Friday, 4 March 2016

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Twenty

I've worked out a theory of why I listen to 'Superheroes' when I'm writing! It's 'cause the words are: "Every day, every hour, turn their pain into power." And I can definitely relate to that just at the moment...it goes for writers too (either that or writers are just superheroes because they do a lot of world saving).

So, we're up to Fragment Twenty. It hadn't quite connected in my brain that we were so far through! I don't have a clear view but I'm thinking we might have another month's worth before the end...give or take a thousand years or so.

Here is the story of my mind yesterday:

8:30: Started, got it all fairly well planned, but for some reason I don't feel like it's gonna work...
9: Oh this is hopeless, I've only got 100 words.
10: I've still only got 125 wooooordddss. Why is this being so hard? *groans quietly*
11:Noooooooooooooooo, two hundred...
12: I'm hungryyy, but I've got 969 words still unwritten. *groans loudly*
1: Lunch sound pretty good now...I'm more than halfway through. Only got 700 words left...Yay?
1:45: *Groans* *stomach joins in* Lunch is closer now, I've got to 1,000 words! I CAN DO THIS.
2: 1,200
2:15: 1227. Maybe they'll have to deal with a shorter fragment this time...But then again there's only 283 until I get my goal...
2:30: Meh, they'll just have to live with 1,247 words. LUNCH!!!
(Insert groans throughout the whole thing and that's basically it!)

I'm pretty sure it's bad when I feel more inspired to scribble led pencil on the back of my hand than I do writing...And it's definitely bad when it takes two hours to write 125 words. But I survived (just) and hopefully the fragment isn't too terrible. :P

Option one got voted in and...that's all I  can think of saying...except that I hope you're all feeling inspired today (more so than I've been) because I have a surprise for you at the end of the Fragment!


Up ahead, Maree jerked the head of her horse around, her eyes alight with an inner flame. She dug her heels into the horse’s sides and it took off at a gallop. Back toward the soldiers.

My jaw dropped as she charged past. What was she thinking? She couldn’t fight the soldiers on her own. My hands acted before I’d realised what was happening. My mount spun around, rearing on its hind legs and I only just managed to stay on by gripping a handful of mane.

Jack wasn’t so lucky. He shouted as he slid off backwards, landing with a thump on the ground.

I slapped the reins against the horse’s neck, urging it ahead. “Go get the king!” I yelled over my shoulder.

When I was halfway down the hill Maree met the soldiers with a whirlwind of movement, immediately going at it tooth and claw with half a dozen men at the same time.

I realised with a jolt that I had absolutely nothing to fight with. Not even a knife. Too late to reconsider, I plunged into the fray. A longbow flashed in my peripheral vision and I grabbed at it, jerking it from the surprised soldier’s hands.

Whacking a sword aside with the bow, I swung it down at the men below. There were too many all bunched up in one place so none had the room to properly swing a sword. My horse kicked out at the soldiers who came too close. I knew that it couldn’t last for long, it was only the surprise of our attack that left the soldiers helpless.

I looked up and located Maree just in front of me. She’d somehow managed to disarm a soldier and was wielding a sword with a fair amount of skill.

A heavy pull on my foot startled me, I jabbed the bow at the soldier pulling me and he ducked away with one final jerk. I clutched the horse’s mane and struggled to regain my balance.

At that moment my mount kicked its hind legs back, knocking a soldier to the ground. It was the last straw and I completely lost my grip, slipping off the side of the saddle. I landed on my shoulder, my teeth jolting closed on the inside of my cheek.

I rolled over, scrambling across the ground away from the soldiers. The taste of blood filled my mouth and a sharp rock on the cobbles cut my finger. I stood up in the shadow of a group of villagers a little way from the soldiers.

Craning my neck I strained to see Maree. I saw her in furious battle with a tall soldier. Her horse was some way away neighing loudly and charging around without directions. No one, soldiers and villagers alike, seemed certain as to what was happening, who the enemy was, or where I’d disappeared to.

Suddenly soldiers swamped around Maree and I lost sight of her. “Maree!” I yelled, jumping forward.

A woman blocked my way. “Run girl, you ‘ave t’ git away. You canna help your friend.”

Before I could reply she put an arm around my shoulders and hustled me away down a side street. “Go on,” she urged, pointing to another alley. “Find somewhere safe t’ hide, they’ll be lookin’ fer ye afore the eve is up.”

I stumbled blindly down the dark road. What if they’d killed her? What if she had called out for me to help but I hadn’t been there? There were so many what ifs that I walked right into a wall before realising I was walking anywhere.

My feet led me along the alleys but I paid no attention as to where I was going, walking in a dream. The sound of horses made me stop. Immediately alert, I ducked behind a rack of barrels, realising I’d walked in a circle and had come back onto one of the main streets once more.

I crouched behind the barrels, barely breathing as the soldiers rode past. Draped over the saddle in front of the man in the center of the unit, I caught sight of Maree’s limp body. I felt a moment of relief, they wouldn’t take a dead body so at least she yet lived, so there was still some hope. But she would be locked in Hacaz’s dungeons until she was killed, or died from her injuries. I’d have no chance of rescuing her myself.

