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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Suspense Technique #4

I don't know what kind of person you are. Maybe you're easy going. Things just roll off your back. Something doesn't go your way…no sweat. There's always the next time. Not me. Now in general, I am pretty easy going. I am a good listener. I'm calm. I rarely get so upset that I yell and scream or any of that. But when I set my expectations on something and it doesn't pan out…awwwwww shucks. I'm as mad as a hatter. I rant. I rave. I tell you if there's something I'm after I put "missile lock" on it and anything that gets in my way gets vaporized. I'm like a bull dog clamping down on a bone.

So why do I bring this up? Cheap therapy, you say? Well, maybe. But I really was just trying to preface the next Suspense Technique:


The whole expectations thing is pretty universal thing (maybe not to the degree I experience), but by and large when people set their hopes on something and it doesn't happen, we hurt or we get angry or in some cases, we try to get even. Heh, heh, heh.

When things don't meet our expectations, we get FRUSTRATED. Folks, this is the heart and soul of suspense. And not just at the beginning to hook the reader, but throughout the story to keep them hooked.

Here's what you do. You make it clear that your main character has some kind of goal he/she wants to achieve. Then you put every obstacle you can think of in the path of sed character to frustrate his/her efforts. You get to play God with the "smite" button as in the famed Far Side cartoon. Remember the golden rule of fiction: Just when you think it couldn't possibly get any worse for the main character, you make it worse.

But be careful. You can overdo this one. Every so often you throw your main character (and the reader) a bone. You let them have just a taste of fulfillment. And then…you yank the rug our from under them, and make them turn the page.

Here's an example:

There she was: Alison Wingate. She always walked home from school with the same group of her girlfriends. But at the corner of Maple St. and Elvis Lane, she always bid her friends a fond adieu. Six months, Bryce had planned it--since the beginning of summer. He'd had a crush on Alison since the 7th grade. Now they were seniors. And she'd finally dumped that meathead football player, Jake Thunder--butt or whatever his name was. Now was Bryce's chance. Every aspect of his plan had been meticulously mapped out. Nothing could go wrong.

Except that it could. Alison turned the corner, and Bryce stepped out into the sidewalk with the dozen exotic purple roses he'd ordered. But when Alison turned the corner, she wasn't alone. One of her girlfriends was still with her. Oh, no! Not Becky Snodgrass! Bryce looked at the roses and up the sidewalk to Alison and Becky. What if Becky thought they were for her? She would think that too. Becky had slipped him a most disturbing note during newspaper class. Bryce freaked. But what could he do? He saw Alison look up. Did she see him? He wasn't sure.

Roses and all, he dove into the bushes…and put his elbow right into a hornets nest. The black and white bees streamed out in an angry flood. He felt their stings even as he tore himself free from the bushes. Screaming, he came through the other side of the hedge, saw sparkling water and leaped for it.

He plunged deep into the swimming pool. The bees drowned but they stung him a few more times for good measure before they died. Bryce finally came up from the water and found himself face-to-face with a pit bull.

This is the 4th Contest in the Suspense Techniques Series. Come on, you know you want to make your characters miserable. Have at it. Winner gets either a signed copy of Isle of Swords or Door Within extended dance remix. ;-) Btw, I have not judged the previous entries. I'd still like to see a few more authors get involved first. And I use author correctly. Published or not yet published, you are authors.


everlastingscribe said...

Door Within extended dance remix? Now how can I pass that up?

Josh said...

oooo i want a piece of Door Within Extended dance remix. hmmmmm i wonder if they will carry this a borders. You could also make a twist called Dance Dance revolution :Door Within edition ^_^ "dance to the music..... dance to the music. Im completely and uterly sorry i just had to.

amy said...

I'm feeling frustrated because this Suspense Technique isn't turning out the way I wanted.

HA! HA! J/K.

I'm so amused with myself. :P

Okay - silliness time is over - I have some writing to do.


everlastingscribe said...
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everlastingscribe said...

LOL Josh, please do not give Lord Batson ideas. *Please* Now, a Door Within game would be cool, BUT NO DANCING. *ahem*

And Amy you aren't alone in the ''frustration'' with things not turning out they way you wanted. I'm not real pleased with how my "Peril" entry turned out.

:-D However, I have been doing some practicing and hopefully I'll feel better with it later.

Hey, anyone having any luck bringing writer-friends here? I've asked the main three I have and they keep saying they are interested but they haven't shown up. I told em you guys are just awesome but I think they are worried about showing their work.

Josh said...

yeah i have the same problem with my friend notice i said friend lol he writes and is awesome at it. I just cant get him into fantasy. He likes well morbid books i guess, Stephen king anyone. And scribe i think you might be right no dancing games for DW. ^_^ and i will join the crowd by saying im feeling frustrated too my writing is not turning out how i wanted it to.

amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WayneThomasBatson said...

Maybe it's the strange picture of myself that's scaring them away! LOL

Josh said...

now i like the picture its been very well "photoshoped" per say. lol and amy i only have one writing friend as well and he dose not write very often so he isn't really interested grrr cat say for lack of trying thou. ^_^

Anonymous said...

Gosh where have I been??? Whew I need to get busy. Door Within Dance Remix?! I want it :)
A cannonball roared through the air and ripped through the upper levels of the castle. Luke led Jenny through the smoking rubble deeper into the bowels of Camelot. He had to keep her safe from Mordred's attack. They finally spotted a smooth balcony overlooking the rest of the war-torn city. Luke couldn't believe that things had gone so wrong. How had the enmy found him??
"We'll be safe here." he muttered to his friend. Her pale face looked up into his.
"You rescued me back there." she replied, stepping closer. Luke's heart pounded and his head whistled.
Wait...whistling?! Luke's head snapped around. Suddenly, a cannonball hurtled through the lower supports of the balcony, pulling it downwards. The nearby garden fell into ruin. Luke's mind was reeling as he clutched the heaving, crumbling stonework. With a devastating roar, the balcony surged earthward.
When the dust and debris finally settled, Luke stood up dazed. The balcony wasn't there. And niether was--

amy said...

I like the picture. It's "mysterious" - hee hee. I'll get into gear soon. I'm a total night person. My best writing is done after everyone else is in bed and the house is silent. Anyone else like to write at night?

WayneThomasBatson said...

I'm a total night owl. Lots of late nights for me.

Josh said...

night is when I get most of my good ideas so im defiantly a night person. occasionally i will try and write during the day but it always turns out better at night. So count me in as a night person as well. that makes 3 for the count!

everlastingscribe said...

