Running Through the Forest

Last week when I saw the Android commercial that I shared with you in my WIPpet post, I had no idea it would provoke my muse. But the song, the whole feeling of brotherhood, and the images of two pals darting through the forest obviously got under her skin, because she went out and hired some actors and threw them into my head. I, in turn, attempted to ignore them. I have EoD and The Adorned to work on, agents to pester, plans to plan, and MANY THINGS TO DO. But every now and again you need to play, right? Good exercise for the creative lobe. So I opened my virtual notebook and played… to the tune of 3500 words (and likely a future project) over the course of a couple days. For today’s WIPpet, I’m going to share the opening bit, just as I wrote it, unedited, hot off the keys, so please forgive any foibles. Here are 19 short paragraphs because it’s the 18th and…um…tomorrow’s the 19th.

BTW, for those of you missing Roe and Fader, I will have a special surprise. Possibly this week unless I hold off until next WIPpetday.

**Editorial Warning: I drop the F-bomb. Twice. If you find it offensive, blink.**

Shae hurtled a fallen log, ducked under a low-hanging branch, and veered sharply to the right.

“This all could have been easily avoided,” he called out between gasps.

Brenner crashed through the underbrush behind him with enough noise to put a maddened bull to shame, nimbly avoiding a moss-covered boulder despite his bulk.

“My fault again, is it?”

“You were the last to leave.” Shae spun, barging backwards through a dense copse.

“Yes. I realize.” Brenner grabbed him by the arm as he emerged, propelling him back toward their left. “However, not the last– Bloody hells!”

The big man stumbled and Shae lurched to a halt. Brenner’s massive hand in the center of his back forced him to continue on.

“Are you–” Something buzzed past Shae’s head, embedding itself deeply enough into a nearby tree to give Shae a startling vivid mental image of what it would have done to his skull. He ducked in the event more projectiles were coming their way, and scampered through another tangle of brush. His lungs were burning, his thigh muscles screaming with exertion, and truth be told, his stomach hadn’t settled from the previous night’s endulging.

A sharp horn blast tore the early evening serenity from the forest and shot a spike of fear through Shae because on its heels–

“Hounds,” Brenner shouted, as though Shae wouldn’t have known from the sudden baying.

“We are well and royally fucked,” Shae said, staggering to a halt.

But Brenner grabbed his arm once again, with a force not to be argued with. “I refuse to be fucked by anything other than a clean whore. I certainly will not prostrate myself to the sheriff’s underlings.”

“They’ve got hounds.” Shae hated to sound like a whiner, but in his experience, when your pursuers enlisted the aid of beasts whose noses could find a crumb of meat in a hog pen, your chances of eluding capture were slimmer than a sapling.

“Yes.” Brenner abruptly stopped, a dark smile on his broad face. He still had hold of Shae’s arm. “And we’ve got water.”

“We’ve got–” Shae blinked up at his companion, back toward the forest about to spit out their messy doom, up at his friend again. He didn’t care for the look on Brenner’s face. “Water?”

Brenner tipped his head to the right, but Shae refused to look. A sound had reached his ears; a low roaring rush. It spoke of turbulence, of a force of nature Shae did not enjoy. Rocks as well. There had to be rocks. Water without rocks didn’t make such a sound.

Brenner grinned and waggled his eyebrows. “Water.”

Shae still didn’t look. “I think we should–“

He screamed: a quite natural reaction to being hurled into an abyss. Limbs wind milled in a poor attempt at flying. He screamed again because the rush of water had grown louder, and the fall was taking a damnable long time, which meant the landing would not be pleasant.

No, it’s technically not a WIP…yet. But the WIPpet rules are more like… well… like the Pirate Code.



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  1. Love the banter here. Fantastic.

    Your muse really can be a PITA, can’t she?

    PS- I read that the first time as “barging backwards through a dense corpse” O.o

  2. I had to read this twice. Not because it was difficult to understand, but because I liked it so much. I approve of your muse’s machinations. I also approve of Brenner’s discerning taste in women. Hahaha. What a great teaser for a beginning. More, please. *holds out empty dish*

    • That’s a good reason to read twice. 😀 However, please do not encourage the muse. She has other tasks to complete before throwing new things at me and she is NOT being cooperative.

