One thing I’ve been struggling with in this story is that Thomas isn’t following his profile. He’s supposed to be a talented wizard, very smart and a bit arrogant. He’s not coming across that way at all. I’ll keep writing and see how he develops. I might need to rewrite his character to make it stronger so that he makes sense within the story, or I might need to adjust his profile to match his personality.
Now that I have basic character profiles and a basic plot, my main focus is to get the story written. The profiles and plot will be adjusted as I write and things change, but they provide me with a starting point.
I’ve been getting a bit behind with the editing so the Free Stories section of the website isn’t up-to-date. I’ll get to it as soon as I can.
Let’s continue the story.
Andrew’s father and brothers were experts at getting out of places they weren’t supposed to be able to. The only place his father couldn’t escape from was the jail and that was because the magic that locked it was so ancient, it predated even his family. Andrew was reluctant to attach the word Fae to his family because that would bring all sorts of trouble down on them, but there was nothing else that would allow them the power they had. Some of them. Andrew had never shown any magical ability whatsoever. All he could do was bake.
“That might be it,” he murmured, his mind racing. There had to be a way out of there. His father’s blood ran in his veins; there had to be something of it that Andrew could use. Perhaps he could only get it to manifest through his baking. He got up and walked over to the Aga.
“What might be it?” asked Thomas as he turned in his seat to keep Andrew in view.
“Where did this come from?” Andrew asked.
“It’s a stove. It came with the house.” Thomas stood and joined Andrew in staring at the black cooktop. “What might be it? Might be what?” He jammed his fists on his hips and turned to glare at Andrew.
The Aga was hot, the radiant heat warming the entire house. Andrew had moved the bacon pan off the boiling plate when he’d made the sandwiches but hadn’t lowered the lid to preserve the heat. He did that now, then opened each of the ovens, bending to put his face close to check the heat in them. “Perfect,” he murmured.
Thomas grabbed Andrew’s shoulder so he had to look at him. “I want answers, and I want them now. You appeared in my house bearing one of my spells, take over my kitchen and tell me nothing.” Thomas shook Andrew a little. “You ate my bacon! Now tell me what you are talking about.”
“The gremlins visit regularly, don’t they?” Thomas nodded so Andrew continued. “gremlins love gingerbread.” Andrew grinned. “They love gingerbread so much that they’ll keep eating it until they fall over in a gingerbread coma.”
“Everyone knows that. That’s how Mistress xx coerced them into working for her. She gives them gingerbread rations.”
Andrew clapped his hands together. “That means they’re used to getting gingerbread regularly, but not as much as they want.” He eyed the Aga again with glee. “Do you know what else they say about gingerbread and gremlins?”
Thomas crossed his arms over his chest and scowled. “My studies didn’t include anything but the basics on gremlin sociology.”
Andrew twirled once then settled. Now wasn’t the time to be excited about baking and working out quantities and times. He turned back to Thomas, knowing his grin would look slightly manic. “If a gremlin eats too much gingerbread they literally go into a gingerbread coma. While they’re in the coma, their magic is weakened. I don’t know if it would be weak enough for us to escape, but we’d certainly be able to contain them and make them release us.”
Wild hope bloomed on Thomas’s face.
The story has progressed to the stage where I need to make some decisions about the plot. So far I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants, making it up as I go along, with only a brief premise to guide me. That’s my comfort zone with writing. Now, though, something has happened and there has to be a reaction to that. Working out how each person will react is only partly based on their personality. Whatever the reaction is, by either character, it has to move the story forward. That means I have to know a bit about the story.
My first decision will have to be about the length of the story because that will influence the complexity of the plot. Is it going to be a short story (up to 15000 words)? Will it be a novella (15000 – 30000 words)? Or am I going for a full-length novel.
The last few pieces I’ve written have been full-length novels. They’re fulfilling but time consuming, and a lot of hard work. I’ve written a couple of short stories in there as well. Some of the short stories have begun as a character exploration for the novels, some have been custom-written for a specific market. The short stories are quick and either easy or super challenging. Sometimes they fall into place and I’m done in a few days. Other times, particularly when I’ve spent a lot of time writing ‘long’, I need to heavily edit the story, pare it back to the basics.
A novella falls somewhere in between those two. You can explore the complexities of the plot and the characters a lot more than in a short, but you don’t need multiple plot lines to keep things moving.
