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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

Writing Tip
Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 The Search for Silent - Chpt 7

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Number of posts : 1287
Age : 58
Location : Ringgold, Louisiana
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Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: The Search for Silent - Chpt 7   September 7th 2009, 8:53 am

The Search for Silent
Chapter Seven

Part 1

All around Silent were giddy with excitement as they prepared themselves for the day. He helped them assure their uniforms were in order and other things were proper. They did the same in return, but it was mostly to assure that a final inspection would not find them lacking. Of the company, Silent had no joy that the day had come.

Sergeant Andrews had his own concerns for Silent, and had set himself where he could watch the man. There was some joy in seeing the others in the company care for the man and to have him look over them in return. Getting some groups to work with each other was a difficult task, but somehow the difference in Silent had not spoiled the glue. Sergeant Andrews actually felt a sense of pride in having led this company, and truthfully wished that his time with the men could continue.

He wanted to declare some of his pride in the soldiers that he had helped train, so worked on his words after calling them together. He wanted his statements to be special. Something disturbed him as he delivered the monologue however, and he looked at the faces of each attempting to find that connection that would enable him to say the proper phrases.

Sergeant Andrews stopped upon seeing Silent crying. The man stood at attention as he should, but tears flowed down his face. While the sergeant had hoped his words were touching, he did not expect such a show of emotion from this man.

"What is it, Silent?"

Between barely audible sobs, the words came out, "I see Top Secret, Sir."

Sergeant Andrews spun to look out near the road where a humvee had parked. Special flags were set upon the vehicle, and those that came out were all wearing officer uniforms of the Air Force. The glitter of silver birds could be seen upon the uniform of a lady in the group. He had to admit that she was attractive enough to gain his devotion, but he spoke to the man to help him regain his composure.

"Stop your blubbering, Silent. You are a soldier of the Army."

"She is the reason that I am here, Sir."

"And you thought that you had killed her."

"I did not kill her, Sir. But, yes, I thought she had died."

Sergeant Andrews had not known that Top Secret had lived, but he had been called to his office to receive a phone call from the General of the Air Force. The conversation had been concerning Silent ending with a congratulation that the young man continued to serve. While Sergeant Andrews accepted the compliments, he never truly understood why they were delivered by such a lofty source.

"Life is not fair, Silent, but sometimes it is not fair in our favor. She is coming this way, and I get the privilege of speaking to her first."

"Yes, CO."

A second lieutenant, a major, and a general walked with Colonel Terrell, but she led the way and was the one that saluted upon being approached. "Sergeant Andrews?' With an acknowledgement, the lady continued to speak. "I am Colonel Stacy Terrell of the Air Force. I am here to escort Private Silent to his next duty station. There is a formality that needs to be done, and some of your superiors are supposed to be on the way to do that. With your permission however, I would like some time to speak to Private Silent now."

"The graduation ceremony is not until later in the day, Colonel. There is time set aside to meet with family and acquaintances."

"Silent will not be graduating with the class, Sergeant. You have done a magnificent job working with Silent, but his service to our country is not a public one."

"I am sorry to hear that, as I expect him to do more great things."

"I will remember to have him write."

"Thank you, Top Secret." Sergeant Andrews did not give the lady time to respond, but barked out, "Silent, come forward!"

The young man crisply marched forward. He did not attempt to hide his appearance, but moved forward as quickly as he could and maintain decorum. The lady did not salute as he came close, but asked a question.

"Were you crying, Silent?"

"I knew that you had died, Top Secret."

"Yes, I have a story about how healthy MREs are, and how deadly a little salt can be."

Sergeant Andrews noticed that Silent did not move to touch the lady, but stood with his eyes very focused upon her as he said, "There was another with me at the time, Top Secret. I hope that he has been informed."

"Yes, Silent, and you will find him under my command. I picked your staff as well. We have a job to do, Silent. Sorry about that surfing trip."

"I hope it is somewhere that I can cook. This Army food has no taste."

