The Last Cigarette (Short fiction story I wrote)

This is a story I'm writing and here's the first part to it to see how you all feel about it. I'm no good at writing but This is what I've gotten so far.

This story is about a man in a world overrun by zombies, his last days of living drawing near.

The Last Cigarette (Short fiction story I wrote)

The Last Cigarette

Part One:

Throughout his life time, a man will encounter many things. Love. Joy. Friendship. Heartbreak. Things like these that can either make or break a man. A man will experience happiness and pain, but never, will a man feel as much pain as putting a bullet in his own wife. To watch her cry because there was nothing to fix her - to heal her, but to end her before it took over. That beautiful face you've loved for so many years, told her you'd always be there for her - to love her. You'd do anything for her. Even...even if it meant ending her life was the only way to save her.

The Beretta M9 rattled as it lay in my shaking hand, my forefinger wearily resting on the trigger, pointed at my wife's bloodied face. I swallowed deeply. The morning air was cool, the sun warm on my back. The leaves of the fall trees rustles in the wind. My wife slowly dying.

"I-it's okay...Nate...it's okay..." she told me as she sat on the tree stump out back I chop logs on for firewood. Her blonde hair was messy, her dress white along with splatters of another human's dead and browned blood. Her hands gripped the rim of the stump. She couldn't look up at me. I don't blame her. "It's okay..."

She tried to say she loves me, but her sickness ended up with her coughing up her own blood, black like tar. She pulled herself together after a short time.

"I love you," she said weakly, her voice raspy.

"I love you, too, Elena," I began to squeeze the trigger.

She cleared her throat and she sat up straight, looking up to me. Her eyes shown in the sun's light like, green like emeralds. I stared deeply into them. Bloodshot but still beautiful.

"I'm ready. Take care of our baby for me," she choked.

"I will," I nodded, a tear slipping from my cheek, tightly shutting my eyes as I pulled the trigger.

BANG!!

The shot echoed out over the distance, the sound of my wife's dead body thumping on the ground sent me to my hands and knees. I do not dare look up to see something so precious yet killed by my hand. It had to be done, but that only makes it all the worse.

"FUCK!" I roared out, slamming the pistol down into the dirt. "FUCK!"

I tossed the gun away from me, a good ten yards it flew before coming back down to earth.

"Fucking bastards! Made me kill my own fucking wife !

I pounded my fist into the dead soil over and over until my hand was raw and bleeding. About half way through I could no longer feel it, but I needed to vent and a lot of it.

"FUCK !!"

Charlie, my son, began to whine from upstairs. He cried for his Mamma to come and hold him like she always did.

I finally built up the guts to lift my head, ten feet from me, my wife lay deceased in the tall dead grass, a bullet hold near the center of her forehead.

"I'm sorry Charlie...Mamma won't be holding you for a long, long time..."


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I'll give you honest thoughts… the kind I want to hear when I reveal my own creative output.

    The first thing that stood out was an inconsistent point of view. "You" turns to "I" after the introduction. It's confusing to the reader.

    The introduction would be unnecessary if you let the narrative speak for itself, which you do, for the most part.

    Show, don't tell. I don't want to have to take the author's word for it that the couple loves each other. If I'm shown this by the things they say and do, it's much more believable and I'm much more invested in what happens to them. It takes more than an "I love you" / "I love you too" dialogue. Yelling "fuck" is not the best way a character can express anguish. I think you can do better. In fact you *do* do better. More to come on that…

    It's unclear why he has to kill her, except for your preamble. If you hadn't set it up before the story started, I would have no clue. This information should be integral to the story.

    I liked a few things about it:

    You're extremely descriptive. The shot echoed. The body thumped. Black like tar. The raspy voice. That stuff puts me into the story.

    Dealing with the little boy is a great way to show anguish. Do more of that!

    I love when dialogue uses anything but the word "said". Your characters roared and told. There must be *at least* 100 ways to say said.

    Keep writing! It's the only way to improve :-)

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    • Thank you for the constructive criticism. Also, the intro is coming from the character. I wasn't sure how to make it obvious :/

      Also, if you're willing to see the next part, you'll find out why Nate had to kill Elena.

    • Bring it on.

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