Deciding on the length of the story comes out of the first few scenes I’ve written. With The Gingerbread House, I’m at 2000 words and have just introduced the two characters. At this stage, it could be any length. I made the arbitrary decision that this story isn’t going to be a novel. It’s not going to take me six months to write and edit. This decision was partly made because I don’t have the time right now to devote to a long work, and partly because, with the amount of effort required for a novel, I want the possibility of being paid for it when I’m finished. That’s not going to be the case with this story because I’m posting it free every week.
That leaves the choice between short story and novella. I’m going to aim for a short story, with the option of a novella. I think it’s possible to complete a basic plot within the 15000 word limit, but I want the option to expand it if the plot becomes more complex than I think it will.
Length influences plot.
The plot is influenced by the length of the story. Generally, the shorter the work, the less complex the plot. In a short story, there’s room for only one plot arc, and one character arc for each character.
Plot, in very basic terms can be encapsulated by the question: what happens next? I’ve discussed a number of plotting tools that can be used when writing in previous blog entries so I won’t go into them again here. I’ll make a very basic list of what will happen with Andrew and Thomas.
As with characters, my plots evolve as the story is written and I learn more about the characters and the situation. With a longer work, the differences between plan and fruition are marked. With this story, that probably won’t be the case.
Now to continue The Gingerbread House.
Andrew glanced around the room. “Is Mistress Osborne that crazy witch that lives beyond the Troll Bridge?” Thomas nodded. “Why are you here instead of there, studying?”
Thomas’s shoulders slumped, then straightened again. “I’m more powerful than she is.”
“So, you’re here by choice? But can’t get out?” Andrew looked around again. “Why would you do that?”
“I’m not here by choice! She’s trapped me here because she thinks I’m going to drain her magic and take over her business.” Thomas’s fingers curled into frustrated fists.
“I didn’t think you could take someone’s magic without their permission.”
“So her thinking you’ll take her magic is what—paranoia? And if you’re stronger than she is, how can she keep you trapped here?”
Thomas’s shoulders slumped. “She didn’t cast the spells. Her pet gremlins did.”
“Are gremlins more powerful than wizards? I thought they were cute little things that looked like children even though they’re ancient.”
“They’re not more powerful; they have different magic that wizards can’t control.” Thomas spoke through gritted teeth. “Yes, gremlins look like children at a cursory glance.” He jammed his hands on his hips. “Now tell me who the hell you are that you could circumvent all the spells surrounding this place and waltz in here?”
Andrew grinned and settled more comfortably on his seat. “I’m Andrew,” he repeated. “I’m a baker.” His grin widened at the expression on Thomas’s face. Winding Thomas up was almost as easy, and way more fun, than teasing his five-year-old sister. He held the coin up for Thomas to see, then put it on the table and slid it closer to him. “This is what brought me here.”
Thomas scowled at the coin and slowly reached over to touch it with one fingertip. He jumped back as if scalded. “It’s mine.” He glanced at Andrew before returning his attention to the coin. As he picked it up it glowed, just as it had for Andrew on the path. Thomas closed his fingers around the coin. His eyelids slid shut and he hummed, a deep, resonant sound that echoed through Andrew’s body. The hum continued until Andrew felt he had to say something, if only to remind Thomas he was there.
Before Andrew could do more than open his mouth, Thomas’s eyes popped open. “I didn’t think the spell worked.”
“When I first arrived here and worked out what was keeping me here, I tried to cast spells out into the world so someone who could circumvent the gremlins’ magic could come and rescue me. I didn’t think any of them worked.”
Andrew nodded at the coin. He knew he should be smiling and brushing off Thomas’s intimation that Andrew was there to rescue him, but the best he could manage was a grimace. “It didn’t work. I’m a baker. I don’t have any magic.”
Thomas’s shoulders slummed even further than before. “Then I’m stuck here forever.” He glared at Andrew. “And so are you.”
Wait! There’s another character there. I’ve only just got used to the first one.
That’s what happened to me this week. I wrote the end of the last scene three times before I was half-way happy with it. It might still change, depending on what I come up with this week. If you've missed any of the posts, you can check the archives or you can find the whole story, built week by week, on the Free Stories page (The Gingerbread House).
