Saturday, August 7, 2010

The High Drama Blogfest!

Welcome to my entry to DL's High Drama Blogfest and thank you DL for holding such a fest with so many possibilities. I urge all to stop by his cool blog Cruising Altitude and read all the other high drama entries!!!!!

I am still working through some plot issues in my own WIP, so I found this bit of fan fiction drama to fit. I wrote the original draft of this piece a couple years ago. It was for my ‘Chapters Series’, a Jericho Fan Fiction. My first multi-chapter anything. The below scene was originally 3,000 words, so it took a bit of editing to get it down around 1,000. That sort of heavy editing of story material was a learning experience all on it’s own, let me tell you. And DL, I am so glad you raised the number to around a 1,ooo. I like to build drama and that takes a few more words.

Now, when I wrote this bit, the show was still on its way to being canceled outside its first season. I made Jake become Sheriff, I had him talking with his dead granddad and father for closure purposes, I paired him with Heather and not Emily (do not get me started), and I made it a point to allow Jake and Heathers characters to grow. (REMINDER: Disclaimer, the show and characters are not mine...)

Months later, the show got another chance but was canceled in its second season (due to bad writing). They did make Jake the Sheriff and had him talk to his dead granddad, but they paired him with Emily and still had him acting like a half cocked gun.

Can ya tell it bothered me?

SO, my entry...

The MC of this story and this scene is Jake Green. He was once a rebel without a cause, but after the apocalypse, he becomes his town’s hero. He had a lot of baggage and in this scene he finally comes to a point where he wants to tell someone. That someone is Heather Lisinski , the town good girl and his love interest. He is telling the story from a hospital bed after once again saving the day through his own sacrifices.


“Going overseas—it was like nothing I had ever known. If the situation had been better, it would have been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Everything seemed so different. The places I went, the cultures I was submerged in...”

Jake leaned into his hospital bed, leveling his eyes on the emerging moon. It was getting more difficult to look at Heather. He wondered if she would have the same problem with him after his story was told.

“I’d made alot of local contacts in Baghdad. A man named Ahmad was one of our most trusted information peddlers. He was Sunni Tajik, wanted change, wanted peace, or whatever was passing for it. He believed the US could help…”

Jakes eyes narrowed at the moon outside his window.

“I liked him.” Jake finally spoke. “Ahmad had this twinkle in his eyes, like he knew something the rest of us didn’t. Something that made everything else bearable. I think that thing had been his family…” Jake trailed back into silence, thinking of the old widower and his six children; five sons and a girl…

In Jake's silences, Heather watched him. Her lover may as well have been on the moon the way he stared at it now. She felt him distancing himself and all she could do was listen and watch him go.

“We were waiting for our transport back to the airstrip with a group of US officials. Our transport was late—had to change route when fighting intensified on the southern end of the city…”

Thing about waiting, it left time open for situations to go wrong.


“Fuck!” Jake irritably spat, taking one last drag off his cigarette, snuffing it out in the sand.

Rapid gunfire echoed out over the eastern corner of the city, making the newbie beside him jump. Jake shook his head while eyeing the surrounding buildings with the barrel scope on his riffle; only getting a view of vacant eyed windows and an unsettled feeling that they were not alone.

He’d told Ahmad about the buildings having eyes earlier in the week, when the elder man had invited him to his home. They’d just finished lunch with Ahmad’s extended family before sitting to watch the younger children play ball in the back courtyard.

‘Shadows have eyes here, Jake Green.’ He’d said. ‘Make sure you do not blink.’

“You’ll get use to the sound.” Jake told the newbie without looking away from the buildings on the other side of the square.

“Get use to it!” Freddie raised a questioning brow to his unaffected superior. “When’s that happening?”

Jake smirked while he continued his watch, the sound of gunfire could be heard peppering the air several blocks from their position.

Jake was use to the gunfire. It was as common place to him as birdsong back home. But the sound of explosions still made him hold his gun tighter, his head dip down lower and his feet move.

