State of Decay: The Day the World Died, a Horror story | SparkaTale


State of Decay: The Day the World Died

By: Serina Harcourt

Status: In Progress


Alex Masterson and her family are enjoying an annual vacation at Dharma Hunting Lodge, a remote mountain retreat where the lake waters are crystal clear and the air is clean and comfortable. They've left behind the stresses of their normal lives for a few weeks of peace and quiet. There are no cell signals or Internet and TV connections. Their mountain lodge is completely cut off from the rest of the hustling, bustling world. No one there has any idea that the world beneath their mountain has descended into chaos. A terrifying pathogen has ravaged the country and the dead are coming back to life, consumed with a seemingly insatiable hunger. When the pathogen at last reaches the Dharma Lodge, Alex and her family will be forced to flee the mountain, but the old world they left behind is gone. If they are to survive, they'll have to learn to adapt to the new world where the living may be more dangerous than the dead.

Created: June 9, 2015 | Updated: February 15, 2016

Genre : Horror

Language : English

Reviews: 0 | Rating:

Comments: 6

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      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        Hi, sorry for not reading this before, I didn’t notice it until last week :/ Anyway, I thought this chapter was really good. I can’t say I’m familiar with a lot of zombie series but the summary seems very interesting… Also, I thought it was interesting that even though Rich died from un-zombie causes but then he was still infected anyway… I guess the pathogen must be really dangerous and airborne for that to happen O.o Anyway, overall I’m really interested to see how they will get out of this, and what’s happened to the rest of the world in their absence. It sounds very ominous so far… >.<

         I liked how you managed to introduce these characters so well, especially Alex and Rich. I think you built up the confrontation with him really well – at first, I wasn’t sure what to make of him – I didn’t expect him to die so soon and I thought he’d be part of their “team” or whatever, but at the same time he was pretty creepy… Anyway, even though I was wary of him I didn’t really expect him try and rape her, and then get killed by Sawyer (accidentally, but still ) O.o I think your description of that last scene was really great and scary. I’m a wimp when it comes to horror though xD

        "So long as you're not spreading anything else” – This seemed like a strange comment for a brother to make about his sister. I’m not sure why, but even if he was worried about her, it seems odd to word it that way. I couldn’t imagine my big brothers saying things like that to me. But then, they aren’t the protective type at all so who knows what they’d say if they were xD

        July 15, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for commenting :D Yeah, I just kind of snuck this one on here one day and haven't done much with it since. It's sort of a little side project that I work on when I'm stuck on Snowfall (like I am now :P) and it gives me something different to do. Honestly, I'm not that familiar with zombie stories either other than stuff like The Walking Dead. It's definitely a genre that's been done to death and I'm sure I'm trying to reinvent the wheel, but I want to try to put my own spin on it with the way the pathogen works. That's probably been done before too, but oh well xD You'll find out how they'll get out of it not too long after I do seeing as I have no idea myself :P I'm not planning ahead at all with this. I have no idea where I'm going or what will happen next. I'm writing the whole thing completely in the moment, like I'm there and this stuff is happening and I'm just writing it down. It's both really fun and really terrifying at the same time :P

        I'm glad you liked the introductions of the characters. I always feel like introducing characters is one of my weakest areas, so yay xD I do kind of wish I'd kept Rich around a while longer, since I could see him and Sawyer coming into constant conflict over Alex while they're trying to survive. He would have been interesting to have in the group, but unfortunately I liked the idea of Rich being a sort of Patient Zero for the pathogen's spread on the mountain so he had to go. I'm glad you thought the ending was scary. I'm a wimp with horror too and it scared me to write it, so at least I can frighten people who don't do well at horror movies :P  

        Lol, the funny thing is my brother has said that to me a couple of times xD It's a long, complicated story :P Alex and Sawyer's relationship is based very much on me and my brother, so that, the nicknames he has for her, and his super protectiveness is all based on us... but then we're really weird so it might be worth rewording that bit, come to think of it since it does seem like an awkward thing to say unless you're around us all the time.

