Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #40 — Leash

Welcome to #40 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

I hope you are all well, and remembering to stay at home. It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us, but luckily my key worker hubs has a few days off! We here that the livingroom is nice this time of year 😂

Again, I’m still in Amy and Kelvin’s world. If you’d like to catch up with their story here’s a link to their page.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #40 — Leash by Susan T. Braithwaite

This week’s random word is: Leash

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Thick, fat snowflakes obscured Amy’s vision so much so that she could barely see the ridgeline she was meant to follow. They’d waded through deep snow for almost three hours, and her legs were burning from the effort.

The leash of the deadman’s switch tugged her arm back. Her chest grew tight, reluctant to turn back to the man attached to the other end.

“Give me a minute,” Kelvin said, his voice weak and raspy.

Amy steeled herself before facing him, but it wasn’t enough to prepare her. Kelvin was a ghost of the pain-in-the-arse she’d first met. His face was pale, he was out of breath, and his wound was worse than he’d let on. They’d never make it to the cabin he’d given her directions to if she let him stop. She needed to distract him. “Since you can’t tell me what’s in the box, tell me whose lives depend on it.”

He narrowed his eyes as if assessing her trustworthiness, then gave a tiny shrug. “My team. The whole damned unit.”

She tugged on the cord, tethering him to her, pulling him beside her as they trudged on. “You’re in the Army?” He didn’t strike her as military, a thief, or a hitman, maybe.

“Not for a long time.” He stumbled, and she wrapped an arm around his back, forcing him to hold onto her shoulder for balance.

“PMC?” Private military contractor seemed like a better fit for him, but she doubted a contractor would have bothered saving her life several times over.

When he didn’t answer, she gave his side a light squeeze.

He grimaced and shook his head. “Deniable Unit operative.”

“Let’s pretend I don’t know what that is.” She gripped the arm he had slung over her shoulder and eased more of his weight onto her.

“We put an end to corruption and unchecked power worldwide. Permanently.”

She’d seen his version of “permanently” up close and personal—she was wearing the deadman’s coat—and it had her wondering. “You are the good guys?” She waited for his reaction, wanting to see if she was helping the man who’d eventually kill her.

Kelvin’s teal eyes held hers for a moment. “I fucking hope so.” His eyes rolled back in his head.

“No, no, no!” Amy slapped at his face, but there wasn’t even a glimmer of reaction. She turned, struggling to hold his limp body. “Wake up. Please.” He was a deadweight, too heavy for her to support. He slipped from her grip, slumping into a horrible heap in the snow. Tears pricked her eyes, and she slapped a hand over her mouth to stop the pitiful wail that was building in her from escaping.

There was no way she could maneuver his unconscious form all the way to the still-to-be-located cabin. If she stayed with him, they’d both die.

Amy squeezed her eyes shut. The thought of leaving him alone soured her stomach. But, there was no choice, she had to find the cabin and pray there was something there she could use to transport him to safety.

She dropped the tether and peeled off her coat, draping it over Kelvin’s body. She swiped away burning tears and refused to look back as she left him behind.

Thanks for reading. Stay safe! 😍

Photo Credit: the always wonderful Jez Braithwaite

How to Join In:

  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just let your imagination run wild and write a maximum of 500-ish words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.

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

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #39 — Prestige

Welcome to #39 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

I’m going to start this post with a couple of quick announcements/updates for the challenge.

  1. With the COVID-19 outbreak hitting hard, I’m going to have to reduce the challenge to every fortnight (every two weeks). If I can post more than that, I will. Don’t worry, I’m not ill—and touch wood—neither is anyone I know. The reason behind the change is down to picking up extra responsibilities while my husband’s workload increases in the food retail sector to meet the massive increase in demand.
  2. There’s a slight change in the challenge rules. We have a new word count limit: 500-ish words.

And onto the post.

Once again. I decided to challenge myself to continue Amy and Kelvin’s story from where we left them last week. (If you’ve missed any of their story, you can find all their links here.)

This week’s random word is: Prestige

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Kelvin jerked awake, taking a few seconds to remember he was on the back of the snowmobile.

Amy turned her head toward him and raised her voice over the whine of the engine. “You better stay awake and hold on, because I’m not turning around if you fall off.” She grinned, but it didn’t mask her concern.

The darkness edged his vision again, the enveloping calm of it so enticing. If he let it take him, there’d be no star for him on the wall of Deniable Unit HQ, no prestige. He’d just be a dead traitor. If he let it take him, his team—hell, the whole organisation—would pay for his failure. And, they’d never see it coming.

“Hey! Stay with me!”

He jolted back to consciousness and tightened his grip around Amy’s waist.

“That’s better.”

Even through the layers of clothing, her curves taunted him, reminded him. He’d been an idiot to kiss her again. His brutal world wasn’t for a woman like her. She should be at home with a man who would keep her safe—one who had no reason to know seventeen different ways to kill with his bare hands. The thought didn’t sit well.

