Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #23 — Communication

Welcome to Week 23 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Communication

I’m still battling the flu this week, but I’m far less sausage-brained than last week. Woohoo! I had a few ideas for the prompt: Taking out a communication tower. Her non-verbal communication said more than she ever could. One-on-one communication wasn’t his strong suit.

I ended up mixing in some non-verbal stuff with some military comms—I loved using throat mics. And, in trying to veer away from the comfort of meet-cutes, I thought it would be fun to see how these characters would be after they’d broken up, and then saw each other again.

Here’s my response to the prompt:

I did this, thought Ben. He’d pushed Jenny away, leaving her unprotected, all because he couldn’t let himself trust her. She’d been missing for five hours. More than enough time for AJ’s men to have killed her and disposed of the body. He shoved the image from his mind. Until he saw her body, there was still hope.

He watched the cameras pan slightly. It was go-time. They couldn’t risk communication over the walkies, so Ben double-clicked his throat mic. The clicks signaling the rest of the team that the compound’s perimeter cameras were under Deniable Unit (DU) control.

Ben slipped through the gap in the fencing, leaving the rest of the team to cover him as he made for the squat building. He didn’t need DU intel to tell him that was where AJ was holding her—Ben had worked undercover in AJ’s organization long enough to know with sickening certainty.

A series of clicks sounded in his earpiece. He ducked behind a bush just as a guard rounded the building. Another click indicated Ben was clear.

Ben sprinted to the building and checked each window for Jenny. He’d almost given up hope when a loud yelp broke the silence.

“Bitch bit me!” A man yelled, followed by a door slamming.

Ben headed toward the noise and peered through the window. 

Jenny. 

Relief flooded him. She was alive. And alone. He forced the window and jumped in.

Jenny’s eyes locked on his, softening for a second before narrowing.

I like this couple and hope to revisit them in a future Deniable Unit story. Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic weekend!

Want to take part?

Full information on how is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #22 — Ladder

Welcome to Week 22 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Ladder

I wasn’t going to post to the challenge this week as I’ve been ill—yip, the flu got me. For the better part of this week, my brain has resembled sausage. And just the thought of trying to string a coherent sentence together hurts.

But, for some reason here I am. I’m not entirely sure what has spurred me on but mental sludge will not deter me. For today, at least.

This week, I decided to play around with another “meet cute” (the meet cute: how the hero/heroine meets their romantic interest in a story).

Here’s my response to the prompt:

The pair of tactical boots Jack had chased up six flights of stairs disappeared through the rooftop door. 

Jack’s breath sawed hard as he took the stairs two at a time to catch up with the boots’ owner. He really needed to up his cardio.

At the door, he readied his Sig and slipped out into the darkness. He clung to the shadows, surveying the rooftop as he went. There was no sign of the runner. Not that he’d be able to spot them with them being dressed in tactical black.

Did that shadow just move?

He stilled, waiting to see if his mind was messing with him again. There. Movement.

The runner broke cover and sped across the gravel top, no longer caring about stealth, and leapt to the next building.

Jack clenched his jaw and ran toward the edge of the building. Somewhere between his feet leaving the ground and him falling through the air, he realized he’d made a huge fucking mistake.

Shit.

Milliseconds stretched out for what felt like an eternity. Until his chest slammed into the ledge around the roof. Jake clawed at the inner edge of the ledge until he gained purchase.

The runner stopped and turned. Now that they weren’t running, Jack could see that he’d been chasing a woman.

The woman approached and stuck out her hand for him.

Jack stared at her hand, unsure if he could trust her.

“Unless you’ve got a ladder handy, I’m your only help bud.”

Thanks for reading and have an amazing weekend!

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of twenty-five minutes or 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #21 — Tale

Welcome to Week 21 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Tale

I really didn’t think I had anything for this week’s word. Really. But, when I started to think about it, two scenes popped into my head. The odd part is, I have outlines for Oliver and Claudia—very bare-bones. And the first iterative outline for Xander and Leigh. Both couples are from the Deniable Unit series. It was a lot of fun playing with these characters.

I know it’s meant to be one 250 word piece, but I’m going to bend the rules. I’m posting both!

