Just Another Apocalypse

Done in a meeting, published 1.5 months later. Please pardon me constantly using the topic of a zombie apocalypse to write, its pretty much my backup topic in case I have nothing else.


Its every man for himself. There is no one else who I can trust. If you are still alive, it means you have supplies, which is reason enough for someone to put a 50 millimetre piece of lead in your head. You would think that our thriving communities would work together. You would think that it would take more than a few slow moving, rotting corpses to disrupt order and create pandemonium in every city. Big surprise; the world isn’t what you think it is anymore. Logic and reason sumersaulted out of the window as soon as corpses walked of their own free will. Any plans anyone thought of to combat the virus were crippled when people, their only weapon against the virus, started killing each other for a bottle of water or a can of beans. We can’t beat these things individually, but its hard to talk sense to a person pointing a fully loaded M1A4 at your head, demanding in a high pitched, panicked voice for your weapons, ammunition and supplies, or else. So, with a heavy sigh, I willingly surrender for the third time this fortnight one of my only two possessions; a clip of ammunition for some random gun I hoped I would find later on. They all let me keep my crappy rucksack. They know they could barely hold a piece of paper in it without it falling out. As I walked out of the building, I chided myself for venturing into the city again. Maybe one of these days, someone will listen to reason. Eh, probably not,

Prompt: You enter your new, yet old house for the first time. As you walk into your room, you hear a shout of ‘help’!

This was from a while ago but I dug it up from my bag. It is mainly on the entry to the room. Please feel free to provide feedback and enjoy!

I tiptoed stealthily along the corridor, eyes wary and alert, ready to react to anything unusual. Stale dust wafted into my nose as I tried to suppress a sneeze. The wooden floorboards creaked me, moaning in pain as I walked on. I reached what my sister had told me was my new room, and stopped to stare at it.

I never wanted to move here. These old cobwebs replaced the image in my mind of a sunny afternoon, in the backyard at my old house. We could run and play in the grass without a care in the world. Well, there was just one concern. The rent was climbing day by day, and it seemed as if we hoped that ignoring it for long enough would make it disappear. But it didn’t. That’s why we’re here.

Here in this old shamble called a house. My mind returned to the dreadful reality I was facing. I reached out to the doorknob, hand trembling. Slowly I turned it, and walked into an empty room.

The last thing I remembered before the rising pale hand took me was a cry of ‘help’ from my sister in the next room.

And then I was gone.

Windy Days

It’s windy, and the breeze bites my skin

Like icy teeth, and I wish that there was someone

To share this with me

It’s cold


The bridge is old, older than my pap, even

Aged, creamy, beige wood, full of kinks and curves and imperfections

Like our lives

It’s cold, and windy too


I’m in a watercolour painting

The gunpowder sky, the harsh bone white cliffs, the green hairs of grass, the deep blue river

Everything feels flat, and painted on canvas, a rustic look

It’s cold, and windy, and bleak too


The cliff and the outcrop of rock, standing there since

Time immemorial

Monuments to the ever present, never tiring will and force of time


The warm darkness

Arms to cuddle in, a shoulder to nuzzle against

So near, yet so very far away


Two in a Room

Something done in a meeting which I forgot to publish. The prompt was:

“You wake up in an unfamiliar white room with a stranger who’s in the same situation as you. There is one button with a sign over it, reading ‘Do Not Press’. What do both of you do? (Write 2 perspectives, one from each person in the room, make sure dialogue and events match up. Spend about 15-20 minutes on each)”


