Saturday, June 23, 2012

New chapter 1 of Seed, part2

The next morning, Katie woke alone in the chair.  Nathan still snored on the couch. She sat up and rubbed her eyes. Where was Mason?

Clunking noises lead Katie to the kitchen. Standing in the threshold, she saw Mason banging through cupboards.  After a few more minutes of, he kicked the counter and yelled. Collapsing on the ground, he kept on screaming, head tilted back.

Nathan began to cry in the living room. Katie looked between the living room and the kitchen before silently stepping onto the tiled floor. She walked up behind Mason and slowly placed her hand on his shoulder.

“What?” Mason shouted, jerking his head around to see her. Face ablaze, he glared at her until tears leaked from her eyes uncontrollably. His face softened with remorse. “I’m sorry, Katie. I didn’t know it was you.”.

He tried to hug her but she stepped back, shaking her head. “I’m sorry, Katie. I really am.” His eyes begged her to understand. “I just- I just couldn’t.” He sighed. “I just couldn’t find the peanut butter.”

Gasping through her tears, Katie stared at Mason’s face. He was sorry, she knew, but she couldn’t stop crying. Turning, she pointed to the cupboard above her head, where she couldn’t reach. “There,” she choked out.

Mason looked from Katie to the cupboard. Standing, he reached out and opened it. The peanut butter sat right there on the shelf. Shoulders down, Mason looked at the floor and sighed, pinching his eyes closed. Slowly he removed the peanut butter and set it on the counter.

A little while later, after Mason had her and Nathan wash off the dirt from the cellar, all three of them sat at the dining room table eating the one dish Mason knew how to make: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It wasn’t what she usually ate for breakfast but Katie refrained from mentioning it.

When Nathan finished, he pushed away his plate and climbed from his chair. He walked over to Mason and tugged his sleeve. “Wiggles.”

Mason looked down at him, his face still swollen. “What?”

“Wiggles!” Nathan repeated, bouncing on his toes.

Katie sighed. “He wants to watch the Wiggles. Its his favorite, he watches it every morning.”

“Oh.” Mason pushed out his chair.

As soon as he saw that he was going to get his wish, Nathan took off, running for the living room and shouting, “Wiggles,” as loud as he could.

About lunch time, they heard trucks driving around outside. Mason rushed to the window in the front room with Katie close behind. Nathan was too involved in his show to even be curious.

The trucks parked in the middle of the street and the people in them hopped out and looked around. Katie was filled with fear at the sight of them but Mason began to smile. “They’re Christians, Katie,” he said in excitement.

Katie hardly heard him. Her eyes had landed on the bodies in the street and in the yards. They were the black things. The one at the end of the driveway looked like Dad. She ran for the door forgetting all about the people in the trucks. Mason yelled after her as she opened the door.

Across the yard Katie ran, as fast as her legs would take her. Mason’s shouts at the door did not deter her. Reaching the body, she saw that it was her Dad. Sinking to her knees, she sobbed and buried her head in his bloody shirt. “Daddy!” she wailed, “Daddy!”

Arms Katie did not know wrapped around her waist and tried to lift her away. “No!” she screamed, flailing her fists and jerking her body. “No, put me down!”

Mason appeared in front of her and grabbed her hands. “Katie, stop! You have to stop,” he said. With a sob, Katie fell limp and the arms released her to Mason. “I know, he said. “I know.”

Katie began to shake her head. No, no he did not understand. How could he?

“Katie.” Mason grabbed her face and made her look at him. “My parents are dead too. I told you, they killed them all.” When Katie did not react, he repeated himself. “The Liberators killed every adult in town.”

By night fall, all of the town’s children were piled into the trucks that had come. Katie, Nathan, and Mason huddled together, a blanket wrapped around them to ward off the cold. Mason noticed a girl about Katie’s age sitting in the bed of the truck with them. On her lap, she held a baby. She had wrapped the baby in her blanket.

“Come here,” Mason whispered, lifting a corner of their blanket for the girl. She eyed him warily for a moment but then saw Nathan and Katie huddled at his sides. She scooted closer while Mason shifted Nathan onto his lap, making more room. “What’s your name?” Mason asked.

