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A sample Submission (Updated for 2015)
« on: July 09, 2012, 01:30:37 PM »
Title: It was a dark and stormy night (or whatever you named your story)
Category: Best Theme Work, Best Original Work, Best Derivative Work (fan-fiction), Best Cross-Genre Fiction, Best Humorous Work, Best Poetry, Most Creative Use of Cthulhu, Fan-Favorite, Gag Awards
Your story goes here.



You can submit your story here in the guild, if you're a member, by clicking new topic and pasting it in. Or you can submit it by email to guildmaster@farpwg.org, same format but in the subject line put Short Story 2013 to make it easier.

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You can also send this confirmation as a PM (private Message) through the Guild: look to the left, you'll see my avatar, which is actually me, and go to the symbols below it, bottom row on the right and click you'll see Lord Palatine as a recipient in red, fill in a subject, then add your information in the box under all of the little happy smiling faces.

The harder way to PM works like this, On the menu bar above Click - My Messages > New Message > type in Lord Palatine in the to box, in a second or two a little box will come up with that name in it, click it and you'll see it come up in red below, fill in a subject, then add your information in the box under all of the little happy smiling faces.
Easy Peasy!   
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 09:15:18 AM by Lord Palatine »

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Re: A sample Submission (Updated for 2015)
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 07:01:58 PM »
Title: Sarge
Category: Best Derivative Work (fan-fiction)

Note: (Note that notes aren't required, but you can add clarifications or anything you'd like here.) This is set in the timeline of Max Brook' World War Z : An Oral History of the Zombie War and told in the story of the book, as a vignette. I just laid it out in one piece rather than breaking after they escaped Yonkers and picked up a second part later. It's mostly told from the perspective of a young enlisted person, just less jargon that you might actually hear.




Most of us met the Sarge at the same time, he drove a blue 90 passenger bus through a shitload of zombies, kicked the door open and told us to get our asses in. But before I get ahead of myself, this was the Battle of Yonkers. It was a beautiful setup, we saw it rolling through to a smaller airport between Yonkers and White Plains. At Yonkers we saw tanks in prepared fighting positions, Bradleys, Humvees, electronic warfare vehicles, anti-aircraft vehicles, engineer and bridging vehicles, and thousands of GIs in prepared defensive fighting positions, textbook down to the grenade sumps. We kept going and set up field operations with a chain link fence between us and the world.

We’d heard about the Sarge, the officers wanted us all, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in MOPP 4, full chem suits, masks, body armor, the whole shit and schmear. The Sarge went through every officer he could find pointing out a few things, Zombies, or Zack as we called him, didn’t have guns, grenades, aircraft, electronics or chemical weapons. It was a waste of freaking time to even dig in unless we were looking at something outside the wire to slow down Zack.

He fought, he argued, he was very convincing, they fired him. Removed from his duties and given a bus to ferry around people and gear. That would be the bus mentioned earlier. So, Yonkers was a fucking mess. Seriously, cluster-fuck from start to finish. We weren't even supposed to be part of the mess; we were supposedly safe in the rear with the gear. Hell, we were supposed to be out behind the rear. The problem is that they weren’t fighting the rompin' stompin' Roosian red-ass or fundy fanatic terrorists, it was the dead, zombies. It was Zack.

They baited Zack and led him north toward Yonkers, and it worked, a few million poured out and then they didn’t follow the roads like the planners had planned for, they had the Hudson River to the left and Long Island Sound on the right, Zack came through Yonkers and he flanked Yonkers through Mt Vernon and New Rochelle, they spread way the fuck out and squashed everything that got in their way like doo-doo bugs. The prepared fighting positions barely slowed them down, and when the guys in Yonkers broke and ran they weren’t even slowed down anymore.

So, there was us, helicopter and aviation specialists waiting to rearm choppers and fix anything that couldn’t make it to their own bases after bombing and strafing the Z when they bottlenecked at Yonkers. Bottlenecked my ass, they don't follow roads unless it leads them to fresh meat. So, we were fucked. Officers were screaming for us to grab our shit and man the perimeter. We were roasting and sweating in the gear that the Sarge said was a waste of time, and he was right. We weren't even a speed bump, they kept coming and we were assholes and elbows and running for our lives. I think we were all about worn out and people were dropping from exhaustion or heat stroke when this big-assed school bus pulled up and there's Sarge.

We stuffed ourselves into that big beautiful blue bastard, the sign said 90 max capacity, they meant students but we crammed 116 armed and loaded grown-assed adults into that thing, standing room only, and when no more would fit, Sarge floored it. Through the fence and cross country till he hit a road reserved for military convoys, his foot never came off the floor.