Here’s the first (Xander’s scene):

Xander stood outside Matt Brenner’s office door and schooled his expression. Grief. That was what he was aiming for. He gave a slow, unenthusiastic knock on the door.

A hand landed on his shoulder from behind. It was Matt’s hand. Shit.

“I didn’t get your report on the Erikkson debacle,” Matt said, ushering Xander into the office.

Xander shrugged and stared at the floor. “Things didn’t go according to plan.”

“No? How so?” Matt sat behind his desk.

Don’t go overboard, don’t over embellish, just give enough detail to make it believable. “Erikkson was behind many Consortium hits—just as we suspected. He turned on his protegee, Leigh Frost. He used me as bait—to kill both of us.”

“Uh-huh.” Matt started typing.

Xander shifted in his seat. “I thought I could work her. Use her to get close to Erikkson, to get him out in the open. But, that went tits up.”

Matt leaned forward. “Was that before or after you told Mitch to let her escape custody?”

“I wanted to give her the illusion of freedom so she’d lead me to Erikkson.”

“And did she?”

“Yes.”

Matt rolled his hand, motioning for Xander to keep talking.

“We took Erikkson down,” he took a shuddering breath, just enough to sell his tale, “but Leigh died protecting me.”

Matt grimaced. “You might want to tell Ms. Frost that.”

Damn it, Leigh. “Where is she?”

Matt laughed. “She’s in your office.”

“You know she wasn’t involved with those hits.”

Matt nodded.

Here’s the second (Claudia’s scene):

“For the last time, Oliver is dead. Your men killed him.” Claudia braced herself for another fist. Pain exploded somewhere near her kidney, and she slumped. The only thing keeping her upright were the ropes holding her to the girder.

Montenegro gripped her shoulders and pushed her back up. The boyish grin as he leaned into her almost made her throw up. “Tell me,” he gripped her hair and yanked her head to an unnatural angle, “where the fuck is Ether?”

She couldn’t hold out much longer against the ruthless dictator; pain and exhaustion were pulling her under. Who she was holding out for, she didn’t know. It wasn’t like Oliver was coming to rescue her, not with how she’d thrown everything he’d told her about his past as Ether in his face. “He’s dead.”

“It’s a very nice tale, but it lacks a body.” Montenegro pulled out his trademark machete and held it to Claudia’s throat. “Tell me a more believable one.”

Claudia shook with fear—too close to that damned blade. She needed to get herself under control, or there’d be no reason for anyone to help her. She closed her eyes and took a few calming breaths. When she opened them again, she saw it. A little red dot dancing over Montenegro’s forehead. Then another. And another. Relief flooded her.

“What?”

“I know where Oliver is.” She couldn’t stop the smile spreading across her lips. “I’d drop the weapon before he drops you.”

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of twenty-five minutes or 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1800 UK time of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #20 — Estate

Welcome to Week 20 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Estate

This was a fun one! I thought about all the different types of estate: money, land, housing estates, cars (in the UK station wagons are called estate cars), and inheritance. I opted for a mix of land and money—rich bad guy. This time, I decided to play around with the first kiss in a romance story. It was an enjoyable challenge trying to get across the fact that these two have a thing for each other, and haven’t acted on it, in only 250 words.

I’m happy with the result, and I’d love to play around with these characters again in the future. But for now, here’s my response to the challenge prompt:

Kelly stumbled over another tree root. A thick blanket of leaves made it almost impossible to see the root tendrils snaking across the forest floor. Just as she was getting up, Declan dove for her, throwing an arm over her waist.

Declan tilted his chin, motioning over her head. “Kavanaugh’s men are patroling up ahead.” The heat of Declan’s breath against her ear was doing a number on her determination to remain immune to him.

“What are they doing so far from the main house?” She risked a glance in the direction he’d indicated—anything to distract from the closeness of him. Armed men walked about thirty feet away from where they lay hidden in a hollow in the ground.

“Maybe Kavanaugh caught wind of our plan.”

“I doubt it, he’d have the house buttoned up, not three miles outside the estate grounds.”

Declan smiled at her, and her stomach flipped like it wasn’t supposed to do. “Admit it, you miss this life.”

