Too Busy!

November 7, 2007

Yesterday, I was way too busy with other things to get the writing done that I wanted. The good news is that now I’m in a really exciting part of the story and the next few scenes are pretty clear in my head. I hope the concept of an urban fantasy thriller works for others.

In the final analysis, however… One must always write to please the author. Anything else is disingenuous. Here’s an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo work in progress. Remember, this is unedited!

“Guardian Dawn” – excerpt 

They were both really surprised when the bird didn’t just fly away, but was pausing and egging them on… leading them down to the waterfront park and to the island path, just upstream from the bridge. There, it flew to the top of a tree and sat, as if waiting.

The reporter and the camera man slowly turned a full circle, looking for anything unusual.

“I suppose you’re going to tell me that old lady, what’s her name? Oh yeah, Dottie… That Dottie is really very reliable and you don’t know why she has us on this wild goose chase… Or should I say ‘wild raven chase’ when we can be sitting back in the studio, watching the best video feeds from the game…?”

“Well, she has given me more than a dozen good tips in the past and never asked for more than a fast food meal. If she’s willing to bet me such high stakes today, I’m going to have to pay attention. At least for an hour or so. She hears a lot of stuff on the street.” The reporter looked around and then pointed towards the bridge. “As long as we’re here… Go ahead and lets get some stock shots of the island, bridge and average traffic. We can always use it later.”

“No problem. You’re the boss.” He expertly flipped the camera on his shoulder, adjusted the viewfinder and started to pan slowly, starting at the Pentagon and back towards the bridge.

“Hey! Will you look at that idiot with all those tires overloading the truck? Didn’t you do a story on how unsafe that was awhile…”

The truck suddenly slammed on its brakes and skidded to a stop, sideways, blocking both lanes and causing at least three fender benders!

“Wow! And I got that on tape.” The camera man swatted the woman on the shoulder with the back of his hand. “This is your chance for a great follow up story. You’re on!”

She made sure her microphone was live, stepped in front of the camera and started to speak. “As you can see, overloading commercial vehicles is a growing problem…”

In the viewfinder, he could see over her shoulder, the driver of the truck had jumped out, put on a helmet and was climbing on the back of a motorcycle. Realizing something else was going down, he stepped to one side and zoomed in on the escaping bike.

“What are you doing? Come back to me and get the truck in the frame behind me, okay?”

He zoomed back to a wide shot that included both the reporter and the truck and several cars with smoking radiators.

“Yes, folks… Overloading commercial vehicles is a major traffic hazard…”

There was a bright flash of light and a deafening explosion as the bed of the truck erupted! Burning tires were scattered in all directions and at least two people were thrown off the bridge by the force of the explosion. The truck and the two cars directly behind it were burning fiercely as flaming shreds of rubber and other debris were carried by the wind, to the other lanes of traffic. Squealing tires and the sickening sounds of crumpling sheet metal could be heard for the next few seconds.

The crackling of the flames was further accented by agonized screams as people were trapped in the first few cars. One woman, her hair on fire, was running and screaming and dove over the side of the bridge, to the chill waters below.

Ever the professional, the camera man zoomed back to get the whole scope of the destruction and then zoomed back in, to focus on as many of the individual scenes as he could find.

The reporter just stood there, ashen-faced, and watched the smoldering body of the woman, unmoving, floating face down and drifting with the incoming tide, towards the tidal basin. She dropped the microphone, lurched to the other side of the path and was violently ill.

When she looked up, she saw the raven squawk once and then fly incredibly fast, towards the east. “How did he know?” She asked herself.

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