Tuesday, May 20, 2014

WEP - Failure Or is it? A Crossroads


This month's WEP fiction continues a previous entry from March, with an excerpt:

Part 1 - My Eyes Don't Lie, Do They?

It is written:  We were the last ship of twelve that departed together from our dying planet. Our ships could go no further by the time we arrived at this cluster of rocks, as our onboard systems were starting to fail. Ship's historian, SRS-1 Colony




Asteroid Images, Science NASA


The log entry was signed and dated one month after the asteroid colony was established. As I left the library viewing room, I heard someone call, "Wait up, Dak!"

I know that voice. He's the only person that agrees with my ideas. Both of us want to escape this place one day. First, we need a map. . .then, we need to hide aboard a seeker transport.

"Hi Rafe! I've got training duty for this time block. Can we meet after that?"

"You haven't heard the news then, have you?"

"What news?" My heart jumped.


End of part 1



***

Part 2 - A Crossroads

"We're getting visitors. Two humans from the planets. . .our Rangers on patrol found them on the surface of asteroid AC89."  

"Found them? Were they lost?"

"They were collecting crust samples. Didn't even have their guns activated when they were approached. It's what saved them though, the two Rangers knew they weren't pirates."

"I can't believe a spacer wouldn't have his gun ready. Are they here?"

"No, they aren't prisoners. In two shifts time, the news alert said they are coming back. This will be our best chance to stowaway, while everyone attends the welcoming ceremony. The visitors have to leave their ship somewhere on Landing level."

"But they'll have guards, Rafe. Armed guards."

"Are we going to do this or not? You getting scared?"

"I'm not scared. We'll do it."



WEP - monthly bloghop



Two workshifts later, the strangers returned and were taken to be presented to the leader of the colony. The honor guards appointed to accompany the visitors followed the colony delegation as it left. 

Later . . .

On the edges of Landing level, we keep to the shadows as we look for the ship which delivered the visitors. Our black surface suits make us nearly invisible. We only have a certain amount of time to get inside and find a place to hide. Crouching, we move along the hanger walls, stopping when we reach the flyer. Its flat black body seems to disappear in the darkness, built for stealth and accented with a thin blue line which ended in a 'V' on the main entry hatch. One day, I'm going to pilot a beauty like that. 

Rafe interrupted Dak's thoughts and motioned him to move on. Workers and maintenance 'bots would report for duty soon. Then, a sound off to their right, a faint whirring noise. They dropped to their knees behind the side of the ship as a guard-bot went trundling past. It never paused.

"You go first and signal when you're inside. Make a noise, something I can hear over the suitcom."

"Okay. You won't back out?"

"Never. Blood-honor swear."

Rafe slipped in the side cargo door, and was out of sight as he looked for hiding places. Dak took one last look around and was about to follow when a gloved hand grabbed his shoulder. His heart pounded against his chest. Caught. Rafe is going to think I didn't follow . . .

"Just hold on there, young man. This is my ship. Do you make a habit of entering someone else's spaceship uninvited?"  One of the visitors towered over Dak, clad in a surface suit different from any Dak had ever seen. It was white. Stark white.
.
Sweat trickled down the back of Dak's neck inside the fitted head cover of his own black surface suit.

"Well? Can you hear me?"

"Yes, sir, I've never done this before, just talked about it. I'm Dak. We didn't want to steal nothing, we wanted to hide on your ship to get away from here. . ."

"You want to get away from here? Isn't this your home?" The man in the white surface suit released his hold on the boy, as he could see Dak wasn't going to leave his friend.

"We hate it here. Me and my friend Rafe.  He's inside your ship wondering where I am. . ."

"What about your family?"

"Don't have any family. They died in a pirate raid a long time ago."

"I'm sorry to hear that, Dak. I'm Morgan, and I grew up as an orphan, just like you. I lost my parents when I was young. Too young to remember them. I know what it feels like. I remember that I wanted to leave my home planet when I was your age. Because of that, I'm going to give you a second chance and not report this 'exploration', on two conditions."

"We won't be sent to detention jail?"

"I'd prefer not to, but it's up to you. If you agree to finish your training and become one of the Rangers, I'll say nothing. Some Rangers are pilots, some aren't. Next time I come, I'll be bringing someone important that you might want to meet. He's a scientist ."

"You mean it? Can I tell my friend inside? He's probably thinking I left him . . ."
 
"Please ask him to join us."

"Rafe, come out of the ship, it's ok. There's been a change of plans, and there's a new friend I want you to meet."

The path of two young boys, aged 9 and 10 had just diverted to loftier ideals.

End of Part 2. There will be a Part 3.

***

Have you had to make a Crossroads type of decision? Did you have a role model when you were younger? Have you heard of the WEP blogfests?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for dropping by! I'll respond.


