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This is the third post in our new series, Short Story Sunday, where we'll read and discuss short stories from public domain. This week's short story is 2 B R 0 2 B - Kurt Vonnegut.
2 B R 0 2 B - Kurt Vonnegut :
Everything was perfectly swell.
There were no prisons, no slums, no insane asylums, no cripples, no poverty, no wars.
All diseases were conquered. So was old age.
Death, barring accidents, was an adventure for volunteers.
The population of the United States was stabilized at forty-million souls.
One bright morning in the Chicago Lying-in Hospital, a man named Edward K. Wehling, Jr., waited for his wife to give birth. He was the only man waiting. Not many people were born a day any more.
Wehling was fifty-six, a mere stripling in a population whose average age was one hundred and twenty-nine.
X-rays had revealed that his wife was going to have triplets. The children would be his first.
Young Wehling was hunched in his chair, his head in his hand. He was so rumpled, so still and colorless as to be virtually invisible. His camouflage was perfect, since the waiting room had a disorderly and demoralized air, too. Chairs and ashtrays had been moved away from the walls. The floor was paved with spattered dropcloths.
The room was being redecorated. It was being redecorated as a memorial to a man who had volunteered to die.
A sardonic old man, about two hundred years old, sat on a stepladder, painting a mural he did not like. Back in the days when people aged visibly, his age would have been guessed at thirty-five or so. Aging had touched him that much before the cure for aging was found.
The mural he was working on depicted a very neat garden. Men and women in white, doctors and nurses, turned the soil, planted seedlings, sprayed bugs, spread fertilizer.
Men and women in purple uniforms pulled up weeds, cut down plants that were old and sickly, raked leaves, carried refuse to trash-burners.
Never, never, never—not even in medieval Holland nor old Japan—had a garden been more formal, been better tended. Every plant had all the loam, light, water, air and nourishment it could use.
A hospital orderly came down the corridor, singing under his breath a popular song:
If you don't like my kisses, honey, Here's what I will do: I'll go see a girl in purple, Kiss this sad world toodle-oo. If you don't want my lovin', Why should I take up all this space? I'll get off this old planet, Let some sweet baby have my place.
The orderly looked in at the mural and the muralist. "Looks so real," he said, "I can practically imagine I'm standing in the middle of it."
"What makes you think you're not in it?" said the painter. He gave a satiric smile. "It's called 'The Happy Garden of Life,' you know."
"That's good of Dr. Hitz," said the orderly.
He was referring to one of the male figures in white, whose head was a portrait of Dr. Benjamin Hitz, the hospital's Chief Obstetrician. Hitz was a blindingly handsome man.
"Lot of faces still to fill in," said the orderly. He meant that the faces of many of the figures in the mural were still blank. All blanks were to be filled with portraits of important people on either the hospital staff or from the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Termination.
"Must be nice to be able to make pictures that look like something," said the orderly.
The painter's face curdled with scorn. "You think I'm proud of this daub?" he said. "You think this is my idea of what life really looks like?"
"What's your idea of what life looks like?" said the orderly.
The painter gestured at a foul dropcloth. "There's a good picture of it," he said. "Frame that, and you'll have a picture a damn sight more honest than this one."
"You're a gloomy old duck, aren't you?" said the orderly.
"Is that a crime?" said the painter.
The orderly shrugged. "If you don't like it here, Grandpa—" he said, and he finished the thought with the trick telephone number that people who didn't want to live any more were supposed to call. The zero in the telephone number he pronounced "naught."
The number was: "2 B R 0 2 B."
It was the telephone number of an institution whose fanciful sobriquets included: "Automat," "Birdland," "Cannery," "Catbox," "De-louser," "Easy-go," "Good-by, Mother," "Happy Hooligan," "Kiss-me-quick," "Lucky Pierre," "Sheepdip," "Waring Blendor," "Weep-no-more" and "Why Worry?"
"To be or not to be" was the telephone number of the municipal gas chambers of the Federal Bureau of Termination.
The painter thumbed his nose at the orderly. "When I decide it's time to go," he said, "it won't be at the Sheepdip."
"A do-it-yourselfer, eh?" said the orderly. "Messy business, Grandpa. Why don't you have a little consideration for the people who have to clean up after you?"
The painter expressed with an obscenity his lack of concern for the tribulations of his survivors. "The world could do with a good deal more mess, if you ask me," he said.
The orderly laughed and moved on.
Wehling, the waiting father, mumbled something without raising his head. And then he fell silent again.
A coarse, formidable woman strode into the waiting room on spike heels. Her shoes, stockings, trench coat, bag and overseas cap were all purple, the purple the painter called "the color of grapes on Judgment Day."
The medallion on her purple musette bag was the seal of the Service Division of the Federal Bureau of Termination, an eagle perched on a turnstile.
The woman had a lot of facial hair—an unmistakable mustache, in fact. A curious thing about gas-chamber hostesses was that, no matter how lovely and feminine they were when recruited, they all sprouted mustaches within five years or so.
"Is this where I'm supposed to come?" she said to the painter.
"A lot would depend on what your business was," he said. "You aren't about to have a baby, are you?"
"They told me I was supposed to pose for some picture," she said. "My name's Leora Duncan." She waited.
"And you dunk people," he said.
"What?" she said.
"Skip it," he said.
"That sure is a beautiful picture," she said. "Looks just like heaven or something."
"Or something," said the painter. He took a list of names from his smock pocket. "Duncan, Duncan, Duncan," he said, scanning the list. "Yes—here you are. You're entitled to be immortalized. See any faceless body here you'd like me to stick your head on? We've got a few choice ones left."
She studied the mural bleakly. "Gee," she said, "they're all the same to me. I don't know anything about art."
"A body's a body, eh?" he said. "All righty. As a master of fine art, I recommend this body here." He indicated a faceless figure of a woman who was carrying dried stalks to a trash-burner.
"Well," said Leora Duncan, "that's more the disposal people, isn't it? I mean, I'm in service. I don't do any disposing."
The painter clapped his hands in mock delight. "You say you don't know anything about art, and then you prove in the next breath that you know more about it than I do! Of course the sheave-carrier is wrong for a hostess! A snipper, a pruner—that's more your line." He pointed to a figure in purple who was sawing a dead branch from an apple tree. "How about her?" he said. "You like her at all?"
"Gosh—" she said, and she blushed and became humble—"that—that puts me right next to Dr. Hitz."
"That upsets you?" he said.
"Good gravy, no!" she said. "It's—it's just such an honor."
"Ah, You... you admire him, eh?" he said.
"Who doesn't admire him?" she said, worshiping the portrait of Hitz. It was the portrait of a tanned, white-haired, omnipotent Zeus, two hundred and forty years old. "Who doesn't admire him?" she said again. "He was responsible for setting up the very first gas chamber in Chicago."
"Nothing would please me more," said the painter, "than to put you next to him for all time. Sawing off a limb—that strikes you as appropriate?"
"That is kind of like what I do," she said. She was demure about what she did. What she did was make people comfortable while she killed them.
And, while Leora Duncan was posing for her portrait, into the waitingroom bounded Dr. Hitz himself. He was seven feet tall, and he boomed with importance, accomplishments, and the joy of living.
"Well, Miss Duncan! Miss Duncan!" he said, and he made a joke. "What are you doing here?" he said. "This isn't where the people leave. This is where they come in!"
"We're going to be in the same picture together," she said shyly.
"Good!" said Dr. Hitz heartily. "And, say, isn't that some picture?"
"I sure am honored to be in it with you," she said.
"Let me tell you," he said, "I'm honored to be in it with you. Without women like you, this wonderful world we've got wouldn't be possible."
He saluted her and moved toward the door that led to the delivery rooms. "Guess what was just born," he said.
"I can't," she said.
"Triplets!" he said.
"Triplets!" she said. She was exclaiming over the legal implications of triplets.
The law said that no newborn child could survive unless the parents of the child could find someone who would volunteer to die. Triplets, if they were all to live, called for three volunteers.
"Do the parents have three volunteers?" said Leora Duncan.
"Last I heard," said Dr. Hitz, "they had one, and were trying to scrape another two up."
"I don't think they made it," she said. "Nobody made three appointments with us. Nothing but singles going through today, unless somebody called in after I left. What's the name?"
"Wehling," said the waiting father, sitting up, red-eyed and frowzy. "Edward K. Wehling, Jr., is the name of the happy father-to-be."
He raised his right hand, looked at a spot on the wall, gave a hoarsely wretched chuckle. "Present," he said.
"Oh, Mr. Wehling," said Dr. Hitz, "I didn't see you."
"The invisible man," said Wehling.
"They just phoned me that your triplets have been born," said Dr. Hitz. "They're all fine, and so is the mother. I'm on my way in to see them now."
"Hooray," said Wehling emptily.
"You don't sound very happy," said Dr. Hitz.
"What man in my shoes wouldn't be happy?" said Wehling. He gestured with his hands to symbolize care-free simplicity. "All I have to do is pick out which one of the triplets is going to live, then deliver my maternal grandfather to the Happy Hooligan, and come back here with a receipt."
Dr. Hitz became rather severe with Wehling, towered over him. "You don't believe in population control, Mr. Wehling?" he said.
"I think it's perfectly keen," said Wehling tautly.
"Would you like to go back to the good old days, when the population of the Earth was twenty billion—about to become forty billion, then eighty billion, then one hundred and sixty billion? Do you know what a drupelet is, Mr. Wehling?" said Hitz.
"Nope," said Wehling sulkily.
"A drupelet, Mr. Wehling, is one of the little knobs, one of the little pulpy grains of a blackberry," said Dr. Hitz. "Without population control, human beings would now be packed on this surface of this old planet like drupelets on a blackberry! Think of it!"
Wehling continued to stare at the same spot on the wall.
"In the year 2000," said Dr. Hitz, "before scientists stepped in and laid down the law, there wasn't even enough drinking water to go around, and nothing to eat but sea-weed—and still people insisted on their right to reproduce like jackrabbits. And their right, if possible, to live forever."
"I want those kids," said Wehling quietly. "I want all three of them."
"Of course you do," said Dr. Hitz. "That's only human."
"I don't want my grandfather to die, either," said Wehling.
"Nobody's really happy about taking a close relative to the Catbox," said Dr. Hitz gently, sympathetically.
"I wish people wouldn't call it that," said Leora Duncan.
"What?" said Dr. Hitz.
"I wish people wouldn't call it 'the Catbox,' and things like that," she said. "It gives people the wrong impression."
"You're absolutely right," said Dr. Hitz. "Forgive me." He corrected himself, gave the municipal gas chambers their official title, a title no one ever used in conversation. "I should have said, 'Ethical Suicide Studios,'" he said.
"That sounds so much better," said Leora Duncan.
"This child of yours—whichever one you decide to keep, Mr. Wehling," said Dr. Hitz. "He or she is going to live on a happy, roomy, clean, rich planet, thanks to population control. In a garden like that mural there." He shook his head. "Two centuries ago, when I was a young man, it was a hell that nobody thought could last another twenty years. Now centuries of peace and plenty stretch before us as far as the imagination cares to travel."
He smiled luminously.
The smile faded as he saw that Wehling had just drawn a revolver.
Wehling shot Dr. Hitz dead. "There's room for one—a great big one," he said.
And then he shot Leora Duncan. "It's only death," he said to her as she fell. "There! Room for two."
And then he shot himself, making room for all three of his children.
Nobody came running. Nobody, seemingly, heard the shots.
The painter sat on the top of his stepladder, looking down reflectively on the sorry scene.
The painter pondered the mournful puzzle of life demanding to be born and, once born, demanding to be fruitful ... to multiply and to live as long as possible—to do all that on a very small planet that would have to last forever.
All the answers that the painter could think of were grim. Even grimmer, surely, than a Catbox, a Happy Hooligan, an Easy Go. He thought of war. He thought of plague. He thought of starvation.
He knew that he would never paint again. He let his paintbrush fall to the drop-cloths below. And then he decided he had had about enough of life in the Happy Garden of Life, too, and he came slowly down from the ladder.
He took Wehling's pistol, really intending to shoot himself.
But he didn't have the nerve.
And then he saw the telephone booth in the corner of the room. He went to it, dialed the well-remembered number: "2 B R 0 2 B."
"Federal Bureau of Termination," said the very warm voice of a hostess.
"How soon could I get an appointment?" he asked, speaking very carefully.
"We could probably fit you in late this afternoon, sir," she said. "It might even be earlier, if we get a cancellation."
"All right," said the painter, "fit me in, if you please." And he gave her his name, spelling it out.
"Thank you, sir," said the hostess. "Your city thanks you; your country thanks you; your planet thanks you. But the deepest thanks of all is from future generations."
THE END

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2020.05.19 16:56 NationofChange Capitalism, contagion, and moral hazard: A cure worse than the disease?

By: Thomas Magstadt - May 19, 2020
Read the article here: https://www.nationofchange.org/2020/05/19/capitalism-contagion-and-moral-hazard-a-cure-worse-than-the-disease/
Moral hazard. It’s an odd-sounding term for a concept well-known to “worldly philosophes” (a.k.a., economists), but few others. More recently it has become a veritable catchphrase for critics of “crony capitalism” (a.k.a. corporate capitalism). Chalk it up to the deadliest, most disruptive, pandemic in modern history.
The Covid-19 pandemic has upset the global economic apple cart in ways few could have imagined, ways natural calamities (hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts) and human-induced shocks (terrorist attacks, recessions) in the past, for all the damage, dislocation, and human suffering they occasioned, did not. Lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, school closings, social distancing, people dying in agony surrounded by aliens in full Hazmat gear, and the ubiquitous facemasks that render us all faceless. Such scenes have turned bustling cities into something resembling a sci-fi film depicting life on Planet Earth after the Apocalypse.
The Contagion The Economist, a paragon of classical liberalism which has been singing the praises of free enterprise since the 1840s, predicts that among the long-term consequences of the coronavirus crisis will be the 90% economy:
In many things 90% is just fine; in an economy it is miserable, and China shows why. The country started to end its lockdown in February. Factories are busy and the streets are no longer empty. The result is the 90% economy. It is better than a severe lockdown, but it is far from normal.
“Far from normal” means different things to different people, especially in an age of deep class divisions, rising inequality, and culture wars. What it means for frontline workers in medicine and law-enforcement, for example, is farther from normal than for the self-isolating, social-distancing, mask-wearing majority. What it means for furloughed wage-earners and for tens of millions who have filed unemployment claims is the crushing burden of unpayable bills, families in free fall, and financial ruin.
Will most workers in the private sector still have jobs when local economies reopen? A Goldman Sachs survey found that two-thirds of small-business owners expected to run out of cash in less than three months. In the U.K., the number of commercial tenants in arrears on rent due has risen by nearly a third. Unsurprisingly, the hardest-hit parts of the 90% economy in the U.S. and Europe:
Even now in Europe’s five largest economies, over 30m workers, a fifth of the labor force, are in special schemes where the state pays their wages. These can be generous, but nobody knows how long they will last.
Meanwhile, “far from normal” is different altogether if you happen to be Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and the world’s richest capitalist, who reportedly raked in $24 billion in profits during the first few months of the pandemic. That is far from normal, too, but it points to a fact of political life under crony capitalism that Republicans in leadership positions never talk about—namely that for not a few billionaires with deep pockets who shell out millions in campaign contributions to elect legislative lapdogs, the pandemic has already opened the door to profiteering on an epic scale. And if the past is prologue, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Moral Hazard America’s billionaires grew their wealth by $282,000,000,000 in just 23 days during the lockdown. That’s $12,300,000,000 a day. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are out of work and struggling to pay the bills. This is a tale of two pandemics.
—Robert Reich Tweet, May 2, 2020
In a recent article entitled “How to think about moral hazard during a pandemic,” The Economist proffered this definition: “Moral hazard describes situations in which the costs of risky behavior are not entirely borne by those responsible for that behavior, so encouraging excessive risk-taking in the future.”. The moral dimension arises from the fact that moral hazard invariably involves money—money managers, money markets, and, above all, moneyed interests—and the greater the amounts the greater the hazard.
If you’re thinking something along the lines of “No wonder economics is called the dismal science” you’re not alone. Think of the checks and balances that form the cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution. It’s an idea that became a lofty principle aimed at safeguarding the separation of powers. Now think about moral hazard. In the absence of checks and balances and a separation of powers, what is to prevent a few uber-rich individuals from buying votes in Congress on everything from taxes, trade, and tariffs to health care and immigration?
It’s not rocket science. The answer is obvious: Moral hazard in a capitalist system dominated by a corporate elite arises out of political-economic power relationships that are fundamentally unbalanced and unchecked. “Rarely,” says The Economist, “has the scope for moral hazard seemed as massive as now.”
As readers of a recent piece in Forbes magazine learned, the CARES Act provides a glaring example of just how massive the moral hazard is at this time in history.
A $1.7 million stimulus check?
While wealthy Americans are not eligible for the comparatively measly $1,200 stimulus checks that are now being disbursed to many Americans, they are on pace to do even better. 43,000 taxpayers, who earn more than $1 million annually, are each set to receive a $1.7 million windfall, on average, thanks to a provision buried in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
A headline in ProPublica provides another example:
The Bailout Is Working — for the Rich The economy is in free fall but Wall Street is thriving, and stocks of big private equity firms are soaring dramatically higher. That tells you who investors think is the real beneficiary of the federal government’s massive rescue efforts.
In this trenchant piece, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jesse Eisinger calls the federal government’s attempt to pull the economy back from the brink “both a spectacular success and a catastrophic failure.“ In early May, a time of “unfathomable pain across the country not seen since the Great Depression,” the stock market was buoyant. “Junk bonds, historically dodgy during an economic swoon, have roared back,” Eisinger noted.
Shares of major private equity firms like the Apollo Group and Blackstone soared.
The reason: Asset holders like Apollo and Blackstone — disproportionately the wealthiest and most influential — have been insured by the world’s most powerful central bank. This largess is boundless and without conditions. “Even if a second wave of outbreaks were to occur,” JPMorgan economists wrote in a celebratory note on Friday, “the Fed has explicitly indicated that there is no dollar limit and no danger of running out of ammunition.”
Bottom line: “It’s a bailout of capital.”
Capitalism: Cure or Curse?
In politics and the natural order, the key word is “balance”. It’s also true of economics. The Greeks understood the supreme value of balance in all things and gave it a name—the Golden Mean.
There was arguably a time in American economic history when a proper balance was struck between the free market and state intervention. The Great Depression was the occasion and the New Deal was the robust policy response that restarted a badly stalled economy and lifted the hopes of the huddled masses.
That was then and this is now. Then America had Franklyn Delano Roosevelt in the White House; now we have Donald Trump. Then the Republican Party nominated the moderate and decent Alf Landon as it’s presidential candidate. Now Mitch McConnell is the grim face of Republicans in the Senate who only represents the corporate interests of an elite class of capitalist extremists and libertarian lunatics who conflate any state intervention aimed at protecting competition, consumers, and a balanced economy with socialism. Here, for example, is Leora Levy, a wealthy onetime commodity trader and Trump’s pick to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Chile, on Twitter: “AMERICA WILL NEVER BE A SOCIALIST COUNTRY!!!” she posted. “WE ARE BORN FREE AND WILL STAY FREE!!!” (@labbielady 2/5/19)
Today’s extreme capitalists (a.k.a. far-right conservatives) extol the virtues of deregulation and stigmatize any public-spending designed to help people who need help as “socialism” and a “giveaway” while insisting that billion-dollar bailouts for banks, massive tax cuts for the rich, subsidies for agro-industry, coal mining, and big oil are necessary for economic expansion and job creation.
The Founders buying into the idea of a “commercial republic” is a mirror image of Adam in the book of Genesis taking a bite of the apple. The original sin that gave rise to the unbalanced, oligopolistic capitalism so evident in America today can be traced to the late 17th Century when John Locke (“the Father of Classical Liberalism”) set forth his seminal ideas on social contract theory, natural rights, and private property.
A century later, Adam Smith rhapsodized about the invisible hand of the marketplace in The Wealth of Nations, a work destined to become the holy gospel for the apostles of modern market economy—and for it’s apologists. What began as an economic theory has been perverted and turned into a secular religion—an extreme version of capitalism neither Locke nor Smith envisioned but Karl Marx predicted in his three-volume work, Das Kapital.
Jump ahead to 1945, the end of a cataclysmic era bracketed by two world wars, the stock market crash, depression, and the Holocaust. The turbulent interwar years produced two major totalitarian threats, one on the left and one on the right. They also produced original thinkers like Karl Polanyi, author of The Great Transformation.
Polanyi lived in social-democratic “Red Vienna” during the turbulent 1920s and 1930s. Nikil Saval writing in The Nation explains how Polyani at first embraced Marxism as “a hopeful counterpoint to the Dickensian poorhouse on one extreme and fascism on the other” and later not only broke with Marxists but also broke new ground as an economic historian. Polyani showed how the gold standard rendered the efficient and humane management of a market economy impossible and, at the same time. “Under the gold standard,” he wrote, “. . . the leaders of the financial market [are] in the position to obstruct any domestic move in the economic sphere which [they happen] to dislike.” As Saval notes,
For Polanyi, the problem with this social arrangement was not only that it impeded the democratic process but that is also allowed the interests of the market to assert their primacy over those of society.
The aforementioned article first appeared in December 2016. That’s significant because the author did not have the kind of window on the cruel and corrupting side of capitalism the Covid-19 pandemic has given the world.
Clearly Wall Street traders, bankers, and hedge-fund managers have no answers to the medical challenges this pandemic poses. What is equally clear that the elite business class is not to be trusted with answers to the economic challenges we face.
Indeed, many highly influential business and banking elites back the deceitful, hate-mongering, name-calling narcissist in the White House. Skeptics are urged to read Evan Osnos’s trenchant “How Greenwich Republicans Learned to Love Trump” (The New Yorker, May 3, 2020):
The story of Trump’s rise is often told as a hostile takeover. In truth, it is something closer to a joint venture, in which members of America’s élite accepted the terms of Trumpism as the price of power.
Osnos, who grew up in Greenwich, notes that “the latest Forbes ranking of the world’s billionaires lists fifteen of them in the ‘Greater Greenwich Area,’ led by Ray Dalio, the founder of the hedge fund Bridgewater, who is worth an estimated eighteen billion dollars.”
Nor did the rise of a politically engaged, jet-setting billionaire class happen overnight, Osnos argues. In fact, “a generation of unwitting patrons paved the way” long before Trump stepped onto the political stage.
From Greenwich and places like it, they launched a set of financial, philanthropic, and political projects that have changed American ideas about government, taxes, and the legitimacy of the liberal state.
No wonder the government of the richest nation in the world was among the least well-prepared or –equipped to deal with a pandemic! It’s not because market economies are inherently corrupt and chaotic or because free-enterprise is a bad idea in theory. What Churchill said about democracy—that’s it’s the worst form of government, except for all the others—can also be said of capitalism. It’s the worst way to operate an economy, except for all the others.
Capitalism is inherently neither cure nor curse. The problem is a state-sponsored, pseudo-capitalist ideology that bestows massive bailouts and tax benefits for the superrich. A system that rewards greed and manic wealth accumulation at the expense of everything worth protecting and preserving in an otherwise decent society—even to the point of denying people a living wage or coronavirus victims access to affordable health care.
The problem is not capitalism with a small “c” but Capitalism capitalized, the kind of extreme capitalism that seeks to kill competition rather than protect it, that rewards the use of junk bonds to finance hostile takeovers, and that turns the myth of the free market into a commodity to be sold to a public conditioned to believe that state regulation and intervention are thinly veiled “socialism”.
As both history and the current Covid-19 pandemic amply demonstrate, an active state is both an economic and social necessity. Competition, not deregulation, is the key to a market economy that works for the many rather than the few. Experience in this unprecedented health crisis is conclusive: Absent an impartial referee there is nothing to prevent a mythical free market from decaying into crony capitalism and causing irreparable damage to society, economy, and a badly battered political system. The role of the state in normal times is to keep markets functional and fair; in a crisis, this economic principle becomes a moral imperative.
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2019.02.14 06:04 PatrickPlan8 Leora real cam

Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. Were Close to Being Charged With Felony Fraud New York prosecutors were preparing a case. Then the D.A. overruled his staff after a visit from a top donor: Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz.
by Jesse Eisinger and Justin Elliott, ProPublica, and Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, WNYC
In the spring of 2012, Donald Trump’s two eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., found themselves in a precarious legal position. For two years, prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had been building a criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development that was failing to sell. Despite the best efforts of the siblings’ defense team, the case had not gone away. An indictment seemed like a real possibility. The evidence included emails from the Trumps making clear that they were aware they were using inflated figures about how well the condos were selling to lure buyers.
In one email, according to four people who have seen it, the Trumps discussed how to coordinate false information they had given to prospective buyers. In another, according to a person who read the emails, they worried that a reporter might be onto them. In yet another, Donald Jr. spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the email chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the email.
There was “no doubt” that the Trump children “approved, knew of, agreed to, and intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales,” one person who saw the emails told us. “They knew it was wrong.”
In 2010, when the Major Economic Crimes Bureau of the D.A.’s office opened an investigation of the siblings, the Trump Organization had hired several top New York criminal defense lawyers to represent Donald Jr. and Ivanka. These attorneys had met with prosecutors in the bureau several times. They conceded that their clients had made exaggerated claims, but argued that the overstatements didn’t amount to criminal misconduct. Still, the case dragged on. In a meeting with the defense team, Donald Trump, Sr., expressed frustration that the investigation had not been closed. Soon after, his longtime personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz entered the case.
Kasowitz, who by then had been the elder Donald Trump’s attorney for a decade, is primarily a civil litigator with little experience in criminal matters. But in 2012, Kasowitz donated $25,000 to the reelection campaign of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., making Kasowitz one of Vance’s largest donors. Kasowitz decided to bypass the lower level prosecutors and went directly to Vance to ask that the investigation be dropped.
On May 16, 2012, Kasowitz visited Vance’s office at One Hogan Place in downtown Manhattan — a faded edifice made famous by the television show, “Law & Order.” Dan Alonso, the chief assistant district attorney, and Adam Kaufmann, the chief of the investigative division, were also at the meeting, but no one from the Major Economic Crimes Bureau attended. Kasowitz did not introduce any new arguments or facts during his session. He simply repeated the arguments that the other defense lawyers had been making for months.
Ultimately, Vance overruled his own prosecutors. Three months after the meeting, he told them to drop the case. Kasowitz subsequently boasted to colleagues about representing the Trump children, according to two people. He said that the case was “really dangerous,” one person said, and that it was “amazing I got them off.” (Kasowitz denied making such a statement.)
Vance defended his decision. “I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed,” he told us. “I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call.”
Just before the 2012 meeting, Vance’s campaign had returned Kasowitz’s $25,000 contribution, in keeping with what Vance describes as standard practice when a donor has a case before his office. Kasowitz “had no influence and his contributions had no influence whatsoever on my decision-making in the case,” Vance said.
But less than six months after the D.A.’s office dropped the case, Kasowitz made an even larger donation to Vance’s campaign, and helped raise more from others — eventually, a total of more than $50,000. After being asked about these donations as part of the reporting for this article — more than four years after the fact — Vance said he now plans to give back Kasowitz’s second contribution, too. “I don’t want the money to be a millstone around anybody’s neck, including the office’s,” he said.
Kasowitz told us his donations to Vance were unrelated to the case. “I donated to Cy Vance’s campaign because I was and remain extremely impressed by him as a person of impeccable integrity, as a brilliant lawyer and as a public servant with creative ideas and tremendous ability,” Kasowitz wrote in an emailed statement. “I have never made a contribution to anyone’s campaign, including Cy Vance’s, as a ‘quid-pro-quo’ for anything.”
Last year, The New York Times reported the existence of the criminal investigation into the Trump SoHo project. But the prosecutor’s focus on Ivanka and Donald Jr. and the email evidence against them, as well as Kasowitz’s involvement, and Vance’s decision to overrule his prosecutors, had not been previously made public. This account is based on interviews with 20 sources familiar with the investigation, court records, and other public documents. We were not able to review copies of the emails that were the focal point of the inquiry. We are relying on the accounts of multiple individuals who have seen them.
Requests for interviews with Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. were referred to Alan Garten, the chief legal officer of the Trump Organization. In an emailed response, Garten did not address a list of questions about the criminal case. Instead, he quoted the company’s filings in civil litigation relating to the Trump SoHo, which described complaints as “a simple case of buyers’ remorse.”
But even a lawyer in the Trump camp acknowledges that the way the case was resolved was unusual. “Dropping the case was reasonable,” said Paul Grand, a partner at Morvillo Abramowitz who was part of the Trump SoHo defense team. “The manner in which it was accomplished is curious.”
Grand, who was a partner of Vance’s when the district attorney was in private practice, said he did not believe that the D.A.’s office had evidence of criminal misconduct by the Trump children. But the meeting between Vance and Kasowitz “didn’t have an air you’d like,” he said. “If you and I were district attorney and you knew that a subject of an investigation was represented by two or three well-thought-of lawyers in town, and all of a sudden someone who was a contributor to your campaign showed up on your doorstep, and the regular lawyers are nowhere to be seen, you’d think about how you’d want to proceed.”
In June 2006, during the season finale of “The Apprentice,” Donald Trump Sr. unveiled the Trump SoHo as a visionary project. The luxury development was intended to mark the ascension of Ivanka and Donald Jr. — then 24 and 28 years old, respectively — as full players in the Trump empire. They signed the licensing deal alongside their father, and photographs of Ivanka were featured in the Trump SoHo’s advertising, under the tagline “Possess your own SoHo.”
Their partners on the project included two Soviet-born businessmen, Felix Sater and Tevfik Arif, who ran the Bayrock Group, a real estate development firm. Sater had a history of running afoul of the law. In 1993, he was convicted of assault and spent about a year in prison for attacking a man with the stem of a margarita glass in a bar fight. In 1998, he pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering for his role in a $40 million securities fraud scheme.
The Trump SoHo was beleaguered from the start: Named for one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods, the development wasn’t really in SoHo, but located just west of it, near the entrance ramp to the Holland Tunnel. Zoning laws wouldn’t allow a residential tower at the location, so the Trumps fell back on an alternative: a “condo-hotel,” in which buyers got a hotel room rather than an apartment, and were legally prohibited from staying there more than 120 nights per year. Worse, the high-priced condos hit the market in September 2007, just as the global economy began to crater in what became the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Business was slow, but the Trump family claimed the opposite. In April 2008, they said that 31 percent of the condos in the building had been purchased. Donald Jr. boasted to The Real Deal magazine that 55 percent of the units had been bought. In June 2008, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, alongside their brother Eric, gathered the foreign press at Trump Tower in Manhattan, where Ivanka announced that 60 percent had been snapped up. “We’re in a very fortunate position,” she said, “where we have enough sales and now we are strategically targeting certain buyers.”
None of that was true. According to a sworn affidavit by a Trump partner filed with the New York attorney general’s office, by March of 2010, almost two years after the press conference, only 15.8 percent of units had been sold.
This was more than a marketing problem. The deal hinged on selling at least 15 percent of the units. By law, the sales couldn’t close with anything less. The Trumps and their partners would have had to return the buyers’ down payments.
Some buyers concluded that they’d been cheated. In August 2010, some sued the Trump Organization and others involved in the project in New York federal court. “This action seeks to redress the substantial and ongoing pattern of fraudulent misrepresentations and deceptive sales practices” by the Trumps and the other defendants, the suit charged. The plaintiffs argued that there’s a vast difference in value between a unit in a building that is 15 percent sold and one that is 60 percent sold. Their complaint accused the sellers, including the Trumps, of “a consistent and concerted pattern of outright lies.”
After the civil suit was filed, the Manhattan district attorney’s office opened a criminal investigation. Prosecutors are often wary of getting involved in a dispute between wealthy litigants. But in this instance, according to a person familiar with their thinking, the lawyers in the Major Economic Crimes Bureau quickly concluded that there was enough to warrant an investigation. They believed that Ivanka and Donald Jr., might have violated the Martin Act, a New York statute that bans any false statement in conjunction with the sale of a security or real estate. Prosecutors also saw potential fraud and larceny charges, applying a legal theory that, by overstating the number of units sold, the Trump were falsely inflating their value and, in effect, cheating unsuspecting condo buyers.
Peirce Moser, an assistant district attorney known for his methodical, comprehensive investigations, soon took over the case. “He is not a cowboy,” Marc Scholl, who spent almost 40 years as a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, said. “He is certainly not out to make headlines for himself or to advance himself.”
On the other side, the Trumps’ defense team included Gary Naftalis and David Frankel, of the law firm Kramer Levin; Paul Grand represented one of the real estate brokers who had worked with the Trumps.
As the investigation progressed, Vance suffered an embarrassing setback in one of his highest profile cases. In the summer of 2011, his office had abandoned a sexual assault case against the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Vance, who was pummeled in the press afterward, denied in his interview with us that the case made him reluctant to take on another prominent defendant.
A few months later, on Jan. 11, 2012, Marc Kasowitz contributed $25,000 to Vance’s campaign, unbeknownst to prosecutors in the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, who continued their work. Moser was particularly focused on email correspondence, according to seven people familiar with the case.
The prosecutors began considering impaneling a special grand jury, according to a person familiar with the investigation. That would have represented a significant escalation in the case, because it is often a prelude to indictments. With a grand jury in place, defense lawyers knew the risk of indictment was high.
The defense team offered a deal to stave off this possibility, floating the possibility of a settlement of some kind, including a deferred prosecution agreement, which would have meant the corporate equivalent of probation for the Trump Organization. With the investigation appearing to gather momentum, Naftalis and Grand, who had already met with the prosecutors twice, began to step up their campaign against the case. Grand calls this the “internal appellate process.” Particularly when well-heeled or high-profile defendants are involved, there can be a multi-month advocacy process that slowly makes its way up the hierarchy inside the Manhattan D.A.’s office.
Grand and Naftalis decided that it would be unwise to go over the heads of the staff prosecutors. Instead, on April 18, 2012, they sent a letter to Adam Kaufmann, then chief of the investigative division (he’s now in private practice), outlining their arguments.
The next day, the defense lawyers met with Moser, Kaufmann, and others from the prosecution team. The defense team acknowledged that the Trumps made some exaggerated statements in order to sell the units. But this was mere “puffery”— harmless exaggeration. Such language, they contended, didn’t amount to criminal conduct. The Trumps weren’t selling useless swampland in Florida. The condos existed. And the buyers’ money was in escrow the entire time.
The defense lawyers argued that bringing such a case to trial would be wasteful and that resources would be better spent on more serious offenses. As Grand put it to us during our recent interview, “I guess in a world that is completely pure and where there is no deviation between propriety and the law, that kind of exaggeration and deliberately concentrated exaggeration can be pursued. But is that the kind of criminal law enforcement the D.A. should be doing?”
Moser’s answer seemed to be “yes,” and he found support among his supervisors. Moser had prepared an elaborate PowerPoint presentation, featuring dozens of emails that prosecutors believed showed that Ivanka and Donald Jr. had repeatedly lied to buyers. “You couldn’t have had a better email trail,” a person familiar with the investigation told us.
At the meeting, Kaufmann peppered the defense team with questions, at one point raising his voice, according to a person who was there. “I believed in the case,” Kaufmann told us, though he declined to discuss the evidence. “But believing in the case doesn’t mean we had reached the point when [I had] settled on what should happen with the case.”
White-collar criminal cases are often challenging to bring because of their complexity. And, by the time of the April meeting, prosecutors knew that they faced another impediment, this one created by legal maneuvers in the Trumps’ civil case. Five months earlier, the Trumps and their partners had reached a settlement with the disgruntled buyers. The defendants agreed to return 90 percent of the buyers’ deposits, plus their attorneys’ fees. But they extracted a rare concession in return: The plaintiffs agreed not to cooperate with prosecutors unless they were subpoenaed. (Garten, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, noted that the settlement terms were confidential and declined to comment on them.)
Adam Leitman Bailey, the attorney for the buyers, had been helping prosecutors. Now he provided aid to the Trumps, writing a letter to the district attorney that stated: “We acknowledge that the Defendants have not violated the criminal laws of the State of New York or the United States.” In our interview with Vance, he said he had never before seen a letter where plaintiffs in a civil case asserted that no crime had been committed. “I don’t think I’d ever received a letter like it,” Vance said. He calls it a “significant and important” communication.
Certainly, prosecutors could subpoena the buyers of Trump condos. But they feared the witnesses would undercut the criminal case by claiming they weren’t victims of a fraud.
Still, Moser, backed by his supervisors, persisted. “Peirce believed in his case,” Grand said. “We did not succeed in talking him out of it and didn’t succeed in talking one or two levels above him into dropping the case.”
Finally, in the spring of 2012, Kasowitz joined the case. His involvement “came from out of the blue,” Grand told us. He and the other lawyers assumed Kasowitz intervened at the request of Donald Trump Sr.
In early May 2012, Kasowitz asked to see the District Attorney. Vance told us such meetings aren’t unusual — but his investigations chief at the time, Kaufmann, characterized Kasowitz’s request as “a little premature.” The Trump lawyer was going over the heads of everyone who had been working on the case. The gathering, on May 16, lasted 20 to 30 minutes, according to Vance. Kasowitz repeated the arguments the defense team had made before.
Afterward, Kasowitz didn’t seem to think his clients were in the clear. On Aug. 1, he suggested a settlement, proposing that the Trump Organization would not admit to wrongdoing but would agree not to mislead people in the future and would submit to outside monitoring. The offer proved unnecessary. Two days later, on Aug. 3, 2012, Moser called the Trumps’ defense attorneys and told them prosecutors were dropping the investigation. (Moser, who still works for Vance, now as senior investigative counsel, did not respond to requests for an interview made over multiple months. Shortly before this article was published, he sent an email stating that Vance’s ultimate decision in the case “was not unreasonable” and that throughout the process, the D.A. asked “smart questions” and expressed “reasonable skepticism.”)
In his interview, Vance defended his decision to drop the case with no conditions, even after Kasowitz offered a deal. “This started as a civil case,” Vance said. “It was settled as a civil case with a statement by the purchasers of luxury properties that they weren’t victims. And at the end of the day, I felt if we were not going to charge criminally, we should leave it as a civil case in the posture in which it came to us.”
In September 2012, within weeks of the case being resolved, Kasowitz contacted Vance’s campaign about hosting a fundraiser, according to a spokesperson for the campaign. Kasowitz held the event that January. He personally donated almost $32,000 to Vance’s campaign, and 20 of his law firm’s partners and employees kicked in at least another $9,000. Then, in October 2013, as Election Day approached, he hosted a breakfast —“Republicans for Cy Vance” — which raised an additional $9,000.
Vance defended his decision to accept the money Kasowitz sent his way. “We did the right thing,” he said, referring to the decision to drop the case. “Another five and a half months go by. Marc Kasowitz has no matter pending before the office for the Trumps or anybody else. It’s 2013 and it’s an election — and I welcome his support.” Vance noted that New York law allowed him to accept such a contribution. Still, he now intends to return the money to Kasowitz.
Ivanka Trump is now an adviser to the president, with an office in the West Wing. Donald Jr. is running much of the family empire while his father is in the White House. Kasowitz attained national prominence when he was retained to represent the president in the Russia investigation, only to be supplanted as lead counsel. Vance is running unopposed for reelection in November. The Trump SoHo went into foreclosure in 2014 and was taken over by a creditor. Only 128 of the 391 units in the building have sold. That comes out to around 33 percent.
Derek Kravitz and Leora Smith of ProPublica contributed reporting to this article, as did Keenan Chen, Alex Mierjeski, Inti Pacheco and Manuela Andreoni of Columbia Journalism Investigations.
Update, Oct. 16, 2017: District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced Oct. 15 that he has ordered an independent review of how his office handles campaign contributions and that he will not accept any further donations until the review is completed.
The move follows our story about the Trump SoHo investigation as well as renewed scrutiny of Vance’s decision not to charge movie executive Harvey Weinstein for allegedly groping an Italian model in 2015.
“I’m prepared to dramatically restrict who can donate money to our campaign — including lawyers — and the amounts that our contributors are able to give,” Vance wrote in an op-ed in the New York Daily News.
The 90-day review will be conducted by Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School. The recommendations of the center will be made public, Manhattan DA spokeswoman Joan Vollero told ProPublica.
submitted by PatrickPlan8 to Keep_Track [link] [comments]


