Read x a short story by Jack Croxall Online


X knows she's as good as dead. Seems like the perfect time to start a diary.Shacked up in a farmhouse cellar, a doomed survivor calling herself 'X' starts a diary to document her final few days. Much less than a few days if the uglies manage to get in....

Title : x a short story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18400281
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 28 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

x a short story Reviews

  • Angela
    2019-04-29 00:12

    X by Jack Croxall is a very good short story, written for a YA audience, but with appeal to all who love well written fiction.X is a teenaged girl, who has survived a devastating, apocalyptic experience. She is the only member of her immediate family to survive and she decides to record some of her experiences in a diary. She doesn’t tell us anything about how this horrific situation came about, but we are quickly drawn into her terrifying world, which is now inhabited by creatures that she calls “Uglies”. Given the chance, they would kill her, or infect her with their madness through a bite or even a scratch. She hides in a cellar during the day and goes out to forage for food at night, always on the alert for the Uglies. X records the demise of her parents and sister and there is a hint that she can recognise one of her friends who has been turned.This story is full of understated horror and emotion. X tells her story as it is and it is the power of Jack Croxall’s writing which brings it to life. As readers, we bring our previous experiences to bear on the stories we read; I was reminded strongly of the masterful “I am Legend” and also the classic novel “War of the Worlds”. I hope that Jack Croxall will write many more novels and short stories - I certainly will be reading them!As a footnote, I’d like to add that I think this story has great potential for use in the classroom. I taught English to teenagers for several years and, although retired, I found that when I had finished reading X, I was thinking of all the ways I would have used it. There are wonderful opportunities for creative writing lessons and discussion.

  • Lloyd Baron
    2019-05-02 20:40

    Written in the form of a journal, this short story leaps into the middle of the story. Much has happened in the world and to the girl in question. However, you do not know what, but you can guess it isn't good.Deciding to call herself X, a teenage girl begins to write a journal detailing her life after some kind of event which has changed the world. She is hiding out in a basement and turns to the pages as a way of making sense of what is happening and to detail what she thinks may be her last few days alive.It is a heartbreaking recounting of what has come before. We know something bad has happened, even though to begin with her writing is somewhat lighthearted, but as she sinks deeper into despair we learn the full force of what she has had to live through. In a world where a future seems pointless, she recalls her lust for life and desires for what she had planned.Even without the gripping conclusion this short story will have you determined to live life, because you never know when the end of the world could happen.BUY IT.... it's cheaper than most bars of chocolate, so what do you have to lose? Think of the calories :)

  • Sharon Sant
    2019-04-23 23:23

    X might be a short story, but there's plenty of room here for character development and drama. We don't know who X is but we feel her plight. On the surface of it, not a lot is happening, and yet the ghosts of traumas that have gone before haunt every page. It very much reminded me of a YA version of Cormack McCarthy's The Road, with that same cold, beautiful bleakness, and that same heart-breaking certainty that this situation can only end badly. Please, please, Mr Croxall, write some more X.

  • Mandy
    2019-05-14 22:38

    Great little story, will be looking out for more from this author.

  • Elyse
    2019-05-07 23:12

    I really liked this short story. You get just enough information to be interested. There's nothing crazy that happens but you get to know X very quickly. I'm interested to read Wye!