The engine sputtered and coughed, their pace slow and jolting, until they came to an abrupt stop. Amy turned the key, again and again, in frantic succession. Nothing. She bowed her head.

She’d probably come to the same conclusion Kelvin had a few bouts of lucidity ago. They weren’t going to make it. Not both of them. He eased himself off the snowmobile, away from the warmth and comfort of Amy. “We’re a couple of miles away from where we’re heading.” He winced as he removed the backpack. “You need to head south-west following that ridgeline,” he nodded the direction, “keep it on your right—”

“I’m not leaving you here to die.” She hopped off the vehicle, grabbing the deadman’s switch. “Also, don’t dare try to teach me how to suck eggs.” A light blush coloured her cheeks. “I mean, I’m more than qualified to navigate to where ever it is we’re going.”

“I’m not going to make it, but I can take out anyone who comes this way.”

Worry edged her eyes and mouth as she took him in, but she chased it away with a huff. “How’s the wound? Is it still bleeding?”

Kelvin hadn’t checked since they’d left the cave. He opened his coat. Blood had seeped through the makeshift bandage into the padding of the jacket, but the wound seemed to have stopped bleeding. “It’s okay for now.”

“Are you always so melodramatic, or is it the thought of walking that’s making you whine?” She swung the pack onto her back, then lashed the dead man’s switch around his wrist and tugged at it. “Come on, we don’t have all day.”

For the first time in his life, he was speechless. For the first time in months, he had hope that he’d make it.

Thanks for reading. Take care of yourselves and those around you. Be nice to retail workers—they didn’t create the chaos in stores. And, keep washing those hands 🧼🤩

How To Join In:

  • Using the prompt, write a maximum of 500-ish words of fiction. (This can be a scene, flash fiction, some dialogue, a bit of description, etc.)
  • Link to this post in your post.
  • Add the tags ffwc, genre scribes, and the genre your post is in.
  • The deadline is 6 PM the following Friday.

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

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #38 — Catalogue

Welcome to #38 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

I decided to challenge myself this week. No matter what the word, I was to write another installment of Amy and Kelvin’s story. It wasn’t the easiest word to work with, but I managed to get there in the end.

This snippet picks up right where we left them last week. Again, I went over the word count—I’m going to review the limit in the next couple of weeks. (Here’s a page with all their story links, in order.)

Before getting into the meat of the post, I have to say a huge thank you to my wonderful husband, Jez, for taking the time to create the featured image for this post. 😘

While I’m in the shout out mood, a big thanks to Chris for sharing her response to last week’s prompt. Check out her site, you will be entertained.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge 38 -- Catalogue

This week’s random word is: Catalogue

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Snowy Hill photo by Jez Braithwaite of jezbraithwaite.blog

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #37 — Nomination

Welcome to #37 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

Woohoo! Amy and Kelvin’s story continues in today’s post. (Here’s where we left them last time.) A quick word of warning, as the story grows, as does the word count of each mini-scene/sequence. It’s not too crazy, it sits under 500 words, so it’s still a quick read.

This week’s random word is: Nomination

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Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #36 — Mirror

Welcome to #36 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

Today’s response features Kelvin and Amy–the aircrash couple. This mini-scene catches up with where we left them in the celebration prompt.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #36 — Mirror by Susan T Braithwaite

This week’s random word is: Mirror

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Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #35 — Bronze

Welcome to #35 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in (see end of post for info).

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge 35 Bronze by Susan T Braithwaite

Today’s word didn’t lend itself to any immediate story ideas for previous characters, so I decided to start afresh with the introduction of a new character, Maddie. She feels like a character I’d like to spend some more time with–prompt words willing. 🧐

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This week’s prompt word is: Bronze

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Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #34 — Celebration

Welcome to #34 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #34 — Celebration Susan T Braithwaite

This week I’m revisiting Amy and Kelvin (the airplane crash couple) from the challenge prompts damage and cookie. The scene takes place a day or two after the cookie one. Confession: I went a wee bit over on the word count by 100-ish words.

This week’s random word is: Celebration

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Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #33 — Politics

Welcome to #33 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #33 — Politics by Susan Braithwaite

This week’s random word is: Politics.

The moment I saw the prompt word, last week’s characters popped into my head. This scene comes after they’ve had dinner together.

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Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #31 — Cookie

Welcome to #31 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

Quick thanks to Chris and Gordon for taking part and sharing their awesome responses to last week’s prompt. Great work, guys!

This week’s word was a toughie. Every time I tried to come up with something, my mind kept dragging me back to the characters from my response to the Damage prompt. Instead of continuing to fight it, I decided to revisit Kelvin and Amy after they left their downed aircraft.

This week’s random word is: Cookie

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Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #30 — Tennis

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

It’s been a busy week or so (read: super busy) and I’ve had little-to-no time for writing. Hopefully, things will calm down before next week and I can get back to word herding. Before we get into the post, I’d like to say a quick thanks to those who posted their responses to last week’s prompt—I’ll catch up with your posts this weekend.

This week’s random word is: Tennis

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Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge 30 -- Tennis
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