Mourning the Hunger

Penelope squeezed the wastopaneer nut between two fingers until the dry husk burst, pale green oil flowed, and the fragrance of soil and citrus bloomed. She slicked hands together and smoothed palms along her thighs till tight skin loosened.

The breeze kicked up. Her nostrils flared but she dismissed the flutter of decay. Divorce left her with over-sensitive olfactory organs. A shudder of gooseflesh rippled down her ribs before she blocked out the ugly memories.

The boredom of sunbathing relaxed her shoulders. Beyond the white sand, brilliant blue water extended from the horizon in successive dancing lines. Each wave rose, frosted by froth, tumbled ashore and lapped at the waterline. Penelope wriggled her toes, vivid pink nails flashing, and arched her spine, yawned and stretched.

Bliss.

After the frantic horror surrounding Marcus’ infidelity, even the nausea caused by the massive doses of tacise and synbatec eased. Public outrage compelled the court to mandate the experimental cocktail of powerful antibiotics be administered. She survived the contagion but not without side effects.

Her ex-husband, a slave enthralled, pumped life into the zombie Queen’s dead flesh. Penelope embraced her tropical island abstinence. Bending her head back, she admired the inverted coconut clusters, a forest of brown trunks creating a shadowy stand topped by ragged bursts of foliage.

The wind shifted direction, carried a familiar cloying stench, filled her mouth with putrescence.

Penelope scrambled to her feet.

Seconds later a zombie blundered onto the beach. He lurched forward, arms reaching, inarticulate gurgling erupting in his throat, desiccated tongue scraping across wrinkled lips.

Darting around the shambling hulk, Penelope skipped out of range. A roundhouse kick might collapse his chest or dislocate an arm, and a hard blow could tear the weak tissue free of tendon and bone.

Penelope’s stomach clenched and growled with hunger.

My entry is #44
Campaign Challenge #3 Rules:
No more than 300 words in length.
Must include: it’s morning, a man or woman is at the beach, the main character is bored,
something stinks behind where he/she is sitting, something surprising happens.
For fun include all five senses AND the random words: synbatec, wastopaneer, and tacise.

  1. #1 by Jess on October 18, 2011 - 9:27 pm

    Very interesting! I want to know more of the story!! Great job!(I'm entry #5)

  2. #2 by Tameri Etherton on October 19, 2011 - 2:21 am

    I totally want to know more! These challenges are so much fun to read. Well done, Lesann.

  3. #3 by Sheri L. Swift on October 19, 2011 - 2:40 am

    Aww, Zombie Nation! Very interesting use of the words! ; )

  4. #4 by Angela Wallace on October 19, 2011 - 3:19 am

    Wow. "Creepy" isn't the right word, but I'm blanking on a better one.

  5. #5 by Doctor FTSE on October 19, 2011 - 6:11 am

    Great story outline in only 300 words.

  6. #6 by Jen on October 19, 2011 - 12:33 pm

    This is great work, Lesann! I definitely want to know more!

  7. #7 by Jenny S. Morris on October 19, 2011 - 3:29 pm

    Great use of the words, and world set-up. I am really intrigued.

  8. #8 by K.T. Hanna on October 19, 2011 - 3:35 pm

    Great Zombie twist to this. I liked your incorporation of the challenge words too.Well done.

  9. #9 by David Powers King on October 19, 2011 - 8:50 pm

    Love me some zombies! 🙂

  10. #10 by Lesann Berry on October 19, 2011 - 9:17 pm

    Thanks for all the supportive words and for visiting and reading my entry! This is the first time I've dipped my toe in the zombie pool and I gotta say – lots of fun potential! …y'all should try it too!

  11. #11 by Angela Cothran on October 20, 2011 - 2:51 am

    Zombies on the beach! Now that is creative 🙂 Great job.

  12. #12 by AveryMarsh on October 20, 2011 - 1:59 pm

    Oooo, that took an eerie turn, and I liked it. 😉 Great descriptions, especially the part about the zombie. *shudders*

  13. #13 by Tara Tyler on October 20, 2011 - 7:09 pm

    love zombies and a surprise ending!good job =)

  14. #14 by Ruth Hartman Berge on October 21, 2011 - 12:17 am

    That's the beginning of a wonderful zombie tale! I like the way you built up to the end of the scene.

  15. #15 by Abby on October 21, 2011 - 4:09 am

    Well done. Cool to go with the zombie! I don't think I could write a zombie, but you did awesome. So glad to find your blog! 🙂

  16. #16 by Alynza Smith on October 21, 2011 - 6:25 pm

    "Penelope’s stomach clenched and growled with hunger."Ooh I loved that the story turned like this. Great descriptions. Nice job 🙂

  17. #17 by MISH on October 21, 2011 - 7:33 pm

    C-R-E-E-P-Y !! And great twist at the end.(My entry at no.#47)

  18. #18 by Lady Gwen on October 21, 2011 - 8:01 pm

    Good thing zombies are slow because the rest of us normal people need to get away! But, hmmm. Was she a zombie-eater? Love your take on the challenge. I'm #65.

  19. #19 by Clarbojahn on October 21, 2011 - 8:08 pm

    GREAT Ending! Loved this Halloween treat. Hope you like mine #91. It's much milder about growing up. Clar

  20. #20 by Fairview on October 22, 2011 - 4:10 am

    zombie twist at the end was good! like your use os wastopaneer too. good job!

  21. #21 by mooderino on October 23, 2011 - 1:06 pm

    Zombie divorce, nice.mood(now following)Moody Writing@mooderino

  22. #22 by Medeia Sharif on October 23, 2011 - 2:23 pm

    A great zombie tale. You have my vote.

  23. #23 by Maeve Frazier on October 24, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    You did such a great job! Love it.

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