Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

snippet of the WIP March 18, 2014

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:34 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been posting snippets on Facebook, rather than here on the blog, but I don’t want you to feel left out, so here is a bit of the current Work In Progress, working title While I Was Out:


Our yard was long and narrow with a small stand of trees in one corner, set behind the shed my mom had painted to look like a little cottage.  When my mom was in her gardening phase, she’d made paths and a gazebofacing the picturesque little copse, with a bench hanging from its ceiling.  It was a relaxing place to sit, swinging in the evenings, and it offered a bit of privacy from the house as well.  If I was on house arrest, I needed a bit of escape.

I stepped out onto the back porch and inhaled the scented breeze.  Mr. Hoskin’s lilacs were thick with scent.  It wafted past my nose with a declaration of spring and a promise of summer.

I headed down the steps toward the swing, and then caught sight of a movement in the trees behind the shed.  My heart sped up.

It was probably Mr. Hoskin’s ginger cat.

“Marmalade!  Pss-pss-pss!”  She was a friendly cat, and usually was content to join me on the swing if it meant a thorough patting.  She liked hunting in our copse, though.  If she had caught the scent of a mouse, she’d be less likely to come.  “Come on, Marmalade.”

A stick crunched with a snap.  There was no way that was Marmalade.  It was unlikely to have been anything much smaller than a bear.  The leaves rustled.

“Who’s there?” I asked, fighting to sound [aggressive, brave, confident, assured].  I leaned down to pick up a small brick from the border of the path.  Just in case.  “You’re on private property!  Come out of there!”

A figure stepped out of the trees.

My heart was pounding so fast I could hardly breathe.

He took another step forward and I recognized him.  “Carl?”

He stepped out of the shadows.  It seemed as if it had been ages since I’d last seen him.  At the party he was laughing and confident, like usual.  This evening, he looked drawn and slightly haggard.  His usually immaculate hair was tangled.  There were dark circles under his eyes.

“What are you doing hiding back there?  Is something wrong?”

He just looked at me.

“What?” glancing down at myself.  I didn’t think I looked so terrible.  My bruises were mostly covered, and the ones I could see were fading from their initial vivid purple into a sort of mottled blue-green.

His lips tightened and he looked at the ground.  I watched him scuff a foot on the grass as he avoided my gaze.  After an age, he blinked up at me.  His eyes were brimming with tears.  He muttered, “I’m sorry.”


11 Responses to “snippet of the WIP”

  1. farrahdomid Says:

    It’s great so far! Definitely left me wanting more. Now, I want to know why Carl is sorry. Also, great imagery. I’m a sucker for details.

  2. Benjamin 0 Says:

    That was a roller coaster!! I enjoyed the feelings I got from the moments of bliss, before the fear of a brick came crashing in. Well done.

  3. macjam47 Says:

    I can’t wait to read more.

  4. seanbidd Says:

    Wondering what if you played on the house arrest (whether real, symbolic, or metaphor) aspect some more, like when your character’s heart races, the breakout, the escape, has been stolen, subdued in some way. Another thought, some of the character’s personal pronouns in directing the narration, perhaps there’s potential to work with them in leaner ways throughout the narrative, as readers will be aware the character is narrating in first person.

    Sounds a good tale, plenty to explore, Shawn. I admit, your above post is the only part I’ve read so far. What’s Carl up to in the trees behind the shed? Not sure if the thinking above helps, as here is the end to a long day up a creek looking for survey control. Have a good week, and keep writing, Shawn L. Bird, cheers Sean..

  5. I like the rhythm of your writing and how you set the stage with beauty followed by the hook of mystery.
    Thank you for reading my blog.

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