Fourth Fiction: Round Four

Round Four challenge is to weave an element of Fyor’s story into your passage. It should be no more than 450 words. For previous entries see the Fourth Fiction just under the header.

They walked on in silence with Sylvie clenching and unclenching her hands as she processed the short history of the Dead Zone. Mutt whined and moved to her side. She stroked his long, floppy ear, the velveteen flesh soothing between her fingers.

“It bothers you?”

“Of course it does. How could it not? How come I didn’t know? No one ever said anything.”

“Did you ever question before now? Did you ever go seeking the truth?” His green eyes bore into hers. Sylvie saw for the first time while he was devastatingly beautiful he was also utterly terrifying, but she didn’t look away.

“You are assuming the truth was available for me to find.”

“You’re all the same.”

He strode ahead of her and she reached out to slow him down. Her fingers stung with an electrical shock as her long fingers curved around his muscular forearm.

“Shit!” She shook her hand and ran ahead to block his way, careful to keep her distance.

“How could I not be pissed off with some individual making life and death decisions from afar. Some fucking power tripper. How much of a threat could some hippies be?”

“You have the power of life and death over women and babies. Over this mother and baby.”

“I’m not some nameless entity issuing orders for others. I have to live with the consequences of my decisions. Any day I could be outsed, charged with being a birth attendant. Killed by firing squad for assisting women to birth outside of the system. I’m not afraid.”

Mutt growled and Sylvie shut up. The hairs on the back of her neck pricked.

“They track by fear.” He moved in closer and touched her cheek, holding her eyes with his own. The adrenalin in her veins slowed and a honey warmth sensation flowed through her. “They sense the hormonal release.”

“What would happen if they caught me?” Inside her there was a battle going on between the feel good vibe he was somehow infusing into her system and the natural fight and flight impulse.

“If you’re O negative they would kill you – probably devour you before your blood cooled.”

“I’m not O negative.”

“Then they would only bite you. Infect you.”

“And I would become one of them.” She tried to balance the cacophony of catecholamines in her system, employing the relaxation techniques she taught women to labour peacefully. Still her swum.

“Are you feeling calmer.”

“Don’t let go of me.” The shock jolted her fingers and wrist from their joints as she clasped his hand, holding tight as he tried to pull away. “You didn’t tell me your name.”

“It’s Marcus,” he said surrendering, curling his fingers around hers.

7 thoughts on “Fourth Fiction: Round Four

  1. I’m getting more and more into this with each passing week. You tease with some of the information being batted back and forth in the dialogue – the talk of biting has me feeling wary and looking forward to see how that plays out. Is this you showing us a gun?

    The dialogue makes this scene work, feels real and at times very tender. I also like the on the body descriptions of the electric shock and the holding of hands. These human touches ground your story. There are a few typos in there, but nothing game breaking.

    I just had to look back over your piece to find the element of Fyor’s story in there. The fact I had to look for it shows you integrated it seemlessly. Nice one.


  2. This hooked me! There are several elements in this story that I want to learn about. Why O negative blood, for instance. Your dialogue is great and flows naturally. You left me feeling like we are on the cusp of something big about to happen and I can’t wait to see what it is.

    There were two places that tripped me up.

    “Her fingers stung with an electrical shock as her long fingers curved around his muscular forearm.” – the word “fingers” twice in this sentence feels clunky to me.

    and “Still her swum.” -I’m guessing you omitted a word, ‘head’ perhaps, but I thought it may also be a colloquialism I’m not familiar with.

    Whatever, there is certainly nothing here that would make me stop reading. I can’t wait to see what you give us for your round 5.


  3. Thanks for picking up my typos – not matter how many times you go through it- you always miss a few. And yes Chris – the double use of “fingers” is a crappy inclusion and the omission of “head” is even worse. Not even us Aussie are that perverse with our colloquialisms.

    Thank you both for following and reading.

    Part of me fears Auggie finding is way over here to rip through my writing … or perhaps reading it would be enough to shut him up.

    Chris: I’m hoping to get a chance to reveal why the O neg blood type in the next round. And fingers crossed I am on the cusp of something big. As Dan pointed out last round – I should have actually begun the story with her being attacked … which is where I always intended to begin it … so I am really winging it here.

    Dan: I’m not sure if the biting is the gun yet – if only I knew a bit more about my own story huh? And I had a lot of trouble infusing Fyor’s element -had some really terribly clunky dialogue about the dog in the front loader … but in the end decided to go with the power trip … because Sylvie is on the wrong side of the law because of what she does (in her world birth is tightly controlled by the got and all babies are scheduled and born by caesarean section)

    Again – thanks! Do you think Constantine will let us play for real next time?


  4. Jodi, just started to read the outside participants contributions to Fouthnight! Don’t know what your story is about but I did like the feel of your style in the current entry – very natural.

    Maybe I’m being very stupid! But how do I get back to your previous submissions? Need to find out where you are coming from!! Or perhaps I need to go back to ForthFiction, will take a look.


  5. JD my friend – welcome to my small corner of the world. I feell privledged to have you here! My writing style has certainly evolved and changed over the course of the six rounds and has been flowing on into my other writing adventures also!

    You can find links to all the previous posts here but it reminds me I should probably put better navigation at the bottom of the pages for new readers such as yourself. We do something similar over on my publishing project Chinese Whisperings.

    I would LOVE to hear your take on it all .. and continuing to find it amazing it is all males reading and commenting!


  6. Just got back to where I first came in!! Finally got to that opening sentence. I like the story and I can see where you came from when you were encouraging Tess to use some dialogue – you do it very well. I shall read on before making any more comments.


  7. Hi Jodi, I’ve been following the Fourth Fiction contest since the beginning but I’ve only just started reading your stuff. I love how you use dialogue to tell the story here. It makes it much more tangible, especially with the sci-fi type elements of the virus, etc. Looking forward to reading more.


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