“Sarah.” Her teeth chattered. Nodding to the baby, she added, “And this is Tyson.”

Mason smiled saddly. “Well Sarah, I’m Mason, and this is Katie and her brother Nathan.”

The girls smiled shyly at each other. “Hi,” they said at the same time.

Drawn together by their common loses and their common responsibilities as protective sisters, the two girls soon became friends. In the following years, they did everything together. They played together, bossed their brothers together, and ignored Mason together when he was pretending to be their older brother; a role he believed that he was required to fill.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hi, all--

--I don't have an excerpt to post right now; all I've been writing is poetry. : P

What I wanted to say was: if any of you have any stories that need editing, or you just want some feedback on it, I'd be happy to do so. : ) I've been searching for more books at my library to read, and for some reason I can't find anything to interest me. But when I read through here, I noted that everything sounded like something I'd want to read.

So...yes! If any of you want someone to give feedback or anything on a story of yours, I'd be happy to oblige. ; )

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The new Chapter 1 of The Seed- part 1

I have not been on here for a while and I see that some others have joined. Yay! Ok, so the story I had posted before, I have revised and have a completely new first chapter so I am posting that. For those of you who don't know, I like critics so please leave one. And those who read my first first chapter, please tell me whether you like this one better or not.

Nineteen years ago

    The sun had just began to rise, it’s rays warming Katie. Grass tickled her feet as she knelt in her red, poka-dot dress to pluck a stem. The small green leaf fluttered in her fingers, the perfect weapon to use against her brother, Nathan. He sat next to her, pushing his toy cars around his feet while making engine noises. His little lips produced spit bubbles that every once in awhile burst and splattered all over his chubby face.
      Katie studied Nathan’s eyes to see if he saw what she was doing. Quickly, she stuck the grass in his ear and then yanked it back. Barely noticing, he swatted at his head and then returned to his cars. He drove one through a pile of sticks that earlier he had been completely fascinated with turning into a house. Or what he thought looked like a house. Katie sighed. Three year olds were no fun.

  Now what to do? Katie sat down with crossed legs, sure to keep her skirt from choking her. Resting back on her hands, she watched Nathan throw a green truck in anger. She was not going to go get it for him.

  Having yanked a handful of grass from the ground, Katie let the pieces flitter from her fingers. A clover stuck to her hand and she pried it off. It’s three leaves fluttered between her fingers. As she studied it, she noticed the neighbor run into his house. She frowned.

  The front door of her house slammed and Katie dropped the clover, forgetting all about it. She turned, flipping her braid, to see who had made the noise. Mom ran out of the house, Dad close behind, both breaking their rule about banging the screen.

  Mom’s face was red like she was crying and Dad looked like he was about to. Why were they crying? Was it because she had messed with Nathan? He hadn’t even looked at her when she stuck the leaf in his ear. She jumped to her feet. “Mommy?”

  Mom hurried down the porch steps and picked Katie up, pulling her close. Katie wrapped her arms around Mom’s neck and patted her on the back. Why was Mom wearing pants and tennis shoes? It was summer.

  Dad came up behind Mom, bending until he could look Katie in the eye. “Sweetie, you’re going to need to take care of your brother for a while.” He reached out and took one of her small hands in his.

  “Why?” Katie turned her head so that she could see Nathan by Mom’s feet. He had his finger in his nose. She scrunching up her face. “I don’t like watching him.”

  “That’s enough, Katie. I told you too so you’re going to do it.” He took Katie from her mom, for once not lecturing her any more than that. “I love you, you know,” he said, whispering into her hair. Tears fell on her forehead as he tightened his grip.

   “I love you too, Daddy,” Katie said, snuggling close. She didn’t know what else to do, Dad never cried.
Dad didn’t let go so Katie didn’t move. Soon, Mom had her arms around them all, having added Nathan to the hug.