LOL I'm a total night owl too. Something nice about being up in the quiet and the dark and letting my imagination run wild. I really can open it up there, not like the rest of the day where things are simmering on the back burners.

everlastingscribe said...

Wow! Incredible Brett, really good stuff!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Scribe! Looking forward to your entry!!

Josh said...

brett very nice i loved it ^_^

amy said...

“Are you aware, Master Kalon, that you will need far more supplies than this house contains during such a long journey?”

“Yes, Bastion, I’m aware. I don’t have the option of waiting for the market to open. I must leave now. They are coming for me,” Kalon replied urgently.

Kalon quickly gathered the rest of the dried meat, a loaf of bread and filled his wineskin. Panic began to grip his insides; he knew he had very little time to spend on preparations, a fact that would make his difficult journey nearly impossible. There was no choice; he had to leave before the soldiers discovered what he’d done.

As he reached to grab his long bow, he realized that he’d used most of his arrows hunting the day before and hadn’t had time to make more. He’d have to rely on his broadsword for protection. As he strapped the sword to his waist, he simultaneously slung the bow and quiver across his back, and hastily snatched his full pack from Bastion. Rushing out the door, Kalon caught his arm on the iron hinge, a gash several inches long began to bleed freely. If he didn’t stem the flow, the soldiers’ predatory beasts would surely catch his scent far sooner than Kalon could afford. He tore a strip of cloth from his own shirt and carelessly bandaged his aching arm.

With a brief nod of his head, he bid Bastion farewell and rounded the house to the stable. His steed had been saddled and readied for the flight from danger. Finally, a bit of hope crept into Kalon’s heart. He knew once he passed the main watch tower at the end of town, he would gain distance between himself and the pursuing soldiers. He drove the horse hard and was passing the watch tower, just as a familiar form stepped into his path. Not that boy, not now! I cannot stay idle for long; his interference could cost me my lead, but I cannot leave him without a proper explanation. The boy deserves at least that much.

amy said...

You're totally right, Mr. B. Torturing the characters is so much fun. I kept thinking of road blocks, and then threw him a bone, then a bigger road block. I feel like I could've gone on for days, just torturing the poor guy. In fact, I may just do that.

Heh, heh, heh...

WayneThomasBatson said...


Loved your entry. I was quite riveted. You definitely began in medius res (right in the middle of the action). I was drawn into it due to action. You seem to have a knack for thrills and pitfalls. Reminds me of Matthew Reilly or James Rollins. The suspense is there--mystery and danger. But how could you make this more of frustration? What is Luke's goal, and how are the events keeping him from it? Maybe there's an enchanted item in the castle, something he's desperate to get. Maybe it's just within reach when… You hit the SMITE button! lol

And Wow, Amy! Good stuff too. I'm itching to know what Kalon did and who the little boy is, and for that matter, what explanation Kalon owes him! You've woven together a nice bit of suspense. Is this going into a story someday?

WayneThomasBatson said...

And where's some Frustration from Josh and Scribe? Bring it on!

amy said...

Thank you. This idea will definitely become a story. I left so many unanswered questions that I can forsee many trials and a few triumphs for Kalon and the boy. The whole idea of frustration really put a perspective on the story that needs to be told. It begs to have all of the questions answered and to see what else may befall poor Kalon. It was my only entry I was satisfied with so far. I'm learning so much right now. Thanks WTB!

amy said...

Scribe and Josh,

I've been eagerly awaiting the appearance of a couple of new and "frustrating" entries.

Brett - very exciting stuff.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr. B.!! :)
Yeah...I kinda like the thrills....but yes...I couldn't place frustration well lol. This one's a toughie. :P

everlastingscribe said...

Spot on Amy! Spot on! Talk about a bull's eye! You really nailed that ''frustration'' and hooked me doubly with the questions of why "they" are coming for Kalon and who the boy is as well as what is the relationship between the two that would make Master Kalon owe him an explaination. Hooked, hooked, and hooked again!

And Brett, I read yours again and decided that I was right with the 'wow' the first time I think my favorite part is how you have his head ''whistle'' and then there's the whistling of the cannonball! Oh and let's not forget that he saves the girl and then doesn't! I *must* know what happens next.

Josh said...

you guys are wonderful great work im telling you. Brett you really draw me in with the action and amy yours is the curiosity wow such good work. well i am happy to say mine is finally on the way and I will hopefully have it in by Tuesday. I am having a little trouble building frustration the way i want it lol. So i am getting frustrated not the character.... it shouldn't work this way. and scribe come on get in the race im humbly awaiting your work of art....... ^_^

everlastingscribe said...

Dunno guys, I'm thinking of taking a ''pass'' on this one. Nothing's working for me.

Anonymous said...

My second entry :) Let's try this again!
Luke forced himself to gaze over the edge of the crumbled balcony. The wind howled fiercly in his ears, and the smoking rubble blinded his eyes. Yet through the commotion he distinctively heard a female voice screaming below.
Without hesitation his love for Jenny catapulted him over the edge and sent him tumlbing down the smashed stonework. He slid to a halt and saw where his friend was clinging in desperation for her very life.
Jenny was hanging by two hands on a jagged piece of rock. When she spotted Luke she screamed,
"Help me!!"
The teenager immediatly inched downwards, being careful not to let his weight affect the slab of stone. Flaming missles soared by, crashing far above, sending debris crashing into the castle.
"I'm coming!" he hollered.
After what seemed like painful hours, he finally reached her and stretched his hand out to grab her. But he leaned too far out and suddenly his weight toppled the remains of the stone balcony. Jenny screamed as she clawed at the air, and to her surprise she found Luke's hand.
The masonry tumbled earthward beneath them, landing with a terrible smash. One of Luke's hands held tight to the precipice, while the other grasped Jenny's right hand. Sweat poured from every pore, and his fingers were becoming moist.
"Please....don't let go..." Jenny whispered.
Luke clenched his eyes shut and tried with all his might to focus on his objective. Slowly, painfully, he began to pull his friend to safety! ear splitting roar. A giant, earth-trembling explosion. People screaming. A huge shadow. Luke glanced up to see a monstrous form descending upon them. The rest of the balcony.
Luke had no choice but to let go.
I'm sorry this was long.....did I do it better this time Mr. Batson???

amy said...

No Scribe. You can't pass.


One not-so-good entry is better than none at all. We'll support whatever you do. It's the stretch that's the best part. We can never grow if we stay inside our comfort zone.

The way I tried to think of "frustration" is: what would your character desperately want or need? Then, what could get in their way to make it more difficult? Mix in a glimmer of hope, and you've got yourself some "frustration."


