April Debriefing

In a room lit by a single, flickering lightbulb over a cold steel table, I am about to be interrogated. I am not under court martial–yet. The results of this debriefing will determine my future.

What did you work on this month?

Lots of things. Lots and lots of things. Projects, chores, education, projects…

I made a couple book trailers: one for a friend, one as practice. I’m learning to shorten them and word them better. And music! The creative commons music I’ve been downloading and sorting through for future trailers is awesome!

Oh, and not to mention… I worked on Crossroads during Camp NaNoWriMo! We’re nearing 40,000 words on the rewrite, sir! I think regular editing will be fun. 🙂

What did you learn this month?

How to check for spine injury. I used the step by step analysis in my story–while in a word war. Was it cheating because I was working off predeveloped information? Or was it harder because I had to transfer it into natural dialog while maintaining scientific integrity? The answer remains unseen.

Will future debriefings be more interesting?

Yes, officer! Honest! This one was so boring because (a) it’s a new, undeveloped idea for me and (2) I can’t remember the month!!!!

Is this really a blog post?

What??!! Okay… I must appease you…

Excerpt from Crossroads? Here goes…

The following scene takes place on a dark but not so stormy night

Night had drawn its dusky curtain over the wooded hills. It was colder this far north, but Britain had anticipated this and prepared with a heavy winter coat and gloves. His boots kept his feet warm and he wore a cap down over his ears.

He fingered the trigger on his rifle. It was new. No scratches, no defects. New sight with an infrared laser, a silencer and best of all, good ammunition. He had no idea how these guys had gotten ahold of it. They must have made a successful raid on a munitions plant. There was plenty to go around.

A car passed on the road and Britain slid back to join Larry in the tall, frozen grass. He put a hand on Larry’s arm to reassure him.

“We’ll get him out safe.”

“That’s what I’m praying. It would make a whole lot of things better,” Larry replied with the same sick look he had worn since the barn incident.

Britain’s watch flashed in the darkness and he started to crawl forward. After a little ways, he crested a small rise. The prison complex looked like a moonlit graveyard, each square concrete building an unmarked headstone. A man lay nearby watching it in the same haunted way.

He turned his head and spoke to Britain. “I’m glad to have you tonight. Wish you’d go regular, we could use you.”

“I’m thinking about it, Merek,” Britain replied dubiously. “Any word from the other side?”

“They’re in position now. Ready?” Merek asked. Britain nodded.

“It’s time boys. Watch the air,” Merek said in a hoarse whisper and stood up. A score of shadows rose with him. There was no one to see them running through the night except the drone in the sky. It dropped closer to the strung out men to get a better look. Sirens blared from the prison at the drone’s alert. Someone dropped to his knees and shot a hole through the core of the quadcopter. It fell noiselessly in the grass.

Britain didn’t stop moving; there was no time to spare. The guards knew they were being attacked, but without their surveillance, they didn’t know from which direction–yet. They would know when they met Britain’s shooting. The last firefight he had lost his brother. The thought of Sam sped him onward.

He reached the gates first. Being the weakest point on the entire fence, it was the logical place to attack in force and the guards were concentrated around it, open to easy shots. Merek screamed the command and guns began to blaze. The guards at the gate returned a few shots but the bulk of them fell at the onslaught. The survivors retreated back into the buildings. The resistance fighters drew back and Larry threw a grenade at the gate. Britain turned his face away and shielded his neck with his arms from the explosion.

All the lights went out and the sirens died. There was no way they had blown the electrical system. Britain got nervous. The defenders were icing them. He let loose a wild war cry spurring the men on before they could let the fear sink in. They entered through the hole from the grenade and the rest of the resistance broke off as planned to attack the main prison building.

Britain and Larry padded softly, keeping a low profile. According to research, juvenile prisoners were kept separate from the others. Their destination was veiled in shadows at the back of the compound.

Britain covered Larry’s back while he destroyed the lock on the door. These prisoners definitely weren’t as important to the government as gold was to a bank. Britain had never robbed a safe, but he was sure it would be harder than this. Larry entered cautiously and Britain quickly glanced inside. There were bunks lining the walls and scattered around the middle of the room, filled with young men. Some of them were sitting up, others lay still on their beds with vacant, wandering expressions. The whole place reeked.

Britain returned to watching the yard but heard Larry call his son’s name. There was no answer. Devin was probably sick like the rest of them and he wasn’t able to answer. Britain straightened and brought the rifle to his shoulder. Something was moving behind the other buildings. He turned on the night vision scope. Several guards were crouching in the shadows, scanning the prison yard with field glasses.


My questioner folds my file and puts it in his briefcase. Before I know it, I am blindfolded and being led out of the compound.

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15 thoughts on “April Debriefing

  1. On one hand, this snippet ROCKS. On the other hand, your captors are leading you away (they don’t seem happy). Hm. Maybe I should try and use the leverage of this good story to bribe ’em….
    (P.S. Great job finishing Crossroads, Paul!!)

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Not really. 😛 Incompetech.com is about the only place I’ve found anything decent for free. Their website somewhat hard to navigate, but their music is pretty good. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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