Author Topic: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]  (Read 9245 times)

Offline 510bhan

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Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« on: December 03, 2012, 06:31:24 PM »
Zombie Rehab Renascence -- part of a longer short story I'm working on. Not sure if first person is working for me or not -- usually I'm a third person type of writer. Any help appreciated



I collected Mother’s remains while they were still warm. I didn’t trust anyone and I’d followed her cremation through from seeing her in a coffin to raking the chamber for her ashes. Three hours didn’t seem that long to wait in order to be sure she was safe. Flesh-eating zombies had terrorised the neighbourhood not so long ago and I wasn’t taking any chances. Local papers put it down to increased paranormal activity over Halloween calling lost souls to rise from their graves. Emergency services appeared with water cannons to knock them down and flame throwers ensured the undead were beyond resurrection on this earth. Many of us speculated about the real cause and became even more concerned at the disappearance of new born babies. Rumours spread that any place of worship was dangerous, mosques, churches, synagogues and temples were equally at risk.  Convinced there was a cover-up, public disquiet simmered ready to boil over into civil unrest.



Cindy Larkman, my supervisor, took me aside and informed me about a shift change. As a long-serving member on Calendula Grange rehabilitation centre’s care team, I was to be assigned to duties in the Myrrh and Myrtle wing, an addition to the sprawling Victorian building that offered care for a variety of addicts and needy individuals. It occupied several acres in the countryside. The magnificent old mental institution dominated a hilltop in the old style of splendid isolation to assist recuperation of its former patients. It kept them out of sight and prevented them mingling with the general populace, though the benefits now were more from keeping paparazzi away from celebrities rather than the escape of inmates.

Delighted with recognition for my hard work, and viewing this as a promotion, I asked Cindy what I had to do. None of the regular staff knew what went on in the Myrrh and Myrtle wing. She told me that once I had signed an official secrets form she would tell me more. I bristled and thrust the pen back at her, demanding I know something before I committed to such a project. The increase in salary for someone who wasn’t a qualified nurse didn’t feel right. I squared my shoulders and glared at Cindy. Higher security levels raised my suspicion – and the girls who worked there staying schtumm. Their silence in response to certain enquiries told more than words ever would. They said the walking dead occupied Myrrh and Myrtle wing and nobody denied it.

Cindy stared right back at me. “I can’t say anything.”

I held her gaze and refused to give any ground.

She sniffed and waited another moment, “But what you’ve heard has more to it than you know.”

I nodded, but said nothing.

“It’s an important function of this establishment and those residents need just as much care as our other clients.”

She left enough time between her lines to let me understand what she didn’t say. I gave a quick mental calculation and guessed I my new duties involved changing incontinence pads and clearing up vomit – nothing more than I’d had to do for Mother. Besides, the remuneration far outweighed the gross reality of caring for lifeless clients. With my mind already made up, I was on the verge of agreeing when I thought to ask a question. “Why me?”
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 07:11:51 PM by 510bhan »

Offline Taylor

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 09:41:17 PM »
First person is working for me, sio, and so is the premise. Seems original. Just dunno whether to take it seriously or not yet. ;)

Looking forward to reading the next part though.

I couldn't spot any glaring errors. Good stuff so far.
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Philip K. Dick

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 04:56:40 AM »
Cheers, Taylor. ;)

hillwalker3000

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 05:18:11 AM »
I've not seen 'Renaissance' spelt like this before but spell check seems to find it's ok so...

It's not my preferred genre - too many zombies - too little time... but I spotted a few slips:

'form' in sentence 2 is presumably meant to be 'from'

Local papers put it down to increased paranormal activity over Halloween calling lost souls to rise from their graves. Emergency services appeared with water cannons to knock them down.
Not sure who 'them' refers to - local papers, lost souls, graves or flesh-eating zombies.

I gave a quick mental calculation and guessed (I) my new duties involved...

