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Story a Day September: Day 19 – “Aiding and Abetting”

Working with the final set of prompts for the month. Today I used “One character’s boss is doing something illegal”. I actually had two ideas sparked for this prompt. So, this is just one of them.

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Jayla stepped into the back room. She hadn’t been able to find Jared anywhere else in the clinic. Even Kellie hadn’t known where he was. But, this was really the last place to look.
She heard voices before she’d even made it all the way into the room. “I’m so sorry, Doc.”
“Don’t even think about it, Durant. I told you after Damon died, that you could come to me for anything.”
“But, I don’t wanna get you in trouble, too. I should just turn myself in.”
“No,” Jared said harshly. “I didn’t just dig this bullet out of your shoulder for you to go throw your life away. Those men got what they deserved, but not everyone will see it that way. What you need to do is get out of town.”
Jayla stayed where she was near the door, barely able to believe what she was hearing. She knew Jared didn’t have respect for more than a handful of cops. But, she’d never known him to advocate blatantly breaking the law. She wasn’t sure what to do.
“Those antibiotics will help prevent infection. Use the pain pills as you need them. Please don’t sell them, Durant.”
A heavy silence fell then. “I haven’t done that since right after Damon was killed. You helped me then, too. I don’t understand why.”
“Because your brother was a friend at one time. Here’s some money for a bus ticket. Now, you really should go.”
Jayla heard the back door open and close and finally made her feet move. Jared was washing blood from his hands when she finally spotted him. “Your bleeding heart’s going to get you in trouble one of these days,” she said.
He barely jumped. Had he known she was there the whole time? Or was he that controlled even after so many years of being off the streets? “He saved a girl from three men,” Jared said without looking back at her. “Not quite sixteen. And one of those men had connections to city government. Nothing would have happened to him. Durant made sure justice was served.”
“Not everyone would have your same view of justice. Some would call it aiding and abetting.”
His nose wrinkled at that. She nearly laughed at the expression. “He didn’t do anything I wouldn’t have done in the same situation. Now, what did you need?”
She’d almost forgotten why she’d come looking for him. “You’ve got a patient who will only see you,” she said. “No one was sure where you were, though.”
He nodded. “I’ll take care of it.” He headed past her. “And Jayla?”
“Yes?”
“None of this leaves this room. You didn’t see me treating him or giving him medicine. If he’s caught and it comes back on anyone, it will be me alone.”
Jayla didn’t like it, or the sense of unease his words brought. But, she nodded. Jared really was determined to save them all. No matter what the cost to himself. Sometimes she was afraid that cost would be too high.

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Story a Day: Day 18 – “Protect You”

Another short one today. Was shooting for 100 words, but went a bit over again. This is a continuation of Day 16’s story, “The Monster“.

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“Here!” I grabbed her and pulled her down behind the wall, sheltering her. I could feel her shaking. “It’s going to be okay. I won’t let anything hurt you. I promise.”
“They were right behind us. They’ll catch us.”
I crouched in front of her. “Not if you do as I tell you. I was brought here to protect you. That’s exactly what I’m going to do. Okay?”
After a moment, she nodded. I took her hand again. They were closing in. “On three, we’ll run again. Trust me, okay?”
She nodded. I counted to three. I kept her tucked against me as we fled from the monsters masquerading as parents.

Writing Wednesday:

I instituted my first Mellow Monday this week. And I finished reading 3 books in one day. 1 was short, and I’d actually started it Sunday night. But, I’m still counting it. My word count for the week is a little low. But, I’m hoping to catch up there, too.

Yesterday my kids had their yearly check-ups, so that cut into my day a bit. Picked them up early from school and took them up for that. Both are in good health and still right along the same growth curve they’ve been on since birth. The girl is at about 35% for both height and weight. For the boy, that’s about 70% for height and 40% for weight(so basically tall & skinny, which I could see for myself.;) ) Which is basically how his dad was as a kid from what I’ve been told and his dad as well. They both got the flu shot, and that was it. So, they’re good for the next year, as long as neither of them get sick.

Today, I don’t have anything that needs to take me away from the house. Tomorrow is Open House night at the school, but that’s not until 6, so plenty of time to get stuff done. On Friday we’re dropping the kids at my mom’s and going out of town for the weekend, so I won’t be getting much done then.