Sarge wasn't like anything we'd ever seen. He got us out from the shit, main roads, back roads, parking lots, yards; he tortured the fuck out of that bus until we got to a ferry. He told us to bring the shit off the roof of the bus and follow him. They guy in change of the boat tried to say there was no room, then he tried to say we had to pay. Sarge quietly and politely stated his position, with his M9 Beretta between the guy’s teeth. “You have been commandeered, for as long as it takes to get across.” Sarge said quietly.  We were going to miss that bus, but not too much, the engine and tranny were about shot from all of that cross country Baha action. We got on the boat carrying boxes and duffels off the roof of the bus, stuff Sarge had rounded up when they shafted him. He stood beside the stack and asked for officers, none present. The NCOs did the usual and figured out whose dick was bigger, Sarge had an armload full of those Air Force stripes that said it was him, and the only one that seemed put out by that was a Marine staff sergeant, the next in rank.

So, Sarge looked us over, we had all pulled out masks and stood there in chem suits over our flak jackets, most of wore our helmets, some had them hanging over their canteens. Sarge explained that this was a kind of war, we were fighting things that had to put hands and teeth on us, and there wasn’t much a helmet, or any of the rest could do, so we dumped the MOPP gear over the side, damn that breeze felt good drying the sweat out of our uniforms.

Then he pressed on and lined us up by rank and divvied us up into groups. We had four medics and corpsmen so we had four groups. Then came the less fun part, everyone stripped off, man and woman and we had a bite check. Six were bit and everyone knew what that meant. We all got dressed and Sarge walked off with them where we couldn’t see them anymore, behind a van at the back of the boat…stern, whatever. We heard six rapid fire shots and he came back with a dog tag from each and tucked them into his ruck.

"First lesson," he said in a real sober voice. "Zack gets you, you stay got."

Sarge didn’t fuck around when it came to scrounging, there were fifty cases of MREs, about 10,000 rounds of M-16 ammo, and several duffel bags of those green military wool blankets, and some other stuff, most of that small stuff was in his ruck. Dude was the world fucking champion of scrounging. While the boat putted across the river it was confab time and most of what he said in the next hour wasn’t by the book; hell, he told us that the book would get us killed, and what he said jived with what we saw back at the airstrip.

Zack didn't have artillery, air cover, or snipers; he couldn't kill you unless he got his hands on you, and if he got his hands on us then our helmets and body armor just gave him places to grab. So, helmets and those big-assed vests piled on top of the chem gear went over the side. The captain of the boat was pissed, he would have sold it, but Sarge wasn’t very fond of that little bastard, so he went out of his way to twist the blade in him.

Then the one that hurt, all automatic weapon fire was good for was mowing down things that bled, so we disabled and dumped all of our Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW) over the side and the gunners swapped to the -16s our six casualties left to us. We also divvied up what was in their rucks too. The SAW ammo we kept, they shot the same 5.56mm NATO, so we had a pretty good ammo store.

Then he really broke our hearts and told us we were freaking walking out of this shit storm. The roads were choked with Zack and those waiting to feed him. It was all cross country from here. He held up a survival radio, the type that pilots carry in case they get shot down. Everything is pulling back, he told us, away from cities. We might find our way to a base but it was going to be a walk before we found one that the winners of the Battle of Yonkers wouldn't find.

So, we rucked up and started hoofing it. While we walked, we learned the rules of the Sarge's world, since it was his world and we were breathing his air, we shut up and listened.

•    Nobody did anything alone. You needed to drain the weasel then your buddy went with you. Same for dropping trow. Lack of privacy sucked less than Zack's teeth.

•    We only used two positions on the -16s Mode selectors, safe and semi. Zack didn't drop for burst fire, only precision shooting. Anybody that panicked and blasted away gave up all but half a mag. Burst was only on Sarge's say so.

•    Our E-tools were weapons; the only digging we'd do was graves and latrines. If anyone felt the need to sleep in either, that was on them.

And he came up with more of them as we marched out, and I mean marched. Column of fours, point and drag out, and what he called flankers and skirmishers. Come to find out he read a lot of books, and the wars of Washington, Wellington, and Grant interested him the most. He never really mentioned Cornwallis, Napoleon or Lee. Why study the losers?

Marching bunched up really threw us, even though we were at route travel. We'd always been trained not to bunch up, but Zack isn't use artillery, grenades or rifles. Interval was a buffet while a tighter formation offered security against wandering dead. While we walked he talked and more importantly he listened. He figured out who knew how to do what, those that hunted, fished, who knew what and who blew smoke.

