Friday, January 13, 2017

Writing Exercise #1: Suspense in Dialogue

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a love of all things literary. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California. To connect with Shan, check out her website, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

It's Friday, friends! We have so many exciting things happening in 2017 and today I'd like to tell you about one of them.

As Jill mentioned last week, we're going to be experimenting with video blogging this year--primarily recording panels in which the three of us share our thoughts on writing by answering YOUR questions. As hard as we try, we simply cannot get to every email that drops into our inbox, but we do love being helpful and we'd like to give you a chance to ask us those burning questions.

But you're going to have to earn the opportunity! 

Here's how it'll work. Most Fridays, I'll post a writing exercise here on Go Teen Writers. When you participate, leaving your work in the comments section, your name will be entered into a drawing. Every quarter (or thereabout) we'll draw names and each winner will get to submit one writing-related question for the three of us to answer. Steph, Jill and I will then stage a panel and film our answers and post the video here on the blog!

You're cheering, right? Right? Come on, wave those pom pons! This is exciting! Because, seriously, if compelling the three of us to brush our hair and put on makeup in the middle of a writing day isn't incentive enough for you, I promise to do everything in my power to see that Jill's parasol makes an appearance, okay? Okay.

There's an added benefit to this whole thing, you know? It's not just that you might have your name drawn, that you might get to pose a question--it's more than that because you'll be refining your technique by participating in exercises meant to stretch you and get you writing. 

Because here's the thing. The only way to get better at writing, is to write. And we want to do a better job of giving you exercises that will teach you technique as you put pen to the page. 

My goal on most weeks will be to match the Friday exercise with the topics Steph and Jill (and our guests) are blogging about, but I reserve the right to veer off and take you adventuring with me. Like today. Today, we're heading into the choppy waters of conflict and dialogue.

So, let's get started!

Consider: Is Character One nervous? Overly confident? Chatty? Quiet? Which emotional response would generate more suspense in the mind of the reader?

Give your mind a moment to color the scene and then put your fingers on that keyboard and practice writing conflict in conversation. If your word count starts to skyrocket, please choose your favorite chunk and leave that for us. We'll have quite a lot to read and want to make sure we get to everyone's.

Leave your work in the comments section below and be sure to come back throughout the weekend to encourage your friends. Remember, everyone who submits a response will be entered to win a chance to ask us (almost) anything!


  1. Beads of sweat snaked down my neck. My breath rattled my lungs, sending spikes of pain through my chest, my spine, my brain. My feet struggled to bear my weight. Besides me, Alex had collapsed into a shapeless lump, exhausted senseless after violently screaming and pounding on the cold stone door. His eyes had rolled over, and a grim scowl had plastered itself on his face.

    “They’re never coming for us,” he muttered.

    My knees gently shook as the realization washed over me, and I too found myself collapsing, pressing my back against the marble wall as I sank to the floor. This was messed up in so many different ways. “Prisoners,” I said, my eyes watering. “That’s what father has made us now, brother. Prisoners in our own home. It’s what he thinks we deserve.” *What you deserve.* Alex barked an empty laugh. Nothing had prepared me for this. Only I knew what had happened in the hills that day when Alex had flown into another one of his wild rages. When blood had been drawn. Alex had presumed his victim dead, but when I’d found the body, it was very much alive. I’d held the child in my arms as the life faded from his eyes. I glanced warily at Alex. He did not look happy, and the last thing I wanted was to provoke him.

    “What really happened that day, Alex?”

    He glanced at me, caution showing in his eyes. “I told you. The boy was alone. Wounded. Unconscious. By the time I ran to get help, he was gone. We were the only two that far from the castle, brother. Of course they blamed us.” I nodded. This was all way too much. “There was a lot of blood when I showed up. What could have hurt him that bad?”

    Alex sneered at me, then hoisted himself to his feet. His fists were clenched alarmingly tight. “I told you, I don’t know. You keep asking, *brother*. What’re you saying?” I stood up slowly and leaned against the smooth walls. “Absolutely nothing,” I said, keeping my voice monotonous. “Absolutely nothing. After all, this is bear season, isn’t it?” Alex gritted his teeth. I smiled wanly.

    “Of course,” he muttered. “Bear season.”

    Because what else could it have been?

    PS - I'm sorry if this was too long. I tried my best to keep it short. :)

    1. WOW. This is really good, Jason! :)

    2. This is GOOD! Keep up the good dialogue!

  2. "Why weren't you at the birthday party?" I asked him, trying to keep my voice from shaking. I knew his secret, but lies and betrayal ruin friendship, and this was a friendship I wanted to keep.

    "Didn't feel like coming. Cake isn't my thing, either. You know that, Hunter," she replies, her voice ice and steel and rotten tomatoes.

    "Then why are we in here? Why are we locked in?" The questions keep flow. I tried to keep the dam from breaking, but water has begun to trickle.

    "I don't know!" Miranda collapses onto the floor, her body convulsing with choked sobs. "Stop! Stop it now! Stop!"

    "Miranda, I found her. I found her dead." The dam has reached its breaking point, and the water gushes in huge streams. "You have all the signs pointed to you for the murder."

    She casts me a cold glare. "And all signs point to you as a liar, a backstabbing boy who betrayed my trust. Couldn't you keep it a secret?"

    I'm at a loss for words. "I, I, I-"

    And then the locked door opens.

  3. Excitement!!!!!!!
    Can I do this tomorrow, or is the deadline today???

    Claudia x

    1. Tomorrow is perfectly fine! You have time. ;)

  4. Inspector Marven? It was him, all along! I stagger to the elevator and numbly push the buttons. We had trusted him. He is the lead investigator on the case, for mercy’ sake! How on earth had he been able to fool us all?
    The elevator dings, and the door opens. I must tell Charlie. He is the only one with the power and insight to catch Marven and bring him to justice. I board the elevator and press another button, flipping my hair nervously over my shoulder. Everything will be okay, if I can just get to Charlie.
    Just as the elevator door is closing, a hand reaches through and stops it. I recognize that emerald ring – Inspector Marven’s. A shudder rises from my chest and I close my eyes tightly, willing it away. Fear grips me. Images of Sophie’s death flash through my head. If Marven is capable of such a murder, what could he do to me?
    I cannot let him know that I know…that I am the only person on the face of the earth that knows. I force my eyes open and press my face into the semblance of a smile as Inspector Marven’s form appears and he steps onto the elevator.
    He pushes another button and then stands beside me with his hands folded in front of him. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost, Miss Eaton.”
    Why does his expression look so sinister? Is he suspicious of me? Or do I simply hate him so much now his every move repulses me? My mouth feels dry, and it is hard to answer him. “I was just thinking about my sister.”
    “I’m sure this has been hard for you.” His voice is smooth, and his eyes search my face. I used to think this constant “seeking” in his eyes was part of what made him such a good detective. Now I see it is his way of reading whether or not anybody knows the truth.
    I turn my eyes away. He must not read my face! “She was my sister,” I murmur. “I’m afraid my emotions are catching up with me.” I’ll play the hormonal female card and hope it works.
    “You should take a day to rest, Miss Eaton. You need it. Leave the case in my capable hands. You can trust us to track down that criminal!”
    Trust. The word makes me want to vomit. I glance down at his hands. Three days ago, they were covered in Sophie’s blood. Did he wash his hands afterward as calmly as a surgeon? Or did he fret over it, scrubbing until his skin felt raw? I feel his eyes on me and my mind scrambles for a good answer. “Yes…yes, I should.” This could be good. If he thinks I’m taking time off, he won’t question where I’m going when I run to Charlie. “…maybe just for a little while.”
    “Interesting response. I thought you would never rest until we found your sister’s killer.”
    I catch my breath and know my deodorant is suddenly working overtime.
    He shifts his weight and readjusts his tie. “You must be very tired.” He reaches forward and presses another button on the elevator. “You deserve your rest. You’ve been working very hard.” An uncharacteristic sneer flashes across his face. “Very, very hard.”
    The elevator light flickers and our descent jolts to a stop. Panic rises in my chest. I slam my open palms against the wall to catch myself. “What happened?!”
    “Elevator malfunction. Looks like we’ll be stuck here a while.” His voice is calm. “I think it’s a good time for a little chat, don’t you? Just to pass the time..."

