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