Here's a recent piece I did for my Creative Writing class and it got a surprisingly good reception from the class. What are your thoughts? ------------------------------------------------------ Loveless paced back and forth, his strides tight and proper like the green shirt he wore. But his stride was not adorned with stars and medals like the shirt. Computers and lights flickered on and off as a team of four men and two women sat in front of a large screen; looking at the man they called General in his military uniform. He had stopped his pacing and now looked regrettably out the only window in the room, down to the land below. The large plane the team of generals had been traveling on, the BoA-12 was a prototype. It functioned as a base in the air with its thick frame, dense armor, and amazing size. It couldnâ€™t land in the local football dome if it tried. However, the BoA-12 had become the last refuge for many who had survived. Its shaky doors and leaky pipes did little to keep up an air of security. As much of a science fair experiment it was, the ship was all they had. Loveless, for the first time in his forty-year military career was unsure. He watched a dove fly by the window and remained like stone. One of the women spoke, her short brown hair motionless as she stood to speak, â€œItâ€™s been four years since 2012 Sir, we need to act now or we may lose our shot at regaining our footing in this battle.â€ â€œThe napalm we have left in this junk heap may be all we have left, we canâ€™t hesitate, it took us too long to gather enough of it to make these bombs operational,â€ another officer said from the back of the room. Men are supposed to robots, machines that kill on target and require little to function and survive, especially the men of war. Soldiers, generals, canon fodder, all made of iron. Loveless was perhaps the most confusing general one could meet. His tactics were always effective and swift, but actual attacks and operations were rare. He did not like to see innocent people die. â€œI donâ€™t doubt our strategy,â€ Loveless grumbled. â€œI doubt our ethics. Can you bomb these people and not feel for them, knowing they were once human?â€ The familiar cold tone of silence overcame the chamber. The silence was typical years ago, when Loveless would tell war stories speak of the men he watched die in battle to the new recruits. He had recalled one man who looked up at him and said, â€œJesus, Iâ€™m so glad youâ€™re here for me, I could really use your help right now.â€ â€œItâ€™s me son, Loveless, you hear?â€ Bullets whizzed by them and planted themselves in the cement walls. â€œItâ€™s okay my lord, I know you work in mysterious ways.â€ The soldierâ€™s voice began to fade. Thwap! Thwap! Ting! â€œCharlie donâ€™t you die on me son, I need my best poker buddy to come back alive, so we can keep taking money from those sailors,â€ he laughed. Charlie smiled. He was dead at twenty two. Loveless returned a grim stare to his company. â€œFire when ready.â€ -------------- â€œPsst . . . Luke! . . . Hey Luke!â€ Eddie whispered from the alleyway. Luke pivoted, looking for the source of the noise. The streets were just as empty as they had been for three years now. Turning again, he saw Eddie hiding in the narrow pass between the two apartment buildings. He dashed as quietly as possible to his friend, being sure not to attract attention. The two teenaged boys, brothers, walked down the alley and climbed a fire escape to the top of the ten story apartment complex, dubbed the Orange House. The boysâ€™ jeans were darkening over time with dirt and mud as well as their shirts, almost too small for them now. Their boots clanged on the rusty stairway as they approached the roof. A light breeze ruffled Lukeâ€™s ear length sandy colored hair. His mother would tell him when he was little that God had dropped a bowl of spaghetti on his head and thatâ€™s where his disheveled hair came from. They walked to the edge of the building, gazing over. The city that lay out in front of them was slowly burning down, all the people were gone, they took the sun with them. The clouds were all that remained, a dull shine trying to penetrate them. Eddie punched Luke hard in the arm. â€œWhat the hell was that for?