But, for now, I have another bit of Jonas & Isaac’s story for WiPPet Wednesday. For today I have 29 sentences(9+20. Simple math today). This is just shortly after last week’s. Konner has left them alone to talk.

“You want to sit or something?” Isaac asked. He didn’t think staying up on those crutches could be that comfortable.

“I’m fine,” Jonas said, though his jaw was still tight. “Toby came to bring me home for the weekend.” Isaac figured Toby must not have spoken to Jonas since then, since Isaac already knew that. “He told me, Isaac.”

Isaac kept his gaze on the floor. He wanted to look Jonas in the face, but it hurt. Not just seeing the scars there, but the pain that was evident in the rigid line of his jaw and in those dark eyes he’d always loved looking into.

“Told you what?” He didn’t even know why he was playing. Toby had told him he’d let Jonas know.

“About your dad. That he’s about to be released. Are you okay?”

Isaac’s head snapped up at that. “That’s why you’re here? The only reason you’d come to see me is because you think I’m falling apart because my asshole father is getting out of jail.” He didn’t know why he was surprised. Still, it hurt.

“I was worried about you,” Jonas said.

Just like Toby had told him. It didn’t help this ache in his chest, though. “Well, don’t be. I’ve got it handled. There are people who never left me who will stand around me.”

“You broke up with me,” Jonas reminded him. Like he really needed to.

“Because you were already planning to leave.”

Ouch. Will they get past this? is that really the only reason Jonas came to see him? Will he admit the real reason?

Plotting:

  • Primary: Green Hills & Smoky Fields: Book 1 – Story Toolkit – finished the first character arc worksheet  8a/18
  • Secondary: Plan out weekly Story a Day offeringsPlotted 13/15 so far. The others from the second set of prompts aren’t really plottable(write in opposite setting from last time/write opposite your usual method). On target.

Writing:

  • Primary: Write 45000 words on 5 main projects(one almost complete) – 18477/45000 words Off target
    • Still Burning – 512 words
    • Whatever It Takes – 310 words
    • High on Loving You – 505 words
    • By the Gun –
  • Secondary: Write 10000 words on 10 side projects – 4456/10000 words A little off target
    • Tavin & Haiwee –
    • Roman –
    • Dougal & Shae –
    • Jacob & Matthew –
    • Mike & Fadil–
    • Hawk –
    • Sean & Braeden –
    • Melanie & Garren –
  • Stretch: Write 50 pages on Jonas & Isaac project – 20/50 pages Off target

Editing:

  • Primary: Edit Stained Blood as I get chapters back – got Chapter 2 back last night. Will start edits later today.
  • Secondary: Edit Flames of Renewal when I get it back
  • Stretch: Edit Preggers short story – Polished 9/49 items

Reading:

  • Primary: Read 30 books – 17/30 Fell Off Target
    • Of Dreams and Rust(Sarah Fine) – Started this Monday(9/4) morning. At 14%. Not sure if it’s because it’s been so long since I read the first book or what, but I find myself not really caring. So setting this aside until I finish the other books on this month’s list(or at least for the week). Then, I may try to pick it back up.
    • If I Should Die(Allison Brennan) – Started this Friday night. Finished it Sunday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • Love Is Murder(Allison Brennan) – Read this Sunday afternoon. This was a novella in the back of If I Should Die. I’m counting it as 2 books, since this was another 100 pages(it’s my list, I can cheat if I want. 😉 ) Enjoyed this one too.
    • Ash & the Prince(Katie Doyle) – Started this Sunday night. Finished it Monday morning. This is one I’ve had in my ‘free’ collection for quite some time. Didn’t really get into it, but it was short, so I kept reading.
    • Red Blooded(Caitlin Sinead) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Monday afternoon. Enjoyed this one.
    • Mature Content(Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell) – Started this Monday afternoon. Finished it Monday night. Oh, I loved this so much!!!!!
    • Star Cruise: Outbreak(Veronica Scott) – Started this Tuesday morning. Finished it Tuesday night. Enjoyed it.
  • Secondary: Listen to 6 books – 2/6 Close to target
    • Beautiful Broken Rules(Kimberly Lauren) – Started this Monday morning. On Chapter 14/21.
  • Stretch: Read 1 craft/research book – I did read a little more of The Story of the Irish Race for GH & SF.

