I kept my attention fixed straight ahead, ignoring the sweat that dripped down my face and the heat of the sun on my bare back, concentrating just on the ground, the knife in my hand, and the person in front of me. Derrick, I thought his name was. But that was irrelevant, a thought from the world outside the rough circle scratched in the sand. A dangerous thought. A distraction.
His feet shuffled towards me, a feint. I reacted instantly, leaned left, then springing to the right when he lunged. A feint to counter a feint. I leapt towards him but he had already turned and faced me, jumping aside just as I had done moments before. The sun was merciless. I shifted my weight, watching carefully for any sign of what my opponent would do next; a shift in his balance, a twitch of his eyes, anything that might give him away. Continue reading
“Fortress, where the hell is our helicopter?” Eric screamed into his mic. Next to him, Sato fired a few rounds at the security guards who had followed them up to the roof. Bullets thudded into the AC unit they were crouched behind.
Static crackled on the comm bead in his ear, “Raptor Actual this is Fortress, wait one.” He paused and in the break Eric fired his pistol blindly towards the roof access door. “Looks like they got held up by local air traffic control but they are on the way now, over.” Continue reading
Eve hummed tunelessly as she whipped together a pad of butter and a large lump of garlic. She reached for a bottle of white wine and splashed it onto the mixture as well. She closed her eyes as she stirred, well lost in the simple ecstasy of being home alone for the weekend. When her daughter was around things were always a crazy mess, not to mention that the child would never eat Eve’s favorite food with her. Continue reading
“Mr. Drusus? Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Jack looked up from his datasheet. One of his students, a bright young girl named Anastasia, stood at parade rest in front of his desk. Her eyes were focused at something on the floor.
“Of course, Ana. Please, sit.” He pulled up her class records on his desk. “Is there something specific you wanted to talk about? Your grades all look pretty good, but that last essay of yours was not what I’ve come to expect from you.” Continue reading
Something moved briefly through the rain, emerging out from being the cover of a large tree trunk before skittering across the muddy ground on all fours to a new hiding spot. It appeared as little more than a shadow as it made its way, in short bursts, towards the bank of the river. Continue reading
Lily smiled at her mother and father, at Daniel’s parents, and at every one of the long drawn out procession of well wishers. She smiled until her jaw locked and she feared her teeth would push through her gums and leave her smiling still, a mess of red blood dripping down onto her white lace dress. Continue reading
I watched Eric run around the track. Every step sent up a puff of dust that the wind picked up and carried until it had drifted far away from its point of origin. The sun made the sweat on his forehead and on the back of his neck shine like rivers of mercury. Continue reading
Lily sat on the splintery bleachers, elbows on her knees, chin nestled in the palms of her hands while her fingers tapped a staccato rhythm on her cheekbones. Now that school was out for the day she had the vast space of the gym all to herself. Continue reading
Dialogue is a beast. It sometimes seems easy to write and flows well when read out loud. Other times it sounds clunky and forced. Writing short snippets of dialogue based on a scenario, or a moment in time, or a part of an overhead conversation seems to me to be the only real way to improve writing dialogue. In other words, just practice. Practice like this little exchange here between two college-aged friends. Continue reading