Clouds of ash erode the sky whilst society quivers at the cruel hands of fate. Fright strikes the mind like a dagger in the wind. The solitariness wasteland of what once may be considered home is now shattered in pieces after the world succumbed to the stabbing effects of a ‘mere virus’. Those two words, mere virus, were the first instance of the plague’s reentry upon humanity. Words spoken by a news broadcaster that made some chuckle and some wince with the pain of their past; words that fell short of the truth, words that truly underestimated the mass severity of the situation that would soon shatter all thoughts of salvation. Such words make the last remaining sector of humanity clench their fists with the horrifying thoughts of the utter pandemonium that had occurred over the past 3 years. Upon the eve of the year of 2040, thoughts of joy corrupted the minds of all who breathed as the past year of pang had caused all to bedraggle in the realm of tenebrosity. The unfortunate truth was that the worst was yet to come for those wishing that the pain would end, that the world would reclaim its state of tranquility. Such thoughts were now locked in a box with the key thrown away.
Theon arose to the obstreperous cry of vultures looming overhead. Such a sound forever tormented his mindscape as he sauntered through the everlasting pain known commonly as life. Despite the ever-ongoing ritual of awakening, he remained serene for nothing was going to improve if he complained, for whom was he going to complain to? God? No, there was no hope remaining in this fragment of a world. No hope as far as the eye could see. All Theon had amongst his side was his shadow, the literal embodiment of darkness, yet there was an unnerving sense of solemnity to it. Such a sense that brought peace to the mind in such a world alike this one, that anyone and everyone was so close to the brink of insanity that every thought that crept into their skulls was so devastating that tears fell down cheeks upon every breath they took, and every step they stepped.
“If nothing is right, go left.” An odd quote, yet one that still ravaged Theon’s mind with its surprising resourcefulness. His grandfather spoke those very words to Theon in particular, mere hours before his passing into the void of tenebrosity. Perhaps that was why Theon continued the monotonous odyssey of life. Perhaps his grandfather was wise in the ways of knowledge, and thus Theon too aimed to achieve greatness in the forsaken division of the planet once known as Earth. ‘Earth’, such a simple name for such a complex proportion of the universe. Why this thought was spinning spirals in Theon’s mind, he knew not, however what he did know was that he could no longer ponder the mere concepts of reality, but what he could do was get out of the begrimed mess he somehow considered to be a house.
After 3 years of survival upon the blackened ground of Pangeda, the name gifted to the continent once known as Europe, derived from the once supercontinent known as Pangaea, one would assume that society may have recuperated its morality. Oh how far from the truth such a thought could be. The real truth was that the world now dwelled in the aspects of anarchy. ‘Anarchy’, a strange word-. Theon had to stop his train of thought for if he pursued then no progress would be made in the day, and starvation would dig away at his encephalon. To continue, the world was anarchy, nations fell faster than greased lightning, and all who had at least half of a brain cell in their head traversed the globe alone. For when the world is in scraps, a knife in the back is more than common.
Theon’s clothing resembled that of a ragamuffin, a distasteful combination of maroon and stygian, torn to shreds yet still covering all of the, ahem, important portions. Fields of fear stretched out before his eyes as Theon concluded his preparation for a new journey, a new home of sorts that Theon hoped to still be untouched. The home was once his own, or more appropriately his parents’, until the plague returned and conflict drove them away. The hope that his parents still remained in the same mortal state as Theon was undeniably still there, though he had learned not to have faith, for the evil mastermind known as fate feeds on any opportunity where hope can be snatched away in an instance. A long journey ahead awaited Theon, for inconveniently a bandit had sliced at his foot just last night, which was part of the reason for Theon’s attempt to leave. 13 days ago, the discovery was made of the camp nearby Theon’s shambled house, such a discovery was terrible for Theon, as the camp belonged to an infamous clan of mutineers known as ‘Cidami’, derived from the Latin name for murderer; an appropriate name for the group known to have slaughtered at least a third of civilisation…
The plague of mentality that was the approaching desert stood as an appropriate gauntlet for Theon as his water supplies were running low in addition to his willpower. An ocean of sand lay before his very viridescent pupils truly implemented in order to question his integrity and contrast his conscience. Hope was an important factor in his journey, for it seemed that the world was against him in his ever-ongoing battle of tenacity. After a lonesome breath left his body, he stepped forth into the autumnal hell known commonly as the Calmest Prairie.