Social Media:

  • Primary: Post weekly Writing Wednesday, Fiction Friday, SOCS, WeWriWa, & Sunday Summary posts –  On target
  • Secondary: Write & Post 25 Story a Day pieces – 17/25 written. 14/25 posted On target
    • Changing History
    • Birth – takes place after the end of Jonas & Isaac’s story
    • Dazzling Sunset – a bit with Ian and Aidan, from my short story, Hang On.
    • Looking Up – a bit of a “meet cute” for 2 new characters.
    • Moving Forward – a bit of ‘after ever after’ for Jonas & Isaac(though it comes before ‘Birth’.
    • Not Twins – continuation to my Preggers story, not posted
    • Motive – More Jonas & Isaac, combined with Stream of Consciousness Saturday
    • Breaking Rules – A quick 100 words of dialogue without quotation marks(prompt was to break some rules).
    • Konner & Derek – Wrote this by hand then dictated to my phone(both methods I don’t typically use).
    • Rapunzel, Rapunzel – a bit of a gender-bent modernized version of Rapunzel, featuring Konner & Derek.
    • A Good Sign – more with Konner & Derek, something that happens off page in Jonas & Isaac’s story.
    • Like This Forever – more of Jonas & Isaac’s story, a bit emotional
    • Slanting Sunlight – continuation of Looking Up
    • Never Believe – a bit with Isaac shortly after him and Jonas break up.
    • End of the Party – more with Jonas & Isaac
    • The Monster – A really short one(125 words)
    • The News – more with Jonas & Isaac, this would be after the end of their story.
  • Stretch: Post to Patreon 4x – 2/4 – posted a monthly writing update & posted Chapter 2 of Patrick & Sarah’s story. On target

Story a Day: Day 17 – “The News”

Today I used the “Trudy hadn’t heard the news yet” prompt and wrote a bit more about Jonas and Isaac. Though, this will take place after the end of their actual story.

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“Don’t get up,” Jonas said, putting his cup down on the coffee table. “I’ll get it.”
“This is my house,” Carlota Rodriguez said. “There’s no reason for you to be answering my door.”
Beside him, Isaac grinned. “He just likes being able to get up off the couch without crutches. And maybe the chance to show off his new leg.”
Jonas shoved his shoulder, but he did get up. He was still adjusting to the leg, but it was nice to be able to get up and around without those damn crutches all the time. He made his way toward the front door of the Rodriguez’s house. He’d been here plenty of times with Santiago. But, this was the first time since his best friend had died.
Hard to believe it had been a year already.
He opened the door and stared in surprise at the face he’d only seen on a computer screen before. “Trudy?”
“Jonas?” she asked then laughed. “If you’re here, then Santi must be home. Where’s he hiding at? He hasn’t answered any of the messages I’ve sent recently, and he’s never available on video chat anymore.”
The smile fell away from Jonas’ face. Trudy hadn’t heard the news yet. How could she not have heard? “Trudy,” he started to say.
Behind him, he heard Isaac call his name. “Mrs. Rodriguez wants to know why you’re not letting her guest in.”
“Who’s that?” Trudy asked.
“My boyfriend,” he told her. “Isaac. Trudy, I have to tell you-”