2019.02.03 19:16 isaiahlt Leora real cam

So, this past fall my sister and I decided to co-DM our very first group. As we were new to the whole DMing thing, and she and several of our players were new to D&D, we wanted to work with a pre-made module. But at the same time we, and our players, wanted to adventure in Eberron, that content having just come out for 5th Edition. What to do? Why, make a whole bunch of extra work for ourselves and convert Lost Mine of Phandelver to Eberron!
What follows is the guide for how we did it, in case anyone else wants to follow in our footsteps. The players will face a rogue member of the Aundarian Knights Arcane, discover why all the clockwork devices in town are malfunctioning, escape a giant mechanical boar, and finally meet a sentient airship that longs for the release of death.
Posted here for you to use, adapt, or otherwise be inspired by. I only ask that you do not use this to make money in any way. If you'd like to use this in that way, perhaps as the basis for a streaming campaign, contact me via private message and I'm sure we can work something out.
Apologies for length, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible! I'll do my best to answer any questions.
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WHAT YOU'LL NEED

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GENERAL NOTES
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ADVENTURE HOOK
We decided to let the players design their own Eberron-specific characters instead of using the pre-gens. The only guidance we gave them was that these were all Aundarians who had decided, for whatever reason, to join up with the Aundarian military and had been earmarked for a "special mission". The players ended up creating:
It is a beautiful autumn day in Fairhaven, capital of Aundair, two years after the end of the Last War. At the staging area for new recruits, Sgt Sildar Hallwinter of the Aundarian Knights Arcane pulls the party aside one-by-one and ushers them into a small room. There, accompanied by a very excited dwarf, Gundren Rockseeker (who Hallwinter has to keep shushing), he orders the characters to deliver some supplies to Aundarian contacts in Phandalin, a small backwater town in the heart of the Eldeen Reaches. As the Reaches are former Aundarian territory, but independent since the end of the War, the characters are not to wear their new uniforms. This seems like a strange order, and the presence of the clearly non-military and overeager Gundren is quite odd, but Hallwinter is still their commander and they must obey his orders.
NOTE: The players don't need to be Aundairian military for this adventure to work; it's just what we did because we wanted to set up some future adventures that seem to fit best with that country. The hook in the book works pretty well too if you'd prefer they are just hired by Gundren as muscle. But if you go that route, Hallwinter should still be an undercover member of the Knights Arcane, pursuing Aundarian interests, either known or unknown to Gundren.
At one point during the long overland trip from Fairhaven to Phandalin, Gundren and Hallwinter ride ahead to scout the road.
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PART 1: GOBLIN ARROWS
This part plays out more or less exactly as written. The players find the ambush site and empty map case, then trace the tracks back to Cragmaw Cave, where they beat up some goblins, free some wolves, and discover that Gundren has been sent on to Castle Cragmaw.
Upon rescuing the badly-wounded Hallwinter, the characters are told that they have been proven worthy by their heroic actions, and in any case will need to carry out the rest of the mission themselves because he is badly injured and will need time to recover. Hallwinter whispers a secret word to an otherwise blank sheet of paper that he has been carrying, causing the players' true orders to appear:
Attn: Sgt. Sildar Hallwinter
As per previous instruction, you are to select SIX specially-qualified soldiers for Project Echo.
They will maintain Civilian appearance.
Your squad will recover the Forge of Phandelver, assisted by Gundren Rockseeker & Rockseeker brothers.
Your squad will identify areas of allyship and distrust within Phandalin & surrounding Region, citing specific individuals who are Supportive or Highly Unsupportive of Aundarian interests.
Should you be captured or killed, the Aundarian Crown will disavow you, your Squad, and this Mission.
These orders have received the standard charms.
Dario Ir'LainCmdr, Knights Arcane
In retrospect, we should written "rediscover the location of" rather than "recover" as the players took this to mean that they should physically try to remove the Forge from the cave. Live and learn.
We wrote the orders on some off-white paper, complete with Aundarian Raven seal, Odd Capitalization, and calligraphic touches, which we handed to the players. Providing tactile materials like this really helps players get into the story, and is a good practice for all DMs, regardless of the adventure!
(Had Hallwinter been killed, the players would discover these orders on his person; the "charms" would then be that the words should appear only to his squad upon his death.)
The players having read the orders, the words disappear and the order sheet self-immolates (though we let the players take a photo to help them remember).
The players then continue on to Phandalin, where Hallwinter can recover from his wounds at the Stonehill Inn. This is a good spot to bring them up to Level 2.
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PART 2: PHANDALIN
As the main hub of the module, this section received the largest number of tweaks and adjustments. In particular, wherever we could incorporate clockwork machines into the daily life of the town, we did so: complex brewing machines as well as food-serving conveyor belts at the Stonehill Inn, automated apple pickers at the orchard, ore-sorting machines at the Miner's Exchange, etc. The locals complain that these machines often spontaneously break and then fix themselves, especially during the spring, but they've been malfunctioning a great deal over the past few days and weeks, which is very strange and out-of season. Players who try to determine if there's magical interference discover a dampening field affecting clockwork-based machines whose power ebbs and flows, seemingly at random. With good Investigation or Arcana rolls, they are able to repair some of the machines, much to the delight and occasional monetary reward of the townsfolk. Any warforged player characters are sufficiently advanced that they can deal with the problem themselves, unless you want to be mean and have the field interfere with their functioning at inopportune moments.
Additionally, and inexplicably to the players, whenever the warforged character introduces herself to older characters, she is asked where her hat is (they just thought a warforged would have a hat, for some reason?). They also expect her to be taller. Most NPCs are very scared of her.
The town in general appears to have two kinds of structures: older ones that are exceedingly well-built, with perfectly-fitted stones, generally around the center of town, and newer constructions that are much more slapped-together, usually built on and around the remains of some well-built building. Additionally, the machines seem far too grand for the meager number of people they are serving, and in fact many aren't being used at all even if they aren't broken. These facts reflect the lost size and greatness of the town, and hint at its being the product of machine-assisted construction and operation in is heyday before the War.
Per their orders, the players may inquire of all NPCs what their opinions of Aundair might be, hopefully keeping a low profile as they do so. This is to set up possible future adventures where the NPCs that have been identified as threats are being taken out by Aundair, which (once the Forge has been rediscovered) has designs on re-occupying the area and/or installing a friendly puppet government. If they are too obvious about their questions, you may decide to have some of the locals get together and try to run them out of town for being Aundairian spies.
The NPCs that we altered, along with their attitudes towards Aundair:
One final minor alteration: the inn where the Redbrand Ruffians hang out is called the Sleeping Golem. #flavor!
TRESENDAR MANOR
The Tresendar noble family, based in Phandalin, died out during the War. Their heraldry shows a sword through a clockwork gear on a crimson field, which is reflected on some of the faded red tapestries scattered throughout the abandoned Manor. Other features that we added:
Finally, the players investigating "Glassstaff"'s notes will discover that he is actually Iarno Halbeck, who is a former member of the Knights Arcane who was sent here some time ago to try to shift public opinion towards Aundair. Instead, he went rogue, hired some local muscle, intimidated the mayor into submission, and basically took over the town. He's since been searching, unsuccessfully, for the Forge, and has been in league with the Black Spider.
The letter from The Black Spider is just as it is in the book, except instead of having spies in Neverwinter, he has them in Fairhaven.
After defeating the Redbrand Ruffians, the players can level up again.
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PART 3: THE SPIDER'S WEB
We skipped the "wilderness encounters" because our players were more interested in story than combat. You can do that, keep them as-is, or consider more Eberron-specific threats such as bands of Druidic Orcs, Warforged that have been driven insane by the local power fluctuations, etc.
Our players bee-lined to Cragmaw Castle to rescue Gundren, skipping all the side-quests, because of course they did. To spread things out and help them explore more of the module, we had Gundren run off in excitement while they were taking a long rest, taking the map with him (he left a quickly-scrawled note thanking the party for the "ress-q" and encouraging them to meet him at the cave; clearly in his excitement he didn't consider that he had taken the only map).
ELIZA (AGATHA)'S LAIR
Eliza is an Information Elemental (a being we made up but whose purpose is right there in the name) bound to a wall that's similar to those "pin art" toys -- you know, the kind where you put your hand or face against a bunch of pins held between sheets of plastic, and they stick out to form a 3D copy? Imagine that, but a face in motion, and you get Eliza (she's named for the chatbot, of course). We played this music when the players entered her lair.
Eliza was bound to this place by the authorities back when the area was much more frequently traveled, to serve as an info booth for travelers. In the years since the fall of the mine, she's grown bored, because nobody comes by to ask her anything anymore, but she's still stuck here. She's apolitical.
She's otherwise mostly the same as Agatha the Banshee, and can provide similar information to the players on a Persuasion check or in exchange for that gear from Sister Garaele.
After telling the players where Bowgentle's spellbook could be found, Eliza was glad enough for the company that she spat out a map of the area (see the General Note, above), and told them that three pieces of information would tell them how to find what they were truly looking for ("three facts will find you three dwarves"). Each of the other side-quests in this chapter will reveal one of the following clues in succession, in whichever order the players tackle them:
  1. Wave Echo Cave is near a waterfall (we added lots of rivers and waterfalls to the map, so by itself this doesn't much narrow things down),
  2. The Triboar Trail separates it from the morning sun, and
  3. The cave's entrance is said to be blanketed in the Traitor's Blossom, a flower whose petals look like drops of blood with a long, feathered pistil. Nobody knows why it's called that, but the salient fact is that it only grows within direct sight of Phandalin.
The players can also ask Daran d'Medani back in Phandalin for a tip. He will tell them one of the clues, meaning they only need to do two of the three sidequests.
With these three pieces of information, the players are able to use the area map to figure out the location of Wave Echo Cave: near a waterfall, west of the Triboar trail (which, remember, runs north-south once the map is rotated), and within sight of Phandalin. We made sure that only one location on the map fit all three of these criteria.
SIDENOTE: The Traitor's Blossom is so named because we had done a one-off "Quantum Leap" session on a day when two of our players were absent, and we didn't want to advance the main plot without them. So the players found themselves in similar roles 100 years ago, as a squad defending Wave Echo Cave against a Karrnathi strike force in the opening days or weeks of the War (dream-time is odd). They went into town, which was bustling for the spring festival, providing a nice contrast to its modern, tumbledown state. The party's halfling boy charmed and danced with a local girl, much to his delight. They purchased supplies to defend the garrison, and fought off a small Karrnathi recon party that was skulking around the town. Upon returning to the cave, they were soon attacked by ever-increasing squads of soldiers and war-mages. These were led there by that same local girl, serving as an informant! As the party was all killed in combat (as we had set them up to be), the halfling with his last action shot an arrow in her chest, whispering "death to traitors." It's fun to reward great RP like that and weave it into the story. Also during this flashback, the players accidentally burned down Tresendar Manor. Time shenanigans!
OLD OWL WELL
This area is exactly as written, except that Kost's tattoos mark him as a denizen of the nearby Demon Wastes rather than Thay, which is a Faerun location. If the players will leave him alone, he'll tell them one of the clues (or, if they kill him, they find it scrawled amongst his notes).
THUNDERTREE
Thundertree was ruined and corrupted by the magical experiments being conducted in the cave, which is upwind/upmountain from the town. A few adjustments:
Either the Cultists, or Reidoth, or both if you're feeling generous or just want to move things along, will tell the players a clue pointing them to Wave Echo Cave.
WYVERN TOR
Like many orcs in Eberron, the orcs camped here are druids, and are attacking people so that nature can reclaim the area and undo the damage done by the unnatural experiments conducted at the Cave. In explaining their motives, they will reveal one of the clues. The players can then fight them, or convince them that they are also seeking to restore the area's natural balance.
CRAGMAW CASTLE
Like Tresendar Manor, Cragmaw Castle used to be home to a local noble family made wealthy by the clockwork creations being developed in the area.
Distribute your leveling based on how much progress the players make. Hopefully they are mostly at Level 4 by the time they get to the cave.
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PART 4: WAVE ECHO CAVE
Because in our version, Gundren had run off ahead of the players, they discover him sobbing at the mouth of the cave, having found the body of his brother and sure that his other brother Nundro (who is missing) has also been killed. As befits a dwarven funeral, Gundren is very, very drunk. The characters continue on without him.
We printed out the map found on page 43, cutting it up between the areas and handing each piece as the players explored. This let the players discover the cave slowly, instead of seeing the whole thing from the start, which ruins the suspense.
The airship, the SS Kingmaker, is clearly designed for battle rather than the jaunty airborne transport of goods. It sports four ballistae on tracks (allowing them to be brought to bear on either the port or starboard), heavy armor plating, locations for additional wands of power and docents, and a screaming raven figurehead on its bow. It is the master creation of Phandelver, an Aundarian wizard working 100 years ago with agents of House Cannith to try to create artificial life. Although House Cannith would eventually adapt this work and use it to create the Warforged, selling them to all the nations at war, Phandelver was a patriot and intended for his airship to be used by Aundair to win the Last War before it even started. Unfortunately, the cave fell and the entrance collapsed when the Karnnathi attacked, and the Kingmaker has been trapped in this hall (which is much larger than in the book) ever since. A rope bridge connects the Kingmaker to the cave floor. Beneath the floating airship is a sheer drop into a bottomless abyss, which acts as a natural amplifier of the sounds of the water running through the room.
A few other items of interest in this area:
Once the players have begun exploring this room, especially if they mess with any switches or the water wheel, the Kingmaker speaks to them in a loud, rumbling voice. It watched helplessly as its creators were slaughtered nearly a century ago, and has been imprisoned in this cave ever since, trapped in a sort of fitful half-sleep by the various perturbations of the dampening field. In recent days, Vyerith has interrogated it, sometimes in the guise of Phandelver or other figures from its past, frequently promising to free it but never doing so, flipping switches (which causes it pain) and generally having a good time mocking it. It has grown to despair ever leaving this cave, and asks the players to pull all the switches to the right, strengthening the dampening field to the point where its spirit would fully dis-incorporate and it would be "free" (ie die).
However, hopefully the players instead realize that they could choose to pull the switches to the LEFT to take down the dampening field entirely. If they do this, they can release the airship from the field's clutches and allow it to increasingly assist in the fight. Flipping all the switches will destroy the field and allow the ship to attack the ceiling and break free of the mountain. It will be incredibly grateful to whoever does this, and pledge to serve them so long as they promise to never trap it in a cave again.
If the players made it to this area before encountering Nezznar in his quarters in the northwest, he will come upon them before they can fully act on the switches, flanked by two bugbears and four spiders. Thanking them for their effort in defeating the cave's various enemies and traps that had kept him from this room, he will now fight for control of the Kingmaker, which has been his ultimate goal since the start. He will attempt to flip the switches to the left, board the ship, and convince it to do his bidding, attacking the players and escaping the cave.
Vyerith may also be with him, perhaps pretending to be a "captured" Nundro Rockseeker, or else someone else the party has encountered earlier in the adventure. She will maintain this disguise as long as possible; if she's given a weapon, she may occasionally "miss" enemies and hit or interfere with the players instead. She may also flip switches, destroy the rope bridge, etc. If the fight turns against Nezznar, she will betray him without a second thought; she was only after chaos and destruction, and clearly he's outmatched.
She may also try to capture the airship herself, for her own ends, or if cornered after the fight she may try to parlay with the characters, perhaps appearing as people from their past (she can read their minds). As a final measure, she will pull a potion of invisibility from her belt, drink it, and attempt to escape, to be faced in some future adventure.
If Nezznar is captured, he will also escape.
SIDENOTE: In our session, the Kingmaker shook him off his feet and over its stern railing, and then backed into a wall, killing him and dropping him into the abyss.
Level the characters one last time, probably to Level 5. They're now Tier II and ready to take on the world!
------
ON TO FURTHER ADVENTURE
Hopefully the players are able to defeat both Nezznar and Vyerith, free the ship, and break out of the cave. What they do next is up to them, and you.
If the characters are Aundairian military, their doing anything except handing over the ship to their superiors (ie Sgt. Hallwinter, by now fully recovered in Phandalin) will be viewed as treason of the highest order. Even if they aren't military, Aundair, House Cannith, and House Lyrandar will not be happy to have a sentient airship purpose-built for war roaming free (all will feel that they should control it), and will do their best to capture or destroy it. Taking the ship themselves, then, all but guarantees that the players will be hunted as sky pirates. On the other hand, it all but guarantees that they will be HUNTED AS SKY PIRATES.
If they hand over the ship to Aundair, it will of course be used to subjugate the locals, especially any that the characters rat out as hostile to Aundairian interests. Such an upset to the fragile balance of post-War power may even reignite a continent-wide conflict.
The characters could also choose to give the ship to the locals, who may or may not use it well, perhaps seeking to declare their own independent state within the Eldeen Reaches. It's likely that Halia Thornton will find a way to take charge of it, like she does.
If Vyerith and/or the Black Spider escape, particularly with the airship, then of course the players will want to chase them down, perhaps traveling all over Khorvaire to do it.
Once he recovers from mourning his brother, Gundren (and Nundro, if the players find and free him; otherwise you can assume he's dead) will make his way into the cave and attempt to continue Phandelver's work, perhaps even developing his own brand of warforged or other creations.
And of course, you have lots of other opportunities to plant further seeds of adventure within the cave or the town.
------
COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS?
Feel free to comment with suggestions, your own twists, or requests for additional info (I have the maps and notes we created, as well as stats for Kingmaker, if you don't want to come up with all that on your own).
And of course, please let me know if you end up playing with this conversion! I hope it brings you and your players as much joy as it brought me, my sister, and my players to create.
------
CREDITS & SPECIAL THANKS
This conversion was written up by Isaiah Tanenbaum in February, 2019. It is based on a game he co-DMed with his sister, Leora Tanenbaum. The players who inspired it are Andrew Broaddus, Nella Inserra, Daniel John Kelly, Micah Greenberg Kosstrin, Andrew Prosser, & Corinne Woods.
Special thanks and appreciation are owed to Keith Baker, for creating the amazing Eberron setting; Rich Baker & Chris Perkins, for designing the Lost Mine of Phandelver scenario; and all the anonymous wiki authors whose work on compiling Eberron lore and background materials, particularly maps, was so critical to this project.
submitted by isaiahlt to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]