I’ve spent a lot of time this week, thinking about my first character and what his reactions are going to be to the situation he finds himself in. At the moment, he’s rather blasé about it all; basically a ‘you rang?’ kind of thing. I’m not sure if that’s going to work in the long term. I still don’t know him very well.
The second character I don’t know at all, apart from the fact he’s tall and thin, and cooks. I think he’s a baritone, although Andrew saying ‘you rang?’ in a very Lurch-type voice is very appealing for me.
I’ve begun exploring Andrew’s personality. I asked him to tell me a little about himself. What he has told me so far is a little about his background and what his main goal is and why he wants it. I haven’t yet touched on any magical ability or knowledge he might have. The opening scenes give us a pretty clear idea what’s stopping him from achieving his goal. I’ll clarify Andrew’s GMC (Goal, motivation, conflict) as I write, eventually writing it into a clear statement that will drive his responses, and also the plot.
(19 years old, slim, 5’9”, quick on his feet, quick mind and mouth. Dusty brown hair, irregularly cut, flops into his dusty brown eyes all the time, runs his hand from forehead back to push his hair out of the way. His skin is golden brown with a rosy flush because most of his time is spent in the bakery with the hot ovens. Andrew wants a quiet, calm, legitimate life as a baker but every time he thinks he’s within reach of it someone in his family needs to be rescued or a stranger needs help. He has a slight hero complex because he’s the eldest and has always looked out for others.)
I come from a large, improvident family. I’m the eldest of eight but not the first to branch out on my own. My sister, Beatrice, younger by a year, began in domestic service two years ago, when she was sixteen. I was a second-year apprentice then and still living with my mother and other siblings. My father was away, avoiding the coppers after a robbery that went wrong. He’ll come back after the statute of limitations is up, providing he’s still alive. He did a similar thing when I was eight. That’s why there’s such a large gap between the fifth and sixth of us. There’ll be a longer gap after the eighth, if there are any more children at all from them. Mum wasn’t too happy about this one. It means seven years of him away so he doesn’t get caught and deported. Some of my younger brothers are old enough to work now. Martin, at seventeen, is a second-year blacksmith apprentice. John, fifteen, has followed our father into the ‘jewellery trade’. He’s small and quick, like me and, so far, hasn’t been caught. Jocelyn, at fourteen, has been scamming older men for a couple of years already but she has dreams of becoming an artist’s model. The others are still too young to be working outside the home so they help Mum with her sewing and apothecary.
Apprentices in my home town don’t live with their masters until the last year. I’m glad I didn’t have to live with Jackson for more than one quarter of my apprenticeship. I probably wouldn’t have survived. I’ve been on the road for two weeks now and the last of the bruises have finally faded. My wrist still aches by the end of the day, but it’s not broken.
I’m on my way to put in a bid for a market bakery in Eden. I need my bid to be successful even though I can’t offer Borog as much as I’d like. I can’t go back home. If I go back, Jackson will have me thrown in jail. Or he’ll beat me to death. He refused to sign my Baker’s ticket, proving I’d completed my apprenticeship and was now approved to purchase my own bakery. I won’t tell you what he’d done to me during the year I’d lived in his house, but I wasn’t going to let him keep doing it if I didn’t have to. When he started beating me that last time, I fought back. I’m not a big man, but I’m quick, and after four years, I know how to wield those heavy pans. It only took three hits to his head and one to his balls and he signed my papers. I left before he pulled himself up off the floor. My bag was already packed and waiting by the door so I grabbed it and ran. I left a message with the green grocer for Beatrice when she shops for her employers. She’ll let the family know I’ve gone.
Buying Borog’s bakery is part of my dream. I want a quiet life; one that won’t bring the coppers through a broken door in the middle of the night. I don’t want any drama or unexpected things happening. That doesn’t mean I can’t deal with the unexpected. My whole life has been mopping up the disasters my father and, later, brothers and sister have caused. I keep a level head during a crisis and can think on my feet. I might be awash with fear, but no one would know it. I get that much from my dad.
My next task is to find out who the second character is. I can just begin writing him the way I did Andrew but that means the next scene will have to be in his point of view. This is where things begin to get complicated because the two of them need to interact and I have to know how they respond to each other and why. I don’t need to know as much about the second character yet, so his profile won’t be as comprehensive as Andrew’s. Both character profiles will build as I write.
