Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » General


S.T.Z.A.H.S chap 4

by illy7896, Haileyg21

Warning: This work has been rated 16+.


The call was still going and the now screaming voice of the woman on the other line was unheard against the noise of the situation. Stepping on the phone, Thomas’ foot brushed against the hang-up button and ended the call. He backed away, his mouth hanging like a hammock propping up his tongue and teeth that shook with fear. Hands held up weakly, he stumbled back into a shelf, knocking down the tin cans as they rolled away in contempt and crashed against the floor. It gurgled. It spat. It dribbled. Blood. The door burst open, giving an easy path to the dishevelled figure reaching towards him and raising his arms to grab Thomas’ collar. A whimper fled his throat and he lunged towards the till swinging away from its grasp. There was only one thing he could do, he thought, watching it chomp its teeth together. He pulled a small key from his pocket rapidly and fiddled with it in his hands, bending over to a locked drawer at the counter. Paranoid for the safety of his son, his father had given him the weapon. Jigging the rusted drawer, it opened and he saw a pistol lay limp inside. Reluctant to use it, Thomas’ had been taught from a young age how to wield it. Laying there, silent and tempting, he looked at the gun, refraining from thinking back to the times that he nearly shot somebody with his inexperienced aiming.

Taking it from the desk, he loaded it using the three packets of bullets that accompanied the metallic device. He navigated the shop through its tiny lens and targeted the approaching figure. Wincing, his finger rested against the trigger and only when it came too close he pulled it. No sound echoed from his deed and all he heard was the dull thump of the corpse as it hit the ground. Thank you Dad he thought, appreciating the fact that his dad had silenced the gun for his sake. It was funny, in a way. Why would his gun need to be silenced? Unless he was planning to murder somebody….

Fuck. He had just murdered somebody. Steadying himself with the edge of the counter, he watched the smooth layers of blood spill from the brain of the corpse and could still see the bullet embedded within the soggy flesh of his target. The mouth was askew, its jaw unaligned. The stench was overpowering and pressing down on its neck to check its pulse, he thought it was strange that the body was so cold, and so soon? Kneeling down, he stared into its dead eyes that lolled about the shop as the body adjusted its position, now flat on its back with its limp arms hanging by its side.

The shock was welcomed back by the frail thoughts that emerged into his mind. Would he go to prison? Would he be arrested? Why did his dad silence the gun? Could he hide the body…

The last question struck him in a death-like freeze as he reviewed this thought. I mean, now that he thought about it, there were no sirens, no police cars. Surely somebody would have seen him. Peering out of the window, all the cars were gone too. What if he didn’t have to kill him? What if, there was another way. He frowned, thinking about the man’s family, friends, who would be at loss because of his actions. But, he had to.

Didn’t he?

Feeling a lump under his shoe, he moved and saw his phone cracked and damaged. He held it in his hands. I mean, the ambulance was long gone. He could call the police, surely. But since he had heard no sirens, he was in the clear...

“Well, not really,” he remarked, continuing his line of thought and looking down at his blood-stained shirt and the body that was motionless like a rag doll on the garage’s floor.

He didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t like this was a common situation. He decided on his next move. If he even had any. Outside, the night howled with wind and the stars shone pridefully. It was dark. Could he.. Go? Could he run away? Never look back. He couldn’t help but sketch out a plan in his mind, thumbing through the details of his possible escape.

No- it was murder and would be even more so if he fled. He wasn’t a coward, and from his experience, running away doesn’t get people anywhere.

Slumping back against the wall, he dialled the police and held the phone to his ear, his eyes lingering on the corpse and the blood that was gradually travelling rapidly towards him. He stood up and moved further away.

The phone rang. It beeped. It vibrated. No reply was made and all he could hear was the methodical grunts it made. He hung up. Strange. But, he had to do something, anything, and he couldn’t wait any longer. Pushing himself off the floor, he sighed and thrust his head upwards to the ceiling in despondence and frustration. Swinging his bag over his shoulder, he went outside and trudged solemnly to the police station.

