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Tag Archives: apocalypse

Coffee | Scientists | Existence

Scientists, they called us. Highly-educated individuals who make calculated risks for the betterment of humanity. Doctors and professors with achievements and awards, who were about to reveal to the world the capabilities of mankind. We were people your children would, supposedly, one day look up to—that was how we were defined. And that was what we believed too. But, we were wrong.

We weren’t glorified scientists. We were playing God. But unlike the Gods of the human faith, we made a decision that challenged our very existence. We were in delusion—we brought to life a beast that set the apocalypse in motion.

“Wake up,” she said, placing a paper cup of steaming black coffee on my desk.

“What time is it?” I asked, with a croak in my voice.

I had spent the past five days within the corners of these four white walls, running the numbers back-and-forth for our next test. Time had been relative to our research, that we didn’t have a clock to define our circadian rhythms.

“Eleven forty-three,” she replied. “Are the numbers correct?”

“I hope so,” I said.

We had done it three-hundred and fifty-six times. And that day, at noon, we would see if our years of trial-and-error had paid off. We would witness water turning to wine—we would have the answer to magic. If we finally succeeded, there would be no stopping us—magic would be science and science would be magic. But at what expense? Nobody cared enough to answer that question. We were playing with fire but we had no contingency plan to put out the flames.

“Then let’s go. The team is waiting,” she prompted.

Grabbing my cup of coffee, I followed my colleague to the largest lab in our facility. It was built solely for this experiment—as wide as an airplane hangar for two Boeing 747-8’s, with a ceiling that was eight storeys high. A spherical chamber of forty-meters in diameter, said to be made from glass as strong as steel, occupied the centre. The chamber was attached to grey tubes that drew biological matter from twenty-three molecule cylinders that were lined against the back wall.

“Do we need any changes?” our head scientist asked, just as I strolled in.

“Everything looks to be in order,” I said. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure, but never were we ever a hundred percent sure since the day we started. We could only hope that this time would be the last time.

“Great. Let’s begin.”

At the command, every member of our team took their place—ten of which planted themselves before a series of control panels. As I had done my part, I remained where I was, watching as the molecules in the cylinders began to churn. Shortly after, a humming reverberated through the walls of the laboratory as the chamber fogged. That was it—the moment we had been waiting for. It had been exactly like this in the previous three-hundred and fifty-six runs. But, I had a gut feeling that that day was the day. That day was… doomsday.

If only we’d learned from the cinematic adventures of Alan Grant. If only we took fiction a little more seriously—that just because it wasn’t real, it does not mean it can’t be. If only I entertained the doubts and reached for the emergency ‘stop’ button. If only I listened to the voice in my head that told me something was about to go wrong.

The spherical chamber began to shake. All twenty-three grey tubes unhooked themselves at the sudden quake, spilling matter onto the polished-white floor. As the fog within the chamber condensed, we didn’t know if we should celebrate or run. And in that moment of contemplation, we heard a crack.

“Unbreakable,” the scientists from Japan boasted. And perhaps the chamber was indeed unbreakable at the face of earthly phenomenons. But it seems, in that lab and on that day, we weren’t dealing with nature.

“Everybody, out,” our head scientist ordered.

Nobody saw the need to defy the command as we rushed to the exit. The second all seventeen were accounted for, the doors were shut. A lockdown sequence commenced. And from the outside we watched—through the lens of the closed-circuit televisions—the beast we created, breaking free from its glass egg.

Its black wings—spreading sixty-meters wide—shattered the chamber from within, sending deathly shards in all cardinal directions. Lifting its scaly head, we caught sight of its blood-red, oval eyes. It looked angry. It looked hungry. It flared its nostrils. And as it parted its jaws, lined with flesh-tearing teeth, it released an ear-piercing screech.

It was supposed to be a hatchling. It was supposed to be blind. It wasn’t supposed to be a beast that could rip through the steel ceiling of our laboratory—that could find land, despite our unmarked location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It wasn’t supposed to be the end of mankind. But it was. It was the definition of our actions. It was blasphemy.

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Coffee, scientists, and existence were words given by Jessica Chen on Facebook. So clearly, I went with the whole scientist and existence route which, you know, has been done many times. But I hope, at the very least, the story was entertaining. 

Now, it’s your turn! Write a story of your own with the three words given. Give it a try! You probably can be more creative than I.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2018 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

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Posted by on November 22, 2018 in Original Works

 

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Pink | Apocalypse | Massage

The neon pink sign flickered overhead. Its buzzing no less perturbing than the placid stray cat by the door. In fact, the sound of its malfunction was comforting. Any sound, for that matter, was comforting. Perhaps there was hope after all.