  “Katie,” Mom said. “Your dad and I are leaving for awhile.” She leaned back and brushed her hand over the top of Katie’s head. “While we’re gone, we need you to hide with your brother down in the cellar.” Her voice turned commanding, like when Katie wouldn’t go to bed. She pointed a finger in Katie’s face. “Do not leave. When you are able to come out, either your father and I or one of the neighbors will come and get you.”

  “But, Mommy, the cellar is wet.”

   “No buts,” Dad said, setting Katie back on the ground while continuing to hold Nathan. “You will do as you are told.”

   “Yes, Daddy.” Katie started to cry. Why was Dad talking to her like this?

  “Come on,” Mom said, taking Nathan from Dad. She walked towards the house where the cellar was. Dad took Katie hand to make sure she followed.

  The cellar was a large, double door leading to under the house. Katie had never been in there before. She moved closer to her dad. What if there were spiders?

   Mom stopped next to the doors and waited. Dad dropped Katie’s hand to grasp the handles and lift them against the house. They made a thud. Dad knelt at the opening and turned, feeling for something with his foot. Then he stepped down in.

   Katie leaded closer and watched until he stood at the bottom. He stretched out his arms to Katie.
She hesitated and looked at her mom. Mom nodded, so Katie put her foot on the ladder’s top rung and reached for Dad. He gripped her by the waist and then slowly lowered her to the ground. Next, he lifted his arms for her brother.

   Nathan had begun to cry by this time and he clung to Dad, shaking his head when Dad tried to let him down. “Nathan, let go,” Dad said. Nathan didn’t listen and so Katie grabbed his fingers and pulled them away from Dad’s shirt.

   Now on the ground, Nathan stomped his feet and shouted in protest. He didn’t stopped until Dad began to climb back up the ladder and he realized that Dad wasn’t going to comeback for him no matter how loud he screamed.

  Above ground once more, Dad waved goodbye while Mom pressed her hand to her lips and then blew on the palm. They closed the door and then there was a jingle with a thump and a click.

   Everything was black for a split second and then a light turned on. One bulb swung from the ceiling, its light spreading to a dirt packed floor and shelves. Dust floated around.

  Katie sank to the floor and pressed her back against the closest shelf, drawing her knees to her chest. Shadows filled the other shelves, hiding the movements of mice and spiders and other things with claws just sitting, waiting to get her. She shivered.

  Nathan whimpered. He crawled to Katie’s side and buried his face in her arm, his snotty nose leaving sticky blobs. Instead of pushing him away, Katie pulled him onto her lap.

   For awhile they stayed there with nothing happening, just the dust floating lazily. Then, the ground began to shake and dirt fell from the ceiling in great showers. They screamed. Katie leaned over Nathan and lifted her arms to cover both their heads. When the shaking stopped, Nathan was still screaming. “Mama.” He hiccupped. “Mama.” Katie was too busy staring at the door to comfort him.

   Shouts, gunshots, and then screams echoed around them. Seeping in through the cracks of the door, the sounds were muffled but no less frightening. They lasted for what seemed forever. Soon the sound of creaking metal joined in.

  Dirt began to fall from the ceiling again. Katie covered her ears while Nathan continued to scream. The noises only lasted for a couple of hours, sometimes stopping and then starting again, but by then the strange laughter and shouts of terror had driven the children to great bouts of tears.

    They stayed where they were until late in the afternoon. By this time, all noises from above had ceased and Nathan had fallen asleep. Dirt crunched over head and Katie jumped to her feet. A hiccupped sob escaped her before something rattled and the door opened.

    Katie stared at the tear stained face of Mason, the neighbor boy. He looked down at Nathan’s exhausted form and shuttered, whipping at the tears. He turned his attention to Katie. “Can you lift him up to me?”

   Katie sniffled and nodded. He wasn’t who she had hoped would come for them but at the moment she wasn’t going to complain. She wrapped her arms around Nathan and stood. He sagged in her grip and she grunted. Squeezing her eyes tight, she shifted her grasp to keep from dropping him. Mom and Dad told her to take care of him and she would. Slowly she made it over to the ladder and heaved Nathan up. His head barely cleared her shoulders and he shifted with a snort.