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2015.11.16 03:33 Jabbinson Found this in Undertale files called "Credits.txt"

I guess these were other people who helped make Undertale so here it is (NOTICE: A big chunk of these aren't even real names but this is what I found)
Tom Dickinson
Gigi D.G.
pinetone
Rich
Sarah Katz
Heidi Mandelin
Michael Driscoll
Magnolia Porter
Paul Starr
Lindsey Dawn
ipgd
Tim Stowell
Colin Spence
Homer Turgeon
VickyBit
Trysta
poetfox
Noah Hipster Champoux
Evan
Bethany D
Joss Turner
Cammie
blurds Joel MacFadyen
ZyvilinShmo
MESeele
Tara Levin
Misty De Meo
Cherie Heiberg
Meles Badger
Stephen Hammack
Dan Rodgers
Jessica Campanella
Holly Boismaison
rasira venrir
Jenkins
Andrew
Sam Kennedy
Anthony Bulldis
HoneyNoahh
Iscariot
Ashley Bernard
Megan MacLennan
Malefact
Allison Wilder
Nicole Devine
Marcus Perrin
Lan-Anh Nguyen
Lewis Johnson
Jon Renish
Jason Withrow
Adam Saulis
Kellen Haney
Stephanie Flynn
ikks
Adam C. Hartling
Abbey Northcutt
Yuan Mori
bitmap
Alex 'Shinkada' Weiss
Aaron Goodier
Josh Meier
Eric Berg
Joni Kittaka
Taylor Gregory
Christina Skyles
Thomas Castiglione
Skulryk
Madolyn Covill
David Kinne
Laurence D.
Helen George Mclean
Common_Sense
Jui-Ting Victor Hsu
Caitlyn C.
falmith
Peter
Matt Starsoneck
hgemyd
FUJITA
Chris
Sam & Jetz
Beth A Lawhead
David Ewen
Kulu
Snorri S.
UnLondon
Mary Marquardt
Anthony Thrun
Brian Lee
Christopher Stringari
Saiai
belb
eeno
tinaun
Gisele Jobateh
Max Ponoroff
Abhilash Sarhadi
NamelessPFG
Mark Khai Vinh Tran
lupusdraconis
Joshua Van Der Sluys
Kiuxi
Nich Maragos
Joshua Franklin
Michael Barfuss
Mikker
Michael James Orton
sinisterandroid
clairvoire
Ali Khan
Ashleigh Ellis
Paul Tayloe
[NAME REDACTED]
fuzzytipsy
Jesse Knowles
Jeremy Vigil
conceptofzero
Albruna
Brett P.
Cirr
Tailszefox
Jamie Jellybean
litemagic
Shaimaa Kandil
Aatmaja Pandya
TheMajinZenki
John Ogden
Linnet
Matthew Wright
Zack Jenkins
Mizakido
Jacob Bang
Morbi
Ryan Phelan
Benjamin Roush
elementnumber46
Steven Dirks
Bill King
Juan Miguel Exposito
Emily Kilbourn
Luca Frigerio
Chenille
Clare Jones
Daniel Lin
Emily Elliott
Kinko Kitty
Elementoid
blueskybleu
Rebekah Holder
Emily Kidney
Steven Benson
Westin Grube
JNH
Bob Thulfram
Drake Himmel
Jacquerel
Leo Garcia
Eric
Tyler Merta
Nidoking
Thomas Knies
alexander gross
Julian
Tom Casacoli
Daniel Whitcomb
Cameron McClure
D C
Shanti Elliot
Lindsey Dohse
Asharaxx
Ryusui
Iguana Baritone
Shelby Cragg
Greer
Michael Crow
Andrew "Southrop" Li
Bec
Sara Massoud
Mark
lucaaa
Justin
Luke Stebbing
Ozymandias J. Llewellyn x3
Andrew Neufeld
aaron corff
Griffin Donohue
Vanessah Howard
Michael Todhunter
Angel Lorenzana
BlueLucine
Brian Jaworski
Edward Davyduck
Adina
Daniel O'Rourke
IdleDice
TallTale
Marc
Leora San Miguel
Sam Mancuso
Joseph Michael Hanna
Nearby Night
Jake Lindsey
John Spiers
The_Mailman
Robert Remmers
Richard Hough
Chris McLernon
Gadgetprop
Craig Fotheringham
W. Tyler
Tyler Kassten
Crettert
saturnineCarrier
Kevin Grasso
Raive
Nathaniel Shannon
GameFreakerZero
William Manning
Bradley Synnett
Matoos
Michael McCann
Daniel
Nezumi
Sol_Racht
Matthew Frieling
Matt Pappadopoli
Sara "Svenna" Ventura
Daniel A. Johnson
Rachel Moody
Ken Laird
Sarkazein
Roisin Cowans
Ross Ashley
Michelle Smith
Nikita Dudnik
Brandon Evans
Cubesona
Ross Williams
Steven Wallace
Gwion Hamblin
Ben Evans
Ryunney
Sean S Barber
Samantha Ludwig
Johnathan Fisico
Spartyblb
Scott Johnson
David Gilbert
Sebastian Browne
Crafall
Jonathon Hickey
Ian Clark
Alexis
Zhong Thai
James Klingler
Sean Chiplock
Hannah C
Scott Whipkey
Brian Allred
Tollymain
Michael Amirault
Rik Nicol
Anthony L.
YggiDee
Ryunosuke
Aidan Schwarz
Mathew Hunter
Alexander Privee
Adam T Wilk
Steven White
Isaac Haugen
Sean "Ariamaki" Riedinger
Michael Mudokon
Rogelio
Yoshoshishu
Caitlin
Brian
Dmitriy Aleksandrovich Sadikov
Steven Heydt
mwchase
Enok Moe
Alex B.
SamWibatt
Daniel Kelly
Gino Tote
Chris Zito
Daniel Turner
Katlynn Balderstone
spoonshiro
Andrew Muellerleile
Nir Aviv
starwyvern
Danzig!
Daniel Hinman
Nick Perry
Triggernometry
Mark Jessey
Charles Cole
Zero!
FrankieSmileShow
Sheldon Whalley
Grigoriy Kovalenko
ZuZuBe
Noelemahc
picassowary
Kevin Robertson
Dark Star
kg
knaji
Robert Schultz
chaosprime
Jarod Crockett
Shea True
XainZero (Ian)
Sophia
mary borsellino
NatSquid
Conal Chan
Jake Kaplan
Brian
Zobot257
Christopher Woodside
Stephen DeCubellis
Nigel Nelson
Kelly L. Hoins
Anthony Daniels
Alex Ladzinski
Matthew Myers
RH
Stephen Keating
Lawrence Kern
Budi S
Detour
eLe
Justin S
Eric Kramer
Kassie
MJ Lee
Erica
Joshua Keaton
bugmeetrock
Rigrot
Sam Parwar
Mark Grandstaff
MirMir
Abigail Fox
Phyllis Douglas
Bernard Rebours
PF Anderson
Micah Jones
grace genter
Dan
Ian Matthew Michael Burg
EmbryonJen
N Weismuller
Nick McVroom-Amoakohene
adam debany
Bridget Rog
Darren Sampson
Stephen
Patrick Ellis
Doofus
Demyx
V. Ventura
Stephen Petraeus
Zack Corcoran
Jc Edualino
Bjorn Schenke
Zorak
Professor Icepick
Michael Lekon
Martin Coxall
Abby Lusk
Josh Bailey
Yaiba Saya
Matthew
Benjamin "BenaSPACE" McQueen
J. A. Salazar
Omni Desol
Stephen Celis
Zhe Zhou
Jon South
Jessica H.
Pedro T.
Sarah Jensen
Aaron
Lorenzo Canales
Sekojo
Evan Carter
Kralec
Christian Hopwood
Kenneth Sloane
ascasc
Jonathan Fu
Charles
leif olofsson
Dan Henry Langgaard
Ean L. Roth
Corban Andrew Coffman
James E Richmond
Ketchupface
SACren MoskjA|r Lauridsen
Christopher Jose
Russell Deitch
Toby Fox
Chris B.
OatmealRaisin
Edlyn "Xisuu" Si
Mark
Nikolaj Lyhne
Thorvald Natvig
William McKinley
Chris Marten
Mark Keating
Steve Johnson
Sean Gaddis
Matthew Lane
Jack Sharples
Kinetic Gibbon
Chris Bernardi
Jeff Bartus
Lee Tantral
duibucbuc
Jeremy Swanson
Lily Sears
clintdaley
Dave Burkett
Justin Moor
Cei Reid
M B
JWagner
Jonathan "ChessboardMan" Barrett
Paul Emile Gerard
Gunnar Hogberg
Adam Rajski
Bliss Provo
Charles "Chip Champion" Rogers III
Vivian W.
Gregory Johnson
Zachary "ZarroTsu" Baillie
Bongi Chirunga
Marcus
Lauran Parise
Kevin T McAllister
Kevin Ramsay
Cody Guthrie
Erik Johnson
Amelia Li
Togglesworlh
Will "Radnar" Kilgore
Wright Johnson
Nicholas Cuccherini
Daniel Mauterer
Richard
Austin Szabo
Stephanie Rainey
Brandon Garlock
Glen Than
Nathaniel Tabit
Elias Thompson
David Wagner
Thomas Cain
Jaymark108
Irregular
Christian Walde
Luca Hibbard-Curto
Alexis Carpenter
Kevin Portland
BIGlittleBot
droqen
Matthew Robert Shanahan
Matthew Dobbins
Christopher J. Barnes
Arlin
Michael Bosmeny
Nick Pereira
Erin Tucker
Eddie Anzore
Christopher Grant
Giordano Caputi
Gerard Remy
Pascal De Lisio
Manny
Brian Mathews
Jonathan Catbus
Per Kristian Brastad
Christopher David Wilson
CrisisSDK
John Michel
Darkk the Dragon
Eduardo Ruiz
Donna Johnson
Gletschen
Tiara Lieber
Kalt
Hannah
Chris Backhuus
Sketcherism
Denzel Jackson Ewing
Xiagu
Stephanie Shofner
mitchbee
Draconaes
Martin "AT" Stewart
Tom
John W. Bruce
Andrew Welch
Nephera
Van den Bosch Tim
Ross Mallinson
Naomi Liew
Bugmaster
Joseph Tate
Tim Sweeney
Plaid
Sean Loftus
Liz H
Jean-Luc Portelli
Joel Bourassa
Zabuni
Mike Drobnack
Ree
Fweiss
Fleon Labs
Herr Foxley
Anthony Bailey
Jon
Kazerad
A Strange Yolk
Dylan Lacey
Taylor Haar
Jose Nieves
Edward Damon
Ben P
Pan
Torbjorn
James Carlisle Holder
James Johnson
Lyric Chavez
Matthew Winter
Pat Lapierre
Robert Schiewe
Dave Billington
Jessica Witt
Richard Ginter
Curtis A. Eves "TehLazyOne"
Nathan
Andre Lawton
Shay
Lucinda Diaz
Lawrence Leclercq
Geight
Primalmatrix
David Tersegno
Togeyosh
Magnus H.
sarf
Michael Gazaway
SeanJBell
Mara Seaborne
chloe
David Funk
Wolfbender
Gabriel de Souza Vieira Batista
Ben Dunmore
Aori Radidjiu
Sascha Kolewa
Zeny Di
Anthony Garcia
JD Larson
Alex Korth
Mijichu
Noel
HC
Ilma Raupp
Daniel Roller
Jesse Whyte
Trevor
Craig Crosier
Klokwurk
Christian
jack
fallintosanity
Shauna
wrincewind
Syl
Anthony Hanson
PolyCement
Snakealiciouz
William So
CubicPhantom
KT Coope
Michael Ong
Mezzo
Skandranon
Sean Ritzo
NJinasena
LakotaWolf
Sofia Winterbourne
Christopher Sin
Half-Assured
Alessandro Arena-DeRosa
Julien
Sleepy Waters
Kasran
Michael D'Andrea
Lauren Smith
Luke "Association" Fox
Alex Bergquist
David Wilson
Galit A.
Jonathan Whyte
CptSparky
Michael Hellenbrecht
smack
William Boseth Harding
AImler
Mads Johansen
Petter S. Fossum
Robbie Schoeppner
CloudySky
Joseph Golding
Taime Pschirrer
Espen Arntzen
Bryne Oliver
Desmond Molly Jones
Josh Breitbart
Sean O'F
Dakk Passerida
annoyed
W. Kyle Korth
Jesse Murphy
Kenneth Cuyugan
Zaos
Kyle Fox
James Harrod
Michelle
Grandy Peace
Sergio
Richard Van Tassel
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2015.11.10 16:03 Anthony017 Real leora cam