“Absolutely not.”

That stomach-flipping smile grew into a grin. “You still can’t lie for shit, Kel.”

He was right, and she had nothing to refute it with. Instead, she pulled leaves from his hair. 

Touching him was a mistake.

His eyes darkened, surely mirroring her own. She should move, keep some distance between them, but she couldn’t.

Declan rolled her so that they were face-to-face. “If you keep looking at me like that—”

Kelly tugged him close and kissed him like she’d wanted to all those years ago.

Well, that’s it for me. I’m off to get some baking done, and then feet up for some Psych. Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic weekend!

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of twenty-five minutes or 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #19 — Shopping

Welcome to Week 19 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Shopping

As hobbies and pastimes go, shopping is not on my list. It’s more of a need to do than a like to do. 

With that out of the way. I decided to play around with a “meet cute” for my response. If you’re not familiar with a meet cute, it’s a screenwriting term for how the hero and heroine in a romance/story with a romance subplot meet.

Here’s my response:

Natalie stepped onto the elevator of the prestigious Astoria building on West Ave. The whole bus ride there, she’d berated herself for not telling her boss to pick up his own shit from his brother’s place. It was bad enough that she had to get three buses to get there, but having to walk past all those stores where even window shopping was out of her price range was too much. 

“What floor?”

Natalie jumped. How had she not seen him? It’s not like he didn’t stand out with those ice-blue eyes or his simple, tailored shirt and jeans. “Penthouse, please.”

He hit the button for her requested floor and leaned against the wall. His eyes slid over her, lingering at her shoes. “Who sent you?”

Was it really that obvious that she didn’t belong here? “None of your business.”

“Considering I’m the only person who lives up there, it actually is my business.”

Crap. “Mr. Deaver, I’m Natalie Cross. Anton said he told you I was coming.”

Relief seemed to wash over the man. “You can’t be too careful.” He held out his hand to shake hers. “Call me Evan.”

Warmth radiated from where their hands met all the way up to her face. She pulled her hand from his like he was contagious. This man was a complication she didn’t need. She shoved her hands in her pockets and looked up. The access panel in the ceiling was open. What the hell?

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic weekend!

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of twenty-five minutes or 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #18 — Airport

Welcome to Week 18 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Airport

For some reason this was a tough one. I went through three different scenarios before I went with the one below. It’s difficult to write a suspense/action scene set in an airport—with all the security etc. Every idea I had involved a gun, or a chase… Not very believeable in this day and age.

So, I opted for the scene below:

The car swerved again. 

Maddie crossed her arms over her head before she slammed into the side. The driver certainly didn’t give a damn that she was in the trunk.

She’d already searched for the trunk release, but the car was too old to have one. Her abductor was smart. Though, maybe not that smart.

A spark of hope twinkled to life in her chest. The spare tire. Maddie scooted back and tugged the edge of the carpet toward her. On top of the spare was a tire iron.

Ha. Maddie’s abductor wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. Not that she’d seen him in the longterm parking out by the airport. But the woodsy cologne told her that it was a man. He’d been smart on his choice of car, but he hadn’t thought to remove the tire iron.

Buoyed by her find, Maddie removed the panel covering the left light cluster and scrunched into the opposite corner. She aimed the tire iron at the exposed lights and punched until it was gone.

The car screeched to a halt, then rocked as the driver got out.

Maddie’s heart drummed so loud she couldn’t hear if the driver was heading her way. But common sense told her to be prepared. She gripped the tire iron, ready to beat the shit out of whoever this guy was. The trunk opened. Before she could swing, the man disarmed her.

“You’re going to get us killed,” he said.

“Kurt? What the fuck?”

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Welcome to Week 17 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Family

I cheated a little this week. Mainly in the form of using characters I’ve been working on for a while now. Matt is the leader of Alpha Team in my Denaible Unit series. And Jake is from a related series that I’ve been playing with in my downtime.

The cheat is a little more than stealing fully-formed (in my head, anyway) characters. I know their history, their relationship, and how the past has shaped them (and their sister, Eve).

I know far more about Matt and how coming face-to-face with his past would go. So, I decided to see how Jake would deal with it—for some reason, I seem to like torturing Jake with people from his past.

