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The Abandoned

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posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 04:19 PM
The night was cold. A sharp, damp wind made him tuck his head down into the protection afforded by the collars of his jacket and he squinted ahead as best he could. The blizzard had intensified with the coming of the night, throwing the world into a muffled silence. Ahead lay only a dull white plain, an eerie ghost of a place marked by the black trunks and branches of trees on either side, marching into the swirling snows of the near distance.

He grimaced as he thought of the warmth of the fire the night before, when he had talked to the strangers he had met in the abandoned town. Above the crackling flames, fed by the smashed furniture they'd gathered, their eyes had flashed within the sockets of haggard faces; bearded, splotched with dirt and scabs, they had talked about their families and what once had been their so suddenly lost.

On the map he had secreted in his inside pocket, he knew another town lay ahead. How far it was, he had no idea. The deep drifts had slowed his progress through the day and now he was in dire need of shelter. He peered between the trees, hoping for a farmhouse to show itself through the blowing snows, but was unwilling to leave the lines of trees which deliniated the highway. To lose these markers would certainly be his death.

It was amazing, he thought, how tough he had become in the time since the world had begun to unravel. Seventeen weeks had passed since he had seen the last person dying. The disease, whatever it was, had done it's work and let the rest live. That had been June, he remembered, long after his wife and children had died the winter past. The snows had come early that year, and brought with a pestilence which few escaped. It seemed as if everyone was dying around him and the memory of it choked his throat in a painful way. He could not dwell on the faces of his kids as they had watched the sickness take hold of them. They had known what was coming. So had his wife...

He stopped walking then, as the scenes played themselves out in his mind, and stooped over as if to retch, the pain he felt was overpowering. Hands on his knees, he squeezed the tears from his eyes and moaned in desperation of his loss. It was a nightmare. And there would be no waking from the horrors. Raising himself erect, he stared once more ahead and then side to side through the trees.

Just then he spied the farm, about 500 yards to his right. A rush of relief passed over him as he lurched in its direction. Big Maples marked the laneway to the house, their trunks blotted white and invisible on their windward sides. Black windows and the lack of tracks was all he needed to know...he would be alone here tonight.

The back porch seemed to be the best way to go and he slogged his way through the heavy cover of snow. A laundry wheel was banging into a metal pole just off the deck, clanging away, and it reminded him of those times when he had worked on farms like this. The farmers wife would bang an iron skillet with a wrench to let them know dinner was ready. He smiled at the recollection, but it was whisked quickly from his face as he turned to the door. He would have to clear a lot of snow to open the screen door, so he just ripped through the fine mesh, twisted the knob on the inside door and pushed it inward.

There was no smell.

That was unusual in itself...most houses he had used had at least a couple of bodies, and he had grown used to the initial task of dragging them outside before anything else. The kitchen looked clean. Dishes gleamed in the glass fronted cupboard and the appliances looked shiny and white. The table bside the window held a newspaper, a candle and one glass half full of clear ice. In the dim blue glow from the windows, he saw the matches and snatched them up, lighting the candle.

Ok, fellow writers...what was in the kitchen, the living room, the bedrooms? Who lived here? How many lived here? What was their story before they all died? I'll pick up again after someone has some fun with this place. This is, after all, collaborative fiction.

posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 09:33 PM
The match lit with that sulfurous glow that he had not known for a long time. Matches were hard to come by, butane lighters; impossible, flint and steel served well but nothing beat the simple technology of a sulfur flame. There was no way to make it last and quickly the match went out after lighting the candle.

The newspaper wasn’t much to read. They only served as fire starters, little better than that as they all read of the apocalypse and the plague and the end of mankind. It always reminded him of what his neighbor said once when he was trying to exterminate fire ants from his prim and prideful yard. “That chemical is only gonna kill ninety five percent of them ants… might as well sit back and watch the remaining five percent to repopulate.”

“Now I feel like the ants.” He said to the empty house. “I didn’t know how hard it would be to be that five percent” and once again fought back the temptation to double over and cry over his lost life.