Chapter two of my young family trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse. Thank you so much for reading, and feedback is very much appreciated! Original link to first chapter: Chapter 1
I leaned over the bathroom faucet gazing into the dusty mirror. Trying, but failing, to block out the shuffling foot steps from above. Taking my right hand, my left upon the tempered glass sink, I wiped a space clear. Just enough to see the face of a long lost acquaintance that I barely recognized. I didn’t know him much before shit hit the fan. Now, I might as well be meeting him for the first time in my life.
Touching my face, I hadn’t registered how immense and wild my coal-black beard had grown. It was the last thing on my mind. Shaving. As I looked closer, I could see spots of stained red. Though, I didn’t mean the few red hairs that were part of my Irish heritage, as my mother used to point out. Instead, it was a dark metallic red, the same one that was in little spots across my nose, cheeks, and forehead. It was a color I’d picture painted on the walls of hell. Well, this was place was close enough.
Twisting the knobs, I cupped my hands underneath the faucet to catch the icy water. It was only a couple of days ago that I had last felt the soothing hot water. I prayed it was just our apartment building, that maybe a pipe or something broke, and nothing worse than that. Splashing the water over my face, I rubbed and scratched with my finger tips. As I thought about it, the cool water was just as relaxing. It was hard to find things that gave serenity in a world like this, that’s the obvious. But when such simple tasks that we did in our previous ‘every day life’ begin to give a little of some kind of ease. It just hits me sometimes how un-appreciative I had been. If I had known what I do now, back then, well, of course I would have changed. Or, would I have? So many times we say we’ll finally do it right, finally make it this time. Finally really truly want it this time! But, yet, we always fall back into the same goddamn pattern. When is enough, enough? Heh, I guess for me, it was when a fucking zombie apocalypse murdered almost every other human being I had once known. Then again, I wasn’t sure if there were even that many left that were acquainted with me before this chaos. Just like my love relationship, my despondent ways caused my relationships with my friends to suffer. They thought I was just a really busy guy, being a man for his family. Working and providing, no time to talk, no time to catch up. Ha, at least I was capable enough to put up a good front, but what a joke they believed. A barely employed, deadbeat lad who sat on his ass or slept the days away. Like Leora, I’ll never be able to apologize to them. For it to actually mean something, and genuine. To take back the confusion, and grief that I dealt to those who cared about me. And the worst part, those who cared the most about me, who actually knew the me, the real shitty me, had to observe my downwards spiral. My parents for example, who helped put this roof over my little family’s head and saw nothing come out of it. Just my empty words and aspirations of how I would do something, be somebody. And there was my older siblings who saw the mistakes I was making, and advised, and told me to change or I’d regret it. But I didn’t listen. Not until it was too late. Not until they were all likely rotting corpses walking and devouring any other miserable survivor living in this god-forsaken fucking world. I guess I still had my wife and my child. That could be considered a blessing, but what kind of world is this for them to have to go through. For my child to grow up in always fighting for her life. Do they deserve this? Should I just end-
A loud pound from up above brought me back out of my profoundly menacing mind. Instantly I inspected the ceiling above, and I wasn’t quite sure what I expected to see. I assumed one of those ‘things’ from above tripped and fell on the second floor, hence the noise. So, obviously I knew nothing had broken through, but I looked anyways. Only simply spotting the over-familiar, mundane, shoddy white paint. Hmm, though I did notice in the left darker corner was a new tiny 8-legged companion. Hopefully the little fellow had better luck with food, then we have had recently - in its fragile cobweb of a home. Looking back into the mirror, my face and beard were dripping from water, finally cleansed of the blood. I wiped any leaking water left on my face, and made my way out. Down the hall, I could softly hear Leora working on the alphabet with Zorina.
“G, right? G comes after F. Try and draw it...yep, start up here, make a little curve, down, and then back up. Alright!! You’re so good, Zorina!!!”
I faintly smirked at Leora’s deliberate excitement. She was always good with children, and knew just the way to get them to feel good about themselves, and succeed. I, on the other hand, would lose patience too quickly, or too stern. Too much was on my mind to sit down, and put myself in the moment. Always looking ahead at the next task, quickly trying to get the current one done. I couldn’t seem to slow time down for myself, and evidently, it only moved faster...and ended in that past life. Now though, this life, every task must require careful thinking, planning, and being in the moment. And not doing so could cost my life, and my family’s life. Earlier was a mistake, and I should’ve scouted out further, or even distracted the single big fucker for a one on one. Who knows if I would’ve even been able to do that. My wife who is nearly a foot smaller than I am, and much smaller in weight, was the conqueror in that fight. Saving my life from even an additional one. I had to work on being more careful, and better tactics. A better way to take them down, instead of just blunt force when I really don’t have much force to give out in the first place. Being just 150 lbs and 5‘10“. I should’ve went to that damn gym like I said I would all those times.
With that stuck on my mind, I made my way to the kitchen where I couldn’t be seen down the hall. I dropped to the ground and started doing some push ups, then sit ups, more push ups, more sit ups, and then some leg lifts. By the end of it, which I did at least 65 of each, I wasn’t feeling so hot. Or perhaps it was the very opposite. I was feeling too hot. Dehydrated or over-exerted, whatever it was, I found myself standing up seeing dots. Somehow I awkwardly swayed myself over to the sink, dipping my head straight into it, and turned the faucet on. It felt amazing as it ran down my scalp and neck, drenching my mop of hair. I then started to gulp, and gulp, and gulp, the chilling water. For a brief moment, I was relieved, but then I started feeling even more poor within my stomach.
“Ughhh....”A sick moan escaped through my parted lips.
Being out of shape in a zombie apocalypse is fucking terrible. I slumped back down to the ground, feeling my muscles ache, my mind spinning, and sweat soaking my clothes. Man, did I HATE that feeling. Sweat in my drawers, and being a more hairy guy then usual, it made it ten times worse. I lolled my head against the kitchen floor cabinet, trying to just hold still until the stomach aching would finally cease. It didn’t seemed to end, until I couldn’t handle the pressure any longer. And so I unbuckled and unbuttoned my pants, which seemed to do the trick as I instantly started to feel (moderately) a bit better. I’ll have to do this every day, I thought to myself with a groan.
“....I’ll find you something, h-ha-hang- yes, I know. just hang on, sweetie”
I heard Leora saying in mid-sentence as she began making her through the hall, to where I was in the kitchen. Zorina must be hungry I figured, but we just didn’t have much food left. We couldn’t starve her though. Upon entering, Leora raised an eyebrow at me with a bemused face.
“Uhh..youuuu...enjoying it down there?” She said in a humorous, half-joking, half-curious tone.
Anyone else, seeing me full of sweat, looking exhausted, and pants unbuttoned. Well, lets just say I’m glad Leora knows me as well as she does.
“Mhmm..” I replied, still not feeling that well to talk.
Lightly rubbing my forehead a few times, I then started using the cabinet to stand up. My legs and arms still felt wobbly and a tad sore, but I would manage. Wandering over to the cupboard, I opened up the antique wooden doors. It used to be my mother’s, who had gifted it to me as our first official furniture when we had moved in. I hoped and prayed she was alive, but I didn’t want to raise my hopes too high. It could be possible though, she lived in a small farm town, rather then a city like here. There was a gun and the house was on the edge of the town, surrounded by open corn fields. And my dad, he could shoot. My dad. Oh christ, my dad. Stop, stop it Ken, god damn it. Don’t think about him. Don’t cry. Don’t cry! Be strong. Your family needs you to be strong.
I left those reflections behind and reached inside for the opened bag of chips. There was only six chips left out of over 60, that we had fed Zorina for the past few days. Grabbing the chips, Leora then stepped over and grabbed a can of green beans. We only had another few cans before we were completely out of food. And as if reading my mind,
“The cans of corn are pretty filling. I can get it in a bowl for you.” Leora offered kindly to me, but I refused.
“Nah. I’m alright, honey. Thanks though. You should though. Need some meat on those bones of yours.” Partially joking to her, only meaning the part that I wanted her to eat.
“What do you mean, ‘more meat on my bones’, hmm?”
She narrowed her eyes at me, one foot out facing away, and placing a hand on her hip; her opposite arm which held the can was across her belly button. This was her passively aggressive stance, and so right away, I knew I made a bad joke. Those damn women filters. Trying to play it off, I gave a faint playful smirk shifting my eyes from hers.
“Oh come on, you knew what I meant. I wouldn’t change you in any way. Annnnyyyy way,” As I raised my eyebrows up and down, emphasizing 'any’ flirtatiously.
She rolled her eyes at me, like she always did when I started throwing out my innuendos. Going towards the kitchen drawer, her back turned, she replied,
“Mhmmm. You could use some meat on your bones too, my little skinny minne.”
She knew I hated when she called me little. And skinny. AND minne. Sighing, and grumbling under my breath a bit, I decided to let it go this time. Then my stomach betrayed me as well, and started growling. Yeah, I was hungry, but I wanted them to eat and fill their shrinking stomachs. Honestly, Leora probably felt the same way, doing the same thing, if I know her as I do. I couldn’t let them suffer, and so I would hold out as long as I needed too until we found more food, or exhausted of it.
Something had to be done though, I couldn’t just expect food to suddenly appear. I’d have to go out there again, and be more careful this time. I guess, I could start with the apartments in this building. We thought about it before, even discussed it, but we weren’t sure if there could be other survivors. I didn’t want to take from them, nor startle them, nor have them end up taking from us. But here, or the next building over, or one miles away, there’s always the chance of it being occupied. So it made no difference, and I would have to do what I needed to do to keep my family alive.
I headed out through the hall, as Leora was fumbling around in a drawer for the can opener. As I passed the front door, I could still hear the abnormal breathing from at least one of them. I closed my eyes as I walked by further down the hall, and prayed it wouldn’t sense us in here. And then I noticed I’ve been doing a lot of praying, and I wasn’t even a believer back then. Not even sure if I am now. Praying is asking for help, right? Did I really have to put my hands together, and bow my head just to seek help and strength from a god that loves us all? I didn’t know, but if there was someone or something out there, surely he wouldn’t be so finicky in a time like this. Opening my eyes again, I stepped into the living room where my daughter was seated at her play table. She smiled up at me with the innocence of an angel. The purist heart I’d ever seen. For in her mind, she thinks there are just mean monsters outside. Lots and lots of monsters. And big tough, brave daddy keeps them away. Her poor flawless soul believed the very opposite of the truth. Daddy could barely keep himself alive, let alone mommy and his daughter. But perhaps for that very reason, that sweet, sweet smile, and twinkling brown eyes, is why I won’t give those fuckers an easy feast.
"Whatcha' doing, my little dove?" I asked softly, attempting my best 'gentle-father' voice.
Thankfully, her young naive mind always fell for the tone hidden behind the disguise, forgetting all the sternness from times before. Or was it a good thing? It's not that I didn't mean it, to be gentle and loving with her, but she's being raised in a fantasy land, while in reality, we're in a cold, cruel world. I hated to think that she could be killed out here or worse, simply because she didn't know better. Because all she learned was kindness. I hated this place, this world, the people who were in it before, and the remaining now. If there would just be more kindness, a father wouldn't have to worry so god damn much about his baby girl.
"Jus' whiten' duh’ alph-wuhbet", she beamed up at me with a broad smile, proud as can be.
"Ohhh...do you know what letter that is?", striving to seem the least bit interested, as I sat down on another child chair next to her.
My head too preoccupied by various worries which was thieving my attention elsewhere; as my eyes idled across the room. I needed to do something about our food supply, as well as eliminating those undead intruders that were in this very building with us. How many was there again?? I compressed my forehead by instinct, trying to recall. There was the four far to the left, and then one was further back, and then the oth-
“...Daddy! Listen! Liiiiiissssssteeeeeeen!!”, Zorina pleaded in irritation getting obnoxiously louder, as well as grasping my arm and shaking it.
“Shh, shh, hush, Zorina, quiet!!! ......Remember...you don’t want the monsters to hear us...”, I spoke the first bit harshly in a hushed tone, as I swiftly placed my hand over her mouth.
She nodded with a mixture of distress and disappointment in her eyes. I could feel her lips pouting beneath my hand, which I then retreated back by my side. Then tiny, ashamed tears started to well up in her eyes, which pulled at my heartstrings. God damn it. Sighing deeply, and pulling her close to sit on my lap, I embraced her tightly from behind, wrapping my arms all the way around her. I softly nuzzled her smooth, baby fine hair with my beard and face. Thank the heavens she took after her mother’s gorgeous looks. And speaking of my beloved ‘devil’, so shall she appear. Leora was carrying a bowl in her hands filled with cold greens beans, and a fork. Raising my head back up to gaze at her, my little one still cuddling in my arms, she gave me a quick grin. A pleasant smell came to my nose, and honestly, I never recall being able to smell cold green beans, but right now I could. Must be more hungry than I had thought. And to divert myself from anymore lingering thoughts of food, I stood up, and placed Zorina back on her chair. Where Leora then positioned the food on the child table in front of Zorina, who gave no hesitation of digging in for dinner.
Checking my pocket watch, 5:40 pm, I proceeded to my scheduled scan of outside. Peeking through the windows as before, I did see a few more sauntering down the street past our apartment. No threat to us. Checking the other window, it was clear. It was going to start getting dark soon, and I felt awfully uncomfortable with knowing there was those bastards in our apartment building. With much despair, my skin full of goose bumps and my hair standing on end -COMPLETELY going against my instincts- I made my decision. I was going back out there, to clear out any of them that I could, but I was going to be more careful this time. No mistakes like earlier, I was going to take the axe, and it’ll be simple enough. As Zorina was still eating her dinner, I called to Leora.
“Leora, I need to..uh..I need to talk to you in the kitchen,” my voice was full of hesitation, and she could probably sense it.
And as we reached out of ear shot of Zorina, I spoke with as much confidence as I could.
“We can’t let ‘them’ stay in this apartment building and expect to sleep. Sure, we could do shifts during the night, but we’re exhausted as is. Barely have had much to eat, you and I. We can’t risk, not with Zorina, we can’t risk it. I need to go back out there.” Through this whole time, Leora was quiet with a look of distress, but as soon as I mentioned going out there.
“Ken, no. No. I almost lost you today. What if I hadn’t been watching from inside? Zorina and I would have been alone in this world. We need you, I need you...” I could see the tears trickling from her eyes, as she ran both of her hands over her head and through her hair.
I’m sure she knew that I was right, despite her stated opposition. I could see the dread in her, and so all I could think to do was to hug her. Gently petting the back of her head and hair, she tenderly dug her face into my shoulder, and I smelt her familiar scent of berries. I breathed in her scent deeply through my nose, as it gave me a sort of peace of mind, for just that moment.
“I’ll be more careful, I promise. You were able to swing that thing, and so can I. Don’t be afraid. I’ll come right back.”
“I-I can come with you,” she pleaded, but I shook my head no.
“We can’t leave Zorina in here alone. She’s a curious little thing and we can’t trust she’ll stay in here. She’s 3, Leora!”, I didn’t honestly believe she would have come with me, leaving Zorina in here alone for much longer then she previously did today. She was just trying to come up with any excuse or reason she could to stall me, but evidently, she did finally step aside.
I reached for the axe by the corner of the front door, where the bat had once been. Real help that weapon was. Pffffttt. Placing my ear up to the door, I could hear that raspy, abnormal breathing. It sounded like just one, but there probably was at least another out there. I expected it.
“Alright...As soon as I get out there, you lock and board this thing as fast as you fucking can”, I spoke sincerely.
Taking a few moments to stretch my legs real quick, as well as doing a few deep breaths. I reached one arm up high stretching that one, and then switching the axe to the other hand, and stretching the other arm. First I lifted the board, and listened carefully. No reaction, same raspy breathing. I unlocked the door, and then that’s when I heard a sound that I could only describe as a moan mixed within a growl. It was horrifying honestly, not a sound I thought capable of a human-- well, what once was a human being. Finally, I quickly un-latched the door, and swung it open. Right there, just a few feet away, was a woman. Her back was turned, but now she was slowly turning to face me. I was stunned in terror as her face came into view. Her eyeball was completely missing from its socket, an empty gruesome void, and her right cheek completely torn open. The flesh, her gums, dangling from the wound across its jaw. Even worse, her teeth were stained with a red and black color. She cocked her head at me to the side, at an unnatural angle. Twitched her neck a few times, and then started reaching out to pounce.
“Ken!!!!” Leora cried behind me, as I was completely frozen. She shook my shoulder frantically and I awoke from my trance.
The undead monster was close enough to take a swipe. I turned the axe over, and pushed with the handle using enough force to cause her trip over her decaying ankle. That was luck right there, I hadn’t even noticed her ankle was wounded. Fuck! I needed to be more observant, my thoughts were shouting. And that was when I started hearing the pitter-patter of my daughter from inside, likely investigating the panic of her mother’s voice.
“Go!! Back Zorina! NOW!” I could hear Leora commanding at the poor clueless girl.
Quickly, I had to get out of the door so Leora could close it. I stepped forward between the legs of the fallen demon. Straight down, I brought the heavy weapon down on its head. A sickening crunch echoed in my ears as it connected. Putting my foot upon its chest, I pulled with all my might to detach it from the disgusting gash it was wedged within. I looked to my right down towards the lobby doors, and wish I hadn’t. I saw three more of them crawling their way up. Fiercely trying to get up the stairs, for a bite of this dumb fucker, me, who’ll only be small snack for them. And if things couldn’t get any worse, I heard rapid foot steps from above; someone or something was sprinting in a frenzy towards the stairs. The dinner bell was ringing.
Freeing the axe, I started backing up out of an instinct of horror. I tripped over the feet of the corpse, smacking my head off the ground. It was only carpet, but it was still quite disorienting. Don’t let go of that axe, don’t let go of that axe, I kept thinking over and over. Two of the three in the lobby were inches away, grabbing and clawing for my legs, as they crawled atop their deceased comrade. I kicked and kicked, unable to straighten my vision to get a precise look of my surroundings. What happened next was straight out of a nightmare. The one above, the sprinter on the second floor, literally fucking either tripped, or launched itself over the railing. It fell smack right down on the ground face first. Only a mere few feet away. Within seconds, it launched itself back up on it’s feet, blood gushing from its snapped jaw and broken nose. Everything was happening so fast, my head was spinning what felt like 50 miles per hour. Suddenly, a warm, small hand grabbed me by the scruff of my shirt, and started dragging me aggressively back into the apartment.
Leora dropped me to the ground, and slammed the door shut, just as the jumper started charging for it. It smashed right into the door, and the force behind it nearly knocked her off her feet. In my peripheral vision to the left, I saw Zorina’s terrified face. Turning to face her, I noticed that she had her mouth wipe open as if she was screaming. I couldn’t hear any sound though. It was like, like we were in a vacuum in space, and time flow slowed to a very still moment. My ears started to ring, and I looked back to Leora, and she too was saying something. No. She was yelling something. I blinked, and that was when I could finally hear Leora’s voice coming in. Very softly at first, almost like a whisper, and then louder and louder, till I heard her and Zorina screaming.
“Ken! Ken! Help me! Help god damn it! Kenway!!”, she cried out in desperation, bracing her arm and shoulder into the door. Her little figure continously rebounding off, and then ramming back into it.
Throwing myself up off the ground, I stormed right in next to Leora helping her keep it closed. The pressure was becoming stronger and stronger. There was more gathering on the door, bashing, scratching, head-butting, anything they could do to get their food. Splinters started shooting out, and I couldn’t take it much longer.
I started violently bellowing out, mixed as a war cry with agonizing pain, as I tried to gather all the strength I could to hold this door shut. To stop them from tearing my family to pieces. Again, and again, the door would bounce open just inches, before Leora and myself used our pure adrenaline to keep it shut.
“Grab the board! The board!!”, I yelled at Leora.
Tears streamed down her face, as she scrambled and struggled from rushing; nearly tripping over her own feet. She grabbed the wooden board off the wall, and I slammed my shoulder into the door, just before she placed it into the locked position across. It didn’t hold them for long. As each second passed, more and more splintered pieces littered the floor. Suddenly, the entire center ruptured open. Completely disregarding the torture they were putting their soulless forms through, they pierced their bloodied hands, and rotting faces over and over, into the breached hole. Viciously tearing it apart with inconceivable strength.
“The back door!!”, I shrieked, as I retreated from the front door.
Grabbing the axe, I sprinted down the hall. Leora was right on my heels, as she lifted Zorina up in her arms. A big crash echoed through the apartment, as they finally broke through the front. Taking a glimpse behind for a brief second, it was absolutely, complete insanity. The one that had finally managed to break the door down, crashed right into the wall just across. There was four others trampling over that one, stumbling down the hall towards us. The speed was incredible and terrifying. The last thing I saw was Leora flinging a book case over trying to slow them down; the books and shelves toppling over into the living room, as Zorina clutched to her mother’s side for dear life.
submitted by Anthony017 to stories [link] [comments]