Josh said...
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Josh said...

finally my entry!!! Im not pleased with the outcome but it will do. I would appreciate tips and tell me if you like it or not please and thank you ^_^

The dark planes of Oger,s Peak were trailed with death. Sand and dirt rushed through the darkening air. Trees were visible only from miles away. Eliot scrambled forward with the wind to his back. His shaggy brown hair waved through the brisk wind. He wore a dark green cloak to mach his eyes. A young mage, his weapon of choice was a battle staff. It was crafted of silver and bore a green crystal at its top. Dark storm clouds bustled over the open planes casting ghostly shadows with what day light was left. He was still a seven hour hike from his homeland of the Cesent Forest. There was one other way. The bridge that lead over Ogre Valley, but he did not have a death wish. The wood and rope bridge lead a half mile over the perilous valley. Eliot decided to hike, which entailed going around. Although this meant the added threat of lightning, which was dreadfully dangerous on the open plane. Eliot hurried forward moving with elegant speed. He hade traveled quite a bit of ground between his starting point and the forest when a snap echoed through the air. The strap on his pack broke sending his few belongings scattering across the ground. With a sigh he turned and began to gather his things. When he spotted it hope entered his thoughts. A bright smile spread across his face as he picked up the small trinket. It was a smooth blue stone that sparkled even in the dark twilight cast by the sun. He shoved it in the pocket of his pants and tied the sting broken strap on the pack. A faint growl blew through the wind. Eliot looked up and saw four Plane wolves, vicious creatures always on the hunt, blood thirsty. They shot a glare of aggression Ready to rip there prey to shreds. Eliot held up his staff in defense as the last diminishing rays of sun glinted off the green crystal. The pack leader charged forward, but Eliot was ready. “ Methros infernous” Eliot cried out. Fire spit forth at the leader. He fell from his brooding prance singed and aflame. The remaining wolves surged forward with a burst of speed. Spinning Eliot dealt a glancing blow to the first wolf’s head. Then he stabbed forward gashing a hole in the second wolf’s thigh. Blood stained the ground. A haze of fur lashed at Eliot catching him in the left shoulder. The claw ripped through cloak and skin and blood gushed from the fresh wound. He fell to one knee and grasped at his bloody arm. A snarl alerted Eliot to the immense danger he was still in. With a role he grabbed his staff and stumbled to his feet ready to face the third assailant.

everlastingscribe said...

"You . . Shall . Not . . Pass" I shouldn't be thinking Gandalph on the bridge of Khazad-Dûm

But really I am. Not completely, but I've hit the wall and I'm not going to beat myself silly against it, I'll hit the next challenge and then circle back and try this one again.

amy said...

Fair enough Scribe.

Nice entry Josh and good second entry Brett.

Keep up the good work!

I'll be posting a second one soon.

amy said...

Okay - my second attempt.
Selinium knew that the secrets to her parentage lay inside the sage sitting before her. The ancient man sat gazing into her pleading eyes, while his remained inscrutable. She searched his face for some sign of an impending response or greeting. It never came.

“Sir Ezreal, do you know who I am?” asked Selinium.

Ezreal silently nodded his head. She’d been searching for someone who could tell her who her parents were and the man who could tell her refused to speak. Maintaining her patient tone she spoke again.

“Sir Ezreal, do you know who my parents were?”

Yet again, her inquiry was met with nothing but a nod. The days of traveling began to weigh on Selinium; her body ached, her feet were blistered, and her head felt dizzy with hunger. Yet, she could not leave the company of the only one with the knowledge she sought. Her tactic changed in hopes of eliciting an explanatory response.

“Sir Ezreal, I beg you. I have traveled far and survived many dangers to come to you. Please, tell me of my parents, of the land they came from, or any way I can find the answers I seek. I beg you.”

The aged wise man tilted his head and looked puzzled, as though he were examining a rare species of insect. Selinium felt as though the man knew much more than she had even expected. She saw a glimmer of familiarity in his gaze. Yet the man continued to sit and stare.

Tears began to form in the corners of her eyes; her throat felt constricted. Why was he just sitting there? Why didn’t he answer? Was her entire quest for naught? Was her only hope of knowing the truth lost?

Ezreal straightened his back in a bird-like posture. “You are not ready,” he said in a tone of finality. He closed his eyes and began to meditate, clearly the conversation was over.

Josh said...

ooo amy nicely done i love it. ^_^

everlastingscribe said...

Very nicely done Amy, excellent use of the "three" device!

And you too Josh, nice one-two-three action. I've never been keen on magic in fantasy though, that's personal preference.

amy said...

Thanks guys!

I'm so glad you liked it. The frustration has been fun to write.

So, I'm a little lost, what is the "three" device?

Anonymous said...

I'm back! Yah! :) Finally got this one done. For awhile I didn't know if I could do one.

Eidrien shook his head as he slipped through the gates. The guards knew his face by now but did not suspect what he was to do. Walking through the market to the south street he kept his eyes fixed on the house that stood over it. When he drew closer to the old gate post he cast a glance over his shoulder looking over the shops and booths that littered the bright market square. It was not fear of being caught that made the teen turn it was the thought of being seen by Him.
Opening the large door to the house softly, he slipped in and closed it behind him. Nervously he stepped further into the silent house. Staring around at the familiar room he stopped and bent to pick up a scraggly rag doll that had been left on the floor. Picking it up gently he brushed the wild hair back into place and set it on the chair that stood at hand. He smiled slightly remembering the first time he had seen the little doll in a young girls arms. The girl had showed him it proudly as her older sister bounced her on her hip.
He let out a long breath as he remembered the long months he had been trained and had trained more of his Master’s servants for the things He would order them to do. Never did he think that he would be the one in the end to be the traitor and betrayer.
I can’t do this. Not to them. Eidrien thought.
Quickly he shook it aside He could be listening to them even now. How many times Eidrien himself had undergone punishment for thinking such things before were beyond his ability to count.
Forcing himself to turn away from the doll he brought himself to focus and returned to his job. Drawing his dagger and sword he bound through the house calling and searching the rooms for his quarry. As he turned up the furniture and bedding in his search nothing could be found.
Stumbling madly down the stairs he stomped into the small room before him searching for anything that give away where they had escaped to. As he once more came to the hall he pounded the face of the door hard. His face warmed, his anger flared and he turned shouting madly at the still house. “Where are they?”

everlastingscribe said...

The device of three I think goes way way back, one of the earliest examples I know of it the parable of the three servants in the New Testament.