    1. Great use of dialogue!

    2. Great suspense. Now I want to read the rest of the story!

    3. You're welcome!

    4. Fantastic stopping point, great scene.

    5. This is AWESOME!!! If this is a book, I want to read it! You did great! :)

    6. "Just to pass the time...."

  5. Yeah... sorry for the shortage of dialogue in this, eh, dialogue exercise. I do have a bad tendency to rely too much on narrative.

    The guard squeezes my arm tighter as he reaches for the cell door with his free hand. I gulp hard. This may be my one chance to avoid this. Felix could talk his way out. I know he could, if he were here.
    I can at least try.
    “H-hey,” my voice leaves shaky plumes of fog in the air, which waft back over me and prickle my skin with the icy dryness. “You know, I--”
    “Shut it, lady.” The guard drags the heavy door open and tosses me inside. I land on my hands and knees on a sheet of frosted glass. The door slams behind me. I rise carefully, not wanting to slip on the ice or trip on my skirts. The bubbles of trembling liquid burning the lower lids of my eyes make the task difficult. I just hope they don’t freeze there.
    “Hello, sugar,” a soft, dry voice rasps from the wall. Panic colder than ice shoots through me and leaves me trembling. I glance up and blink the water out of my view of a man sitting amid his chains on the floor, his long grasshopper legs sprawled across the ice-coated stone. His long, dark hair hangs over his eyes, but I recognize him all the same.
    I back towards the door.
    He laughs, but the sound reminds me of a stone whetting an iron blade. “Easy, sugar. I didn’t do it, you know.”
    I hold my ground. The ice has climbed up my spine. I have no choice. “Yeah.” Another cloud of steam pricks my face. His hands are moving. I don’t want to look, but my eyes drag down his slumped torso and arms to his lap, anyway. His skeletal fingers are twisting a ring on his finger. Around and around. Around and around. I’m too far away to tell if the blood still cakes his fingernails.
    His head lifts, and my eyes snap up, defensive. The ring keeps rotating, unconcerned with me. I should be relieved, but a tingle runs down my arms.
    The man’s thin lips curl in a smile. “You believe me, right?”
    I suck in an icy breath and hold it in my lungs, feeling it warm. Surely he knows how terrified I am already, but I can’t bear to speak it, to hear it brayed from my shivering voice. My mind scrambles for an answer. What would Felix do?
    Lie like a rat.
    I swallow again and clear my throat. “I-I believe you.” I cringe at my squeaking voice.
    The murderer chuckles and lowers his eyes to the ring he twists around his finger. “Good. Have a seat, sugar.” He looks up again, and for the first time I see his eyes. Yellow--striped, like grass. He pats the floor next to him. “Right here.”

    1. That was really cool. You caught me in your story and held me in it. I want to read the rest of the story! And I loved the setting!

    2. Wisdomcreates, A. G., thank you so much! Your feedback is super encouraging; I really didn't think it was all that good. Thank you for letting me know your thoughts!

    3. This is super vivid with great pacing, Olivia. Nice work!

    4. Thank you guys!!! :D

    5. I love the realness of the story, it drew me in right away!

    6. This is GREAT! I wish I could see more!!!!! Ya'll are SO TALENTED!!!!!!!

    7. Sugar... Creepy.

  6. Large hands grab my arms and drag me forward. I stumble along blindly, a thick canvas bag over my head. A lock rattles and hinges screech. My captors throw me to the ground. Pain laces up my already twisted ankle. The bindings on my wrists are cut and the bag yanked off my head. I scramble towards the door, but it slams in my face.
    “They find you too, Ara?” a voice rasps from the corner of the jail cell.
    “Shut up, Isaac! It’s your fault I’m here! If you hadn’t—” I snap my mouth closed before anything else escapes. He doesn't know that I know.
    “If I hadn’t what?” Chains clatter, and Isaac shuffles into the light. My breath stutters. Weeks locked up in a cell made his tan skin ashen and sickly, and his once bright blue irises are so dark they seem to have merged with the pupils. I suppress a triumphant smile. Now he looks like the monster he is, the monster that killed my sister.
    I stand on shaky legs, cold rage eclipsing the pain. “Vilgran thinks you betrayed us,” I say, trying to fake ignorance. “Is it true?”
    “No, of course not.”
    *Stop lying you bastard.* “But he said—”
    “Think for a moment, Ara! If I had double-crossed you, why would I be trapped here?” He holds up his manacled hands for emphasis, but his dark eyes are wild.
    “Maybe you stumbled onto a Terric patrol while escaping. Maybe you thought you would find sanctuary here. Maybe you should have wondered why I was put in the same cell as you,” I say as I walk closer to him. I lean forward and whisper in his ear, “Maybe you shouldn’t have killed the Terric heir’s sister.”
    His eyes widen a fraction just before I slip a knife between his ribs.

