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Overgrown

by Razor


Overgrown

Manhattan, NY, The Year 4057

Adrian brushed aside some tall grass, and moved through the overgrown street. It had been twenty four years since the fall, and the overgrowth spread far and wide. The tall buildings above casted shadows on the streets below in the afternoon sun. They were partially covered with brambles and vines, creating a pattern of green that before the fall, you could have only seen in the botanical gardens. Adrian emerged from the grass onto mossy street. A stream of water ran across it, only a foot step wide. Where the stream was, the pavement had crumpled in, allowing marine life to pass through this area. Adrian heard a distant crunch of twigs behind him and turned to see a beautiful buck deer standing some twenty feet away. Adrian slowly unslung his hunting rifle, and popped a round into it. He aimed carefully. He only killed one deer every month. That was his rule. Others killed many, many more. As for him, he appreciated nature. He squeezed the trigger and the rifle bucked in his hands. The Buck staggered back and fell, a bullet in its leg. It howled a sound that pierced Adrians heart. He walked towards it, strapping his rifle to his backpack and pulling a first aid kit from the pack. He stepped carefully forward. The deer kicked and shrieked, but eventually settled down enough for Adrian to move up alongside its leg. He reached forward with tweezers and pulled the bullet out. The buck screamed and kicked, missing Adrians head by mere centimeters. Adrian waited a few minutes and bandaged the leg, only after pouring some antiseptic on it. The deer slowly got to its feet and backed away, bowing its head in his direction. Adrian waited till it was gone, and continued walking. He moved through brush for hours till he heard a rustling in some grass. He shouldered his rifle and fired, hitting a squirrel. He opened the shopping bag he carried attached to his belt loop, and dropped the squirrel in. He walked a few feet, stopping when he noticed a vine of Blackberries hanging a few feet from the overgrown wall of a building. He walked towards it and pulled at it, yelling when something slithered from the vines. A full grown copperhead. Adrian pulled at his rifle, getting it up in an aiming position. The snake lunged, and Adrian fired. The bullet smashed through the snake's head, and the snake fell, brushing against his shirt and landing with a thump on the ground. Adrian fired a few shots into the vines, just to make sure nothing else was hiding in them. When he was sure, he reached up and picked most of the Blackberries from the vine. He checked one of his jean pockets, and pulled a plastic baggie from them. He dropped the Blackberries in, and closed it, putting it back in his pocket. Wind whipped through the empty streets for a couple seconds, rustling Adrian's hair. He turned, and walked back the way he had come, watching out for any hostels. He was suddenly tired. Barely any vehicles were able to run anymore, most had been choked with overgrowth, others had been abandoned because of lack of fuel. Adrians camp was near the now abandoned and overgrown Central Park Zoo. A Lot of the animals within had left, but some, like the alligator, remained. Adrian had specifically chosen a ticket booth as his home. He smiled. Nature was awesome. He settled into the booth, closing its door and barring it shut. He had a beanbag chair, blanket, flashlight, backpack, solar powered camping stove and tiny shelf inside. He pulled the squirrel from the shopping bag and cleaned and skinned it, finally turning on the stove and putting it in a frying pan. He put it on the stove and waited, occasionally flipping it with his spatula. He disposed of its remains through the front window slot, into a bucket beneath. He then boarded back up the window slot. He checked the squirrel and plated it on a small paper plate. He grabbed one of his plastic forks and started to eat. It was surprisingly good. After he was finished, he turned to a stack of books and comics he had, and continued reading a copy of Mary Shelley’s The Last Man. It was a good book. After a while, the light in the booth faded, and so Adrian turned on his flashlight. He would read for hours, until he turned off the flashlight and fell asleep, and he would wake in the morning to eat the leftover squirrel for breakfast.


