Da' rules: Splotchy is patient zero. In his own words...
Here's what I would like to do. I want to create a story that branches out in a variety of different, unexpected ways. I don't know how realistic it is, but that's what I'm aiming for. Hopefully, at least one thread of the story can make a decent number of hops before it dies out.
If you are one of the carriers of this story virus (i.e. you have been tagged and choose to contribute to it), you will have one responsibility, in addition to contributing your own piece of the story: you will have to tag at least one person that continues your story thread. So, say you tag five people. If four people decide to not participate, it's okay, as long as the fifth one does. And if all five participate, well that's five interesting threads the story spins off into.
Not a requirement, but something your readers would appreciate: to help people trace your own particular thread of the narrative, it will be helpful if you include links to the chapters preceding yours.
Here is the first chapter:
The ground crunched beneath my feet. Besides my noisy footsteps, I heard only the sound of the gentle crackling fire behind me. Its faint orange light lazily revealed my immediate surroundings. Beyond the glow, there was total blackness. I whistled. I took the small rock I had been carrying and whipped it away from me, expecting a thud, crack or plop -- but a soft yelp of a cry answered. (by Splotchy)
Ice shot straight up my spine as my gut contracted in a terrified knot...he'd followed me. He always knew where to find his master. I heard him shuffling closer and knew what I had to do. Tears welled up in my eyes and my throat tightened as I remembered all the nights camping at this very spot, the hundreds of slobbery tennis balls and bags of Kibbles 'n Bits that had defined our lives together. I braced the butt of my M4 assault rifle into my shoulder and whispered, "Goodbye, old boy."
The stiffly-shambling form materializing at the edge of the darkness around the fire pit immediately drew my aim up, my finger squeezing as the sight swung to its cranium. A banana-clip-worth of brass arced its way to the base of the fire as a foot-long muzzle flash and the ripping sound of automatic fire broke the artificial silence of the night.
Making a sound like a baseball bat clobbering a rotten cantaloupe, the shadowy head disintegrated as the once walking corpse fell to its knees and slumped down into the light. Pongo - or, rather, Pongo's corpse - crawled into the light, his rotting innards exposed behind a the exposed right half of his ribcage. Half the flesh had been avulsed from his face, giving him a gruesome visage as his tongue hung over his mandible. He sniffed the stump of the rotting, headless thing before he dragged his broken, undead doggy body my way, his head lolling from side to side. Instinctively, I released the empty clip, shoved another one home and drew a bead. Pongo stopped and sat at my feet. Bowing his back and lifting his leg, and began licking a place I could never reach on my own body for about 5 seconds before the now cleaned organs fell off and settled a few inches from his hind leg.
Pongo looked up at me and I could read the eyes on his zombified face. They said, "My nuts! Can you believe this shit?" I lowered the weapon. I'd forgotten to chamber a round anyway. I knelt down and hesitatingly reached out to pet what had been Pongo. He offered no resistance. Of all the zombie apocalypses I'd been through since moving here, this one was by far the weirdest.
Something on the creature I'd just shot caught my eye. It had something odd-looking tucked underneath its arm. I looked from the shadowy object over to my truck and slowly back down to Pongo as he dejectedly contemplated his former genitals. I heard the dragging feet of several undead, man-eating motherfuckers approaching the fire...
Now, should I tag someone? Who the fuck knows if anyone's even reading this thing anymore...but I'm feeling all "follow the rules"-y tonight, so here goes:
Randal, because in the month since I first contracted it, it mutated enough that you are no longer immune.
Beach Bum, because you write well.
Briwei, because if you ever start reading your friends' blogs again you might see this. And I know you like to write.
Nunly, because you tagged me with a meme that I'll get to soon, and I don't want you to feel left out.
Anyone else who sees this and wants to give it a shot, leave a comment and consider yourself tagged.