Friday, April 27, 2012

Write on Edge Prompt: Core

This week's prompt:

For this week, I gave you the word “core” and 450 words to explore any meaning of the word in a work of creative non-fiction/memoir or fiction.

When I read this week's prompt, I knew immediately the core I wanted to get to was one inside of us all.  Where is that line we all have that we would never let anyone cross?  Where is that heart in a person that will not break or give up ever?  It took a while for this scene to come together in my mind enough to write it.  I have to admit, I am somewhat fascinated by my female character here.  Let me know what you think of her!

            She couldn’t stop shaking.  God only knew how long she’d been chained up there.  She had no doubt it’d been way too long.  Was anyone even looking for her anymore?  She’d been blindfolded and moved several times.
            The heavy clanking of the ancient lock roused her enough to look up.  She remembered when that sound made her heart race and body tremble for an entirely different reason.  The harsh light coming through the door cut into her eyes like shards of glass.
            “So.  Have you changed your mind?” his voice a grating avalanche to her sensory deprived ears.
            She didn’t respond.  She knew he’d take her lack of response as capitulation from her but she couldn’t muster the energy to care anymore.  The pain and hunger gnawing on her like mice in a pantry needed to end.  There was nothing in her cell, not even clothes to cover her emaciated frame.
            Not like anyone’s looking at me.  There are enough black and blue shades covering me to be an art class example.
            “Good to see you’re not so bull-headed anymore.  I told Marcus you’d break eventually.”
            He yanked her to her feet and threw an old coverall at her.  Tears splashed on the filthy floor as it scrapped over her battered body.  Chains back on, he towed her to the cockpit.  He shoved her into the second seat and took his place at the controls.
            “What are those coordinates?”
            “Omega sector.  454 mark 295,” she whispered.
            His face lit up as he punched them in with relish, “Don’t worry, sweetheart.  I’m gonna take extra special care of you and that brat of yours.  Just you wait and see.”
            Setting the autopilot, he jerked her out of the chair back toward her prison.  His words echoed in her mind.  When he stopped to unlock that door, she struck.
Kicking his right knee out, she wrapped the chains around his neck and her legs around his waist, pulling with a strength she didn’t know she had.  He struggled to stand, his leg giving out on him, sending him reeling.  He backed into the wall over and over trying to smash her into unconsciousness.  Somehow, she held on.
An eternity later, he collapsed.  She still didn’t let go.  A small crimson stream dripped out of his nose and mouth onto the pristine metal floor distracting her with the odd shapes it made as it pooled beneath them.
Realizing he hadn’t moved in a long while, she inched the chains from around his neck and untangled her legs.  Rising to her feet, she studied him a moment longer.
“No one threatens my son,” she spit on him as she turned to the cockpit, “Ever.”


  1. Wow, that's a great take on this prompt. My only concrit is that early on you more or less implied that she gave up. So the attack on her captor means one of two things: either she was hiding her intentions or the threat to the child changed her mind. From the last line it appears the latter, but we don't see it happen in her thought process--even a hint, her body tensing in response to his words would help make that less jarring, make it a smoother transition. Does that make sense?

    1. Yeah. I was wondering about that. The 450 word count gave me a few fits with this one. I'll have to look at that again to see if I can pull out her shifting mindset more.

  2. You pulled me in from the very beginning. Also, I love the strength your character has.

  3. Go Mama Bear! I really liked it but agree with Ms Basi. You did a great job at describing a very broken human being and while I agree that there is some element of the soul you can never break, maybe shifting some words from that description into a build up of energy at the end would work :)

  4. Very interesting, felt like a web being woven around me as I read.

  5. Excellent! I like the fierce protectiveness--you did a great job expressing that!

  6. I was most struck by the visual imagery of the blood pooling. And the pain on her ravaged body.

  7. Take that, bad guy!

    Awesome work.

  8. I got a little confused about the where of it all initially, but a second read helped. I love the Mama Bear. You don't threaten the child.

  9. Strong female characters always make me happy.This guy completely underestimated his prisoner and what someone will do to protect their loved ones. Great job! It is difficult to tell a scene like this with so few word, but you executed it beautifully.

  10. "She had no doubt it’d been way too long." I'd remove this line. This implies that at some point, the chains became an issue for her, but not at the beginning. I would think anyone in chains would believe that a mere second is way too long. It's the sort of comment one might make about another's drinking habit.

    This is my fave line: "The harsh light coming through the door cut into her eyes like shards of glass."

    I love the concept and I can see there's a danger here that's probably threatening more than just the lives of her and her son. So, let's give her a name and see where this goes!

    1. Good point about that line. I'll look at it again. I agree with wanting to explore this further. I'm starting to get the feeling she may be my female protag for a longer project kicking around the back of my mind.

    2. Yes! It's very vivid and I love how she fights back. You don't mess with Mama!