Posts Tagged‘apocrypha’


Apocrypha 1st Draft Excerpt: Chapter 9 “Downtown Traffic”

by toddkelley on September 3, 2011

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[box sid=”box-1315076075″ width=”100%” align=”center”] [dropcap sid=”dropcap-1315076250″]A[/dropcap]fter months and months of writers block, I’m happy to say i’ve started writing again! Well.. it’s more like ‘scribbling’. Between work and other commitments, I haven’t had the proper time and/or creative drive to work on my novel, Apocrypha. But a few days ago, i found the perfect wordpress template for my new writing site and it sparked something in me. Also, a watched more than a few zombie flicks to get me back in that frame of mind, so that’s been  blessing.

My problem has been in the second phase of the story. I think I’ve successfully introduced all the characters and their situations. The trick now is to start maneuvering the four separate groups together. My plan is to bring these four groups into two groups, and then into one main group to follow for the second half of the book. The problem has been working with finding ‘realistic’ ways for my characters to do what I need them to do. This is a big problem for a lot of movies and books. Characters do stupid things to push the narrative along. I don’t want that. I want some interesting, yet believable scenarios to progress the story. This is pretty difficult.

In any case, I’m enjoying my return to writing. Below is the first half of my latest chapter entitled “Downtown Traffic”. Basically a team of police officers and a doctor who escaped a hospital are trying to find a way to Fisherman’s Wharf through San Francisco. Of course, they have a few million zombies to worry about. The chapter picks up after they leave the hospital.

(keep in mind, this is still a 1st draft) Hopefully you’ll enjoy what i have so far. [/box]

Lieutenant Clarence Tate lead his team of 4 out of Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and out onto the streets of San Francisco. The retrieval transport that was scheduled to rescue them from the hospital never arrived.

They found it two blocks away at the corner of Jones and Sutter street. The large gunmetal black van had been caught in the intersection blocked three ways by a mass of abandoned cars. He speculated that when the transport came to this position, they probably got trapped by a horde following them. There were no roaming corpses in the area. The soldiers from the transport must’ve abandoned the vehicle and fled for their lives, with their monsters in pursuit.

After a few minutes of recon, he ordered everyone forward. They continued to move east on Sutter Street, which seemed to be the only route with no enemy presence. Their journey was trouble-free until they reached Grant Street. Ahead of them, Kearny Street was crawling with corpses who seem to have found a meal. Tate was hoping it wasn’t the Retrieval Team. The only direction they had was to head south, down Grant Avenue. The journey was uneventful, until they reached the 3-way intersection of Grant, O’Farrell and Market Street.

Just as they arrived, Tate caught multiple movements just ahead. Using military hand instructions, he ordered his group to stop and hide. All five of them crouched behind a smoldering Mercedes S-Class 10 yards from the intersection.

Officer Hanna Johnson, an unusually tall Black woman positioned herself next to Tate.

“What do you see?” she whispered.

“Multiples at the intersection.” He unshouldered his P90 sub machine rifle. “I count four. Get the boys in position.”

Without another word, Hanna nodded and then signaled Officer Milwaukee an Officer Scott to find attack positions.

They both carefully and quietly moved out in opposite directions and found good line-of-sights for their targets. Once the three of them were in position, they looked back at Tate for the next call.

Ivana was amazed at the organized operation of signals and coordinated movements. It was quiet.. Insanely quiet. Back when the world was normal, you took for granted all the sounds of the city. Even at it’s quietest with no one around, there still was a good amount of background noise in the world. Now, there was nothing. You could hear the people next to you lightly breathing. You could hear the wind blowing trash as far as a block down the street.

Tate took another look out at their targets. The four corpses hadn’t moved. They stood scattered in-between the big traffic jam at the 3 way corner. 3 women and a small boy. He used finger gestures with each of his officers to designate their specific targets. One at a time, they nodded and opened their scopes on the head of their corpse.

While the officers set up their attack, Dr. Ivana couldn’t help but study the dead things in their unnatural habitat. All four stood slightly swaying with blank looks on their faces. It was the same look she saw from the drunks the Police use to deliver to the ER. She took mental notes on a few things. She wondered why they didn’t attack each other. She concluded their must be some type of recognition.. Maybe smell or body heat registration. They didn’t seem to have any higher brain functions. They didn’t use weapons. They didn’t know how to use door handles, or operate any type of complicated machinery. She knew she would need to study them more. That would require obtaining an active specimen to run tests on.

Dr. Creed came out of her thoughts just as Tate started a silent countdown with his fingers. When he reached 2, the four of them quickly rose up in unison and each fired a silenced shot at their targets. All four of the corpses jerked at the same time when the bullets cracked open their skulls. The bodies fell to the ground with what seemed like giant thuds in the silent wind. The four soldiers quickly crouched down once again, just in case the noise brought more walkers to the intersection.

After a minute, Tate gestured for his team to move forward toward the intersection. The each reformed a tight group and quickly moved through the maze of automobiles. Their diamond formation was primarily to protect Ivana Creed. Tate took the front position, while Hanna brought up the rear, making sure they weren’t being followed. Officers Milwaukee and Scott were positioned on either side, with the Doctor at the center of the group. Earlier on, Tate had given her a gun; a pristine subcompact Glock G29. She held it in her sweaty left hand, but kept the safety enabled.

As they reached the intersection they they turned to head east on Market Street. With the others occupied, checking the targets they just shot up close, Ivana was the first to see it. She looked down the street in the direction they were traveling, and nearly felt her heart explode in her chest.

Officer Hanna Johnson was to first to hear the doctor’s gasp. She swung her P90 up from the corpse at her feet, in the direction the Doctor was facing and caught the frightening wall of silent corpses twenty yards away. The others followed suit just as the first corpse opened his mouth and let out a deafening wale.