***
Would you like to challenge yourself? Try Write...Edit...Publish!

Join us for a monthly signup and some very interesting reading. It's flexible. I joined the once-a-month bloghop since it meets my needs. I've also met fellow bloggers with the same penchant for responding to Denise's challenges. WEP makes me practice short writing. It's a good way to start story ideas, too.

 
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Write…Edit…Publish! aka WEP welcomes you to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or playscripts to a word count of 1,000 words – artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your work/s.

Next Challenge: June - Romance
Owner/Originator: Denise Covey at her website.




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Denise's WEP Site:
http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.ca/

***

52 comments:

  1. I wonder if the boys will keep their promise to the stranger and make a success of their lives as rangers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is revealed in Part 3, the conclusion. This is a background story for a secondary character in my scifi, bk 2.
      When the next challenge fits. . .I write that one.

      Delete
  2. I really don't write flash fiction. Maybe I should...

    D.G... I read your comment to Sally and this appears to be a small part of a larger body of work. Are you thinking of expanding this idea for a novel? A short story? Or is this just a way to flex your writing muscle?

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    Replies
    1. So glad you asked, Robin. I didn't write flash fiction much before either, but I have written short stories and I like the flexibility of WEP (I can use photos (you could use music since you do those well). Try it for a couple of times. With WEP you sign up each month. Romance is the prompt for June. (that will be a fun one since I usually don't write romance. . . ) It does allow me to stretch my muscles, I don't think I'm qualified to flex yet. It's fun, and I hope to get some feedback out of it. I recommend it, and Denise is a gentle manager of the effort.

      This is a side story about Dak who will join a secondary character in Bk 2 to become a hero of the colony he lives on. Bk 2 is a WIP, an epic scifi story. Ever want a sample chapter to read? Let me know.

      Delete
  3. A Crossroads type of decision? Yes. To stand up with your convictions, or to cower and give in. Dak is darn brave.

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    Replies
    1. That brave nature will carry Dak far. I have plans for him. Thanks for reading it, Susan!

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  4. Well done! Space adventures are huge right now, aren't they? I think crossroads decisions are very tough. You worry you'll make the wrong choice and regret it later.

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    Replies
    1. Crossroad decisions are the time to go with your gut feelings, or intuition. Thanks, Stephanie.

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  5. Hey DG- this is interesting. I'm sorry to say, I think it might be the first time I've read any of your work. I enjoyed it.

    I'll have to check this out. I really need something to jump start my writing. After June 1. Thanks for the info and an enjoyable read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish you would join us, FAE, and Robin too, as the challenge and the numbers who participate vary every month. I'm trying to do the same and jumpstart my short writing. The posts are usually due later in the month. Thanks for reading my offering.

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    2. It would be lovely if Farawayeyes and Robin could join us next month. Thanks for the generous recommendation, D.G. You rock!

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  6. Well written. I take it this iis an excerpt from your current WIP. I hope the boys continue to grow and learn.

    Nancy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, N.R. This is background or a side story for a scifi WIP. The boys were lucky to have met a generous hearted man.

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  7. Hello D.G. I love the way your story is developing. It's quite easy to write a novella or even a longer piece using the WEP challenges. I've done it plenty of times and I love the way the monthly prompt affects my plots.

    I'm looking forward to Part 3 of Dak's story. He's an interesting and I'm enjoying his development. Like me, you use a lot of dialogue to tell your stories. I think that gives your story a realism you wouldn't have otherwise.

    Don't we love characters at crossroads as we so often have to choose between two roads (just been looking at Robert Frost with a student :))

    Thank you D.G. for being true to your word about posting each month for six months. I wonder if you can be persuaded to continue? I'm of course so looking forward to continuing 'Somewhere in Paris' with ROMANCE as the June prompt. I got the name thinking about papers I read from WW2 - 'Somewhere in France'. Intriguing that you have a WIP by the same name. Mine began as 'Interrupted in Paris', but that doesn't really encapsulate the direction my story is heading.

    Happy writing!

    Denise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'm hooked now, Denise, and so far, I've ben able to come up with something. I'm impressed by the quality of the writing of all the WEPs I've seen. I was starting to wonder what challenges come after June. That might stir up more interest. . . I do have an idea for June, too.

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    2. Hi again D.G. Working on the next six months as we speak. I will be posting the list any day now. I hope they convince you to stay on board this ship. :)

      Delete
  8. Failure does not define us - our response to it does. Great flash fiction. I'm pulling for the boys to pull through this.

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    Replies
    1. I replied here, Roland, but Blogger moved it below. What Blogger wants, Blogger takes.

      Delete
  9. Hello,

    My second time here, the first time blogger didn't take my comment for some reason. I enjoyed the story, particularly liked Dak's loyalty towards Rafe, theirs seems a beautiful friendship likely to withstand several crossroads type decisions. Looking forward to Part 3.

    Best,
    Nilanjana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blogger eats my replies sometimes too. Hungry web-bots?
      Thanks for noticing the subtle undercurrents, Nilanjana!

