Fiction Friday: Dark & Haunting Excerpt from Zombie Road

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By Leslie Lindsay Write On, Wednesday:  Creating a World So Believable Your Critique Partners Think You're Having an Affair

Slowly plugging along at the next novel while in the midst of submitting the other one to agents…not to mention stuffing the Tofurkey and zipping around the southwestern sbuburbs playing Santa’s helper.  This is an out-of-sequence sence written from protagonist Melanie Dunbar’s POV in which she’s doing some digging on her new St. Louis suburb, the fictional Chestnut Ridge (read Wildwood).  It’s still pretty rough still, but gives the general impression of what I’m looking to convey.

“There wasn’t much in Chestnut Ridge. A single street whose wooden sign read, “Zombie Road.”  I cocked my head and narrowed my eyes…was it a joke?  Who really names a road after a zombie?  I walked past a dozen cottages, built in pairs.  Here and there a distinctive feature stood out—a children’s swing, a wooden bench, a massive tree.  But for the most part, each dwelling, with its thatched cedar siding, the limestone foundations, and sloped porch coverings resembled its neighbor as if a mirrored image.  Cottage windows looked out onto what had been a resort community, each boasting  simplicity that conjured sun-drenched days along the shore, a scramble of laughter giddy with life, nostalgia, and all things warm and cozy. The landscape was studded with massive trees, a rocky spread that would have been nearly impossible to farm.

There was no traffic in this seemingly deserted copse of land, no sign of human life at all. I passed the last cottage and came to a combined post office general store and that’s when the feeling of life overtook me.

Two children bounded out of the door, their clothing (old-fashioned), their mother scurrying behind them…a silence of ragtag music pierced my ears, I held my cupped hands over them, wincing. A boy reached up, a wrapper dropping on the ground. His face dirty and hair disshelved. He turned and upon recognition—did he recognize me—let loose a chirp, a wave and then scampered away with his mother and presumably sister.  Like he was pleased I was there to catalog his small, but not insignificant life.

He then launched into a dash, then jolted to a halt when they saw me.  Two brown fringe fell into their eyes.  A smattering of freckles, a sheepish grin…they were children I had known.  Somewhere.  Somehow.”

Feedback is always appreaciated. Thanks for reading!

[This is original work based on an urban legend in St. Louis, MO county. Please do not copy or take as your own. Thank you.]

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