Welcome to my world. Or, shall I say, what’s left of it. Before this dreary mess, hope wasn’t a preposterous pipe-dream. There was a time where, despite the toil of survival, laughter and cheer prevailed. A time of sound, I call it. Sound of cars whizzing down the highway. Sound of steam hissing from the coffee machine. Sound of trees rustling in the evening breeze. Sound of another – breathing, moving, living. But then they all came to a stop. The world ended – the apocalypse. Sound lost its dominance, as the living that made it drew their last breaths. And the world, as we know it, became silent.

I’ve lived in this quiet – alone – for a while now. There was a time I actually enjoyed it. After the chaos ended, the absence of even the faintest noise was solace. The peace, accompanied with the ringing in my ears, chased the maleficent thoughts away. Alas, it was short-lived. Soon I wanted to hear something – the howling wind, the dripping tap, the heavy footsteps. Soon, I needed it. Unfortunately, there were none. I could make my own to fill the void – to help me keep my sanity – but they weren’t organic. They weren’t real or true. They were contrived. But just before I lost all hope, I heard it – the sliding of paper from under my apartment door. It was deafening in my muted world. Its sound and its black, slanted words, offered to feed my hunger.

So, there I was – under the sign of the dingy massage parlour embracing the buzz. I would’ve continued in my languor, but the creaking of the door broke the spell. As it opened from the inside, I saw my first human. He was a six-foot, clean-shaven man.

‘Are. You. Sure?’ he mouthed. He didn’t speak as though to deprive me further.

“Yes,” I replied.

The man nodded and gestured for me to enter. With hope, I did. Into the forsaken foyer, heavily laden with dust, I went. But inside was noone.

“Where are they?” I asked. “You said there were people.”

Shutting the only exit, the man spared no word and took the lead. I was tempted to ask once more, but I tailed him like a lost puppy instead. When we finally came to a stop, it was before another door. This time, he spoke.

“If you live, you live with us,” he said – repeating the offer on the paper.

“And what must I do to live?” I asked.

“Fight,” he replied.

The man pushed the door open, and a breath-snatching reverb hit me. It was overwhelming. My eardrums thumped. My chest tightened. And I hesitated. In the presence of my heart’s desire, I contemplated.

Ahead was a descending flight of stairs, and at its foot was a room lit in dim neon light. Rising from the unknown were disembodied voices. They shouted my name. And their calls wrapped me around their preternatural fingers. So instead of turning back, where it was bright and familiar, I shuffled down the stairs. Oh, how quickly I regretted it. The moment my feet stepped onto the solid ground, I received a nerve-shocking blow to the jaw. And just as I stumbled backward, a cheer erupted.

Where were the people? Attempting to get my bearings, I found myself in the dark. Despite the light, I could barely grasps my surroundings. Everything was a blur of swirls, alike the sky in a post-impressionist painting. What was happening? Where was I? I knew I had to fight to live – to live with these people – but how, when I couldn’t see?

“I can’t see,” I shouted.

There was no response. The cheering continued as a hand reached for me. To spare myself from another painful punch, I repeated, “I can’t see! Stop! I can’t see!”

To think those words would make a difference proved my naivety. Yet in the oddity of the entire experience, they did. Declaring my weakness, a white light flicked on – blinding me in an instant – as the voices quieted down. And in the return of silence, my eyes adjusted. Where I was, was an empty basement with moulding walls. There was nobody around, not even the man who’d ushered me in. And I was alone, in silence, again. What was going on? Had I lost my mind? I must’ve.

“Hello?” I called. “Is anybody… there?”

No reply. No echo. No ghostly creak. Nothing.

“I can fight now,” I muttered. “I can see now.”

Silence.

At that moment, I knew the only person I’d be fighting was myself. There was only me in this world. But as long as I could see, I could fight – whatever the fight was.

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Pink, apocalypse, and massage were words given by Vincent Lim on Facebook. If you have no idea what this story is about, great! It’s up for interpretation.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. But before you do that, leave a comment below with the 3 most random words you can think of. I need your creativity to stir my creativity.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Original Works

 

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The Virus Inside

the virus inside

I can hear them, moaning and dragging their feet 5 storeys below. The broken window did not just fail to stop the cold night breeze, but the sounds of the dead as well. It has been like this for years now, and their presence no longer inflicts fear. Tonight however… I find myself afraid.

No, I am not afraid of the brainless bodies roaming the streets, I am afraid of me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not bitten or infected, but on nights like these I find another virus devouring my soul. It rips me apart, and no matter how hard I fight it, it would not stop. I guess it is safe to say I fear what is inside of me more than what is around me.

As I lay tightly snugged in my sleeping bag, all I can think about is giving in. The urge to walk into the infested street and be a free meal grows stronger as my inner monologue continues. Yes, I want to be a zombie. Life for them seems so much easier. They don’t need to scavenge for food, hide in the dark, run for their lives, or do anything a living, breathing person needs to do. The daily routine of rotting bodies are merely walking, moaning, and chasing. They can even stop chasing if they want to.

