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sanctuary – Friday Fictioneers – zeds 15

November 8, 2012

This story is prompted for Friday Fictioneers – kindly hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Come try your hand at a 100 word story where each word counts. Here is today’s photo prompt

Sunlight diffused about them. The colors from the few unbroken windows comforted, calmed the girl. Reaper knelt nearby, his head down. He had called this place sanctuary. There were burdens too heavy for any man he had said. She didn’t understand, she just knew a great evil encroached upon the land.

“What did you do?” She asked, puzzled.

“I asked for a miracle. Only that gets us close enough to the hive.”

“We’ll die?”

He smiled, “Hold to hope, for now.”

They heard a roar, the sound of stones crunched by tires. Outside was Madman a giant snowplow mounted on his Jeep. He waved wildly and cackled “Taxi?”

  1. Loved the last line. It was all gloom and doom and then you made me laugh. Well done. My light-hearted story is at

  2. I see from the comments that you are using the photo prompts to write a related series of stories. What a cool idea! I hope I have time to go back and read a few. I have no idea how long you all have been doing this… So is Madman a continuing character? Maybe they got a kind of miracle?

    • yes, it is a series, albeit an odd one. There are about sixteen or so, each based loosely on the prompt.

      the first is “carrion hope”, then they are numbered if you select catagory “Zombies ( Zeds )

      Madman shows up in #13, 14, 15…

      here’s a short synopsis — although I think most readers only tolerate zombies out of kindness.

      Reaper, a mostly silent fellow who carries a large sword and leads the scattered resistance against the zombie onslaught, seeks to save the girl, infected by the zombie plague before she turns and the hive-mind that animates the zombies claims her as its thrall.

      thanks for reading…

  3. Not sure what to make of this one. Left me with an eerie, creepy feeling. Won’t be able to sleep tonight now.

  4. The Bumble Files permalink

    I just learned this was a series, Bill. I can’t make reference to that, but that’s a great idea. Looks like Madman can save them from a bleak situation. Nice job!

    • thanks, I use each prompt as a chance to “story board a chapter”

      But yes, Madman is a useful friend.

  5. I’m worried about this story! I do and don’t want to know more–that’s a good thing, I think–you’ve succeeded with the tensions!

    • thanks — I thought someone would pickup that he prayed for a miracle and got Madman, which is a miracle of sorts.

  6. There are some truly believable characters in this Bill, well done.

  7. Don’t you love it when a minor (?) character is stronger your protagonist? Madman shines, in a begrimed, kinda nuts way. The other two seem pale to me. I love how you characterize Madman via his vehicle.

    • Thanks, it is interesting when someone you dreamed comes to life, and you think… he would never do that…

      appreciate your comments!

  8. Wow, though I have not read all the other entries, I think I got Madman well pictured. Look forward to read more.

  9. Oh, I love Madman’s sudden appearance! And just at the right time to keep them from sinking into paralyzing gloom. “Taxi?” – giggle!

  10. Russell permalink

    I love this ongoing story, Bill. Madman cackling is brilliant.

  11. Dear Bill,

    Love the last line. Good incorporation of the prompt into your fabulous tale.



  12. Madman:

    I saw Jack Nicholson’s The Shining (Hereeeee’s Johnnie)
    Ghost Rider’s Nicolas Cage (Road Rash)
    Michael Keaton’ Beetle Juice (Go ahead… make my millennium.. I’m feeling a little anxious myself)
    and Robert De Niro’s Taxi (You talking to me)

  13. Hi Bill,
    Madman to the rescue. There is hope. You’re getting a lot of mileage out of this premise. Ron

    • thanks Ron — although I the situation with Madman and his home made nitro could explode!

  14. “He waved wildly and cackled “Taxi”? ” Love it…(Hate to mention it but I think it should be “Taxi?”)

    • Actually I appreciate grammar advice ( product of a misspent youth ) — thanks for stopping by!

    • thanks Ted, I will stop over soon. As to what happens, it depends upon the prompt, but I imagine they will have to decide if they dare ride with a Madman. – bw

  15. Yeah Madman! Nice.

  16. I really like this! When I have more time, I’ll have to go look for the rest of this series. Good work!

  17. That last line…

  18. They’re baaaaaaack. The last line cracked me up. Somehow I could see Madman looking like the cold monster in the Zicam commercials.
    In the last sentence I believe you mean “They” and not “The”. Out side is one word….outside. And you might want to capitalize the s in sunlight at the beginning. Sorry to be the typo Nazi this morning.

  19. Zeds are back! I used to wonder what’s going on with the girl and the reaper. The last line brought chills. I have grown very fond of this series of yours.

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