Thursday March 22nd, 2018

The exercise:

Write something which takes place in: the study hall.


Greg said...

Fullmetal Alchemist is linked so you can see it (to watch it, find "Episodes list" on the right-hand side and scroll to Ep. 1 and click). There are, I believe, 64 episodes, each 21 minutes long and there's a point at 10 minutes where it's obvious that adverts would be inserted if you were watching on tv, so it's actually quite easy to make time to watch an episode or two here and there. There are English subtitles and the protagonists are 14 and 15 so it might be ok for Max to watch as well, though you should watch the first few episodes to decide how you feel about the level of violence -- there's not a lot and it's cartoon/anime violence, but it should be your decision :)
And now to continue with the story it's inspiring from me!
[Sorry for the double post: I clearly write too much!]

The study hall
Verbloek pumped the brakes, hauling on the steering wheel, and the big black car slewed in a half-circle, coming to a halt facing back the way it had been going. The parked cars ended five metres away and the slip-road back to the Autobahn was deserted. There was a faint smell of burning rubber from the tyres, and Verbloek depressed the A/C switch with a pale finger. Barely-noticed white noise stopped, more evident by its absence, and the smell faded. Slakoiné stared through the windshield, his fingers twitching closed and open, closed and open. His mouth was slightly open too, and he was breathing roughly. It felt like there was a scream ricocheting around the inside of his head, dopplering first away, then howling back towards him like a comet. A steady clicking noise intruded and he struggled to understand it for a second, and then it triggered a memory and he looked to the side. Verbloek was checking the rounds in a military-issue pistol.
He looked back out of the windshield, and the other black car came into view at the cross-junction. It slowed, then accelerated abruptly, turning too slowly and in the wrong direction. The front clipped the rear of a parked car, boosting it forwards into the car in front of it, which in turn hit the kerb and knifed diagonally out so that the front of it now clipped the black car. The black car carried on, scratched and scraped but too heavy to be stopped, and behind it the car it was escaping from raced into the junction and turned towards Verbloek and Slakoiné.
Electric motors whirred and the driver's side window lowered. Verbloek's arm stretched out almost lazily, and he fired five shots at the oncoming car.

Greg said...

Footsteps clicked outside the circle of light, but whatever was making them was invisible in the darkness. They circled, then circled again. As they did so chairs and desks appeared, seeming to solidify out of the brightness. They were all empty, but one of them had an exam paper resting on it, and a pen next to it. The child stood, and sat down at the desk.
"Study hall is over," said a voice. It was low and confusing, hard to remember what it sounded like. The child felt as though perhaps they'd read the words and heard them inside their head. A hot breeze drifted through, lifting the hairs on their arm. "You will have thirty minutes to complete the exam," said the voice. "If you succeed, you may return."
"What if...." the rest of the sentence was too hard to say.
"It's is recommended that you don't fail. You may turn the paper over."
There were only two questions on the other side.

After the fourth shot there was a flash of light and a screech. The oncoming car swerved, swerved hard back in the other direction, and then turned through 270 degrees, bouncing up on the pavement and rocking uncertainly for a long five seconds before deciding to overturn and crash onto its roof. The electric motors whirred as the window wound up, and then Janvar and Martz ran down the road, splitting up to cover either side of the crashed car. The blown-out tyre still rotated in the air.
"How did they know... who is this?" Slakoiné finally managed to force his hands to stay still.
"It's been like this for weeks," said Verbloek. He was watching his men carefully. "They watch our offices and follow us, and attack when they think they have an opening. Don't think you're special."
"Is this why you're short-staffed?"
"Part of the reason."
Janvar opened a door, and released someone from a seatbelt's embrace. They fell awkwardly out of the car, and he stamped down hard, the car stopping Verbloek and Slakoiné from seeing why, or what he stamped on.
"The rest?"
"Can wait until we're back."

Marc said...

Greg - thank you for the link, I shall have a look! And Max doesn't like anything too scary yet, so I imagine that'll be a pass until later.

Hot dang, this is fascinating and compelling stuff. You certainly know how to drag a reader along with you.