Thursday, June 16, 2011


Writing Prompt: Come up with a character motivation, and then an action that character must take which runs counter to that motivation.

Once the boy was taken to the back room with the surgeon, Will was lost in his thoughts as he walked back the way he had come into the town. He slipped the weathered bandana out from under his neck and wiped away the grime left from the tears that had mixed with the dust of the road. The road that had carried him from the parents he abandoned. The friends. Yvell.

Will could still feel the weight of the envelope given to him by General Roland as he stared into the open plain before him. The road he had taken was dwarfed by the wilderness stretching to either side of the broken pavement. What was he going to do with Jac? The surgeon was confident he would not loose the use of his leg. On and on the highway stretched into the dying remnants of the sun, giving its last light in remembrance of what the he and the kid had gone through together. Reminding him of the danger that threatened beyond the horizon.

Will was so lost in thought he failed to hear the footsteps approaching. Dr. Calvs stopped and followed Will’s gaze into the west.

“The boy is gonna make it. He told me what you did. What it took to get him here.”

Will said nothing, but turned around to look into the night. The road stretched through the small one-street town and on into the darkness. Would the future always hold such little hope? How many times would he be forced to abandon?

“He also told me about what you carry.”

Will cursed silently under his breath. Jac, if he had one flaw, was that he was too trusting. He met the doctors gaze, “What are you going to do?”

“Don’t rightly know son. Probably outta tell the mayor. Sherriff. Someone.”

“They’re drawn to fear. Did Jac tell you that? How do you think this town would respond?”

The doctor was silent as he took in the town. Will followed the elderly man’s eyes to what he suspected was his home.

“Probably not too well I’d reckon. Look here young man, you know what you need to do. You have gotta get that message to the people that need it. There is a port about a day’s run from here. Our only chance as I see it is for you bring help back with you.” He paused, glancing down at the blade strapped to Will’s right side. “Crazy thing that a lefty would carry the lives of my family in his back pocket.”

Will grunted at that. Even now, here of all things, he was being underestimated. “And Jac?”

“I’ll watch him.”

Darkness gathered, the sun surrendering to the deep. Self-loathing boiled inside of him, hollowing out the last vestiges of his honor. What was the point of being a soldier when duty always demands one to turn their back to the enemy?

“Thank you.”

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