Interesting opening, and I'm expecting your take on the topic is going to be far from conventional

H3K


Offline Annmarie

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 06:12:51 AM »
Hi Sio,

Frankly, this is where it got interesting to me:

None of the regular staff knew what went on in the Myrrh and Myrtle wing.

I'd eat that up as an opening line of a story. The stuff that came before that seemed to rev up to where the real story starts. The remains, the exposition about zombies and description of the rehab center can be worked in as you unfold the story in a more suspenseful way.

Just my opinion. Story sounds intriguing. 
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 07:38:44 AM »
Thanks for spotting the form/from, Phil. 'Them' refers to the flesh-eating zombies 2 sentences back [further referenced as the undead in the same sentence]

Cheers, Annmarie. I can see why you might have suggested the alternative opening, but having Mum cremated is required as part of the plotline -- not sure a switch would fit with the development. :-\ I'll fiddle and twiddle . . . ;D

Don't know whether to use Rehab or Renascence on the title . . . I liked this spelling rather than Renaissance -- which has too much 'history' attached to it.

Yes -- it's not going to be too conventional. ;)

Offline Annmarie

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 09:51:41 AM »
You could have your protag wash hands again before going on the new ward and wonder if that dark stuff under a fingernail is Mother's ashes?? Would be rather creepy.  :)
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 10:26:37 AM »
>:D I like it. ;D

Offline Clarius

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 03:15:36 PM »
I like the genre. I like the piece.

It was the resurrected that prompted my concerns. The tabloids blamed it on Satanists. The government blamed it on agitators. The authorities tried everything from water cannon to flame throwers. Nothing anyone said or did made the slightest difference.

It took three hours from lightening the gas to gathering the ashes to be sure that Mother was safe. Three hours seemed fitting – appropriate - somehow. It was almost same time she’d been in labour with me. Three hours for her to bring me into the world. Three hours for me to see her out of it.

Conjecture, speculation and conspiracy spread rapidly. Religious and secular institutions were by turns rejected and embraced by a desperate population. When no answers were given, no solution mooted, anxiety turned to anger, and the crowd took to the street.
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

 - Robert Burns

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 03:18:56 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D

Nice take ;)

Offline pete_dog

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 09:17:40 AM »
Hi 5iobian

I like it. I've been a bit of a sucker for zombie stuff since the 1st series of Walking Dead got me hooked and I'd definitely read more. I like Annmarie's take - good way to subtly lead us in rather than hitting us with the zombie stuff right from the out - builds up a bit of suspense, etc., etc.

One thing that didn't read quite right for me was the last line - she's been given a huge pay rise and had to sign the official secrets act and her supposition is that her duties will involve "changing incontinence pads and clearing up vomit"? Even if you factor in it being zombies, it seemed like a strange leap to make for me - wouldn't she suspect more? Also, as an aside, would zombies have the bodily functions requiring incontinence pads and vomit? (Of course, it's your story and your creatures, and I quite like the idea of an incontinent zombie now I think of it... - I think my imagination's getting the better of me and it's time for a lie down in a dark room...! ;D )
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 06:56:09 PM »
Cheers pete_dog -- these poor creatures . . . there will a difference explained between the zombies and the undead :o :o :o She's speculating as she doesn't know what's in store for her. If they're 'dead', as we know it -- hell, they can't be doing much more than her mother did before she passed.

Reason for the pay-rise  . . . military secrets and also the possibility of a cosmetics company discovering a side-effect of their treatment. ;)

Offline Dawn

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 03:39:44 AM »
I'm loving this, Sio. First person works well here - makes it a tad creepier.

I also like Annmarie's suggestion (((shudder)))

Can't wait to read more - I devoured this.
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Offline RedEagle

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 05:33:04 PM »
I agree with Dawn and Annmarie.  Enjoyed the opening.  The only thing I would add is that until your last reply, I assumed your character was male.  She seemed to have masculine tendencies.

Looking forward to more.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Zombie Rehab Renascence Part 1 [555 words]
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 06:06:01 PM »
Thanks for reading -- good point about gender -- see, haven't a clue about this first person malarkey. ;D