I love fairytales and the device is really blatent in most of them, expecially in the Grimm's fairytales-you know, three wishes, three trials, three tasks to be completed.

With your entry there are three times Selinium entreats Sir Ezreal for information. And with Josh, there are three wolves that really fight Eliot.

Josh said...

ha very nice everlastingscribe good point and keep rattling your brain for ideas they will come.

amy said...

Well - I learned something new today, as with most days.

Thanks Scribe.

Cecilia said...

I've been putting this one off for too long now...I'm finally entering!

Princess Allyn twirled around in front of the ornate mirror in her dressing room. She couldn't help but smile at her reflection, and at how perfect this night was going to be. It was after all, her sixteenth birthday, and her father was throwing a spectacular party that evening. A loud pounding on the door interupted her daydreams.
"Allyn!" a frantic voice said. She recognized it as her brother's, and threw open the door. He rushed in and slammed the door behind him.
"What is the meaning of this?" Allyn demanded.
"Father cancelled the party, something has come up!" Prince Roneal blurted out.
"What's more important than my party?!" Allyn shrieked in a voice that threatened to crack windows.
"It's always about you, isn't it?" Roneal said bitterly. Allyn glared furiously.
"Can you just tell me what's going on?" she shouted. Roneal took a deep breath.
"Father just got a message from one of our spies...the kingdom of Kuneara is going to attack us, tonight! And...father is sending us away," Roneal's voice cracked as he finished his sentence.
"Away? Away where?" Allyn asked, but she knew all too well where they were going.
Allyn and Roneal stood in front of a large archway, and light poured over them. Allyn rubbed her wattery eyes, and Roneal stared at the ground grimly.
"You know your father only has your best interest at heart," the master of the Light Path said. "The path is the only place where you will be safe from the war. Now, you may both enter," said the master. The two children covered their eyes and stepped forward.
As they felt their feet leave the castle floor, they knew imedietely that something was not right. The Light Path was un-naturally dark, and they plunged downward. Roneal sat up first, but he didn't recognize the strange land they had arrived in.
"Where are we? Where are the trees? And the village?" Allyn said fearfully. Roneal held up a hand to silence her, for he saw something approaching.
It was tall, and surounded in light. As it got closer, they saw that it was human-like, though much taller. The tall figure smiled warmly.
"Prince Roneal? Princess Allyn?" he asked. The two children nodded.
"Ah, then welcome at last! I've been expecting you!"
As they followed the tall figure, Roneal reassured his sister that everything would be alright. Then, the figure stopped in the center of a ghostly village and turned to them. Allyn screamed, for the figure's brilliant glow had turned to a thick black mist, and his eyes were black and hollow. He opened his mouth to speak, and long fangs formed a repulsive grin.
"Welcome to the Underworld!" he hissed.

Cecilia said...

Entry number two! (Hopefully);-) you remember this character from one of my intense emotion entries. I thought it was neccessary to create some more problems for him!:-P

Nash's spirits were high as he trudged allong the forest path. Everything around him looked beautiful. The red and gold leaves of the trees, the blue sky, even the road itself. It was like a blank slate, and it could take him wherever he wanted to go. No painful memories invaded his thoughts, and for the first time, he felt that nothing could bring him down.
"You!" growled a voice from the bushes. He spun around and his mouth fell open. It was one of the soldiers who had attacked his town. The enormous man loomed over Nash, with a menacing scowl on his face and a spear in his right hand. The spear pointed at Nash, who had forgotten how to speak.
"You're one of the peasants from that filthy village we attacked!" the large man roared. Nash backed away, and a flashback from his betrayal in the village surfaced in his mind.
"No...," he moaned clutching his head. "I have to fight," he whispered to himself.
"What's that?" the soldier asked him. "You want to fight?" Nash heard the scorn in his voice but he was determined.
"Why did your people attack my home?!" Nash raged. The soldier looked at him with recognition.
"I know you, you're that little coward who ran away!" he laughed. Nash's eyes smoldered, as he yelled and lunged toward the man. He punched and kicked furiously, lead on by his rage, but he was thrown to the ground by the man's strong arms, and he felt a spear point at his chest.
"That was foolish of you!" growled the soldier, and he motioned to the other men. They tied Nash up, and tossed him in the back of a carriage.
Nash lay miserably on the floor, unable to sleep because of the constant squeaking of the carriage wheels. They had been traveling for more than two hours, when he heard the soldiers whispering in the front of the carriage.
"Are we headed to Avondale then?" a gruff voice said.
"Yes, we'll stop there for supplies and to rest for the night. Then we continue our journey east," replied the voice of ther soldier Nash had attacked. Nash smiled, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Avondale was a place he knew well. He had family there, and if he could escape to safety, he might be able to forget about all of this. He grinned again, and rolled over, as rain started to pour.
The carriage was moving way too fast. That was all Nash could tell in his dazed state. As he realized what was happening, he felt the carriage lurch sideways, and the soldiers yelled.
"No!" he gasped trying to crane his head toward the window. He managed to push himself up high enough to see outside, and the sight of it made him fall back and squeeze his eyes shut.
The carriage was no longer being pulled by the horses, but was careening down the mountain side. It bounced over rocks and brushed dangerously close to the tall pines. Then, Nash felt an odd floating sensation, before the carriage smashed onto the ground. Wood splintered and flew in every direction, as if an explosion had occured. Nash, still tied up, went soaring through the air. Fortunately, he landed on a soft pile of grass, but he didn't remain there.
The gravity of the steep mountainside propelled him downward as he rolled over rocks and tree branches.
He exhaled with relief as he came to a stop at the base of a tree, but his nose was bleeding, and he felt bruised all over. He felt a sharp pain in his arm when he tried to move it, and gritted his teeth. Resigned to his fate, he decided he better rest until he had the strength to move. He rolled his head to the other side, only to realize that the tree that had broken his roll was also keeping him from plunging off the edge of a cliff.

amy said...

Great job Cecilia! Keep it up. :)

Anonymous said...

