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Silence

by Amnesia


"Do you know why people scare me more than the zombies?" Theo asked me one night, while he lay in a pile of blankets, his little violet eyes watching me as I poked at the fire. I looked back at my little brother, all of 8 years old and already a lot more cautious of people than most adults are. I stroke his cheek, brushing a stray hair back before laying down beside him and pulling him close.

"Why is that Theodore mouse?" I ask, theres a small pause, the crackling of fire and the sound Theo makes as he curls against my side and gets comfortable.

"People let fear control them, zombies just do what they want" his small voice responds back to me. A silence falls between us, I listen to his breathing until it evens out. I watch the stars as they make their trek across the sky.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

People don't talk about when the zombies started showing up. No one really knows the truth of what really happened that caused the dead to get up and start eating just about anyone in sight. In the first year many countries fell, In their place there came a society where everyone was terrified. I was born before the zombies, my little brother Theodore was too, we survived and made a nice little home out in the woods behind our family home. The society of fear meant that many chose to form communities guarded by barbed wire fences and posted guards. Anyone not in the community is treated like a contagion if they not shot upon arrival.

Theo and I were found by a group of scavengers from one of these communities. We were living in an abandoned house unaware communities had been formed and just trying to stay alive after the deaths of our parents. The took us in since we were kids.

Life wasn't great in the community, even if the community took you in you still were treated like a contagion. You weren't part of them from the start. Theo struggled more than I did. They separated us in the beginning. I went to one family and Theo to another. They claimed that since he was young it'd be easy to find a family to adopt him. I pleaded, begged to not be separated, that he didn't need adopting because he had me.

It was a month before i saw Theo again. His family just showed up at my family's door one morning, one holding Theo's hand and the other holding a suitcase. They set the suitcase down and left him on the front step. After that Theo and I were put into a children's home where the caregivers didn't really pay much attention. From there Theo and I simply...left. It's not hard to disappear if you're one of the undesirables.

While most people wont talk about the day the zombies showed up or the years following, I'll be the first one to tell you where I was the day the zombies woke up, what I was doing, and who was around me. I wont however talk about the day My little brother, my Theo, was killed by people who we believed we could trust to watch our backs. 


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7 Reviews

Points: 168
Reviews: 7

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Wed May 31, 2023 8:25 pm
AuthenticallyAngie wrote a review...



Hello! Your neighborhood Angie here to leave a review! :)
This is an amazing first chapter! The way you draw the reader in and introduce them to the world is amazingly written. It isn't wordy or packed with information, but it isn't too short to leave out necessary information. I was instantly hooked from the very beginning. Which is where I'll start.
"'Do you know why people scare me more than the zombies?'" is an excellent beginning quote. Most people would definitely be more afraid of zombies, so someone contrasting that instantly draws attention and sparks curiosity in the reader.
"'People let fear control them, zombies just do what they want' his small voice responds back to me. A silence falls between us, I listen to his breathing until it evens out. I watch the stars as they make their trek across the sky." I love this paragraph here. It's so stubbornly true, fear does control people. Also, the contrast between Theo's small youth and his wise nature makes for a very interesting and liked character. Finally, the way you described the silence and stars leaves a peaceful tone, compared to the anxious tone the subject of zombies brings. It makes for a very bittersweet introduction.
I love how you describe the lives of the two children. It adds a deeper connection between the two, and a deeper protective instinct the main character has for Theo. They've obviously been through a lot together, and life has been rough. There's really only one question that I had: How did the adoptive families treat the main character and Theo? The only real description of how bad these adoptive families were was the way they chose not to care for them in the end. I found myself wondering if the families ignored them or abused them.
Finally, the final paragraph. It sets the reader up and lets them know what they will be reading, all while hooking them in even more. And I LOVE the final sentence. It's the final nail in the coffin, sealing the reader's fate to continue on in the story. "I won't however talk about the day My little brother, my Theo, was killed by people who we believed we could trust to watch our backs." Though the narrator says they won't, it sounds much like the narrator eventually will. Adding "my Theo" shows just how deep the narrator's love is toward their brother, and just how heartbroken they are about his eventual murder.
This is an excellently written story, it perfectly draws the reader in and introduces the story to come. Amazing job!!