This is what I have about the second character so far:
Tall (6’2”), thin (bony), dark chocolate hair, green-hazel eyes, fair skin, 25, wizard, more powerful than the mistress he apprenticed with. Officially has one more year on his apprenticeship but he has already mastered all the requirements and then some (a lot of things studied in secret because Mistress Osborne refused him access to the texts). His mistress, upon realising Thomas’s strength, coerced the two gremlins she raised [Hansel and Gretel] to imprison him in the house. Hansel and Gretel are the only ones who have access to the house, and therefore Thomas. They visit regularly, trying to get him to agree to allow Mistress Osborne to leach his powers from him. He won’t agree because he knows she’ll kill him once she has what she wants. While she is his mistress, she can contain his powers, but she can’t ever take them by force. Others she’s taken powers from have succumbed to her sexual wiles. Thomas is immune to her, but not the gremlins.
His incarceration has lasted two years so far. His confidence in escaping is teetering but his innate arrogance hides that fact. He can’t fight against the gremlins’ magic, but he’s been working the last two years on a way to freeze it so that he can circumvent it and find a way out of the house. If he can defeat Mistress Osborne, the gremlins’ magical hold over him will dissipate.
In his first days in the house, when he realised he couldn’t use his magic to escape, Thomas sent out a call for help. It didn’t work and, in his despair, he forgot about it. He doesn’t realise his call manifested as a coin that would appear only to someone strong enough to break the spell holding him captive.
Now to continue the story:
Andrew slipped sideways, staying out of reach of the scowling man. “Is that any way to greet a guest?” He fished the coin out of his pocket. “I can’t be that unexpected,” he said as he held the coin aloft again. “You did leave your invitation lying around for me to find.” As he rounded the table he glanced at the pan on the stove. “Hmm, bacon smells good, but you might want to take it off the heat before it burns.” Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough for two in the pan. Andrew’s stomach grumbled.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said the man as he stalked Andrew. “How did you get in here?” The upper half of his body swayed slightly as his feet stopped as if stuck to the floor. “Can you get out again?” The scowl fell from his face, replaced by boyish hope. He looked around wildly as if a portal was about to open in the middle of the room.
Immediate violence apparently averted, Andrew grabbed a ladle from a hook above the Aga and quickly stirred the bacon and onion mixture before moving the pan off the heat. No sense in letting perfectly good food be burned. He checked on the tall man before spying a loaf of dense bread on a shelf next to a small stack of plates and bowls. Swiftly he lifted items off the shelves and assembled an impromptu stack of bacon and onion sandwiches. He deliberately placed on plate in front of himself and the other at the far end of the table.
“Sit, sit,” he said jovially. “You can tell me all about yourself.” Andrew pulled his chair out and perched on the edge, trying to make his upper body appear totally relaxed while his feet and legs were positioned for quick escape. “I’m Andrew,” he said expectantly as he picked up one half of his sandwich and bit down. He hoped he’d have long enough to eat it all before the tall man attacked.
To his surprise, no attack came. The tall man glanced around the room once again and, appearing disappointed, pulled out his seat and collapsed into it. “You can’t get out, can you?” he asked despondently as he prodded a finger into the heavy bread in front of him.
Andrew chewed through another bite of his sandwich before he responded. If he was going to be thrown out or killed, or whatever, he wanted it to be on a full stomach. “I haven’t had bacon this good in ages.” Probably never. This much salty goodness wasn’t something his family ever got. He could remember only twice he’d had bacon at all. One of those was a sample from the butcher at the markets. The other was a packet his brother had lifted from somewhere. They’d eaten it all in one sitting and used the drippings in a pudding for the next day, in case the coppers came looking. It had taken longer to get the smell out of the house than it had to dispose of the evidence.
“I’m Andrew,” he said around his third bite. “This is good.” He wasn’t sure if his words had been intelligible. He was mostly moaning over his food, his stomach cramping in joy that the first food it was given in three days was so good. “Pity about the bread.”
“What?” The tall man dropped the sandwich he’d just picked up. “That’s the best loaf I’ve ever made.” He picked up his sandwich again and took a large bite. His cheek bulged and he grimaced as he struggled to chew the dense lump.
“You’ve got the balance of ingredients mostly right; a bit heavy on the yeast.” Andrew squeezed the remnants of his meal before popping the morsel into his mouth. “I’ll show you how to fix it.” He poured himself a mug of water from the carafe on the table, then sat back and sipped. “What’s your name?”
