The Monthly PAW: October 2020 Voting
The art category was PACKED this month! It makes me happy to get so many awesome submissions. The other sections didn't get that many submissions but at least Art makes up for it xD
Thank you all for the amazing work! :
If possible (if there's enough submissions), you have to vote for 3 submissions in each category.
Post your vote in this thread
Do not vote for your own submissions. In case there aren't enough submissions though, you can still vote for it but that vote simply won't be counted.
The points for the voting are called "paws". First place votes are worth 3 paws, second place votes are worth 2 paws and third place votes are worth 1 paw.
For voting you can use the following form:
Photography - Autumn
Art - Yōkai
Writing - Zombie Story
ONCE IN A ZOMBIE MOON
Ninii is hiding under the bed. She doesn't like gloomy places. But now, she is forced to cower in dark corners, too scared to go outside. After surviving on the streets for so long, Ninii was happy to finally have a home, to have food to fill her tummy and a warm place to sleep. But that is gone now. Now that thing is there. It has taken over her human and is wreaking havoc across the house. It cannot be alive. But it is inside her human's body, moving around lifelessly, groaning ominously. It is dead.
Even a few days ago, things were perfectly fine. Ninii had woken up in the morning on her human's chest. After her human left the bed, she had claimed the warm space beneath the blanket for her first nap of the day. But when she woke up again, the world had changed. Her human was no more. Something had taken over. Her human was acting all strange. Not moving, sitting there for hours. Sometimes, it stirred. Then it was lifeless again. However, after a while, her human was back to normal. She got her food and hugs, and she was ready to forget it as a passing dream.
But it was not a passing dream.
The same thing happened the next day.
And the day after.
Every day, her human stayed dead longer.
Every day, her human's eyes looked more lifeless even when the thing went away.
Ninii could no longer think of it as a nightmare. Her human was dying! And coming back to life! She could not think of anything to do. She tried meowing and purring at her human to come back to her. She hissed and scratched at the lifeless thing. Nothing helped.
Finally three days ago, the thing never went away. It had sucked the life out of her human. Now it was there all the time. Her human spent long listless hours every day, crashed at the same place, never sleeping, groaning from time to time, the eyes without a glint of life.
Ninii could flee. That she could. The dead thing was so slow it would never catch her. She went to the door of the house multiple times. But she couldn't leave. She just could not make herself leave her human behind, even if something had killed her safe heaven.
That's right! She loves her human! She has to be the protector!
She slowly peeks from beneath the bed. That thing is not in its usual place. She can hear dragging footsteps outside the door. It had gone to another room. Why? Is it looking for her? Has it already realized that Ninii is about to launch an attack? Ninii bolts out of her hiding place, jumps up the window grills and lands on top of the huge box with a door where her human sometimes kept things. It is high enough that the dead thing would not be able to see her. That thing cannot turn its head up. Hopefully.
But it can. It looks around the room, then turns its head up slowly to where Ninii was. Those dark eyes under them trained on Ninii, the chapped lips move.
"-nii." A hollow sound like Ninii's name comes out of the mouth.
It coughs. "Aaah... how long has it been since I last talked?" It coughs again.
The lips stretch into a smile and Ninii watches with surprise as the eyes look on her with the love she remembers, the extending arms as inviting and warm as ever.
"Come over, Nins. Sorry I couldn't pay attention to you these days. I'm done with my exams. The zombie days are over."
It was a long time ago, when Earth became overpopulated. The problem was made by humans, and so it was up to them to resolve it too. To ban having children all around the world was just too harsh. Whole countries would end up revolting. That’s why many people tried different solutions. But the research resulted to be fruitless, over and over again. Till one day.
No one expected such thing could happen. Very countagious and highly mutated form of fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis slowly overtook the world. Humans didn’t have a chance. The fungus was mostly known thanks to the name „The Zombie-Ant Fungus“. Its parasitic abilities could control their hosts, ants, who had to walk to the place they were „told to“, to complete their journey by the bite of death, turning into the nutrition for the next fungus. But this new form of fungus was of a completely different level. At first it attacked only humans, but soon with its nearly supernaturally-fast evolution skill it started attacking every living creature on Earth. Through time it achieved the ability of great regeneration, so its lifespan was close to eternal. People died, but after a very short time. those who had died, turned to be „not really dead“ – a new kind of symbiotic bond was formed. „The died“ walked, they thought, they ate, even made sounds, comunicated. Slowly, people learned to live with the fungus, grasping for their humanity, trying to live the way they were used to. Going to school, to work, enjoyed the music, read, did various sports, made some art, traveled, cooked, simply, enjoyed their life, as if nothing happened. But it wasn’t the same. Remember how those fungus attacked also other living forms? That doesn’t mean only animals, but also the plants. Affected organisms became larger, animals turned to be more inteligent, some of them grew a few more legs, eyes, or even changed their original colour, plants could walk, which was impossible before. And because all of the living creatures were parasited by one and only fungus, all living somehow could understand each other, even if it was a comunication by simple words... And the overpopulation was no longer the problem. Humans changed into the walking dead, that’s why they couln’t have children anymore. The population growth stopped and some previous needs of the living wanished with it. And so, everything appeared to be in a complete balance, everyone and everything was living peacefully. At least that‘s what was said, or rather believed…
It was already twenty years since a twenty year old boy with a current nick Brains tuned into a zombie. And fifteen years since he took up the job of a taxi driver. He was freaking twenty for twenty years and he was starting to get very tired of his everyday life. Well, he wasn’t really alive anyway.