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Thu May 11, 2023 10:21 am
KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: This is quite the little start here this one. Zombie apocalypses aren't the rarest type of story and yet despite that I think with this particular one you managed to get my interest and keep it for most of the way quite easily. There's enough in here that sounds unique that it's immediately different from most other stories out there and that's great to see. I definitely found myself excited to learn more instead of simply trying to assume things were going a certain way.

Anyway let's get right to it,

"Do you know why people scare me more than the zombies?" Theo asked me one night, while he lay in a pile of blankets, his little violet eyes watching me as I poked at the fire. I looked back at my little brother, all of 8 years old and already a lot more cautious of people than most adults are. I stroke his cheek, brushing a stray hair back before laying down beside him and pulling him close.

"Why is that Theodore mouse?" I ask, theres a small pause, the crackling of fire and the sound Theo makes as he curls against my side and gets comfortable.

"People let fear control them, zombies just do what they want" his small voice responds back to me. A silence falls between us, I listen to his breathing until it evens out. I watch the stars as they make their trek across the sky.


Well this is quite the little paragraph here. Loving just how much personality and backstory for both of these characters you manage to package into just that one singular interaction there is really quite amazing to see there. Immediately we find ourselves rather incredibly immersed in this world and I'm loving it. I can't wait to see where this goes.

People don't talk about when the zombies started showing up. No one really knows the truth of what really happened that caused the dead to get up and start eating just about anyone in sight. In the first year many countries fell, In their place there came a society where everyone was terrified. I was born before the zombies, my little brother Theodore was too, we survived and made a nice little home out in the woods behind our family home. The society of fear meant that many chose to form communities guarded by barbed wire fences and posted guards. Anyone not in the community is treated like a contagion if they not shot upon arrival.


Okay this is a nice little snapshot of things there. Certainly appears to be your relatively standard flavor of apocalypse although in this one it appears as if the idea of communities is standing together just a little bit firmer than in most cases when it comes to worlds of this nature.

Theo and I were found by a group of scavengers from one of these communities. We were living in an abandoned house unaware communities had been formed and just trying to stay alive after the deaths of our parents. The took us in since we were kids.

Life wasn't great in the community, even if the community took you in you still were treated like a contagion. You weren't part of them from the start. Theo struggled more than I did. They separated us in the beginning. I went to one family and Theo to another. They claimed that since he was young it'd be easy to find a family to adopt him. I pleaded, begged to not be separated, that he didn't need adopting because he had me.


Well this is quite the journey yet again. I think you're doing a great job with introducing these, just building off the information you've shown us in the earlier bit and adding just enough for us to understand the severity of what's happening without having things be too overwhelming all at once.

It was a month before i saw Theo again. His family just showed up at my family's door one morning, one holding Theo's hand and the other holding a suitcase. They set the suitcase down and left him on the front step. After that Theo and I were put into a children's home where the caregivers didn't really pay much attention. From there Theo and I simply...left. It's not hard to disappear if you're one of the undesirables.

While most people wont talk about the day the zombies showed up or the years following, I'll be the first one to tell you where I was the day the zombies woke up, what I was doing, and who was around me. I wont however talk about the day My little brother, my Theo, was killed by people who we believed we could trust to watch our backs.


Oh well that's quite the note to end that one on wow. That one hits us a bit like a ton of bricks to know that a scene that powerful is lying in wait for us in the bits to come I think it accounts for a powerful cliffhanger right there which does a lot to make us want to keep reading although I will say the information on Theo dying personally makes me less want to read this but that's most just personal preference that comes from you managing to already make me attached to these characters on some level.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall I think you've done a pretty solid job with this one, in terms of both establishing the bit of worldbuilding that we were working with and the two character and also in terms of the general stakes of the actual plot that we're going to be following here. Its certainly done enough for me to want to read more of this.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Kate





We wandered the halls of an infinite magic nursing home, led by a hippo nurse with a torch. Really, just an ordinary night for the Kanes.
— Rick Riordan, The Throne of Fire