    1. Your ending snagged a gasp of surprise out of me!

    2. That is beautifully dark

  7. Nisha digs her fingernails into the hard packed dirt that is the ground of the cell that she is in. She glances at her cell mate, a dirty girl with the deepest eyes you've ever seen. But, Nisha doesn't make a sound. She knows who the girl is; Ash Tray, trained assassin. She may appear to only be a lowly school girl, but Nisha has heard that she hides knives in her locker at school for "after-school activities". No one knows what she means by that until they find too much out and disappear forever.
    "So, how'd you end up here?"
    Nesha whips her head around to Ash. Her deep eyes seem to bore holes through her, awaiting an answer.
    "I killed a guy," she lies. She had really only been making a warehouse prettier - if that's what you call vandalism.
    "You?" Nisha tries to keep her voice from cracking. Although she is nearly ten years older than this girl, she is more nervous than ever.
    "You know, don't you?"
    "Know what?" Nisha digs her nails further into the ground, forcing herself not to show that wave of fear that has passed over her.
    "Who I am; Ash Tray, Queen of the Kill, fully-trained assassin at three years old. I've killed dozens of people in my twelve-year-life, seen things that no school girl should see. You know," she says calmly. She pulls a little knife out of her boot and spits on it, rubbing it until it shines.
    "Yes, I do," Nisha admits. She sees Ash tighten her grip on the knife. Nisha's muscles tighten. "But I came here to join you." What is she saying? It's the only way that she'll stay alive, but how could she? Nisha has been a little rebellious in her life, but she never would want to hurt anybody.
    Ash raises her eyebrows. "Hm," she seems to consider what Nisha has just said. "I won't kill you if you want to join me. How much ya got?"
    "It ain't cheap to be my friend. How much money do ya have for me?"
    Nisha racks her mind and remembers that she has 5,000 dollars saved up in the bank.
    "5,000 bucks cash," Nisha says, starting to calm down. She could get out alive with the best escort in the world.
    "Welcome aboard," Ash says, shaking Nisha's hand. Nisha closes her eyes. She is now a trained assassin's assistant.
    A wave of nausea sweeps over her suddenly.
    What has she done? What has she become?

    1. This is really good, Anika! Interesting twist.

    2. This was great, Anika! You did an awesome job.

      ~ Savannah

  8. "Please sit down, Mr. Creel." I made my voice the soft purr that always works so well. Was it my imagination, or was Nick Creel actually nervous? Nick Creel was never nervous. Did he suspect? He couldn't know of course, only those flying fools knew, and I took care of them. I was just being paranoid. He just must be nervous because of meeting me alone. I prided myself on being an intimidating boss.
    "You've become quite the crimnal, Mr. Creel."
    "Yeah, well." He was trying for his usual confident tone, but his eyes flickered to the windows and to the door. "Just had a bit to much to drink last weekend..."
    I cut him off. "And the weekend before that and the weekend before that. This is becoming a bad habit, which makes the company look bad. This happens again and you will be terminated. Am I clear?"
    "Yes ma'am. Sorry ma'm."
    "Now, Creely, what do you think you know about me?"
    "Pardon?" He looked a bit surprised, as if he didn't think I would notice how nervous he was. I always notice.
    "You heard me quite clearly." I kept my tone cool, but I knew Nick would pick up the subtle, threatening undertone to the words.
    "I don't think you're Delia Marshal at all." He looked even more scared at this.
    "Really?" I was quite amused. Of course I wasn't, but when your name is blasted across the news, it can be difficult to go by your actual name. "And you think I am?"
    "I think you are Sophie Lahsram." My eyes widened at this. He knew! All of it it! But that could only mean...
    As if on cue, Nick Creely jumped into the air sprouting feathery wings. "And I'm afraid you're under arrest."

    Sorry that it's a bit short:)

    1. I like how you told the story from the murderer's perspective. Nice twist!

    2. Wings! I did not see that coming!

  9. Welp, I tried. :P

    "Don't trust him," my trembling breath begged me. I tried to step as naturally across the lobby as the first day I had stepped into the Press. With a gulp, I approached the receptionist.
    His shoulders flinched when he noticed my presence. Did he know? It didn't matter. My sister would live in shackles if I didn't uncover the pertinent evidence justice required. I pressed the record button of my cassette that I had hidden in my purse.
    "George," I smiled, trying to mask my fear. "How's taking messages fairing for you?"
    He slammed down the stapler and met my gaze. "I do think I am quite getting the hang of it." He stood up and took a look across my face and tense body. "Are you alright? You look like you've just met a ghost."
    "I am very fine," I splurged out. I took a step back, and then let my breath loose.
    He drew his blond brows together. "You sure about that?"
    "Traffic was rough. Flurries and madness every where."
    "Ah, yes. Well, phone will be ringing soon have a nice day doing... whatever they force you to do in those little cells." He looked down and continued his stapling documents and setting them in a tray beside the handset.
    "Accounting... and they're called cubicles." He knodded. Get to the point, Rachael. I tilted my head. "Have you ever been to the pizzaria on 45th Street?"
    He looked up. "I'm sorry, I do not understand. You know I'm-"
    "Happily engaged, yes, but I was wondering if you've ever been there."
    "No, well, I don't go to that part of town very often."
    "You told me you went to the laundromat right nextdoor." I caught my breath. Why did I just say that?
    He stood up, leaning over the desk. "And how exactly does where I clean my long john's pertain to you?" His eyes bit at my own.
    "I," I began, "I was wondering if you'd and Lydia would like to join me to enjoy some pizza from my brother's restrnaut."
    "I don't know if that'll work- but I do stop at the laundromat on Tuesdays."
    "That'll work-" I said, excited. There was a bit evidence I needed.
    "We'll have a great time," he sighed and shook his head, sitting back down in his chair.
    "I'll see you around."
    I rushed to with smile growing along my face. Tuesday I'd have the chance to collect irrefutable evidence. As I pressed the button, a weight dropped in my stomach: I had asked two murderers on a date.

    1. *I rushed to the elevator with a smile grow along my face.

    2. "And how exactly does where I clean my long john's pertain to you?"
      I like this bit of humor here. :)

    3. I had just asked two murderers out on a date. Wow, that's cause for pause!

    4. Oooooo! Evidence collecting. How interesting!

  10. My name's Sarah, and this is my first time doing something like this. I hope people like it, and any feedback would be great as I'm still learning. Thanks!(Sorry if it's too long, I tried to keep it short)

