– One of my first attempts exploring the use of description in creative writing. My choice, an apocalyptic setting of course! This was written under timed conditions in 45 mins so be kind and enjoy.
It doesn’t feel like the world I grew up in, not anymore, not since the disease set in. It’s darker now, heavy fog fills the air, oppressive heat rains down like the breath of hell surrounding me. Abandoned cars and buildings stand like exhausted skeletons. The unlived streets, empty, like barren wastelands.
I look to the left and on the floor lies a doll, dirty broken and unloved. I wonder what might have happened to whoever this belonged to. A creaking diverts my attention. The normal city we lived in had streets busy with shoppers and workers rushing around but not now, any noise makes me jump, terrified of what may be lurking in the corners, in the shadows. I brace myself frantically searching, looking for where it came from. This is my life now, surviving and hunting, sometimes even being hunted.
There’s five of us altogether, there used to be more. My name is Emily, I’m twenty-two. I’m short and thin, withered, thinner than I used to be. My bones ache and stick out making me look extremely ill and malnourished. My hair hangs lank over my face, dirty and full of dust. I barely recognise myself as I see my reflection in broken glass. In this broken world I feel like I’ve been buried alive, my lungs full of dirt, struggling to breathe, then ripped right back from the dead into this hellish world we live in. Smoke fills the air adding to the harsh reality.
I share a bunker with four other survivors. Bren, he’s 31, a shadow of the man he used to be, well that’s what he says anyway. Feeling beaten by the world like a ball being kicked backwards and forwards… Never resting, always on guard. His hair curly and dark, starting to lock up like twisted vines from an old willow tree, his beard smothering his face like a black mask with what looks like silver wire glistening, entwined around the darkness of his face. Jeans hang loose on his hips, ripped, gaping, revealing his translucent skin. The dishevelled appearance of this man that I’ve only known for four months has no bearing on his caring kind manner he has for all of us.
Then there’s Rose, she’s fifty-nine. Her exhausted appearance weighs heavy on her. Haggard in her face, her dark circles surround her deep set eyes like craters, with knowing depth of all the terrible, horrifying things she’s seen. With hair a dull grey swept back in a neat bun she wears a long dress that drags in the debris as she shuffles around helping where she can. She reminds me of an old matron always trying to make us feel better, almost pretending ‘they’re’ not out there waiting and decaying.
They terrify me. Their mangled appearance staggering in the shadows like diseased rats, lurking, waiting for a fresh scent of us, survivors. Their blood-curdling groans echo through the midnight air. Expressionless faces stained with blood, splattered like red paint all over them. Needless to say, I never leave the bunker without a weapon.
Now Gray, he’s the smart one, he has all the ideas, I think he’s 42. Possibly the only reason we have all survived this long. He is the backbone of our group, the bolts that hold us all together. Seeing Gray for the first time you’d probably run in the opposite direction. That’s pretty much what we did until we realised he was helping us. This man was a mountain of rolling muscle, his arms hung like menacing weapons. His dark brown hair streaked with shiny silver sparks all swept together in a low ponytail, wiry like a horses mane. A good man to know in a world like this!
And Lacey, she’s 19 and quite frankly my best friend. I found her hiding in an abandoned car. It was burnt out with broken glass and twisted metal everywhere. The smell of petrol burnt my eyes. She was hiding in the tiny space of the footwell curled up in a little ball crying. The tracks of her tears, raw, bright red, burnt into her cheeks. This small tiny girl surrounded by a huge car wreck. Her eyes lit up like lightening when she saw me. I took her under my wing I suppose. Lacey’s delicate features, charcoal black hair and olive complexion make her look younger than she is, a nice change with us all looking so haggard and gaunt, surviving as well as we can. Our lives will never be the same again, all we can do is keep fighting, surviving and hoping that humanity will win this war.