Here's a try at frustration. I had to rush, so it's not perfect. Enjoy!
Herena fought on, disregarding the pain in her leg. Her sword, Elladon, glistened in the light of the flames. Ganorreon was burning, but as it stood she was in no position to worry about it. Malluk swung his great broadsword at her side, and all she could do was step back. Swipe after swipe came from Malluk, driving Herena backwards until she hit the courtyard wall. She was cornered, with nowhere to turn…


Calor cut down the enemies that stood to face him as he ran down the hallway. His twin rapiers had seen more action that day than any other day, even any other two days, of their lives. Yet the forces of Errador seemed only to increase. Then he saw Fyron the deadly commander of one of the fiercest legions of Errador. Fyron alone was responsible for thousands of civilian deaths. And there he was, simply standing at the window, watching the battle, reveling in the false glories of war. Calor slowed his breathing and attempted to calm himself. Rapiers at the ready, he leaped forwards and lashed out with his swords, hoping for a lucky hit. Both swords were clean misses, for Fyron had turned and dodged the strikes at the last moment. Fyron, startled but not beyond action, swung his battle-axe, knocking one of Calor’s rapiers away, falling out the window through which Fyron had been watching the fight. Switching his remaining rapier to his right hand, he prepared to fight, but the next blow again sent his sword clattering down the hallway and caused him to fall.


Herena started ducking, sidestepping, and weaving, working her way along the inner wall, trying not to get hurt more than she was. She had lost her sword already and Malluk was persistently striking at her. Her goal was to get to the kitchen, where she would have room to run, or might even be able to shut Malluk out. She soon felt the wood of the kitchen door and she entered, shutting the door tightly behind her. But when she turned she found several Errador knights who had been raiding the food cabinets, all facing her. They didn’t look welcoming. Then, as if to make the matter worse, Malluk burst through door, his broad sword reducing it to splinters.


Fyron chopped down at Calor, but Calor rolled and the blow hit the hard stone floor. Calor was weak from exhaustion, and he saw hazily the battle-axe, flying sideways at his head. The next thing new he had taken out his dagger and driven into Fyron’s shoulder. Stunned, Fyron dropped the axe. Of a sudden, a mighty rumble went through the tower from a catapult hit and Fyron went over the windowsill to a fall from one of the highest towers in the castle. Believing it to be safe, he went to the window to watch the fall. Too late, he saw that Fyron had grabbed the windowsill to keep from falling. Next thing Calor knew, Fyron’s fist was in his face. The two of them rolled away from each other, Calor too his sword and Fyron to his axe. They were locked in mortal combat again when Herena, Calor’s sister, ran up and drove her knife into Fyron’s back. Fyron backed up a moment, hurt but not dead yet, and summed up his supposed new opponent. However, she did not stay for long. She grabbed Calor and kept on running. Calor, startled, asked what she was doing. “Errador knights… several… chasing… behind me…” Calor understood and began to run as hard as he could. Just then a great boulder, launched by an Errador catapult, knocked out their part of the passageway and they fell. The last thing Calor thought was, “I wonder if we’ll live through this?” Then everything went black.

everlastingscribe said...

jc, again, nicely done! I felt like I was there in the midst of the melee' and madness of fighting in that space. And poor Herena going for sanctuary in the kitchen and finding more of a mess, and then to have it doubled when Malluk decided that he didn't like having the door between her and his blade. Talk about a bad day at work! ;)

WayneThomasBatson said...

Cool action, JC. I agree with Scribe. You have multiple suspense techniques going on here--peril, mystery, frustration. Bravo.

Unknown said...

This is my late entry in frustration (although, I don't really think it falls into the "suspence" category).

Surprisingly nothing was said during the supper, though looks darted around the room like dragonflies on a pond. Selene, Dari’s slightly younger sister, smiled at her with smug satisfaction. Dari gritted her teeth and kicked her under the table.

“Ummph!” groaned Giles suddenly, between a mouthful of food.
He swallowed quickly. “Darissa Jenners, you get yourself up to your room this instant and stay there!” he said in a lethal tone of voice.

Selene gave Dari an angelically innocent look that infuriated Dari as she hurriedly climbed the ladder to the loft. In her haste, she missed a rung and slipped, skinning her chin. Dari heard a muffled laugh burst from Selene. Hurt by the mockery and her bleeding chin, Dari rushed up the remaining rungs to throw herself onto her bed in silent sobs.

WayneThomasBatson said...

"Surprisingly nothing was said during the supper, though looks darted around the room like dragonflies on a pond." Eve, this is just a beautiful--and original--simile. Awesome language here. Seems well-crafted. Is this newer material?

Is Giles Dari's father?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the encouraging words! Giles is Dari's father-I left out some explanatory paragraphs, here, for the sake of length.

Is it newer?-than technique #5? It is actually older-and I've edited it many times (and probably will continue to do so) :)

As you've probably guessed by now, it's sections of a story I'm working on. I wanted to test the suspence and thrill factor in it.

Spunky Kiara said...

“First I can’t see and now this,” Billy couldn’t believe it, he was leaning on the front seat of his mother’s van, now crashed, he and his mom had been talking about school, when he heard a loud crash.

“Mom are you ok?” She said and patiently waiting for her answer. None. “Mom?”
He asked and reached across to his mom’s seat. Feeling his way to her head he felt something sticky. Blood. “MOM!?” Billy panicked, what could he do? He was blind. Billy’s eyes widen, he know what to do. He quickly searched for his mother’s purse. He found it! He looked for his mother’s cell phone he knew where the buttons 9-1-1 were. “Ahh!!!” He yelled, upset, anxious, and panicking. He couldn’t find it. “I guess I have to give up!” He couldn’t find the cell phone anywhere. “No, no where’s the cell phone I need it. Oh God please help me. Aha!” He grabbed the cell phone with shaking hands. “9-1-1.” The phone rang, “hello this the police what’s your emergency?”

“Yes hello, I’m Billy Milstone. My mother’s car got crashed and I think she’s dying.”

“Where are you located?”

What! I don’t know! I can’t see. God please help my mom and me to get through this.

“Uh… I’m located at,” He spun his head he saw a green sign, what I can see! Thank you Jesus!
“I’m located at God Saves street.”

“Thank you we will be on our way.”

Billy smiled, and looked at his mom. “Don’t worry mom we’ll be alright.

Anonymous said...

Sweat poured from her brow, as Ashley gently pushed open the door. Much to her relief, it didn't squeak. As she stepped into the dimly lit room, she reached up and pulled at the collar of her dark blue jump suit. The air was stifling this far underground.

In the center of the room was a computer on a small round desk. Creeping across to it, she carefully sat down at the chair.

Touching the small glowing patch on the desk, she awakened the machine. A slight whirring sound reached her ears, as screen lit up.

Raising her hand up to where the light of the screen fell on it, she carefully typed the pass runes inscribed there into the iradesant keys. Hitting the enter key with a shaking finger, she jumped as an error message filled the screen, along with a timer counting down from one minute.

"They told me this was the right one!" she whispered desperately to herself. Frantically she typed in all the possible rune combinations she could think of, all the while watching as the clock ticked down.