  • Dan Thompson
    2019-05-05 21:18

    Short stories (especially as eBooks) are really popular at the moment. I guess it is because they are so accessible, being easy to read on the daily commute to work or school, or even on your lunch break. When I heard that Jack Croxall was planning on releasing X, I simply had to know more. You may remember that I loved his young adult Victorian-era adventure, Tethers, and so I knew whatever X may be, it was a certainty that it was going to be good.X follows a fifteen year old girl, who for some unknown reason, is hiding out in the basement of an old house in the English countryside. For outside lay scariness and horror. As you read, you learn that these uglies could in fact be zombies, although they aren’t exactly specified. They drag themselves around, biting and eating people, which in turn is enough to ‘turn’ the victim into one of them. We follow X as she records her final thoughts.Written largely as a series of journal entries, X is a very clever short story. Perhaps, in my opinion, simply because of the great portrayal of X. Jack Croxall does a fantastic job at getting in to the head of a teenage girl, and portraying her in such an authentic way. She’s no superhero, she’s not trained in martial arts; she’s just a normal school kid, a girl who used to have a family, a girl who has a crush on one of her school friends. And that is exactly why this story hits you. This is a girl who has been thrown in to such an extreme situation, who must survive the horrors that wait outside, and by writing down her thoughts, it gives her a voice – transforming her from a nobody into a somebody.By writing in the first person, Jack Croxall gives the reader such a personal account of X. Therefore we don’t need strong imagery techniques such as similes and metaphors. We need only the exact account – and that is strong enough. It is often touching, especially towards the end of the story, where the exact truth behind X’s story is revealed. It’s gripping and emotional, but told in a very as-matter-of-fact way, which doesn’t detach you from X, but instead gives way for respect and sympathy. This girl didn’t have a choice, but manages to survive through intuition and instinct.I thought the theme of sisterly love was exceptionally endearing as well as understanding, giving readers that little bit extra to relate to. It is also gives strong emotion to the story, especially when all is revealed. It is the little flashbacks that gives this story that added bit of depth too, which can be difficult to achieve when there really is only one character. I also loved the unanswered questions that this story evokes. What has happened to the world? Why has zombies suddenly appeared? What happens to X? But where cliffhangers can be annoying or frustrating for some, here it adds a poignant message of loneliness, detachment and a realisation that only the best survive. Life is cruel in X’s world.Zombie stories can sometimes alienate people, but what Jack Croxall achieves in his short story is nothing short of brilliance. He has such a strong voice that connects with X, making her easily familiar and authentic, which is key for getting the readers to sympathise with her plight. This is less like a horror story, more like a personal thriller of sorts, and X’s personal account, which often asks the readers rhetorical questions, is emotional, harrowing and utterly believable. This isn’t a story about a chemical pathogen, a world disaster, it’s about the survival of an ordinary girl, who must rise up and survive, as well as swallow down the grief and loneliness this sudden existence asks for. The impending doom that awaits X is engrossing – if you like a good read that captures your attention then I’d definitely recommend this.

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-27 02:12

    Honestly I'm not usually a fan of short stories - I prefer novels, as they provide more for me to sink my teeth into. X is one of few exceptions. I decided to read it in the spur of the moment but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The concept, the writing, the mood - everything was just brilliant, even though it was so short and simplistic.X is essentially the diary of a dying girl. We know very little about her, only that she's lost her family in an apocalypse that she's survived up until the point of being scratched by the "Uglies" herself. She has a gun, two bullets and the knowledge of what she might have to do when the time comes. While waiting for the inevitable, she decides to document her final thoughts for whoever might find her diary later. As a short story, it did not particularly go into serious depth in terms of world building or character development but it really wasn't necessary. It was such a compelling read. I liked the mystery that surrounded the protagonist - not knowing her name (or much about her or what happened, in fact) added to the atmosphere of the story. It literally grabbed me - I just had to keep on reading until I knew exactly what happened. X's main strength is definitely it's ability to hook the reader into the unnamed protagonist's mind and her world. I feel that if it was a full-length novel, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as effective. Some stories are supposed to be short and this one really works.It was wonderfully written, well thought out, and just plain chilling. For such a short story, it definitely packs a punch. Now I really want to check out the author's other book, Tethers.This review is also on my blog

  • Megan Readinginthesunshine
    2019-05-04 20:26

    Did I mention that I LOVE short stories? I find them so great because you can just pick them up and read them so easily, and they are SO ACCESSIBLE for everyone – whether you’re on a journey, want something to read in your lunchbreak, or just fancy reading something a bit shorter. And if you’re going to read a short story – X needs to be at the top of your list!X is fifteen and she thinks she’s going to die. In the cellar of an old farmhouse, she starts to write a journal to document her last few days. That is, if she even lasts a few days…I really loved this, I was drawn in from the first sentence, and I was gripped to what I was reading. Who is X? Why is she in the cellar? What has happened to her?I loved that the story was written in a journal format, as it helped me feel a lot closer to X. It felt very personal, as though I was inside her head and knew all of her thoughts, hopes and fears. I felt for her in the situation she was in, and I always wanted to read on to find out what would happen to her. I really liked X, her determination in her fight for survival shone through and I’d love to say more but I don’t want to spoil what is a fantastic short story!I could constantly feel the tension in X’s words, as if every moment may be her last, and I was completely hooked throughout. X’s story is chilling, it is dark and it has a terrifying edge to it…it is a story that you won’t want to put down!