“Oh.” Strawberry pink suffused the tall man’s cheeks. “Sorry. I’m Thomas.”
Wizard trapped in an oak/house, waiting for someone with power to release him. Apprentice master baker, rushing to purchase his first permanent stall (his final exam before qualification), becomes trapped by the same spell that caught the wizard (with different impact). The only way he can break the spell is to lure the two goblins who cast the spell back to the scene of the crime. The goblins are masquerading as two children: Hansel and Gretel.
That is the premise behind the story I began last week. At this point, I don’t know a lot about the characters or the setting; I only have the premise that interests me enough to explore.
I love fairy tales. I like that the original versions are always so much darker than the sanitised ‘Disney’ versions. I am also fascinated with the idea that there are always two sides to every story (at least), and often we only hear one side.
This week, I’ve changed a few things. Last week, Andrew was a general merchant; this week he’s a baker. That fitted better with the Hansel and Gretel premise. In this scene, we learn a bit more about Andrew: he’s no stranger to magical happenings (Gran, and the way he prepares to pick up the coin); he’s realistic but not necessarily fatalistic; he knows when his choices are limited but still makes sure his chances are as good as he can make them—showing determination and ability to think on his feet; he maintains a hard-won calmness.
I’m nearly ready to begin writing down some things about Andrew, fleshing out his profile. I’ll begin that before I write the next scene.
We also meet another character—the tall, thin man cooking bacon. We don’t know much about him, other than he cooks his own meals, he didn’t expect Andrew to drop in, and he’s been waiting for him (or someone at least). The coin was obviously placed to bring whoever picked it up to him. We don’t know yet whether or not he placed the coin, but he definitely knew it or something like it was out there to bring someone to him.
What I’m hoping to achieve with each scene:
Each week I’ll post the first draft of the scene I’m writing in this blog. The edited versions will be added to the stories page of my website. I’m calling the story The Gingerbread House (but that might change).
The forest was dim, the air thick with damp earth and decaying wood. Somewhere to Andrew’s left, water dripped. Everything else was silent. The birds he’d listened to throughout the morning no longer sang. The path ran under his feet in a straight line through the forest in front and behind. When he turned to his right, the path ran there as well, still straight. The same when he turned to the left.
Andrew’s heart pounded and he clamped down on the urge to spin in a circle in a desperate attempt to find a way through. He already felt disoriented enough to be unsure which way was forward and back.
At his feet, the coin glowed eerily in the low light. Not a normal coin, then. He bent down and reached for it, drawing his fingers back from touching it at the last minute. What had his gran told him about touching magical things? He couldn’t remember, but nothing good, that’s for sure. Gran’s stories of magic and magical beings were the main reason Andrew decided to become a baker.
Sweat prickled his spine. He was still breathing fast from his dash under the house, as if he’d been running an hour or more. The sun-dappled forest appeared only a few feet away. Andrew took three slow steps. With each step, he drew closer to freedom, only to have it slip away as soon as he put weight on his forward foot. The coin remained resolutely beside his left foot.
Andrew stopped, his shoulders slumping. He’d lost the ability to make any other choice when he decided to make a run for it rather than go around. He adjusted his pack on his shoulders and tightened the straps across his chest. He pulled his hat tighter onto his head and made should everything in his pockets was shoved as deeply as possible. Then he crouched and took a few deliberate, deep breaths. Finally, as prepared as he could be, he took a deep breath and held it as he lifted the coin with his fingertips.
Thunder rolled as the coin left the ground. When it settled into his palm, warm and getting hotter, lightning flashed. The ground began to spin, faster and faster, falling away under him, and Andrew closed his eyes against the growing nausea. His lungs burned with the need to breathe and he slowly released some air, trying to fool his body he’d breathe in again soon.
He landed with a thump, falling to his side and knocking all the remaining air from his lungs. He gasped and opened his eyes, spots swimming in the flashing after-images from the lightning. Beneath him, the mulched forest path was gone. In its place were floorboards, worn smooth with years of wear. The rich forest smell was gone, replaced by the scent of bacon and onions. Andrew looked toward the sizzling to find a tall, thin man, wooden spoon in hand, mouth agape, staring at him.