  3. Brenner’s line about the clean whore made me laugh out loud!
    You are great with the banter!
    Still crossing my fingers for you about an agent.

    • Brenner does have his standards, you know.

      I have to get off my duff and send a few more agent queries out. I should put that on my list for tonight.

  4. Pingback: WIPpet Wednesday | Books & Such

  5. Woohoo!!! Run, Forest, run! Nice action-packed scene. 😀

    So what did they do wrong? Or not do right? Shae was awfully quick to be like: “Death by dismemberment, thanks,” over death by drowning/battering against rocks in the rapids. Personally, I’d go for the watery grave, myself. 😛 But I knew a girl once who thought drowning was the worst thing possible. To each their own preferred demise, I guess.

    • Life is like a box of chocolates. Or is it, I’d like a box of chocolates? 😉

      Me, I’d rather face something i could maybe fight off than be plunged into water and drowned. So I’m with Shae on this one.

      • I guess that makes sense. I’m a much better swimmer than fighter, though, and I’m not dumb enough to think that just because dogs seem to like ne a pack of bloodhounds will go easy. And then there’s the whole if-you’re-somehow-still-alive-people-will-come-and-they-know-how-to-torture thing. That bothers me a bit. At least a rock is passive about it…

  6. Well I like Shae and Brenner a lot already. Hopefully when time permits you’ll indulge your muse a little more. 🙂 I did feel for Shae at “He screamed: a quite natural reaction to being hurled into an abyss” though, because it really can’t be fun being pitched into space by your hefty friend. :p Love the humour so much!

    • Thanks, Pax. I do hope to go back to them at some point. They seem like a fun pair. Shae has already made himself quite interesting in the rest of the words my muse gave me.

  7. You pick awesome places to start stories. I want to steal your great timing sense!!! I do hope you get to come back to this. But, I feel you about piling up projects. I’m trying to shove mine out the door before I start anything new.

    • II like to jump right into it. Also, there’s a quote I always mangle, about starting the storing at the moment things cease to be normal for the character.

  8. This is another exciting story from the little available for us to read. You have wonderful banter in all of them as has been mentioned by others. I DO like your style. 😀 😀

  9. That does sound like a long fall. I really enjoyed the pace and the banter in this one. Looking forward to seeing where it goes.

  10. Just reading that made me feel carnival-ride-queasy. So good job!

  11. I love two already. Great snippet

  12. You never know where ideas or inspiration will come from. I really liked this and want to know what happens next!

  13. That is definitely quite a hook right there! I love the banter between them, especially the comment about the clean whore.

    My own muse is being a pain right now. As I was driving into work an idea occurred to me on how to turn one of my fanfics into a full blown original story. Sadly I’m too busy to take advantage of it, because, you know, there’s these two other stories that need to be finished, but she’s being quite insistent. Pesky muses. They’re silent when you need an idea, and have one too many ideas when you don’t need them.

  14. I’ve always loved that song from Disney’s Robin Hood, that you used last week. And the animal videos are a great addition. 🙂

    Great excerpt with tons of action! My only nit is that when I first read the name “Shae” I thought it was a woman, and I had to do an about-take and a re-evaluation before I could keep reading. It has some prehistory through GRRM, after all. You might want to consider renaming. (Do a google search for Shae.)

    • No kidding?!!? I know I’m probably one of the few on earth to admit this but I’ve never read GRRM and haven’t watched GoT sooooo….. dang. I don’t want to rename Shae. Phooey. Actually, I borrowed the names from a friend. Her two sons-in-law are named Brenner and Shae.

      • What about a variation on the name? Something like Shay? Could you live with that? Just a thought.

        If your weren’t writing in high mud fantasy, I wouldn’t worry about it. But since you are, there will be other readers like me who will immediately think GRRM at that name.

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