So I’ve discovered that my writing brain likes to have a bit of play time behind the scenes. Yesterday, in anticipation of my “B” post for the A to Z Challenge, I pulled out three prompt cards from my little bag of prompts, plus a card from my Archetype Deck, laid them out on my desk …
… and my brain said, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Deciding not to angst about not getting a post up yesterday for the challenge (I’m woefully behind anyway), I went on with the rest of the day. And it turned out, the whole time I was “doing other things”, my subconscious writing mind was actually playing with the prompts.
So here are the prompts and the Archetype Card behind today’s post:
1. “I’ll give you ten seconds”
2. gunshot wound
3. “I can’t protect you from that”
4. creature of the nightmare
Yes. I know. That’s what my brain said, too. Anyway, this is the scene I came up with:
The light from the lantern cast a glow that barely illuminated the map on the rock in front of them.
“So I figure, no grenades,” James said. “Or I’d give you ten seconds before you’re toast.”
Laura looked at him. How did she end up with this idiot? They were crawling into a an underground cavern, for God’s sake. Did “no grenades” even need to be said? She jabbed the map in several places. “Look. We go in, we place explosives here, here and here. We make it out, we detonate them.” And if we don’t get out, she added silently, we detonate them. Orders were orders.
“Oh,” James said, peering at the X’s she’d marked on the map. “I get it. Okay, that’s good.” He traced a path on the map. “So we find the kids, you get them out, I kill the thing?”
Laura rolled her eyes. Before she could say anything, Matt, their guide, chuckled. “Not going to work,” he said. His voice was low, but carried well across the campfire.
“You think I don’t know how to shoot?” James said, angry now.
The older man shook his head. “Don’t know a thing about your shooting, son,” he said. “But lots of people have gone in after that thing. Armed to the teeth, all of them. Didn’t do them no good.” He looked at Laura, then back to James. “I’m just saying, a few gunshot wounds won’t do much.”
He cleared his throat and spat into the fire. “Some say that thing in there, that beast thing, it likes to eat your innerds first. Rips right into your belly and pulls all your insides out. But I say that’s crap, because who can know for sure? Except, of course, those waiting for their turn, and they’re not talking, are they?”
James swallowed a few times as he digested this bit of information. “I don’t know, Laura,” he finally said. “How do I protect you from that, if a gun won’t stop it?” His gaze shifted over to the mouth of the cave.
Laura stifled a sigh. Didn’t the idiot know there was a reason why they were there, and not some SWAT team? Or the army? She got up and went to the rear of the SUV.
Both men watched as she began pulling on her protective gear. State of the art, she thought, tugging on the flexible vest. Designed to keep her surviving for long enough to pull those kids out of that hole. The ones that hadn’t been eaten yet, anyway.
She reached inside the SUV for the black case. Gingerly, with something close to reverence, she lifted out the Arlos 12000. So small, so powerful.
The alloy it was made with weighed next to nothing. She could have packed eight of these on her and not felt a thing. Only, she didn’t have eight Arlos. Only the one.
She walked back to James. “You press this button to engage,” she said, showing him. “Then you just point and shoot. Nothing to it.”
“What’s it fire? A rocket? Wouldn’t that be as bad as a grenade?”
“No rocket. Just a bullet. A special bullet. There’ll be an explosion, yes, but contained within the target. Bad news is, you’ve only got the one shot.”
James was examining the weapon. “And the good news?”
Laura turned to face Matt, who’d been watching their exchange with interest. “It’s designed to annihilate tanks.” She put her emphasis on the “s”.
The older man looked at her, expressionless. The shadows from the fire danced over his lined face. Slowly, he nodded. “You just might have a chance, then.”
I had fun with this. it was quite interesting, coming up with the scenario and the characters, and figuring out a way to work the prompts in. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this daily, though, so I might have to come up with some other A to Z blogging ideas, and maybe do the prompts every few posts.