      Delete
  10. Thanks, Roland, glad you could stop by to read it. I'm pulling for the boys too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very tightly, clearly written and enjoyable fiction! Totally pulled me in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That lifted my spirits, Scheherazade, thank you. Writing about the younger age character was a stretch, and I agonized through several dialogue changes. . .

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  12. Impressive to whip up something like this in a short amount of time! Thanks for sharing. :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for taking the time to read it, Elizabeth!

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  13. Great writing. Lots of talent packed into this little piece.
    Deb@ http://debeioneille.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words.. Good luck with that cute kid contest. I'm only on Blogger.

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  14. I was surprised at how young they were! My son's 9, so I went back through and read from that age vantage point. Crossroads are tough. Nice handling of it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. In space, kids grow up earlier, especially in hard conditions (think of the Ender series). Glad you enjoyed it Shannon.

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  15. I guess my father was my only real role model when I was a kid. And yes, I've stood at a few crossroads in my life. These kids are mighty young to be wandering in space. When I was that age I watched space shows on TV but I'd never have considered actually going into space at that age. But I guess if you're already there growing up you don't have much choice.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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    Replies
    1. A spacefaring society could change a few things about childhood, and parenting. Dak was born in the colony on the asteroid. You reached the right conclusion, Lee.

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  16. The was a fun trip DG. The characters were young, but believable.

    I've been at many crossroads in my life. I do wish I'd had a mentor or role model to have gotten me where I wanted to be sooner. But, who knows what journey I would have ended up on then.

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  17. Thanks, Donna. I've had a few major crossroads, too. I usually had to do my own analysis.

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  18. I enjoyed this bit, quite the adventure! I look forward to the next part.
    I haven't had to face very many crossroads yet, I hope I do have strongs friendships to get me by too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some face few crossroads, some have more, a lot of variables come into play: changing of location, dissatisfaction with one's lot in life, escaping a traumatic event, and etc..

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  19. I love the setting your story is in - fascinating idea, settling in an asteroid shower.

    This does feel like the beginning of a longer story.

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    Replies
    1. It is a side story, Trisha, condensed for purposes of WEP. Glad you like the premise.

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  20. I like Dak's thoughts interspersed between the action and dialogue -- nice work, DG.

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    1. Thanks, Milo! Writing kid dialogue is good practice. I try to remember our kids and kids at the school activities I've met. Kids can do more than some parents think they can. Think Oliver Twist, and Ender. . .

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  21. May 25th, 2014
    Dear D.G.,
    Love this story about Dak and his friend at a crossroad. I'm with him the whole time!
    This story is, in one way, far away from my everyday non-fiction text, and yet there are similarities. My children are in Dak's age now. With my children, I live in a world of meeting crossroads, their crossroads and remembering my own past crossroads, and wondering if I have made the right choices. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but forward we all must go!
    Thanks for visiting and reading my post. I am much better now and will write more about my further escapades for IWSG.
    Best wishes,
    Anna

    P.S.
    Thanks for asking me earlier about joining your bloggers' book club. Now that I am on the mend, I will try to look into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you were able to come and read it, Anna, but I think you've confused me with someone else since I don't have a bloggers book club at all. Glad you're feeling better from your accident.

      Delete
    2. June 5th, 2014
      Yes, you are right about my confusion, but I don't want to delete this comment. I made you first commenter on one of my posts and then saw that it was another blogger. Honestly, you could wonder if I was hit on the head instead of the face!
      But I'll be more careful from now on!
      Best wishes,
      Anna

      Delete
  22. I had a big crossroad when I was in my early twenties. I had a choice to remain in Germany and pursue a career as a viola soloist, or return to the United States, be with my family, and live a "normal" life. I chose the latter. It's a good life, but sometimes I wonder what it would've been if I had chosen the first.

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    1. Yes, fun imaginings. Probably your life would be a lot more sedate. . .and have more musical moments, but the rest of us would be deprived of your unique humor.

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  23. Liking this very much! Interesting group you've found. Might have to check it out!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

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    Replies
    1. It seems to suit me, Tina. It encourages me to write things I might not have (like these background stories) WEP is very flexible.

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  24. This is such precise, clean, beautiful writing.
    This group sounds interesting-- would have joined in if I weren't already spread thin with commitments.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Damyanti. It's better not to overcommit. You can try out WEP one month when you have time. I wish all of you would try the WEP challenge, it's fun.

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  25. HI, D. G.

    I loved the action and camaraderie of this piece. I also love the name Dak... LOL my twitter name and a character in my first novel.

    From the prose the boys seemed older to me. But that just might be me though. I thought they were seventeen or so.

    I'd certainly want to read more....

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    Replies
    1. I liked the sound of the name, Dak, and in the future, names may be one syllable and short for expediency. The dialogue for youth is hard, but I'm going with the belief that kids will grow up a little faster on an asteroid where no one is coddled. I will revisit my dialogue though when I put this together as a short story. Thanks for the feedback.

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