The End (of the World) - Undead Fairy Tales Style

Absolute Write Watercooler's December 2012 Blog Chain 

Starting Date: Monday, December 3, 2012 Open to all forum members, even after it starts!

This month’s prompt: The End (of the World)

Yes, since the predicted Mayapocalypse only fails to materialize once every 500 years or so we are piggybacking on it. Write what you will about the end of the world (those disinclined to eschatology can write about “the end” in a broader sense). Hopefully, after these ends of the world as we know it, we’ll all feel fine.

Instructions: Simply post your blog’s URL in this thread to join. Each post should be less than 1000 words if possible. Read and comment on other participants’ posts if you possibly can–they’ll be doing the same for you!

When I first set out to write my erotic romance novella, Tower in the Woods, I probably spent a lot more time on the Zombie Apocalypse setting than was wise. I Google-earthed the general area where my story was set, drew diagrams, mapped out roads, looked up some military installations,and in the end, most of those details were self-edited out as I focused on the ... err... development of the 'physical' relationship between my two main characters. It was a slightly painful yet unavoidable process. After all, the when, how and why the world became overrun by undead brain-eaters is not central to how my two main characters fall in love/lust. Imagine my glee when I stumbled upon the topic of the December 2012 AW Blog Chain. Below is how the world ended, Undead Fairy Tales style:

Sometime around now, the human race was besieged by the Undead Reanimation Virus, later dubbed the URV for simplicity's sake. I don't know what happened to the rest of the world, as my story is centered around the U.S. capital Washington, D.C. At the advent of the outbreak, the Federal Government made the executive decision to isolate the city and cut off all contact with the outside world. On the Virginia side, all but the memorial bridge was blown up, and the Potomac River was used as a natural barrier. On the Maryland end, a series of extremely targeted and controlled nuclear explosives were used to create a wasteland over which neither human nor zombie can cross (take a leap of faith here - we're talking Zombie Apocalypse).

The assumption is that the URV outbreak was slow-moving enough that the government had a reasonable amount of time to plan this move (who knows, it may later be discovered that the virus itself was a government experiment gone bad). Nuclear technology being what it is, a reliable source of power was not a problem, nor was the creation of desalination plants that made sea water potable. Food manufacturing installations based on hydroponic technology were built in advance of this isolation, along with he capability to manufacture clothing and, of course, weapons. In other words, the federal government made sure the Maslow's two lowest hierarchies of needs (physiological and safety) would be met, at least for the 60,000 or so people selected to remain in the city. The moment this physical fortification was completed, what was left of the civilian and military government was condensed into a Federal Military Agency (FMA) that hence forth followed an isolationist policy (modeled after U.S. foreign policy pre-WWII). For the purposes of the FMA and what they dubbed New America, the outside world no longer existed.

My novella starts 60 years after the bridges connecting Washington, D.C. to the rest of the world were destroyed. My hero (and most likely all the heroes in the Undead Fairy Tales series going forward) are agents that were raised in the city and trained by the FMA. Thirty years later, scientists (remember, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and parts of Johns Hopkins are all located in the capital) discover a vaccine for the URV (which has various cool side-effects: elimination of disease, increased strength, and who knows what else we'll discover as the series progresses). It takes close to another decade for New America's leadership to consider the possibility of opening up its doors to what is left of the outside world. To assess that situation, they send out agents to gather intelligence about what has happened since they closed their borders all those years ago.

So what happened? With brain-eaters everywhere, all semblance of civilization is gone. There is no running water, no electricity, no working roads. Gasoline, weapons, car parts and other supplies can be scavenged, and the human population is small enough that much of that is still available even 60 years after the world has ended. But chances are high that a zombie will turn you into the undead before you reach the elusive stash of canned goods or bar of chocolate. As such, the few people that survive rely on horses, farming, hand-pumps, wells, reservoirs for rain water, as well as home-made soaps and detergent.

A la The Walking Dead and Revolution, the zombie wastelands are about survival of the fittest. Rape, looting and murder are commonplace, and what the undead don't destroy, humanity at its most basic level does. A group of women with para-military training band together and form the Women's Independent Territories Church (WITCH). They took over the headquarters of the Defense Logistics Agency--the semicircle of buildings that composes the main campus of Fort Belvoir provides a large and easily defendable space that abuts a reservoir of water as well as plenty of arable land (i.e. Mount Vernon National Park). For the first thirty years after the outbreak, enough women and girls flocked to the WITCH’s stronghold for recruitment to not be a problem.

But then New America slowly but surely opened its doors, and recruitment tanked. Unlike the Capital, the WITCH required an influx of bodies from the outside in order to sustain/grow their population levels. As such, they resort to various drastic measures that eventually draws the attention of the FMA. This is where my novella starts (and yes, very little of the "End of the World" described above made it to the the final draft).

If the "End of the World" I just described got you interested in the actual story, below is the mini-blurb:

Years after the zombie apocalypse, Dane Prince is sent to investigate a mysterious feminist cult. Before long, he finds himself dangling from a tower, clutching a rope of hair. The tower’s resident wants a lesson on sex, and Dane doesn’t mind teaching her to fulfill his darkest desires.

Tower in the Woods is scheduled for release by Liquid Silver books mid-January.

AW December 2012 Blog Chain List of Participants:

orion_mk3: (link to post)
dolores haze - (link to post)
randi.lee - (link to post)
writingismypassion - (link to post)
bmadsen - (link to post)
Ralph Pines - (link to post)
AllieKat - (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes - (ME)
katci13 - (link to post)
Angyl78 - (link to post)
pyrosama - (link to post)
Araenvo - (link to post)
CJ Michaels - (link to post)
SuzanneSeese - (link to post)
gell214 - (link to post)

Bumped: SRHowen - (link to post)
meowzbark - (link to post)
Aheïla - (link to post)
BBBurke - (link to post)


Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at