Every Minute Counts

It was over. It seemed to last for just an instant, yet it was the best he ever had. And what made it all worth it was that her husband was expected to be home soon and he had finished just in time. 

She lay on the bed, not bothering to move after that satisfying intimate encounter. He smiled to himself. She would need a few hours to recover from that.

However, he could not dwell on what was now in the past, exciting as it was. He had to hurry or else their little fling would come to an abrupt end. 

He would not have hurried if he knew her husband was a coward. He could have taken the husband if he was, but he wasn’t. It turned out that her husband was the instructor for a pro-wrestler. He did not want to be here when that man came in the door.

The man put on his suit jacket and shiny black shoes. The woman sighed a goodbye and he grunted his. Once downstairs he fished for his car keys in his pants pocket but came up with nothing. He shrugged and checked the other pocket. Nothing there either. The front inside pocket also came up empty. 

No need to panic, he thought. They have to be here somewhere. He checked the kitchen. The room did not yield any results either. The bedroom was unresponsive as well considering the many outcries which had gone on just before.

Now he was starting to panic. Where could they be? He wondered. He knew he put them somewhere close by so he would be able to have a quick getaway if time was running short. Yet, they were nowhere to be found.

The dining room. Nothing. Living room, study, garage all came up with nothing. Time was running out, her husband would be home soon, and he was an hour away from home so it was not a good idea to walk. He could not run fast if her husband caught on and decided to run after him for a nice little chat. He had to find those keys and fast.

He rummaged through the sheets, the jackets in the hallway closet with no success. His keys were nowhere to be found. Sighing in defeat he resolved to call a cab. He grabbed his trench coat and reluctantly put it on. Sighing again he put his hands in his coat pockets and was just about to head out the back door when his fingers struck against the jagged edges of metal. He had found his car keys and with not a moment to lose. He heard the sound of a car’s motor in the front driveway. Her husband was home. 

The man quit the house out the back and managed to get the door closed without a sound when her husband walked in the front door.

Her husband loosened his tie and dropped his car keys on the kitchen table. His wife must be upstairs, he thought. The poor thing, she must be tired after a long day’s work. He went upstairs with the roses he bought from the flower shop down the street to give her some solace from her tough day. He was about to reach down to hug her small frame, which was propped up in bed with a pillow, when an unfamiliar piece of cloth that was hanging from the bed post caught his eye.

Her lover had forgotten his tie.

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Editing Progress #16

Horror Novel:

  • Word count = 57, 664 (1,897 words added)
  • Pages = 163 (4 pages added)
  • Editing Chapter = 10 (well, I’m really writing a whole new chapter then editing it)

Nearly done with chapter 10 then I will edit it and move on to chapter’s 11-13.

70k here I come!

Until next time.

Happy writing!

MH

Editing Progress #15

Horror Novel: 

  • Word count = 55, 767 (1,927 words added since last Thursday!)
  • Pages = 159 (4 pages added to the Word document with normal margins, double-spaced, Calibri size 11 font)
  • Chapters edited: 23-26 out of 26 (total count will be 29 after a few scenes are finished and polished)

The first round of edits is mostly done (about 90%). I am writing four more chapters to give the middle of the story a little more bulk. I’ve already tidied up loose ends throughout and checked plot consistency. I have two more run-throughs to do after these four chapters are complete and edited. 

As a bonus, here are the titles for the four chapters I’m writing:

CHAPTER TEN – BLACK HALLWAYS

CHAPTER ELEVEN – THE JACKAL

CHAPTER TWELVE – SIX HEADS, ONE MIND

CHAPTER THIRTEEN – THE GRIMLOCK
Progress, progress, progress!

Until next time.

Happy Writing!

MH

Editing Progress #14

Horror Novel:

  • Word count = 53, 840 (+304)
  • Pages = 154 (+2)
  • Chapters edited = 21 & 22 (out of 26)

The end is nigh! I might aim to finish this first round of edits tonight as there are only 23 pages left to go. I can’t wait to finish this WIP.

Until next time.

Happy Writing!

MH

Old Man Gossip

Old man Bob was sitting calmly on a local park bench drinking his discount coffee when his good old friend Old man George comes wheezing up the trail waving his cane wildly in the air. He obviously had something important to tell his dear old friend.

“So did you hear about Jerry?” George wheezed, sitting down hard on the park bench and mopping his head with a bright red handkerchief.

“No,” Bob replied, setting down his coffee. “What happened?”

With an excited look on his face and a questionable look from his friend, George told Bob the exciting news that had been travelling around the Old folk’s home all morning. 

“Apparently Jerry’s wife was cheating on him…”

“No way,” exclaimed Bob. “I didn’t know Jerry’s wife still had life in her that old cow. She seemed so….shriveled up.”

“Yeah, everyone else thought the same. But this time was different.”

“This time? You mean she’s done it more than once?”

“Yeah supposedly this has been going on for months.”

Bob gaped at George. It was impossible, he thought. Jerry must have overstocked his sleeping pills to be able to miss something that seemed so…obvious. It’s not every day that a woman of Jerry’s wife’s age could sneak around behind everyone’s backs. When did she have time between all her appointments and with all those watchful nurses around?

“So anyway,” George continued. “When Jerry caught her he went into a screaming rage.”

“Really? Usually that guy’s so relaxed.”

“I know eh?” George wheezed. “So anyway, he starts throwing chairs around the lunch room and is yelling his head off.”

“He didn’t hurt anyone did he? And he especially shouldn’t be throwing stuff around with that new hip replacement he had.”

