Aftermath (100 Words)

aftermath

Aftermath  (100 Words)

 

Faith thought about adding the word “less” to her name.

She had no idea who started the war. It didn’t matter. Nothing remained; just wreckage and ashes.

Days since she saw another living human, she shaded her eyes from the dust clouds.

What kind of God would allow this to happen? The same sadistic, bastard who let her survive.

Giggling.

Faith frowned. Entering an overturned subway, she pushed a corpse with her boot and found a baby.

“Hey, how will I know your name baby girl?”

Someone had pinned a folded note to the baby’s blouse.

She read it.

“Hope.”

 

Photo taken from Pinterest.

 

Pluto

Surface-of-Pluto

Pluto

Astronaut Jack Archer stared through the cracked window. The sun appeared like a bright yellow pin prick in the universe.

The ship’s lights flickered.

After the damaged suffered on the rough landing, power may last days or hours.

Archer knew the risks when he volunteered for this mission. He didn’t care.

Life on Pluto couldn’t be any colder or more desolate than living on Earth without his late wife.

He clipped her photo to the dashboard. He would be happy to die admiring her face.

She would bring him eternal peace.

Power suddenly shutoff.

Infinite darkness invaded the tiny vessel.
.

 

A Better Life – 3

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A Better Life

A Better Life – 2

A Better Life – 3

Exiting the flash of overwhelming light, Jack hurried out of the rancid alley. He walked past a UPS driver who removed packages from his brown truck.

Jack stepped into the vehicle and turned the ignition.

“Hey, that’s my truck.”

Flooring the accelerator, he navigated the van through heavy traffic. “Come on. Get out of the way.”

Glancing into the rearview mirror, he noticed packages fall out the open back door, leaving a long trail. Two minutes later, he steered the truck up the stairs leading to the entrance. He had no concern for his own safety.

Jack raced out of the truck into the elementary school. Arriving at the security desk, he found the pudgy guard with two bullet wounds in his chest.

A loud pop sent arctic chills up his spine.

Around the corner he discovered the lone gunman stepping over the sprawled principal; reaching for the door to her classroom.

Running as fast as he could, Jack hurled his body at the crazed killer. They crashed to the floor. Wrestling for control of the weapon, several shots rang out.

Jack banged the gunman’s hand against the floor. The weapon fired before coming loose. Still struggling with the assassin, he kicked the gun.

It slid along the polished floor.

The sounds of loud footsteps approaching advised him the police had arrived.

Breaking free, Jack staggered. He slipped into an empty classroom as the gunman hurried after his weapon.

Several shots rang out. The murderer cried out.

Pressing a button on a black wrist band, a flash of brightness appeared. Relieved, he stepped through the time portal.

Entering the lab, Jack found Josephine and his assistant Scott waiting for him. He relaxed, mission accomplished.

A bout of dizziness sent him falling onto his back.

Gazing at his hand which pressed against his trembling abdomen, he noticed the blood stain on his white shirt growing like a spilled glass of wine on a table cloth.

“Scott, call 911.” Josephine rushed to his side.

Staring into her loving eyes, Jack opened his mouth to speak.

Everything turned black.

 

To be continued.

Photo taken from Google Images.

 

Jake Cross Can’t Live Another Day Without Her

Seven billion people dead; yet his selfish heart only mourned for one.

The distraught figure dragged his body to the ledge of the mountaintop, as if he alone towed the burdens of a dying planet. He looked down on the futuristic metropolis constructed over the ashes of mankind. The alien city with its pale glass structures resembled a crystal cemetery of broken dreams.

Clutching the last remaining evidence that humans once inhabited the Earth, he groaned.

Through misty eyes, Jake Cross admired a photograph of his wife Lisa. His heart pounded against his ribs like a relentless bill collector at the door. Intolerable emptiness grew inside him like a cancerous black hole, eating away at his brittle psyche, devouring his aching soul.

He pressed the photo against his heaving chest as if her image could wipe away his pain.

Who better to console him? Lisa always neutralized his sorrows with a smile or warm embrace. Wiping the moisture from his eyes, a warm breeze caressed his skin reminding him of her gentle touch. He trembled like a virgin relishing her first kiss. Would he eventually forget the sound of her soft voice?

Jake couldn’t live like this. Earth without Lisa would be as cold and desolate as Pluto. He vowed to search for her. He needed to know if she survived. A horrifying thought crept into his mind like a swarm of stampeding centipedes. What if she suffered the same fate as the seven billion others?

He rubbed the photo against his chest with violent motions like an irritated student hoping to erase an error from a page. He preferred to cling to diminishing hope because the alternative…..

Jake shut his moist brown eyes.

It would be easier to stop breathing than to live another day without her.

  • – Jake Cross is the main character of my manuscript/screenplay Paradox.

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Do Fiction Writers Live Vicariously Through Their Characters?

Yes, I do.

Remember the last time someone acted a bit snarky with you at the supermarket or on line at the local bank. Have you replayed a moment like that in your mind wishing you had said something clever? Well, one of my secondary characters in my manuscript Paradox, his name is Razor, always has a wry remark ready. Yes, and I grit my teeth and shake my fist every time he says the clever line that’s never discharged from my mouth.

Do I Live vicariously through my characters?

YES, yes, yes. I admit it. With no shame or guilt. My characters accomplish all the things that I never could. They lead exciting lives traveling the world, sipping on the finest champagne, making love to the most beautiful women, and most importantly; overcoming every obstacle. And trust me, I make it hard for them!