Inconveniently, the prairie provided very limited salvation, for a desert is a desert, and there was nothing but sand as far as the eye can see. Brief moments of relief were awarded to Theon every now and then when some sort of society could be acknowledged, whether it was a simple sign or even an outpost of sorts. However, unbeknownst to Theon, society was truly not what he needed, yet he was about to face the possible worst segment of it. A plethora of smells were provided within the confines of the desert, however a new one approached, one that seemed as though it did not belong. The burning of rubber…
Strictly northbound of Theon’s current location, a truck flew over the dunes at a speed that was becoming increasingly fast as it drew closer and closer, until Theon was forced to dive aside, instead of being completely flattened by the steel monstrosity. 3 men stopped forth from the vehicle as it drove to a deafened halt. All of them wore almost pristine clothing, an instant red flag for the only ones who wore actual clothes were the considered hierarchy of society, either that or the ones who would steal from the hierarchy. And then it struck Theon, Cidami. He did not know how they knew of his departure, but he simply did not have the time to care for if one too many moments were to pass, then an untimely and quite frankly unwelcome demise may accompany Theon.
And then he ran. He had not run for miles now, for the very sake of a moment like this, when the preservation of his energy is almost essential. Unfortunately his feeble human legs were no match for the 5,000-pound machine with a thirst for bloodlust; henceforth negotiation remained his only source of sanctuary. As the men marched closer, the evident leader of the group held a formal letter of sorts in the palm of his left hand. A letter? Such a thing was particularly uncommon in this current day and age, for communication had naturally lost all sense of formality, as most would just speak with their fists. A befuddled comment almost escaped Theon’s lips, though before he could speak, the leader held up his palm in a silent type motion, indicating little to no speech. This interrogation of sorts was truly the nail on the coffin for Theon’s mind to comprehend. Thoughts of thousands were flooding across Theon’s encephalon, most of which ranging from, “How am I still within the mortal realm?” to “I wonder what I will eat for lunch today.” Yet one emotion was clear within all of them, uncertainty.
As the dauntless men began to leave his sight, Theon began to unravel the letter, only to have his perception of reality inverted. Words cannot describe the upmost confusion and perplexity that was erupting in Theon’s mind after scanning the letter, most likely due to the fact that the letter looked to be in Latin. “Who in their right mind would write in Latin and expect me to understand it?” Since the whole confrontation evidently was a simple waste of time, Theon continued his pilgrimage towards his ever-unlikely goal of staying alive.
As the inferno of light dimmed within the sky, and the apricity of the winter heat began to decline, Theon truly began to question how his life came to be this abomination of a body. Perhaps it was due to the virus, or maybe just his self-loathing and depression. Anyway, upon the horizon lay what seemed to be a forsaken shelter, half covered in sand and begrimed rubble. Such a building was truly convenient for Theon’s sake, for as the night expanded, Theon’s consciousness declined. As he stumbled into the misshapen excuse of a house, he realised its upmost convenience, although something was amiss, however he realised this just a heartbeat too late, for when he stepped forth into the house, an unwelcome pain erupted in his abdomen. As he cautiously peered down, a solid streak of sycamore revealed itself on the front and back of his stomach. An arrow lay as still as a statue within Theon’s digestive system. The sound of silence was ringing in his head, and the feeling of tranquility was imbedded in his brain as he fell down to the ground and into the realm of tenebrosity.
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I liked your story , you have a rich vocabulary, but go easy on complex words that's what I feel.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the constructive criticism.
I agree with what most people are saying. You've got a really great vocabulary, I'd just tone it down on the complicated words. I think I stopped a few times, so I could fully understand your sentences before continuing. That being said, I really liked it. Good work!
Thank you so much for the advice!
I have the exact same comments as everyone else here - you're using so many lexically dense words it's difficult to get through sentences without stopping a couple of times. I've also noticed you succumb to the temptation of sometimes employing words for their sound rather than meaning. This can result in some clumsy metaphors, like: Fright strikes the mind like a dagger in the wind. - why is the dagger in the wind? That said, I felt like you've got a sense of humour and pace that could really shine in fiction.
Thank you so much! I will attempt to improve my writing based on this.
An extremely well-written story. You are skilled at this! I enjoyed reading the story. Well done!
Thank you so much, I really appreciate the kind words!
Hi, I've got some advice you may or may not want: Dial back the ten-dollar words. The average reader isn't going to recognize obstreperous, and by the time they look it up and contextualize it, the flow of your narrative is dead. You should be looking for the best word, not the most impressive (for nearly all fiction, anyway). Watch out for run-on sentences and shorten your paragraphs. You should try to put info in digestible chunks if you want to keep your reader's attention. Big walls of unbroken text are intimidating and cause the eyes to...
Thank you so much for the feedback! I will certainly take this into account.