    One, two, three, no, four bars were slammed down across the doors. I tried not to cower but I ended up trembling and covering my head with my arms anyways. Nathan scowled and slammed his fists against the wood.
    “Curse them all!” he snarled and flung back from the doors, turning away to mutter things I couldn’t catch.
    I paced as much as I could in the cramped building scanning the A framed roof above and windowless walls while keeping a nervous eye on my friend. My friend the assassin. Why was I friends with an assassin? Good question. To be honest I thought he was a thief and a con man, a loner like me, not a killer. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but he’d saved my life more than one time. But his actions never said assassin. Anything but that actually.
    “Would you stop your pacing! Squishing me under your big feet isn’t going to help us any,” Nathan snapped.
    “Sorry.” I whipped around nearly creaming him with my leg and sat on the dirt floor. “You’re a thief, don’t you guys know how to get out of places like this? Not that you get arrested much.” I chuckled nervously.
    Nathan smiled wryly, his curly blond hair matted with sweat. “I don’t make a point of getting arrested, Jose.”
    “Right, sure, of course not, why would you? That doesn’t make any sense at all.” You probably kill them if they try.
    He narrowed his eyes. “Why are you rambling? Are you really that nervous?”
    “Nervous?” I squeaked. My tail lashed across the floor nearly hitting him. “Why do you say that? I’m not nervous, not one little bit. Why would I be? We’re just locked up with no way ou– hey! Can’t you pick the lock? You have those types of tools, right? Please tell me I’m right.”
    Nathan rolled his eyes and turned his back to me to face the door. “Yes, I have a lock pick.”
    “Then we’re free!”
    “Not exactly.” Nathan rapped on the door with his knuckles. “You can’t pick a lock if there’s no lock, now can you?”
    “Oh, right.” I sat back down. “We’re barred in not locked, I get it now. So what do we do?”
    “What do we do?” Nathan’s voice rose, his hands curling into fists at his sides. “You’re asking me to break us out? You’re stronger than me, Jose! You break us out!”
    Nathan spun on his heels, blue eyes stormy and nearing that dark blue almost black color he got when especially angry. My eyes jerked to his billowing cloak and the knives he had strapped all over his body. I was positive he had a knife on every surface of him and no one would ever know. I had seen him use those knives when hunting. Would I be next? He could easily carve me up like a turkey on banquet day. Would he really kill his best friend in a fit of rage? Would he stab me in the stomach, carve up my throat? Bile rose in my mouth at the thought. My tail twitched against my will.
    “What do you mean?” I backed as far as I could into a corner of the building. One of the wood beams dug awkwardly into my spine. I hunched over but that didn’t help any.
    Nathan threw his hands in the air. “I can’t believe it! Jose, you’re a dragon! Break down the doors and get us out of here!”

    1. Ooo, I love that you used a dragon! :) And Jose's personality is fantastic. Thank you for sharing with us, Sarah. I'm glad you decided to post your scene.

    2. Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! I didn't really know if it was that good, but I tried.

    3. Thank you!

    4. I second that! I <3 dragons. Very creative, Sarah!

    5. Lovely, lovely! The anxiety is very present and the surprise ending is fun. Good job!

    6. I liked the narrator from the start, and that ending made him even more intriguing!

    7. As I read I was VERY curious. Tail? Interesting... But when he said dragon I immediately wanted to hear more!!!! :) This is TOTALLY AWESOME!!! You need to post the whole story! :)

    8. Wow, thank you, guys for all your lovely comments! These made my day. The funny thing is these characters don't even have a full story yet, but this will certainly encourage me to write it! Thank you, I can't wait for the next one!

    9. You're welcome, Sarah! Your writing is SUPERB! :)

  11. Martin leaned back against the stone wall, looking anywhere but at Bern across the room. It wouldn't do to meet the eyes of a killer who was staring daggers at him. Bern had already used real daggers on the king, after all. What was to say he didn't have some on him now? What was to say he wouldn't use them if provoked?
    Martin opened his mouth to say something generally meaningless, more to break the silence than anything, but Bern beat him to it.
    "They'll come for us soon." His voice was flat and cold enough to make Martin shudder as if ice had gone down his spine. He grimaced, forcing himself to match Bern's gaze, to look him full on.
    "We need to... to get out. Both of us." Except that he really didn't feel like taking a killer with him.
    "Neither of us should be here," said Bern. He narrowed his eyes. "Right?"
    "*I* haven't done anything," muttered Martin, and realized too late it was the wrong thing to say.
    "Are you saying *I* did?" asked Bern. He was still leaning against the opposite wall with his arms crossed, but his tone became even colder.
    "I don't even know you." Martin covertly wiped a bit of sweat from his forehead. "How would I know what you did or didn't do?"
    "Good question," said Bern. "How *would* you know? *What* do you know, Martin?"
    His arms came uncrossed now, and he stood up straight, casting a dark look across the room at Martin, who swallowed hard once, then again, and took a deep breath. "What *should* I know?" he asked, matching Bern's coldness.
    "You shouldn't know anything," said Bern. "As long as you don't, you're safe."
    Safe? SAFE?! What was that supposed to mean? Martin took another breath as several new drops of sweat replaced the one he had wiped away. "I don't know anything," he lied.
    Bern walked slowly and deliberately across the room until his face was just inches from Martin's. He leaned in closer still and whispered, "No, you don't. And if they question you and you conveniently happen to realize that you *do* know something, so that you get free and I don't--you won't be even close to safe. They won't let you go. They'll come for you again. I'll come for you, too, no matter what it takes. And I'll make sure that you don't know anything you shouldn't... ever again."

    1. Oops. I didn't mean for it to be that long. Sorry, got a little carried away.

    2. I like the suspense in your dialogue here, and the way you developed the conversation. Nice!

  12. “This is your fault, you know,” Zane reminds me . . . again.
    I jiggle the doorknob, but the door refuses to release me, standing as firm and unyielding as stone. I kick it for good measure and drop to the ground. I lean my head on the dank wall. How did I end up here? Things were going well, until . . .
    “Yes. You’ve made that perfectly clear. You can lay off it now.” My voice tightens as I speak, and I do my best not to let it show.
    “You had to go mess up the mission, didn’t you?” he continues. I meet his accusing stare with disbelief.
    “Me? *I* messed up a mission? What about-” I stop myself. He can’t know what I saw. He’d kill me, too.

    1. He'd kill me too! I wonder what happens after your character realizes that?

  13. After the three hooded men had locked the door to the break room, with both of us inside, I glanced over at him. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind. It was the same hard, daring face that stared at me when I put parcels in the locker boxes. Right now, he seemed more annoyed than anything else at having been caught up in a bank robbery.
    My breath snagged when he glanced over at me.
    “Tough break,” he said, leaning against the refrigerator.
    “Oh it’s nothing,” I laughed easily, turning red when his glance deepened to an open stare. “I mean, compared to…to being in a car wreck or something.” I was making it worse. I had to focus all my thoughts on getting out of this room. “Do you have a phone?”
    “You’d better call the police.” What was I doing! Had I really just asked a murderer to phone the police?
    “They probably already know,” he answered, getting to his feet and staring up at the ceiling vent.
    “We could tell them how many there are,” I countered, in a voice two pitches higher than my own.
    I saw his hesitation, but he masked it better than I did. “Yeah. Yeah sure. Here,” he said, tossing it to me.
    “Oh yes, of course, I’d be glad to do it, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that,” I was mumbling, tripping over my words.
    “Do you work here?” he asked, as I finished punching in the tip number.
    “No,” I said, deciding that the less I said, the better.
    “Most people would’ve just dialed 911,” he quietly observed.
    I mentally cursed my memory. That tip number, in bold black, was right next to his face beside the parcel locker. I couldn’t help but memorizing it.
    Somebody said hello to me. My voice was quivering by now; he had to know it wasn’t because of the bank robbery.
    “Hello, yes, we’re being robbed.” I didn’t hear a word the poor man was saying to me; I was trying too hard to think of a clever way to tell him I was locked up in a room with a murderer. Nothing clever came to mind.
    “There are four of them,” I said softly, my heart pounding deeper into my ribs.
    In an instant, his sneakers were by my side. I stared up his length.
    He angled his head slightly, and a nauseating shudder ran up my aching neck.
    “There's three,” he said slowly, and I imagined his brain was chasing mine, getting closer and closer to every guilty thought I’d had.
    “Three,” I breathed into the phone. “Definitely three. Just like the ninja turtles," I added quickly, praying it was enough. "Hurry!"

