This week is week 51 over at the 100-Word Challenge for Grown-Ups (WCGU). As Julia says:
The prompt this week is another simple one:
…. the line was drawn ….
As always you have an additional 100 words to add to these 4 making 104 in total.
Last week, I dabbled in a bit of heady romance. But, this week, which will come clear through those hundred words, I decided on something different:
“No Way Back”
Aral ducked behind the chaise, grimacing as padauk splinters rained down. These were just kids. Children. They didn’t even know what they were shooting…! “It doesn’t have to go down this way-”
“You came after us!”
More gunfire, and the Riedel collection exploded.
Aral swore. That crystal alone could have bought these rabbits their freedom…not to mention his and Zera’s birthing permit. “Let’s just talk-”
A spatter of bullets made him duck again.
“We’re not going back!”
Aral scowled. They were right: children or no, the line was drawn; no going back, now.
Pulling a breath, Aral primed his rifle. Then, he rushed them.
After talking with another sci-fi writer, I started to think a bit more about my Stowaways characters. I thought the kids on the run needed an adult who could counter their perspective. I don’t like to make straight-out villains, though; I prefer to examine characters in grey rather than black and white. From that discussion came Substantive Aral and his wife, Zera.
There’s more to these characters than what you see here, obviously. But I’d like to know:
What line was drawn for you, for this week’s prompt? And, do these prompts ever make you revisit stories you’d thought abandoned?
ooh wouldnt want to be near all that! hope all gets resolved x
This is an exciting moment that makes me want more. I love the complexity of the character.
Aral certainly sounds like he’s going to play a bigger part in the teen’s story, provided he survives the next few minutes. From this alone, he sounds like a morally grounded character, not even evil to speak of. Just someone who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and more than able to defend himself.
I also like how, in just one sentence, you gave a deeper look into the workings of the universe they live in and just how it works with and around its citizens.
Most excellent work!
I thought this was great, too. I like that you gave us such an in-depth look in such a short graph. I like this conflict Aral is wrestling with, because the mention of “kids” certainly raises a red flag and puts me on edge.
I haven’t yet revisited an abandoned story through these prompts. I have always written brand-new pieces that aren’t initially connected to anything I wrote previously. But your question makes me wonder if any of my pieces could ever be used in an abandoned story to bring it back to life. It’s possible… 🙂
Thanks, Jenny. I do have a resolution in my head. Not an altogether pretty one, though….
Thanks, Lisa. That’s one of the best notes I think we can get on short pieces like this. 🙂
Thanks, Shade. 🙂
Aral just kind of popped into existence. But, the more I think about him and his motivations, the more I’m leaning toward examining his point of view on things, in addition to that of the kids.
Thank you, Kate. It’s odd: originally, this piece was a lot more throwaway. But, the longer I spent tweaking, the more details poked through (that happens a lot, with these prompts).
I usually write fresh stuff, too. I suppose this sci-fi story was just stuck in my head from recent conversations, and that’s why I went with it. It’s nice to know, though, isn’t it, that – no matter how long we might stay away from a story (this one’s been about four years) – we can still sometimes find a place for it. 🙂
Ooooh great piece, throws up all sorts of conflicting feelings about the children…and how Aral will have to handle them!
Thank you, Catherine-Jayne. I’m glad the piece resonates on different levels – that’s definitely what I’m going for. I may have to think more about Aral’s conundrums regarding these runaway kids…he is becoming more and more interesting to me.
Ohh blimey, this sounds scary but definitely conjured up the image well in my head. Great job Mayumi! 🙂
Thanks, Beth! I’m glad all those little bits coalesced. 🙂