   Leaning through the opening as far as he could, Mason clasped Nathan under his arms and lifted him the rest of the way out of the cellar. They both disappeared from Katie’s view as he set Nathan on the ground.  Returning to sight, he reached down to help Katie up the ladder. Once above ground, Katie dove into the boy’s arms and wept into his neck. Gasping, he pulled her closer and let his own silent tears fall into her hair.

   They remained like this for sometime, moonlight illuminating their crouched forms. When Katie finally felt better, she blinked. Lifting her head, she looked over Mason’s shoulder. Black forms lay everywhere. What happened? She tried to shove from his arms. “Mom?”

   Mason didn’t let her go. “She’s gone, they’re all gone. They killed them.”

   Dead. Who was dead? Mom couldn’t be dead. Katie shook her head.

   Nathan snorted again, rolling on his side and curling up into a ball. Hearing him, Mason released Katie and stood. “Come on, we should go inside.” He picked up Nathan, who was now sucking his thumb, and grabbed Katie’s hand to keep her from running away.

    Mason made his way through the yard, walking in a weaving path. Katie stumbled behind him, whipping away her tears. Other than the sleeping sounds Nathan made and the crickets chirping, there were now no other sounds. Where was everyone? People still were usually out at this time.

    On the porch, Mason let go of Katie’s hand to turn the knob. Once inside the house, he laid Nathan on the couch. He did not turn on the lights. Then he dropped down into the recliner. It was Daddy’s chair.

    Katie stood in the middle of the room, not knowing what to do.  Finally, she let out a sob and crawled into Mason’s lap. There, they cried themselves to sleep.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chapter 1

I am not sure what I am going to call this novel. But here is the the first chapter:

