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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fight! Fight! Fight! Blogfest

Another contest.  Check out the rules and regulations at this link:

http://jc-martin.com/fighterwriter/2010/08/17/fight-fight-fight-blogfest/

And be sure to check out all the entries and give fellow bloggers some comment smoochies!


Below is the beginning of my current Work-in-Eternal-Progress (WIEP), The Whip-Slip:




I was running from vampires.

No.  Werewolves.
           
Maybe robots.  Or aliens.  Rabid monkeys?  Perhaps genetically modified corn?
           
Any of these pursuers would sound better than the fact that I was running from the Waltham High School field hockey team effete, big word for worst team in Codde County: last in the league and first to take it out on others. 

Well, in their defense, they weren’t after me because of an insult to their poor athletic prowess.  I had, in fact, made their captain break out in hives and bleed profusely from her nose.
           
And in my defense, it wasn’t actually me that had done it.  It was Her.  Left-Hander, as I called Her.  My significant Other.  She was the squatter in my four-floor walk-up of a brain.  And She liked to hurt people.
           
Some people deserve it, She said.  Only I could hear Her, of course.
           
The rate you’re going, it seems everyone deserves it, I answered.
           
I was taking us out of the red zone and hurrying along my usual path to and from school.  Normally I ran to school and not away from it, a combination of an ailing second-hand alarm clock and frozen breakfasts improperly cooked on the outdoor grill (which our neighbors had left on the curb, and had then watched me drag away on its one wheel).  My Uncle Trenton still wouldn’t spring for a microwave.  Or stove repair. 

I cut through the back yard of the first house in a suburban set positioned across the street from the high school.  No one was home.  A kid-slide in the next yard helped my transition over the first yard’s wire fence.  I kicked a dog bone to the mutt standing guard and helped myself to the fence of the third house.             

“Come for tea, Thea, dear?” Mrs. Grisham asked me from her lawn chair.  We had gotten friendly a couple years ago over a vest at the local thrift.
           
“Not today, Mrs. Grisham!”  I waved, and finished off her yard at a jog.  A gate let me out into the adjoining street. 

“Is everything all right?  Your nose is bleeding!” she called again.
           
“Fine!”
           
I jogged halfway down the new street and let the trees on the opposite curb swallow me up.  I stopped to rest on a boulder.  Blood dripped to my orange Converse. 

They’re coming, T., She told me.

“I know.”  I just needed a moment to claw at the hives purpling my forearms and neck.

I heard cleats on pavement.  They were close.

“Crap.”

I shot up and continued down the woods path that would spit me out near home.  The itching continued, now heading down my thighs.  My jeans felt tight.  Not as tight as my swelling throat though, my airway diminishing.  I chose a tree in the distance to shoot for, a goal within reach.

But I was too slow.

A field hockey stick jabbed the back of my knee and I was down.  Another stick hooked my arm and rolled me face-up.  My sight blurred, my breathing forced.  I could make out faces red from chasing me, the white and green school colors on their uniforms, a couple of victorious smiles.   
           
Heal me, I told Her.  Now.
           
I wouldn’t be able to run otherwise.
           
She was more focused on hurting them first.    

“Where were you goin’, freak?” the blurry face in the middle said.
           
“What’s wrong with her?” another added.  Her grimace was clear. 
           
I tried to sit up.  The butt of a stick knocked me down again.  She twitched, revving.
           
Lefty.  Don’t, I warned. 
           
If I hurt these girls like I had hurt their captain, someone even larger than them would come after me: their older brothers, their boyfriends, their older brothers’ boyfriends. 

Not to mention the police.
           
“We should just bring her to the principal,” one of them said.
           
“No,” the middle one shook her head.  “We can take care of this.”
           
My words were rasped: “Please, I didn’t –.”
           
“What?” she snapped.  “Didn’t what?  Punch Susan in the face?  We all saw it.  She was just asking if you’d done your part of the group project!”
           
Their polite version had sounded more like: “Hey, freak, you better get your shit done before I use your head as a ball!”
           
And Left-Hander had responded according to Her policy of infect first, cool off later.  I knew these girls hadn’t seen a punch.  Left-Hander had forced my hand to grip Susan’s.  The power had entered her, swollen her throat in two seconds and raised hives.  She had passed out.  I had run.  As soon as Left-Hander broke the contact, the power rebounded into me and now Susan and I had a lot in common.

Only Lefty could reverse it.

I felt the blackout approaching.  Spots tangoed in my vision.
           
Lefty…
           
She ignored me.
           
I bolted, twisting onto my belly and then to my feet.  But my body was easier to find with their sticks than a field hockey ball.  They pushed me down.  Fingers gripped my ankle and flipped me onto my back again.
           
