We've built a character, placed that character into a setting, motivated that character into action/conflict and now we need one more piece.
With all that you've not put your character through, let's wrap things up. Please try to tie up any loose ends you've created. This is the end of this portion of your character's scene and to be a story, your character must change in some way or must have learned something. Don't just tell us what that is, show it.
Because everyone is having a difficult time with the 400 word constraint, I'm going to bump that up to 500 words (and will do so with all subsequent exercises). I hope to have mine up later today.
August 10th, 2004, 10:23 AM
Was that a tubleweed I just saw blow by?
Alright. This resolves some of the stuff in my previous posts - I think. Keeping it under 500 words was tough.
The twin hulls of the Angelese broke over giant cresting swells.
“We gotta dump the wind from the sail, Cap’n,” Embelaser’s first officer shouted. Together they were struggling to steady the ship’s wheel against the torque on the catamaran’s rudders. “The storm’s gonna to rip off the masts.”
Cold pellets of rain smacked into Embelaser’s face, running down his cheeks and into his beard. His clothes were soaked. His knuckles were numb. He could hardly feel the wheel.
“No.” Embelaser knew his first officer was correct. But he’d already seen it in the distance. The Argyn trimaran would keep coming.
It was just a dust speck at the light of dawn. Now it was hidden only by periodic swells. It pursued, relentlessly challenging the storm. It was a superior nautical design – just like the one Embelaser taken several weeks ago.
That one had already been damaged and manned only by a skeleton crew. It shouldn’t have even been on the water. Plundering that ship had been more like putting a lame horse out of its misery. This one was clearly ready for a fight.
The Angelese’s twin hulls suddenly crashed into another wall of water. Surf washed across the deck with so much force it swept one of his coxswains clear across the deck, under the rail and out to sea. There was nothing Embelaser could do for him. The black water swallowed him whole.
When they crested the next swell, the Argyn ship was already in range.
“Ready the starboard cannons!” he ordered. As soon as the words left his lips he heard the first three thunderous booms from the Argyn ship.
Then the Angelese’s starboard hull exploded. As his sailors scrambled to line up the cannons that had taken so many lives, the Argyn ship launched another volley – five rounds this time. Four hit.
Like a shark the Argyn ship circled the Angelese. Each time they crested a wave, the Argyns fired. Each shot chipped away at the ship’s hull. Desperate, Embelaser screamed at his men to get the cannons loaded. The Angelese took on water. She dropped the starboard hull into cold ocean water.
The servant girl Caroline climbed out onto the twisting deck. She clung to the ship’s railing to keep from being swept into the water. Hand over hand she made her way towards the pirate captain.
Wet, shivering, she glared at him with her large green eyes. In them he could see the sea’s rage. “Do you know who that is?” she asked.
“Argyns,” he said.
“Lieutenant Mason Grimm is on that ship,” she said. “He was betrothed to Lady Elizabeth.”
Embelaser smiled. In this, his final hour, he still held a trump. “Your lady is dead.”
Caroline glanced over her shoulder. Another round blew a four foot hole in the deck, and destabilized the mast. Still holding wind, it creaked over and crashed into the water. When she turned back she was smiling – unbroken.
“He’s here for me.”
August 25th, 2004, 07:12 PM
Well Choppy, looks like it's just you and me. For anyone else who wants to post, I'd love to see what you've done. I will be posting another exercises soon. Get ready.
Several blurry figures made their way into Chezron's field of view. He could hear muffled voices but nothing discernable. There was a sting in his side as he felt whiskey being poured into the wound. The first clear sound he heard was his own strained groans.
The image of the barkeep's face went from blurry to clear to blurry again and it was impossible to tell how much had passed. He was talking, but Chezron wasn't hearing anything said. After several deep breaths his head cleared enough for him to make out what was being said.
"...and you're not wounded that bad. I'm sure you'll be fine. Here's a bottle of whiskey to help you out with the pain. Now I suggest you get on your friend's horse and get out of town. The law would be sure to let you off, but I'm not so sure Echer's friends will let you go so easily. Ride hard until you're back in the hills. We'll try to keep anyone off your trail."
He felt the black hat shoved into his hands. Its brim felt odd to his numb flesh. The loss of blood was getting the better of him, but based on the last part of the barkeep's words, he needed to go.
Two men helped Chezron to his feet, a third picked up the fallen gun and sword. Once Chezron was equipped as he was when he arrived, the hat was placed on his head and walked toward the door. His eyes had trouble staying open as he walked, but he turned to address the barkeep.
"I owe you," he said weakly. Suddenly the cough in his lungs didn't seem to hurt as much as it had.
"You owe me nothing."
Woozily, Chezron removed the black hat from his head and plucked the ruby from it. He had thought this was about money, but it was about revenge. It felt like an empty victory to see Echer dead on the floor. He rolled the gem between his thumb and forefinger for a few turns and then tossed it to the barkeep.
"Keep a room for me. I'll be back one day," Chezron said and then started coughing again.
"Just get out of here before Echer's friends come back."
Chezron turned away from the barkeep and the crowd and walked out the door into the rainy night.