Vivid Black: The Agony of Defeat

Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane, shuffling and moaning. Sarah Jane’s surprise somersaulted her heartbeat, her hands darting to her mouth, shock and fear trickling through her. Stringy deformed shadows marched ahead of her as she gained her senses, rushing to retrieve lost ground.

Silently she thought,

“Oh no, not this time. Never! You’ll have to work harder than that.”

Her strategy to wind through City Park on Solitude Lane was deliberate, and on the route, but the hoard would unlikely wander here early in the game. At least she thought so. When she chose it, Sarah Jane was sure she would have time to formulate another successful defeat and escape to the “Safe Zone”. They were getting smart, but not smart enough. These guys were determined to break her streak and assimilate her into the hoard with their gnashing and tearing.

Jogging carefully down the path, she scanned ahead for more and occasionally peeking over her shoulder to monitor the two behind. The rules stated: “No Zombie shall run, jog or walk at a fast pace. Shuffling or dragging is the only acceptable mode of progress.”

The Normals goal is making it to the “Safe Zone” without being “bitten”, “scratched” or “damaged” in any way by a Zombie. No weapons could be used in their efforts. The Zombies have the advantage of surprise. They get to begin anywhere on the gauntlet route so the Normals need keen, sharp senses to avoid them.

The Zombie Gauntlet Challenge took place every fifth Friday and Sarah Jane was the only person to make it through to the Safe Zone every time. Twenty five Normals were challenged (many failing) to make it through the Zombie Gauntlet zone.

Heart pumping, and breathing steady, she looked back again to see the two closer. Squeezing her eyes narrow as she hissed,


Determined, she surged ahead, widening the space. Her focused attention was drawn away by the annoyance, and the task of watching her back, she didn’t see the broken armlike branch that sent her sprawling.

Face wide in an “O” of alarm, her arms flailing forward struggling to protect. Crashing, she rolled to withstand any damage from the “attack”. The face of the man who surprised her faded in and out of the shadows, intent on a despicable deed. The shining edge glittered in the moonlight, cleaving the darkness, and endlessly plunging in. She raised her hands to defend the slashing ruin of the relentless attack.

Found lying wet, red, open, and mutilated a “Zombie’s” human scream signaled true terror. Rules broken as others hurried to reveal the cause, discovering a lifeless Sarah Jane, Zombie Gauntlet champion. Reality overtook fantasy as she was defeated only by true death.

Continue reading Vivid Black with The Trouble in No Answers


I’m linking this up at Write on Edge. Cam gave us this weeks prompt for Red Writing Hood and gave a challenged to “advance the plot”. Here’s how it went:

For this week, I’m offering you this opening line:

“Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.”

If you are approaching this prompt from a memoir standpoint, feel free to use a narrow lane, a moonlit night, or appearance of someone seemingly from nowhere as a jumping off point.

You have 500 words.


13 comments on “Vivid Black: The Agony of Defeat

  1. Cameron says:

    I’m left wondering if this was her imagination helping her cope with fear, or an actual game gone wrong, but assuming it is, it would make a great opening to a crime drama. As far as pushing a narrative forward, I think you’ve definitely achieved that.


    • debseeman says:

      Whew! I woke up this morning thinking “I screwed this up” because I wasn’t continuing a story but starting a new one. Opening my mind I see this furthers a story by being open to possibilities.

      Thanks Cam 🙂


  2. Wisper says:

    I love where you took this prompt. Kind of Hunger Games meets Death Race with zombies. Great momentum to the story. There were a couple of places I think words could have been trimmed a little without losing anything – then again that could be just me. Great job!!


    • debseeman says:

      I think I agree with the trimming. I was stretching out my writing muscles since I’ve been a bit absent here on my blog. Rusty so to speak. This was one of those instant ideas where I knew what I wanted to write and I really liked it. Thanks for the CONCRIT and your comments.


  3. Chelle says:

    Great story. You kept me captivated and on the edge of my seat. I hate anything with zombies but i found myself liking this and rooting for Sarah Jane. I can honestly say I’d like to read more about your take on the zombies.


    • debseeman says:

      I’ve kept hearing about these “Zombie Walks” in bigger cities and the idea of turning the walk into a game came to me with the first line of the prompt. I thought turning what seems like is an annoyance for the public into something sinister would be an interesting twist. Good thing I didn’t bring the zombies up in the title right?


  4. k~ says:

    This is an intriguing story. The prompt given was delectable too. I am curious… will you be continuing?


    • debseeman says:

      It certainly has a feel for a continued story line. I might have to trot out a few more posts to find out who else is lurking in the shadows.


  5. Nice. I was really rooting for Sarah Jane the whole time.


  6. Lance says:

    This needs to be serialized or continued in some way. I have too many questions. The best part is the first 150 or so words. The setting is excellent.


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