Volunteer for the Crapometer #8

Shots whizzed overhead. I crouched behind a tree and tried to locate the shooters. The underbrush rustled and a body crashed to the ground beside me, breath ragged, torso splattered red. I jumped in surprise and jammed my shoulder into the trunk of a tree.

"Ouch! Oh shit, Devin."

"Sorry, Mom. You're on your own," he whispered.

I sank to my knees beside him. "Shit."

"You gotta get out of here," Devin said. A barrage of fire rattled the underbrush to punctuate his statement.

I nodded, but didn't speak as he shoved his gun toward me. He gave me a weak okay sign as I stuck his weapon under my arm and slid to the bottom of the ravine. I blocked him out and crouched behind a bush as I listened for movement, but the woods were silent as birds, bugs and humans waited for the next fusillade. Sweat blurred my vision. I blinked it clear and searched for the safest way out of the ravine.

My hiding place behind the bush started to feel exposed. I dashed for a tree that offered more cover. Shots thudded around me. I hit the ground and closed my eyes. The ostrich defense--I was invisible because I couldn't see. The shooting stopped. I guess it worked. My breath escaped in a rush of relief.

I waited, listening. Nothing broke the stillness but the raucous call of a crow in the distance. I inched around the clearing on knees and elbows, keeping my profile low. The muscles in my arms started to shake with fatigue. My abs burned. My eyes stung as sweat ran down my face. In the movies, they make this look easy.

Holy moly, I'm kinda upset here that I only asked for page one!
Do you want to find out what happens next??
Me too!!

That's pretty much the gold standard for pages: do you want to know what happens next.
If the answer is yes, I can forgive a lot. If it's NO, no amount of proper punctuation or clever writing will win me over.

I'd definitely read on.


Anonymous said...

Ah, how much you want to be that it's a paintball war?

Miss Snark said...

oh geeze I hope not. I'm hoping for mother son spy fests! Paintball would be tooooooooooooooooo normal.

Douglas Hoffman said...

Remember the second Star Trek movie's opening -- the Kobayashi Maru incident? The viewer thinks everything is going to hell, but then he learns it's all a training stunt.

That's right up there with "It was all a dream."

So, yes, I hope it's not paintball, too.

Molly said...

I thought paintball too. Very similar set up to a Bombshell I read last year .... Medusa Project?

There is no way this scene could be anything but a paintball-type scene, otherwise, for me, the reactions/emotions would ring all wrong.

Bernita said...

If it's paintball after all, it seems to me the writer may have set up the reader for huge deflation and a sense of being conned on page two, unless the story - and there may be hints of that - applies liberal doses of comedy.

Anonymous said...

The only reason I think paintball is because what mother would leave her son bleeding and still alive as she runs away???

I want to know what happens next!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments all. Now I must stop playing on the internet and get back to writing. :)

Anonymous said...

Isn't shooting with red paint disallowed during paintball exactly because it looks like blood and could cause mistakes and stuff?