2015.11.10 15:09 Anthony017 Real cam leora

Chapter two of my young family trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse. Thank you so much for reading, and feedback is very much appreciated! Original link to first chapter: Chapter 1
I leaned over the bathroom faucet gazing into the dusty mirror. Trying, but failing, to block out the shuffling foot steps from above. Taking my right hand, my left upon the tempered glass sink, I wiped a space clear. Just enough to see the face of a long lost acquaintance that I barely recognized. I didn’t know him much before shit hit the fan. Now, I might as well be meeting him for the first time in my life.
Touching my face, I hadn’t registered how immense and wild my coal-black beard had grown. It was the last thing on my mind. Shaving. As I looked closer, I could see spots of stained red. Though, I didn’t mean the few red hairs that were part of my Irish heritage, as my mother used to point out. Instead, it was a dark metallic red, the same one that was in little spots across my nose, cheeks, and forehead. It was a color I’d picture painted on the walls of hell. Well, this was place was close enough.
Twisting the knobs, I cupped my hands underneath the faucet to catch the icy water. It was only a couple of days ago that I had last felt the soothing hot water. I prayed it was just our apartment building, that maybe a pipe or something broke, and nothing worse than that. Splashing the water over my face, I rubbed and scratched with my finger tips. As I thought about it, the cool water was just as relaxing. It was hard to find things that gave serenity in a world like this, that’s the obvious. But when such simple tasks that we did in our previous ‘every day life’ begin to give a little of some kind of ease. It just hits me sometimes how un-appreciative I had been. If I had known what I do now, back then, well, of course I would have changed. Or, would I have? So many times we say we’ll finally do it right, finally make it this time. Finally really truly want it this time! But, yet, we always fall back into the same goddamn pattern. When is enough, enough? Heh, I guess for me, it was when a fucking zombie apocalypse murdered almost every other human being I had once known. Then again, I wasn’t sure if there were even that many left that were acquainted with me before this chaos. Just like my love relationship, my despondent ways caused my relationships with my friends to suffer. They thought I was just a really busy guy, being a man for his family. Working and providing, no time to talk, no time to catch up. Ha, at least I was capable enough to put up a good front, but what a joke they believed. A barely employed, deadbeat lad who sat on his ass or slept the days away. Like Leora, I’ll never be able to apologize to them. For it to actually mean something, and genuine. To take back the confusion, and grief that I dealt to those who cared about me. And the worst part, those who cared the most about me, who actually knew the me, the real shitty me, had to observe my downwards spiral. My parents for example, who helped put this roof over my little family’s head and saw nothing come out of it. Just my empty words and aspirations of how I would do something, be somebody. And there was my older siblings who saw the mistakes I was making, and advised, and told me to change or I’d regret it. But I didn’t listen. Not until it was too late. Not until they were all likely rotting corpses walking and devouring any other miserable survivor living in this god-forsaken fucking world. I guess I still had my wife and my child. That could be considered a blessing, but what kind of world is this for them to have to go through. For my child to grow up in always fighting for her life. Do they deserve this? Should I just end-
A loud pound from up above brought me back out of my profoundly menacing mind. Instantly I inspected the ceiling above, and I wasn’t quite sure what I expected to see. I assumed one of those ‘things’ from above tripped and fell on the second floor, hence the noise. So, obviously I knew nothing had broken through, but I looked anyways. Only simply spotting the over-familiar, mundane, shoddy white paint. Hmm, though I did notice in the left darker corner was a new tiny 8-legged companion. Hopefully the little fellow had better luck with food, then we have had recently - in its fragile cobweb of a home. Looking back into the mirror, my face and beard were dripping from water, finally cleansed of the blood. I wiped any leaking water left on my face, and made my way out. Down the hall, I could softly hear Leora working on the alphabet with Zorina.
“G, right? G comes after F. Try and draw it...yep, start up here, make a little curve, down, and then back up. Alright!! You’re so good, Zorina!!!”
I faintly smirked at Leora’s deliberate excitement. She was always good with children, and knew just the way to get them to feel good about themselves, and succeed. I, on the other hand, would lose patience too quickly, or too stern. Too much was on my mind to sit down, and put myself in the moment. Always looking ahead at the next task, quickly trying to get the current one done. I couldn’t seem to slow time down for myself, and evidently, it only moved faster...and ended in that past life. Now though, this life, every task must require careful thinking, planning, and being in the moment. And not doing so could cost my life, and my family’s life. Earlier was a mistake, and I should’ve scouted out further, or even distracted the single big fucker for a one on one. Who knows if I would’ve even been able to do that. My wife who is nearly a foot smaller than I am, and much smaller in weight, was the conqueror in that fight. Saving my life from even an additional one. I had to work on being more careful, and better tactics. A better way to take them down, instead of just blunt force when I really don’t have much force to give out in the first place. Being just 150 lbs and 5‘10“. I should’ve went to that damn gym like I said I would all those times.
With that stuck on my mind, I made my way to the kitchen where I couldn’t be seen down the hall. I dropped to the ground and started doing some push ups, then sit ups, more push ups, more sit ups, and then some leg lifts. By the end of it, which I did at least 65 of each, I wasn’t feeling so hot. Or perhaps it was the very opposite. I was feeling too hot. Dehydrated or over-exerted, whatever it was, I found myself standing up seeing dots. Somehow I awkwardly swayed myself over to the sink, dipping my head straight into it, and turned the faucet on. It felt amazing as it ran down my scalp and neck, drenching my mop of hair. I then started to gulp, and gulp, and gulp, the chilling water. For a brief moment, I was relieved, but then I started feeling even more poor within my stomach.
“Ughhh....”A sick moan escaped through my parted lips.
Being out of shape in a zombie apocalypse is fucking terrible. I slumped back down to the ground, feeling my muscles ache, my mind spinning, and sweat soaking my clothes. Man, did I HATE that feeling. Sweat in my drawers, and being a more hairy guy then usual, it made it ten times worse. I lolled my head against the kitchen floor cabinet, trying to just hold still until the stomach aching would finally cease. It didn’t seemed to end, until I couldn’t handle the pressure any longer. And so I unbuckled and unbuttoned my pants, which seemed to do the trick as I instantly started to feel (moderately) a bit better. I’ll have to do this every day, I thought to myself with a groan.
“....I’ll find you something, h-ha-hang- yes, I know. just hang on, sweetie”
I heard Leora saying in mid-sentence as she began making her through the hall, to where I was in the kitchen. Zorina must be hungry I figured, but we just didn’t have much food left. We couldn’t starve her though. Upon entering, Leora raised an eyebrow at me with a bemused face.
“Uhh..youuuu...enjoying it down there?” She said in a humorous, half-joking, half-curious tone.
Anyone else, seeing me full of sweat, looking exhausted, and pants unbuttoned. Well, lets just say I’m glad Leora knows me as well as she does.
“Mhmm..” I replied, still not feeling that well to talk.
Lightly rubbing my forehead a few times, I then started using the cabinet to stand up. My legs and arms still felt wobbly and a tad sore, but I would manage. Wandering over to the cupboard, I opened up the antique wooden doors. It used to be my mother’s, who had gifted it to me as our first official furniture when we had moved in. I hoped and prayed she was alive, but I didn’t want to raise my hopes too high. It could be possible though, she lived in a small farm town, rather then a city like here. There was a gun and the house was on the edge of the town, surrounded by open corn fields. And my dad, he could shoot. My dad. Oh christ, my dad. Stop, stop it Ken, god damn it. Don’t think about him. Don’t cry. Don’t cry! Be strong. Your family needs you to be strong.
I left those reflections behind and reached inside for the opened bag of chips. There was only six chips left out of over 60, that we had fed Zorina for the past few days. Grabbing the chips, Leora then stepped over and grabbed a can of green beans. We only had another few cans before we were completely out of food. And as if reading my mind,
“The cans of corn are pretty filling. I can get it in a bowl for you.” Leora offered kindly to me, but I refused.
“Nah. I’m alright, honey. Thanks though. You should though. Need some meat on those bones of yours.” Partially joking to her, only meaning the part that I wanted her to eat.
“What do you mean, ‘more meat on my bones’, hmm?”
She narrowed her eyes at me, one foot out facing away, and placing a hand on her hip; her opposite arm which held the can was across her belly button. This was her passively aggressive stance, and so right away, I knew I made a bad joke. Those damn women filters. Trying to play it off, I gave a faint playful smirk shifting my eyes from hers.
“Oh come on, you knew what I meant. I wouldn’t change you in any way. Annnnyyyy way,” As I raised my eyebrows up and down, emphasizing 'any’ flirtatiously.
She rolled her eyes at me, like she always did when I started throwing out my innuendos. Going towards the kitchen drawer, her back turned, she replied,
“Mhmmm. You could use some meat on your bones too, my little skinny minne.”
She knew I hated when she called me little. And skinny. AND minne. Sighing, and grumbling under my breath a bit, I decided to let it go this time. Then my stomach betrayed me as well, and started growling. Yeah, I was hungry, but I wanted them to eat and fill their shrinking stomachs. Honestly, Leora probably felt the same way, doing the same thing, if I know her as I do. I couldn’t let them suffer, and so I would hold out as long as I needed too until we found more food, or exhausted of it.
Something had to be done though, I couldn’t just expect food to suddenly appear. I’d have to go out there again, and be more careful this time. I guess, I could start with the apartments in this building. We thought about it before, even discussed it, but we weren’t sure if there could be other survivors. I didn’t want to take from them, nor startle them, nor have them end up taking from us. But here, or the next building over, or one miles away, there’s always the chance of it being occupied. So it made no difference, and I would have to do what I needed to do to keep my family alive.
I headed out through the hall, as Leora was fumbling around in a drawer for the can opener. As I passed the front door, I could still hear the abnormal breathing from at least one of them. I closed my eyes as I walked by further down the hall, and prayed it wouldn’t sense us in here. And then I noticed I’ve been doing a lot of praying, and I wasn’t even a believer back then. Not even sure if I am now. Praying is asking for help, right? Did I really have to put my hands together, and bow my head just to seek help and strength from a god that loves us all? I didn’t know, but if there was someone or something out there, surely he wouldn’t be so finicky in a time like this. Opening my eyes again, I stepped into the living room where my daughter was seated at her play table. She smiled up at me with the innocence of an angel. The purist heart I’d ever seen. For in her mind, she thinks there are just mean monsters outside. Lots and lots of monsters. And big tough, brave daddy keeps them away. Her poor flawless soul believed the very opposite of the truth. Daddy could barely keep himself alive, let alone mommy and his daughter. But perhaps for that very reason, that sweet, sweet smile, and twinkling brown eyes, is why I won’t give those fuckers an easy feast.
"Whatcha' doing, my little dove?" I asked softly, attempting my best 'gentle-father' voice.
Thankfully, her young naive mind always fell for the tone hidden behind the disguise, forgetting all the sternness from times before. Or was it a good thing? It's not that I didn't mean it, to be gentle and loving with her, but she's being raised in a fantasy land, while in reality, we're in a cold, cruel world. I hated to think that she could be killed out here or worse, simply because she didn't know better. Because all she learned was kindness. I hated this place, this world, the people who were in it before, and the remaining now. If there would just be more kindness, a father wouldn't have to worry so god damn much about his baby girl.
"Jus' whiten' duh’ alph-wuhbet", she beamed up at me with a broad smile, proud as can be.
"Ohhh...do you know what letter that is?", striving to seem the least bit interested, as I sat down on another child chair next to her.
My head too preoccupied by various worries which was thieving my attention elsewhere; as my eyes idled across the room. I needed to do something about our food supply, as well as eliminating those undead intruders that were in this very building with us. How many was there again?? I compressed my forehead by instinct, trying to recall. There was the four far to the left, and then one was further back, and then the oth-
“...Daddy! Listen! Liiiiiissssssteeeeeeen!!”, Zorina pleaded in irritation getting obnoxiously louder, as well as grasping my arm and shaking it.
“Shh, shh, hush, Zorina, quiet!!! ......Remember...you don’t want the monsters to hear us...”, I spoke the first bit harshly in a hushed tone, as I swiftly placed my hand over her mouth.
She nodded with a mixture of distress and disappointment in her eyes. I could feel her lips pouting beneath my hand, which I then retreated back by my side. Then tiny, ashamed tears started to well up in her eyes, which pulled at my heartstrings. God damn it. Sighing deeply, and pulling her close to sit on my lap, I embraced her tightly from behind, wrapping my arms all the way around her. I softly nuzzled her smooth, baby fine hair with my beard and face. Thank the heavens she took after her mother’s gorgeous looks. And speaking of my beloved ‘devil’, so shall she appear. Leora was carrying a bowl in her hands filled with cold greens beans, and a fork. Raising my head back up to gaze at her, my little one still cuddling in my arms, she gave me a quick grin. A pleasant smell came to my nose, and honestly, I never recall being able to smell cold green beans, but right now I could. Must be more hungry than I had thought. And to divert myself from anymore lingering thoughts of food, I stood up, and placed Zorina back on her chair. Where Leora then positioned the food on the child table in front of Zorina, who gave no hesitation of digging in for dinner.
Checking my pocket watch, 5:40 pm, I proceeded to my scheduled scan of outside. Peeking through the windows as before, I did see a few more sauntering down the street past our apartment. No threat to us. Checking the other window, it was clear. It was going to start getting dark soon, and I felt awfully uncomfortable with knowing there was those bastards in our apartment building. With much despair, my skin full of goose bumps and my hair standing on end -COMPLETELY going against my instincts- I made my decision. I was going back out there, to clear out any of them that I could, but I was going to be more careful this time. No mistakes like earlier, I was going to take the axe, and it’ll be simple enough. As Zorina was still eating her dinner, I called to Leora.
“Leora, I need to..uh..I need to talk to you in the kitchen,” my voice was full of hesitation, and she could probably sense it.
And as we reached out of ear shot of Zorina, I spoke with as much confidence as I could.
“We can’t let ‘them’ stay in this apartment building and expect to sleep. Sure, we could do shifts during the night, but we’re exhausted as is. Barely have had much to eat, you and I. We can’t risk, not with Zorina, we can’t risk it. I need to go back out there.” Through this whole time, Leora was quiet with a look of distress, but as soon as I mentioned going out there.
“Ken, no. No. I almost lost you today. What if I hadn’t been watching from inside? Zorina and I would have been alone in this world. We need you, I need you...” I could see the tears trickling from her eyes, as she ran both of her hands over her head and through her hair.
I’m sure she knew that I was right, despite her stated opposition. I could see the dread in her, and so all I could think to do was to hug her. Gently petting the back of her head and hair, she tenderly dug her face into my shoulder, and I smelt her familiar scent of berries. I breathed in her scent deeply through my nose, as it gave me a sort of peace of mind, for just that moment.
“I’ll be more careful, I promise. You were able to swing that thing, and so can I. Don’t be afraid. I’ll come right back.”
“I-I can come with you,” she pleaded, but I shook my head no.
“We can’t leave Zorina in here alone. She’s a curious little thing and we can’t trust she’ll stay in here. She’s 3, Leora!”, I didn’t honestly believe she would have come with me, leaving Zorina in here alone for much longer then she previously did today. She was just trying to come up with any excuse or reason she could to stall me, but evidently, she did finally step aside.
I reached for the axe by the corner of the front door, where the bat had once been. Real help that weapon was. Pffffttt. Placing my ear up to the door, I could hear that raspy, abnormal breathing. It sounded like just one, but there probably was at least another out there. I expected it.
“Alright...As soon as I get out there, you lock and board this thing as fast as you fucking can”, I spoke sincerely.
Taking a few moments to stretch my legs real quick, as well as doing a few deep breaths. I reached one arm up high stretching that one, and then switching the axe to the other hand, and stretching the other arm. First I lifted the board, and listened carefully. No reaction, same raspy breathing. I unlocked the door, and then that’s when I heard a sound that I could only describe as a moan mixed within a growl. It was horrifying honestly, not a sound I thought capable of a human-- well, what once was a human being. Finally, I quickly un-latched the door, and swung it open. Right there, just a few feet away, was a woman. Her back was turned, but now she was slowly turning to face me. I was stunned in terror as her face came into view. Her eyeball was completely missing from its socket, an empty gruesome void, and her right cheek completely torn open. The flesh, her gums, dangling from the wound across its jaw. Even worse, her teeth were stained with a red and black color. She cocked her head at me to the side, at an unnatural angle. Twitched her neck a few times, and then started reaching out to pounce.
“Ken!!!!” Leora cried behind me, as I was completely frozen. She shook my shoulder frantically and I awoke from my trance.
The undead monster was close enough to take a swipe. I turned the axe over, and pushed with the handle using enough force to cause her trip over her decaying ankle. That was luck right there, I hadn’t even noticed her ankle was wounded. Fuck! I needed to be more observant, my thoughts were shouting. And that was when I started hearing the pitter-patter of my daughter from inside, likely investigating the panic of her mother’s voice.
“Go!! Back Zorina! NOW!” I could hear Leora commanding at the poor clueless girl.
Quickly, I had to get out of the door so Leora could close it. I stepped forward between the legs of the fallen demon. Straight down, I brought the heavy weapon down on its head. A sickening crunch echoed in my ears as it connected. Putting my foot upon its chest, I pulled with all my might to detach it from the disgusting gash it was wedged within. I looked to my right down towards the lobby doors, and wish I hadn’t. I saw three more of them crawling their way up. Fiercely trying to get up the stairs, for a bite of this dumb fucker, me, who’ll only be small snack for them. And if things couldn’t get any worse, I heard rapid foot steps from above; someone or something was sprinting in a frenzy towards the stairs. The dinner bell was ringing.
Freeing the axe, I started backing up out of an instinct of horror. I tripped over the feet of the corpse, smacking my head off the ground. It was only carpet, but it was still quite disorienting. Don’t let go of that axe, don’t let go of that axe, I kept thinking over and over. Two of the three in the lobby were inches away, grabbing and clawing for my legs, as they crawled atop their deceased comrade. I kicked and kicked, unable to straighten my vision to get a precise look of my surroundings. What happened next was straight out of a nightmare. The one above, the sprinter on the second floor, literally fucking either tripped, or launched itself over the railing. It fell smack right down on the ground face first. Only a mere few feet away. Within seconds, it launched itself back up on it’s feet, blood gushing from its snapped jaw and broken nose. Everything was happening so fast, my head was spinning what felt like 50 miles per hour. Suddenly, a warm, small hand grabbed me by the scruff of my shirt, and started dragging me aggressively back into the apartment.
Leora dropped me to the ground, and slammed the door shut, just as the jumper started charging for it. It smashed right into the door, and the force behind it nearly knocked her off her feet. In my peripheral vision to the left, I saw Zorina’s terrified face. Turning to face her, I noticed that she had her mouth wipe open as if she was screaming. I couldn’t hear any sound though. It was like, like we were in a vacuum in space, and time flow slowed to a very still moment. My ears started to ring, and I looked back to Leora, and she too was saying something. No. She was yelling something. I blinked, and that was when I could finally hear Leora’s voice coming in. Very softly at first, almost like a whisper, and then louder and louder, till I heard her and Zorina screaming.
“Ken! Ken! Help me! Help god damn it! Kenway!!”, she cried out in desperation, bracing her arm and shoulder into the door. Her little figure continously rebounding off, and then ramming back into it.
Throwing myself up off the ground, I stormed right in next to Leora helping her keep it closed. The pressure was becoming stronger and stronger. There was more gathering on the door, bashing, scratching, head-butting, anything they could do to get their food. Splinters started shooting out, and I couldn’t take it much longer.
I started violently bellowing out, mixed as a war cry with agonizing pain, as I tried to gather all the strength I could to hold this door shut. To stop them from tearing my family to pieces. Again, and again, the door would bounce open just inches, before Leora and myself used our pure adrenaline to keep it shut.
“Grab the board! The board!!”, I yelled at Leora.
Tears streamed down her face, as she scrambled and struggled from rushing; nearly tripping over her own feet. She grabbed the wooden board off the wall, and I slammed my shoulder into the door, just before she placed it into the locked position across. It didn’t hold them for long. As each second passed, more and more splintered pieces littered the floor. Suddenly, the entire center ruptured open. Completely disregarding the torture they were putting their soulless forms through, they pierced their bloodied hands, and rotting faces over and over, into the breached hole. Viciously tearing it apart with inconceivable strength.
“The back door!!”, I shrieked, as I retreated from the front door.
Grabbing the axe, I sprinted down the hall. Leora was right on my heels, as she lifted Zorina up in her arms. A big crash echoed through the apartment, as they finally broke through the front. Taking a glimpse behind for a brief second, it was absolutely, complete insanity. The one that had finally managed to break the door down, crashed right into the wall just across. There was four others trampling over that one, stumbling down the hall towards us. The speed was incredible and terrifying. The last thing I saw was Leora flinging a book case over trying to slow them down; the books and shelves toppling over into the living room, as Zorina clutched to her mother’s side for dear life.
submitted by Anthony017 to redditstories [link] [comments]


2015.11.08 23:22 Anthony017 Leora real cam

Hello everyone, This is something that I wrote a few days ago. For awhile, I've been wanting to write something...but always found my censor inside my mind blocking me. I'm not sure where I'm going to go with this story, but I was curious on feedback so perhaps in the future I can write a better one, or even continue if it's good enough. I feel like I should add more detail, but I don't know. Honestly, I'm a little nervous sharing it, but hey, that's okay. Please be HONEST and feel free to criticize.