"Just remember to keep it to the eleven herbs and spices for me."

"Top Secret, I need to hug you."

The lady looked to Sergeant Andrews. He looked to see the Air Force general nodding. Truthfully, the sergeant felt that he wanted to hug such a lovely form himself. Shrugging his shoulders, he returned a nod to the lady.

The hug was tight. Afterwards Silent touched the lady’s shoulders and back asking about any sore spots. She told a heavily abbreviated story about hiding among boxes of MREs when the explosion occurred that had caused Silent to think she had died. She asked him about any problems surviving boot camp. Silent spoke of constantly being bombarded by questions concerning whether or not he was a homosexual. Each smiled with agreement that the other was in good condition, hugged once more, then Silent admitted that he needed to finish what he had started.

As the young man returned to his place with his company, another humvee parked near the road. All companies were ordered to attention as General Bethany stepped out with a few more officers. The officers did not acknowledge those around them, but marched in step toward those of the Air Force.

Sergeant Andrews watched as a show of formality occurred between the officers. Their stances however broke as the two generals and Colonel Terrell spoke to each other privately. Sergeant Andrews wanted to hear what was being discussed, but was surprised to hear his name called out.

After having a salute returned by General Bethany, Sergeant Andrews heard the lady say, "Sergeant, I need you to hear along with General Bethany my appreciation for holding onto Silent."

The superior officer said, "Sergeant Andrews has dealt with all kinds of recruits, Colonel. All I had to do was give him a little support."

Sergeant Andrews replied, "I thank you for your words. Silent was a different type of recruit, but I did my duty and nothing more."

"Well, I have done my duty and nothing more, but I remember what that demanded of me at times. In all my years, I have never had a companion like Silent. I am grateful to have found him, and want you to know my appreciation of your help to turn him into a member of our fine military establishment."

"Just one thing, Top Secret. I want a letter from you one day telling me what Silent's name really is."

The lady laughed, then said, "The letter won't be from me, Sergeant Andrews, but from Silent's father. That man would love to crow about his son, and it is really hard to keep him silent."

General Bethany said, "I know Silent's father, Colonel Terrell, so can support your words. Don't worry, Sergeant Andrews, you will know Silent's name one day."

"Although I suspect by then that everyone will simply call him Silent."

Sergeant Andrews felt that there was another question that could be answered. "Excuse, Top Secret, but why would he call you Top Secret when everyone here knows your name?"

"He called me Top Secret so he could refer to me in civilian and military circles without having to remember formality. He still calls me Top Secret because I out-rank him and the name gets him outside normal formality. If he gets me alone away from business, he calls me Stacy."

"Thank you."

A very lovely smile accompanied the words, "He didn't talk much, did he?"

Sergeant Andrews could not help but smile in return as he said, "No, he lived up to his name pretty well."

"Well, he really does not talk much, but he gets really quiet around people. If you want him to talk, you have to get him out alone. He gets rather playful as well. I bet he was not somebody good at sports."

"No, he was a rather poor team player."

"He is good at golf, racquetball, and plays a mean game of night tennis. I haven't really figured it out, but he shuts down around people. Whatever you did to get him to participate, I want to thank you."

"The Army needs all types of people. Silent might not have been out front working with the group, but he did his part all the same. It took a little recognition of his style, but I have learned to pay attention. Just part of the job."

"Thank you again, Sergeant."

"I am glad to have met you, Top Secret."

She turned to the generals to say, "We need to get Silent out of here. These people have their own plans for the day."

Sergeant Andrews watched as a small private ceremony was performed for Silent. It was not the first time that he had experienced such, but each had its own reason. Never had he a recruit such as Silent. He however told himself that tonight he could go to bed having one question answered. He now knew who Top Secret was, and a good reason why she held such control over the man he knew as Silent.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Number of posts : 1287
Age : 58
Location : Ringgold, Louisiana
Current Mood :
Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Part 2   September 12th 2009, 7:53 am

The Search for Silent
Chapter Seven

Part 2

Lieutenant Victor Chambers looked up as two humvees moved together to the small airfield that serviced the Army base. A couple of Air Force helicopters rested on the pads waiting to take off. It was barely daybreak, but Victor had moved to the shady side of one helicopter to avoid the rays of the sun. Something about his black skin and black hair that made him entertained by being unseen when in the dark.

