the so-called lucky survivor's lament

Avatar Author: wilw I'm just this guy, you know? Read Bio

It’s been five – no, wait. It’s been seven – Has it really been a week? Only a week? More than a week? You know what? Fuck it. It doesn’t matter. Time doesn’t mean anything, anymore. It’s not like I have to know when American Fucking Idol is going to start. Ever again.

It doesn’t matter exactly when or exactly how the fucking world ended. What matters is that it happened fast, and it didn’t have the good sense to take me with it.

These fucking people here, they keep saying how grateful we should be that we’re alive, and how we all have to work together to get through this.

“Get through this?” Really? I’m sorry, but am I the only one here who sees that it’s the goddamn fucking zombie apocalypse outside?

When I was 9 I saw this movie about the people who survived a nuclear war. The attack was cool, but the rest of the movie? The whole Day After stuff? Boring.

It was also pretty goddamn accurate. If the world is going to end, you want to end with it. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.

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  1. Avatar wilw

    This is excerpted and adapted from a short story I’ve written called “Survivors.” I’m not sure if or when or where it will be published.

  2. Avatar wordwill

    Fucking A. The voice is totally true, the language has that right mix of natural speech and confidence you need for good first-person action. I want to see the rest of this thing.

    And this is exactly what I’m afraid I’d be like in the end. Well, this and THE ROAD.

  3. Avatar Pete

    Hah, I’m gonna roll with it and make my own. :D

  4. Avatar steve

    I was REALLY tempted to write a one word prequel. “Boom.” But I didn’t want that to be my first story on here.

  5. Avatar tyamar

    I like it. Are the Survivors going to end up on Alcatraz? ;)

  6. Avatar Le Héros Tragique

    Good stuff sir. I, for one, hope to see the full short story in published form someday.

  7. Avatar Pete

    Forgive me, for I have ficlet’d your story. :P

  8. Avatar Delynn

    Good stuff.

  9. Avatar threedot

    Great story Will – it amazes me how much you can say with so few words…

  10. Avatar Reiko516

    Love the voice; I’m inspired to start my own!

  11. Avatar ALRO613 (LoA)

    Truly awesome.. I read it out loud to my wife with every bit of frustration and anger that I could muster and it felt real!

    Great emotion!

  12. Avatar Lainey Jane

    Very nice; very powerful start. Picked it up and ran with it; would like to see it continue.

  13. Avatar jslicer

    True fact: my father-in-law was in the movie The Day After.

  14. Avatar melissah

    Hey, you’re pretty good! You might even be able to do this stuff for a living.

  15. Avatar Music-Hearted

    Awesome. The voice of the character is so strong from the get-go. Nice work!

  16. Avatar One Time, One Chance

    I love the emotion here, and how it’s portrayed through his swearing, realistic thoughts.

  17. Avatar OrangeOreos (LoA)

    Very nice! I enjoyed it!

  18. Avatar Mayra

    This is great!

  19. Avatar aboutferguson

    Voice is confident and will engender trust from your reader, e.g “It’s not like I have to know when American Fucking Idol is going to start. Ever again.” Talking about sentence structure here. You earn the fragment. Nicely done. That itch in the palm of your hand is the reader.

    I think I have a sense of how important the freedom of “potty mouth” is to Wil, but Will is not the narrator. Just check. Narrator or Wil?

    Very nice flip on the standard frame for this context = Thankful for surviving? Not necessarily. This then is narrative momentum. Excellent.

    Finally, something unique…as they say, I have not seen that before:

    “If the world is going to end, you want to end with it.”

    Just look at it as a stand-alone statement. It’s a little piece of poetry. You can’t do this for the whole story because the reader has to breathe but the fact that it can be pulled out and identified by someone who has a little insight (i.e. me) is a good sign, I think.

  20. Avatar Dave Oei

    Wil, I’ve followed your blog on and off over the years. Glad I found it again, after recently discovering twitter and seeing you there. A lot.

    About your story, I found it inspirational. Literally. I hadn’t heard of Ficly before. But after reading your story I signed up and wrote and published one myself.

    So, thanks for the inspiration.

    But I digress. It would be great to see where your story goes. It does remind me of the Day After. Wondering if you’ll do a Red Dawn take. Or Legend. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    What I like about your story: The reader is sucked in within the first paragraph. I like wanting to know more. I also like wanting to know WTF happened in the first place. And, the character, despite being a complete unknown, is someone we can sympathize with.

    Please write more!

  21. Avatar Nancy

    I saw The Day After when I was in seventh grade and it scared the crap out of me. To this day I freak out when I think about that movie. Great voice in this ficly… so much fun reading. I might just have to write yet another prequel.

  22. Avatar Textual Phoenix

    Nice job, Wil! (As always from you.)

    Loved The Day After ref. Fabulous movie that scared the hell out of me. Not quite as good as Threads, but, still…

  23. Avatar Katie Wagner

    Absolutely brilliant!

  24. Avatar lisaG

    I love the cynicism and anger in this.

  25. Avatar The Fantastic Mister Fish


  26. Avatar Corey Williams

    Nice stuff.

    I hope you get “Survivors” published in some way since it seems like it would be really interesting.

  27. Avatar Kermitgorf

    very cool crisp narrator voice.. I love zombies and its not the end of the end of the world i fear its what happens after that…

  28. Avatar Glunders

    But aren’t zombies a little (tremendously) played out?

    Did like the jab at American Idol, though; that, if anything, would seem to produce the brainless legions this chap finds himself at odds with.

  29. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Bleak, but probably realistic. I mean, consider how many people are all depressed and down in the dumps now. We don’t even have any zombies, and they find reasons to be all dark and pessimistic. I can’t imagine the incidence rates of clinical depression if there were actual undead brain-eaters mucking about.

  30. Avatar SlangSkald

    Don’t rely on gratuitous swearing to convey a character. As far as this excerpt goes, he’s one-track and completely uninteresting.

    As Damon said, zombies are definitely played out, and this story doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The prose eschews pacing and rhythm for the sake of forcefully impressing itself upon the reader, the pop culture references are entirely unnecessary. Overall, a very weak story.

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