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
“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
A while ago I was working on a project set in a different world than ours, and one of the struggles I’ve encountered with that is how to build the world without explicit world-building exposition. One method I have settled on over the years is to do a lot of the heavy lifting through the characters that populate that world, through their dialogue and also through the thoughts of the point of view character. This is an excerpt that is heavy on character in order to build a universe. Continue reading