Staff Spotlight – Joseph Zook

The following is an excerpt from The Persecuted. It is a story about three young adults that are at the wrong place and time. Scientists have created a “smart” shot to increase the intelligence of society, but lost their funding. They continued to make the product, but had no one to test it on, so they kidnap a group of children. Will they survive on their own, or will they have to rely on a stranger for survival? —

The Persecuted

”Hey, son would you like to be the first to try the smart shot?” A guy in a black trench coat says from the window of his huge SUV.

”What the heck is a smart shot? No,” I say totally confused. Two people get out of the back, and the guy who talked to him ran towards him. “Hey! What are you doing?” I start running, like the junior running back I am, toward my friends, but Mr. Black trench coat knocks me down. “Ouch!” I try to stop the guy from putting a bag over my head, but am unsuccessful. I start hyper-ventilating when it is shoved over my head and a gag placed in my mouth, effectively muffling my screams.

After a long time, “Get up you piece of trash,” says Mr. Black trench coat. “You’re here to test the shot Gomer’s made.” With that sentiment, I pass out with my mind reeling trying to find a way out of this situation.

I woke up groggy to the sound of a shot having its air bubbles taken out with a flick of a deadly finger. Tink! Tink! A guy with a white science coat enters my field of vision, his name tag reading Dr. Gomer. He got the air bubbles out. “This won’t hurt too much.” My eyes close again, because gomer gives me a shot. Where am I? Oh, yeah, I’m testing a new shot, I think as I wake up again.

I see a mirror in the room, and look at myself in it. My olive skin had turned a weird color.

“Ahhh, what the heck happened to my skin?” This mirror must be broken. CRASH! I see the glass of the mirror fall and I look at my bloody hand still throbbing. Did I punch the mirror?


Joseph Zook is an assistant editor for The New Plains Review. He was born and raised Oklahoman, and is originally from Enid. He fell in love with writing in his teenage years, and is passionate about it to this day. When he was 16 he wrote The Persecuted.

Anna Dore
Anna Dore
Editor-in-Chief at New Plains Review
Managing Editor and Blog Editor for The New Plains Review.

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