  • ★Moonrise Books
    2019-05-16 19:27

    We never learn her real name. All we know is that X is writing in her journal, documenting what she believes to be her last days, and that she sounds more like a soldier than a 15 year old girl. Hiding out in the cellar of an old farmhouse, X has a gun with two bullets--one for her defense, and the other perhaps to end her own life, if (or when) it comes to that. She simply doesn't know how much longer she can survive. But she hasn't given up yet! And as long as she can find supplies, to get through the long days and the longer nights, she will continue to hide out in the cellar from the things outside that are trying to get in. This was such an interesting story! My only complaint is that it was too short! A quick read, full of mystery and gripping from start to finish, I was dying to know what happened with each turn of the page! And somehow (although I cannot tell you how, but it was cleverly orchestrated), I felt pulled into the story and made to be a part of it! Fantastic! With the leaves changing colors, and the turning of the seasons, this is the perfect time to read X! Grab a glass of wine and settle in, just don't forget to lock the doors and windows!

  • Terry Tyler
    2019-05-11 20:16

    Very, very good, perfectly paced, just the right amount of information leaked out at each right time. Even the spacing between paragraphs (the big gaps that appeared on my Kindle!) were spot on. I just wanted MORE!If you like films like 28 Days Later, you will love this - I've always been fascinated by how quickly society can break down. 'X' reminded me of a short story by Stephen King, the name of which I can't remember (helpful, yes?) - similarly, it left me with unanswered questions, but as with the SK story this didn't matter, because what matters is the situation in which X has ended up.The cover is spot on, too!

  • Claire
    2019-04-25 01:13

    Rating: 4/5I'd been meaning to read this short story for ages and only had time for a short story this morning, so it was a pleasure to rediscover this on kindle.X's story is told via their journals, which form a narrative as the fifteen-year old describes how life is in the zombie apocalypse. It's descriptive and thrilling, sprinkled with horror yet quite endearing. Although circumstances have turned X into a zombie-killing survivor, there is still such humanity there.A great little read, I'm just sorry it took me so long to get around to it

  • Alison MacConnell
    2019-05-08 21:14

    Loved it. I was totally swept up from the first page. It's a short story but it packs a hell of a punch.

  • AugustTimes
    2019-05-23 00:33

    Very interesting book - I haven't read many books in this sort of format before and I found it incredibly interesting. I certainly wouldn't have minded a longer book,

  • Kristie
    2019-05-06 19:23

    meh... might have been a good longer story, but it was very short. There wasn't enough time to get to know X or really care about her. Read 1/5/18

  • Laura
    2019-04-26 19:17

    In a state of desperation after finishing Tethers, I rushed to Amazon to see if there was anything else Jack had written that I could read to fill the hole that had been left. I stumbled across X and downloaded it straight away, not even caring to read the blurb!X is a short story that quickly pulls you into a world of a despairing teenager called X who is living in some kind of dystopian setting on her own, struggling to survive. There are ‘uglies’ who are wandering around, killing every living thing in their way. X is hiding within the confines of an old farmhouse cellar and it is there she decides to keep a diary to document what she does and what she knows about these uglies so if a survivor ever comes across her body, she might able to help them. This was SUCH a teaser of a short story and I really want to know more about this world X inhabits. Luckily, the lovely Jack has said he’s working on a novel length story set in X’s world which is SO exciting! I cannot wait to find out more about what has happened to everyone else in the world and why X has seemingly managed to survive and whether there are any more survivors out there. This book gave me a really lovely reminder of a book called Survivors by Terry Nation which I read years ago and thoroughly enjoyed. I LOVED the perspective of this book. It was told through diary entries which was really clever. I felt like I was trapped in this claustrophobic environment and I was reading the diary of someone who may or may not be alive. It was a really tactile experience: I could almost smell the damp ground and feel the cold on my fingers as I sat reading. As I mentioned when I reviewed Tethers, I am so in love with Jack’s writing style. It is so immersive and gripping and so beautifully worded that you don’t want to stop reading. I read this short story in one go and did a tiny scream when I finished because I wanted so much more! I am so impatient and cannot wait until the next installment in this world. This was a fantastic short story that did exactly the right thing: pulled you into a world and then threw you out quickly, leaving you wanting more.

