Originally posted on blog, Floating Forward on 9/26/17 –> Here
I started a writing challenge of sorts to test my creative limits and to look for any patterns. Constraints often force us to get creative within their self-imposed limits to see things through as many ways as you can. I felt this one had enough room to get creative while having a clear beginning. Not a new concept by far, but one that can break you out of writer’s block, or at the very least, give you a starting point.
The concept is simple: Start a story using the same sentence, elaborate differently every time. See how many times you can do it. I got up to four stories before I noticed too much similarities between them. This is the first one.
The prompt: The slow crunch of grass broke Jeffery’s concentration. A step was the culprit. It came slowly, inevitable, so sure of itself. Jeffery didn’t look back.
He knew this day would come.
The cock of the revolver followed the threat. Jeffery slowly looked back at the man who had his life in his metallic hands They locked eyes.
“It doesn’t have to be this way, Charlie.”
Charlie’s lips furled. He looked back at the old man with jaundice eyes. He trembled as he struggled to keep the .45 caliber gun aimed at Jeffery. The weight of the piece impaired his balance.
“You’re dying. The bullet wound’s septic. You need help…”
“I’m not the one with a gun pointed at him so you oughta thing about yourself more than me, Jeff.”
Jeffery took a half step towards Charlie, both hands in the air with his palms exposed. This had to be done right.
“Not with Annie here.”
Charlie peered over and watched the small girl stare back at them, confused.
“It’s okay, baby. Everything is okay.”
“She needs to see this! After all, she needs this.”
“You need this, you mean.”
“Shut the FUCK up!”
Anne broke the tension and began to cry. She dropped Jefferey’s hat and ran over to cling to his leg. She stared defiantly at Charlie with wet eyes.
“Annie, sweetie, that man is not who you think. He’s a bad man. A very bad man.”
“No, he’s not! He’s my friend. He protected me from the tin men. He took us somewhere safe. He’s my…”
“Charlie, enough of this shit. You want me, meet me by the gas station. You know the one.”
“NO!!” Annie grabbed on tight, her grip had made her fingers into white.
Jeffery crouched down and whispered, “Remember to point to the sky, Annie. I’ll find you there.”