    1. I love the suspense. I was freaking out along with her. Good job!

    2. Very good! My favorite was the four/three part.

    3. Love all the tension there at the end! Good build.

    4. Very clever! Well done!

  14. Suspense definitely isn't my strong point, but I tried. Lol.
    Gable's fingers pressed hard against the fingerboard, the strings cutting through his callouses as he moved up and down with the pitch. The cello's vibrations echoed within his hollow chest, filling the gaping hole.

    So Cerise hadn't believed him, why should she? Would he have believed her if she claimed his uncle was murdering the slaves?

    Well, he paused his playing to tilt his head back against the scroll of his instrument, maybe he would have believed her. Uncle Aurik had always been a little shifty.

    With a growl, he returned to his present troubles and scrubbed his bow across the strings hard enough to snap several of the horse hairs. After snapping them off he began again, playing for himself. With his eyes shut, he focused on the sensation of sound reverberating in his chest. It didn't matter if he landed his fingers precisely where they ought to go, there was no one to hear it.

    Or so he thought.

    His eyes opened with a jolt when a finger tapped his shoulder. Durand came into focus, his thin lips pressed together tightly. Gable's stomach clenched. No reasonable person would suspect the Vesper butler, but then again no reasonable person would care about the deaths of a few Asteron slaves.

    Gable lifted his cello by the neck as he stood and bowed. When he straightened he allowed his gaze to rise no higher than Durand's mouth. Cerise's uncle didn't understand sign language, so he would have to speak. While Cerise might think his diction was improving, Gable knew he still slurred his words together by the way she winced every time he spoke. Gable cleared his throat and hoped he wasn't shouting. "I'm sorry sir. Was I too loud?"

    "Not at all, Gable. Please sit." Lip reading was more of an art than a hard science, especially with the foreign way that the foreigner's spoke the syllables. Tonight especially Durand seemed to blur the lip movements together. Still, Gable was fairly certain that he'd understood correctly. When Durand gestured to the chair, Gable obeyed.

    Gable clenched his hand around his bow as the butler pulled a second chair over. It was hard to not picture Durand's long fingers drawing a knife across Adelheide's throat as easily as Gable pulled a bow across the strings. The vesper man made everything he did into an art form, he wouldn't be your average butcher.

    "Can I help you?"

    The reply came too quickly for Gable to catch.

    "I'm sorry, sir. I couldn't see." Gable stumbled over the 's' sound. It was one he still struggled with
    under the best of circumstances. "If you say again I will do better."

    "Right. I forgot you read lips" Durand leaned forward, his breath sweet with wine. Though his exaggerated speech was meant to mock, it did make him a little easier to understand. "My niece has had a lot to say about you."

    The door was shut and barred, instinct spurred Gable to check. Pulse pounding in his throat, Gable turned back to Durand.

    The butler's grin was cruel, but not suspicious. There was still a chance of getting out alive. Durand gestured to the instrument Gable had forgotten he was gripping. "Let's see if the deaf man can play as well as she claims."

    1. So much here to love. Beautiful prose and imagery. I wonder what the coming conversatoon would hold. Play with it. You could have something spectacular brewing!

  15. As the door closed, I observed my surroundings. We were in a room, that was plain and boring. Well, boring compared to the color of the usual bedrooms I stayed in. It was covered in white paint and the door that used to be here, wasn't anymore.
    I glanced over at Marie, "Well, what do we do now?" I want to hear her ideas before I suggest anything.
    Marie fidgets a little, "Um," she says looking down. "If this is our last test, shouldn't we probably find a way out?"
    Wow. Such an astute comment. Honestly, it's a wonder she was chosen as a candidate to be a Guardian. I laugh inside. It's a wonder I was chosen.
    "Yeah. We should," I say. "Look around for something, anything that could somehow get us out. Usually they've left us clues in the past."
    Marie nods and hurries over to the far side of the room, seemingly entranced with the floor.
    I think she knows now. It's usually something I try to keep hidden, but maybe I should confront her about it. But, then again, she's probably terrified to be locked in a room with me. I'll see if she's going to bring it up.
    I start to search where the door used to be. Nothin. Nothin. Nothin.
    "Found anything?" I ask. Hopefully she'll realize a clue when she sees it.
    "I actually have," she says. Again, she seems like she's trying to hide something. Not that you can hide something I already know.
    "Really? What?" I turn around and see her holding a piece of paper. As I look at the writing on it, I start to make out words.

    Succeed, and you will move on. Fail, and you will stay.
    I am perfect,
    I am impossible.
    I am permanent,
    I am guaranteed.
    What am I?

    Marie sighs in relief, "Another riddle. I can do that."
    I look at her in pity, "Well, this riddle means nothing."
    "What do you mean? I-I mean, what makes you say that?" Marie still looks so nervous. When did she find out? Hasn't all we've been through together shown her that I am nothing to be afraid of?
    "This riddle literally means NOTHING," I said.
    "Ohhh. That makes more sense," she says. "So, what I get from that, is that in order to get out, we have to do NOTHING."
    I'll admit, she does have her moments. Or maybe the earlier astuteness was a mask.
    "Good job!" I say sitting down. "Come sit by me and we can talk while we wait."
    Marie has a panicked look come over her face before she hides it,"All right."
    "So, tell me about what you were before you got your letter."
    She looks around then starts. I don't pay attention, I just want her to concentrate on something other than my "scaryness".
    "I know you have killed someone."
    This jolts me out of my thought train. I had been hoping she didn't know. Whenever I confirm it, people distance themselves from me, but I don't want to lie.
    I sigh, "Yes. I have."

    1. Boom! A confession. What happens next?

    2. The casual disposition of the killer really builds the character. I like it! ;)

  16. I fall back on my frilly pink bedspread. "There is no reason to keep secrets from me. I'm your twin sister, for crying out loud!"
    Laurel sighs and pushes her hair behind her ear. "Olivia, I need to have my own life. I can't tell you everything. Besides, if you knew this secret, you'd be in danger." She absentmindedly looks through her texts. Good thing I've kept my own secret: I already know what she did, I just want to know that she trusts me enough to share with me.
    "What if I guess? Will you tell me then?" I sit up and look at her.
    "Did you hurt someone?"
    The blood drains from her face, and she stares at me, wide-eyed. "How much do you know?" She is really scared now, I can feel it.
    "I was coming out of the bathroom and I saw you standing there with blood on your hands. It looked like you didn't know what had just happened. But when the principal announced the death over the PA, I figured it had something to do with you."

    Love this prompt! It took me a day and a half to narrow down all the possibilities!