One humvee was filled with Air Force officers, while the other was filled with Army officers except for one – and that one Victor had been given definite orders about. He came to attention and held his stance understanding that he would not be able to move a muscle until recognized. While he would have liked to return to a relaxed state, he had been told that a certain formality needed to be done first.

The two sets of officers came together, and as the Air Force general, General Bishop, began to say a farewell, the Army general, General Bethany, had him stop. "Excuse me, but there is one more thing to do before I allow Silent to leave us." He turned to salute the only one not in officer dress, and waited for that one to go as erect as Victor before saying more. "Silent, there is no reason for OTS. We need you, and we need you in a certain capacity. I have the authorization to go ahead and award you the rank of Captain. Go make us proud of you, Silent."

Another salute from the general gave the young man the signal that he could speak. "Thank you, but Top Secret said that I would have to suffer through OTS."

"I just told you that we need you, Silent. Go, do your job, and no one will ever challenge your rank."

"Thank you again, General, but you could have told me before I packed my enlisted uniforms."

"You have a whole new wardrobe waiting for you, Silent. Again, I expect you to do your job."

Another set of salutes, then some shaking of hands occurred. With that the Army general left with those who worked with him. Turning from watching one of humvees leave, Silent finally noticed the Army lieutenant standing at attention against a helicopter.

"Who are you?"

"Lieutenant Victor Chambers, Captain Silent, Sir! I was chosen by Colonel Terrell to serve under you, Sir!"

"At ease, Lieutenant. We will be working together, so let use get past most formalities. What are your duties?"

"I am your public liason, Sir. I am to keep you looking good, even when nobody is supposed to see you."

Silent turned, then asked, "Top Secret, why isn't anybody supposed to see me?"

She turned to another to say, "General Bishop, thank you for coming."

Victor waited while farewells were said between Silent, Colonel Terrell, the General and those who traveled with them. He at least had memories of the two groups chatting with each other upon arrival. Silent spoke to all cordially, but Victor detected twitches in his movements stating a desire to get on with business.

Silent continued to have nervous jerks to his movements as he moved into the helicopter with only Victor and Colonel Terrell. The black man could tell that he wanted to ask something. Once all were secure in the aircraft, Victor felt a need to go ahead and open up lines of communication.

"Do you have a question, Sir?"

Silent seemed to ignore the lieutenant, although did ask a question. "Top Secret, how many do I have on my staff?"

"Simply curious, Silent?"

"We have work to do."

Victor noticed that the lady recognized that the line was not a question. "Relax, Silent. We are going to an airfield, then boarding a jet to our present area of operations. It will be a few hours before we get anywhere that answers can be meaningful."

"Come on, Top Secret, how about dosiers?"

"They are on the plane."

"How about a book?"

"Yes, I have a few of those as well."


Victor could not help but ask, "Captain Silent, why do you call her Top Secret? I mean, I know why you call her Top Secret, but why do you keep saying Top Secret? Why not just Top?"

"If you know why I call her Top Secret, then you know why I call her Top Secret. If I was going to be informal, I would call her Stacy."

"Do you want me to call her Top Secret?"

"I will leave it to you to figure that one out, Lieutenant, but I would suggest not to call her Top Secret unless you could also call her Stacy."

The lady said, "You call me Colonel Terrell, Lieutenant Chambers."

"Yes, ma'm. Captain Silent, Colonel Terrell picked your staff, but I have been getting them adjusted. I have my own opinions of their qualifications."

"Can they be trusted?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Good, because we have work to do."

"What work is that, Sir?"

