Hitting Brick Walls #WOW555

This week’s #WOW555 prompt fit in perfectly with what I was writing and what I was feeling: write us a scene that expresses how you are feeling about your writing progress. My characters were getting frustrated with their lack of headway. My female main character had just thought she had a lead, only to discover that what she thought might be a child kidnapping was a legitimate situation. This is her frustration…and mine at the time as I was making no progress myself. I am now within range of hitting y 50K goal. This was the feeling at the time, though!

 

Re’Lears got to her door. It was still wide open from when she had rushed out after the amou and his niece. She berated herself silently for leaving it like that. Anything could have happened. She pulled out her <weapon> and entered cautiously, closing and locking the door silently behind her. She looked around, but nothing seemed disturbed. No one had come in during her flight of frustration.

She flopped down on the couch, closed her eyes and shook her head. “Another dead end!” she exclaimed. “What else can I do?” Just then, the pain in her feet returned and she looked down at them with disgust. Running on the street barefoot would have been bad enough, but doing it during the time of dusting had really taken a toll on her feet. All the sand on the ground had cut into her feet and it was hard to tell where the orange sand stopped and the orange blood began. Not only was she at a dead end, she was in pain over it too.

She got up slowly and walked to the restroom. She’d have to use a lot of her precious water ration to take care of her feet now. She sat down on the toilet and put her feet in the sonic shower. “Maybe that will get rid of some of the dust,” she thought to herself. She turned it on and the sound waves washed over her feet and the leg sticking in the shower. Some of the dust and blood fell to the floor of the shower where the hydrostatic dust remover destroyed it.

She sat in frustrated silence and tended to her feet. She wouldn’t have to use as much of her precious water ration as she had feared, but she still poured some water over her feet and caught it in a bowl for the second pass. She wiped the water off, cleaning the blood with it, and recycled the water from the bowl with a second pass over her feet. She rubbed some antiseptic balm into her feet and they began to feel a little better.

She got up and walked gingerly to the couch. As she did, the morning light began breaking through her window. She shook her head. She had wasted the night worrying about the case; had gone off on a wild goose chase that yielded no results and now she needed to begin the new work day. “What a waste this night was,” she thought regretfully. She headed back to the sonic shower to get cleaned up to start the new day. At least today she could visit Seppe at home. Then she would talk with Shalisse. Somehow, they had to get a break on the case.

Check out the other stories at the link above. Get ready to vote!

#5MinuteFiction – Veteran’s Day Edition

The prompt for #5MinuteFiction this week was

In honor of Veterans everywhere, today’s prompt:

Your character reflects on the fallen warriors of past. 

This was my entry.

Grampa didn’t speak about the war often. He called it, “The war to end all wars,” like most from his generation did. Then he would correct himself and say, “The first war to end all wars.” That was about the extent to what he would speak. Today, though, as people started talking about history of Veteran’s Day he started tearing up. He had never done that before.

I went over to talk to him; to comfort him. It was there he told a story that I had never heard before. He had won a bronze star for his actions in battle. His lifelong friend, John, who had grown up with him had also. They had faced artillery fire and swarms of men coming over the trenches. They had survived. They had climbed out of the trenches and swarmed the enemy. They had survived.

Then news came of an armistice. The fighting would be over. The time was set: 11:00 AM on November 11th, or, as he put it, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For a few days, battle intensity increased as each army fought to gain a wider swath of land to claim at the time of the armistice. Then, the fighting slowly ebbed. Ten yards of land didn’t seem so important anymore.

As the eleventh day came, fighting had ground to a halt. No one wanted to risk death fighting for that last bit of land. Slowly, the clock ticked on. Soon, as the time drew near, those who would soon be former enemies started calling out across the lines. They made plans to meet in what was then “no man’s land” and celebrate the end of fighting. They wouldn’t start early, though – no telling what the enemy would do. “We didn’t trust them and they didn’t trust us,” is the way gramps put it.

The countdown in seconds had begun. The joy was spreading through the ranks as the time for peace was near. Someone decided to remind gramps and the men that the war wasn’t quite over yet and an artillery shell headed their way. They dove for cover.