 Foreword: 
No one ever said life was easy. I’m not sure why or, even in fact, how most of us faked it through life trying to be something we weren’t. The ‘perfect’ father who works his ass off all day, with an asshole of a boss, and adolescent-acting employees. Just to come home, and continue working. Working to keep his marriage from falling to shit, and to be some kind of a positive figure in his kids’ life, that already hates him. And the mother who is forced into the position by society as a slave to her family; cooking, cleaning, and babysitting constantly. Then only to be badgered about getting rammed later in the night by her husband whose probably ramming some other young bitch with daddy issues. Neither are unable to even get a break from their mandatory, selfless lives; not a single moment to catch their sanity in their own home. But now, with the way the world is, our entire way of ‘life’...it’s been turned completely on our goddamn heads. It really doesn’t matter who or what we pretended to be. Now, right now, every other living soul that hasn’t been turned into some fucking flesh eating monster are simply, and only, survivors. The last of human kind, and the future of our existence...if there even is one.
 Chapter 1: 
I shook my head breaking my thoughts before they delved into anything darker. Looking over at Leora, I couldn’t help but feel even more disheartened then I had moments ago. There she was. Silently wiping the kitchen counter off. Cleaning. Just like before, like she always did. She used to joke it was a minor form of OCD, but honestly, we both knew it wasn’t JUST a joke. She really did have OCD.
I took one more peak through the cracks of the (somewhat shabby) barricaded window, that was made of various wooden pieces of furniture. As I looked out, I still couldn’t accept the destruction and chaos. Where people, dogs, and cars once drove, walked, ran, talked, lived. Now, cars were either smashed together, flipped, or barely in tact, and littered across the street. It’d truly be a miracle to find one that actually works. Some of the apartment buildings across the street were charred from fires, and half-standing, while others didn’t even have doors or windows. There was abandoned body bags, while other corpses were just rotting out in the open. It was hard to believe anyone else could be alive in this hell. Musing about this, I then spotted two of ‘them’ across the street, standing, swaying slowly side to side, mindlessly keeping their balance. Pieces of clothing and discolored flesh was either hanging or completely absent. One of them seemed to even have just a few tendons left that barely held their arm attached to its shoulder, gruesomely hanging.
I closed my eyes, whispered so quietly no one else could hear.
“It’s not real...it’s not real...”
I waited just a few good extra seconds, and then opened my eyes. No. They were still there. I did this from time to time, just hoping, praying, begging, that maybe, just maybe, I’ll wake up this time from this horrible nightmare. Sighing; it wasn’t going to be this time. Positioning myself on the other boarded window across the right side of the room, I found another crack to look through. A few more of them, but far away enough to not be an immediate threat. As long as we were quiet. I’ll need to remind Zorina as soon as she awakens.
Satisfied for the time being, until next scheduled watch, I softly sauntered towards Leora. Crossing only half-way through the living room, picking up the first book I saw off the coffee table. I pretended to be interested in it, flipping it from back to front. Looking back up at Leora, she was now organizing the very minimal amount of food we had left in the fridge. It only took a few seconds to finish, and then she was on to the cabinets with our canned foods. I didn’t want to stop her from one of the only things, if not the only thing, that gave her some sort of distraction. Some kind of peace. But I also couldn’t help, but want to be one of those things that could be her sanctuary, her escape. But how could I be when she sees my own demons, as well as the fact that I could one day become one of those things straight from hell. My own selfishness or compassion, or love, or whatever you want to call it ended up winning this debate in my mind. I strolled over to her further, keeping my head low, thinking of what I could say. Only a foot behind her, as she stood on her tippy toes at her 5‘1“ height, to place the cans where they used to go. When life used to be normal. Nonetheless, she didn’t even seem to notice me, or maybe she did. What was there to even say? How’s the weather? How was your day? Seen that good movie? Wanna watch some Netflix? Or hey, did you see that fucker out there munching on Mr. Caronsen? Heh...
I placed a gentle hand on her shoulder; she flinched. Perhaps because she was so engrossed in what she was doing, she was scared it was one of ‘them’. Or, it was because she knew it was me. Our relationship, even in ‘normal’ life was rocky. We loved each other so incredibly deeply, but we didn’t have much in common. Didn’t really spend much time together. Well, we were always around each other in the same room, but not actually spending quality time together. Unable to intertwine our friendship and love relationship together. I miss when we did in the beginning. But our priorities were different. I wanted to chase a career with a woman by my side, supporting me every step of the way. And she did, absolutely. But then Zorina was born, and she wanted to be parents for our daughter. JUST parents. Our friendship seemed to die there, and now it was just a parent relationship. It was like when Zorina wasn’t around, that was it. We did our own thing. Guess I partially can’t blame Leora, for I tended to be more anti-social, but not always. There was times I wanted to do quality things together, but the time was never right for her. I must be honest as well; there was times she did try, after expressing this to her. She wanted to spend time together, but that was when I was in one of my ‘episodes’ as I called them. Depression. It took it’s toll on me and my relationship with the love of my life. I never wanted to be a father, to be tied down, stuck in some god damn farm town working a job I’d hate so everyone else, but me, could be happy.
Selfish thoughts like these ran through my mind every day back then. And now, with everything different, that life gone, I see that I was ignorant. Ignorant and blind. I had a lot of blessings some men would die for. And now, after I know all this, I can’t even fix it. To say I’m sorry, and to be the man my family needed me to be. Of course, now that it’s all gone, now that I can’t have that life. It’s easy and meaningless to apologize.
“Yeah....?” She asked a bit puzzled.
Leora turned half-way to face me. Before returning to her organizing as I stood there silent for a few seconds. I was still unsure what to even say, but I did know I what I wanted, so I said that.
“I just wanted to see your eyes...your nose...your dimples...and your smile.”
Before, I used to say these things to seduce her. It’s not like I didn’t already think exactly these things every day of my life, but I didn’t say them nearly enough as I should have. This time though, it was coming straight from my heart. I needed to see my light in this darkness. And so, evidently, this caused her to hesitate, before slowly turning to face me completely. A beautiful, gentle, but timid closed-mouth smile upon her. I reached my hand up to caress her cheek, which she ever so slightly, leaned into. Her warmth was comforting, and seemed to spread through my whole body, and my soul.
“I Love You”, I said passion stirring in my heart.
“I Love You”, she said back with complete devotion, placing the can in her hand on to the counter, and then embracing me in a hug. I wrapped my arms around her back and waist as much as I could, to make her feel secure. That I’d always protect her. A fiery blaze of passion, mixed with dedication, and an adrenaline rush of a predatory instinct to kill, brewed deep inside. Nothing would hurt her or Zorina. I would have to die first before there was even a chance. And I. Will. Not. Die!
Reaching up to kiss me, completely oblivious to the mixture of intense emotions within, I kissed her back.
“I’ll put the rest of these cans away, and check on Zorina.”
She said, ending the embrace. And so she did, stacking the few cans away neatly. Something in me still wanted to stop her, but I simply nodded. Though I had another 15 minutes before the next watch, after taking a look at my own pocket watch, I still went to check through the windows. The two from before at the front window were still just swaying. Must not be hungry, but that’s good for us at least. I looked through the right one next, and I spotted a particularly large, buffed out one, periodically head-butting the neighbor’s apartment wall. He was too close for comfort, and could attract more with the noise he’s making with each sickening smash against the brick wall.
-THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!-
Otherwise, I’d let him bash his brains in till he was satisfied, and dead for good. Plus, I was afraid he might smell, or hear, or sense, or whatever the fuck they used to find the living. Carefully, and calmly, as not to alarm Leora, I spoke with the best tranquil voice I could muster. In fact, the same exact one I used back in our normal life when Zorina would injure herself. Truth was though, I was scared myself. I am everytime I go out there. We only have a view of the front, and partially of the right side of the apartment. So any number of them could be in the back or the left side. And engaging the one on roids will definitely attract the other two across the street. Not to mention, this single one is one big fucker. I couldn’t let this fear show to Leora. I needed to be strong.
“Now, don’t get worried, it’s okay...”
Instantly her eyes widened in panic, as I said that.
“None of them know we are here...but there’s a fellow ‘aving a go at the neighbor’s place, heh”
Motioning to the right side window, as well as trying to add in some dry humor. Not my best forte. The look of fear, the one she always gets if we deal with any of ‘them’, was there. Without a word, she started for the window, but I stepped over to block her.
“Go on, honey. Go check on Zorina, and I’ll go take care of it.”
I could see in her eyes and frightened face that she wanted to stop me, but her trust in me must have been what prevailed. She leaned up, gave me a longer kiss then usual, and said,
“Becareful. Please. Don’t take the axe. You know you have a hard time swinging it. Take the bat, it’s lighter.”
Instantly, I frowned at her and narrowed my eyes, as I was slightly insulted.
“What do you mean I have a hard time? I can use it just fine...but alright, yeah, whatever. The bat would be best in this situation anyways.”
As I defended my pride, but secretly knew the axe was a...bit heavy. Just a bit. Starting towards the locked, latched, and boarded door, Leora spoke again in urgency,
“Ar-are you sure you don’t want me to come with you...?!”
I was truly grateful to know I had a woman who’d come to help, protect, and fight alongside me. I couldn’t stop myself from grinning, and grabbed the bat from the corner next to the door.
“Yes, sweet heart. You need to keep Zorina quiet if she wakes up, anyways. I’ll be in and out. Errr, out and in, ha. I Love You.”
Giving her one last kiss, I unlocked, unlatched, and lifted the board, opening the door. I stepped out into the lobby of the apartment, and instantly felt a cool Autumn (which Leora kept track of on the calendar, from home-schooling Zorina) breeze. I shivered, not sure if it was from the cold or fear. The main door that kept the apartment closed, had its large glass pane busted completely through. I didn’t know which to be more afraid of. One of those zombies in here, or scavengers. Then again, thinking positively, maybe the glass shattering scared off anyone. Since the commotion would attract zombies. But then that could lead them into our apartment. Hush. Focus, focus, focus. I shouted in my head. Turning back to look at Leora one more time, who had the door half-closed waiting for me.
“Don’t forget to watch behind you...and-and, run if anymore come...”
I raised an eyebrow at this, but it was per-usual. She always told me common sense things, but at least she cares. And it makes her feel better, I guess.
“I know. Close it, baby.”
I said softly across to her, attempting a reassuring closed-mouth smile. She complied with a frown, and I could hear the hesitation, the lag between the locking, latching, and the board. I know she hated the idea of locking me out here with them. Turning back to the main door lobby, I stepped down the five steps of stairs, avoiding any shining glass that I could see. As I arrived at the bottom, where most of the mess was, I knelt down and sunk my hand into my sleeve. I used it to push and pick up any pieces that could injure or cause any noise for myself and family. Now, I carefully poked my head out through the broken pane of the door. There was those two still swaying, right across the street as I saw before. The left looked clear, thank the heavens. But I wasn’t out far enough to see the right side of what my window could see. But I didn’t need too, either. Down the street where my neighbors building blocked the way, was at least a dozen of them. I was scared before, but now, I was truly fearful. One, two, even three aren’t too bad, if you’re lucky. But any one mistake, one misstep, one dodge that just wasn’t far enough, or even one that sneaks up on you because you weren’t watching your surroundings. Well, that’s it. You’re fucked, you’re dead. Don’t even think about being a selfish son of a bitch going back to your family, just to feast on them when your time is up. Blow your brains out, or jump off a building head first. At least it’ll be quick and you won’t be part of the undead army.
Taking a deep breath, I cautiously stepped through the broken pane, avoiding the pieces of glass still wedged in place. Keeping my bat at the ready, I edged close to the wall of my apartment. Knees slightly bent, keeping a low-profile with steady, hushed steps. Stepping over a few body bags, I held my nose from the smell. I was finally just making it around the corner, and I could hear the usual banging.
-THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!-
There he was, and looked even bigger up close. I could see blood splattered, and dripping down the wall each time he went in for another smash. Need to make this fast, in case he gets bored. Taking one last look behind, making sure those two at the front were still there, which they were, I moved in to engage. Knees still bent, I quickly crept forward and guessed this guy must have been at least 6‘3“. Now close enough to smell his rotting stench, I stood up straight, brought the bat back as far as my elbows would go, and pictured a baseball right where his head was. I was gonna hit a home run like no one had ever seen before, I thought to myself, imagining a baseball stadium and a crowd cheering.With all the force I could, I closed my eyes, and swung. And just before I was about to connect, a sudden memory rushed through my head. My father taught me to never close my eyes when swinging. I instantly regretted it.
-CRAAAAAAACK! kutttssh kutshh kshhhshshh-
A furious, painful force vibrated through my hands and arms. If I hadn’t been so mortified at the sound that I had just created, I’d of been holding my hands in pain. I opened my eyes, and right then I almost pissed myself. The hulking bastard was still standing, as if I just poked him. And now, he was turning to face his attacker, me. What the hell was that crack sound, though!?!? I looked at the bat, or well, what used to be the bat. Half of it had shattered completely off, and what was left was several really sharp wooden points at the end. Only a few were long enough to actually be useful, and in my split second of frozen panic, and strategizing, I reached, aimed the longest point that I could, and shoved the fragmented bat straight into the monster’s skull. I pushed him away, but to no avail, for I couldn’t even budge him! The broken bat still embedded in his head, and still standing. Without looking back, I spun on my heel and raced for the corner. And just as I feared, as I turned, I saw those two who were motionless in the front, now dragging themselves towards me. Blocking the way back to my home.Within just a few moments they would be on top of me. I had to think and do something fast!! But what!? I had no weapon! I looked on the ground, there was garbage, corpses, nothing! Looking back up at the two, I had an insane idea, but it was the only thing that I thought could possibly work. I took a few steps back, arched my back forward down low, and sprinted as fast as I could. My hands and arms were out, prepared to tackle just like I was taught in football. Unbelievably, I hit the first one taking it straight to ground with a hard
-SMACK!-
I could feel a warm liquid spitting at me on my cheeks and clothing. In just pure instinct and adrenaline, I instantly rolled over, trying to avoid the second one...but I wasn’t fast enough. It jumped straight on me, its arms flailing like a maniac, and trying to claw me as I held it at its shoulders. Its mouth was biting over again, and again, like a ferocious pitbull, getting closer and closer. The teeth bashing together each time, with enough force that I knew it’d rip a piece of my neck out. There was bloody drool dripping from its mouth on to my sweat shirt, and I’d of vomited from its stench if I hadn’t been trying to fight for my life. Unable to handle it any longer, I craned my head to the side and spotted the much larger one making it’s way sluggishly over to me. I could only see the dark blue leggings of his uniform jumpsuit. Maybe a construction worker, a thought wandered through my mind as I was beginning to think that this was it. This thing on me was just too fast, and rabid, that if I were to let go, there’s no doubt it’d get a slice or bite of me. And then...
-THUNK!-
I saw the larger zombie fall to his knees, his face now in sight, and the broken bat still sticking out of the side of his head.
-THUNK!-
He now fell completely to the ground, face first with blood oozing down the side of his ear. I heard a female voice, actually a really familiar one, grunting. Before I could even a blink, I heard again.
-THUNK-
Immediately, the one on top of me went limp. I turned to look at it, and right there in front of my eyes, only inches away, was the fire axe sticking through the zombie’s skull. If I had lifted just slightly off the ground, I could of touched the axe with my forehead, that was completely soaked in blood. I was speechless, and must have been in shock, because I don’t even remember Leora lifting the zombie off of me.
“Ke-Ken! Ken! -huff huff- Are you-you okay!? Are you hurt!? -huff huff- Ah fuck! Come on, there’s...there’s more. We have to get back in! -huff huff- Get up, Ken! Get up!” She was kneeling next to me, having a hard time breathing from swinging that large axe, as well as her own asthma.
This shook me from my daze, and I immediately threw my hands to the ground, and jolted myself up. Taking the axe from her, still unable to find any words, I quickly made my way back to the front door of the apartment. Before stepping all the way through, I turned to look down the right street, and sure enough, at least 7 of those previous dozen were shambling their way over here. We climbed in through the door, and rushed up the stairs into our home. Leora took care of securing the door, and I leaned against the wall. I finally noticed I was having short breaths, and tried to calm my breathing.
“....Daddy...?”
I looked over and there was my little one still in her pajamas, clinging her doll close to her chest. Her beautiful long brown hair dangling in front of her worried large almond eyes. Putting a finger up to my mouth, signaling to hush, I listened. They were climbing in through the apartment main door, I could hear them tripping over each other, busting the other pieces of glass that were still intact. Sounds like there are at least three, but I couldn’t honestly tell. What I did know was that they were hungry. Moving faster and more frantic then the others. Leora moved from the door, and took Zorina in her arms heading towards the back room. I continued to listen; sounded like they were having a hard time getting up the stairs, must be crawling, I guessed. And now I could hear them just a few feet away, growling, moaning, and breathing in raspy unnatural breaths. I waited, and waited, waiting for the inevitable, that they would get to this door and start trying to tear it down. But, they never did. I heard a few shambling over to the other doors of previous owners, as well as a few that crawled up the stairs. We were lucky, and I was in disbelief. I knew that we couldn’t let them wander out there for too long. We’re running low on food, and we’ll need to start looking for some soon. I guess for now, we’ll be okay though. Slinking down to the floor, I pulled my knees up to my chest, and placed my arms upon them, where I then rested my head on my hands.
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2015.11.07 22:53 Anthony017 [Drama] (Haven't Decided Title. Zombie story following a young father) Chapter 1 [4103 words]

Hello everyone, This is something that I wrote a few days ago. For awhile, I've been wanting to write something...but always found my censor inside my mind blocking me. I'm not sure where I'm going to go with this story, but I was curious on feedback so perhaps in the future I can write a better one, or even continue if it's good enough. I feel like I should add more detail, but I don't know. Honestly, I'm a little nervous sharing it, but hey, that's okay. Please be HONEST and feel free to criticize.

