EXCERPT FROM Evie Jones and the Crazy Exes

I’m in writing mode today again, just letting the words flow with the wine.  And I’ve come up with a magic with zombies story.  It’s a short (which for me means it’ll probably end up being about 6,000 words) about a girl babysitting for her friend for the weekend and getting attacked by a zombie who’s immune to her powers.

Here’s a section from the story where the damn cat is zipping around like a spaz, the main character is feeling sorry for herself, and the adventure starts.  Tell me what you think of the description.  I’m good with dialogue, but description is not my forte.

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Frantic scratching like Missy was hopped up on crack this time came from the front door.

“Your cat is a menace,” I said. “Just so you know.”

“Oh, we know.” I could hear the laughter in Faye’s tone.

“She keeps scratching the front door even though she has a kitty door. And she sits by the backdoor and scratches that till I let her in or out, even though she has a kitty door. What’s up with that?”

“Mind games. She likes making you do stuff for her.”

“That’s what a boyfriend is for, not a cat.”

“Yeah, but I’m married and my husband’s a nice guy, so I have to get that from somewhere.”

“True, true.” I sighed. “Okay, I’m going to go, watch TV, cl…”

“Do not clean! You’ve been so good keeping the OCD under control and I will tell your therapist on you. Watch TV, study, have a glass of wine, because you can have a glass or two, especially when the baby’s asleep and probably going to stay that way. Relax. You have our whole house, a cat to entertain you, pills to deal with the cat, good alcohol, and over six-hundred channels on our ridiculously big, clownish,” she said loud enough it was surely directed at her husband, “TV. Okay?”

The cat scratched at the door again with such frenzy I jumped. Bad kitty!

“Okay.” I flopped onto the couch, exhaustion taking my body, calming the itch inside telling me to clean before the germs grew and came after me. “I’m on the couch, I’m turning up the TV,” I grabbed the remote and upped the volume then grabbed my giant, red patent casebook, “and I am grabbing my patent law book so I can pretend to read cases while I spend the rest of the night watching TV.”

“See you Sunday,” Faye said like she wasn’t going to be calling two dozen more time before they got back Sunday night.

“Bye.” I hung up just in time to hear Leonard say something cute and clever to Penny. “Why can’t all guys be like you, Leonard? Smart, sweet, guileless, and cute. Guys in the real world just use people… even giant law dorks with stupid accents who watch Star Trek.”

Scratch, scratch, scratchscratchscratchscratch.

I jumped off the couch. “Holy shit, Missy.” I stomped to the door. “You have a cat door! You can get in.” I threw the deadbolt and yanked the door open. “Crazy fluf…”

The man outside lunged at me. I jumped back on pure instinct before I even registered there was a guy there, pulling my tiny gun from my hip and pointing it towards him.

“Argggggggg.”  Fetid breath washed over me as he swung at my arm.

I ducked and shot blindly, the ping of a suppressed bullet surprising him to not moving for a second and not much else as the nine mil buried itself in the doorjamb.

I focused all my mental energy on him, willing the molecules in his body to speed and burst. Magic rushed out of me in a huff of energy, leaving me sagging and exhausted, but at least he was atoms float…

Standing there.

The man looked at me, confusion painting what were probably once very nice dark blue eyes, like he thought he was a dead man too.

My magic’s not working on him!

“Argggggggggggg!” He leapt at me, suit clad arms swinging.

I screamed, backpedaling into the living room with another wild shot. The man dove to the side, hitting the fireplace under the TV with a shoulder.

His arm fell out of the suit sleeve, a putrid rotting stench boiling through the air and making me gag.

And I thought the dishes were bad.

“Ehhhh, ehhhh, ehhhh,” came in stereo, light scratch tinted mechanical cries from the baby monitor next to the couch and muffled wailing from upstairs.

My head snapped towards the stairs and I lunged a second before the zombie creature.