â€ â€œWhat the fuck is the matter with you? Look at me, Iâ€™m big tough Luke, gonna waltz through the streets to find me a CD player so I can rock out . . . at my funeral!â€ He shouted. â€œDamnit, yeah it was dumb, but be quiet dude,â€ Luke said, massaging his throbbing right shoulder. â€œI just really want one.â€ â€œYeah I know, we all want something, but the city is a damned ruin now, nothing but a shadow now,â€ Eddie said, sitting down, letting his feet hang off the side of the building. Luke stood next to him and pulled out a cigarette and lit it, letting the smoke fill his lungs. â€œItâ€™s funny, along with all the people in the city; it seems like all the good stuff disappeared too. TVs, CDs, DVDs, games, porn . . . none of its left. I always said-â€ â€œYeah, yeah, that if the world ended, people would only be upset because they couldnâ€™t take their TVs. I know your cynicism, pal,â€ Eddie interrupted, lighting a cigarette as well. â€œIâ€™d rather see the sun one more time.â€ Luke took another drag. â€œYou know how stupid we must look up here? Weâ€™re like, straight out of a science fiction magazine â€¦ two guys in a post-apocalyptic world, smoking and missing their music and games. All we need is a washed-up child star to act along side us and weâ€™ll have a winning combination,â€ Luke laughed. â€œOnly if Scarlett Johansson is in it, too,â€ Eddie replied. â€œAmen,â€ Luke smiled. Eddie exhaled, watching the smoke take flight into the noontime air. â€œSo where to today?â€ Eddie spoke up. â€œWhat do you mean?â€ Luke questioned. â€œWell, youâ€™ve always got some stupid idea, why donâ€™t you let me in on one this time?â€ â€œYou wouldnâ€™t follow me into Readerâ€™s Estate,â€ â€œYeah, thatâ€™s because it was surrounded with those . . . things.â€ â€œThings?â€ â€œYeah, the things.â€ â€œWhy canâ€™t you just say it?â€ â€œTheyâ€™re just fuckinâ€™ things, okay?â€ â€œWell yeah, but theyâ€™re called Zo-â€œ â€œI donâ€™t give a shit what theyâ€™re called. Theyâ€™re goddamned things!â€ Eddie yelled, his body tensing up. Luke bit his lip and tapped his cigarette at his side. â€œWell, whoâ€™d have thought we would use it seriously? I mean, weâ€™re living in a George Romero flick,â€ Luke said. Eddie sighed heavily. A candy wrapper flew through the air, landing at Lukeâ€™s feet and dancing a brief jig before fluttering off once again. It came for one dance only and left without as much as a goodbye. â€œHey bro, remember the first time we got Cousin Louie drunk? How he danced in front of the house and across the street with Elizaâ€™s â€œMy Size Barbieâ€ doll singing Unchained Melody?â€ Luke lost control and laughed heartily. Eddieâ€™s cold stare broke and he too began to crack up. â€œMan, it took us two days to find that doll, Eliza was pissed. Iâ€™ve never seen sis so angry before,â€ he chuckled. â€œThen he started yelling at it, saying-â€ Luke tried to regain his composure. â€œ-he kept telling it it was a bad father!â€ Eddie fell backwards on the cold stone of the building, letting the joy of the memory fill him up as he laughed hysterically. The clouds grew brighter, startling the two boys. Eddie stood up and Luke dropped his cigarette. It was as if they were about to meet the president. They both stood expectantly and excitedly, looking up to the shady sky with a single spot of light. â€œIs that the sun?â€ Luke said, his jaw dropping just a bit. â€œIt doesnâ€™t look like it, but I hope so,â€ Eddie said. â€œI heard sunlight repels the zom-â€œ â€œEnough about the fuckinâ€™ things!â€ Eddie yelled again. â€œDamn, could you yell just a bit louder, it may help us die quicker,â€ Luke shot back venomously. They both felt a new kind of joyous anticipation they hadnâ€™t felt in years. â€œItâ€™s warm, I can feel it . . . like Iâ€™m on the beach again,â€ Eddie said, his grin wide, laying back down and closing his eyes, waiting for the rays of the sun. â€œYeah, Iâ€™m on the beach again.â€ Luke followed suit and lay down, taking off his shirt. â€œBring me back to Florida, baby,â€ Luke remarked, closing his eyes and relaxing. ------------------ â€œDirect hit, Carson City is gone, Sir. Napalms were a success,â€ a stern voice came from across the room. Loveless sighed. He didnâ€™t breathe in deep enough to respond. The city burned below the plane, the ashes inside him.