Jan WIP Writing Challenge (Fight or Flight) JUSTICE FOR BELLE #Nextchapterpub

There have been a few really phenomenal entries to this months WIP Challenge of Fight or Flight!  I knew this would be a tough one, and that those who committed to joining would likely produce something amazing, but as I pull up the links and re-read through the scenes I’m practically speechless! Usually I just dive right into my own scene and then include the participating links at the end, but this month I felt like I really want to talk about these joining scenes a little bit first.

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Let’s start with Robbie Cheadle’s WIP war scene. Her WIP is one that’s up close and personal… War, real war, is a place of the worst kind of reality. The way Robbie captured the essence of this scene is the kind of writing that really stays with you… Here’s a quote:  “The attackers surged forward as a mass, each focusing on his steps, knowing that if he fell, he would be trampled by those coming afterwards. This is it, thought Robert. There is no flight option left. Now we must fight to win or be slaughtered like pigs.”

Now, let’s get into Yunkunkerk Blog’s WIP scene. Talk about depth! There’s a villain to be reckoned with, love, tragedy and redemption. Here’s a quote: “My wrist burns, a voice in my head screaming louder than anything I can comprehend. I grab my skull, feeling like my head will split open or explode. Her fire wreaths, thrashing before it dies, not an ember left to smoke. My heart bleeds. Gears grind… the fire goes silent.”

Next, let’s talk about the Consistories Blog and all 4 of the WIP scenes. I can’t even begin to tell you how fond I’m becoming of the world created here. Every month I’m greeted with so much creativity. I have my favorite character(s), and they’re very much becoming a part of me… as odd as that sounds! I’ll give a quote from each one. Click on the Bolded linked in portion to check out each page!!

  • The Solo Vampire Hunter: “Shoot!” He frantically glanced around. His thoughts spiked with what ifs and all of the possibilities. “Need to calm down. Need to think smart. Get out of my head. Think. Think. Think. Don’t get lost in my thoughts. Think. Calm. Need calm. Think.”
  • Fight or Flight? Which Will It Be: Hank smiles at me like that. No, his smile is big and real. I can see his teeth when he smiles and I love that. Ohhh, that man has the best teeth.
  • Will It Be A Fight?: Rinalya mal Kineen, the youngest son of the highest family in the schie a kehn, sauntered over to him. “Isellta mal Hoven. I see you have your wings out as usual.”
  • Fight or…..: No matter where Ambrose went, there was no escaping it. Every place, every person, every thing had its own unique blend of smells. Some were traces of whoever had entered the house, the room, the barn, the outhouse, the attic, the loft. Some were traces of whoever had touched the object and held the object.

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Woah!!!  Amazing, right!  I hope you click through to each and every one of these scenes, they’re excellent! And now, for my own… I’m cheating again lol. Since it’s my challenge and my rules, I’m bending them. The WIP I’m currently writing is so very light hearted, and I really wanted to use some characters from previous works of psychological madness for this prompt. So I did some diggin’ through all of my manuscripts to find the perfect match, and here you go!!

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Following is a scene from Justice for Belle, enjoy:

A small tap on my door intrudes in on my paranoid thoughts. My chest drops. Maybe it’s a neighbor, weird. I peek out the peephole, and to my nervous surprise, it’s none other than Mac. He’s breaking the rules, idiot! What the hell is he doing at my apartment?

I rush to a small mirror on my wall, a few feet from the door. After re-pulling my hair even tighter into its messy bun, I scrub my pointer finger across my teeth. Good enough. There’s no fixing my look in such little time. I smack my cheeks to make them a little pink. How embarrassing! 

I rip the door open just as he lifts a hand to knock on it again. With a closed fist around his shirt, I pull him in as quickly as I can.

“You’re not supposed to be here,” I say before sticking my head out and looking in both directions down the hall.

I lock the door at the handle, and again with the chain, just to be safe. Then I spin on my heels to look at him. His eyes are red and wild, and his lips are pursed. He smooths the wrinkles I caused on his shirt with a flat palm and shakes his head, disgusted. 

“I know it’s against the rules, but I had to talk to you. I couldn’t wait.” He says.

