Promoting Young Authors – Evan John #Swansea

Evan John is 13 years old and lives a few doors away from me with his family. Earlier this year, Evan asked me to read some of the short stories he’d written. I was so impressed with them that I asked him to write one which I could publish on my blog. Evan is looking for feedback on his story and writing, so please do leave him some.

#writing #fiction #authors

The Final Day Of Hell

It took me a year as it spread like a wild fire in a forest. I was the only one left. Everything was destroyed within hours. I couldn’t leave, I was trapped. I didn’t mean for it to happen, I was just trying to help. I was trying to save him. I still don’t know what went wrong but all I knew at the time was that I had to find a cure, and fast.

As I ran down the side alley behind the old Queens pub, my head was full of thoughts. I had finally found the final piece to the most complex puzzle. My sword clenched in my hands, my head craning in every direction on the look out. That day was surprisingly quiet, thankfully. I had been moving between my laboratory and every university, college and school with a sophisticated enough science department within 1 mile. I also had to go by foot because I didn’t know how to hotwire a car, but it kept me fit.

As I turned a corner, I saw a small group of them feasting on something I couldn’t see. I quickly ducked behind a bin, gripping my sword tight, preparing to fight. In my head, I counted to three and burst out from behind the bin and charged towards the group. I slammed my foot into the closet one hard, knocking it to the ground. With a quick slice to my left, I protected myself from a flailing arm lunging towards me. I then side stepped out the way of another attack, did a low roundhouse kick to the vile creature, unbalancing it. With a final vertical slice, I decapitated it.

The gruesome creature I had knocked down before was now back up and coming for me. Obviously, zombies don’t know when to quit! I held my ground and let the zombie come to me. When it was close, it swung at me with its deformed arm. I ducked underneath it and spun around. With the zombie’s back to me, I stomp kicked it, sending it flying head first into a wheelie bin. Then I closed the lid and pushed the bin to a set of nearby stairs. “Sayonara ” I shouted as I pushed the bin down the stairs and watched as it bounced down them. With it all over, I leaned up against the side of a truck to catch my breath.

After a few minutes, I stood and started moving again. It took another five minutes for me to get back to my lab. I arrived at the huge metal door that was the entrance. I lifted up the brick that hid the secret button to open the first door. I pressed it and, with a crunch, the door opened. I went through it and pushed it until it clicked.

The second door had a series of locks on it. It took me about two minutes to unlock it. Once through the door, I re-locked it by pulling a series of handles and pushing buttons. I then quickly went through the dark corridor and straight to my mixing station. I carefully placed my bag down on the counter and laid out its contents.

On the scavenge, I had recovered the final ingredient I needed to make the cure. Along with that, I found more batteries, a few different parts from a broken motorcycle and three flares. Next, I went over to the mixing cylinder. I poured the mixture from the test tube into the first cylinder chamber. Already in the second cylinder chamber was the other part of the cure, which I had gradually made and developed over the weeks and months since this hell had begun.

Once I tightened the cylinders and checked everything was in order, I turned it on. With a whirr, the machine started to turn, combining the 2 mixtures together. I moved to my desk where my computer was at work collecting the data from the mixer. The algorithm told me that the chemicals were binding. With a sigh of relief, I sat down. I had finally done it. I could finally redeem myself and save my city. I had completed part one of my plan at last. Now it was time to initiate operation Posterum.

About half an hour after I had turned on the mixing machine, it started to bleep. The cure was finally done. I excitedly ran over to the machine and turned it off. I then lifted the heavy container in the centre of the two other cylinders and dragged it over to the armoury. The ‘ armoury ’ was more of a room with anything I could have used to defend myself with. From golf clubs to cricket bats, to guns and swords. What I would need from there that day would be the G60 Xpro rifle. This would be what I would use to shoot the darts, filled with the cure to change them, at the zombies. I took the gun out of its box, along with 300 darts and the 30 ten dart magazines.

It took me 15 minutes to fill up all the darts and pack them into my bag. I strapped my sword to my back and headed back down the corridor towards the doors. Instead of going through the front doors, I took a left and headed for the back door. After a few more turns, I got to the heavy steel door. I pulled off the barrier and dragged it open. I stepped through into the open, to see the moon glistening. I yanked back the door and waited for my contraption to re-lock the door. When I heard the bang, I set out.

I headed towards the town square, where most of the zombies in the area were. I had an idea where I could go and have the best angle to fire at them. After a few minutes of running, I got to the edge of the town square. I crouched down next to an abandoned car and opened my rucksack. I pulled out the flare I had found earlier in the day. My plan was to shoot the flare into the centre of the square to attract the disgusting beasts, and then gun them down. But, before I put my plan into action, I had to get into the best shooting spot.

Just a few meters away was a ladder that took me to the top of what used to be the council building. Once I packed my rucksack back up, I sprinted over to it. Just as I reached it, I heard a muffled groan. They were coming, so I started to climb the rickety ladder. As I continued up the ladder, the groaning got louder and louder.