“Boyfriend?” she demanded. “You’d bring a boyfriend to Santi’s house? You know he’s still in love with you. No matter what you both say.”
Jonas swallowed hard. “No, he isn’t.”
“That’s bullshit, Jonas. I may have only seen the two of you through a screen, but even I could feel the chemistry.”
He shook his head, but she was pushing past him. “Trudy, wait,” he said. “You have to know-”
“Santiago Rodriguez,” she called out. “I come back after ten years, and you can’t even greet me yourself. Where are you?”
“Dead,” Jonas choked out the word. “He’s dead, Trudy.”
She spun around and for a moment looked like she was going to laugh. Like she thought he was telling some bad joke. But, she must have seen it in his face because her own went slack. “No,” she said. “He’s just been avoiding me.”
“He hasn’t,” Jonas told her. “A little over a year ago our helicopter was shot down. He died. I was the only one to make it out intact. Well,” he amended, “not completely intact.” He lifted his pant leg and showed her the metal rod that now stood in place of his lower leg.
Isaac came around the corner then. “See? I knew you’d be showing it off.”
Jonas put his arm around Isaac’s shoulders, taking some comfort just from his presence. He knew Isaac hadn’t been sure about coming out here with him, but he was glad he had. “Trudy, this is my boyfriend, Isaac. Isaac, this is an old friend of Santiago’s, Trudy. She’s been traveling the world since they graduated.”
Isaac held his hand out. “I’ve heard a lot of stories of the famous Santiago. Maybe you can tell me if they’re actually true.”
She didn’t laugh or shake his hand. “The Isaac?” she asked, looking back at Jonas. “The one who broke your heart into a million pieces.”
“When we were eighteen,” Jonas said. “We both grew up. And I never quite stopped loving him. Santiago knew that.”
Trudy shook her head then pushed past them. “Carlota,” Jonas heard her greet Santiago’s mom. “Please tell me he’s lying.” He couldn’t hear Mrs. Rodriguez’s murmured response, but he did hear Trudy’s sobs. “Why?” she asked. “Why didn’t you contact me?”
“I didn’t know how, dearest girl. You didn’t leave your information with us before you took off.”
“He had me on his video chat contacts. You could have-”
“I don’t know how any of that stuff works. Santiago always had to set up my recordings on the TV for me when he was home. And fix the clock on the microwave when it went off.”
“Why’d you let him bring him here. Santi would-”
“Be so happy that Jonas found love again. He wouldn’t hold it against either of them. He wasn’t like that. You know it, Trudy. And give him a chance. I think you’d like him.”
Jonas turned into Isaac. “I told you Mrs. Rodriguez would like you.”
Isaac snorted. “Fine. You were right. Don’t let it go to your head.” He leaned in to kiss Jonas. “We should go back in there. If she’s going to hate me, might as well face it.”
“It’s not hate,” he said softly. “But, Santiago was basically her family when they were growing up. Finding out like this would be a shock.”
Isaac slipped his arm through Jonas’ as they headed back to the living room. “Broke your heart into a million pieces, huh? I hope we’ve stitched most of them back into place.”
Jonas leaned over and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “All of them.”