  • Erin
    2019-05-06 00:17

    The story is about X, a fifteen year old girl who is hiding out in an old cellar. She’s now living in the aftermath of the terrible events that occurred on the outside of her protective cellar, and her story is recorded by her as memoirs in a diary.Usually the YA books that I read are girly pre-chick-lit books, so this was completely different for me. I’m glad I got to read it though because I got right inside X’s head and felt like I was living her story. The story is basically X recording her daily thoughts and what she gets up to in a journal, so it’s written quite personally, but also as it’s written just like how she’s actually thinking, with changes of the words she wants to use, and with her changing her mind on things she’s written, it’s really easy to just completely immerse yourself!She is living and fending for herself in this cellar, which speaks highly of her character as it’s really built on true grit and a determination to live. The outside world has been taken over by “uglies” which I imagined as zombies like the creepers in Minecraft – don’t know why! They infect others by biting/scratching and so far X seems to have been unaffected, but as she tells her story it’s hard not to be sad for her and how she has come to be in the situation she is in.This is a well written horror story which is just the right side of scary, but is also really easy to imagine yourself in the plot. I can’t wait to read Tethers, which is also by Jack.Erin x

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-13 20:25

    So, this is the first book I’ve read by Jack Croxall and to be honest I quite enjoyed it. I was excited by the concept that it’s a diary which has been found, so because of this, the only narrative you have is what “X” decides to write. You get to piece the story together from what she tells you and the rest is up to your imagination.Now, I do have a pretty good imagination with books, I can visualise characters and surrounding pretty well. However, that does not take away from the fact that this book has as much description as a book of this genre needs. If you’re reading someone’s diary you can’t expect script, you can’t expect a lot of description. If you do expect a lot of description and character development then I’d love to see your diary, it must be a masterpiece!Keeping it simple has worked really well in this instance and it doesn’t feel like anything is missing. There is enough feeling on certain entries to make you realise that she’s feeling regret and sadness, and then on the other hand you can see that she’s trying to be light hearted so she can cope with what’s going on around her. The nicest thing about this book I think is that there are no dates on the diary entries and nothing that could really date it fast. The thing I hate is when books date themselves within seconds. I’m looking forward to reading more of Croxall’s work and by the sounds of it, I had better get reading because he’s working on more!

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-05-21 00:31

    Fifteen-year-old X thinks she is going to die. Shacked up in the cellar of an old farmhouse, she starts a journal to document her last few days. Much less than a few days if the things outside manage to get in.So last night I settled down to FINALLY get around to "X", a short story from Jack Croxall, author of the rather wonderful "Tethers".Written in the form of a diary "X" describes her day to day existence in a world that is radically different from the one she knew before - where every day is a fight for survival. Haunting and atmospheric it pulls you along for a short but compelling tale of a few days in the life of....X. Whose name we never know. Who's family we will never meet except in her poignant and touching memories...and who is not long for this earth. Her own realisation of that is one thing that makes this story as fascinating as it is.I loved it. I half wish it was a full length novel whilst realising that it would not pack the same punch if it was. As it is this is a luminous, captivating tale and perfect for giving you one of those reading "moments"Happy Reading Folks!

  • Kelly
    2019-04-25 21:20

    X is the short story of an unnamed 15 year old, told through a series of diary entries. X documents her last few days and the things outside.I had heard a number of wonderful things about this short story so decided to check it out. I read X in one sitting as it was so gripping and chilling, it had me hooked from the first page. X is beautifully written and leaves you with a clear picture of the world and the many horrors which are to be faced. X is composed of a number of diary entries written by X (whoever they may be) in the face of an event which has left them as the only known survivor. Jack manages to detail their struggle to survive in such adversity in a manner which leaves you chilled yet heartbroken for X and all they have has lost.I am not normally a great lover of short stories, but this is a short story which must be read!Hands up to Jack on weaving a web of magic and writing such a fantastic story that left me sobbing! I am eager to discover more and hope Jack provides us with more on X soon and how they came to be facing the end.

