I don’t do this sort of thing often, but Chuck Wendig (Aftermath:The Force Awakens) is inviting authors to share 1000 words or less of their current NaNoWriMo story (or WIP, if you’re not participating in NaNo this year). He wrote an outstanding blog post on why you should or should not consider NaNo, by the way. I am one of those people for whom NaNo doesn’t work, but I’m excited about the camaraderie and support that comes with the month of November. So it pleases me to play along. If you like, you can leave a link to your own WIP snippets in the comments, or link back to Mr. Wendig’s blog.
The rules are simple: post 1000 words or less of your WIP (preferably what you think is your best work) and post them on your online space–then post the link to Mr. Wendig’s site here.
I’ve been following Wendig’s blog for a while now. Aside from some of the best, pithy observations on the world, he has kick-ass things to say about writing. You should follow him too. But I digress. My snippet, for better or worse.
A little background: the main characters are agents who investigate paranormal events for a secret bureau within the CIA. Think of it as Leave it to Beaver meets the X-Files.
The report of a gun went off so close the echo reverberated in her head. She felt the sting of something tearing into her arm and for a split second, she thought she’d hurt herself trying to move Knight, just like she had with Canning’s body in the lab. Then reaction kicked in and she shoved Knight sideways, diving out of the light behind him. She clapped her hand over her shoulder and felt the warm ooze of blood between her fingers. Damn. She’d liked this suit.
To her satisfaction, Knight continued to scrabble his way out of the headlights, though both of them were still terribly vulnerable. Knight ducked into a side alley, which was smart of him unless it was a dead end. She thought about her options and reached around on the ground beside her, coming up with a fistful of gritty dirt. England, my England. Well, it was better than nothing. Timed correctly, she could blind her assailant if she got close enough.
The driver of the car came at them walking confidently through the light cast by the headlamps, convinced he was in the superior position here by dint of his weapon. Idiot. Ah well. Let him underestimate her. They all did.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t interested in her. It was Knight he wanted. The gunman walked past her as though she wasn’t even there, dismissing her as though she didn’t matter. With terrible certainty, she realized that whoever was after Knight had probably stipulated that if they couldn’t have him, no one could. Since Knight was proving to be difficult to capture, he was a dead man if she didn’t do something.
She got to her feet and stumbled toward the entrance to the alley where she’d seen Knight disappear. Urgency lent stability to her legs and she hurried forward, hoping she wouldn’t be too late.
Inside the narrow alley, Knight stood with his hands up, facing his attacker. He held her purse in one hand and the lid of a garbage bin in the other. She had to give him points for courage, if nothing else. His assailant stood with his gun raised, hand steady as he pointed his weapon at Knight.
“Oh, thank God,” Knight said, inexplicably giving her position away. The gunman turned to look over his shoulder, and in a flash, Knight threw her clutch at her as though he were a quarterback in a football game. Startled by the movement of something flying past him, the gunman was momentarily confused as to which target to aim for, but decided once again Rhett was the lesser threat. He was turning back toward Knight when the lid of the bin came hurtling at him like some sort of Roman discus. Roaring his rage, he knocked it to one side. It fell with a clatter to the ground.
The dirt in Rhett’s hand sprayed out of her hand as she flung it aside. Adrenaline overrode pain to allow her to catch the purse. She felt the grip of her pistol within and lifted her hand. The bullet caught the gunman between the shoulders. He went down in slow motion like a tree being cut down, knees buckling at first, and then falling face first to the ground.
Knight stepped over him with the sort of fastidious distaste of someone scooting past a giant spider that had been vanquished, and hurried up to Rhett.
“Are you all right? You’ve been hurt! What should we do about all this?” He flapped his hand back at the dead man. “We can’t just leave bodies strewn around like this, can we?”
Rhett fought a sudden urge to giggle. His accent made him sound like an outraged guest at a garden party that had gotten out of hand. She refused to lose control. She wasn’t the sort who giggled. “We need to get to my hotel. I’ll contact my associate, who will take care of things. You owe me a suit and a new purse, Knight.”
She allowed Knight to take her arm. She could use the support, to be honest. The adrenaline poured off of him in waves, and she thought briefly about warning him of the inevitable crash to come but changed her mind. He’d figure it out soon enough. At least the attack had one positive side effect: Knight seemed to have sobered up entirely. His fingers were tight on her forearm. He probably had no idea he was going to leave bruises. “Is this what working for your Agency is going to be like? Because that was rather intense.”
They walked past the other men lying on the ground as though nothing had happened. Rhett paused to pick up her hat, and they continued down the lane.
“No, not every day. Think of it more like hours of boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror.”
There you go! Play along if you like.