Sarge never claimed to be a big brain, but he’d thought all of this through, this whole scenario. Freaky huh? He had to write a paper for one of those pencil pushing schools that the Airdales love so much, build the toughest scenario you can, and then solve it. He chose something like what we were doing. Didn’t mean he liked the shit we were in, he just kept his face above the nasty and didn’t stop.

The Staff Sergeant may have been put out at first but he came around quickly, Sarge had the stripes and he had the balls and that’s what it takes to impress a gyrene. Those two had their heads together a lot. We were all in specialized fields, we trained and did field exercises, but we were short on grunts. One of our Corpsmen had more actual combat experience than most of the rest of us put together. So we kept humping. One hundred and ten of us, 65 men and 45 women, made for one mixed pair of fighting buddies, so Sarge picked the youngest female to partner up with. She worked with field communications and computers, so that may have been part of the reason he chose her too.

Sarge’s ruck was not regulation. It matched his uniform, but that was all you could say about it. A lot of pockets and a chest pouch he carried maps and a laptop computer. No shit, Sarge went to war with a Toughbook. He also had a solar charger for it. He hooked a satellite phone to it and he could pull up maps and shit, no matter where we were he knew it. He stole it from some officer I think, he said that he normally carried his Kindle and a Droid Tablet in there usually; I never saw them so he must have dumped them at the beginning.

The funniest bit of non standard gear that he carried was a pair of manual hand clippers. He kept his hair short and his beard shorter. He clipped his beard a couple of times a week but didn’t shave. Short hair kept down the bugs and longer hair got nasty if you couldn’t wash it every day. Shaving was dangerous, he figured. If you scraped a blade over your face then you left the skin tender and opened little cuts, and if you got splashed with Zack goop you could accidentally get infected. We didn’t complain, shaving in the field sucked anyway, so we all did the same and we even scrounged up more clippers in a few small towns.
Small towns were bad, cities were death traps. All together we had four loaded magazines apiece, and enough boxed ammo each to reload them once, so roughly 25,000 rounds of 5.56mm NATO, plus a smaller amount of 9mm for those few that had sidearms, mainly Sarge and the Corpsmen. So, if we were careful with our ammo we could drop a few hundred Z and only spend a couple of rounds each in a small town. Even a small city would leave us using rifles as clubs.

It took us a frigging month to get clear of New York and Pennsylvania and we were freaking footsore and exhausted and had burned off half our ammo and we were being real fucking careful with rations. It was good fucking times when we took down a big friggin cow, it didn’t last long but damn that was good times, but nothing like when we came across a shipping warehouse, it belonged to one of those big online retailers and after we cleaned out Zack we found ourselves in pretty good shape, even considering that it had been picked over at least once.

We managed to stock up on new boots, socks and skivvies all the way around, along with what was missed for things like vitamins and we even found a stock of female products, which was good fucking news for about a third of us. We took a little time there, ready to bug out, but we needed a few things and here it was. We managed to use a little redneck engineering and made some all terrain carts out of mountain bike parts and some other stuff that we scrounged up. We still wanted to travel light, but there were some comforts of home that would do us some good. We rested and pounded every calorie we could find still left in the place and we even managed to rig up cold showers and wash clothes from a big water tank that supplied the sprinkler system. A few days later though and we were on the road again, rucks a little heavier and carting along some essentials.

We ducked well south of Monroeville and Pittsburgh, Monroeville was just too creepy to think about, especially when somebody remembered that it was where they filmed the original Dawn of the dead. Ohio got us some relief though. Sarge talked to one of the cargo planes that circled around doing recon over the country. We got a lot of news and they talked him through uploading a list of all of our names through the sat net. A couple of days later we found out we rated a supply drop.

Talk about manna from heaven! Ammo, rations, maps, better radios, even hand-crank chargers. One pallet, but it was amazing. We even kept the chutes and cordage, we bundled it all up and hauled ass, rucks and carts full again. Sarge had a rare smile over it all, there was a little package in it for him, somebody in the supply chain knew him and sent him a note and coffee. Real coffee. It looked like he would cry for joy.

But there was bad news too. We now had maps, all marked up and we were so fucked. Zack owned everything for weeks in every direction. The cities were gone, a few bases held out here and there but they were surrounded, a few towns had barricaded themselves, but it didn’t look good for them. We now had orders though; get to the other side of the Rockies.

Oh sure, no fucking problem. 1,500 miles, all owned by Zack, it would take months because we would be dodging towns and cities, and large groups of Zack, and live marauders. Sarge gave us all the hairy eyeball and told us to find our grownup panties and pull them up tight. That didn’t mean he didn’t give somebody an earful over the radio that night. In the morning, a new plan: fuck all else, we’re going to Omaha.

