Write On Edge – Advancing the Plot

Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane and I felt my heart stop in my chest. They were here for a reason…the small package that was presently occupying my left hip.

They wanted her.

I crouched low in the underbrush and said a prayer to every god I knew that the small child would not stir. Our lives depended on it for surely if the two ‘men’ would discover us, everything would be lost. They would think nothing of rendering me to ash instantly. The fate of the babe, however, would be far worse.

Danella stayed quiet; she knew what was at stake. Her knowledgeable eyes focused on our enemies. Her small chubby hands firmly grasping my hair. Together, we waited.

The men turned our way and I feared they sensed us, as if my screaming mind had given us away. I willed every muscle in my body to still and slowly reached for my only weapon, my long sword. I would never win this battle, but I would certainly leave my mark.

Danella snuggled closer as the men strode towards us. I felt her wild heartbeat and tried to slow my own as a small measure of reassurance to her. I spared her a quick glance and a half smile. Her brilliant blue eyes sparkled at me and I nearly sighed out loud. No wonder all the universe was looking for her; she was simply perfect.

“Sister Mine. I know you are nearby. There is no need for further games.”

I stopped myself from rolling my eyes. My older brother, Gabriel, had a flair for drama and the more inappropriate the circumstance; the more he poured it on. Gabriel turned in a circle scanning the woods, knowing full well he had the upper hand. He could simply out wait me. Surely Danella would reveal us with a cry or whimper. He knew it was just a matter of time.

I clutched the hilt of my long sword and weighed my options. My thighs were burning from inactivity, Danella couldn’t possibly remain still much longer and I was frankly outnumbered and out-muscled. I was no match for my brother alone and yet he saw it necessary to bring backup. Another near eye roll. He was the ultimate showboat.

With a blink of an eye my brother and his henchmen were rendered to ash. Nothing remained, not even their gold armbands or weapons. Just two piles of smoldering ash where Gabriel and the other man stood. A third man, astride a huge white warhorse picked his way out of the tree line and into the moonlit lane. Dumbfounded, I nearly rose from the brushes where I’d let my muscles atrophy for so long; stopping myself just as my muscles began to grudgingly move. That slight movement was enough and his eyes locked onto mine. His words, heard only by Danella and myself resounded through my entire being.

“You are safe. I have come.”

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10 responses to “Write On Edge – Advancing the Plot

  1. I think my favorite part of this is her understanding of her brother’s showboating, which makes his subsequent incineration a little complicated. The human details create a hint of gray area between good and evil.

  2. I like this. This has great potential. You’ve got so much happening in a short scene. I would love to know more. One minor quibble – toward the end where you use the word “atrophy” – it doesn’t seem to fit for me. I guess I always think of someone who has literally lost muscle due to inactivity, not just the incredible stiffness and pain you’re describing. Just a thought and, like I said, overall this was well done.

  3. Maybe atrophy becomes cramped? Stiffened? Anyway, the tension you built was very palpable. I was afraid for the woman and the child. I was confused when her brother and her men were rendered to ash. Maybe something to show that it wasn’t something she did at the opening of the sentence? I thought she had done something when she blinked her eye. (Please note, I am blonde and very tired, LOL)

    Now I want to know who the white knight is and how he knew to come to their rescue and why does the universe want the baby??

    Great story!

  4. great scene. I love the characters you crafted. I got such a great sense of them each with the few words of description. There must be more than meets the eye regarding Danella…

  5. Love the take on the prompt!

    My concrit is the eye-rolling. To me it didn’t fit the tension you were building. I know the intent was to focus on the showboating of the brother, but this diffused her fear for me.

    I loved the premise. I think the child is the embodiment of innocence, a transformation required of her to save the world or maybe just the fae world, or to be the bridge between both…and there I go, rambling. This is extremely well done!

  6. Good story with suspense — and a knight on a white war horse, too! I also think ‘atrophy’ is the wrong word; also I would query ‘thighs burning from inactivity’ — from what you’re describing they’re burning with strain. The other phrase that jarred with me was ‘knowledgable eyes’. Do you mean ‘knowing’ eyes — indicating understanding? Maybe I’m just being weird here, but ‘knowledgeable’ struck me as a funny choice.

    Is this a stand alone piece, or part of a story? If the latter, then like Melissa, I want to know what comes next ! Also what caused the split with her brother and why she doesn’t mourn when he’s reduced to ash? (How do they DO that, BTW? And how come she only has a sword, not a lighter?)

  7. Ooo! Lovely. A quick walk into a different world.

    I enjoyed your main character’s assessment of her situation – it is very real and refreshing to hear her acknowledge her own shortcomings! The arrival of her “deus ex machina” who is apparently to powerful he can wisk away even her brother is timely…. but takes away from your main character and removes the danger almost too quickly.

    I’d love to read more about main character’s adventures!

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