WIPpet Wednesday!! July 10, 2013

Good morning and welcome to WIPpet Wednesday. Today on the show, you will find an excerpt from chapter nine of Ashes Fall, written and created and imagined by one Adrian J. Smith. She uses quick wit to break up tense scenes, but not in this excerpt. This particular scene is filled with angst, horror, and deep pain. Here is the excerpt for today:

James’ jaw dropped. She started to race toward Lily, stopping when the explosion rocked through the street and startled her. Spinning on her heel, James looked wildly around and tried to figure out exactly where it had come from. She went back to Lily, her eyes still hot with fire and her body radiating heat.

“What did you do?” she demanded.

“What needed to be done.” Lily shrugged and went back inside.

James’ heart doubled its speed in her chest as she ran down the block in the direction that Darcy had gone. She made it to the end of the block and saw the car. People had started to surround it, already on their cell phones. James couldn’t think. She ran forward, her bare feet on the asphalt as she ran toward the car, the back of it starting to catch fire, but the front completely consumed with flames.

“Darcy!” she shouted, her breath catching in her throat as she saw the ‘coexist’ bumper sticker on the rear of the car. “Darcy!”

James got to the car, not feeling anything she stepped on. She ran close to the fire, stepping back when it burst at her, threatening to burn her skin. Any tears she shed evaporated from the heat. She screamed again and tried to get to the door, but the fire came toward her again.

Someone grabbed her arms and dragged her back. James fought them. She had to get to Darcy. She was the only one that could save her. She saw movement in the front seat, white eyes in a darkened face covered with burned and ashy skin, rustling around and moving as the scorched body tied desperately to get out. James doubled her efforts to get away from whoever held her, but they were too strong.

Lights cast a glow on her face but disappeared in the flames as the fire engine and paramedics arrived, one right after the other. The hose was hooked up and fire crews in full gear swarmed the car. Another engine arrived in time to help, using the tank in their truck to douse the fire.

Turning into the warm body, James buried her face in the chest and let sobs take over. Arms rubbed her back and rocked her from side to side. She couldn’t watch. Smoke burned her nostrils, the small hairs detesting the scent of fuel and flesh touched by flame.

Time elapsed and they pulled the body out, laying it on the stretcher. There was hardly anything left. James slowly twisted around to stare as they covered Darcy’s body with the sheet and stuffed her into the back of the ambulance. The fire crew started to come near her and she shuddered. She couldn’t deal with them right now.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt today. Adrian would appreciate any and all comments and has committed to responding to them in a timely manner. She has also opened the floor, like any Wednesday, to all those who wish to join in and get noticed. All you have to do is post an excerpt of your current Work In Progress that corresponds with the date. Today, Adrian posted ten paragraphs as it is the tenth of July. She did not choose from chapter seven for the month, although she could have. Adrian would love to see and read your excerpts, so post them and link them up over on this website right here. She’ll wander around later today and tomorrow, reading them for pleasure.

So, please, join in and have fun.


39 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday!! July 10, 2013

  1. This is fantastic Adrian. So dramatic. I feel so much for poor Darcy; what a horrible end. And James too, what she must feel having to watch her friend be killed in such an awful way. As for Lily – well there’s gotta be a story there!

      • So you don’t like her much then?! I have to say after this – neither do I! But isn’t it great to be able to create such awful people, the types that we never want to meet but unfortunately occasionally do.

      • I live Lily, actually. She can say and do things no one else would ever think of. She’s just psychotic. I love another character (Addy) and James far more than Lily though. This has just all been building for Lily

  2. I’m not sure why someone didn’t break the window and drag Darcy out sooner. (How old is Darcy?) Reason I ask this is (having a firefighter for a father), I can only see one reason to NOT break the window… to prevent flames from spreading. But it seems that the flames are already inside the cabin, so breaking the windows would have been the best way to get Darcy out (and given that auto-glass doesn’t make large shards, fairly non-risky for James ,strong>or any of the by-standers.

    As for Lily’s actions… well, she’s certainly coming off as interesting….

    • Lol. James is a firefighter but basically by the time she got there it was too late. That and she wasn’t prepared at all as she wasn’t working. Secondly ate was being held back. Thirdly has to do with Lily. The fire was started on Darcy. She was the fire. Which will be clearer in later chapters once James starts to talk about it.

      • I understand the emotionalism of James, perhaps not being prepared, etc. I even understand the idea of the fire being started on Darcy–I still don’t get people not breaking a window to get her. Most car windows can be busted open with a fist or a kick. And if James is already running into the fire, surely she’d be willing to try to smother the flames with her body.

        Yes, it’s an intense scene, but it doesn’t quite ring true yet. Possibly there is more to it that I just am not seeing, but it seems to me that if Darcy is alive enough to be struggling, then someone should have tried to save her. There should have been people running to grab blankets, not just gawkers brandishing cell phones…

        Or maybe that IS the point of the scene… and Lily isn’t the only one “wrong” in this world. ;-) (could make for an interesting story, if that’s the case)

      • It would have been impossible for James to another the flames with her body. By the time she got there, the entire car was basically covered in them.

        Though…I might add some more direct after this scene when her crew actually show up on the scene. I debated on that when I wrote it, but I didn’t want to make it seem too long or horrorish.

      • I have a feeling the scene might make more sense in context. Though, if you’re going for intensity, go for intensity; if you’re going for realism, go for realism. You can always trim later if the scene feels overdone. These are WIPs after all. :-D

  3. Wow. Strong, emotional piece with some really vivid imagery. “white eyes in a darkened face covered with burned and ashy skin,” Gaawds, the picture that puts in my head. It’s haunting me, I can imagine what it will do to James.

  4. When your mind is wrapped around the emotional turmoil of that very moment, you really aren’t concentrating on *who* is holding you back, only that something is preventing you from trying to do what you want to do, however irrational. So I like how in the scene you don’t describe who is holding back James, even as she falls into their embrace and cries. As a reader, it keeps my focus on James and the horrible tragedy she is witnessing.

    When I was a young(ish) girl and I watched the third movie of “poltergeist” there is only ONE scene that I remember, and that is when the tiny psychic lady gets charbroiled and you see her fall down, all charred and everything. That same picture is what flashed before my mind’s eye when Darcy was laid out on a stretcher.

  5. I really like the emotional intensity throughout. What brought me into the story is when James confronts Lily directly. Because this is the first excerpt I’m reading, I know nothing of the story or the characters, but I still feel saddened by Darcy’s death. I’m left wondering if James can do anything at all or if it’s too late . . . and if so, what retribution will follow. Lily has a lot of explaining to do, but she doesn’t sound like she will say anything at all.

  6. That moment when something horrible happens and there’s nothing else you can do but watch… It was torture (emotionally) for me reading it as it was for James. Good job evoking emotion.

  7. Oh holy crap… that was… that was… Well… I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep tonight. I’m probably going to spending the night pacing around the house with a fire extinguisher.

    “She saw movement in the front seat, white eyes in a darkened face covered with burned and ashy skin, rustling around and moving as the scorched body tried desperately to get out.” Great imagery right there!

    Now to go buy that fire extinguisher.

    • Thank you so much! That is actually one of my favorite lines from the entire novel thus far (though, I am planning on changing it a little bit already). I hope you can sleep tonight! I’d give you what I just wrote to make you feel better, but it’s desperately sad and it made me cry, so I don’t want you crying!

      Thank you again! =D

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