He took the candle and newspaper and threw in the fireplace and headed outside and searched for a pile of firewood. A nice pile awaited his use, neatly split and stacked with a wheel barrow next to it for easy carting.

Stacking as many as possible into the wheel barrow he moved up to the front of the house and unloaded the pile into a big heap beside the door. Nobody would mind the mess. He picked a few twigs and a few medium sized logs with one larger log and moved inside.

Even with no heating in the house, it still seemed warmer inside than outside. Taking the candle and lighting the newspaper he slowly built up a sizable fire, once convinced it would be fine on its own he moved through the dark house with the faint light of the candle.

The usually dust and grime covered surfaces of the kitchen were white and clean and almost appeared ready to come alive if it weren’t for the missing power. He opened the refrigerator and looked inside. Several opened cans of food were being kept cold by ice piled high in the back of the refrigerator. The beans and corn still smelled good, but the pork didn’t smell right, at least from what he could remember, it had been a while since he had any.

The dining room was still set with the best cutlery, plates, and folded napkins. Never had he come across something as bizarre as this. It seemed as though somebody just up and left not but a few days before.

The three bedrooms that he passed didn’t do much help in identifying the oddness of the house. From the pictures it seemed a family of four lived here, mother father and two daughters.

There were several outlandish explanations of course for what had happened to this poor family, but none of them seemed to make much sense as the more he searched the house the more evidence appeared that discounted his stories.

He pulled a rug out from the master bedroom and pulled off the cover sheets from the master bedroom and took them next to the fire and laid out a nice bed, nicer than any other bed he had in a long while anyway. Going back for a pillow in the master bedroom something seemed out of place.

While wooden floors often creak, this floor seemed hollow, like there was another room underneath this one. Basement possibly? That would be a strange place to put a basement. He held the candle near the bed and found a metal ring attached to the floorboards. He pulled this back and lifted up. There were stairs leading under the house.

The stench that followed was immediately recognizable; this poor family died down there. Walking down the stairs with candle in hand he saw many cans of food stacked up along with water bottles and food in air sealed canisters.

Walking a little farther he found a single king sized bed, several chains hanging from the ceiling with one female corpse still chained to it lying on the bed with very little clothing on. Several other women were chained to the wall. The undeniable corpse of a man lay near them, the only one with clothes on. From the looks of these corpses the had not been dead long.

He vomited all over the bed and made for the stairs. He was not going to stay in this god forsaken place any longer.


Kind of a weird twist, trying to add in nothing is as it seems as well as darkening the plot a little bit.... How did this all start? Where is our guy going to stay? Should we give him a name? I think this could turn out pretty good.

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 09:11 AM
In the kitchen once again, he blew out the candle and the blue darkness regained hold within the warming house. Outside, the blizzard had worsened, blotting out the trees in the laneway. He thought about the barn and the dubious comfort of a straw bed there, but decided against it.

His mind returned to the cadavers in the basement 'safe room'. There had been more females than the family could account for...some-one had brought another here for their perverted pleasure. Looking out the window, he saw that his footprints had already been covered, and that a large drift had accumulated on the porch. Were it not for the smoke from the chimney, this place would still seem deserted. Deciding to stay, he pondered what to do.

Laying a trap and ridding the world of a maniac seemed right. He had seen evidence of such cruelty before. It had been most rampant in the first weeks after the electricity had failed. The police and military forces, decimated by the disease and lack of organization, had scattered back to their families. All local governmental control had failed, and with its passing, the first reaction of the frightened population which remained was violence. He remembered the nights crackling with gunfire and screams. Gangs of youths had rampaged through suburbs breaking into homes, stealing canned foods and guns, terrorizing entire cities. This is what had made him flee into the country-side.

But the horror had followed him and now he had the chance to fight back. He envisioned perhaps one or two people behind the basement slaughter. They would return, he knew, and he must wait for them.