Colonel Terrell answered, "He won't tell you. I haven't told him anything, so he won't tell me, or you, anything. He is waiting for me to brief him. Silent might hint, but he is not one to speak unless he considers his words to have merit."

Silent asked the lady, "How much does he know?"

"Nothing. There has not been that much time."

"Felt like an eternity to me."

"All right, Silent, I don't want to hear any more of it. You worked your butt off attempting to go with me, and now you have the right. You have been serving your country, and now you have it as your job. I don't want to hear any complaints."

Victor interjected, "Yeah, we all have been through boot. I went through OTS as well, so you only have only half as many gripes as me."

Silent mumbled, "I am standing down, Top Secret, but I had to listen to your gripes."

"Listen, Silent, I want that vacation as much as you do. When we are both drunk, we can trade complaints, but I will wager that I will win."

"We did that before, Top Secret, and I made you work for your win."

"Yes, but I was not taking you seriously at that time. You will probably hear a whole lot of new ones next time."

Victor waited for further conversation, but none occurred. The glances between the two did not say much either. Something more than two people who had worked together was displayed in how they reacted around each other, but Victor also noticed the absence of 'knowing' smiles or friendly giggles. He really could not determine the relationship between the two by watching. The fact that they did not speak caused him to stay ignorant.

The move from the helicopter to the jet was handled quickly and efficiently. Victor noticed that both Colonel Terrell and Captain Silent handled themselves with perfect decorum, as if they had done the procedure numerous times. While the lady certainly should have, Victor felt that his superior should have had only limited experience and none as a military officer, a fact stressed by his lack of proper uniform. Captain Silent however showed no discomfort in handling the limited formalities of the move.

A situation did occur in the jet before taking off. Silent found a uniform placed in a seat, then heard Top Secret tell him to go change clothes. He instead asked her what else she had stashed on board, and started looking through compartments. The lady went to the kitchen and mentioned what she found, only to have Silent reaching around he as if certain she was not telling him the complete truth. The pilot spoke on the intercom that he was not going to take off until everyone was seated, and had to use some rather stressful language before Silent settled with the fact that all that was available was a soft drink.

Once the jet was in the air, the Army captain donned his proper uniform then sat next to Colonel Terrell while looking at a laptop on which were stored the information of his personnel. Victor answered a few questions concerning himself, but mostly listened to Top Secret give answers about who she had declined in favor of those he had gained. The lady gave some resistance to Silent's request to inspect her staff, but soon took the laptop to type in a password opening up her own database. After asking similar questions about her people, the young man had a different line of questioning.

"None of these are women."

"No, Silent, I did not want to present you with any complications. Leave the enlisted ladies alone, but anyone else you meet is fair game."

"I am sure that mother and father will have me meet certain approved females once certain matters are resolved."

"I can't believe that you are going to let them do that."

"Victor, do you have a lady?"

The lieutenant was surprised to suddenly be spoken to, but quickly returned, "No, Sir. I did leave some behind, but I really have no intention of going back."

"Would you be offended if I sent you a black lady in exchange for a white lady that you are wooing?"

"It depends, I could be."

As the answer came, Colonel Terrell jabbed the one beside her with an elbow while whispering, "That is not a proper question, Silent."

He answered the lady, "I feel it was a better question than asking the lieutenant whether or not he is a homosexual."

Victor asked, "Do you like hitting the night spots, Captain?"

"Truthfully, no. I like hitting the streets, beaches, places where they have open-air cafes. I like taking my parties outside."

"Is that how you met Colonel Terrell?"

"Yes, it was."

Victor hoped that he would get an account of the first meeting of the pair that would come to be known as Top Secret and Silent, but that did not occur. The Army captain asked how much longer it would be until the destination would be gained, and when told that it was still about an hour away decided to take a nap. The lady agreed along with an admittance that there would be plenty of work to do before either would get a chance to rest. Victor thus found himself sitting quietly while his two superiors closed their eyes and rested.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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The Search for Silent - Chpt 7
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