“Green. Ready to roll. Transport in five.” Jake nodded to his communications officer then shouldered his weapon.

“We’re getting out of Dodge, Freddie.” Jake smirked. “Not a moment too soon.”

Jakes eyes drifted back across the street while he stepped towards the square. Something in the shadows caught his eye once more. It was small and moving quickly.

“Shoma?” Jake yelled in broken Farsi at the approaching form.

“Amal!” He heard Ahmad yell at the small figure and Jake realized it was the old mans daughter. “Amal stop!”

The roar of truck engines could now heard coming through the neighborhood. The girl continued her walk out to meet them in the square.

Amal had not come to see her father, but the men he was helping. Her oldest brother believed this action took honor away from their family. She was told, by doing this—she would be saving her family and her beloved father from great ruin. She was a good, obedient girl.

Jake yelled the girls name, now recognizing her, as the first truck cleared the street corner into the square. She had turned to her father and then to Jake; he would remember those frightened brown eyes for the rest of his days.

Jake followed her wide eyed gaze to the center of her small body and felt his insides burst with a numbing cold when he traced the outline of a bombers belt just under the young girl’s robes.

Jake watched her hand trail down to her side and he felt his gun rise as if in slow motion. Without hesitation, Jake made a choice…


“Everyone hit the deck.” Jake’s voice was weak, a lifeless whisper. Heather kept her stunned silence. “None of it—what I had done, hit me till Ahmad ran into the square…”


“She would not have done it!” Ahmad’s voice rose in anguish as he cradled his daughter’s lifeless body in his arms. “I could have talked to her—my Amal!”

The old man’s words trailed out into a howl of misery as he tore the belt off his daughters limp form and threw it into the gutter, not caring if it exploded on impact.

Jake stepped closer, but stopped when he could see the girl’s lifeless face when her father layed her small body down to the bloody sand.

“You killed my girl!” The old man yelled.

“I had no choice…!” Jake screamed his only defense, dropping his weapon onto the street.

In that moment the old man charged down upon Jake, brandishing a dagger, consumed in a fathers rage.

“Nooooo!” Jake screamed as another gun shot rang out through the square.

Ahmad stopped within a few feet of Jake, his eyes wide with surprise. His knife fell from his hand. Before he could take another step, he fell dead in the street.

“He was gonna kill ya, Jake!”

“No choice…” Jake fell to his knees in the sand.

Time would pass after that day and he’d wish that Freddie had been a worse shot....

(End of entry but not of story. BTW, Heather didn't turn away after the story.)

And now the muffins...


  1. The emotional impact of this piece is heart wrenching. The split decisions made in battle haunt a person for life, and your exploration of this topic makes for a fascinating premise.

    Watch for erroneous shifts in POV (the little girl's motivations in the paragraph beginning "Amal had not come to see her father..."; and again when Ahmad "...threw [the belt] into the gutter, not caring if it exploded on impact.")

    Otherwise, an engaging excerpt. Best of luck with the project!

  2. War and its emotional aftermath is always a good source of high drama! I never got into Jericho, having only watched a couple episodes, but I recognized the Jake character. You did an excellent job of building a backstory that would sufficiently haunt Jake. Your descriptions were spot on and you do a great job with action. I agree with Nicole about the POV shifts, but I just finished reading The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo and that author did that frequently as well.

    Thanks for taking part today!!

  3. Vivid storytelling You built tension and drama. I felt so sad.

  4. Hard times call for hard choices.

    Well written! I will follow your blog.

    By the way, I took a bran muffin.

  5. Great descriptions, very high emotions running in this. Thanks for posting I enjoyed the read.

  6. That was great, Nicole! So much tension and drama and emotion. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  7. This was well done. I agree with Nicole's comments - she said it so well! :-)

  8. You always do well. Yes, changes in POV can creep in on you. But you pulled in the reader with your words and kept us waiting to see how it would go wrong -- because you, like all good writers, let us know this was an experience that wounded Jake where the scars do not show.

    I truly enjoyed JERICHO too. Happy to see another fan.

