Impossibly Wide

“The Captain and I have drilled for this, so bobbing the Marcail is unlikable but not unplanned. Take a deep breath, please.”

It was hard not to do as she was told, so she did take a breath.

“You did this on purpose?”

“The hull is thicker and the raiders are now behind us. And you were in a harness.”

“Sorry.” The wind swirled Partly’s brown hair into her face, and she tucked it behind her ears.

“No matter. You’re still with us and you can help. I need to you reset the [brackets] so we don’t have to stay bobbed. You’ve seen that trapdoor in the galley?”

Partly nodded. She had an idea what he was going to say next.

“I love your smile.” But she was wrong. “Climb down the railing there to the step in the deck. You can now use that as a ledge to slide over to the galley window where you get in. Climb over to that trapdoor—it should be open already. If not, get it open. Sit on the door to latch the four [brackets] back in place. It doesn’t matter the order you do them, but I find it easier to do the bottom ones first. OK?”

What he’d just described sound impossible, Partly nodded anyway because it all made sense.

“I’ve got to go.” And he did. [Partly was alone.]

She aimed her face to the front to blow her hair back, then began climbing down the gunwale railing. At one gap where a bright blue plastic panel and a terracotta red metal one met she spied a raider air-bike keeping pace with the Marcail. Long coils of rope trailed back from the woman riding it. Partly continued down to the step-ledge.

At the step-ledge she hoped to see Captain Munro again, but the swinging rope ladder must have wound down, and, if she was still there, she hung out of view. Partly turned to face out from the gunwale clutching the stanchion behind her and inspecting the leap she’d have to make over to the galley window. When she was first moving around the Marcail, the walkway back to the pilothouse ladder had felt dangerously narrow. She expected to slip at any step and slide through the haphazard gunwale into the air and to the ground far below. Looking at it sideways like this—having to get from the outside to the inside—it now looked impossibly wide.

407 words on day 810

Nine of Yesterday’s Scenes Get Into the Purple Box of Samoas

Sticking with my two day trend I’m going to put yesterday’s list of scenes on a all Girl Scout cookie diet to fatten them up . At least some of them.

  1. Malachi breaking out of jail – Really, the only dramatic way to get out of prison when you need out is to escape. I’ll need to have him use magic and I’ll need to make this hard enough to be enjoyable but not so hard that it takes over the story. It seems too cliche to couple his encarseration with some self-imposed prison. Maybe its just a matter of the magical hurdle being high enough and the thought of unneccessarily being a fugitive that keeps him patient. Or maybe he’s in prison because he’s located a magic practicioner there he wants to learn from.
  2. Malachi learning his daughter is ill – The classic prison visit scene or a letter or a magical missive delivered mysteriously? I’ve got several good options here and should consider the plot implications of each before chosing. Depends on how I want the middle to play out: buddy cop team up with daughter or lone wolf. Or how I may want to gouge Malachi with betrayal. Or how badly.
  3. Malachi put into jail – I’m leaning toward him already imprisoned at the start to avoid the cliche entry thing and to avoid dead words. Flashbacks could cover any required backstory though I don’t imagine there needs to be that much. He starts in prison; ’nuff said.
  4. Daughter becoming ill|poisoned|injured – How and why this happens will deeply characterize the story I think. I’m not prepared to consider the ways and reason right now, but I don’t think this choice is trivial.
  5. Daughter and Malachi face to face in visiting room. – If I don’t put her in front of the reader I’m going to have a harder time eliciting sympathy for her cause. I don’t have to put her literally in the front. She could be heavily in Malachi’s musings or correspondance. I like the idea of her being literally in front though and maybe even coerced to be there. Brought or sent along by threat to convince her father to break out. Or to just plain taunt him. Mor practically to simply convey the message that she’s ill and needs help. Some how Malachi’s got to learn that.
  6. The clockwork spider appearing to Malachi in his cell – Left over from the original exercise. Could be a mundane appearance at this point. Something cameo in nature or could be instrumental in some cases: unlocking cuffs, surveillance, delivering keys. Maybe the spider ends up as a familiar. I can picture it trying to drag a heavier than itself gun for some reason.
  7. Malachi pleading with warden/lawyer – It seems reasonable that Malachi might try to get out of jail on some sort of pass. Maybe his crime is minor enough for such things, but I’m pretty sure the reality of such things is that they don’t let you out once you’re in. But maybe his parole is coming up soon and he tries to hasten its arrival using her illness as leverage. Written well this could amp the tension but I’m not sure I’ve got the interest or ability to do it that well. Looks research heavy.
  8. Malachi battling dragon – Duh. Need to consider the best course for this: braun or brain? Braun with a little brain has a strong cinematic smell to it.
  9. Mentor being abducted – Backstory? Maybe this is a late story complication. I got out of jail, found the dragon, and now I have to rescue my mentor? WTF? Probably not. Like the imprisonment this needs to ride the line of tense but not motivating enough to escape prison. Maybe Malachi believes his mentor relatively safe but gets increasingly worrisome information that compounds when he learns of his daughter’s need.
  10. Malachi gathering help to battle dragon – FATTEN
  11. Finding out if dragon is metaphor or literal-ish – FATTEN
  12. Daughter having complications – FATTEN
  13. Dragon directly threatening daughter – FATTEN
  14. Mentor divulging secret to unraveling magic – FATTEN
  15. Escaped Malachi hounded by police – FATTEN
  16. Malachi committing crime – FATTEN
  17. Malachi being sentenced – FATTEN
  18. Malachi chatting with lawyer – FATTEN
  19. Mentor teaching Malachi – FATTEN
  20. Dragon attacking police chasing Malachi – FATTEN
  21. Malachi convincing police to help him battle dragon – FATTEN
  22. Dragon beginning the process to unravel magic – FATTEN
  23. Malachi discovering that unraveling magic will do more that threaten just his daughters life – FATTEN
  24. Discovering why/how magic supports his daughters continued life – FATTEN
  25. Dragon capturing mentor – FATTEN
  26. Mentor in captivity – FATTEN
  27. Malachi communicating with mentor somehow – FATTEN
  28. Prisonyard brawl to characterize Malachi – FATTEN

Felt like I got further than nine while i was thinking.  Oh well.  More later.