The air was thick with must and black shadows skittered in the corner of his eye. Squinting through the darkness, he could make out hushed and blurred figures of buildings tower over him. Deep snarls scowled anomalously and he quickened his pace, hearing the voices getting nearer to him. He was unable to see around him, but every so often, he felt a hot breath lean on his neck and something pull at his shirt. As the voices grew louder, he started to jog, which turned into a run, which turned into a sprint, his footsteps echoing on the ground. He slammed the door behind him and heaved. Clenching his fists in anxiety, he laughed quietly and was grateful for the glow of the lightbulb in the foyer of the police station. He had run so fast, and could only make out the slight whisper of words as he checked the sign to confirm his destination before swinging the door open. But he was here now, and it looked like a police station. That was good.

Now that he was here, he reflected on his decision. What was he thinking? Seriously, this?

He panted and ran his hands across his knees in exhaustion, smiling.

Suddenly, he was interrupted by the realisation of where he was and snapped his head up, expecting a glare from a receptionist or the cold clamp of handcuffs press against his skin. But all that responded to him was a silent room. He loosened his posture and rang the bell at the desk, peering around the hallway. Not like he was eager to get arrested. Resting his arms on the reception desk, he huffed and took in the contents of the room. A bulletin board held missing person flyers etched with names of people and brief descriptions. The chairs in the foyer streamed along the wall and a stack of newspapers piled on a small wooden table. Decorated in an unappealing mustard yellow, the walls were blank and draughty. A coffee mug rolled on the carpet and coffee had spilt out of it, staining the tiny fibres. Nobody was coming. He had waited for five minutes now and his heart was growing weak with annoyance and fear- a very sorrowful combination.

Massaging his forehead, he opened his mouth to yell but looking but turning behind he saw the shadow of a thousand figures crowd the station and thrust against the walls. Their bodies shook against them, reminding him of the man that he had encountered at the garage. Their teeth gnashed and their arms raised in defiance. It was only now that he could see them, eyes- wide and trudging towards him from nearby buildings. Feeling around his jacket and jeans for his gun, he cursed himself for his stupidity. But then again, how was he to know that a thousand of these rabid people would come knocking on the door? Was he really going to take the murder weapon to the police station that he used? He ran, rushing through the corridors and navigating through the fairly small building, his fingers running against the walls as he looked behind him every so often, unable to hear the gurgle of voices. When he reached an exit, he slipped out slyly and manoeuvred back to the garage. Fuck. He didn’t want to be near that thing that he could have killed. What was happening, wasn’t human. But, where else would he go? He didn’t have a car, he had parked his fathers’ outside of the garage. And it’s not like he had the time to try and steal a car right now and stop dead in his tracks.

Reaching the garage, he took back his gun and tucked it away into his jacket. Grasping a couple of tin cans, water, and a lonely pen knife that sat idly on the floor, seemingly from the dead man, he stored it in his backpack. He placed it on his shoulders, turned and squinted through the window, scouring the parking lot for any of the creatures that had followed him. Turning back towards the exit, he fumbled around for his keys, patting down his jeans and chest. Searching within his pocket, he could not find or hear the signature jangle of metal or the plastic picture that accompanied it. He rushed out of the backdoor, where his car sat parked and patiently waiting. Running forward, he pressed his body against the door, the first time ever praying that he had left it unlocked.

“No, no no!” He heaved and hit the trunk angrily and began to return to the garage.

The engine started behind him.

Spinning on his heels, Thomas’ mouth hung open as he watched three young teenagers climb in and put the keys in the ignition. A girl was in the driver’s seat, her face flushed with excitement as she gripped the steering wheel in awe. Her head turned and she saw him standing outside through the pristine glass window. Jaw clenching and her fists whitening, she stared at him. Then, the other two took the same position, gaping at him, shocked.

The other girl raised her voice, tentatively meeting his eyes with fear “Who are you?”

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
238 Reviews

Points: 23883
Reviews: 238

Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:15 am
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...

Hi illy7896 and Haileyg21!

Mailice here with a short review! :D

I just sat down and read through the rest of the chapters to be up to date and I can say that I like the story so far. It has something special in it, where I don't know yet what makes it so special. :D But I like it.