“No, no. No one was hurt, and Jerry seemed fine. After his little episode he took his car keys from the nurse’s desk and left. Went to a pub downtown. Drunk his old ass off.”

“Oh boy, this is serious. That man hardly drinks at all. Must have been real upset.” 

Bob ran his fingers through his gray hair and breathed a heavy sigh.

“Well,” sighed George. “How would you feel if you caught your wife in bed with your mistress?”

Editing Progress #13

Horror Novel:

  • Word count = 53, 536 (642 words added!)
  • Pages 152 (2 more awesome pages added)
  • Chapters edited = 19 & 20 (out of 26)

Those two chapters are so long, but their words are necessary to the turning point of the story (hence the amount of detail in each). The word count keeps climbing and I’m hoping when I’m done editing and when I add a few more chapters (4 to be exact) I can hit the 70k mark or higher. My first novel is around 73k and I want to keep this one about the same.

Until next time.

Happy Writing!

MH

The Monsters in EXISTENCE

I thought it would be a cool idea to write a post about all the different monsters featured in my novel EXISTENCE, the first book in THE WORLD OF THE UNDEAD trilogy. 

While writing this novel way back in January 2016, I drew inspiration for the different breeds of zombies mostly from AMC’s The Walking Dead” and watching my husband play “Fallout 4.”

In EXISTENCE there are four main breeds or mutations of zombies: Grunts, Jackals, Mongrels, and Grimlocks. 

Grunts and Jackals earned their names from Halo (I used to play that game series ALL the time). The names for the Mongrels and Grimlocks are not inspired from anything and were something I came up with on my own. 

The First Stage: Grunts

All of my zombies are “related,” that is they evolve from an original or starter form (similar to Pokemon evolutions). The first stage are called Grunts and are described as: 

…slow and easy to kill… [no] problem killing them [yourself].”

“Normally they [stick] to cities or refugee camps because the noise from the living attracted them. They are more like annoying pests, a nuisance, than a real problem unless the herd was a considerable size. The woods are off limits for [them]. They are able to sense that a greater predator than themselves concealed itself in [the] woods.”

“…are called Grunts because of the grunting noises they make when they walk. They decompose quickly which makes them an easy target if you’re careful.”

Grunts are your typical zombie you find in movies, television shows, and graphic novels. See image below for an idea of what a Grunt would look like. 

Image source: Walker Zombie

The Second Stage: Jackals

Jackals, the second mutation that sometimes evolved from [Grunts], are tougher than Grunts with their wicked long teeth and claws that are perfect for tearing into soft flesh. Jackals can see well in the dark with their big, black eyes and are found underground in the sewer systems where they prey upon smaller animals. Their pale, fragile skin doesn’t allow them to be out in daylight, but they are known to hunt outside at night under the glare of a full moon if desperate enough.”

I just finished reading HG Wells’ novel THE TIME MACHINE and Jackals remind me a little of the subterranean Morlocks. They don’t look like Morlocks however; instead I imagined Jackals to look like a cross between the Crawler Zombies in “Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombie Labs,” Slender Man, and the Pale Man creature from Pan’s Labyrinth. 

Image source: Crawler Zombie

Image source: Pale Man

Image source: Slender Man

None of these images captured the big, black eyes of the Jackal so I found an image with the right sized eyes on an alien. 

Image source: Scary Eyes

The Third Stage: Mongrels

…the complete opposite of its predecessors. They’re smart, hunt in packs, and have a tough, scale-like skin to protect them. Within the Mongrel species there are two distinct classes: the Alphas and the Betas. There is only ever one Alpha for each Mongrel pack, which never exceeds ten in number, and they control everything the Betas do. When a Mongrel signals a fresh kill, a high pitched shriek that can be heard for miles, a Grimlock is never far behind.”

“…the easiest way to kill a Mongrel is by cutting off their heads – they have two – right at the base of the neck where the skin is a little softer.”

Mongrels live in heavily wooded areas and love to hunt unsuspecting humans. After they’ve killed, they need to eat fast before their enemy, the Grimlock, follows the scent of fresh blood. 

What would a two headed zombie even look like? It was difficult to find a picture that satisfied my imagination of what a Mongrel looked like, but I found one that came close: 

Image source: Two Headed Monster

Of course the arms are way off. Mongrels share the same teeth and claws as Jackals and have a little more muscle on their upper body as shown in the picture. No creepy black eyes though. They’d be more cat-like for better night vision when hunting. 

The Fourth Stage: Grimlocks

“The best way to describe them is to imagine a cross between a human, a large dog, some type of reptile, and a rat. They are huge, thanks to the virus, and made entirely of muscle. Grimlocks travel alone, unless they need to mate, as they are extremely aggressive and territorial. They aren’t pretty to look at and they don’t leave much behind after a kill; if they haven’t already eaten the unfortunate soul leftover from a Mongrel kill.”

Grimlocks also live in heavily wooded areas and usually scavenge for their meals, only hunting when necessary. 

So what would a cross between a human, a large dog, a reptile, and a rat look like? For this particular zombie mutation I drew inspiration from the Lickers in “Resident Evil” and Deathclaws in “Fallout 4.”

Image source: Licker

Image source: Baby Deathclaw

I like these images for their appropriate conveyance of the size and muscle on a Grimlock. And they’re badass. I wouldn’t want to come across one of these guys without a tank and a rocket launcher. 

That’s it for all my monsters. I hope you enjoyed reading about them. 

Until next time. 

MH