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Saga Creative Writing Contest Winner: Katie Gatus

May 27, 2016 10:51 am by: Category: Features Comments Off on Saga Creative Writing Contest Winner: Katie Gatus A+ / A-

Photo courtesy of Katie Gatus

Katie Gatus  is the winner of the creative writing contest for the short story category. In the fall she will be attending San Francisco State University to major in business. Katie is very involved at Valhalla as the ASB executive secretary, a 3 year member in the vocal music department, and a member of the tennis team. When Katie is not busy she sings, plays the piano, travels the country, drawing, and plays with her dogs.


Here is her winning short story:


11:51 p.m. That was the time the outbreak started and I knew the world would never be the same. All it took was one scream to ignite the doom that sparked nothing but chaos, yet complete silence from the world around us. I was on the thirteenth floor of Dove Grove Hospital, volunteering my time to entertain ill patients who had no reason to smile as much as I did, however, lending them some of my happiness for just a little while. Up until this moment, I believed my life was perfect, if perfect were ever to exist. I planned to go off to college, and aspired to work as a Doctor for the rest of my life, caring for others and being surrounded by the positive environment I had once known. But it’s strange how life is unpredictable and something believed to be so miraculous can end up in tragedy. And for me to say my whole world has turned upside down, has never been more literal than ever.

So here I am locked in a storage room on the deserted fourth floor, waiting for Charlie to wake up. It’s been 7 hours since the uproar and we are determined to escape. We are safe for now…If you see this and I am no longer to exist, please know this is never how I imagined my life to end. Wish me luck.


On a rainy friday evening, lightning struck and thunder shook the hospital building. I was coming in to volunteer at Dove Grove, and entertain ill patients just how I would on any ordinary day. Upon my arrival to the thirteenth floor, where I usually spent my time, I realized how people were not acting the same. They were happier than usual and excited as if they knew their lives would be ridden of misery forever. It was the day after a cure for the world’s most deadly disease was tested on volunteer subjects, and the doctors announced the success.

Eleven approached, and I was getting tired. I wanted to go home, but I agreed to stay longer than usual to entertain the test patients of the new cure. The first patient I had met was a kind woman, probably in her forties, and told me how she couldn’t wait to go home and see her family. I entertained her for forty-five minutes, and then went out to the floor lobby where I met with my friend Charlie. Charlie is seventeen, just like me, and we met three weeks ago after he had joined the volunteer staff. It had just turned 11:51 and we were talking about our plans for college, ending in agreement that it was time to head home. As we both reached for our belongings, something occurred, causing a sudden chill to run down my spine. My mind instantly thought for the worse, and I knew I had to get out.

At this moment all I remember was how I got up in panic, and how Charlie grabbed my hand. After hearing the deadly scream of terror, I couldn’t tell what was happening, but he did. We ran down the hall to the stairwell leading to the next floor, and I saw it. Room 136. The room I had just been in, and the room with the woman I had just met. Thinking back I never would have thought this could happen. She was now the living dead. A zombie.

I never knew what a heartbreak felt like until this moment. The heartbreak you never should have to feel. Right before we continued to the staircase, I saw the Zombie approach the Doctor in the room with her. Just before I took my eyes off the glass that allowed me to see through, the Doctor was clawed by the zombie, fell to the ground and began to horrifically mutate into something unknown. If you asked me what was happening to the Doctor at the time, I couldn’t have told you. But all I can say is, doesn’t everyone need a friend? Or two…

To be continued…



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