 Foreword: 
No one ever said life was easy. I’m not sure why or, even in fact, how most of us faked it through life trying to be something we weren’t. The ‘perfect’ father who works his ass off all day, with an asshole of a boss, and adolescent-acting employees. Just to come home, and continue working. Working to keep his marriage from falling to shit, and to be some kind of a positive figure in his kids’ life, that already hates him. And the mother who is forced into the position by society as a slave to her family; cooking, cleaning, and babysitting constantly. Then only to be badgered about getting rammed later in the night by her husband whose probably ramming some other young bitch with daddy issues. Neither are unable to even get a break from their mandatory, selfless lives; not a single moment to catch their sanity in their own home. But now, with the way the world is, our entire way of ‘life’...it’s been turned completely on our goddamn heads. It really doesn’t matter who or what we pretended to be. Now, right now, every other living soul that hasn’t been turned into some fucking flesh eating monster are simply, and only, survivors. The last of human kind, and the future of our existence...if there even is one.
 Chapter 1: 
I shook my head breaking my thoughts before they delved into anything darker. Looking over at Leora, I couldn’t help but feel even more disheartened then I had moments ago. There she was. Silently wiping the kitchen counter off. Cleaning. Just like before, like she always did. She used to joke it was a minor form of OCD, but honestly, we both knew it wasn’t JUST a joke. She really did have OCD.
I took one more peak through the cracks of the (somewhat shabby) barricaded window, that was made of various wooden pieces of furniture. As I looked out, I still couldn’t accept the destruction and chaos. Where people, dogs, and cars once drove, walked, ran, talked, lived. Now, cars were either smashed together, flipped, or barely in tact, and littered across the street. It’d truly be a miracle to find one that actually works. Some of the apartment buildings across the street were charred from fires, and half-standing, while others didn’t even have doors or windows. There was abandoned body bags, while other corpses were just rotting out in the open. It was hard to believe anyone else could be alive in this hell. Musing about this, I then spotted two of ‘them’ across the street, standing, swaying slowly side to side, mindlessly keeping their balance. Pieces of clothing and discolored flesh was either hanging or completely absent. One of them seemed to even have just a few tendons left that barely held their arm attached to its shoulder, gruesomely hanging.
I closed my eyes, whispered so quietly no one else could hear.
“It’s not real...it’s not real...”
I waited just a few good extra seconds, and then opened my eyes. No. They were still there. I did this from time to time, just hoping, praying, begging, that maybe, just maybe, I’ll wake up this time from this horrible nightmare. Sighing; it wasn’t going to be this time. Positioning myself on the other boarded window across the right side of the room, I found another crack to look through. A few more of them, but far away enough to not be an immediate threat. As long as we were quiet. I’ll need to remind Zorina as soon as she awakens.
Satisfied for the time being, until next scheduled watch, I softly sauntered towards Leora. Crossing only half-way through the living room, picking up the first book I saw off the coffee table. I pretended to be interested in it, flipping it from back to front. Looking back up at Leora, she was now organizing the very minimal amount of food we had left in the fridge. It only took a few seconds to finish, and then she was on to the cabinets with our canned foods. I didn’t want to stop her from one of the only things, if not the only thing, that gave her some sort of distraction. Some kind of peace. But I also couldn’t help, but want to be one of those things that could be her sanctuary, her escape. But how could I be when she sees my own demons, as well as the fact that I could one day become one of those things straight from hell. My own selfishness or compassion, or love, or whatever you want to call it ended up winning this debate in my mind. I strolled over to her further, keeping my head low, thinking of what I could say. Only a foot behind her, as she stood on her tippy toes at her 5‘1“ height, to place the cans where they used to go. When life used to be normal. Nonetheless, she didn’t even seem to notice me, or maybe she did. What was there to even say? How’s the weather? How was your day? Seen that good movie? Wanna watch some Netflix? Or hey, did you see that fucker out there munching on Mr. Caronsen? Heh...
I placed a gentle hand on her shoulder; she flinched. Perhaps because she was so engrossed in what she was doing, she was scared it was one of ‘them’. Or, it was because she knew it was me. Our relationship, even in ‘normal’ life was rocky. We loved each other so incredibly deeply, but we didn’t have much in common. Didn’t really spend much time together. Well, we were always around each other in the same room, but not actually spending quality time together. Unable to intertwine our friendship and love relationship together. I miss when we did in the beginning. But our priorities were different. I wanted to chase a career with a woman by my side, supporting me every step of the way. And she did, absolutely. But then Zorina was born, and she wanted to be parents for our daughter. JUST parents. Our friendship seemed to die there, and now it was just a parent relationship. It was like when Zorina wasn’t around, that was it. We did our own thing. Guess I partially can’t blame Leora, for I tended to be more anti-social, but not always. There was times I wanted to do quality things together, but the time was never right for her. I must be honest as well; there was times she did try, after expressing this to her. She wanted to spend time together, but that was when I was in one of my ‘episodes’ as I called them. Depression. It took it’s toll on me and my relationship with the love of my life. I never wanted to be a father, to be tied down, stuck in some god damn farm town working a job I’d hate so everyone else, but me, could be happy.
Selfish thoughts like these ran through my mind every day back then. And now, with everything different, that life gone, I see that I was ignorant. Ignorant and blind. I had a lot of blessings some men would die for. And now, after I know all this, I can’t even fix it. To say I’m sorry, and to be the man my family needed me to be. Of course, now that it’s all gone, now that I can’t have that life. It’s easy and meaningless to apologize.
“Yeah....?” She asked a bit puzzled.
Leora turned half-way to face me. Before returning to her organizing as I stood there silent for a few seconds. I was still unsure what to even say, but I did know I what I wanted, so I said that.
“I just wanted to see your eyes...your nose...your dimples...and your smile.”
Before, I used to say these things to seduce her. It’s not like I didn’t already think exactly these things every day of my life, but I didn’t say them nearly enough as I should have. This time though, it was coming straight from my heart. I needed to see my light in this darkness. And so, evidently, this caused her to hesitate, before slowly turning to face me completely. A beautiful, gentle, but timid closed-mouth smile upon her. I reached my hand up to caress her cheek, which she ever so slightly, leaned into. Her warmth was comforting, and seemed to spread through my whole body, and my soul.
“I Love You”, I said passion stirring in my heart.
“I Love You”, she said back with complete devotion, placing the can in her hand on to the counter, and then embracing me in a hug. I wrapped my arms around her back and waist as much as I could, to make her feel secure. That I’d always protect her. A fiery blaze of passion, mixed with dedication, and an adrenaline rush of a predatory instinct to kill, brewed deep inside. Nothing would hurt her or Zorina. I would have to die first before there was even a chance. And I. Will. Not. Die!
Reaching up to kiss me, completely oblivious to the mixture of intense emotions within, I kissed her back.
“I’ll put the rest of these cans away, and check on Zorina.”
She said, ending the embrace. And so she did, stacking the few cans away neatly. Something in me still wanted to stop her, but I simply nodded. Though I had another 15 minutes before the next watch, after taking a look at my own pocket watch, I still went to check through the windows. The two from before at the front window were still just swaying. Must not be hungry, but that’s good for us at least. I looked through the right one next, and I spotted a particularly large, buffed out one, periodically head-butting the neighbor’s apartment wall. He was too close for comfort, and could attract more with the noise he’s making with each sickening smash against the brick wall.
-THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!-
Otherwise, I’d let him bash his brains in till he was satisfied, and dead for good. Plus, I was afraid he might smell, or hear, or sense, or whatever the fuck they used to find the living. Carefully, and calmly, as not to alarm Leora, I spoke with the best tranquil voice I could muster. In fact, the same exact one I used back in our normal life when Zorina would injure herself. Truth was though, I was scared myself. I am everytime I go out there. We only have a view of the front, and partially of the right side of the apartment. So any number of them could be in the back or the left side. And engaging the one on roids will definitely attract the other two across the street. Not to mention, this single one is one big fucker. I couldn’t let this fear show to Leora. I needed to be strong.
“Now, don’t get worried, it’s okay...”
Instantly her eyes widened in panic, as I said that.
“None of them know we are here...but there’s a fellow ‘aving a go at the neighbor’s place, heh”
Motioning to the right side window, as well as trying to add in some dry humor. Not my best forte. The look of fear, the one she always gets if we deal with any of ‘them’, was there. Without a word, she started for the window, but I stepped over to block her.
“Go on, honey. Go check on Zorina, and I’ll go take care of it.”
I could see in her eyes and frightened face that she wanted to stop me, but her trust in me must have been what prevailed. She leaned up, gave me a longer kiss then usual, and said,
“Becareful. Please. Don’t take the axe. You know you have a hard time swinging it. Take the bat, it’s lighter.”
Instantly, I frowned at her and narrowed my eyes, as I was slightly insulted.
“What do you mean I have a hard time? I can use it just fine...but alright, yeah, whatever. The bat would be best in this situation anyways.”
As I defended my pride, but secretly knew the axe was a...bit heavy. Just a bit. Starting towards the locked, latched, and boarded door, Leora spoke again in urgency,
“Ar-are you sure you don’t want me to come with you...?!”
I was truly grateful to know I had a woman who’d come to help, protect, and fight alongside me. I couldn’t stop myself from grinning, and grabbed the bat from the corner next to the door.
“Yes, sweet heart. You need to keep Zorina quiet if she wakes up, anyways. I’ll be in and out. Errr, out and in, ha. I Love You.”
Giving her one last kiss, I unlocked, unlatched, and lifted the board, opening the door. I stepped out into the lobby of the apartment, and instantly felt a cool Autumn (which Leora kept track of on the calendar, from home-schooling Zorina) breeze. I shivered, not sure if it was from the cold or fear. The main door that kept the apartment closed, had its large glass pane busted completely through. I didn’t know which to be more afraid of. One of those zombies in here, or scavengers. Then again, thinking positively, maybe the glass shattering scared off anyone. Since the commotion would attract zombies. But then that could lead them into our apartment. Hush. Focus, focus, focus. I shouted in my head. Turning back to look at Leora one more time, who had the door half-closed waiting for me.
“Don’t forget to watch behind you...and-and, run if anymore come...”
I raised an eyebrow at this, but it was per-usual. She always told me common sense things, but at least she cares. And it makes her feel better, I guess.
“I know. Close it, baby.”
I said softly across to her, attempting a reassuring closed-mouth smile. She complied with a frown, and I could hear the hesitation, the lag between the locking, latching, and the board. I know she hated the idea of locking me out here with them. Turning back to the main door lobby, I stepped down the five steps of stairs, avoiding any shining glass that I could see. As I arrived at the bottom, where most of the mess was, I knelt down and sunk my hand into my sleeve. I used it to push and pick up any pieces that could injure or cause any noise for myself and family. Now, I carefully poked my head out through the broken pane of the door. There was those two still swaying, right across the street as I saw before. The left looked clear, thank the heavens. But I wasn’t out far enough to see the right side of what my window could see. But I didn’t need too, either. Down the street where my neighbors building blocked the way, was at least a dozen of them. I was scared before, but now, I was truly fearful. One, two, even three aren’t too bad, if you’re lucky. But any one mistake, one misstep, one dodge that just wasn’t far enough, or even one that sneaks up on you because you weren’t watching your surroundings. Well, that’s it. You’re fucked, you’re dead. Don’t even think about being a selfish son of a bitch going back to your family, just to feast on them when your time is up. Blow your brains out, or jump off a building head first. At least it’ll be quick and you won’t be part of the undead army.
Taking a deep, I cautiously stepped through the broken pane, avoiding the pieces of glass still wedged in place. Keeping my bat at the ready, I edged closed to the wall of my apartment. Knees slightly bent, keeping a low-profile with steady, hushed steps. Stepping over a few body bags, I held my nose from the smell. I was finally just making it around the corner, and I could hear the usual banging.
-THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!-
There he was, and looked even bigger up close. I could see blood splattered, and dripping down the wall each time he went in for another smash. Need to make this fast, in case he gets bored. Taking one last look behind, making sure those two at the front were still there, which they were, I moved in to engage. Knees still bent, I quickly crept forward and guessed this guy must have been at least 6‘3“. Now close enough to smell his rotting stench, I stood up straight, brought the bat back as far as my elbows would go, and pictured a baseball right where his head was. I was gonna hit a home run like no one had ever seen before, I thought to myself, imagining a baseball stadium and a crowd cheering.With all the force I could, I closed my eyes, and swung. And just before I was about to connect, a sudden memory rushed through my head. My father taught me to never close my eyes when swinging. I instantly regretted it.
-CRAAAAAAACK! kutttssh kutshh kshhhshshh-
A furious, painful force vibrated through my hands and arms. If I hadn’t been so mortified at the sound that I had just created, I’d of been holding my hands in pain. I opened my eyes, and right then I almost pissed myself. The hulking bastard was still standing, as if I just poked him. And now, he was turning to face his attacker, me. What the hell was that crack sound, though!?!? I looked at the bat, or well, what used to be the bat. Half of it had shattered completely off, and what was left was several really sharp wooden points at the end. Only a few were long enough to actually be useful, and in my split second of frozen panic, and strategizing, I reached, aimed the longest point that I could, and shoved the fragmented bat straight into the monster’s skull. I pushed him away, but to no avail, for I couldn’t even budge him! The broken bat still embedded in his head, and still standing. Without looking back, I spun on my heel and raced for the corner. And just as I feared, as I turned, I saw those two who were motionless in the front, now dragging themselves towards me. Blocking the way back to my home.Within just a few moments they would be on top of me. I had to think and do something fast!! But what!? I had no weapon! I looked on the ground, there was garbage, corpses, nothing! Looking back up at the two, I had an insane idea, but it was the only thing that I thought could possibly work. I took a few steps back, arched my back forward down low, and sprinted as fast as I could. My hands and arms were out, prepared to tackle just like I was taught in football. Unbelievably, I hit the first one taking it straight to ground with a hard
-SMACK!-
I could feel a warm liquid spitting at me on my cheeks and clothing. In just pure instinct and adrenaline, I instantly rolled over, trying to avoid the second one...but I wasn’t fast enough. It jumped straight on me, its arms flailing like a maniac, and trying to claw me as I held it at its shoulders. Its mouth was biting over again, and again, like a ferocious pitbull, getting closer and closer. The teeth bashing together each time, with enough force that I knew it’d rip a piece of my neck out. There was bloody drool dripping from its mouth on to my sweat shirt, and I’d of vomited from its stench if I hadn’t been trying to fight for my life. Unable to handle it any longer, I craned my head to the side and spotted the much larger one making it’s way sluggishly over to me. I could only see the dark blue leggings of his uniform jumpsuit. Maybe a construction worker, a thought wandered through my mind as I was beginning to think that this was it. This thing on me was just too fast, and rabid, that if I were to let go, there’s no doubt it’d get a slice or bite of me. And then...
-THUNK!-
I saw the larger zombie fall to his knees, his face now in sight, and the broken bat still sticking out of the side of his head.
-THUNK!-
He now fell completely to the ground, face first with blood oozing down the side of his ear. I heard a female voice, actually a really familiar one, grunting. Before I could even a blink, I heard again.
-THUNK-
Immediately, the one on top of me went limp. I turned to look at it, and right there in front of my eyes, only inches away, was the fire axe sticking through the zombie’s skull. If I had lifted just slightly off the ground, I could of touched the axe with my forehead, that was completely soaked in blood. I was speechless, and must have been in shock, because I don’t even remember Leora lifting the zombie off of me.
“Ke-Ken! Ken! -huff huff- Are you-you okay!? Are you hurt!? -huff huff- Ah fuck! Come on, there’s...there’s more. We have to get back in! -huff huff- Get up, Ken! Get up!” She was kneeling next to me, having a hard time breathing from swinging that large axe, as well as her own asthma.
This shook me from my daze, and I immediately threw my hands to the ground, and jolted myself up. Taking the axe from her, still unable to find any words, I quickly made my way back to the front door of the apartment. Before stepping all the way through, I turned to look down the right street, and sure enough, at least 7 of those previous dozen were shambling their way over here. We climbed in through the door, and rushed up the stairs into our home. Leora took care of securing the door, and I leaned against the wall. I finally noticed I was having short breaths, and tried to calm my breathing.
“....Daddy...?”
I looked over and there was my little one still in her pajamas, clinging her doll close to her chest. Her beautiful long brown hair dangling in front of her worried large almond eyes. Putting a finger up to my mouth, signaling to hush, I listened. They were climbing in through the apartment main door, I could hear them tripping over each other, busting the other pieces of glass that were still intact. Sounds like there are at least three, but I couldn’t honestly tell. What I did know was that they were hungry. Moving faster and more frantic then the others. Leora moved from the door, and took Zorina in her arms heading towards the back room. I continued to listen; sounded like they were having a hard time getting up the stairs, must be crawling, I guessed. And now I could hear them just a few feet away, growling, moaning, and breathing in raspy unnatural breaths. I waited, and waited, waiting for the inevitable, that they would get to this door and start trying to tear it down. But, they never did. I heard a few shambling over to the other doors of previous owners, as well as a few that crawled up the stairs. We were lucky, and I was in disbelief. I knew that we couldn’t let them wander out there for too long. We’re running low on food, and we’ll need to start looking for some soon. I guess for now, we’ll be okay though. Slinking down to the floor, I pulled my knees up to my chest, and placed my arms upon them, where I then rested my head on my hands.
submitted by Anthony017 to stories [link] [comments]


2015.08.21 02:59 CalicoCorgi Leora real cam

Hey all! I am the leader of a static (7/8) and we recently lost our Caster due to real life priorities.
We are a Medium Core group that enjoys progression and also having fun. Our raid days are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (with the first Saturday of the Month free) the times are 1130pm-2am EST.
We use Mumble as a source for communication. You don't need to join the FC, but I do have a raid Linkshell I invite all members to.
My user name is Leora Markis. Feel free to messege me when I'm on or send me Moogle Mail.
submitted by CalicoCorgi to FFXIVRECRUITMENT [link] [comments]


2015.01.15 22:37 roosterblue72 Leora real cam

[team mates only]
Leora seems to sleep soundly though most of the night fine in her new dorm. She had called bottom bunk of the bunk bed she and Zhao shared. As she slept though her calm body did not reflect her mind. In the world of dreams leora stood in a large maze. Each path making it harder and harder for her to find her way. soon the maze walls grew taller around her and she did her best to run. Her only guide was a voice saying her name. She couldn't place it though. She kept running as the voice got louder only to find a grave yard with zombie versions of her team mates. She let out a scream in the dream and real life falling from her bed. She stared up wide eyed hoping her team mates weren't awoken by her. all she could think was "zombies....that's a new one"
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2012.07.08 18:28 sniperleader Help finding some old friends

Find old friends
This is a REAL longshot, but I've tried everything. I'm trying to locate some old friends that I used to play with. With the times we have grown apart and have not played in awhile, looking to see if they might see this or anything so I can contact some old friends to re-live some of the times that this game holds close.
The server was Gurubashi and the guild was Avante Garde the guild leader was Rhaina, who was named "Hopeful" at sometime, his first name was Scott. Other people that I'd like to be in contact with is Leora, Blump,(he also had something on frostwolf Alliance) Lylie/Maybeia.
Any point in the correct direction would be great.
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