Up the stairs, round the tight corner and into the nursery, the smell telling me he wasn’t far behind. I slammed the door behind me, sealing it with sloppy push of unguided magic, scooped up Daphnie from her crib and ran for the window. I blew the window and surrounded wall into shards as the door busted open behind me and dove through, clutching the screaming baby so hard to my chest I was surprised she could breathe.

I focused on the air below, making it bubble up soft and accommodating, and hit the bubble with my back. It sagged, taking most of my weight and I had a second to tuck my chin before it popped.

And dropped me the last two feet to the ground.

“Omph,” I said as the hard packed dirt hit. I gave it another beat, taking a deep breath, and rolled to my feet, still holding Daphnie to my chest. I pulled her back to get a good look at her. She stared up at me with wide baby eyes, her mouth in a little O. She seemed fine, shocked maybe.

“Okay,” I said, looking back up at the broken window. “Where the hell did I put my gun?” I searched my brain. I ran for the baby and I’d had my gun. I probably dropped it without thinking when I ran to grab her since I needed both hands for the baby.

The man appeared at the window, he pointed at me with his free hand and turned around.

“Sh…” I looked at Daphnie and bit down the curse. Her little ears didn’t need to hear that.

Who was he? What was he? Didn’t matter. All that mattered was he was after me or the baby and he wasn’t getting either.

I ran.

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7 thoughts on “EXCERPT FROM Evie Jones and the Crazy Exes

  1. I like the cat scratching at the cat door, it was normal enough to be not to obvious, yet off enough to give a hint something is wrong here. I assume this is part of an early draft? If so, try to ground us this world before things go awry. I think, but am not certain, that this is a college girl babysitting for a friend? If I’m correct really make that clear. Take more time on it, it will only build cat scratching more and make that pay-off bigger. Give the look and feel of this house, the room with the clownish TV (brilliant description, BTW), the baby’s room. I thought it was very odd the girl came to babysit armed. If this is a world where zombies are a known threat and everyone always carries a gun, it would be good to know that before she opens the door. If this is the first time she ever sees a zombie, it think her reaction needs to be bigger. You see how I don’t have a sense for it? I encourage you to continue to develop this story. It is interesting enough to where I want to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, this is after the bulk of the conversation, during which time the cat is all over the place and there’s scratching she attributes to the cat. But there are parts where the cat is in the room too fast or she just dismisses the noise.

      In this reality, there is magic but there aren’t supposed to be zombies. I’m planning on it being a classic voodoo one, raised with magic and sucked on someone. None of this virus that makes a zombie crap. I don’t get that 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback. I can work on flushing out more.

      Like

  2. I enjoyed reading this! Like what CynFranks said, the cat scratching at the door was subtle yet ominous enough to hint that something was off. I think you did well at describing the setting, it was easy to picture everything that was happening while I was reading it. Keep it up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perhaps the “zombie at the door” scene could be fleshed out a bit.

    It sounds like she has magic abilities that can disassemble someone into floating atoms… but she also carries a “tiny gun” on her hip, and that tiny gun has a suppressor attached? Why? Is it “normal” to carry that way in this world? (admittedly, since this is an excerpt prior world building in the story may have already adequately explain all of this).

    I liked the story. Were we supposed to get the impression that the zombie was (at least a little) self aware, rather than completely mindless? I think that would be an interesting take on the whole zombie thing.

    s

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You need *something* to give your reader background about the gun and the magic, but the risk with short fiction is that you could bury the lede. The scratching cat extends that with suspense but it won’t last forever.
    If there isn’t conflict in the tale before this, I could imagine you starting here and weaving in hints about magic and the gun into the phone. Ex: if you have magic, why use a TV remote? Can you heat coffee with it?
    For the gun: is your protagonist at risk of attack? If so, her friend might warn her to be careful, and she would pat her gun – Checkov’s mantelpiece, so to speak.
    Great scene, so keep it going!

    Like

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