Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shakespeare and THE BLOGFEST OF DEATH!

"Alas! poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning?"

In Act V of Shakespeare's Hamlet, the titled character finds the unearthed skull of a old friend and wistfully reminiscences about the lighter, happier times spent with his dead but not forgotten friend. I personally took from the scene, that Hamlet once found good lessons to be learned from this old friend--the jest and light heartedness he attempts throughout the story. Knowing this person had a positive impact on him. And now, holding his friends skull in his hand, even good memories have a haunting effect on him.

I feel that my MC Wyatt (Ghost Mountain) is going through a similar painful remembrance of his not long dead Uncle. In his case he misses him and hasn't dealt with the loss, so much so even good memories--and the positive life lessons this kind and funny man gave him--now hurt Wyatt to even think on. Before the story begins, he has already chosen to block out the things that hurt and that means the good stuff too.

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will."

What tragedies (death) does is change us--alters relationships and life paths. I hope to have my hero believe more in personal choice than in divinity or fate. Unlike our poor Hamlett.

Below is my entry for The Blogfest of Death at Tessa's Blurb. It's a flashback to the night Wyatt's Uncle was killed. This flashback occurs when Wyatt visits the property for the first time in over a year since that night. He stops by the property after leaving a domestic dispute call that's left him shaken and confused. This way too real remembrance of that night will not help my MC's mental state, but I hope it will illustrate how memories are becoming too real to those having them in Mercy Corners.

So read up and please stop by Tessa's Blurb linked above and read all the rest of the wonderful entries being born into the blogisphere this weekend!

Wyatt stepped further into the overgrown clearing on autopilot, wide eyed but seeing nothing but the past.

The sunny fall afternoon faded quickly to night, the grass under his feet sunk away to charcoaled wood and rubble. The heat of flames joined the slick of sweat on his skin. And the buzz and chatter from his portable, along with the building breeze, grew into the paralyzing scream of a man.


The newly appointed Sheriff of Mercy Corners dodged the town’s two fire trucks and jumped over hose, slamming into the shoulders of Volunteer Fireman and neighbors alike to get to his Uncle Will.

“Damn it…WILLIS!” Wyatt jumped to the first fiery step of the salt box house he and his Uncle shared and was caught in a flying tackle that pulled him backwards and to the ground before he could reach the second. “No…!”

“Wyatt we tried. We tried…” Tim Clark, friend and Fire Chief, still held onto Wyatt’s middle, while two other sets of broad hand came down on his arms and shoulders to pull him further away from the flames. “It’s too late, Wyatt.”

Wyatt slowed his struggle long enough to look into the smudged and desperate face of his childhood friend. He’d never seen a lie in his friend’s eyes. He saw none now.


His Uncle’s dying shrieks set off another fight to hold Wyatt to the ground and away from a heroic but certain death. Mere moments after, the second floor of the old farm house fell into the first, sending out a spray of sparks and flame.

Wyatt sank slowly from his friends grip to the ground. No more sounds but the pop and crack of fire could be heard from Willis Paxton’s childhood home.

He had stayed on his knees that night and his friends let him, with no attempt at comfort. There was none to be had and even if they had tried, he wouldn’t have felt it or anything else for that matter.

The young Sheriff was on his knees now, the wisps of stray weeds and wildflowers bent and danced on a sunny fall afternoon breeze around him. The only burn Wyatt felt now was in his eyes and throat and the sun beating down his back while he slumped beside the year old rubble of his family’s life.


  1. Your words awakened the memories of a similar loss for me in real life. You have a talent for drawing the reader directly into the narrative and the psyche of your MC. A great job, Roland

  2. I am pleased the bit made you feel, but not what you felt. If your memories was anything like this moment I am sorry. And thank you for your generouse praise. Bringing the reader in is my goal.

  3. A very sad and gut-ripping scene. How awful to hear the person you love dying and being unable to do anything about it.

  4. Horrible, excruciating, tragic, and very well done. Wow...

  5. Wow you nailed this one. Very tragic and gut-wrenching. I loved it, it was so strong, just as it should have been. I'm with maybe genius, how awful to hear that someone you love is dying and you can't doa thing about it.

    Tess rocks at the blogfest! I need to stop by and check hers out!

  6. Excellent framing of some very primal emotions. I locked right in and felt his pain. Great job!

  7. Beautifully written and very heartbreaking. Wonderful job of putting the reader inside his mind and feeling his emotions with him. :D

  8. Excellent scene! Death is so hard to write, and you've handled it so well, really showing us his emotions.

  9. Neatly concise and powerful.

  10. maybe genius: Thank you for reading and I am glad it conveyed those emotions as sad as they are.

    The Words Crafter: Well thank you my dear! ;-D

    Jen: Wyatt feeling that “I couldn’t do a damn thing” feeling is going to be a theme for this story. At least at first. And thank you so much for your comments. I am happy you like. And Tess’s blogfest does rock. Her entry was a lot of fun.

    DL: I am so happy it grabbed you. Thank you!

    Suzie: It feels good to know you guys are feeling my MC. Thank you for commenting! ;-D

    Susan Fields: I have done death after the fact, but not the actual killing moment. It was something I needed to write for my WIP. This blogfest came at the right time. And thank you so much for the wonderful comments!

    Stu: Nice to meet you Stu. Your comment was also neatly concise and powerful. Like the critic comment on the back of a published novel….I wish. Thanx!

  11. :( sad

    very well written ... although I first read it without reading your intro ... and then I read your intro ... and then read your entry again ... and I was really moved by it. It helped to have it in context. Thanks for posting :)

  12. Sad and moving. Great writing Nicole.

  13. Hi, Nicole. I'm trying a blog experiment. I'll either succeed or go down in flames. You can't learn to fly unless you leap off the cliff.

    "To all of life there is a shadow. The shadow of sadness, doubt, despair. Still it is but an echo of a heart moving forward."

  14. This was well done. I'm generally not a fan of the flashback, but you pulled it off well. Great job!

    Scribbler to Scribe

  15. That was really touching and sad. And action-packed at the same time. A great job you did there, my dear, thank you for sharing it with us!


    Tessa.xx ; )

  16. Wonderful snippet. Very emotional. Well done!

  17. clutterbug: I am glad you too a extra look. Next time I will put less before a blogfest entry. Just this fest fell on my Sunday Sermon day and I could not resist. And thank you for stopping by and following!

    RaShelle:Thank you so much RaShelle!!!!

    Roland D. Yeomans: And I will be over to read said experiment. Thank you for the heads up *wink wink*. Geronimo!!!!!!!

    Mesmerix: Thank you! Anytime someone says "I'm not a fan of, but..." it's a big score in my book. I have a liking towards a well placed flashback. It add the layers I like to a story. And thank you for visiting me. I was happy to visit you.

    Tessa Conte: I love a multi-use scene.;-D And thank you so much for holding this blogfest. I really did love showing its cool banner on my blog and FB.

    MWAHAHAHAHA!! right back at ya!!!!!!!!

    Karyn Good: It's a keeper that will need editing, but I am happy with it. Thank you for stopping by.

  18. Oh how awful! (the scene, not the writing!) i got chills reading this. And you did the flashback nicely. Thanks for sharing! An excellent entry for the blogfest!

  19. *snort* ;-D. I think flashbacks are going to be important in this WIP. Thank yous so myuch for reading and reviewing!!!!

  20. This was a very powerful scene. That last line will haunt me, I think.

  21. Great entry! Nice and tight--lots of emotion and tragedy...well done!!! :D



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