Suddenly it clicked, and the welcome screen flashed. Heaving a sigh of relief, Ashley quickly found the files she needed, and began downloading them.

The process finished and she hurriedly pressed the power pad. Turning quickly for the door, she did not see the request for shutdown runes, and the five second alarm.

Before she knew what was happening, an alarm was blaring throughout the building. Breaking into a run, she gained the door and turned right. After rounding a corner, she realized her mistake. An entire squad of Qzad warriors were charging toward her, skara-duls drawn. She was nearly hit by one of their disintagrating bolts as she dashed back around the corner.

Ashly knew she couldn't out run them for long, so she chose the first door on her right, and went in. Another bad choice; it was the directer's office.

therosepatch said...

Brett, I really liked your second one - I felt like I was hanging on that ledge...had a good bit of peril in there as well.

And Amy -- wowsers! Love both of them!! My fave was your second one... I wanted to scream at Ezrael "What do you mean she's not ready!!" Very nice.

I'm working on mine... give me a few minutes.

therosepatch said...

I usually write fantasy, but this one begged for a possible real life situation. Teehee - this was fun ^_^

Laura raced down the stairs, envelope in her hand.

“Mom! I'm going to the post office, I'll be back in a few minutes.”

Her mom walked out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on a towel. “The post office? Why don't you just put it in the mail box and let the mail man get it tomorrow.”

“Because,” she grabbed her keys and purse from the table beside the front door, “It needs to be postmarked by today, or....” she glanced at her watch. 3:50! The post office closes in ten minutes! “I gotta go!” She turned, giving her mom a hurried wave and flew out the door.

She threw her purse and the envelope into the passenger seat of her car, strapped herself in, put the key in the ignition, and turned it.


Laura narrowed her eyes, and turned the ignition again. The car still wouldn't start. She sighed heavily and popped the hood , then flung the door open and walked towards the front of the car. Reaching in she grabbed the oil dipstick and pulled it out, looking at it. She scowled and rammed it back in, then slammed the hood closed. She looked at her watch again. 3:52.

Laura grabbed her purse and the envelope and ran back to the front door. She opened the door a crack and popped her head in. “Mom, my car won't start, can I take yours?”

Her mom's voice floated out of the kitchen. “Sure, honey! The keys are right there on the table.”

Laura grabbed her mom's keys and slammed the door shut behind her, running full speed towards her mother's car, parked right beside hers.

She sat down, buckled in again, and turned the ignition. The car purred to life and Laura smiled. She put the car in gear, and backed out of the driveway, then turned around and took off down the road.

A few minutes later, Laura sat at the second red traffic light. She ran her hands through her hair and rubbed the back of her neck. Only two traffic lights between my house and the post office, and they both had to be red. Her eyes darted to the clock. 3:57.

She scowled again, and glared at the red light. Turn green, turn green, turn green!

The traffic light changed to green, and Laura waited impatiently for the person in front of her to move, then followed it. She was on the homestretch, the final leg of this race to the post office! She smiled again. I might actually make it in time.

She turned the final corner, and pulled into the parking lot, just as her clock ticked to 4:00pm. She parked in front of the post office and looked up at the door with a heavy heart.


Unknown said...

Kyo tyed his jet black hair in a ponytail, and loosened his kimono a bit, preparing himself for the battle which lied ahead.

"Hey! So you are the entry from Kyoto West,"his gigantic opponent asked in an offending tone. The man had just stripped off his blue kimmono to reveal his muscular abs. Kyo looked away trying not to feel dissapointed by the fact that his opponent was of much more muscular built than him. For his body was all but bones, his skeletal system all but covered by a thin sheet of pale skin. While his opponent seemed to have a great mass of padding wound tightly around his whole skeletal system.

Kyo wiped the sweat forming on his brow, and his opponent from Tokyo, looking as though he were about to go up against a fly, walked to the middle of the ring. Kyo followed suit, and slowly made his way to the middle of the sand pit arena. Both of them wore red linen pants, the customary attire for a great samurai battle.

"Are you ready,"the announcer yelled.

"YEAH!"the great mass of Tokyo spectators yelled

"3.... 2....1..., GOOOOOO!" the man yelled, and as he yelled Go, the both of them picked up their swords and thus begin a whirlwind of sword clashing. Kyo pivoted right then left to get out of the way of his opponent's mighty swings. Yet the man, seeming to know each and every one of his moves, followed suit. They continued this game of cat and mouse for what seemed like hours. Till, Kyo,finally exhausted, fell to his knees to catch his breath. But before he could get back up to fighting stature, the sword of his opponents, caught him in arms. Kyo tried to move, but the pain numbing him, caused him to freeze. As his opponent very efficiently sliced off his right arm

"Lord, Please tell me this is not happening," Kyo silently prayed. But as he saw a river of blood gushing out of his wound. His worst fears have come true. He knew it was all over.


Amy Browning said...

Pais - thanks for the compliments. Your entry was so easy to relate to. I've felt that way SO many times. You still have time to enter again.

This is such a great way for all of us to excercise our skills and push our writing beyond our comfort zone. :)

therosepatch said...

I might do another one... but I'm having trouble coming up with something...

Roheryn said...

If its not too late, I've got an entry... its a little long, I kinda got carried away...

“I hate this!” The short, red-head shouted at no one in particular. Standing in the middle of the woods she ran over in her mind the instructions that the old man had given her. At the time, they had seemed so simple. The tallest oak, standing alone, on the hillock, surrounded by willow trees holds the key to what you wish to learn.

Further questions had told Lucy that to get to this tree, she would have to go north. But after parting company with the old man, she had gotten lost. Horribly lost. To top that, her directional stick had gotten too close to her spare and was of no use. She bounced both directional sticks in her hands, eyeing them with distaste. She was about to throw them into the woods when a sound caught her attention.

Turning, her green-eyed gaze scanning the little clearing on the woodland path, she looked for the source of the cracking sound. She stepped backwards once, then again, trying to broaden her view. Taking a third step, she made her mistake. The ground crumbled away beneath her, into an old, forgotten pit trap.

She sat at the bottom, dazed, and even angrier at herself. “I should never have come on this quest to find my mom.” Lucy muttered. “I wouldn’t be in the predicament, I could have been safe back at Duxu’s place, hanging out with Balaon and Magnar. But no, I had to be stubborn, I had to be fiery.” She fingered her prized dagger, a simple blade with a piece of pearly white alicorn in the hilt. “I had to be myself. And to do so, I had to go on a quest to find my mother.” With a sigh, she pulled out the rope in her pack and quickly tied it into a lasso. “Broken horns, I knew I should have practiced this more often. This better work.”