Andrew Duran the mysterious fugitive with the secretive past; skilled in combat and in bed. Veyda the unselfish warrior determined to save mankind, ready to sacrifice her own happiness to save the world. These guys are filled with such passion. Theirs lives are extraordinary.

So, I admit my characters bring excitement to my life. And why not? They are the most interesting people I know.

Do you live through vicariously through your characters?

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Andrew Duran: Forever in the Shadows

Ocean waves stroked the tranquil beach as a warm breeze rustled idle palm leaves. Moonlight glistened off of the barrel  of his Smith and Wesson radiating its own personal glow. The scene appeared as natural as the shifting tides or setting sun; as normal as the death and betrayal that punctuated his godforsaken life.

Scratching his stubble covered face; Andrew Duran considered his environment and the ungodly events that brought him here. Time may wane the pain of this treason. His memory might fade as years go by, but he would never forgive their treachery. His square jaw moved as he ground his teeth in rage. Unwavering hatred grew like an unholy tumor, consuming the goodness that once resided inside him, eradicating the man that once existed.

No one could see it coming. They framed a true American hero and labeled him a traitor. Duran should have expected it; his eyes had seen the forbidden. Destined to a life on the run, hunted by the very government that made him, he swore he would never trust again. He expected his past to haunt him.

His enemies would eventually come for him. Here on the shores of Communist Cuba, an island condemned to live in shadows, Andrew Duran would wait for them.

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  •    – Andrew Duran is the protagonist of my novel/screenplay thriller The Exterminator’s Diary

Introducing Veyda

Her resolute aqua eyes spied the barren subway tunnel. Grateful no one occupied the dark passage, she clenched her trembling fists. Tiny glints of light reflected off of subway rails reminding her of the unseen orbs twinkling in the evening sky. A thousand years have passed since the last man witnessed the unholy heavens. Perhaps, she could succeed where hundreds of others had failed before her.

Veyda possessed no fear of death. With mankind on the brink of annihilation, she refused to wait for the inevitable. Unlike her apprehensive comrades, who rejected the idea of an aggressive campaign against the powerful aliens; she relished the opportunity. Let us decide the time and place of our final destiny.

Extinction. The ungodly thought coursed through her angry five foot eight inch frame like a rabid roller coaster on steroids. Detesting the toxic way it reverberated inside her ears, she expunged the word from her vocabulary. How could fate be so cruel? Did life on Earth really have to end here and now? Not if she had anything to say about it.

Veyda refused to join the dinosaurs and Neanderthals in extinction.

Veyda is the lead female character of my novel/screenplay trilogy Paradox 

Support Systems: My Number One Fan

There are many support systems a writer can turn to and some of them may be as close as the next room. A few years ago when i wrote my first science fiction screenplay Paradox, I received great motivation and insight from my poetry writing, movie going thirteen year old daughter Catherine. You wouldn’t expect that from a young teen, but her suggestions were invaluable.

After reading my script, Catherine recommended changes in dialogue responses that added conflict and foreshadowing to many scenes. Her observations about my characters helped me build better secondary characters, a delicious antagonist that everyone will love to hate, and kept my protagonist always in character. Later when I adapted Paradox to novel format, she suggested tweaks to dialogue that improved characterization. Her poetry writing habit of always searching for the right word improved my manuscript with a few minor words changes.

My arduous journey to publication may be a lonely one, but at least I had my number one fan in my corner.

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Distractions

As if writers didn’t already have enough obstacles in the way with slush piles, difficulties in finding an agent, and keeping up with the latest demands of the market, we also have to face the difficulty of distractions. Nowadays, with social media taking up more of our precious time, its a miracle anyone gets anything done. (Victor Hugo didn’t have to worry about twitter or updating his Facebook status. If he did, Quasimodo may have suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome instead.)

To avoid the daily distractions of our lives: the noisy kids, quality time with the spouse (Sorry, honey you are never a distraction), the TV, etc. I made it a habit to get up an hour or two earlier than everyone else. Early morning quiet time that I share with my laptop and my favorite coffee mug have provided countless hours of productivity. (If you are a night bird do the opposite go to bed an hour later than everyone else.) It may not seem like much, but if you train your body and mind, you will be productive.

Remember this, while an hour a day may not seem like much, you can only write one page at a time. There have been days where I write five ages in than hour and there are days where I barely complete a single one. If you write one page per day you will have 365 pages at the end of one year (that is roughly 91,000 words).

You need to find a system that works for you and write.

Top Ten Reasons

Top Ten Reasons You Know You Are A Writer

10 – You overhear a conversation about a plot at the cemetery and your mind automatically thinks horror story.
9 – Your stories at the dinner table are always character driven.
8 – The question “What have you published?” can be as annoying as your third grade teacher running her fingernails across the chalkboard.
7 – You complain because the conversations at a dinner party sound nothing like dialogue.
6 – You assume exhibitionists are great writers since they prefer to show instead of tell.
5 – The last time you received this many rejections was at your senior prom.
4 – Every time you watch a good movie or finish a great book your first words are, “I wish I wrote that.”
3 – You miss your bus stop because you were too busy writing an imaginary description of the eccentric lady sitting across from you.
2 – You ask the waiter at your favorite restaurant why there is no page numbering on their menu.
1 – Naming a secondary character in your manuscript provides a greater challenge than naming your unborn child.