It gurgled. It spat. It dribbled. Blood.

I love the way you try to explain what the "it" is only after announcing the end (in this case "blood"). I think it fits the scene very well and also illustrates a bit of the uncertainty and panic of Thomas.

Thank you Dad he thought, appreciating the fact that his dad had silenced the gun for his sake.

I would highlight the thought process a little more here, otherwise it reads a little awkward. Unlike other thoughts later on, this one is part of the second half of the sentence, which is rendered in the 'usual' narrative form.

It was funny, in a way. Why would his gun need to be silenced? Unless he was planning to murder somebody....

I think it's sometimes these short comments that make me smile here, and give me the pleasure of following the plot further. :D

"Well, not really," he remarked, continuing his line of thought and looking down at his blood-stained shirt and the body that was motionless like a rag doll on the garage's floor.

I like the transition from the last paragraph where a thought is passed on in dialogue form. This can be done more often as it adds to the drama and also reads great as the spoken commentary has a greater impact on the situation.

The phone rang. It beeped. It vibrated.

As the voices grew louder, he started to jog, which turned into a run, which turned into a sprint, his footsteps echoing on the ground.

Here again is this method where you use and increase the tension through the short sentences, or intervals, which I think is really great and also adds drama to the action. There are some of these scenes that I like, here are just two examples that I picked out.

What I really like is how the perspective is told from different directions and slowly comes together to get to one plot. I also like how you do your descriptions, trying not to sound one-sided all the time. It just felt a bit strange that Thomas didn't realise that there was something strange about the person he murdered and that there was more or less a state of emergency. Because I didn't have the feeling here that this is part of his character.

I like the story so far and I think you also build up the necessary action here to keep the reader hooked.

Have a great rest of your writing!


illy7896 says...

Thank you so much for your kind review and I will be sure to apply your suggestions xx

User avatar
218 Reviews

Points: 20025
Reviews: 218

Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:59 pm
Plume wrote a review...

Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

I enjoyed reading the continuation of your story! This part was especially cool, because I think the two perspectives of your story are merging together at the end. The girl at the drivers' seat is Hope, right? It'll be interesting to see how the story progresses from here.

One thing I think you did well was portraying the action well. You used very varied vocabulary, which makes each event in the chapter feel unique and not repetitive. Even though you have very chunky paragraphs, I feel like they work in your favor this time, because they help build suspense. You alternate paragraph lengths to provide contrast, too, and I can tell it's definitely improved from the previous section. I love seeing writers' growth, so... really nice job!!

One thing I wondered about was Thomas' course of events at the beginning. He seemed to be very concerned over killing someone, but very certain that it was the only way to get the figure to stop attacking him. He doesn't seem to realize that there's probably something wrong with the man. I feel like maybe, rather than trying to run and then just shooting him point-blank, maybe Thomas should try and talk with him? And then when he doesn't reply and continues to attack him, then things can escalate and he can shoot him. I just feel that it progresses a bit fast. Also, since Thomas works at a garage, I feel like he probably has to deal with a lot of wacky customers, and if he shot every suspicious one, that wouldn't be a very good method of business.


It gurgled. It spat. It dribbled. Blood.

I feel like this bit of description was a little oddly placed. You don't really give context for what "it" is. Honestly, since there's a shift from matter of fact narration before this, to more poetic, vaguer narration here, this would probably work better as its own paragraph.

Thank you Dad he thought, appreciating the fact that his dad had silenced the gun for his sake.

I feel like his thoughts would work better if they were italicized, just for the sake of separating them from the rest of it.

The other girl raised her voice, tentatively meeting his eyes with fear “Who are you?”

You need a period after that first sentence.

Overall: nice work! I'm curious to see how you continue this. There are a lot of directions it could take. Keep in mind, when you're doing split perspective, to make it as consistent as possible. If you have any questions about anything I said, feel free to ask!! Once again, nice job! I really enjoyed reading.

illy7896 says...

Thank you so much for your review and I like your suggestions

— SirenCymbaline the Kiwi