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Unity - Dystopian Novel Snippet: First draft

The following is a small segment of the novel I've been working on for the last year and a half. It is still in the first draft!

Any comments, opinions or critiques are welcome. Thank you for reading.

It took a lot of inspiration from Half-Life 2 and 1984. 

heck, here's the first draft of the cover too.

Chapter 1



2030, BLOCK 4A, Ramsgate, United Kingdom.

Two years have passed since the end of the war. Three years have transpired since the pandemic faded, and this is when the government first initiated martial law.

Droplets of water drip rhythmically down the smeared pane beside his bed. The tranquil tap is welcomed; accompanied by a meek creaking of the floorboards in the neighbouring apartments. The muted whimpers of other residents within the block leave him feeling less lonely. He tilts his head to better hear his neighbour hum softly behind the decrepit dry-wall beside his bed, an appreciative audience she doesn't even realize she has. 

Sitting quietly, John exhales a wisp of cigarette smoke whilst leaning leisurely against the wall beside his bed. His index finger taps the filter gently, ash dispersing as it wanders down towards the floorboards beneath him that look like relics of a bygone age. 

He tilts his head back in relaxation with his ears perked, listening to the various sounds surrounding his withered existence. His eyes fluttering shut, he visualizes the alluring glimmer of each and every water droplet that happens upon his window. 

The neighbours across the hall are arguing again. “You missed your shift!” she proclaims aggressively. Voice dimmed by the walls between them; John finds humour in it. He smiles, imagining that their argument is some sort of twisted pre-war sit-com.

Creaks emit from all directions as his fellow citizens traverse their own abodes. He continues to listen to the melodious hum on the other side of the wall. To John, this is his entertainment. He has branded this collection of sounds as a ‘Personal Symphony’; a symphony rudely interrupted by a siren blaring in the distance.

Reluctantly dragging himself from the confines of his corner, John rises up, huffing in aggravation. He looks down grievously towards the extinguished cigarillo butt between his fingers. Sighing, he begrudgingly shoves it into the ventilation grate beside his bed .

He lowers his head and rubs at his eyes, dragging his heels hurriedly towards the window. Behind him sits a small device. It’s firmly bolted to the ceiling with a single blinking red light and a reflective panel beneath it. 

Turning his head, his eyes meet the device for a moment whilst briefly pondering who might be watching. He shakes his head nonchalantly, his gaze returning back to the window. John immediately jostles his hands between some of the slats of his tattered blinds, pulling them apart. Grumbling under his breath, he moves even closer towards the stained window. He squints his eyes in the direction of the alarm whilst pressing his nose against the glass; condensation covering the window as he sighs, grumbling "Urgh… Racket.".

His scrunched eyes continue to look curiously into the distance, observing the sky. It is complemented by the luminescent crimson red and orange radiance emitting from the sun as it lowers towards the distant horizon. Rays shimmer and shine between the vacant cracks in the skyline as night falls. Light gradually fades, leaving the surrounding blocks swallowed by the darkness. The only remaining indicator of life beyond his apartment is the gleaming flashlights of the patrols below.

John huffs out a quiet sigh, air escaping his lungs through his nostrils. Lowering his gaze, his eyes meet one of the patrols.  As quickly as his cigarillo was quelled, the glow of the torch beam comes scurrying up towards his window.​ Before he can think, he removes his fingers from the spread between the blinds, stumbling back clumsily as he retreats. John emits a quiet grunt under his breath whilst glancing behind himself with paranoia. 

3 Kudos


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🍄Sicx🍄's profile picture

I Really Like The Way You Write And The Story So Far, I'd Definitely Read It

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usernam3_12e's profile picture

"He looks down grievously towards the extinguished cigarillo butt between his fingers." I got that Winston Smith reference right there hahaha, this is a very cool concept you've got here. I see what you're trying to do, describing the environment, John's approach to life and putting in ohh those sweet 1984 elements like the device bolted to the celling with the blinking light, very very nice. What i noticed the most was that the writing is very centered in John's actions and immediate feelings, and something comes to my mind is the contrast between John's and Winston's in the first paragraphs of both novels. In 1984 for example is like a slow build up of the environment that gets involved in Winston's neurosis, but what I like about this one (and something i missed the first times i read it) is that John looks like a chill, laid back dude until he doesn't in the two last sentences and that gives the text this "drop" feeling like in a tech track and ads this little bit of life to the text above. Perhaps, a little thing i noticed as a reader (I'm no expert in redaction or whtsoever) was that the first times I read it I felt kind of lost in movements that just went to other movements and lost the line of read a couple of times, maybe is just me, but there is something I noticed hehe. Very cool overall, and hope to see more of this anytime :)

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