        July 15, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 2 Reply

        I felt so bad for Alex :( I think her emotions in this chapter were very well done, especially her reaction to the girl outside, and the part where she said she felt like a frightened little girl when she’d always considered herself one of the guys. Awww :( I think she is handling it pretty well, overall, I mean she managed to act quickly and save her father, even if she didn’t know how well it would work. The whole scene of them moving through the camp was really well done too, I was frightened the whole time for them and I’m really glad they managed to make it through to the ranger’s station. I’m not sure how safe they’ll be there but at least it’s a start.

        It’s also good they’ve found a way of killing them permanently. Well, hopefully anyway :P Perhaps they will get up after a time, but I doubt it. And they appear to be blind as well, although not deaf. Because of that they remind me of the zombies in High School of the Dead. But that’s the only zombie thing I’ve ever watched, so I have no idea if those are standard zombie traits xD.

        I really wonder what’s going on with the rest of the world. I hope they get off the mountain without any further issues so I can find out :P I’m not all that hopeful though… After all, a bus would make a lot of noise, so I’m sure the zombies will notice it and perhaps come after them. Although I suppose they might not stand a chance with a large metal vehicle, but whatever :P I should stop rambling… Overall, this was a good chapter, scary and emotional. I’m really anxious to see what happens next.

        August 20, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment :) I'm really glad you felt bad for Alex and liked where she is emotionally. She's always been pretty confident in herself, brave and outgoing for the most part. I wanted what's happened so far to break her down until she realizes that she's a fifteen year old girl with absolutely no idea how to survive in this new world and almost no way to protect herself. That basically crushed her confidence. To be completely honest, the crossing the camp scene bugs me but then its an action scene so I've come to expect that I'm never going to be completely happy with my action sequences. I am really happy that you thought it was okay, because I struggled with that scene for a while.  

        They have found a way to kill them permanently. They won't be coming back from a head wound like that. I considered holding off on revealing that for a while and let them struggle a bit with ways to stop them, but it would have been pointless and tedious to drag it out I felt, so in it went. The zombies aren't totally blind as they can still see movement and sources of bright light, but otherwise yes, they're blind. If you stood completely still in front of one it wouldn't see you, but since their senses of smell and hearing are vastly increased it could still smell you or hear you. High School of the Dead is one of the many sources I turned to for this (please bear in mind that under no circumstances will Alex fight zombies dressed in those ridiculous outfits, additionally no one will use her boobs to brace a rifle either :P) I'm far from a zombie expert so I had to do some research. I've combined a lot of zombie traits from different places along with a few of my own, probably unoriginal, ideas and went with it.   

        I really have no idea how long they'll be on the mountain. Not long, I wouldn't think since there's really only so much I can do in such a limited setting. Now as far as them getting off the mountain without any further issues... what would be the fun in that? :P Zombies could swarm the ranger station, the bus could break down on the way out, or the military could decide to just nuke the entire site from orbit. It is the only way to be sure. Anyway, the choices are endless xD

        August 20, 2015 | Serina Harcourt

      • Chapter: 3 Reply

        I liked what Frank and Jack said about fear in this chapter to Alex. Particularly when Jack was comforting her, that was a really sweet moment among the horror. They’re both right about fear, I think it’s definitely important in keeping someone alert and able to react to the situation, but I suppose like everything there’s a balance – if you fear too much then you’re paralysed instead. But so far, I think Alex has faced her fear quite well given the circumstances, even though she probably doesn’t feel that way. She’s doing a better job than I would be doing in that situation, anyway xD I liked her thoughts at the end as well, when they were going to the bus, where she repeated the “this is all a dream” mantra in her head. It seems a very realistic coping mechanism for her to have, even though it’s fruitless since it’s certainly not a dream. Unless you’re just trolling and the story ends with her waking up from a really bad nightmare, but somehow I doubt that will happen xD

        Anyway, I liked getting to see a bit more of Frank’s character too. Although what he said to Alex was pretty creepy – I’m going to hope the girl she reminds him of his daughter/sister/niece or something to that effect :P The scene with Lily and Laine at the start was good too. Poor Laine :( Her death was very gut-wrenching. When they first appeared earlier in the chapter I thought one of them might die in the future, but I didn’t think it would happen so soon :/ I feel really sorry for Lily. She’s seen what I presume is her whole family die in front of her and the danger isn’t gone, so… Yeah, I’m curious to see what happens with her.