    1. Hooray! You've got a great start here. I wonder what happens to the tension here if you try to prolong the discussion a bit? Try it!

  17. “You know what the definition of insanity is?”
    I freeze, my palm slipping against the metal doorknob. “What?”
    “Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.”
    “I’m not insane.” I step back, wiping my hands on my jeans. “Not yet.”
    “Why so nervous?” He sits behind me with his back against the wall, unnaturally serene.
    “What?” I can’t look at him. I don’t have to, because I know exactly how he’s looking at me: eyes narrowed slightly, head tilted, and mouth curved mockingly, like a sunning snake.
    “I asked, why so nervous?”
    “I’m locked in a room for no apparent reason, and I don’t want to be here forever, that’s why I’m nervous,” I rush. I yank the doorknob again. Maybe I am going insane.
    “No, there’s something else.”
    I lean my head against the thick, unyielding door. The lights hum, and my hand jerks toward the knob again when I hear him shift positions. “There shouldn’t be.”
    “What do you mean by ‘shouldn’t’?”
    Maybe it’s my rising panic that makes me face him finally. It writhes in my gut, telling me to take on the enemy, the man that I watched, only hours ago, kill her. I sit across from him with my back pressed tight against the door, prey versus predator.
    “Whatever else you’re searching for shouldn’t be in my head,” I say. “I just want to get out of here.”
    “I don’t think that’s what you mean.”
    “I don’t understand.”
    “There shouldn’t be something else worrying you, like there shouldn’t be injustice, there shouldn’t be world hunger, there shouldn’t be-”
    “Hate. Greed. I know.” Make eye contact, or avoid it? I don’t know, I don’t know. He's too insistent, digging too deep.
    He pauses. “Killing,” he adds quietly.
    He knows. He knows that I know.
    The fingers of my right hand press desperately against the bottom of the door, seeking space for sound, light, air, deliverance.
    “I just want to get out of here, that’s all,” I repeat.
    But that's not what I meant. I meant there shouldn’t be - there shouldn't HAVE to be - something else in my head, because he shouldn’t have killed her.
    “Did you hear that?” he asks suddenly.
    “Nobody’s come yet, then.”
    “Exactly. So.”
    He draws in a breath, a hiss of air in the silent space. And he stands slowly. “While we wait, you’re going to tell me exactly how you felt while you watched her die.”
    Then he moves toward me.

  18. ‘Aaron! Aaron!’ Lila screams. Her fingernails are cracked and bleeding, but she claws at the lock again. ‘Aaron!’
    ‘Shut it!’ I snap. I can’t bear to hear his name any longer.
    She turns to me, the first time in hours, startled. ‘He’ll hear us more if we both scream.’
    ‘Maybe he’s… too far away,’ I say. But he’s not too far away. And he’s not coming, either.
    ‘He’ll rescue us.’ She forces a smile. ‘It doesn’t matter where we are.’ She jams her fingertips up the lock again, and twists.
    ‘Lila, he won’t.’ Can’t she talk about anything but Aaron? ‘If the three of us die, the world’s over. This place is a fortress. Aaron would never be so stupid to give himself up.’
    ‘You didn’t know him like I did.’ Lila says. ‘We were best friends. He’d never leave us here.’
    We were friends too, Lila. Right up until I stood over him with a knife.
    ‘He would have if he had any sense, which he did!’ I yell.
    Were best friends.
    And I cry, like I’ve never cried before. I cry for Lila, trapped in a witch’s lair with a traitor. I cry for Aaron, knowing he’ll never again rescue us, or laugh, or run, or breathe. I cry for every single person out there who has no idea they’re dead tomorrow too. And I cry for me. Because it’s my fault. Because I killed Aaron. Because tomorrow his enemies are going to raze the world with no opposition. And because I wish I was going to die with them.
    Were best friends.
    Would have.
    I look up at Lila. Her body’s trembling, but her amber gaze is firm on me. ‘You murdered him,’ she whispered. ‘They were right. It was you.’
    I open my mouth, to scream or apologise or weep or tell her why, as if she’d ever get why – to scream, I think.
    Because Lila is opening the cell door, having finally picked the lock. ‘Goodbye. I don’t think I’ll see you again. And if I do, I won’t see my friend.’
    The door slams shut. I hear her scrabbling outside, fixing it so I’m still caged. Then footsteps, as my last human friend is gone.

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  20. I had heard her scream in the alley way. I had seen him pull the knife across her throat.
    Variety Claire. I had known her name. I had known her face. Now I knew her murderer.
    A jolt of panic shot through my veins, and my heart pounded like a cornered rabbit.
    The alley way where Variety Claire lay dying was a dead end. Her murderer would be coming this way any moment.
    There was no where for ne to run.
    My hands shook as I forced myself to slowly walk away.
    I had seen nothing. I knew nothing. I would not harm his plans.
    Pay no heed to me.
    But I knew he would.
    I heard footsteps behind me and forced myself not to turn around. Not until Variety Claire's murdered\r walked up right beside me.
    "Willow." His voice is low. "What are you doing out here?"
    "Walking." That was the only answer I had. And my voice shook.
    Do not look him in the eyes. Do not let him see you shaking.
    Do not tell your brother that you know he is a murderer.
    "Walking?" His voice was laced with suspicion. He never could hide anything from me, either. At least I thought so.
    Until now.
    His eyes swing up to the starry sky. "Little late to be ... walking."
    I blow out a breath. "I couldn't sleep." My palms are damp with sweat.
    Suddenly his footsteps stop. My heart beats faster. And then I force myself to turn and face him.
    My brother has blood on his hands.
    My breath catches, and my faces turns white. I see recognition in his eyes.
    Too late now.
    My brother is a murderer, and he knows what I know.
    I have no where else to turn.
    So I run.

    ~ Savannah

    1. That was great, Savannah! It leaves you hanging. lol :)

  21. I force my words out around a closing throat. “Do you know why we’re here?”
    The woman is pacing the length of the tiny room, breathing hard. “No.”
    I bite my lip. “Are you okay?” I try to sound compassionate.
    She stops and glares at me over her shoulder. “I don’t like small spaces.”
    I swallow hard. Stumbling to the door, I examine it. “Maybe we can pick the lock.”
    She takes a deep breath and joins me at the door. I take a step back. “I’ve seen this kind of lock before. It’s pretty basic.”
    “Can you pick it, then?”
    An aggravated frown twists her face. “Maybe if I had the right equipment,” she snaps.
    “That’s alright,” I say, my voice almost trembling. “We’ll think of something else.”
    She looks at me. “Oh yeah?”
    “Sure,” I squeak. I stare at the lock, hoping something will come to me.