Every zombie had a greenish skin colour, very sluggish movements, fungus on their heads and said just simple words. Brains was no different. Those fungus would never go down no matter how many times he tore them off. They even multiplied, argh. And the situation he was in didn’t make his day any better.
He finally got the green on the crossroad he was waiting for, like forever, but an enormous slug with four weird pseudopodia on each of its side was very slowly crossing the road in front of his taxi. That dog sh*t was totally doing it on purpose, hiding its invisible grin under that pile of slimy thingy it dropped here and there.
„Brains! Brains…“ (Just move it already! I don’t have the whole day….) Brains complained loudly.
Ms Hundered-Feet is gonna kill me, I’m five mins late, damn it. Thought Brains. He decided to toot the car horn, but before he did so, the slug disappeared. To be more precise, it was gulped down by a huge frog, which was watching the scene from the roof of the restaurant On Corner near the crossroad. The slug was cought by its loong tongue…double ugh. Brains heard somewhere that frogs eat everything that moves. Now he was lucky the slowly-moving slug was big enough to satisfy the staring giant for now. He set the taxi in motion, praying to be lucky. He was. But what followed was hell in comparison.
When he arived at the place, Ms Hundered-Feet immediately stuffed herself inside the car - on all seats, and his seat was no exception. Driving with several meters long centipede is nothing nice to be experienced. It’s a nightmare. Especially if it’s pissed off. Brains didn’t, and being the zombie, actually couldn’t change his expression very well. But if he could, it wouldn’t be a happy one. And following customers could high-five with that Ms centipede...
The giant Chaffinch tried to over-sing a taxi radio the whole drive. The radio was just playing the overplayed hit of the season…
„Live~r, live~r…“ (I love yo~u and will alway love yo~u..) was shouted next to Brains ear by overly excited bird, which is why Brains was inner-screaming the whole trip.
Next one was a fat mole, who didn’t see a bit, so his instrutions were off most of the time. Another one was a huge wing-less fly, who fell in love with Brains hair-fungus, so its proboscis was inventing his space very frequently while it excitedly buzzed. And even walking carnivorous plant just had to catch Brains car at that. It nearly took a root inside and I tell you, you would never want to fight a carnivorous plant over „the best“ planting place. Brains was lucky he was fast, so he could get the plant out of the car earlier than anything mentioned actually happened. How did he manage to „survive“ his working schedule? Brains sometimes have to wonder himself.
After such a long day Brains was feeling as the right zombie, deadly tired through and through. With wavering and a bit drunk-like, sluggish moves Brains slowly directed his legs on the way to his apartment, thinking, what to do with his life. He needed a change, something to happen, he could not carry on like this... And he was hungry. In a quiet gurgle he wispered to himself about a longed-for bloody dinner of his that awaited him in his fridge.
He passed various billboards containing fresh greenish make-up products that made the cheeks of zombie girls even cuter, new ~Just chew and go to heaven~ meals with the best bloody-organs and even an ad about some specialized clinic that sew your body parts in minutes. Nothing new, really. Aah, if only something surprising would happen. Brains was so wiped out, that when he bumped into the passing person, he nearly fell.
„He-art..?“ (Uh..?) sounded a surprised voice of the person he bumped into while something fell on the ground with a thump.
Brains turned his sight to that thing and realized it was that girl‘s hand. He, in a zombie way, looked up in „fast“ motion and noticed a still confused face of a cute zombie girl with two tails with braided little fungus inside each. Her other hand was put on the remains of her arm under the shoulder. Her look was aiming at the thing on the ground. Brains was stunned for a while. Do I see roses, he asked himself.
„Heart…“ (That’s the second time it happened….) She lamented.
Brains decided to be a gentleman and went to bent for the arm. Unfortunately he had the same idea as the girl, so they bumped their heads during this mirrored motion. Both of them after the collision held their heads with one hand, straightening up a bit, their poker-face getting similar to a surprised one. But soon they laughed, actually, not really, because their facial expression didn’t work, but both of them burst out with happy gurgles, their eyes glittering with cheerfulness. Brains went for the arm again and when he was handing it over, he asked.
„Brains, brains?“ (I know a great surgeon, his clinic should be still open, do you want to try him?)
„Heaart! Heart? Heart,..“ (That’s a great idea! Do you eat brains? I could get you a dinner, I know a nice restaurant On Corner, should be still open…)
„Brains? Braaaains!“ (Brains? I love brains, lets go then!) and Brains offered his arm to the lady.
„Heart.“ (Lets, I’m Heart by the way.) and the arm was accapted by Heart.
„Brains.“ (I’m Brains.)
And their wobbly figures slowly set-off on their tiny journey of dreams
Voting lasts until Saturday, the 30th of October at 5 UTC+1. I already provided the participants with the participation VCCash. If you have any questions about the voting, feel free to ask! :
PS: I included a poll about next month's writing topic this time.