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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins


Hey all!

It's been a while since I've posted a new chapter of my serialized Flash Fiction tale, Under a Dead Sun Past Sins. I thought maybe a nice recap post would be a good idea, to let you know about the story and about the characters. Especially since I have kind of rebooted my blog a bit.

Under a Dead Sun is a zombie western story that I originally wrote about 4 years ago at the behest of a friend of mine, who asked me to fuse one of my loves, westerns, with one of his, zombies. I wrote the first Under a Dead Sun story in a weird disjointed serialized tale that was designed to be read in any order. The original installment had 40 chapters, with a special cover post made by my best friend Jason. You can find a link to Jason's blog here under The Wild Bunch tab, as well as a link to the original short story serial under the Anatomy of a Blog section.

After I finished that story I decided I really enjoyed the Dead Sun universe and went back to do a second serial, this time told in a 5 character perspective. Each chapter would be told from a different characters point of view, with the story eventually intertwining together. My target is about 50 chapters, with each person getting the same amount of story, give or take. I like to keep things open to cut it a bit short or go a bit long.

That can seem like an awful lot of story to catch up on, so here is a quick run down of the characters so far.

Cody Jarrett- a wanted thief and stone cold killer, he murdered his two partners after robbing a bank in a neighboring town. He's trying to get to the town Desperation to take a boat down to Old Mexico. After shooting his partners, they rose as zombies and he had to kill them again, but not before losing his horse. Currently he's going under the alias Beau Johnson (one of the men he killed) as he hitches a ride with Eva May Saint's family. He's selfish, remorseless, and a survivor without scruples.

Eva May Saint- The only surviving daughter of rancher Caleb Saint, her crippled father. They have ventured from their ranch with Bartley, the portly stage driver, and Thomas Moore, Caleb's advisor, a dandy without real cowboy experience who secretly fancies Eva. They are on their way to Desperation because their friend Rex was bitten by another zombie and they are seeking a doctor. Eva is just past 30, considered an old maid by most men, but still attractive. She is tough, gritty, and has been raised to run the farm since her sibling and mother's death.

Morgan Randall- A former Calvary officer who left the service after he fell in love. He is part Indian and worked as a scout, helping to tame the west against his own people. After watching his commanding officer rape and torture a village, he left the military to marry. His wife and child died in childbirth and he buried them on the small farm they had lived on. He remained there until the uprising, where he had to kill his own wife and newborn baby all over again. He left the farm, dressed in his uniform, knowing that sometimes you can't outrun what you are. He's sad and tortured, but with a streak of good, wanting to make up for all the wrongs he has done in his past.

Ally Marshall- The last survivor of a family killed by Cody Jarrett during his escape. Cody beat her and left her for dead, only for her to wake up to see her murdered family come back to life. Defending herself she managed to burn down the stable and destroy the monsters her family had become, but was swept into the river running from another group of the monsters. She was attacked by another group of zombies after washing to shore and fled barefoot through the forest until running into Morgan. Ally has been beaten emotionally and physically and is totally alone in the world, except for the chance meeting with Morgan.

Father Enrico Santiago- A poor man from the New Mexico territory, he left home for the promise of the adventure of war. Born Edward Richmond, he joined and fought for the Confederacy. At the Battle of Bull Run he was injured and lost his nerve for war though, and stole the identity of a deceased Army Chaplain named Enrico Santiago. He surrendered to the Union and eventually wound up out west founding a mission. He's spent 20 years pretending to be a priest, but again lost his courage during the uprising. First letting the village around him die to the monsters, then running as his fellow priests were torn apart when he could have helped them. He's armed with gun he had during the war, but he's all alone. He's afraid to die and selfish, but wracked with the guilt of his own choices and weakness.

The zombies- They are the risen dead, come back to life. They were resurrected the same day the sun turned black. The sun still gives off heat, but the light is darkened and the day is cooler. The zombies can only be killed by destroying their brains, though the zombies are mutated. Their fingers are more blackened points, sharp claws use to tear into flesh. Their jaws are also slightly distended, with the teeth having broken or changed into sharpened fangs. They are slow moving and unintelligent, but dangerous in groups. The smell of fresh blood can quicken their movements in close quarters though, giving them deceptively fast lunging speed.

That's about all you need to know. I hope you enjoy the story as I plan to try to post at least a new chapter once a week. We are really getting into the bulk of the story and the action, so it should be fun and exciting. Let me know what you think of the story or post questions or suggestions in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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