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Jamie Thomas, 16 Jul '12

The overnight rain had washed most of the blood from the streets, and then lingered on, drizzling into the early morning. The blood disappearing down drains would have been a good thing, if only the rain had taken the bodies with it. Instead, they lay motionless on the streets. Without the signs of blood and gore, the dead could have been sleeping.

Martha let the blind fall back into place slowly, and backed away from her vantage point at the window. There were three still alive out there. This would be easier than the battle of last night, but it still wouldn't be a cake walk. She picked up her gun and weighed it in her hands. 9 bullets left. Well, 8 if she saved the last one.

Don't think about that alternative, she chided herself.

As she turned back to the window, she caught sight of her own distorted reflection, hanging in the mirror above the fireplace. Her matted blonde hair was tied up behind her head, hiding the fact that clumps had been torn off in one of her many scuffles with the walking enemies she faced everyday. Her skin had turned pale with fear, although in certain lights it made her look sallow and sickly. Her face was gaunt and drawn, craving nourishment and happiness. Her black coat was zipped up to her chin, but even this was tattered and torn, ripped and spattered with splotches of blood that blended in with the dark fabric. She allowed her eyes to meet the eyes that stared back at her through the dirty mirror. They seemed deadened, miserable, sunken into her dark eye sockets. Darkened through bruising and lack of sleep.

This so called "apocalypse" had changed Martha beyond repair. One of her close friends had said "Why live, if we are making monsters out of ourselves to live in a world of monsters?". The friend then shot herself. Martha couldn't even remember her name.

Sick of herself, she turned and began cleaning the gun. Her spindly fingers worked the gun's cool metal like she had been doing it all her life, and she had learnt not to wince too much as the dry chapped skin on her hands cracked with the movements. She loaded in the clip and tested the weight in her hands once more. When satisfied with her prized possession, she pulled the blind aside and unlocked the window.

As the window swung outwards, the three zombies turned their attention on her. Death rattles escaped from their throats as they lurched forward, hungrily. Martha took a deep breath and aimed her trusty gun.

Comments · 9

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  • Jamie Thomas said...

    I wrote this because I wanted to have a go at creating a short character description within a story, because I realised that out of the 4 characters I have written about on, I have given a physical description of only one, and it was a very sparing one! In my eyes, this story isn't anything special, but I enjoyed writing it, and I welcome any feedback, no matter how harsh :)

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    For me this worked really well, both as the beginning of a story and a character description. I quickly formed an image of Martha and began to live the experience with her. I loved the line 'The blood disappearing down drains would have been a good thing, if only the rain had taken the bodies with it.'

    One correction I think '...but even her this was tattered and torn '... should be '...but even this was tattered and torn...'.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Jamie Thomas said...

    Thanks very much @Anthony Blackshaw, I'm glad it worked well for you :) And thank you, I've changed it now :)

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Ross Tarran said...

    Yay, zombies! ;) This was good; I'd happily read more if it was longer.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Jennifer Jaques said...

    @Jamie Thomas Loved that this character description was just so much more than dealing with the physical attributes. I felt like I had insight into who she was as a person. You are very talented.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Shirley Golden said...

    I really enjoyed this zombie piece! I think your character description works well. Often it is better not to over-describe as it leaves nothing for the reader to imagine. But I don't think you have and you tie in your character's emotional state well with her appearance.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Katie Gupwell said...

    This is amazing Jam! Not the kind of thing I usually read, but I would love to read more of your stuff... it's really exciting! :)

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Nathan Ramsden said...

    I'd agree with Shirley that it works well, though personally I think you could cut a few things: where you've used two ways of describing something, pick one; where you've elaborated, try trimming and see how it reads (for example, I think the end of the 2nd paragraph is snappier and has more impact if you cut the line after it).

    You've picked some good details to focus on though, and there are some telling moments (not remembering the friend's name is one) that make this interesting.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Jamie Thomas said...

    Thanks everybody :) To @Nathan Ramsden, I can't change it now but I can see where this would have really improved the burrst, thanks :) I will definitely take that into consideration in the future, because sometimes I get carried away with my descriptions :L

    • Posted 5 years ago