Subject #6377


I wake up in a sweat, with a pounding headache. Shock and pain cause me to raise my hands to hold my head. Some monster had made its way into my head, and was now beating the inside of my forehead with something hard and blunt. Trying to clutch my hair didn’t help the pain. I feel as if I had just been dreaming, but I can’t remember what I was dreaming about. Maybe I’m still dreaming. I don’t know anymore. I raise my head for the first time, realising I was in a sort of sitting fetal position. The first thing that surprises me is how bright the room was. My eyes have to adjust to the light, like coming out of a dark movie theatre into a well lit hallway. Strange, I don’t remember ever hearing that phrase, nor ever saying it before. I don’t really remember anything from before the moment I woke up. As my eyes get used to the brightness, I recognise something across the room from me. A figure of some sort. A person. I squint to make the figure out. He was wearing a thin, white shirt, with a pair of white pants. I see something black on him, something I can’t quite make out. I try to get up, but my muscles are too stiff. If I will myself to move, I can, but it hurts. Why does it hurt? A surge of fear rocked me. Why am I suddenly feeling so scared? I didn’t feel anything besides pain when I woke up, and now I feel terrified. I shuffle up against the back wall, my body racked with pain as I force myself to move. What’s happening? Why the hell am I in a white room with another person? Wait, I completely forgot, there’s a person across from me. I pick myself up slowly from my crude fetal position again and trudge towards the figure opposite me. As I get closer, the black on his shirt gets clearer, though it is pretty hard to see with such blinding light. I have about a meter away from him before I see what is on him, and when I do, I recoil in fright. On his forehead, what seemed like black spots I am now able to make out as very dark red lettering. The lettering is uniform, as if it was done on a grid. It was engraved into his skin, unlike if someone wrote on his forehead. I don’t know why they did this, but it takes me a second to make out the writing. It says “subject #2”. I backtrack, almost tripping on my own feet in my haste to get away from this man. Why the hell is there writing engraved into his forehead? Why the hell does it say subject #2? What is happening? Wait, is there something on my forehead? I feel my forehead, and sure enough, I felt the text. I would have collapsed had something else not caught my attention. Above the figure, there was a bright red button. Above it, in large, black, polished text, it read, “Press the button, he dies. Don’t press the button, you die”. With what I’ve experienced and felt in the past few minutes, this didn’t phase me as much, if you compare my jaw dropping reaction to almost vomiting when seeing the blood red lettering on the man’s forehead. Looking down at the man, I realised his eyes were open, but his irises weren’t. They were fixed, staring straight ahead, though I bet if he was awake, he could see me. I feel an immense wave of sadness go through me. I don’t want to hurt this man. I don’t want to kill him. Then I think, this could be a quick death. Maybe he’ll die fast, and if I keep on going, i’ll incur a more severe pain for betraying my kind. I don’t know who is controlling this situation, but someone must be. So with all sadness gone, I take a step and lean forward and I press the-


Subject #6378


I fee; dazed. That’s it. No emotions. Just dazed. Nothing about this seems remotely phasing to me, I just feel light headed, as if I had been drugged. I feel abnormally calm. Trying to remember any sort of event which occurred before this was fruitless. I don’t remember what I look like. I don’t remember my family. I don’t remember my own name. I wish I knew what was happening. I can barely move. I can breath, I can blink, but my limbs were worthless, pathetic lumps of skin attached to me. I sat limp, looking at the person across from me. He looked so much more panicked about the situation. I hadn’t noticed him when I woke up, but now I had no choice but to stare at him. He was whispering and mumbling softly like a madman. I want to ask him what was wrong with him. I want to ask him what the panic felt like, because I can’t remember what emotion feels like. I want to ask him whether he knows anything of his past. I want to move my lips, make some noise, communicate with the man in front of me, but I can’t. So I sit, and watch emotionless as the man carefully approached me. I watch as he bends over to look at something on my forehead. I watch as he steps back a little, feels his forehead, glances above me then looks back at me, a sad look on his face. And I watch as he steps towards me, leaning over me, and-





Subject #6377 failed the test. Both subjects eliminated. New test will be performed tomorrow.


Writing Prompt- Trapdoor

This story was written during one of our sessions based on a writing prompt. I’m not exactly happy with the ending, it feels a bit rushed, but here is the story nonetheless. Disclaimer: A bit graphic, but nothing too intense.

The tail lights of the taxi disappeared into the fog, leaving the twilight moon as the only source of illumination. I had know idea who I was, only that I felt drawn to this place and needed to find answers. The house loomed in front of me, but calling it a house would be an understatement- it was more akin to a mansion, rising up into the night sky, obscured by thick fog. Pulling the iron key out of my pocket I walked along the footpath to the iron door. Despite the eeriness of the mansion, the pathway clear, the grass recently cleared, probably the work of a machete rather than a mower. I turned the key and pushed the iron door open. Darkness greeted me as a I entered the house, so I pulled out a torch. The light flickered a few seconds before the warm globe of the bulb filled me with relief. The air was stale in here, but disturbed. I felt a presence in the room, somewhere in this darkness there was life.