Story a Day: Day 16 – “The Monster”

A really short one today. Was shooting for a drabble, but it’s a little over 100 words(125 to be exact).

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They were never going to believe me. Not this time. Not again.
Every time they came in to search, they told me it was just my imagination. And to just go to sleep already.
I didn’t imagine that scuffling sound under my bed. Or the hairy arm that came out to pat at my mattress. I stared at it now, and huddled in the corner of my bed, the blanket pulled up to my chin. If I screamed again, would they come before the monster got me?
A second furry arm joined the first and soon a head popped up from under the bed. The scream nearly popped out, until I saw the monster grinning at me. “You ready to have an adventure?” it asked.

Story a Day: Day 15 – “End of the Party”

For today’s story, I used the “The party was nearly over…” prompt to write a little more of Jonas & Isaac’s story. I’m not quite to this point in the notebook yet, but I’m getting there.

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The party was nearly over. Jonas would only be too glad to see everyone leave. He was thankful for all the people who had showed up. Really he was. He knew they all meant well. He just didn’t see that this was something to really celebrate. He hadn’t wanted to get out already. So a welcome home party wasn’t really what he wanted.
But, he understood why his family wanted to celebrate. Unlike Santiago’s family, who was still mourning his lost life. Jonas pushed off that thought before he spiraled into that dark place again.
The front door opened, but it was just another guest leaving for the night. He didn’t quite understand the disappointment that bloomed in his chest. So what that he hadn’t shown up. It’s not like he was required to, though Jonas knew an invitation had been extended to him. They weren’t boyfriends. Not anymore.
Isaac wasn’t obligated to show up for anything to him.
After the weekend before, he wasn’t quite sure what to expect. There’d been that kiss during Luis’ birthday party. And he thought they’d nearly shared a moment at the youth center the next day. But, Jonas had pulled away from both. So why would he expect Isaac to show up anyway?
He rubbed at the end of his leg, wishing it wasn’t starting to ache again. It’s not like he was even using it. The door opened again, but he didn’t bother looking up this time. Isaac wasn’t coming.
And that was fine. Really, it was.
So, that didn’t explain the burning behind his eyes. He hadn’t even spoken to Isaac since he got home for good on Wednesday. There’d been Thanksgiving. And he’d been exhausted the day after that. Then, the party today. When would he have spoken to him anyway?
“Sorry I’m late,” a voice said from the doorway. “We had a problem down at the center. I didn’t get away as soon as I’d planned.”
Jonas looked up and saw the concern in Isaac’s eyes. Jonas licked his lips before saying, “I didn’t think you were coming.”
“Sorry I gave that impression. Like I said, there was a problem I had to take care of at the center.”
“That’s fine,” Jonas insisted. “I’m glad you made it.”
Isaac didn’t seem quite sure if he should move forward or stay where he was. But, Jonas patted the cushion beside him on the couch. It had been nearly two weeks since he’d seen Isaac. That shouldn’t seem like such a long time. Not after the last five years of not seeing him at all. Of thinking he probably never would again.
“How was the party?” Isaac asked, once he was sitting on the couch. Not on the cushion Jonas had patted but the next one down. Another thing Jonas told himself he shouldn’t feel disappointment over. It was better this way.
“Exhausting,” he admitted to Isaac’s question, keeping his voice down. He’d rather not upset his mom by letting her know that. “Too many people. Either pitying me or telling me how lucky I am to have made it home. As if I didn’t know that,” he muttered.
Isaac didn’t say anything and when Jonas looked over, he was chewing at his lip. Jonas couldn’t tear his gaze away from it. Then, suddenly Isaac was pushing to his feet again. I’m going to go see if there’s any food left. Want to come with me?”
Jonas grabbed his crutches and got up from the couch. That wasn’t what he wanted to do. But what he did want didn’t make any sense. And he knew he could never have it. Not again.
So he wasn’t sure why he tortured himself by following Isaac to the kitchen. His mother smiled at him when they entered the room, but his answering smile felt more like a grimace. He just hoped no one would notice how torn up he felt. And as soon as the last person was gone, he could finally disappear into his room.
Maybe in the morning, his feelings would make more sense.

SOCS/Story a Day: Day 14 – “Vol/Never Believe”

Isaac walked toward the youth center where he had started volunteering on weekends. As long as it didn’t interfere with his college classes, he planned to keep doing it. He recognized some of these kids. Well, not them exactly. But, he saw himself in some of them. The bad home life, some afraid to go back to that home, a few afraid to admit parts of themselves, even in this safe place.
He’d never had this, just that park where he’d often meet Jonas. Thinking about that hurt. But, he’d done the right thing. He couldn’t face how the army might change the boy he’d loved. All he knew was the volatile mess his father had been when he got out. No, he couldn’t live through that again.
It was better this way.
He kept walking, turning down the volume of those thoughts. Even if Jonas didn’t turn into a man like his father, he didn’t know how he could handle the fear. So, he just wouldn’t.
He came to a stop when he saw a boy sitting on the bench outside the center, his knees pulled up to his skinny chest, arms wrapped around them. Isaac thought he’d seen him hanging around before, but he hadn’t spoken to anyone. Isaac didn’t even know what his name was.
Isaac slid onto the bench beside the boy. “You’re not going inside?” he asked after a moment.
The boy didn’t respond, just stared down at the ground. Isaac reached out to put a hand on his shoulder, but he jerked hard away from him. His sleeve rode up, and Isaac saw the line of bruises and old scars running up his arm. The boy pulled his sleeve back down. Still, Isaac’s stomach felt queasy. It was like being tossed back half a dozen years.
He’d been this boy once.
“Have you told anyone?”
“They’d never believe me. Not this time. Not again.”
“I believe you,” Isaac said. “No matter how many times the person who hurts you insists they didn’t do it, even convinces others that’s true, I’ll believe you.” He pushed up the bracelets on his wrists, showing the boy some of his own scars, not all of them put there by his own hands. “I’ll always believe you.”

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I combined Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Story a Day prompts once again. The prompt for SOCS was to use “vol” in a word somewhere in the post. I found 3. 😀 And I used the Story a Day prompt “They were never going to believe me. Not this time. Not again.” This takes place several years before Jonas & Isaac’s story starts.

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