Good-sized base and it was being built into a major hub for resupply across the country. Best thing for us, it was 600 miles closer. So it was a helluva walk, but we’d see what luck we could make between here and there. It wasn’t going to be easy though, We were all beat up already; problems with feet and ankles and knees mostly, but you don’t live for weeks and miles with a pack without that acting up too. Some of us were young, but Sarge had been doing this shit longer than a few of us had been alive, he was the oldest but there were a few more in their 30s and 40s. Nerves were stretched tight too. We hadn’t lost anyone since the ferry ride, but that couldn’t last, could it? Then we knew there would be sickness eventually, and the sky was dark now a lot more than it should be, and it was cooling off. The Pakistani’s and Iranians had popped a few nukes off at each other and apparently the Mid East and India had gone hot for a few weeks, but Zack put an end to that shit too. Now we were going to have to deal with nuclear winter on top of everything else.

Fucking wonderful.

Sarge was watching us close and getting grayer every day. He’d read the reports of suicides on the rise among cut off forces and he didn’t want that shit on his watch. We all saw it wearing on him; he mostly avoided people that he thought would want to join with us, and turned away those that tried. We needed to join with a larger fighting force, he was always reading reports of this group of that joining with the forces west of the Rockies. Some of them were preparing to contain the infection in the cities. He’d already given up on that notion, we were headed to Omaha and Offutt Air Force Base, because not only were we more trigger-pullers to hold the base, we were all aviation maintenance specialties and we could keep aircraft flying and supplying the holdouts.

But every refusal wore on him, and there wasn’t much we could do to take that off of him. Every time he said no it spared us from having to do it, it gave us an order to hide behind. We gave them directions to the nearest holdout community and then we hauled ass. There were only two exceptions that he made, a ten year old girl that was all alone but she had one of her mom’s dog tags around her neck, and a tiny little yap yap dog. Sarge had scouted past point, he and his battle buddy did this a lot, Sarge didn’t like to sit too much and so he wandered now and then while we took ten. They saw a little yap yap dog standing her ground and raising holy hell and lead three Zack all around a clearing. Sarge had a suppressed M9 and tapped all three and scooped up that little mutt. The dog rode against his chest from that day on. He got little bits of Sarge’s rations. We all started feeding that little mutt when we figured out it had a helluva nose and could sniff out Zack, and infected people.

The Kid walked along with us and sometimes rode in one of the carts, and in our few larger fights she sat in the middle and loaded magazines for the rest of us. She was fast as hell and kept the ammo coming back to us. On one of our occasional drops they sent out more clothes for her, probably the smallest uniforms off the rack. Over time she had full gear, we lost a few here and there and when we had no choice but to stand and fight a few times our numbers finally dropped down to 63. Sarge gave up a battle buddy to even out the numbers, he said that damn dog was all the warning he needed, and it helped him keep a little command distance, I think they called it. We lost 45 men and women, but most of them didn’t die outright, and Sarge wouldn’t let anyone else make those walks out into the woods to put down the bit and infected.

Damn it was a beautiful day when Sarge’s buddy from Offutt circled over us in a big C-130 and directed us to a pick up spot. We secured ourselves into a high school football field in western Iowa and waited for the choppers, and they were beautiful! They lifted us out in four of the big bastards and flew in style over a distance it would have taken days to walk, if we could have made it. Zack was all over the fucking place outside the wire.

That flight was the last time any of us saw Sarge. They called it a heart attack, it didn’t kill him but he fell asleep during the flight and didn’t stand up when we landed. We carried him off and loaded him into the ambulance ourselves and they ran him to the base hospital. We were scattered to billets and put to work after a week of convalescent time, I think we all tried to visit the Sarge but he was in intensive care and hadn’t regained consciousness. They flew him out on a mostly-empty flight going back to one of the western bases with better medical care. That damn dog went with him, so did the little girl. We never heard if he made it or not. I think we all hope he did, drinking coffee and fishing in the mountains with that damned little yap yap dog.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 09:14:49 AM by Lord Palatine »

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Re: A sample Submission (Updated for 2014)
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 07:34:45 PM »
(The Email)

Hi Tim, here is my information for the short story contest, my entry is: Sarge

Name: Tim Boothby
AIM Code: Number (or if you plan to register at the door let me know here and stop by the photo room and I'll update your information)
Phone number: 555-5555
Email: Guildmaster@farpwg.org

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Tim writes about whatever crosses his mind at the moment. (you can be wordier if you like)

 

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Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 18, 2018, 11:08:14 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 18, 2018, 09:07:24 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 17, 2018, 11:48:39 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 17, 2018, 11:38:05 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 17, 2018, 11:10:44 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 17, 2018, 11:06:29 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 17, 2018, 10:33:01 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 11, 2018, 09:32:31 PM]

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