I heard a bumping from underneath me, the sound of wood creaking breaking up the serene silence. I shine my torch downwards and gazed at what lay in front of me- a wooden trapdoor. I heard a muffled groan, too soft to determine the speaker. I heaved with all my strength, my muscles aching with the effort, but at last the trapdoor gave way and it burst open. “HELP,” the voice screamed, this time louder and clearer- the pitch indicating it was likely a woman.

I shone my flashlight down and yelled loudly
“Don’t worry, I’m here to help you!” I said, slowly descending into that musky cellar.
“Oh thank God, he’s had me down here all week, I don’t know why, help me help me please…”
She stopped suddenly when she saw my face-
“No please, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to. Please don’t hurt me. I’ll be good. I’ll behave. I won’t try anything. Please don’t make me do it again. Please I’ll do anything…”
She sobbed loudly, bawling out tears, shaking uncontrollably.
“Hey don’t worry, I’m not here to hurt you. I’ll get you out-”
“Is this some kind of sick test? You pretend to be my friend then subject me to whatever sick pleasures you desire.”
Her tone shifted completely as she yelled out the next sentence,
“Let me go I’m not your plaything, you sex maniac. I know what you’re going to do to me.”

I backed away slowly, bumping into a shelf and a scrapbook fell to the floor. I pried it open and looked at it completely confused. It showed photos of her, naked, oppressed, tied up and forced to perform bizarre acts. I would have turned away disgusted, if not for what else I saw in the photos. It was me, smiling deviously, holding various objects designed to humiliate her. I tore my eyes from the photos confused. And then I remembered who I was before I arrived at the house.

I was Jack Walker, kidnapper, sex offender, prison escapee and I was back.

Two strangers, a room, a button and finding out you’re in a story.

It must’ve been some night – pretty sure my room is not a clean, sparse, minimalistic box with a button on a pedestal saying “Do Not Press”. Sheesh. Architects these days, with their little white boxes and being so touchy about everything.

And I’m very sure that body wasn’t there before. In haggard, but futuristic robes. Hair everywhere, he looks like some homeless guy from the future.

This feels oddly familiar though – wait! – By mackerel, my breath stinks, and I’m going to get some breakfast…

Which is what I would’ve done if I can find a door in this bloody… mackerel, who turned the lights off

I didn’t do that.

“Ah, now you arise. I nearly thought you were dead. Why’d you turn the lights off in this fancy art-deco organically built clean cut titanium room, ey? They don’t even build windows in this place.”

Well, it was probably you. You have pressed the button ten times before. You’re leaning on it right now.

Only now does the button do anything, doesn’t it? Why do they say “Do not press” if it doesn’t do a mackerel of a thing at all?

Because, you probably weren’t meant to press it. Here, let me open the door with this key.

… you had a key all this time? How? Why am I here? Why are you here? Who put me here? Was it you? When can I have breakfast, when can I go to the toilet? Where has the light gone, who would design a room this horribly, nobody can live in here? Why count I press that juicy red button???

Poor foolish you. Or me, just some years and a few less tragedies back. You won’t be ready for what the world is now, and if you only knew what you were doing with that antigravity machine in your little cave.

Let me guess, you are a time traveller?

Aaahhh… that part. Didn’t think you’d get it so quickly, but …

And you, this futuristic wreck, hair everywhere, is me??!!

Well, you don’t look much better yourself, wasting your life, on a couch with your arse above your head. What gave it away, I can’t remember what it was for me.

Neat, I’m in a story now, and I haven’t even had breakfast, and you haven’t even unlocked the door –

Shhh! You are most definitely NOT in a STORY how RIDICULOUS is THAT AHAHaha. Now now, I came from the future, and there are time machines everywhere…

Aha! If there are time machines everywhere, surely, everybody would be talking about their experience with themselves from the future! And it’s not on the news so…

Don’t say, that we’re in a story!

And with that, a ripping sound, reality started ripping for the both of them, exposing a void, with flavours of cosmic void, black void, code void, scribble void, blinding light void and fake void.

“That person who woke up first, the one with the regular, vanilla text, good job to you for realizing that both of you are in a poorly done story – the author tried to make you a bit of an oaf, but sort of gave up…”

Who was that?! He sounds pretty mean.

