Well, Sunday’s rolled around again, and I suppose that means it’s time for me to post again, since I’m trying to keep this weekly. Our internet was less-than-preferable this week so I spent a lot of time writing instead.[bunny-trail] and sewing, but since the sewing project is kind of a secret until I gradua— Oops! Anyways, I can’t tell you about the sewing project, thus I’m posting about the writing. [/bunny-trail] Anyways, I figured it would be appropriate to share a short-ish (I’m not sure which definition of short that would be) excerpt from one of my works in progress, The Rebel. Hopefully I managed to pick one that doesn’t have any major spoilers in it, but we’ll see if that happened, huh?
An Excerpt from The Rebel
A scream. Mine, I think it was. Darkness.
Consciousness burst back on me in the whirl of a splitting headache that had evidently banished all memory from my brain – there not being room inside it for both, no doubt. I groaned, reaching up to ease my throbbing temples. Blood, dried on my face. I drew my hand away from it in concern. Well, that would explain the headache, anyway.
I groaned and rubbed my forehead, trying to see through the darkness. It was so black you could almost feel it. I shivered, and drew my screaming body off the cold metal floor. My attempt to stand up failed miserably, however, and there were no walls nearby with which to support myself. I lay back down and eased my head onto the floor, hoping the cold metal would somehow dull the pain. My head ached so that I couldn’t even think clear enough to wonder what kind of injury I had. I just wanted the throbbing to stop…
A low groan aroused my groggy brain before it could settle back into the cobwebs, and I hauled myself into a half-sitting position and listened intently.
“Hello?” My voice echoed hollowly, sending chills down my flaming spine. Evidently more than just my head was in an unhappy condition.
“A…Allyson?” a voice wavered.
I kept my voice low so it wouldn’t echo again. “Who’s there?”
“My head…I hope. Could you come make sure it’s still there?”
Kent. Of all people, was I stuck here…with Kent? Good grief. God may have a sense of humor, but I was not in any mood to appreciate it at that moment. Still, I had to do something. Kent could be hurt too.
“Where are you?” I felt blindly along the floor, and stubbed my fingers on a bolt-head sticking out of the metal, “Ouch!”
Great. Now my finger is on fire to go with my back and head.
“What a blow that must have been…” Kent muttered, and rambled on incoherently for a minute or two. I inched across the floor towards the sound.
“Keep talking, Kent. I’m coming.” I encouraged him. It felt so strange; after so many years of scorning him, now it was I trying to be kind to him, rather than the other way around.
“You have one of those ice things on your trans-com? I could really use it right now…” Kent trailed off, seemingly thinking. “I can’t remember the name of it.”
I knew what he was talking about. You could download various apps on the trans-com for emergencies, like one that made the trans-com become very cold. A portable coolant. Very handy if you actually have a trans-com built to work with the app. I didn’t. Instinctively, I reached for my trans-com. It was gone.
“It’s…gone!” I exclaimed, and winced as the echoes started up again, “I haven’t got my trans-com, Kent. Check your wrist…is yours…there?”
I heard a rustling a few yards of towards my left, and Kent muttered groggily. I inched in the direction. Just keep making noise, Kent. I’m almost there…
“Here it is…I think…No, that can’t be it…my trans-com is never on my wrist.” He muttered. I reached his side just as he tried to sit up, and caught him just in time. The jolt sent my head spinning, and I smothered a groan of my own.
“Don’t try that just now.” I cautioned, “How is your head?”
“More like where…check and see if it’s still there.” Kent retorted, but his voice was still very weak. I gently felt his head. He had a large knot behind his right ear, and when I withdrew my hand it was covered in blood. Fresh blood. Instinctively, I knew there was something wrong…wronger than was wrong with my own head. He needed medical attention.
“Kent?” I spoke slowly to make sure he would understand me, “Do you have your trans-com with you?”
“Who knows…” Kent’s hand crept towards his pocket.
“Where is it?” I prodded urgently. If only he had it…surely Kent would have something useful on his trans-com. Anything, anything to help him… Please, God…
“In my boot I think…last I remem… yeah, the boot.”
I didn’t bother to ask which boot. I had both of his boots off in an instant, and it wasn’t long before I found his trans-com strapped inside his right boot. Thank you, Lord!
“I found it.” I told him, more for my own benefit than his. Kent said nothing, his mind having drifted again, I guess. I ran my hand over the tiny gadget. Sure enough, it had the polar-freez lining on the back. Beautiful. Now if only I could figure out how to activate it. I wouldn’t mind a little cold on my head myself. No. I shook the thought from my head. I couldn’t focus on myself. Focus on Kent. He needs it more than you do!
Breathing slowly, I felt for the power button. The trans-com beeped in protest, and the screen flickered before going dark again. I bit my lip. It couldn’t be broken! We needed it. Kent needed it. I pressed the button again, more insistently this time. The trans-com didn’t respond for several seconds, and then grudgingly showed a faint light. Come on, just turn on! It beeped again, and went black. Father, please… I pressed the power button, holding it down for a full ten seconds, a wordless prayer on my lips. Hardly daring to hope, I released the button, and watched as the dark was suddenly lit once more by the screen. This time it went through its normal routine and switched to operation mode.
I breathed a silent prayer of thanks, and searched through the databases. Surely Kent of all people wouldn’t neglect to install the freezpak on a polar-freez-enabled trans-com! Where… The trans-com beeped rudely, and a ‘low battery’ icon crowed the screen for a second. Oh no. I had to be fast, or it wouldn’t do any good at all. Frantic, I scrolled through index after index. And then there it was. Gratitude flowed through me, and I hastily opened the program and held the polar-freez to the side of Kent’s head, hoping against hope that it would clear his mind. I would need his brains if we were to get out of here…wherever here was.
“Thank you, Allyson.” Kent’s face relaxed into a half-smile in the glow of the trans-com. In the dim light, I could see that his lip was cracked and bleeding, and his right eye was almost swollen shut. I winced at the sight, a shiver running through me. Vaguely I wondered if I looked much better. Kent must have head my thoughts because his gaze fixed on me.
“You don’t look that bad. Purple cheeks is fashionable, you know.” He gave a half-cough, half-laugh, as though he were unused to laughter. I know I was. Suddenly my heart ached. How I wanted to have nothing to worry about, and just laugh and be free to be happy! My free hand crept to my sore cheek as a silent tear slid down it. It sure felt like my cheek was bruised. Kent watched me silently. I didn’t try to meet his gaze, focusing on the freezing power pulsing through the trans-com. My hand was getting cold.
Kent read my thoughts again. “You can turn it off now, before my whole head goes numb.” I didn’t even bother to be creeped out by his ability to read me, instead switching off the trans-com. We couldn’t afford use up its battery any more than we absolutely had to. I blinked, an image of the trans-com’s screen burned in the back of my eyes. Unconsciously I took my hand away from Kent and sat in silence.
“I think I can get up now.” Kent announced, after a moment, breaking the overpowering silence. I jumped.
“How’s your head?”
“It’s still there.” Apparently that was all he needed, too. Before I could stop him, he was on his feet, an accomplishment I hadn’t even managed thus far. He reached down and grasped my hand, pulling me up beside him. The unexpected act muddled me so much that I blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
“Do you want your boots back?”