Chapter 1
Sudan. Friday, May 12, 4:32 A.M.
The blades of the helicopter conveyed a whoosh noise with each pass. Jake stared at Commander Blake with his sky-blue eyes.
“We are nearing our destination,” the commander said. “Our mission is to rescue scientist Albert Welsh.” The commander pulled up a picture of the scientist on the large computer screen. He looked to be around fifty. The white frizzled hair, droopy eyelids, and small spectacle glasses said it all. This guy was defiantly a scientist.
“He was kidnapped by a group of terrorists. We haven’t had any communication with Mr. Welsh or the terrorists. Also.” The commander pulled up a second picture. This one of a younger man. “I am sure you recognize this picture. This is Agent Andrew Terry. We sent him in to do a brief scout. His cover was a delivery man. Either his cover was blown and his real identity figured out, or he has turned rogue. If you see him communicate with the terrorists at any point, shoot on target. So get in, get Mr. Welsh and get out. Do not engage unless fires upon. Any questions?”
It was all straight forward for Jake. Another rescue mission, he was getting used to them. They had completed five as a group, but Jake had done some before joining the SATG.
“Then,” Commander Blake continued, “prepare for drop off.”
Jake looked over his six foot frame. His black outfit contained several different gadgets and gizmos. All of which were necessary. He pulled a black helmet over his head. Each helmet acted as a walkie-talkie with its talk button stuck. Anything anyone in the group said would be heard.
He strapped on his parachute.
Each of his comrades did the same. Jake looked at each. Agents Richard, Philip, and Harry. They were a group of five with Agent Terry.
He couldn’t believe that Agent Terry would go rogue on them. He must have been captured. If he had been Jake vowed that he would find and rescue him.
“You have three hours.” The commander reminded. “I will watch from up here. If I don’t get the signal by then I’ll expect the worse.” Commander Blake’s strong face shifted to a softer expression. “Be careful,” he said.
The helicopter door opened and Jake leapt out.
Jake felt his stomach shove up against his throat. It was unpleasant, but he was used to it. He watched the ground coming up fast. Jake pulled on the parachute cord.
The white fabric billowed out and into the air, though, it didn’t look white through his grainy green night-vision goggles.
His descent slowed. He could barely see the sandy terrain. Jake pulled his Springfield Professional Custom Pistol from his holster. He was ready for anything.
His feet hit the ground and Jake immediately rolled so the impact wasn’t so jarring.
He stood. Jake pointed the custom pistol around. The area was secure.
Agent Harry landed, then Agent Philip, and last Agent Richard.
Jake set his pistol lightly back into it’s case on his hip. He pulled a M4 Carbine from his back.
“Harry, how far are we from the terrorist compound?” Jake asked.
“I would estimate about three miles east from there.” Harry was the SATG’s technology guy.
SATG was the abbreviation for Secret Anti Terrorist Group. They had been established by the President of the United States himself, to, in his words “Fight against the evil ploys of terrorism.”
“Let’s move out,” Agent Philip said his voice echoing in Jake‘s helmet. “Once we get within a mile we will slow to a jog.” Philip was the SATG’s leader. Jake, Agent Terry, and Agent Richard were the guys with the guns. They were the most advanced of all in their hand to hand combat.
Jake was the youngest member of the SATG. It was an honor to be asked to join at such a young age. Jake was twenty-six. Only the most advanced in martial arts were asked. Hence why there were only five members.
The SATG was only known by a select few people. If the terrorist expected someone to rescue Welsh they might think that it would be a full scale operation. But a group of four agents would go unnoticed.
Jake didn’t breathe hard. Not even with the extra pounds of gear he carried. He had been trained for this.
“Okay,” Agent Philip‘s voice rang in Jake‘s ears. “See those trees? Just beyond them is the compound. According to research there’s a high metal fence. We’ll cut through that then enter the compound through a back entrance. Soon as we enter, I’ll secure the room. Then I’ll lead to the prison cells. Watch your footing and don’t trip over anything.”
Agent Philip gave a hand gesture signaling them to move out.
The group silently entered the surrounding trees. Jake watched his every step. Just a single snap of a twig could signal the guards.
Not long after, the trees thinned and the compound could be seen. It looked like a normal abandoned factory, except for the watch towers, guards, and the tall metal fence. There were several buildings all seeming to be attached to one another. Every building was one story except for the very middle. The biggest building of them all rose up to three stories tall.
Jake removed a pair of wire cutters. He and Agent Richard set to work. They snapped, snipped, and sliced the thick metal wire.
A looming hole soon stood before them. Agent Philip entered first. He was the only one who knew where the back entrance was. Agent Harry followed, then Agent Richard, and last Jake came through. He pulled the wire circle he had cut out back in place. It looked again like a whole.
Jake clutched his M4 Carbine like a newborn babe. It was no babe, though. The carbine was upgraded to the max. Night vision scope, silencer, and an extended (handle???). It was every agent’s dream.
The group had stopped, knowing that the guards were on duty. There were two towers close enough to where the terrorist would be able to spot them. The first was all metal and had a longer walking distance to go back and forth. The second was built completely from wood and looked newly constructed.
“Once both guards are turning away from us, we run.” Agent Philip’s voice sang inside Jake’s helmet.
He waited tense. Jake constantly turned his head from left to right, watching each guard closely. The one on the wooden watch tower was faster. He was almost on same pace as the other guard. He came back looked around then turned. Walk. Turn. Walk. Turn. The cycle continued.
“Now,” Agent Philip said.
Jake half ran half walked, trying to stay as silent as possible. The first building, of many, they came to had a metal door on its backside. It looked like any other door, but getting it open could separate success from utter failure.
A small mechanism was attached to the wall beside the door. It appeared to be just a simple breaker box. Opening it proved an entirely different scenario. A high-tech touch screen was concealed behind the lid, asking for a password.
Agent Harry held a small, wireless, device very close to it. Jake noticed a small keyboard had also popped out from the box. The wireless device Harry held searched for any possible password.
Jake looked back at the guards. At any moment, they could spot the group trying to break in.
That was their problem. Trying.
“Hurry up,” he heard Agent Harry mutter.
“It doesn’t usually take this long,” Agent Richard expressed.
The guard on the metal watch tower stopped his normal round. He was staring right at them. Jake watched the man pull a walkie-talkie from his belt. He held it up to his lips.
“Ah, guys? I think we’ve been spotted.”