Gramps looked at me, tears streaming down his face and said, “John died at 10:59. He may have been the last man to die in that useless war. I never have celebrated Veterans’ Day until today. It was just too painful to remember John as a brave man who gave his life meaninglessly in the last minute of the war.”

Gramps wiped away the tears, stood up straight and saluted the memorial. He then walked away, headed home to friends and family.

I don’t know if my story scared everyone else away, but no one else participated this week. A win by default is sort of bittersweet. But, I still think I did a good job with this story. So…set your clocks for Tuesday at 6:30. Join in the #5MinuteFiction fun at The Writing Network.

Writing Challenge #WOW555 – Tell a Story

Earlier this week, Wendy Strain from Write on Wendy issued her weekly #WOW555 challenge.

Contest Prompt

All right, if you’re keeping up with the NaNo schedule, you’re about 16,670 words into your manuscript by now. Are you seeing a subplot developing yet? Do you just need to take a break from these characters already? Maybe there’s some backstory you’re not sure about. For this week, give yourself permission to explore a tangent of your story. If you’re not in the middle of writing a novel in a month, let’s see 500 words of an idea you’ve been toying with. Yep, you’re reading this right – I’m giving you carte blanche this week. Tell us a good story.

And so, I explored further the life of my villain. How did he get drawn into a life of crime? The story fit into my novel, so I added close to 500 words with this contest! Anyway, here’s the story…

As he plotted his revenge, Cog thought back to when he first met the boss. Life had been rough for his family. He had never known his pater who had been one of the last, if not the last person killed in the Revolution. Because of that, they were poor anyway and now his mater was missing work because she was sick. She had sent him to the market to pick up food for the night.

It was at the market where it happened. The boys who ragged him at school showed up. This time it got physical since there were no teachers around to protect him. The pushing. The pulling. The shoving. Before he knew it, that night’s dinner was on the ground. He was nearly in tears and the relentless teasing continued – until the boss walked in.

Something about the boss scared the boys off and they scattered when they saw him. The boss looked at Cog who was scratched, bleeding slightly, and breathing heavily. He was fighting back tears. “Tonight’s supper?” he asked as he pointed at the mess on the floor.

Cog could only nod his head blinking back the tears.

“So what are you going to do? The boss asked.

Cog could only shrug. How could he tell a complete stranger that he would be going hungry tonight because they had no more money?

The boss nodded, understanding. Then he looked at him closely, as if studying him. “Aren’t you Narez’s boy?”

Cog did a double take and nodded, wondering how this man would know his mater.

The boss softened. “Your pater was a good man. We fought together It was a shame what happened to him.”

Cog choked out his next word; the first word he had spoken since the boss had entered the room. “Thanks.”

The boss nodded. “Things must be tough for you. Let me buy your dinner tonight.” He thought for a bit as if wrestling with himself. Then he said, “If you’re interested in working, I have a job for you. You come work for me and your mater will be taken care of. You come work for me,” the boss’s face darkened a bit in anger now, “creeps like them will never bother you again. You game?”

Cog was speechless at first, then he finally had the presence of mind to ask, “What would I be doing? Who would I have to kill?”

The boss laughed. “I don’t figure you for a killer. I see you more in acquisitions. Ya know, keeping up with my inventory.”

Cog smiled for the first time that night. “I can do that,” he said. “Inventory.”

Cog’s thoughts returned to the present. “’Inventory,’ he told me.” Cog laughed derisively. “Little did I know what I would have to inventory,” he mumbled to himself.

In addition, I won #5MinuteFiction by default. No one else entered. I think it was a good story though. Will share that tomorrow. In the meanwhile, enjoy this story!

 

NaNo Prep – and a Challenge!

I just discovered that I won the #WOW555 Challenge about getting inside the head of my villain. (see previous post) Thanks to those who voted for me and for the tiebreaker system. This week’s prompt is going to be a challenge for me. I’m not that strong on descriptive writing. I have an idea, though!

In your NaNo project, or in a completely unrelated scene, what is a symbolic color or image you are using? Our prompt today is for you to provide us with a scene that uses a color or image symbolically.

Don’t forget, the call for entries will come out on Friday. You’ll have from 5-5 CST to submit your response.

Click the trophy to get to the site. Happy Writing all!

 

#WOW555 Trophy