The others couldn’t help, and they were hopefully on their way to the king by now. That was were the only sliver of hope lay. If they came in time.

The last of the soldiers trotted out of sight and I covered my face in my hands. Refusing to think about any more possibilities, shutting out the world around me.


Consciousness resurfaced, bringing the sound of loud voices. I lifted my head to see villagers clustered around, all looking at me and arguing. Not all the faces were friendly.

I stood slowly, and they feel silent. “Um, is there something I can do for you?” I asked hesitantly.
The argument broke out in force once more. From what I could understand half of them wanted to hand me over to the soldiers and the other half wanted to hide me. Two men started brawling a few meters away and the women in the crowd were shaking their heads and yelling violently at each other.

I decided that now would be a good time to ‘make myself scarce’ as Jack would say.

I jumped over a barrel and ran down the street. Most of the villagers were too busy arguing to notice my departure, and those who did obviously didn’t feel inclined to come chasing after me.

Not bothering to try and keep track of where I was going, I jogged along the alleys and backstreets, looking for some abandoned house where I could rest in peace. Rest and think.

The high buildings kept the alleys in deep shadow now that the sun had begun its downward journey, and the hairs on the back of my neck prickled. I looked over my shoulder, certain someone was watching from a darkened window.

A dog scurried out of a door and a dirty boy ran out after it, laughing. He caught sight of me and stopped, staring curiously, his eyes wide. I hurried into the next alleyway.

I realised as soon as I entered it that it was the very same street on which the old man had lived with his grandchildren. Guilt filled me and I started to turn away, but a low whimper stopped me.

The girl was sitting on the filthy ground, head buried in her hands, sobbing quietly. Last time I’d seen her had been just after I’d hidden in her grandfather’s chimney. In the few hours that had passed she had changed dramatically, her clothes were grimy and leaves and dirt filled the hair that hung in strings down her back. Another heart wrenching sob burst from her and I could stand it no longer. Either I could leave and go mad with the guilt, or I had to make things right.

Stepping forwards, I chose to help.

A sob shook the girl’s body as I approached and dropped to my knees beside her. I touched her shoulder gently. Her sobs silenced to an occasional hiccupping noise.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, knowing just how inadequate it was.

The girl raised her head and…


***

"Wait what?!" you say, "There's no options?" He he he he...nope. This is your surprise, you get to brainstorm what the little girl might do, and I get to choose my favourite... Feeling up to it?

For those of you who haven't been with me for long, I did this once before in May last year with Dusty Red Part 7 and it didn't work out too bad. Nowadays I have a few more followers and commenters so I'm hoping for a few more ideas.

It can be very simple: a few words or a couple of sentences, or just a general idea. It shouldn't be too hard, after all, I think up three every week...but I felt like a holiday yesterday, so...yeah.
If you really can't think of anything, I will think up a couple myself and comment them for your inspection, but I might resort to killing someone if I'm not inspired. You have the deadline of next Wednesday (Tuesday for Americans, I guess)...All the best! :)

Don't let this scare you away, it'll be back to normal again next week. And if your option isn't the one I choose, it is very likely to make a small appearance later on - I love knowing what my readers enjoy. :)

Fare Thee Well!


10 comments:

  1. Oh no! Don't kill anyone!
    -
    The girl raised her head and her tear-filled green eyes widened in recognition. 'Y-you..' As if just realizing something, she hurriedly pushed herself away from me and jumped to her feet in fear...
    -
    eh.. that's all I could think of xD

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    1. Hmm, that's pretty good...better than anyone else has commented so far. :) I was hoping for a better response, but maybe they're just all thinking of something interesting. I'll have to wait and see...

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  2. The girl raised her head and looked at me through her tears. Slowly recognition dawned on her face. "Why are you back?" she said quietly, "My Grandpa was killed getting you out."
    Pushing down my guilt I replied, "We were so upset that the soldiers would do that, so we attacked them. It was silly I guess. I'm back in here and my friend Maree has been injured and captured."

    That's what I've thought of along with a few more that could happen afterwards. Samuel thinks I must want to finish the story myself! His idea is:
    “The girl raised her head and slowly smiled.”
    Joshua likes my option best.

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    1. That's a nice long option! You must've put a lot of thinking into that. :)

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  3. The girl raised her head and looked straight at me. "Let's go inside," I said, hoping that I would be able to come up with a plan. She nodded and I helped her up from the cobblestones, dried her tired eyes and followed her inside the house.
    After finding something for her to eat, we sat down together. "I'm Louise," I said, "what is your name?" .....

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    1. Very nice. This is going to be harder than I anticipated. :)

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  4. The girl raised her head and spoke in a bearly audible whisper, "I can't find my brother...

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    1. Ooh, I like this one...yes I do...

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  5. Her eyes widened staring at something past my shoulder...

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    1. Oh dear...I wonder what's behind her this time?

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