Ah, that’s the narrator. He is visible to the readers on the outside. He has been conspicuously absent in this story. Since we are now both aware that we are in a story, he’s just sort of given up, and I was running away because they don’t like meta-stories…

The one with the italic text started explaining to the plain, vanilla text everything that has happened, or at least, what they thought happened. Italic told a story, waking up in a bare room with what seemed to be a body, hair everywhere like a homeless person, albeit, one who looked like they belonged in the future. A big button, red and ripe for the pressing, despite the warning not to press, some rants about architects, the other person waking up, some banter, and the realisation that they were in a story, which secretly made them feel smart.

Italic was almost right, except that the walls were actually an extremely light shade of grey, italic forgot that they started with normal text, and that the button gave them the awareness that they are trapped in a poor story.

Don’t blame me – the button had letters telling them that it wouldn’t be good to press the button.

Before italic could explain the remaining details that would fill in this very fishy, suspiciously cliched and badly crafted plot, the actions of vanilla text and a way to do things better and somehow break this inevitable cycle, the room shook as almost all of the room fell away from the now floating button and door, sending both of them running.

Aww, shame about that problem. Happened in the wrong place at the wrong time. Suckers.

They ran into a hallway, only half finished and loaded, with one hundred doors. Every door a different reality. Try as they might,  only one was unlocked, the circular rusty vault coated with a glowing dust.

Vanilla was trying to find some other door, a secret room, basement, annex, button to press. Circular rusty vaults screamed apocalypse, and that was not the place to go. Italic could see no other way, and tried to drag both of them through the door – a second chance, all the wiser from the hard lessons of the first time going through alone, for the first time. Maybe they can break the cycle, and break out of this poor piece.

Shame, it almost seemed like they were getting somewhere this time, when the void swallowed italic whole, nearly dragging vanilla into the ever growing abyss.

It would’ve broken the cycle, but they wouldn’t have experienced it.

Vanilla gave up. There was nowhere left. Anything that could be done would only go downhill from here. Walk into the apocalypse, or fall into the void.

I have been hiding for a long time now. It has been hell ever since I went through that ruddy port to this wasteland. The apocalypse is bearable, maybe even a little exciting, as if I were in some YA fiction story I heard of some lifetime ago.

Except that I am in one. And the world is out to get me.

The bold voice of the narrator, rumbling through the land…

Vanilla could only hide for so long. All of the deadlands, whatever was left was out to get Vanilla as the plot closes in on Vanilla after all these boring years that, honestly, I think should’ve just been cut down

… taunting me so steadily. This has gone on too long. I can trust nobody. Can’t even get a haircut, bloody mackerel. I need to escape, or who knows what will happen.

I feel like a puppet. Somebody else is controlling my fate. It’s all out of my hands. I can just feel them yanking me away…

I have this one hope. A time machine. Covered with dust, but it’s the one that I built some eons ago, before I ended up in a box with a button and myself from the future.

I’ll take it back to the start.

I’ll make it better.

I’ll break us out of the cycle.

I swear I have done this before, waking up in a white cube, locked door, some disheveled stranger who was myself, nothing to do but to press a button that should not be pressed , running through a corridor with a hundred choices, but only one that leads anywhere, scratching out a living in the badlands, running as everybody I meet tries to kill me just because I know this is a story.

And so, vanilla pulls the levers, flicks the switches, and dials the numbers back to the start. The machine sways with an eerie presence, about to fall apart. Just as the machine has finished carefully tearing the correctly timed and sized hole in space and time, it all falls apart. The rivets fall out, the walls come next, all the levers, switches and dials falling, sucked into the hole, along with vanilla.

The rip dumps vanilla in a clean, sparse, minimalistic white prison box, unconscious, worn from the badlands of a future. With somebody else, of course. Look, that person’s about to speak…

… it must’ve been some night – pretty sure my room is not a clean, sparse, minimalistic box with a button on a pedestal saying “Do Not Press”. Sheesh. Architects these days, with their little white boxes and being so touchy about everything.

And I’m very sure that body wasn’t there before. In haggard, but futuristic robes. Hair everywhere, he looks like some homeless guy from the future.

This feels oddly familiar though – wait! – By mackerel, my breath stinks, and I’m going to get some breakfast…


The Official blog for Melbourne High Writing Interest Group (WIG)

%d bloggers like this: