Whew! it’s been a long time since I’ve been around for this. Through struggling with depression and three trips last month, and advent at church and reading for a one week intensive course of which I’m currently taking, it’s no wonder I didn’t get ANY writing or editing done! But now I’m back!
I mentioned the class I’m taking. It’s really an intensive course. Try smashing one whole semester into a week and then having the topic we’re studying be very emotional. We’re talking about war and moral injury. I bring this up all for a reason, so bear with me. Moral injury is the type of injury an individual receives when their moral codes are forced to be broken. This is often seen in the military with soldiers who are forced to kill (adults, women or children), forced to participate in prisoner abuse, forced to participate in a war they don’t think is just, and those who feel betrayed by their government. It’s a conflict of conscience.
My end of the “year” project for this class, my final basically, has to do with moral injury, but we’re allowed to be very creative with it. Since I worked alongside the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and because I have an affinity for police officers and writing them, I have decided to write a short novella. This means that my WIPpet Wednesday’s will consist of this novella that I’m working on. I have until the beginning of March to come up and write the first draft of this piece. It’s going to be outside my norm, and it’s going to be focused on a male officer experiencing moral injury and the recovery process necessary to feel as though one is human again.
Since I’m smack dab in the middle of this insane course right now, I’m just going to write for 8 minutes to see what I come up with for the beginning of this story. I do already have an idea in my head, so we’ll see how it goes. If you would like to join in WIPpet Wednesday, it’s open to everyone and the rules and very simple. Write a post with your current WIP (work in progress) that in someway correlates to the date. It can be 8 sentences, 1 word, 14 paragraphs. And feel free to get very creative with the math. Once you’ve made the blog post, head on over here and link it up with everyone’s. Then go out and read as many posts as you can. Don’t forget to comment, because we’re all comment whores!!
Thanks to MyRandomMuse for hosting this event each week!
Now…for the start of this Moral Injury Novella
The gun didn’t feel right in his hands. They weight felt off, and the handle wasn’t quite warm enough. He slid his fingers back and forth along the barrel, feeling the oil from the cleaning he had just done. He should do it again. Biting his lip, Shayne Laurence started the whole process over.
Carefully, he took apart each piece, cleaning them to perfection. Then slowly he put the weapon back together again. The room was dimly lit, and by the end of the second cleaning, he had to squint in order to see. The alcohol flooded his brain, making him fuzzy and his world so narrowed that he could see every piece of it. It looked like a 9 mil.
Reaching over blinding, Shayne picked up his warm long neck and glugged the rest of it back. He didn’t sigh and he didn’t release a breath as the alcohol flooded down his system and into his stomach. Instead he felt his body churn and protest the liquor as it flowed through. Once again, Shayne lifted the handgun and held it carefully, the oil making the rough skin of his palm softer than it had been before.
He moved his hand up and down, once more testing the weight. It still wasn’t right. It wasn’t his service weapon. Shayne shook his head and leaned back in his chair. Reaching over to the side, he pulled up another longneck from the case he’d bought and hadn’t bothered to put in the fridge. It’d all be gone and drunk before it would have had a chance to get cold anyway.
A sound upstairs made him stop. Shayne shot his head up and looked toward the stairs to his basement as he listened intently for the sound again. Nothing happened. The refrigerator made a buzzing sound and the wind outside howled through the windows. The light flickered as if it was going out, but when Shayne reached over and tapped the metal head to the desk lamp, the light became fixed and brighter.
He listened for the creak and groan of wood that would tell him someone was walking through the living room of his house. He listened for the shuffle of footstep that would tell him if the person was male or female. He listened for the stumble and the fall as they tripped over the chest he’d left in the middle of the hallway in the pitch black house in order to stump the intruder before they reached him.
Shayne let out a breath when after thirty minutes of listening there was nothing there. It was the first time he truly remembered feeling in danger since that evening. Shaking his head, Shayne went back to his weapon and started rubbing the soft cloth over the metal, removing any excess oil that might still be there.
For any of you interested, on Monday I had a guest post from Francis James Franklin about being straight and writing LGBT and the whole slew of messiness that labeling means. There’s also a giveaway going on with two of his books and one from author Jaye McKenna, who will be interviewed next Monday. PLEASE oh PLEASE! go and sign up to win the books. =P why not? they’re free and they’re from awesome people!