Behind the man was a huge, ancient aga. A deep pan sat on top, gently smoking as the bacon and onions continued to cook, unsupervised. Andrew pushed himself to his feet, checked his hat and backpack were still in place. He patted his pockets, reassured at the familiar lumps and bumps. He held the cooling coin up by the edge so the tall man could see it.
“You called?” Andrew said, pleased his voice showed none of the heart-pounding, trembling terror racing through him.
The man’s mouth moved, like a fish gulping, but no sound came out.
Andrew pocketed the coin, using the motion to take a deep, calming breath as he looked around. No one else was in the rustic room. There was only a small table with two chairs and a large bed piled high with quilts and cushions. Amongst the nest appeared to be a mound of wool with the points of several knitting needles poking out. The bedside table was almost buried under teetering piles of books.
The wooden spoon clattering to the floor brought Andrew’s attention back to the man. A fierce scowl greeted him. “Who are you?” He strode toward Andrew. “How did you get in here?”
Placing my character into the setting.
Opening scene to a new story.
When I write the first scene in a new story, plot is the furthest thing from my mind. I’m totally focussed on what my character is doing, where he’s doing it and why. Some might say that’s plot, but for me it isn’t. That first scene might not end up in the finished book at all.
The first scene is an exercise in placing my character in the setting. Its purpose is to orient myself in the world I’m building and to fit my character into that world. It’s a way for me to explore the character and make sure what I envisaged for them is going to fit into the story.
That’s the theory, anyway. In practice it’s an ad hoc visualisation that might or might not work.
Here’s an example.
I thought it would be fun to write a story based on a fairy tale but turn it on its head. I’ve enjoyed reading a number of stories that do just that. The ones I’ve enjoyed most are the ones that have more tenuous links to the fairy tale, or show a different version of events, so I thought I’d do something like that.
This scene is my first foray into the idea. It’s going to be a take on Hansel and Gretel but the witch is one of the good guys.
Things I thought about before I began writing:
I haven’t fully addressed the second two questions, but there’s at least one reason for each. There’ll be more later, I expect. I stopped writing when I needed to know who/what is in the house and why it was built across the path (or was the path moved to go under the house?).
Now I have my character placed into my setting and know what it looks like, sounds like and feels like, I can have a look at the plot and work out exactly what’s going on in Andrew’s world and what his part in it is going to be.
Next week I’ll post the next scene in the story.
Andrew stopped abruptly, the steady crunch of leaves that had accompanied him all morning, fading into the silence. In front of him, above the narrow path was a cedar clad wall. There was a gap of a couple of metres under the cladding and Andrew could just make out the gleam of steel stumps nestled in amongst the trees on either side. The path continued, wider and less grassy under the building, but uninterrupted. He peered through the leaves into the darkness under the hovering building but couldn’t see where the path emerged once again into the green light of the forest. He moved to the edge of the path, his heart thumping in counterpoint to his steps, and peered along the line of the building, but the forest grew too close and he couldn’t see a way around it. The other side of the path told the same story.
If you left the path, you might never be seen again. Andrew had grown up hearing stories of trolls and elves and wizards who preyed on the unwary. There might not be anyone who would miss Andrew if he disappeared, but he had plans. He took two steps forward. He needed to be in Eden before the equinox or Borog would sell to someone else.
Andrew walked closer, trying to look everywhere at once. For the first time, he noticed that more than his footsteps had ceased when he saw the wall. The forest was silent; not even the soft drip of water through the leaves broke it. He wiped the nervous sweat from his upper lip and took a deep, slow breath to steady his nerves.
“This is a really bad idea,” Andrew said as he took two more steps. “A very bad idea,” he mumbled as he put his head down and ran.
The air chilled as the light dimmed when he ran beneath the cedar wall. He kept his gaze on the path ahead but his nerves twitched at every creak and groan from above him.
“It’s just the floorboards,” he whispered to himself. “Wood creaks when the temperature changes.”
An eerie chuckle echoed in the deepening darkness around him and crawled up the back of his neck. Andrew ran faster but still couldn’t see where the path came out into the forest again. He was breathing heavily, sweat trickled down his back and dampened his shirt. As he ran, something glinted at his feet in the dim light. A coin. He ran on.
The third time he passed the coin, he stopped, chest heaving, sweat running down his face and back, steam rising wafting from his body in the cooling air. He stared at the coin, despair tightening his throat and fear clenching his fists. He looked around.
E E Montgomery
About writing, life, and random thoughts.
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