“You couldn’t call?” I demand.

“I don’t have your number and no, even if I did, I wouldn’t call. That would be even stupider than stopping by.”

“Maybe you’re right,” I agree, and stomp back to my place of pacing.

“No one saw me. It’s getting dark, and no one here knows me anyway.”

He follows me to the living area and plops himself onto a corner seat.

“I think you should sit down,” he tells me. “You’re making me nervous.”

I comply without argument, more than curious as to why he’s here.

“Well?” I inquire.

I point my forehead at him, and stare up, waiting for an explanation. I’ll take anything he’ll give me at this point. Be it encouragement, speculation, whatever words he’s willing to part with. I’m desperate for any sort of interaction with him, like a phene waiting for my next fix.

“You need to stop stressing.”

“How do you know I’m stressing?”

Mac points a finger at my window. The curtains are wide open to reveal nothing but the neighboring apartment building’s sun-warped shingles, and an empty street below. Then it hits me, like a wall of cement. He can see me from his lawn chair on the toxic suburb rooftop! How could I forget about that? He’s probably been watching me this whole time. Of course he has, and for God only knows how long. I deflate some air like a balloon, letting my shoulders drop a few inches. I have no choice but to accept this for what it is.

“Damn it,” I mutter. “Well, you’re here. Can I get you anything, a drink maybe?”

“You got whiskey?”

“Nope. I’m an alcoholic. Whiskey is kind of my vice. If I kept it in my home, things might get out of hand. I kinda’ have to stick with the light stuff.”

Wow, why did I just say that? I look down at my lap and shake my head a little in shame. Not because of my problem, but because I just told him about my problem. What’s wrong with me? What’s next, a confession about Belle? I can’t recall a time when I was so completely unsure of myself. A naked sense of vulnerability is seeping from my every pore.

Mac only nods, a humble understanding with absolutely no sign of judgment. His eyes meet mine, and there’s something there. He has something on his mind, something he’s not saying. We’re like magnets pointed in the wrong direction. Two negatives and two positives. Clearly made from the same material, to accomplish the same tasks, yet impossible to touch together. I’m at least three feet away from him, yet I can feel the heat of our energy barrier as it forces us apart. He sighs in surrender and then turns his gaze back to my opened window.

“I do have beer, though, or water if you’d rather.” I offer, trying to break the silence.

“That’ll do.”

I practically run for the fridge, desperate to get away from the tension. I want him, and I know he wants me. I can feel it. Unless I’m as insane as I’ve always suspected I could be. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m losing my mind. Just as I bend to reach into the bottom shelf of my fridge, my mind flashes elsewhere. It’s a memory, one I’ve never had before. I’m standing over Belle’s bed, staring at her, the metal pipe gripped tightly in my right hand.

She’s fast asleep, and just as I rear back to take the first swing at her face, a light flips on. It’s a hallway light, just outside of her bedroom door. I don’t turn to look; I don’t even slow down. My steady and very powerfully driven hands grip the pipe like one would a baseball bat and drop it down on her with full force. Her cheekbone crunches with a splat, and her body begins to twitch.

“You get lost?” Mac’s voice rings loudly at my side.

I jump, knocking a cold glass bottle of booze over with my arm. I grab it back up with trembling hands. I straighten myself to a stand and hand it over before grabbing two more for myself. Mac takes a step closer to me no sooner than the fridge door shuts completely.

The scent of him is just as fresh as the first day we met; only tonight there is a muskier underlining. The delicious smell of his natural skin, no doubt. My knees weaken, and I take a step back. The center of my back touches the counter causing me to reach back with my free hand and grab ahold of it for balance.

“What are you doing?” I ask desperately under my breath.

“You were taking a while, so I thought I’d check on you.” His voice is wanting and raspy.

“I’m fine.”

I duck and spin, maneuvering my body around him. I’m careful not to brush our flesh together. He props himself against the exact spot of the counter that I just left by the hip, his gaze fixated on me. I look away, twist the top off of my first drink and guzzle the entire thing as if my life depends on it. He, too, takes a drink, but barely a sip. The serious clench of his jaw tells me that he means business. My chest tightens. 

“Why are you really here?” I ask.