  • Rosie Amber
    2019-05-16 22:21

    What would any of us do if our lives were turned completely upside-down? Imagine if in a matter of two months you lost all your family and friends and you were left to fend for yourself. Just how feral would we all go?This is what happens to 15 year old "X". Hidden in a cellar in rural England she writes the last few days of her existence in a journal for someone else to find. Once she had a Mum, a Dad, a Sister, a boy she liked at school and an ordinary life. Now she must scavenge for food, water and protection. She is alone and knows her days are numbered.In just a few pages we meet "X" we read about what her life has become, how she copes and what she knows will happen. Jack Croxall has written a very dramatic short story which may leave you asking yourself just what you would have done in the same situation.

  • Tirion
    2019-04-29 23:29

    Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!I loved that this was written in a journal format, it made the whole event feel more personal, it made me feel more close to X. I liked X. I liked her determination to survive for as long as possible. I liked that she was still herself throughout the event which had basically ruined her life and taken everything from her.This short story is too short! The storyline could easily be written as a 400 paged book. Give me a full book!!I would also love to know if this story won the 'Best Short Story' at the eFestival of Words. It thoroughly deserves it! I will definitely be checking out more of Jack Croxall's work in the near future.

  • Netanella
    2019-05-23 23:15

    This short zombie story packs quite a punch in a few short pages. The story is told as journal entries of a young teenaged girl, seemingly the sole survivor in a dead England, who prefers to remain an anonymous X, rather than give her name. As she describes her daily activities, she slowly recounts the last few weeks, of 'the events' with the uglies, and the deaths of her parents and then her little sister. I've discovered that this short story inspired the author to write a longer novel, called Wye: A Zombie Novel, which I'm off to find now.

  • Hannah
    2019-04-28 22:18

    This is a fantastic, quick read.It always amazes me how quickly I manage to become attached to characters and X is no exception. I was pulled in quickly by some fantastic writing and a simple but effective plot. In a matter of pages there is empathy and interest in the life of X and I know I'm not the only one who wants to know more.The author has a serious talent, as is obvious from reading both X and his incredible debut, Tethers. Looking forward to Unwoven :)

  • Al
    2019-05-18 02:19

    Very short read, skilfully done.

  • Karen
    2019-05-09 19:27

    This short story about a young girl trying to survive in a world overtaken by zombies packs a punch.

  • Dee
    2019-05-04 20:26 recieved this book from the author in return for an honest review.I picked it up straight away. It's a very short book, only took me 15 minutes to read it. But it was good, I enjoyed it. Well, enjoyed is a strange word I suppose, what is there to enjoy about reading a young girls diary entries, her lat diary entries?! But it was well written, and I honestly wished there had been more. There was definitely room to expand the characters (I know X is the only character, but she talks about her family too), I would have liked to have known more about them.You don't know exactly what is going on, but you can guess it's about Zombies. A good little post apocalyptic story. Good work Jack!!

  • Paula
    2019-05-18 20:29

    This is a fantastic short story. I'm usually not a fan of short stories because I find them lacking in both character development and plot - I'm typically just left with a feeling of disappointment. This story, however, is in a whole different ballpark. I loved the main character. There is not only tons of potential for future character development, but I already felt connected to her and invested in her story. Written through journal entries, "X" gives the reader a clear picture of the devastation of her world and the hardships she has survived. As a reader, I longed for her survival. A great short story!

  • Bodicia
    2019-05-16 22:37

    I could really picture X’s world and the way it had changed for her and her family. Extreme situations bring out parts of people’s personalities they would never have known existed had they not been placed in a situation which called for them to be noticed. X does what she can to survive and to make the ending for others as swift as possible. This is a fabulous short story and one which I am personally glad to see as a finalist in the eFestival of Words short story category. Nicely done, Mr Croxall!

  • D.M. Cain
    2019-05-03 21:36

    At first I thought the book was light-hearted and fun. Oh how wrong I was... The incredible detail of the world is almost a mystery as Jack Croxall manages to get across vivid scenes without any long descriptive passages at all. The main character talks of her nightmarish experiences in a cold and detached way, and that makes them even more harrowing. I'm amazed that so much can be conveyed in such a short tale. I was left with a genuine shiver down my spine. Amazing work, Mr Croxall :)

  • Trisha
    2019-05-12 23:19

    "If you've found my diary and you're reading this, who are you? Another survivor, of course, but how have you managed to go this long without being killed or whatever?"I wish this story was longer. I'm not sure what it was - the writing style, the voice of the writer X...all of it worked for me and I really enjoyed this. I'd love to read the story of who found her journal and continued with "their" story.