After a couple of tries, she managed to snare something and began to climb. Half-way out of the pit, Lucy heard an ominous snapping. The noise of a rope, individual fibers breaking as it returned from disuse. Lucy closed her eyes, wondering what else could go wrong right this moment.

therosepatch said...

Alright, entry #2!! This scene I actually wrote a long time ago (and have edited many times), and it's the beginning of the first chapter in a book I'm working on... I hope you like it. I apologize for the length.

Sweat and tears stung Sina’s eyes, blinding her as she ran, causing her to stumble once more. Emtia’s moons had left her in total darkness hours ago as she desperately fought to stay ahead of her attackers. I…must…get away. Angry howls sounded behind her, giving her the fuel she needed. She picked herself up again and charged forward, her lungs burning for oxygen. Dunamai, where are you? Why aren’t you here? I need you.

Sina couldn’t last much longer. Soon her legs began to cramp, and she fell forward into the dirt again, impaling her shoulder on a root that protruded from the ground, and twisting her ankle. Sina stifled a cry, knowing that any sound would only bring her pursuers closer.

Sina struggled to rise, but her body refused to obey. Her shoulder throbbed as blood flowed freely out of the fresh wound, and the rest of her body screamed for a rest. She simply could not go on. Sina wiped her eyes with grimy hands and forced herself to quickly take in her surroundings. I need to hide somewhere, quick. Dunamai, please help me.

Sina’s eyes followed the root she had fallen on and found the tree that grew from it. In the daylight the tree’s leaves would’ve been a soft blue, matching that of her eyes, reflecting Emtia’s spring season. But now it was nothing but a dark shadow. Could she hide in the tree? But how? She didn't have enough strength left to climb it.

The howls of her pursuers sounded again, louder than before. They were getting closer.

She had to try.

Sina stood up slowly and took two steps toward the tree. Pain shot through her ankle and she fell again, biting back another scream. “Dunamai…please…” she whispered. Sina pulled herself up again and limped closer to the tree.

Blood continued to pour from her left shoulder and she held her other hand against the wound, trying to stop the flow. Her arm was useless. Sina studied the tree; she would never be able to climb it.

The howls grew louder.

Just when she thought it was hopeless, she saw something dark in the side of the trunk. Sina approached the tree cautiously, and reaching her good hand forward she discovered that there was a small hole in the tree, just big enough for her to fit inside. Sina climbed painfully into the cleft of the tree and willed her heart to stop beating as she heard her pursuers rapidly approaching.

Hooves pounded on the hard ground. Sina heard them slowing down, and soon they were within her line of vision. There were only two men and one of them dismounted and walked over to the wolves. It was this man that caught her eye and filled her heart with dread, for she had witnessed him kill her sister. He was the reason she had been running. He was the reason she now hid in this tree. Even in the darkness she recognized him. Sina was sure she would know him even if she were blind, for his presence alone exuded evil, his voice could instill fear in the heart of the bravest of men, and no mortal on Emtia dared to speak his name for it was said to bring a curse of the worst kind.

His name was Darad.

“Find her!” Darad growled at the wolves. “She must not be allowed to live!”

Sina watched as the two wolves sniffed the ground where she had fallen, licking up her blood in the dirt. She silently cursed her clumsiness as the trail of blood led them to her refuge, Darad following close behind. Sina held her breath and closed her eyes tightly, praying that her pounding heart wouldn’t give her away, and that the wolves wouldn’t smell her fear as she could feel their hot breath against her skin. She didn't dare to open her eyes, but she knew Darad was close. When he spoke again she was almost sure he had found her hiding place.

“You can't hide for long, Sina” he called out into the night, his words dripping with poison. “I will find you. And when I do, you will get to see your Rana again.”

He whistled, and to Sina's surprise she could hear him walking away from her and back towards his horse. The wolves continued sniffing around the tree as if they had lost the scent, until Darad whistled once more and they followed their master. Sina slowly opened her eyes and saw him mount his horse, and she watched in shock as they left. Thank you, Dunamai. Please forgive me for doubting you.

Weariness and grief overwhelmed her now that she was alone. Rana…. Oh, Dunamai…why Rana?

Sina remained curled up in her little refuge and she soon fell asleep to the sounds of her own weeping.

Unknown said...

