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Title: The Sickness, Epilogue: Welcome to the New World
Author: Starzki
Word Count: 1337
Genre: Horror/Action/Romance
Rating: T
Prompt: Amethyst Purple
Story Summary: Alternate Universe. Sousuke Sagara is the long standing, long suffering bodyguard of Lady Kaname, the only daughter in a wealthy family. She has recently been married off to a distant cousin in the hopes that she produce an heir and will never be forced to leave her home. No one expected the zombie apocalypse. In time, it’s only Sousuke and Kaname fighting for survival and just hoping not to get bitten in this strange, new world.
Chapter Summary: Seven months later...
WARNINGS: Standard zombie killing gore.


It's done for real. Yay! I just wish I weren't so bad at endings.

I was really happy to have luxken's summer mini challenge prompts for this epilogue because I had no idea what to do. I wanted to examine a somewhat functioning world once the zombies had been taken care of, but didn't really know how. But the "amethyst purple" prompt helped because Melissa Mao's eyes are just that color. So I decided to shift the perspective from Sousuke's to Melissa's to 1) indicate that this is not part of the rest of the story and 2) signal the change in the world. Sousuke and Kaname and their story aren't central to the world surviving any more. Now it's up to Melissa, Mithril, and probably Hiyashimizu. They're the ones who are going to save what's left of their city, their country, and maybe the world.

I also like writing the somewhat awful relationship that Kurz and Melissa have. They have chemistry and the potential to be really good together if they would stop being themselves so much.

So, yeah. Happy ending. I also came full circle with the chapter name. It's another line from "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons that I named the first chapter after. And here is the AMV that really helped inspire the story (again):

Now I'm going to share my thoughts on the story as a whole:

Regrets: After about 3 chapters, I regretted that I hadn't made this a first person perspective. I think that would have made all the action seem more immediate and given the story more suspense. However, I'm actually kind of glad I went the way I did. It allowed for a little more leeway in describing things. Meh. I'm on the fence. 

Another regret is some of the chapter titles. I wish I had kept more of a theme. While some of the titles are perfect for the what the chapter entailed ("I Can't Always Be Around," for example), the style of music didn't fit. I'm sure I could have found songs that fit, genre-wise, to what I was listening to as I wrote this. The exceptions are songs written by Rob Zombie and The Zombies for obvious reasons. I felt way too clever to have them to regret it.

The last thing I regret is that this wasn't better written. In my shorter drabbles or one-shots, I've been focusing on my level of writing. With this story, because it was so long, I didn't focus so much on the prose, the imagery, or the beauty of words. I just wanted to tell the story as I saw it and however it got onto the page was fine by me. And it worked (good god, I'd still be half way through if I'd been working so hard on it as I could have), in a way. There are some authors who can write beautifully in their long fics. I'm just not one of them. I think that's a reason I avoid them. Oh well.

Things that make me proud: THAT I FINISHED IT!!! I don't think I'll ever write a story this long again. And I have to give myself major props for writing this thing. 58,326 words in this story, according to Go me.

I'm also proud of the whole process. While I conceived the entire story right away, the fact that there would be months at a time where I wasn't writing, wasn't even thinking about the story, and that meant that many of the details changed more than once. But I always had such a fun time thinking about how to get to the next major plot point.

Miscellaneous things: Naming the chapters after song lyrics has been a trip. If I hear the song on the radio, I often think "That's MY song." There were also times where I knew what the next chapter's name would be, and any time I would hear the song, I'd be struck with guilt for not writing it yet.

As I said forever ago, this story came about because of a random tumblr post that said "Imagine your OTP surviving the apocalypse. Character A is pregnant and Character B is doing everything they can to keep them alive." I rolled my eyes and thought "how stupid" but them immediately came up with the beginning of this story. I thought it over for a few days and kept coming up with plot twists and resolutions until I finally had an outline with an ending. So I thought I couldn't help but write it.

And I did.

One day, maybe soon, I'll try to go back and read this whole story in one sitting to see how it holds up. I know it's not a story for everyone, even FMP Sousuke/Kaname shippers, but I still love it for what it is. And if you're reading this, thanks for coming along on this journey with me.

September 2017

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