I got to the top and jumped over the small wall perimeter. I ran over to the edge of the building that faced the town square. I quickly threw off my bag and unzipped it. I pulled out the tripod and set it on the edge of the wall. I secured my gun onto it and pulled the flare from my pocket. I aimed for the fountain and shot the flare into the town square. As it hit the fountain, red light exploded out from the small capsule. Almost immediately, zombies started to crawl out of the corners and towards the light. As soon as I saw a new zombie, I would fire a dart at them, each time slamming it into them with pinpoint accuracy. One after the other, my gruesome creations fell, screaming and moaning. Soon I started to wonder if my cure was actually working. Then, out of the blue, the first one started to change. Its skin was changing as it’s body corrected itself.

As soon as the first one started to change, another one did. Then another. And another. Soon, all the zombies in the square were morphing back to humans. I realised I had to get down there and explain what was happening to the people who had completely changed back. Leaving my tripod fixed to the wall, I rushed back to the ladder with my things and climbed down.

I raced into the square as some very groggy and naked people starred around confused. I jumped up onto the old water fountain and called for the people’s attention. They turned around to look at me, not really knowing what else to do. I hadn’t planned a speech, or anything to say, so I explained what had happened that year and then said for them to follow me so they could be safe. They all agreed without question.

I led them all into the old church. Months before I found the cure, I made the church a hospitable place for a lot of people to live so that when I did find the cure, I could bring them there and look after them. It took time, but it was worth it. Luckily, the parts I needed to patch up the holes in the roof and fix the door were easily accessible. To be honest, I don’t know how the church still stood after the wave of infection. Maybe it was because of how well it was built, with its thick wooden beams and steel gates. Or, maybe, it was just the power of God and holy intervention. Inside the church were mattresses, clothes, blankets, water and some packaged food. It was not too far from the centre, which was helpful as half of the people could not walk very well.

From there, I took care of the people and helped them regain strength and re learn everything. We started to rebuild and find more resources, as one person thankfully knew how to hotwire a car. We also gave the word to the mainland that it was now safe to come back to the island that my city had been built on. Straight away, they brought supplies and manpower. From that day on I have always said to myself… “no matter what anyone says, there is always that spark of good.”

The End.

#writing #authors

Promoting Young Authors

Do you know a budding young author, or have a young member of the family who enjoys writing? Join me in promoting their work by publishing it on your blog. Feel free to use the above image. Link your post back to this one by creating a pingback. Click here to learn how to create a pingback.

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101 comments

  1. A great story and a great idea, Hugh. I also thought a bit more information about the zombies and less about the way to get in and out of the lab might make it more dynamic (not sure about the era of the story). I agree that there is plenty of material for future stories as I’m intrigued by the comments about what actually happened the previous year as the character mentions the zombies were his ‘creations’. And I thought the fact that the main character, the hero, admits he cannot hotwire a car is a nice touch (not the perfect hero who can do anything!). Keep reading and writing! Thanks, Hugh and Evan.

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    While I was offline a couple of weeks ago I missed this post from Hugh Roberts. Promoting young authors is so important and in this post Hugh introduces us to his 13 year old neighbour Evan John and his short story..The Final Day of Hell.. please head over and read.. It is excellent and I am sure we shall see more of Evan in the future.

  3. Well done, Evan. You write well for your age, so just keep at it, as the more you write the better your writing will become. Always strive to improve and improve and never sit back thinking you’ve arrived, because that’s how to stop yourself reaching your full potential.

    One little tip is that just because you are fully acquainted with the subject of zombies, you must always assume that some of your readers might never have read a zombie book. Taking this into account, I think that maybe you need to flesh out the descriptions a little more (no pun intended here!). As the reader, I want see, hear, smell the undead. I also want to feel more emotion emanating from the protagonist.

    And yes, read and read and read, not just zombie books but widely. If there’s a novel you love, after you’ve read it, analyse the elements that made you love it. The same goes for a novel you didn’t like so much; analyse what didn’t work for you.

    I look forward to reading some more of your fiction on Hugh’s blog in the future. And thank you, Hugh, for introducing Evan to us and for offering him such encouragement.

    1. Thanks, Sarah. I really appreciate you reading Evan’s story and leaving him some feedback. He’s on holiday at the moment, so will reply to your comments as soon as he gets back or if he goes online while he is away.

    2. I agree I would have added more description as I love getting into detail but, as I didn’t know what ages would be reading my story I decided not to describe the zombies as I didn’t want to scare anyone or make them uncomfortable with a description. With that said your feedback is much appreciated so thank you for that.

      1. My pleasure 🙂 And I understand what you’re saying about readership age, but I remember reading Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann at the age of eight, and various other quite freaky stories, and surviving the experience!

  4. Excellent story, well done! I remember being a young writer, no computers, no internet, nothing to write on but scraps of paper, and no way to reach potential readers ! Lol! Those were the days. Wattpad is a great platform for young writers to gain experience and followers. Good luck with your writing career, Evan!