With his cloak wrapped about him, Faldyr stood with his head bowed before the door to his cell.
A dank reek pervaded the small, cramped chamber. Wet, green slime covered the stone walls. The air bore a damp chill. In the far corner was a black, stagnant pool, and the remainder of the floor was damp with moisture. Rust covered the iron bars of the cell, and the only light came from a dim, solitary torch in the corridor.
“Aaaaaaaaayh!” he roared, his entire body shaking violently, as he clutched the bars of his prison.
His king was dead: hung upon the gallows before his eyes. At dawn Faldyr would meet that same fate. Sobs racked his body, and the tears poured forth as despair overcame him. Faldyr sank to his knees and buried his head in his hands. He knew there was no escape; all hope was gone.
“Stop your blubbering and hurry. We have little time!” spoke a female voice. Through his tear-clogged eyes, he could make out someone in a burgundy cloak with shoulder length orange hair. Jewel-like blue eyes flashed with impatience. A click sounded, and the door was opened, the rusty hinges moaning and grinding.
“Who are you?” Faldyr asked, stepping into the corridor.
“I am Erin. Now, follow me. Quickly!”
She led him through a number of passageways and corridors, up a flight of stairs, and finally through an arched doorway into a large chamber. Racks of spears, swords, and axes lined the walls. Barrels were piled all about. Two guards lay slumped against the wall, each with an empty tankard in his hand.
“Drugged,” Faldyr thought, “your handiwork?”
“Yes. I believe that’s your sword leaning against the wall. You will probably need it.”
“Thanks.” Faldyr swung the great sword across his back and buckled the strap across his chest. “I’m ready. What’s next?”
“I have horses already saddled. The soldiers at the gate will let us through.”
“How did you achieve that?”
“Gold and daggers talk. Come.”
The moon was full and bright as they crossed the courtyard. A few sentries stood watch upon the walls, but their gaze was elsewhere, oblivious to the pair scurrying across the courtyard.
Two horses were indeed waiting in adjoining stalls when they reached the stable.
“You are well prepared.” Faldyr observed as they mounted. “But why are you helping me?”
“I will explain once we’re safely out of here. Yaah!”
Erin kicked the horse’s flanks and trotted out into the courtyard, followed by Faldyr. As they approached the main gate, Erin whispered, “Something is amiss. The portcullis isn’t raised.”
“Were the guards to raise it as we leave?”
“No. I gave specific instructions… oh no…no…” Erin’s voice broke off.
Several forms lay motionless before the gate. Moonlight glistened off the pools of blood that surrounded them.
They dismounted by the fallen soldiers.
“Who could have done this?” Faldyr looked at Erin.
“Their treachery was punished, as yours will be.”
They whirled around. A tall knight in full armor stood silhouetted in the moonlight, his cape flapping in the breeze. One hand gripped a mace and chain; a single-bladed axe hung from his belt.
“Lord Draycas!” Erin spat, her blue eyes aflame.
“Yes, my princess. You did not think you could hide your scheme from me, did you?” A cruel chuckle came from within his helm.
Faldyr slowly drew his broadsword and brought it to his face.
“Get back, Erin.”
“No. We will handle this excuse for a knight together,” came the icy reply. A metallic ring sounded as Erin drew a long, slender blade from beneath her cloak.
“It is hopeless to fight. You are outnumbered.” As he spoke, twelve other knights stepped into the moonlight. The thirteen slowly advanced, forcing Erin and Faldyr backward toward the dungeon entrance. Their adversaries closed within several paces of them.
“Unless you are still contemplating a struggle, let me reiterate the futility of that decision.” Draycas raised his left arm. At that signal, bowmen flooded the battlements surrounding the courtyard, their longbows and arbalests trained on Faldyr and Erin.
“There is no escape.” Draycas laughed.
Erin cocked her head toward Faldyr.
“Any ideas?” he whispered.
“We have one more chance,” she whispered back. “Into the dungeon!”
They turned swiftly and darted through the arched doorway and into the weapons chamber. Seconds later, several knights rushed in after them.
Faldyr seized a spear and gripped it in both hands. Using it to parry his opponent’s sword strokes, he drove the knight backward. Next, he delivered a stunning blow to the face, grabbed a nearby sword, and finished him off.
“Behind you!” Erin screamed. Instinctively, Faldyr ducked. As an axe swipe came inches from his head, Faldyr rolled to his feet, drew his broadsword, and in a single movement, slashed the blade across the knight’s midsection. He crumpled to the floor.
Erin, meanwhile, weaved her blade and another sword in a dizzying, dual-bladed arc. Soon, her adversary was also down.
Two more knights were almost in the chamber when an airborne barrel plowed into them, courtesy of Faldyr.
“Shut the door!”
Erin quickly slammed the oaken door shut and slid the bolt into place. “That will delay them momentarily.”
“What’s your plan to get out of this foul fortress?” Faldyr demanded.
“There is an ancient passage that goes from the dungeon, through caverns beneath the castle and eventually leads out into caves in the Old Forest.”
“Why didn’t we use it to start with?’’
“It’s a bit complicated…”
A heavy thudding and the sound of splintering wood got Erin’s attention.
“Never mind, they’ll be through any moment!”
Faldyr’s gaze swept across the room. His eye caught several barrels in the corner, marked with the etching of an arrow.
“We need to delay them…prevent them from following…” he was almost talking to himself. “Erin, help me.”
Taking one of the barrels, he pulled out the stopper, and poured a thick, black, oozing liquid onto the floor close to the door.
Erin looked at it and smiled. “Brilliant.”
“Thank you,” Faldyr grinned, “I thought so!”
Lifting one of the torches off the wall, Faldyr tossed it onto the thick pool of liquid, which immediately burst into flame. “Come on, let’s go!”
They darted down a series of winding corridors until they reached one that ended with a bare wall. Erin pressed one of the stones, and the wall slid away.
Holding a torch before them, they descended a roughly hewn set of steps into the cave.
“Here we are,” Erin lifted the torch above her, letting its light fill the cavern. Its rays illuminated a vaulted room, with a smooth stone floor and a large body of water.
“An underground lake?”
“Yes,” replied Erin. “A bridge spans the lake to the other side.” She gestured to the stone bridge a short walk away.
“Follow me.”
As they crossed the midpoint of the bridge, ripples began to skim the lake’s surface.
“Erin …?”
A twisting, writhing, coiling mass rose out of the depths in a turbulent upsurgence of water. It raised itself high above them, and its eyes glowed a menacing red hue. Its thick body was covered in glistening black scales. The creature’s mouth opened, revealing a pair of white, gigantic fangs. A red, forked tongue extended in and out.
“You didn’t tell me about this!” Faldyr screamed at Erin as they gazed upward at the towering beast.
“Hello, young onessss,” the creature spoke, “ you mussst be my midnight ssssnack!”

therosepatch said...

That was great, Patrick!

Unknown said...

Thank you Pais Charos!

Lady Merewen said...

Lusur gripped the carriage door as another coughing fit seized him. His illness was getting worse.
So, for a time, he was leaving his royal life for the country.
"Sire, before you go..." the captain of a guard - a true friend to Lusur - handed him a belt, which hid four knives.
"Thank you," Lusur murmured, taking it with his pale, thin hand. He smiled. "I'll see you once I'm better I suppose," he said, getting in.
"Farewell, sire," the captain said, stepping back.
Lusur slumped against the back of the seat, weakened by this excitement. He strapped on the belt. The captain had advised him to always wear it...just in case. The door closed as the young king drifted into sleep.

Lusur woke up to a jarring stop.
The carriage door was jerked open, and Lusur was grabbed. He was too weak to fight, and his captors struck him on his head.
Before Lusur passed out, he saw the dead body of the carriage driver. "Poor man..." Lusur thought.

When Lusur came to, he was being dragged upright along the road. His hands were bound behind him.
"Let him walk," one of the two holding his shoulders said when he made a feeble attempt to pull away.
They released his arms.
Lusur reached for one of his knives. His skeletal thin fingers slipped underneath the belt...
"What're we supposed to do with him?" one of the ruffians asked.
"Kill him, hide the body," another said.
"What good would that do? There'd be no king," Lusur wondered. He grabbed one of the knives, and pulled it out. He cut through the rope binding his wrists.
An earthshaking sound broke through the air. A plume of fire went up down the road.
"Dragon. What do we do?" one the ruffians asked, turning as pale as Lusur.
"Leave him. He'd slow us down. The dragon will kill him."
Lusur threw his knife into the shoulder of the ruffian just behind him.
Another of them grabbed him and threw him against a tree. He threw a rock at his head.
Lusur passed out again.

Lady Merewen said...

Oh, and the illness is what made Lusur pale, weak, and skeletal. I'm not sure if that's clear in my previous post