  9. I have never seen Jericho so am completely unfamiliar with the characters...but I know amazing writing when I see it.

    This was absolutely heartbreaking- a story so well told- I have a huge lump in my throat.

    Incredible stuff. I would love to read the rest of the chapter to know how she reacted (would love to read it without the edits!)

    Thank you for posting it.

  10. Wow, this was so powerful and gut wrenching. I was very moved by your selection.


  11. Very vivid and dramatic, well done! It was a long piece, but I enjoyed it right to the end.

  12. I watched Jericho faithfully for the first half-season, but lost track. Someone mailed episodes to my ship much later, but so much had changed I didn't know what the heck was going on anymore.

    Great tension in this piece, perfect for a Drama Blogfest. You also did a great job of preserving the character. It's harder to write a story based on someone else's character without changing them.

  13. Hauting indeed. Whay and emotionally traumatic scene. Well written; and easy to follow despite the jumps in memory. Nicely written.

    You bad people and your muffins! I stopped by DL's blog this morning on my way to work and thought about muffins all day. Here it is late in the evening and I'm sure now I dream of muffins all night.


    Maybe I just need to stare at the fish a while to get over it.


  14. Nicole,

    This is a fantastic piece of writing. It has all the telltales of drama, with emotional back-and-forths, awesome tension, and great pacing. I'm not familiar with Jericho either, but this makes me wonder what kind of it's about.

    Thanks for sharing! I also took your badge and put it on my blog. Thanks.

  15. It was refreshing to read about a real-life-type drama. I really enjoyed the tension and the drama. You used dialogue very well..:)

  16. Forgot to say, thanks for the muffin!

  17. Nicole: Thank you for reading Nicole! POV is something I am working on these days. The creative side pushes to see more inside many's heads and the other side just wants to write well. I will find my happy medium. And thank you for the luck. I'll take it!

    DL: Thank you for this fest DL and thank you for reading and the kind words. The POV is presently my ongoing battle. We shall see where the bodies drop on that one. ;-)

    Elaine: Then I did my job. THank you for reading and reviewing! ;-)

    Charles: And I shall follow yours Charles. Thank you for reading and reviewing!!! And thats what those muffins are there for. ;-D

    Summer: And I am happy you did. Thank you for stopping by!!!!! ;-)

    Susan: I was happy to and thank you for stopping by to read and review. Have a great week .

    Shannon: That she did. I am happy to have ya by!!!! Thank you for reading.

    Roland: I some how knew you would be a fan of the show. Just did. I liked the first half of the first year and then I wanted to do the writing so I did. 22 chapters of my take on the relationships in the story.

    And your kind words are making me blush again. And POV is noted.

    February: The rest can be found under Ann Pendragon,, Chapters Series. Chapter 19 Things I've Done (chap 21 on the corner counter) I wrote it after 10 years of little to no writing in my life. It's rough but folks liked it.

    And thank you so much for your kind words! Not a problem.

    Portia: Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! I am glad it moved you.

    Damyanti: Would you believe it is under the recomended 1,000! Thank you for taking the time to read. And I am happy you enjoyed.

    Angela: It was after the first half of the first season I started to get annoyed at the writers choices. I loved the possibilities for the characters and hated how the writers were working them. So I made up my own Jericho starting after the 1st season and took the story my own way. As for characters, I am known for getting into others characters well (and people--mental health worker) so thats never been a tough one for me. Now grammar...

    Thank you for reading and reviewing!

    Donna: Thank you Donna! Music to my ears. And come on, it's MUFFINS!!!!!! Just one?!!? Think of eating one of the fish and you may stop thinking of muffins. *snort*

    Justin: Thanks for stopping by and bringing the kind words. I am happy to hear them. And I am glad you nabbed the badge, now pass it on!

    L'Aussie: Well I am happy you enjoyed it and I understand. And dialogue and character behavior is kinda my thing. Thank you so much and enjoy that muffin!!!!!

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Nice to see a bit of fan fiction in the blogfest entries! Was a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    Scribbler to Scribe



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