      1. No problem. What a lovely way to support his writing endeavours, and a great opportunity you are providing for him. I asked my son once to write a story for my blog, he said No! 😭

  5. My comments for Evan:
    You write very well, Evan, with far more maturity than I would expect for your age. I know zombie fiction isn’t aimed at me – I’m quite an old woman – but I can tell from your writing that you really love it. That’s great – you should always write about what you love.
    Remember to read as much as you can too – many writers forget to do that, but it is very important.
    A final tip – don’t worry too much about getting your opening paragraph right when you start a story. Just write anything to start you going. When you get to the end, go back and check it. Spend quite a bit time getting the first sentence just right because that’s the most important part of your story. If people like that, they’ll keep reading.
    Sometimes you’ll find that you don’t need your first paragraph at all. I think that might be the case with your story. Your second paragraph is far more gripping – you’re running down the ally. It takes the reader straight into the action.
    Hope this helps. Well done and good luck. Evan John is a great name for a writer – I’ll look out for your books in a few years time!
    And a comment for Hugh: what a great idea this is. I hope you get a lot of interest from budding authors and from helpful old hands too!

    1. Thank you so much Sara this is great and will be a lot of help to me and my future stories so thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

  6. Very strongly written Evan. You certainly are talented. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future

  7. Great action and descriptions. Evan wrote a wonderful story and I love the positive ending. I hope he’s been bitten, not by zombies, but by the writing bug. Thanks for sharing the work of this young writer, Hugh. Fabulous. 🙂

  8. Well done Evan. You have kept me gripped to the end, and I am not a zombie fan either. Your writing seems very mature for your age, keep at it!
    This is a lovely idea, Hugh, and Evan certainly has a talent there 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for reading Evan’s story and leaving him some feedback, Robbie. I appreciate it very much. Would any young member of your family like to write a story for the series? I’d be delighted to feature their writing on my blog.

  9. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of zombie stories but I continued to read because I was amazed at the quality of Evan’s writing. It may be time for him to start his own blog! Very impressive. And what a beautiful idea Hugh to promote young writers. If I come across any, I’d surely love to share them too. 🙂 ❤

    1. Im glad I could keep you interested because I know that zombies isn’t one for everyone haha, and as for a blog well you never know 😉

  10. Hi Evan and Hugh,
    First let me thank Hugh, for planting a great idea for promoting young writers. You truly are someone to emulate.
    Now Evan, I too am a beginner with writing. I haven’t tried my hand at fiction. I know character development and keeping the story moving to keep the reader’s attention is essential. You did great with your story and kept your readers’ attention. If I had a suggestion, details are important, but too much can drag your story down. I hope you will continue to work on your writing and we will get to read more of your work.
    HUGS to both of you.

  11. Thank you very much, I tried to keep the mention of zombies out for long enough so that I kept readers engaged so I’m glad it was successful!

  12. Such a great story, with a style that is far more mature than I’d expect of someone so young. I especially like the suspenseful opening, that you didn’t mention the word zombie until a few paragraphs later. Nicely done, Evan.

    Good on you Hugh, for promoting young talent.

  13. Evan:
    An interesting, exciting story. You made me want to read till the end even though I’m more of a Vampire person than a Zombie lover 🙂
    The action flows well, and you’ve done a good job with description. As in, you hit the right balance between enough and too much. Too much blathering on about how things look makes me skip to the next paragraph. I’m a little impatient like that 🙂
    I’m new at this writing thing myself, so this is just a suggestion, but think about reworking the very first sentence. I found it a little confusing.
    Good luck with your future stories. I’ll be watching one of your scripts on TV one day 🙂

    Hugh:
    You’re amazing 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, I will check over the first line and see what i could do with it, that’s noted. I’m glad I kept you interested too haha!

  14. How sweet of you Hugh. I would tell Evan he should use this piece as a backbone and expand from here. He has impressive spelling and grammar skills – bravo! That’s the thing that sinks many a young writer. So keep on going! Work on developing your characters and maybe experiment with dialogue. Hope that helps.

    1. Thanks so much for the lovely feedback, Jan. Evan will be reading all the comments and taking everything onboard. Thanks so much for reading his short story and leaving him some feedback. I really appreciate it.

    2. Thank you Jan, I will definitely try to include dialogue in an up coming story and I want to work on my character descriptions so thanks for the feedback.

  15. Hugh, this is a wonderful, generous way to promote young writers. I enjoyed Evan’s story. The description of all the locks and doors added a lot to it. It was visual without being too descriptive. Good luck to Evan. Hugs on the wing.

  16. And here I am with 27 years behind me trying to perfect my storytelling. If I was at the point where Evan is when I was 13, I’d be called Hemingway Junior by now :D.

    Great story, still more to go, but I really liked the technical part; how the entire story has a certain flow and doesn’t waste time on unimportant elements. I guess you either learn it or you’re born with the talent.

    1. Thanks so much for your comments, Antonio. Evan will be delighted with them. He’ll be checking in on all the comments over the next few days. I really appreciate you reading Evan’s story and leaving him feedback.

    2. Now i don’t know who Hemingway is but I’ve been told he is a very good author so thank you very much, it means a lot!

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