    1. Great start here! Keep writing! I want to hear these two talk to one another!

  22. I can see the blood on her hands. Even if it's not actually there, my eyes keep painting vermillion stains blooming over her fingers and dripping onto the floor. I suck in a deep breath - or try to, but my lungs don't seem to be working as they should. I have to say something - I can't keep sitting here staring at her hands! "How long do you think they'll be?" I ask, struggling to keep my voice on an even tone.
    She shrugs, her shoulders rolling under the dress. "We're stuck half way between floors, it's not as simple as cutting through the door."
    I take a slow step back, leaning against the wall. I press the sole of my left foot against it, the hardness of the metal helping somehow. I swallow, trying to keep my eyes from straying to her, trying to keep them from silently screaming out of the open mouths of my dilated pupils. Absurdly, I squint, trying to hold my terror inside.
    She stretches her legs out, sitting flat on the floor, shaking hair out of her eyes. She reaches behind her head and tugs her hair free of its ponytail, shaking it out into a blond cloud around her head and then pulling it sharply back once more, fastening it with her scrunchy.
    I press myself still against the wall until the handrail digs into my back, then with an exhalation push forward and begin pacing. My feet crash sickening and loud on the metal elevator floor and I internally wince with each step. I have to say something! Just pacing, saying nothing - she'll know something's up! The blood will spill over her hands again, but this time it'll be for real. It'll be my blood.
    "What - were you buying?" I ask, straining not to squeak. I think I manage, for she answers straight after me.
    "DIY," She says. "What about you?"
    Me? Me? It never occurred to me that she might answer with another question. Terror pounds unchecked through my sparking neurones for a few seconds before I can manage an answer. "Um, just general stuff, fruit and veg, that kind of thing."
    She quirks and eyebrow and I stop pacing, rest on my elbows and watch her. Watch her and don't take my eyes away.
    "What's up?" She asks.
    Some part of me begins to scream in tune with my eyes. Within me, somewhere, a mouth opens wide like a deep dark well and pours pure terror into the world.
    Luckily, I don't actually scream. I open my mouth, close it again, and then pure, wonderful inspiration floods through me. "We're stuck in an elevator," I snarl. "In the middle of our shopping trips, I have a family, kids at home, and my phone's in the car! What is not up?"
    I sag with relief as she nods and turns away. "Okay. I get that. Me, I'm cool with it. There's nothing pressing I have to do."
    At last I close my eyes, leaning my head back. The screaming slows to a trickle of phantom sound, dribbling out of my dry eyes. When I open them again the blood on her hands is only stains. It's still there - I know that she has killed - but she doesn't seem likely to kill me. I hope.

    1. I love the rich details! And the dialogue is supreme. Great tension!

    2. Lots of clever wordsmithing here! Good job.

  23. "Sorry to disappoint, but you don't look familiar. Not in the slightest." Hiram shook his head, slowly moving his hand away from the sword at his side. "Am I supposed to know who you are? Because I can honestly say that I've never seen you in my life before."

    "It's true. You've never seen me. But you don't need to see me to know who I am." The cloaked figure stepped further into the light of the single torch, though his face remained hidden below his hood. A clasp in the shape of a lion pinned the edges of his cloak together on his left shoulder. Hiram had seen that lion before, but he couldn't place where....he certainly had never encountered this menacing shadow before.

    Hiram forced himself to stand stock still, controlling every nerve and muscle to keep his body from shaking. "You must forgive me, but I must be missing something. I've racked my brain for every name and face I know, and none of them match you." The tales all said The Hunter never attacked until his prey realized who he was. He had to stall until Wade arrived. But if the door was still locked...!! A small bead of sweat started to slide down the side of his face, and he wiped it away while pretending to scratch an itch. "So, what is your name?"

    "I have no name."

    "Oh, do you now?" Hiram attempted a laugh. "I seriously doubt that. Everyone has a name. Now, please, tell me, who locked me in here? Surely it wasn't you, since you've obviously been hiding in the corner for some time before stepping into the light. Are you waiting for someone?"


    "Really? That's odd. I can't think of anyone who would want to kill me." /I certainly can't think of why the Hunter would be after me. I'm not even Saoren. The Hunter only kills Saoren. He must have mistaken me for someone else. Yes, that's it. He's just mistaken./ Hiram knew, deep down, that he was only lying to himself. But perhaps, just perhaps, he was right. "Of course, since I'm a Rancor, that usually means everyone is after me, hmm? It's a tough life, everyone just wanting to hunt me down because of my blood line and all that. They never take the time to get to know..."

    "It's not your blood I'm after." The Hunter lowered his hood to display bright blue eyes that took everything - the barred windows, the low-burning fire, the man before him - in with a single glance. Hertain had heard of that stare in dozens of tales, but he never thought he would see it fixed upon him.

    "So who are you, and what are you after? Do you need my help? I am, after all, a Rancor general. I have many men, including spies and messengers, at my command. Is it information you need? Supplies?" The words spilled out of his mouth. He didn't really mean to betray his people, he was just trying to buy time. The Hunter probably wouldn't take up his offers, anyway. He needed nothing. He took only blood. "Tell me what you need, and I will do my best to assist you."

    "I'm the Hunter, and I have come in the name of one you fear."

    Horror brought memory flooding back to Hiram's mind. The lion! It was the golden lion of the Fëvere clan! /By the Mountain, he really is going to kill me./

    ~Julian Daventry

    1. What I love about this piece is that you're accomplishing multiple things at once. You'really adding tension and world building answer you're also developing your characters. Well done. Keep at it!

  24. So this is how it's going to end, I thought, my stomach lurching enough to make bile rise in the back of my throat. I didn't dare lift my head, so I kept searching for the key on my hands and knees.
    "Anything?" Kat asked calmly. I instinctively shuddered, but tried to cover it up with a coughing fit. My hands were sweating; my shirt was soaked.
    "Not yet!" came a cheery voice that didn't sound like my own. I heard Kat stand up in the back of the room. My mind racing, I slipped my hand back into my pocket to make sure the pocket knife was still there, but her footsteps didn't get any closer.
    "So," I started, my voice less confident than before. I swept my dark hair out of my eyes and it grew slick with sweat. "Are you planning on staying in Bridgefield long?" Long enough to complete another murder? I added silently.
    "I'm not sure yet," she said, getting down and starting to look on the floor next to me. The cheerful look on her face had disappeared, replaced with a startlingly blank expression. Though she appeared to be looking, her fingers never touched the carpet, and something about her eyes made me check my pocket again.
    I quickly changed gears, wondering if she was on to me. "I'm sorry this happened - I'm not usually so clumsy!" I pleaded. I wasn't, but Kat was wearing the same bracelet that had been left behind at one of the crimes scenes. A few days ago it had been covered in blood, but now it was clean, even shiny. Suspiciously so.

