Friday, May 18, 2012


Here's this week's Write On Edge prompt:

For this week’s prompt, you were asked to write a story or memoir which relates to choices and/or consequences. Because of the 400 word limit, you may choose to focus just on the choice, or just on the consequence, if you like.

Once again, this brought me back to the same character, Shawn, and some of his back story.  I figure I'd better write his story pretty soon.  If anyone is interested other pieces to his back story are here and here and here.

Any feedback on Shawn's character would be great.  I'm not sure if any of these pieces will actually make it into the story but they do help define how he ends up the person you meet in his story.

Shawn looked up from studying the burn scars on his hands.  Her eyes, glistening with unshed tears, reflected the wild pounding of his heart.  She was screwed, and they knew it.  The only question left was whether or not they could do anything about it.

“I’m so sorry,” her voice broke.

“Rachel.  Enough.  I get it.  We need to figure out what the hell to do.  Command is gonna get wind of this.  You’ll be lucky to get the brig and not the firing squad.”

Any last vestige of color drained from Rachel’s already ghostly face, “You think they’ll shoot me?”

“They could consider this treason, Rachel.  What do you think?”

Shawn paced the length of the cockpit.  He knew they were two of the best drop pilots Command had which might buy her a slim chance.  Running with her wasn’t an option.  They’d send Black Ops specialists after them.  He’d never heard of anyone ever surviving a hunt order once it was issued.  He just couldn’t find another option.

“Can’t we explain to them what happened?  That it was a mistake and won’t happen again?” her quavering voice intruded.

“Command don’t work that way and you know it.  They’ll want someone’s ass.  This is too big to overlook.”

“I can’t face a court martial,” Rachel whispered into the leaden silence.

Each word pierced him like thorns.  Not only would Rachel’s screw up cause her a world of hurt, their relationship would come out in the process.  That would end up crucifying them both.  Fraternization was forbidden.  If all Command did was kick them out, which they would be insanely lucky to get off that easy, he had other options.  She had nothing, and he didn’t have the option to help her on the outside.

It was that last thought that forced his decision.  It wasn’t smart and he knew it, but it was the only option he could live with.

“Leave the cockpit.”

His terse words pummeled her, “What?  Why?  What are you doing?”

“I’m solving the problem.  Now go.”

“Shawn.  Are you sure about this?”

“It’s the only way to keep the fallout from spreading further than it needs to.”

She looked back as the hatch slid closed, “Thank you.”

“Let’s hope they don’t decide to shoot me,” he whispered to the emptiness.  He didn’t miss that all she showed was relief at his words as she left.


  1. Ouch, all she was was relieved? That's cold! (As you can see, I'm all involved with these characters now - so well done you!)

    1. Yeah - she is in a way but there's more than that to her. Not sure how much of her will end up coming out in the longer piece I'm contemplating, but she is actually a vital part of what happens later to him. If you're interested, Shawn is actually introduced in the NaNoWriMo piece I did last year. You can find it on It's called Tattoos.

  2. Ah ah ah I want more! What happened before this? How does he fix it? Nice hook job on me!

    1. I acutally don't know for sure what happened before this. I just know that the choice he makes here has some rather dramatic consequences for him later. As for how he fixes it, that is a little clearer in my head - but can't come out yet. His story is the one I'm contemplating for Camp NaNoWriMo.

  3. Oh, the last line is killer! I feel like that's such a punch after he makes the choice to save her instead of letting her take the blame for what she did.

  4. Sounds like a scary world they live in. Don't think I'd want to live there.

  5. I like this. You did a great job with the prompt, and you fleshed out the characters very nicely. I already don't like this Rachel, and I want to read more about Shawn.

    Nicely done!

  6. To say Rachel is ungrateful, would be an understatement. I enjoyed this scene very much - lots of choice and uncertain consequence.

    One concrit? This line: "If all Command did was kick them out, which they would be insanely lucky to get off that easy, he had other options."

    I think it is kind of jumbled. Maybe this would work? "As insane as it may seem, Command could choose to simply kick them out. If that happened, he would have more options."

    I don't know. I know that doesn't have the same voice as yours. No matter, I still loved this piece!

  7. This is the first time I've met Shawn and Rachel. This short piece told me so much about them. You did a wonderful job showing how tender and caring he is, and her not so much! I enjoyed it.

  8. Sacrificial lamb to the slaughter...wouldn't it be a kicker if Rachel was interrogated and imprisoned anyway? The possibilities behind this story are delicious.

    Concrit: If you keep this passage, I'd remove the following: The only question left was whether or not they could do anything about it.

    Shawn implies this in his conversation 2 paragraphs later and I think the sentence just before it carries a bit more impact.

    You've got an emotionally charged scene that appears to be a pivotal point in the story. I think with a bit of fleshing out, this would supply a very suspenseful chapter.

    Well done!

  9. Very nice... I enjoyed this - definitely a big decision to make!

    I haven't read much else from this story - so please take my thoughts on Sean with a grain of salt! What I see in him is a practical thinker - in love, but not wiling to let that love overshadow all else. Until he does!

    But of course, your last line is the killer: "He didn’t miss that all she showed was relief at his words as she left."

    Genius! Can't wait to see how this shakes out!

  10. Wow, that ending made me feel bad for Shawn. Very nice.

  11. AH! I wanna know what happens next! I feel for Shawn-what a tough choice

  12. I am new to this story. Very interesting! I feel badly for Shawn and I'm not liking Rachel - but I wonder what her back story is, too...