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4349 Reviews

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Sun Apr 09, 2023 2:27 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 a pretty decent piece here. For the most part its a pretty solid look into what state this world happens to be in and I think its interesting enough that I honestly find myself wanting more.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Adrian brushed aside some tall grass, and moved through the overgrown street. It had been twenty four years since the fall, and the overgrowth spread far and wide. The tall buildings above casted shadows on the streets below in the afternoon sun. They were partially covered with brambles and vines, creating a pattern of green that before the fall, you could have only seen in the botanical gardens. Adrian emerged from the grass onto mossy street. A stream of water ran across it, only a foot step wide. Where the stream was, the pavement had crumpled in, allowing marine life to pass through this area. Adrian heard a distant crunch of twigs behind him and turned to see a beautiful buck deer standing some twenty feet away. Adrian slowly unslung his hunting rifle, and popped a round into it. He aimed carefully. He only killed one deer every month. That was his rule. Others killed many, many more. As for him, he appreciated nature. He squeezed the trigger and the rifle bucked in his hands. The Buck staggered back and fell, a bullet in its leg. It howled a sound that pierced Adrians heart. He walked towards it, strapping his rifle to his backpack and pulling a first aid kit from the pack. He stepped carefully forward. The deer kicked and shrieked, but eventually settled down enough for Adrian to move up alongside its leg. He reached forward with tweezers and pulled the bullet out. The buck screamed and kicked, missing Adrians head by mere centimeters. Adrian waited a few minutes and bandaged the leg, only after pouring some antiseptic on it. The deer slowly got to its feet and backed away, bowing its head in his direction. Adrian waited till it was gone, and continued walking. He moved through brush for hours till he heard a rustling in some grass. He shouldered his rifle and fired, hitting a squirrel. He opened the shopping bag he carried attached to his belt loop, and dropped the squirrel in. He walked a few feet, stopping when he noticed a vine of Blackberries hanging a few feet from the overgrown wall of a building. He walked towards it and pulled at it, yelling when something slithered from the vines. A full grown copperhead. Adrian pulled at his rifle, getting it up in an aiming position. The snake lunged, and Adrian fired. The bullet smashed through the snake's head, and the snake fell, brushing against his shirt and landing with a thump on the ground. Adrian fired a few shots into the vines, just to make sure nothing else was hiding in them. When he was sure, he reached up and picked most of the Blackberries from the vine. He checked one of his jean pockets, and pulled a plastic baggie from them. He dropped the Blackberries in, and closed it, putting it back in his pocket. Wind whipped through the empty streets for a couple seconds, rustling Adrian's hair. He turned, and walked back the way he had come, watching out for any hostels. He was suddenly tired. Barely any vehicles were able to run anymore, most had been choked with overgrowth, others had been abandoned because of lack of fuel. Adrians camp was near the now abandoned and overgrown Central Park Zoo. A Lot of the animals within had left, but some, like the alligator, remained. Adrian had specifically chosen a ticket booth as his home. He smiled. Nature was awesome. He settled into the booth, closing its door and barring it shut. He had a beanbag chair, blanket, flashlight, backpack, solar powered camping stove and tiny shelf inside. He pulled the squirrel from the shopping bag and cleaned and skinned it, finally turning on the stove and putting it in a frying pan. He put it on the stove and waited, occasionally flipping it with his spatula. He disposed of its remains through the front window slot, into a bucket beneath. He then boarded back up the window slot. He checked the squirrel and plated it on a small paper plate. He grabbed one of his plastic forks and started to eat. It was surprisingly good. After he was finished, he turned to a stack of books and comics he had, and continued reading a copy of Mary Shelley’s The Last Man. It was a good book. After a while, the light in the booth faded, and so Adrian turned on his flashlight. He would read for hours, until he turned off the flashlight and fell asleep, and he would wake in the morning to eat the leftover squirrel for breakfast.


Before we get too far I have to start by saying this one could do with a bit of paragraphing here. As it stands its a little bit of a wall of text there and that really ends up being quite bad in terms of the actual flow of the piece especially given there is a couple of clear lines where you could split this up into three or four smaller paragraphs.

Moving past that little problem though, I think you've gone and got yourself a pretty solid piece here. It paints an interesting little picture of this potentially post apocalyptic world of sorts and I think it does fairly well there. As far as a little introduction in this little world I think its really quite effective at showcasing how this world happens to be and the kind of attitude people in the world seem to have.

I think the start does happen to be a little bit clunky, but it could once again just be the paragraphs. I think maybe spreading that out a touch more and adding just a bit more description to it would be a good idea. But besides that though, this really is a nice little window into this world and I enjoyed it.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall I think you've got a really neat little world here. Adrian happens to be a pretty interesting character too and I think you tell us a surprising amount about his personality just through this little piece.

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

Stay Safe
Kate




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Wed Apr 05, 2023 10:00 pm
LuminescentAnt wrote a review...



Hi, I actually really enjoyed this story!
I liked that the year was set really far in the past, as a lot of futuristic stories I've seen are not far enough in the future to be realistic. This story was also really descriptive and had lots of detail, so there was no absence of that. I also liked that the main character liked nature and had a rule of not killing a lot of deer, because I don't really like stories where the main character just kills an animal without even thinking about it.
The only thing I would say should be changed is that at the beginning, it says that the story takes place after "the fall,"

It had been twenty four years since the fall, and the overgrowth spread far and wide.

And I kind of think that the term "the fall" is kind of overused in post-apocalyptic stories as a name for what the apocalypse is called, but that's just what I think, so you don't have to change that.
Other than that, I really liked this story, and I hope you write more stories like this!




Razor says...


Thanks! and Yeah..that use of "the fall" is a trope followed by a lot of stories in this genre.



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Wed Apr 05, 2023 3:56 pm
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TheCornDogEnthusiast wrote a review...



Hello!
This story paints a post-apocalyptic world in a vivid and descriptive manner. The author successfully creates a sense of desolation and overgrowth with the use of language, highlighting the contrast between the natural world and the remnants of human civilization. The character of Adrian is well-developed, with his appreciation for nature and his reluctance to kill more than he needs for survival. The details of his survivalist lifestyle are well-crafted, adding depth to the world-building. Overall, the story is engaging and well-written, with a good balance of action, description, and character development.
I hope to see more from this!





Why do we only rest in peace? Why don't we live in peace too?
— Alison Billet