Frankly, wouldn’t it be nice to chase instead of be chased? Isn’t life so much more blissful when your mind stops working and the emotions just leave your body? I want that. I know this sounds like crazy talk, but I want that. I’m tired of trying to survive and I feel like giving in. Why do I even bother trying?

As much as I want to disagree with myself, I can’t. And honestly, I’m starting to scare myself. I find it so hard to carry on that staying alive makes no sense to me. Am I the only one feeling this way? Are the others in my group sleeping or thinking these very same thoughts as well? I feel so alone sometimes that I’m tempted to spill my guts to someone. They might turn around and shoot me in the head, but at least then I’m dead… right?

Oh God, I don’t want to live like this anymore. I… wait. I hear something.

There’s something at the door… a stray most probably.

It’s really nothing to worry about, but that stray might draw attention. How did it get up here anyway? Better safe than sorry.

“Guys, get up!” I whisper, shaking the teenage girl sleeping not too far from me.

Everyone slowly sits up, but none of them look like they have slept at all.

“There’s a stray,” I casually say. “I’ll handle it.”

Picking up the bat by the side of the door, I wrap my hand around the knob preparing for an attack. I can hear its moans through a tiny gap, and it is definitely alone.

Not hesitating, I pull the door open and raise the bat above my head. I was thinking of swinging it down on that brainless, stinking shell, but my hand is not moving.

What am I doing?

When the zombie reaches for me, I react with a shove. As it reaches again, I shove again.  Three times, I just shove.

“What are you doing?!” a man from my group shouts at me.

I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing. Am I seriously thinking of letting it bite me? Why am I not killing it? What is wrong with me?

Oh no, they are returning. The thoughts of wanting to give in, and the temptation of becoming one of them are returning. My body was and will not do the right thing, because I secretly do not want to.

Despite that, I think I’m the only one right now who is not confuse at what is going on. My group members are questioning me and this zombie is wondering why he keeps stumbling backwards. Of course, I can end all the confusion if I want to, but how should I end it?

Just then, I hear the voice of the teenage girl. She lost both her parents 3 years ago, and has been on her own till we recently found her.

“Simon, don’t give in,” she says, in the midst of the other shouts.

Her voice is somehow clearer than the rest as I hear her say, “Being alive means being a possibility… a possibility to change and reshape what is left of this world.  It’s not easy, I know, but it is never easy being different.”

The words that just left her lips strike a chord in the darkest part of my soul. She is right, she is so right. I used to fight when it was not easy, why am I not fighting now?

Without any more hesitation, I lift the bat once again and bring it down in full force. The moaning and the questions stop immediately.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me,” I say, as I turn to face my group members.

My actions are starting to leave doubts in them about me. I don’t think they can trust me much now. But at least there is one person among them who actually gets it. She understands what is going on inside and she managed to speak some sense.

I cannot guarantee that those thoughts will not return, but for now, I’ll fight to stay alive. It will not be easy, but I’m a possibility of reshaping what is left of my world. And that seems like a good enough reason… for now.

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Two simple words represents this fictional story in reality; peer pressure.

How many times are we faced with the decision to go with the flow? How many times have we given up on our morality just because what everyone else is doing seems right and easy?

We are not strangers to peer pressure and we face it everyday. From life changing decisions to the food we eat for lunch, we are constantly struggling to choose between staying different or following the crowd.

Yes, we know that being different is not easy and it can be tiring. We might be ridiculed, laughed at, and even rejected, but being different means having a unique voice. This unique voice can actually reshape the world, or at least the world around us.

Don’t give in to peer pressure just because it is easier. Keep fighting for what you believe in, and never give in no matter how hard it gets!

Anyways, let me know what you think of this short story in the comments below! This is actually my first time writing in present tense, and it was definitely not as easy as it seemed. Nope, I was not pressured to do it 😛

© 2013 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Original Works

 

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13 Days Later

13 Days Later

*Referencing my favourite zombie films ever!

In my last ‘thank you’ post I said I’ve hit the fastest subbing rate ever, and it seems the record still holds!

Precisely 13 days later, I’ve gained over 100 new subs. And boy, it feels kind of strange that I’m having to write another post in such a short amount of time. Still, it is a blessing 🙂

To avoid the typical English word of gratitude, I would like to say kamsahamnida, terima kasih, arigato, grazie, xie xie, merci, danke, nandri, salamat po, asante, mahalo, and cheers to all of my subscribers!

You guys are fantasico! And I vous appréciez… every single one of you.

I hope you guys would continue to stick around and support me! After all, I wouldn’t be here today if not for all of you 🙂 I feel so blessed for having you guys by my side and you all mean a lot to me.

So, please don’t ever forget that I’m really thankful for all 2,100 of you!

I guess that is pretty much it for this post. Let’s continue fighting zombies and surviving this reality based apocalypse together!

*On a side note, check out the ‘What If Project‘! It’s time to stretch reality and re-imagine our lives 🙂 You never know how much it can surprise you.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 6, 2013 in Others

 

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