“A few reasons, actually.”

“Which are?”

“I’m trying to decide which one I wanna’ tell you first.”

He takes another sip and continues to stare. I toss my empty bottle into the trash can, and twist open the top of my next. It’s quiet enough to hear a pin drop. Aside from my own heavy breath, I hear only haunting silence. 

“Start with whatever it is you’re so afraid to say.” I breathe, my heart quickening another pace.

Mac takes a few quick steps forward, again closing the gap between us. The wildness of his eyes and his hair reminds me of a lion, ready to pounce. Soon I’m backed against the wall, with our chests pressed together. I stare at his mouth. His lips are the perfect shade of pink. I want to lick them. I tuck my own in and bite the insides lowering my head . . . denying him access. He places his palms against the wall, beside my shoulders, and lowers his forehead to mine.

“You’re not who I thought you were,” he says, the hops in his breath mixing with my own.

I close my eyes tightly and breathe him in. The image I once had of his fists closing in around the neck of an unknown man as he shook the life from him is all I can think about. God, I wish I could stop enjoying the thought of death. I can feel his heartbeat through my shirt, and my nipples harden. The heat from his body screams danger, and the pool of nerves between my legs wants it.

“Mac,” I whisper, our foreheads still together.

I try and lift my arms to push him away, but can’t. Like dead weight, they stay motionless at my sides. I shake my head against his. This is wrong.

“Ahnia, I know we can’t do this. I just . . . I . . .”

Mac slaps an open palm against the wall. It’s an angry, powerful blow a mere foot from my face. I jump, feeling the vibration of it against my entire body.

“Fuck!” He shouts and pulls himself away.

He runs a fist through his hair and storms off. After helping himself to another beer from my fridge, he disappears back into the living room, leaving me behind to gather myself. I take a couple of deep breaths and run my shaking hands down the front of my shirt a few times.

I’m scared to death of him right now, but I don’t want him to leave either. I can’t kick him out, what if he comes at me? Or worse, what if I wind up throwing myself at him. I don’t trust me at this point, any more than I don’t trust him.

It takes me a minute to shake the buzz out of my veins enough to actually process what he said. I couldn’t possibly be any more confused. I slowly and nervously inch my way back to him. He’s standing by the open window, peering down at the street below. On the corner of my couch, the furthest spot away from him, I lower myself to sit. My back is straight and only the back pockets of my jeans touch the furniture’s fabric. I’m ready to make a run for it, if needs be. Or, at least, I think I might be.

DESCRIPTION:

Ahnia has a dicey past. It’s scratching under the surface; dying to get out.

She’s hit rock bottom. Broke and desperate to be on top again, she partners up with Mac: a man she hardly knows. He’s utterly untouchable, and soon they are both in peril.

Will their dangerous decision be a success, or will she find herself in the clutches of an unforgiving force, brought about by her childhood sin? In this nail biting thrill ride, no one is as they seem, and no one is truly safe with those they trust.

Praise:

★★★★★ – “If you love psychological thrillers that keep you guessing, you’ll love Justice For Belle.”

★★★★★ – “A wild ride.”

6 Comments Add yours

  1. cosistories says:

    Ooo! Excellent choice for an excerpt! I love the slow building tension leading to him slapping his hands against the wall. So very well done!

    Thank you so much for your kind words about my story and my characters! 😊

    This prompt was such a fun challenge. When I first read it, I automatically started thinking of which characters I wanted to use. Ambrose and Hildreth were the obvious choices, but I really wanted to use the less obvious characters like Isellta and Dave. I wanted to give Isellta a “Flight” story, but I thought it would be more interesting if he chose “Fight” instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I loved writing this book!
      Almost as much as I love your chose in characters and scenes 🤩🤩

      Liked by 1 person

      1. cosistories says:

        😊 You’re very welcome!

        I’m really looking forward to this month’s prompt. My troupe of characters are standing in the wings waiting to see who gets the spotlight this time around. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 🥰 love them! I’ll be posting a promt tomorrow… Something ‘love’ly, it is Valentines afterall 😉🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I must find the time to try this one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you do! I love hosting these challenges!! The scenes have been so much fun to read every month 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

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