        Your horror writing continues to be really good. I was actually really frightened when they were making their way to the bus >.< Granted, I get scared pretty easily but even so the suspense and gore of it all really got to me, so good job. Anyway, I’m glad they’re off the mountain, at least, although I don’t really expect anything to get much better for them :/ But I’m really curious to see what’s happening with the rest of the world. The broadcast at the end offered a bit of explanation, but even so, it’ll be interesting to see what happens from here.

        February 18, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton

      • Reply

        Yes, Alex has definitely faced her fear far better than I would have. That's one thing that I honestly considered changing. I mean, she's a fifteen year old girl. Most normal fifteen year old girls would be curled up in a corner, crying. I would be and I've got ten years on Alex xD It seems a little unrealistic to me that she's handling it as well as she is, but I thought if I had her behaving like a complete emotional wreck it wouldn't be a very fun read so she ended up handling it a little better. But still, she was definitely paralyzed by fear there on the trip to the bus, so I suppose that's something. Alex's "it's all a dream" mantra isn't going to help her much at all really, but I'm glad it seems a realistic way for her to cope with everything. It all does seem like a bad dream to her at the moment. It's all so insane that she can't believe it's real, but no she's definitely not dreaming. What's happening is very, very real. Oh, but in a totally off topic fun fact on the subject of dreams that I won't remember if I don't mention it now; I once had the idea that nearly all of Snowfall would be a dream :P When Snow gets knocked out at Michael's party right before Sara's murder, I had planned on everything after that to be a dream while Snow's unconscious. Sara wouldn't have died or anything and everything would have gone back to normal. It would have ended with her getting a text from JTG, who's identity was never revealed. It's safe to say I did away with that idea :P Okay, enough of that rambling xD

        Hehe, yeah Frank can come off a little strange when he doesn't properly explain himself. Or he could just have a thing for underage girls and got a job at a campground so he can watch them in their swimsuits. I'll leave it up to your imagination for now :P I really felt bad about Lily and Laine. I figured one or both them would die eventually, but I didn't expect to kill one of them in this chapter. Still, I felt I needed a named character that Alex had met to die during the escape for there to be a bit more emotional impact for her. I'm not yet ready to part with any more members of the Masterson family just yet, Frank is too fun to write to kill him so soon, and I felt like I could get more use out of Lily later on that I could Laine so she had to go. It does leave me at an interesting place with Alex and Lily. They're sort of polar opposites of each other. Alex has almost her whole family while Lily is very much alone. Alex is scared and doesn't know how to do much of anything in this new world. Lily on the other hand seemed to want to go out and shoot a bunch of zombies in the face. There's opportunities to explore how they both handle the end of the world as they know it and how their circumstances change them.

        I'm happy you think the horror bits are good. This is very much my first attempt at the genre which is a scary thing anyway, and considering its also a genre I'm unfamiliar with do to being such a massive wimp that I can't make it through the simplest of horror movies it's quite reassuring that you find the scary parts... uh... scary :P I'm glad they're off the mountain too, honestly. I was really limited with what I could do in such a confined setting. Now, I can take them anywhere which opens the door to all sorts of possibilities. As for what's going on in the rest of the world, that information (or at least big pieces of it) will be coming quite soon. That broadcast was created very early on before much was known about the pathogen, so yeah it doesn't tell you much. It is interesting though that no one's bothered to update it with new information though, isn't it? That's probably bad :P Thanks for commenting :)

        February 18, 2016 | Serina Harcourt