So, today’s #lineWed prompt was pretty lame. It was like **The** or something. However, there were two winners from #ThursdayTreads last week so the participants could do either or both. Y’all can guess what I did. Anyway, I got an honorable mention out of the deal so it’s all good. Here’s your choices today: “You’re going to back out now?” or “I think we all have them.” You know, in case you need some inspiration. This scene occurs fairly early in the book, not too long after the Hard Target team has started shepherding the remaining kids out of the area and toward the border to safety. The orignal 250 words ended with, “Aye, lass, it is.” Last week’s judge worried for the villages. I told her not to. And the additional wrods explain why. Hope you enjoy.
Meg, hands fished on her hips, faced the half circle of men. “You promised.”
“No, lass. None of us did. We said we’d scout the situation to see if we could help. We did. There’s nothing we can do.”
“There has to be!” She recognized the whine in her voice, didn’t care. “You promised to help but you’re going to back out now? Gosh, too bad no one around here has any balls.”
“I think we all have them.” Humor glinted in Duke’s eyes, which surprised her. The leader of their little band of misfits seemed dour and taciturn. “And we’d like to keep them intact.”
She muttered something under her breath the men chose to ignore.
Kin touched her shoulder. “Lass, we can’t just go bustin’ in there, guns blazing. This isn’t a movie.”
“But the people—”
“Can take care of themselves,” Duke said, back to the stone-cold commander.
Meg’s gaze bounced to each man and she had no trouble reading the implacable expressions on their faces.
Cupping her cheek with a gentle touch, Kin urged her to look at him. “Our duty is to the children, lass. What would happen to them—to you should we get wounded or killed?”
“Sorry, doll,” Dalton piped up. “We aren’t Marvel superheroes.”
She knew that. All of it. And she knew Kin and Duke and the rest were right. There was nothing they could do. The people in that village were on their own.
“Bloody goddamned war.”
“Aye, lass, it is.”
Still fuming, Meg gathered up the children and got them moving. She noticed Petrov glancing back over his shoulder several times. She almost thought to release him but didn’t. She hadn’t recruited him. He’d already been in charge of getting this group of orphans away from the fighting. She also paid attention to the demeanor of the men who’d arrived to rescue her and discovered she came with some serious baggage. They were all soldiers and she had the niggling feeling that deep down, every one of them resented the fact they couldn’t go help. Except…
Yeah, except this wasn’t their fight. They were only there because her father sent them in to pull her sorry tail end out of a terribly precarious situation. It was her fault their lives were in danger. Still, she couldn’t feel too guilty because without their help? There was no telling how many of the truly little ones—the most vulnerable and sick who’d been airlifted out in the helicopter—would have survived. And their trek would definitely be easier with these soldier’s assistance.
They hiked on for a bit less than an hour, steadily heading uphill. When the first rumbles of gunfire reached them, the whole party stopped and looked down into the valley. The Russians were boldly driving down the main road of what appeared to be a deserted village. Except it wasn’t. The residents had hidden in ambush and now they had the convey caught in a deadly crossfire. The front truck was burning and the tank bringing up the rear had lost one of its tracks. Russian soldiers resorted to taking cover under their vehicles as gunfire erupted from the shops and house on both sides of the road.
No one moved until the battle was seemingly over. Russian troops surrendered to the civilian villagers—shopkeepers, farmers, hunters. It was a sight to behold. She glanced at Petrov, pride shining from his expression as unabashed tears rolled down his cheeks.
“Oh, yeah,” she muttered. “Those villagers just took care of themselves.”
There you have it. Progress! Not much but every 500+ words add up. And since it IS November, which means National Novel Writing Month, I should buckle down and write. I’ve participated and hit my 50K words in 30 days since 2008. It’d be a shame to quite now. We’ll see. I can jump in at any time. Writers, care to be inspired? Are you participating in NaNo? Readers, have you ever wanted to write a book?