It was all She needed.  Her force pulsed through me, bringing my hand to the wrist of the girl on my ankle.  Like a bath faucet pushing from my fingertips, Her power slammed the girl’s skin.  It surged through her veins, two seconds travel to find the weak spot, and she vomited on my legs. 

The other girls screamed.  I broke our contact, scuttling backward.  The power, as if on a rubber-band, bounded back, pushing me flat.  Nausea hit hard.  I rolled to the side and vomited too.  The screams multiplied. 

I could see clearly again.  They were watching me, cuddled together in horror.  My eyes met with Left-Hander’s victim.  Her hand shook as it wiped her lips, eyes wide.
           
“It’s true,” she said.  “What are you?”
           
“Let’s get out of here,” one of the girls decided.  No one asked for further instruction.  They collected their fallen friend and ran before I could answer the question. 
           
What could I say, anyway?  I didn’t know what I was any more than them.

15 comments:

  1. Who is she?

    Someone better left alone than bother.

    You have a great out-of-the-box slant to your writing, bringing us unique characters in all too human situations. This was a great sequence. Bravo, Roland

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  2. Wow--what an interesting gift! And a cool way to end a fight! I LOL'ed at GM corn! Such an intriguing story! I hope you intend on eventually completing it!

    Just one small point:

    "“What?” she snapped. “Didn’t what? Punch Susan in the face? We all saw it. She was just asking if you’d done your part of the group project!”

    Their polite version had sounded more like: “Hey, freak, you better get your shit done before I use your head as a ball!”

    And Left-Hander had responded according to Her policy of infect first, cool off later. I knew these girls hadn’t seen a punch. Left-Hander had forced my hand to grip Susan’s. The power had entered her, swollen her throat in two seconds and raised hives. She had passed out. I had run. As soon as Left-Hander broke the contact, the power rebounded into me and now Susan and I had a lot in common."

    These three paragraphs seemed a bit out of kilter with the rest. Personally, I felt it interrupted the flow of the story. Wondering if perhaps the flashback could've come earlier, before Thea got caught?

    Just my two cents.

    Thanks for taking part in my blogfest!

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  3. @Roland Thanks so much!

    @J.C. I'm currently working through my sort-of final draft and trying to add more explanation/back story after hearing back from a couple of betas. Funny that you pointed that particular passage out, because it is recently added in an effort to outline how the powers work. I'll remember your comment when I start the next (and hopefully) final draft. I know there's going to be a lot of paring down of the back-story/explanations to the barest necessities. Thanks so much!

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  4. Great premise. I'd love to read this book!

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  5. More!! I need to read the book. :) I love the way you write. Great job!

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  6. I'm back... my comment was LAME. I'm more awake now.

    The squatter... that's awesome! I love the running away scene. I felt like I was running along side her through the yards... and Mrs. Grisham, so cute! I hope her orange Converse are ok because ruined Converse is just wrong. :)

    You left me wanting more, for sure.

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  7. @Damnyanti - Always looking for betas. I'm working through a draft now, let me know if you'd like to do a read-through once it's finished!

    @Michelle - The Converse see even worse a few chapters later, I hate to tell you. Glad that you liked it : )

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  8. Elena, I thought this was really good. It held me the entire time and was full of voice and character. The story was intriguing. Who's Lefty? What's She do? Who's the person she inhabits? Why?

    After some paring down, this reads to me like a book I'd pick up in the store. I'm very interested in reading more.

    Scribbler to Scribe

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  9. You have great voice, and the scene was interesting. One general note: Watch your sentence fragments. I love them, too, but if you use too many, they really break up the flow of the prose.

    Good luck with this!

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  10. I'm very curious. I almost want to say a witch but not quite right...hmm intriguing. good post for the fight blogfest

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  11. @ Krista Thanks so much. Two things I always overdo: sentences fragments and punctuation. We all have our flaws, right? haha Thanks for your comments!

    @ Summer - Thanks for stopping by!

    Now I'm off to read the entries that I didn't get to this morning...thanks so much to all who commented! It makes my day!

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  12. I love the voice of your character. The inner sarcasm about the genetically engineered corn, the squatter comment...all very true to age. Great job. Your story idea with the weird power was so interesting, I wish there was more to read! Great entry!

    Edge of Your Seat Romance

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  13. Hi Elena,

    Sorry it took me so long to stop by. Work and such @.@! Anyway, really great entry you have here. I'm sure other commenters have raved about the voice, but this is just the type that I honestly think sells. It's quick to the punch and on a plain that can be read with ease. Thanks for the read. I hope this makes shelves some day. It certainly has potential.

    In My Write Mind

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  14. Thanks so much, Justin! I really appreciate that.

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  15. Hi Elena,

    Sorry to be commenting so late...

    Very intense scene! The mad pace of her flight dragged us along with her - well done.

    I agree with several of the other comments regarding fragments - a little more editing will tighten this piece up and really rock it.

    Nice job!

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