirping. You might think that an apocalypse is more fitting on a stormy day, but that just adds one more horrible thing to the day. It is much better to have one last enjoyable day to remember before the apocalypse. The best day is the kind that makes you just want to be outside enjoying the world. A day just like today.
I have lived through twelve different apocalypses at this point and only two of them have had mornings like today. Five of them were on dark and stormy evenings. Two of them came during blizzards and if there is one thing that makes me want to stay inside in comfort it is extreme cold weather. Two of them were on extremely foggy mornings where you couldn’t see more than ten feet in front of you. Then there was the apocalypse that started with flaming chunks of rocking falling from the sky. I’m not sure if there is a weather term for that and personally I hope I never find out. Each time I live through the fallout for about a month and then wake up in a new reality with yet another set of memories smashed into my head with my own.
I could feel that it was time for it to happen again so I called in sick to work and headed out to enjoy my day. First I hit the Breakfast Barn because out of the thirteen worlds I have lived in this is the only one that the chain exists in and I am immediately sad thinking I will never have their biscuits and gravy again. After breakfast I went to an early movie. If there is one thing that annoys me more than anything else about alternate realities it’s that they never seem to finish my favorite movie series before the world ends. As I stepped back outside I could feel that it was almost time. I don’t know how I can tell, but I always just seem to know. I rushed to my favorite deli just hoping I would be able to finish lunch before whatever was about to happen.
Sitting at an outdoor table I enjoyed my sandwich knowing I probably wouldn’t be eating well for the next month. The sound of sirens started slowly but soon police and ambulances were rushing by every few moments. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but it was obvious that it was starting. Where you are when an apocalypse starts really seems to be one of the biggest factors in survival. I was eating two blocks from my apartment and at this point I always keep supplies both in my apartment and in my car. I don’t know what would happen if I died before waking up in a new reality and I wasn’t anxious to find out. Paying my bill and tipping all the cash I had left on me I sprinted down the road to my apartment.
There on my front steps a homeless man was eating my neighbor’s intestines. “Zombies, well that’s a new one.” I didn’t think before blurting out in shock. The zombie turned at the sound and rushed towards me. You don’t live through twelve apocalypses without learning how to fight, but this was different. I was able to sidestep him, but my jab to his side didn’t seem to have any effect. He spun and growled at me. In a split second decision I ran to my front door and slipped inside. My apartment had weapons so if I could get to it I would be much better off. That was when I noticed that the halls were filled with my now zombie neighbors. All of my planning was falling apart right in front of me because I spent too much time trying to create positive memories.
“Hey you, down here.” My downstairs neighbor was holding open the basement door and motioning to me. I had never taken the time to learn her name, but seeing her there wearing a backpack and holding a baseball bat I was regretting not knowing anything about her. I sprinted towards the door with at least five zombies chasing after me. When I slipped through the door she slammed it behind me. “That won’t hold them for long.” She pointed to a duffel bag. “Grab anything down here that we can use for supplies, but it needs to fit through the window. We’re heading to your car so I hope you have somewhere to go.”
I started sorting through all the storage, but there really wasn’t much that would be useful. Mostly people just stored their extra junk, but thankfully I had some nonperishable food and bottled water in a trunk. The second key to surviving an apocalypse is having supplies everywhere because even if you are in a good place when it starts you never know where you might end up. “I like to be prepared for anything, but zombies weren’t exactly on my radar. I have a cabin in the hills that should work though.”
“Good, that will work. I assume you have it as well stocked as your car?”
“Wait how do you know my car has supplies?”
“I watched you load it from my window. This won’t make any sense, but this isn’t my first apocalypse and after a few you start to learn who is prepared.” She looked up at the basement door as it started to crack. “I hate zombies they’re one of the hardest apocalypse to survive.”
“Try out of control carnivorous fungus. It ate all my supplies.” We locked eyes and I stared at her realizing that for the first time in my life I had found someone like myself. The moment was soon interrupted by the sound of the door giving way.
“Window now.” She hopped up on the table she had pulled against the wall and shimmied through the small window. I followed her as the zombies rushed down the stairs. One of them grabbed my leg as I struggled to fit through the small window. I kicked at it driving my foot into it’s face and knocking it from the table. Pulling myself the rest of the way through the window I rushed to my car hitting my key-fob to unlock the door.
That was three hours ago and we are almost to my cabin. I have so many questions. How many times has it happened to you? Have we ever been in the same world together before? Do you have any idea why this is happening? One question though dominates all of the others. After all this time now that I have finally found someone like myself; how do I tell you that the zombie in the basement bit my leg as I tried to climb out? How do I tell you that I am starting to get very hungry?