Room by room he probed for weapons. In the den, hidden in a closet, he found an old bolt action .303 and a box of rounds. Not really a useful defence for inside the house, he thought, but the old Lee Enfield certainly had punch. He loaded the magazine and smacked it home. The cold feel of the metal and the pungent smell convinced him that it was in good working order. It had been cleaned not so long ago. He pulled the strap over his head and the weight felt good as the rifle snuggled across his back. Dividing the box of rounds between his pockets made a reassuring dampened clinking sound, almost musical.

From the kitchen, he chose several knives. Two paring knives went into his socks, a longer carving knife with a good strong wood handle, went between the outer and inner liner of his jacket, on his left upper arm just below the shoulder and a sharp hatchet was tucked into his belt to the left of the buckle.

Reassured by his choices, he moved upstairs to the bedroom which faced the road. Pulling the bed to a position beside the window, he now had a good view, even though nothing could be seen through the snow as it swept past. He laid his head down and was asleep in moments.
I like the darkening of the plot, MrJingles. This is exactly what the story needed. Let's have our hero search out his situation and the structure of his trap. We could even make a switch here and go into the mind/s of the pervert as he/she attempts to lure another victim into the farmhouse.
On giving him a name, I don't know...I want the readers to identify with our hero, keeing him relegated to the 'third person' in our story. Thanks for joining in...I think this tale has potential as well.

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 05:46 PM
The bed creaked loudly as she rolled over away from him. Laying awake he felt her warmth yet on his chest where her arm had lain. The stolen sheets exposed his boxer shorts with the lizard designs...his favourite, and he felt a pang of regret that they would have to be replaced this morning. Opening his eyes, he looked up into a sky full of birds, all flying the same direction, speeding through the air above him in an endless stream. Suddenly, above the flocks he noticed silvery airplanes, hundreds of them, spinning in a dogfight high in the clear blue sky. A flaming arc across the scene perplexed him, and then another...and another. He could hear the faint whine as the stricken planes plummeted to earth. Some had wings, others had none, and between them flashed the trails of missiles. Explosions bloomed everywhere and he startled to his feet in shock.

Booming into awareness, he gasped for air as reality flooded into his brain, replacing the dream. Squinting out of the window, he saw a world transformed into a thick blanket of white. The sun made the view blinding, and he needed time to aclimate to the brightness outside. First, the maples in the laneway swam into view, their black branches and trunks stark silhouettes against the fresh snow which had fallen through the night. Deep drifts had covered all semblance of the lane and road.

Grunting as he rose from the bed, he knew there would be no travelling through those drifts, even if the town he was just a few miles away. He was stranded here and there would be no visitors.

Checking the knives he had secreted into his clothing, he gathered up the old rifle and, passing the sling over his head, secured it against his back. In the light of the bright dawn, he now surveyed the room where he had spent the night. Posters of rock stars and actors covered the tan coloured wallpaper. Red, green, blue and yellow stick pins held them at crazy angles as if the last occupant had a rebellious streak. The dresser caught his eye as he saw a dozen photographs tucked into the side of the oval mirror...smiling girls, a dog, a few of a boy and one of a car...a late model red Mustang with a young girl staring seriously at him from behind the wheel.

Below, on the dresser, a hairbrush, comb and hand mirror set took the place of pride, surrounded by seashells, pillboxes and a stone encrusted jewelry box. In the hairbrush, a few strands of blonde hair refected the bright rays of the rising sun outside.

He shuddered, remembering faintly his wife and pushing the thought quickly away.

Exhaling his breath in a huge sigh, he noticed the cloud of vapour and decided the fire would be first on his list today. Then he would search for food...he was sure the kitchen still had lots in those cupboards after looking into the refrigerator last night. After breakfast ( he chuckled at the thought of normalcy), it's time to get those bodies out and behind the barn, far away from the house where the scavengers will finish the job of disposal. Burial was out of the question because the ground was frozen hard as concrete.

Clumping down the stairs, he was ready for the day...the odd dream now forgotten.

[edit on 4-2-2006 by masqua]

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