    1. This is really good! I like the casual conversation between the characters.

    2. Great job! Lots of tension as we wonder if she'll be able to keep her secret.

  25. I walked around in the locked room that I was in. I was considering my options.
    One: I could tell Drake that I know he's an assassin
    Two:I could try and bust the window with my bare hands
    I quickly thought hard and long about each option. I looked at Drake who paced back and forth across the room. He looked like he was talking to himself. I saw the shining dagger that was clasped to his belt loop. Would I be his next victim?
    He has a bad temper. "Lexi, why in the world didn't you run while you had a chance? You could have grabbed the crowbar that was in the trunk." He cursed.
    I panicked. "D-do I have to do everything?!" His hand went to the handle of his dagger. I quickly tried to change what I said. "Well...I mean...I guess I should have run. I guess I was in shock." He went on his hands and knees and tried to see through the little crack at the bottom of the door. He found that that was useless and got back up. He tried to cut through the door. His attempts were hopeless. His blade looked blunt and the door was too strong.
    "It's all your fault," Drake hissed. He walked over to me. His look was dastardly.
    I didn't want my pleading eyes to show so I set my focus on the Van Gogh painting hanging on the wall. He pulled out his knife and walked slowly towards me.
    "Look, I know who you are! I won't tell anybody. I promise. Just leave me alone." I put my hand over my mouth. I broke my oath not to tell him what I knew. Before he could come any closer to me, I fainted from fright.

    -I'm just beginning, so it may be a little sloppy. I hope yo like it. It's a little short

    1. That's REALLY good!!! :)

    2. My name is LHE for anyone who wants to know. I just wrote the entry above that's about Drake and Lexi.

    3. Fantastic job. Lots of tension in this little piece.

    4. Thank you! I love writing. I didn't want to make the exercise too long. :)

  26. I laid down limply on a brown ratty matt. We were locked in a small, cramped room after our capture. Sean just stared lifelessly out of the boarded windows. We tried to bang on the doors with all our might, but the door had been barricaded. There was no way out and no way of escape. I was stuck in the room with a cold blooded assassin. He's my brother, but we are nothing alike. Innocent blood was on his hands. He didn't even seem to care. I don't want to think about it, but he could turn on me. One wrong move and I could die.
    "Sis, there's no way out. This is real," Sean said coldly. I picked my words carefully. I'm scared that he will turn. He's already a murderer. An assassin.
    "I wonder who killed Logan? He was a good kid. It wasn't fair." He looked at me fiercely.
    "Whoever it is will pay." He tried to cover up his horrid actions. I saw his dagger. I saw the cold killing. He can't hide the truth. The truth will always be found out.
    "Yes, Sean." He looked at me like I had slapped him in the face. He acted like i hadn't noticed his hostility.
    "You think that I killed him? Are you nuts? You must be out of your mind. I wouldn't do anything like that. That was a heartless killing." He walked up to me and looked at me with his piercing, grey eyes.
    "Then why'd you do it?" I tried to look bold, but my fear was starting to show.
    He looked at me hard. "I thought I could trust you." He acted like I was the one who did wrong.
    "You murdered someone!" I yelled as I shoved him away from me. "I thought I could trust YOU!" His face showed anger and confusion.
    "How did you find out?" He pulled his dagger out of it's sheath. I stepped backwards.
    "I followed you. I watched you murder him. He was innocent! He never didi anything to you! How could you do such a thing?!" I backed into the corner of a wall. I was cornered. He put the dagger up to my neck.
    "I can't let anyone find out. Not even you." He raised the knife and I kicked him. That distracted him while I fled. I ran like I never had in my life. He ran after me. I picked up a bundle of rope, and threw the rock at the window. The window shattered, and I hurriedly tied the rope to a little metal loop in the window. I started to climb down. I lost my balance and hanged there for a second. Sean was cutting the rope. I slid down not caring if my hands were getting cut. When there was at least five feet left, I jumped. He started to climb down. I fell to the ground and ran.
    "Bella, you'll never survive out there. I'll find you. No one can know what I've done!" His threats only pushed me to run faster. A blade whizzed past me. He's my half brother. He treated me like a stranger sometimes. He wouldn't have a problem killing me. I felt a hand grab me and I fell to the ground. He pinned my arms down.
    Would these be the last breathes I take?

    1. Great job! Lots of emotion here. I wonder what happens when you drag out the length of time your character tries not to show SHE KNOWS! Hmmmm.

    2. Thank you! :)
      Hmmm, I need to do that more.

    3. This is REALLY good. REALLY good. :)

    4. Thanks! You really think so? :)

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  28. I tried to look calm as I sat in the corner of the dank cell. Peck was sitting straight across from me. I couldn't let on that I knew.
    But how could I be calm? I was trapped in a room with a murderer!
    I heard Peck stand up. Without moving my head, I looked up at him. He was pacing back and forth in front of me. His dagger spun furiously.
    I felt myself pushing further into the corner.
    The dagger halted. Peck had stopped pacing in front of me. He bent down so we were eye-to-eye. My breath caught in my throat, and I could barely contain my fear.
    "You know, don't you?" He asked. Almost casually.
    "Know what?" I squeaked nervously. I straightened and tried to look like I was genuinely curious.
    The corner of his mouth curled up in a smile. He looked like the cat that cornered the mouse. He chuckled quietly and nodded.
    "Well," he started, his gaze confident, "I think you do."
    I inhaled slowly. What was I going to do? He knew.
    He stood up and started walking again. He rubbed the blade of his dagger menacingly. I pushed myself further into the corner. My fear was starting to show itself.
    Peck sat down across from me. His grip on the dagger was tight. He closed his eyes. When they opened, they seemed different. Colder. They were the eyes of a killer.
    Peck was going to kill me.

    I haven't been writing stories for very long, so I'm sorry if it's a little rough. :)

    1. I hope I didn't send it in too late.

  29. Who are the winners?

  30. Kent threw himself into the door again, but it remained undaunted by his chiseled physique. He grew frustrated with each repeated denial as well as his comrade’s sudden apathy.
    “What are you doing?! Help me!!”
    Adrian lingered where he was—a huddled, immovable lump. He feared that any movement, however slight, would betray his thoughts.
    Kent refused to accept silence for an answer. “Don’t just sit there! We have to get out of this place! Now!”
    “Shouldn’t we just wait for the agency to send help?”
    “What the heck is wrong with you? Tyler’s murderer is still out there somewhere!”
    Adrian coughed and massaged the back of his neck. “I’m not so convinced that Simeon is…”
    The door was spared from further punishment. Kent became silent as death and just as still. The air itself gradually transformed into a suffocating burden that hung directly above the duo.
    “You think Simeon is innocent?”
    Adrian’s heart was pounding so wildly that it hurt. “I never said that. It’s just… I think that maybe we haven’t been asking the right questions. It could have been someone else.”
    Kent had now directed his full attention to Adrian. A shadow dawned over his countenance. “Who have you been talking to?”
    “No one.” Adrian’s reply was quick. But it was too quick. “It’s nothing, Kent. Honest. I just want to make sure we’re not after the wrong person.”
    “Why are you so jumpy?”
    “I’m not.”
    It was lost battle.
    At this point, both Kent and Adrian knew they were playing a diplomatic game. This day was destined to end in the same way it had begun. With blood.
    The only question that remained would be whose.