During the summer, I started trying to write my first free-will story. In other words, i tried writing for fun, not for school. I came up with some ideas, and created a prologue. Things got busy, and soon I forgot about it, but now I want to pick it up again. After tweaking the prologue, and altering my ideas, I'm now stuck. I don't have a title yet, I'll see if one comes to me as I write (although I'm also open to suggestions). I'll add my prologue to the thread, and if anyone is reading this, I would really love some advice. Prologue The screams were everywhere. They were repeatedly echoing off of every single surface in that trashy old mall we made our safe haven. It didn't seem like there was enough living people left to create all of those screams of agony, all of that bloodshed, and all of that chaos. Then again, the meaning of "living" is debatable now. Some say they're dead. No longer human, but instead a psychotic being with only one ambition: to slaughter and eat the flesh of the uninfected. When your beautiful world evolves into a breeding-ground for bedlam and terror, you become numb to it. It becomes to be a game to you, a contest where the objective of the competitors is simply to survive for as long as possible. There are no winners in this game, though. Just the living, the dead, and the others. You start to get used to the idea of killing another human being, living or dead, when necessary. It gets easier and easier to end the life of someone you once knew and loved with every pull of the trigger. Like I said: you're numb, but not this time. I stood right in front of her--the woman who raised me, fed me, bathed me, and loved me all my life. It's funny how even when you're numb to all you used to feel, the pain of knowing what you need to do next is extreme enough to break through this barrier you put up to protect yourself from yourself. With these safety walls down, I was vulnerable. All of my memories and emotions came flooding back, permeating the strength of my mind. They made me weak again; brought me right back to square one when it all started. I couldn't pull the trigger on her. My mother, the kindest woman I have ever known, was the town sweetheart before all of this. She had a grace about her that accented her unique beauty. That grace was gone in that moment. The only person who loved me as much as my father, was now a lumbering, staggering monster that only wanted to kill me. I couldnt do it. My finger hovered over the trigger of my rifle, as my memories and my survival instinct warred within me. The war lasted too long. With all of my senses pointed at my mother, I never moved, never looked around me, and never notice Mr. O'Flaherty behind me. Still fighting with myself, it took several moments before I even felt him. It was all in slow motion, as I began to feel the teeth of the friendly old man that ran the local deli sinking into my right shoulder. The sound of my muscles and flesh tearing open, and my shoulder bone crunching, distracted me from the excruciating pain I felt soon after. My scream was silent, maybe from my utter bewilderment within the turmoil. A powerfully silent scream, followed by a thin wavering wail as my mind began to make sense of the situation. Awkwardly, I grasped my rifle between my knees and aimed with my left arm. A shot to the brainstem is what it takes to kill them--for good. It took me a several rounds to finish off Mr. O'Flaherty, whereas before the bite, I could easily get him in one. One shot, to end the tugging and tearing at my shoulder. I could feel the infection quickly spreading through my body, I never thought I would ever survive after being bit; few do, but that's a good thing. It means less of them to deal with. It clouded my mind, but I still knew I was being consumed by the evil that killed everyone I loved. Before long, I would become one of them, one of nature's assassins meant to defeat the innocent, the guilty, the brave, and the helpless. Still on my knees, I turned my rifle around. I took a long, deep breath, that felt as agonizing as the bite itself, and pressed the icy metal barrel against my forehead. *** I'm still trying to find my ideas and piece them together into a decent plot, but if any of you would like to kick around some more ideas, I would love that! Thank you for reading.