This was a whole lot of fun, and it helped me connect with Jake and his backstory.

Here’s my response to the prompt (basic editing):

Jake hit the lights and music on his cruiser and motioned for the driver of the F150 to pull over. The driver hadn’t done anything, but his gut screamed that something was off with this guy.

The in-vehicle computer didn’t throw up anything on the truck or the owner. Maybe he needed some downtime after all.

He touched his weapon as he approached the F150. His gut may be off, but that didn’t mean he was going to be complacent on a traffic stop.

“Was I speeding, Officer?” the man asked from beneath his baseball cap.

Jake froze. That voice. He was suddenly fifteen again. Hope and pain fought in his chest. No, he’d stopped “seeing” Matt everywhere he looked a decade ago. He blew out a breath. “Licence and registration.”

The man stiffened.

Jake readied his thumb at the snap on his holster and repeated his request.

The man nodded and leaned over for his wallet. There was a scar at the back of his neck. One he’d caused.

A lightness filled Jake’s chest; he couldn’t breathe. “Matt?”

“Jay…”

The lightness burned away as fury took hold. Jake yanked open the door and hauled his brother out. “Losing you tore our family apart.” Jake swung at Matt, but Matt was too fast, blocking him.

With effortless grace, Matt maneuvered Jake to the ground, pinning him facedown on the asphalt. “I had a job to do. Being dead was…necessary. Besides, you were better off with me gone.”

Thanks for reading and have a stupendous weekend!

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of twenty-five minutes or 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #16 — Crime

Welcome to Week 16 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Crime

I’m not going to post my response to the challenge today. I ran out of time—got sucked into outlining DU2—and I’m really hungry. So, I’m off to have my dinner (pizza, pizza, pizza). I’ll update this post with my response over the weekend.

Update:

Here’s my response to the prompt (basic editing):

“Next,” the teller called from behind his counter.

Veronica smoothed the crumpled withdrawal slip between her clammy hands, then slid it to the man. She shifted from foot-to-foot, waiting for the inevitable.

The bland smile on the man’s face evaporated, his brows knitting together. He glanced from the slip to her face and back again, then let out a loud bark of laughter. “You’re shitting me, right?”

Anger gathered in her chest like a violent storm. Everything had fallen apart. Heath had told her he’d be here with her, that they’d save her sister together. And like a lovesick idiot, she’d believed him, trusted him—until she woke alone.

The teller must have seen something in her face that told him she was deadly serious because he moved his hand toward the silent alarm. But, before Veronica could threaten him, his eyes grew wide, then narrowed, and a smug little smile tugged at his lips.

The small hairs on Veronica’s neck prickled. She reached into her purse, frantically searching around for Heath’s gun.

“It’s over, Sweetheart.” Heath gripped her searching hand and turned her to face him.

Betrayal landed like a sucker-punch as the man who’d been her partner-in-crime cuffed her. The only thing she could focus on was the detective’s shield hanging around his neck. “You’ve killed her.”

Heath guided her out of the bank into the side alley. He leaned his forehead against hers and let out a long breath. “We found her. She’s safe.”

Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful weekend!

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of twenty-five minutes or 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

RULES

  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #15 — Hope

Welcome to post #15 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Hope

Before I sat down to work on the challenge, I toyed around with what hope is. How could I use it in a piece of fiction? To be honest, I stalled for a bit. I was tempted to cheat and have a character called Hope, or name a street Hope Street.

Alas, I thought about a character hoping beyond hope that they’d make it somewhere on time. With that in my head, I sat down and got to work.

Here’s my sprint (basic editing):

Continue reading → Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #15 — Hope

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #14 — Goal

Welcome to prompt 14 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Goal

I had a slight panic attack when the generator spat out this week’s word. I’ve been struggling with setting concrete character story goals for book two of the Deniable Unit (DU) series this past week—had two competing plots in the outline. Aargh! And, when I saw goal, it felt like someone/something was messing with me.

When I finally got over my freak out, I got to work on the challenge. I forced myself not to write anything sports-related—mainly because I’m not into sport. I decided to play around with the outing of a character’s secret goal.

Continue reading → Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #14 — Goal