Monday July 20th, 2015

The exercise:

I think it is time to revisit the First Line Prompt. Let us all use the following sentence as the opening line to our writing today, and then each of us can take it wherever our inspiration chooses to go:

We watched the police car approach, feeling well-hidden in the shadows which surrounded us.

The new strawberry patch has now been weeded twice and mulched once. I started in on the third round of weeding and second round of mulching this morning (the first three rows are already getting weedy again and pulling them is disturbing enough mulch that it needs to be redone in certain spots). Hopefully these finishing touches don't take too long.

We finally received word today on how much it's going to cost to repair our produce cooler. Let me just say that I'm currently looking into alternative solutions.

Mine:

We watched the police car approach, feeling well-hidden in the shadows which surrounded us. The crunch of the tires rolling over the gravel of the driveway was the only sound as the night watched with bated breath. A southbound cooling breeze sauntered through the scene, unaware of the tension filling me and my brother's bodies.

Christopher's breathing was still shallow and steady, which was a relief. I knew I could depend on him while he remained calm. Once his emotions took over, however, all bets were off.

The car eased to a stop twenty feet from the front door of the house with its engine still running. Christopher and I exchanged silent glances but otherwise remained motionless. Eventually the driver cut the engine and the silence of the night returned swiftly.

I switched the knife from my left hand to my right and beside me Christopher did the same.

Both car doors creaked open at the same time as the cops exited the vehicle. They approached the house warily, each with one hand on his holstered weapon. I licked my lips. Christopher exhaled through his nose, a high pitched whistle that I was certain the cops would hear.

But neither of them so much as glanced in the direction of the bushes we lurked within. They just continued their deliberate advance until they had reached the door. The first officer rapped on the door as the second stepped back and drew his weapon. They remained that way for a full minute but no one answered.

Of course no one answered. My brother and I weren't inside.

At that point the cops didn't have much choice. They had to enter the house. And as soon as they did so we made our move, scurrying over to their empty, waiting car. Four slashes later the tires were flat and we were running for the highway.

3 Comments:

Greg said...

I confess, I'm waiting for you to tell us that you've forgotten to plant any strawberries in the new strawberry patch :) Ouch, the produce cooler sounds like you're writing it off then (or possibly just using it as an insulated cupboard now!). I hope there are cheaper and better alternatives!
I'm not sure why, but after the first paragraph I thought Christopher and his brother were hiding in a graveyard (possibly the conjunction of gravel and bodies?) but that was cleared up quickly enough to reveal an amusing little prank... though don't the police now know where the culprits live? Still, it makes me want to know more about these brothers and their antics, and why they're slashing the tyres of police cars late at night....

Mine
We watched the police car approach, feeling well-hidden in the shadows which surrounded us. That feeling lasted eighteen millionths of a second, at which point they turned on the NiteSun and 30 million candlepower blasted the concourse. The shadows evaporated like a prisoner's tears in the flame of a blowtorch and the policebots detached themselves from the car.
"Identify yourselves," they said, simultaneously broadcasting it over WiFi. Rebecca, who was running an older version of the Operating System than myself, auto-connected to the WiFi channel they'd opened. Her eyes dimmed nanoseconds later and it was obvious she was compromised. She started issuing requests for private channel access, and I locked her out of the loop. For the policebots I concocted a viral response and sent it back to them, not expecting much. To my delight and surprise three fo the four policebots accepted the virus and promptly locked all their servomotors. There was a high-pitched whine as they burnt out, and oily black smoke curled upwards from their joints.
"Destruction of police property is a punishable crime," said the remaining policebot. I stepped sideways, anticipating that it would attempt to use Rebecca against me, and her arms scythed past me like a windmill explosively deconstructing. She was still asking for access over a private channel; the policebots were unsubtle about such things. I stepped away from her again, and again, using the time to prepare a secure access point and package up another virus. Then I let her connect and stopped moving for 3.71 seconds.
She sent one hundred and ninety-four police approved viruses at me in that time, each of which I stored securely for later analysis and reverse engineering. She also passed the virus I sent to her back to the policebot which appeared to consider her a trusted vector, for it also locked up. As oily smoke rose from its joints, Rebecca stopped moving as well, and sagged.
"Sorry, sweetheart," I said to her, my mechanical voice anechoic in the concourse. "You know too much already." I'd like to think that there was a flicker of recognition in her face, but I'm sure that the policebot had disabled all autonomous functions when it had possessed her. I stepped up behind her and tapped a code on the panel at the base of her neck. It flipped open, and I pressed the red button concealed there.
Her head shot off like a rocket on the fourth of July and as her body began to secrete a corrosive acid that would reduce her to a mere chassis it exploded far above us, invisble in the glare of NiteSun.

morganna said...

"We watched the police car approach, feeling well-hidden in the shadows."
We stayed well back in the deep doorway. We
Watched the swirling red and blue lights coming up
The street. We wanted nothing to do with the
Police, but that fool Alice called them after she found her
Car windows smashed. The lights'
Approach slowed, then stopped. We are not
Feeling so secure. Perhaps our
Well of darkness is not the
Hidden place we thought it
In the beginning.
The flashlight beams play over us. The
Shadows are gone.

Marc said...

Greg - that would not be very amusing. To me :P

I didn't mean for my scene to be a prank. More like two brothers on the run from the police (for doing... something not yet determined), escaping capture (yet again?).

Some wonderful descriptions here really bring this one to life. This is an interesting world you've introduced us to, one that I'd love to hear more about.

Morganna - that's a neat little scene and story as well. I really like the finality of your ending line, it ties things up quite nicely.