Every Thursday, we will be taking a look at one of my older works, and then adding a little bit of spice. Or in lamen's terms, editing it to give it some more pizzazz.
This weeks edition comes to us all the way from 2013. Enjoy the rough, younger side of my writing career.
He shuddered, looking around the corner, watching the line of guards march toward them. He pulled back his head quickly, hoping they didn’t see him, in the dark shadow of the night. He held the baby in one hand and grasped the woman’s hand in the other. The baby was soft asleep; it’s shallow breathing, soon to be doomed if he could not escape. The woman cried silent tears, and he spoke so quietly that there seemed to be no sound coming out.
“I love you.” He pressed his lips lightly against her forehead.
She nodded, too afraid to speak.
He spoke urgently and rapidly, “Look I’m going to cause a distraction, and you need to run with him,” he handed the baby over, gently, “run, you know where to go. Don’t wait for me, you better not, then this whole affair,” he looked back at the guards that were closer than he had realized.
Letting go of her hand, he screamed the last words of his instructions, “Will have been for nothing!,” and sprang onto the rank of guards, that he knew he would never make past, but as long as his son and wife could be safe, there would be reason to fight. Drawing their swords, because of course all the guns had been outlawed and most melted down to liquid to help create new weapons; the armed guards fought him off effortlessly.
The woman never ran, she waited in the darkest shadows, watching in shock and horror, as they mutilated him, and threw curses about. He was dragged away, and she shook uncontrollably, which woke up the baby. A lump formed in her throat, as she stumbled out of the alley and ran as fast as she could away from his unconscious body and the backs of the ones that would take away her happiness. She pleaded, shrieked within her mind telling the baby not to whine, or else they all would get her and the baby. His last words rang in her head, ‘Will have been for nothing!’, and her hot tears continued to fall, from her face and onto the baby.
She didn’t look back, she couldn’t, or maybe she wouldn’t but it didn’t matter really, all that mattered was the baby. That was the goal, the baby. She stopped crying suddenly, and stopped dead in her tracks. Looking at the baby, her eyes brimmed in red, and bellowed out into the silence of night, “You will not have my baby!”
She ran blindly, hoping the port was in that direction, and in fact it was. A man stood waiting, impatiently, and constantly checked his watch. She thought maybe, just maybe, that he escaped, but no, of course it was not him, it was another man, a man of none importance except for transportation.
She was upon him before the first arrow struck her back, and it was only mere centimeters from the baby. She coughed up blood that spewed onto the man’s face. His face held no emotion when he took the baby from her arms, and let the woman to die.
More arrows whistled threw the air, and punctured her, leaving a bloodied body on the ground after she finally crumpled. The man sat the baby inside the submarine and prepared to close the hatch.
“Wait!” she rasped.
He hesitated watching the third wave of arrows falling through the air.
“His name,” she coughed, and he nodded watching the arrows fall onto the ground, and yet even more of these arrows plunge into her flesh, “Berthold.” She spoke her last words, as the man nodded and took the submarine out to sea.
He sat the baby on a bed, surrounding it with pillows, so it wouldn’t fall off, and navigated the submarine out of harm’s way. The baby was fully awake now and screaming, angering the captain.
“Shut up Berthold, we still have awhile to go, and I’m not gonna listen to that, horrible noise the whole way there.” The captain shouted over the child’s piercing screams, which did not cease.
The captain shook his head, “I thought this to be the end,” he switched the submarine on auto-pilot, and walked back to lean on the doorframe and survey the baby, “but now do I see that this is only the beginning.”
The baby ceased to cry then, for a moment, and tried to understand what this man’s words meant, but gave up much too quickly and continued doing what it did best, screeching into the small encasement of the submarine. The captain sang a soft lullaby, calming the baby into a slumber. Tucking it under a blanket, he sighed.
“You made it,” he whispered, “you’ve escaped.”
Now, for the edited version.
He clasped a palm over her mouth, a barrage of footsteps followed by agonized screams kept them secluded underneath the ledge of the rock formation. An explosion signaled the use of a ray gun.
She pulled his hand away, “They melted the guns. There shouldn’t be anymore!”
He ground his teeth until his jaw croaked, “I know, I know!” His other hand caressed an infant, who managed to remain fast asleep, its shallow breath playing a tune of irony about the destruction that wreaked just above them.
The woman placed a steadying hand on the wall, blood dripped down the jagged rock. Her stomach had been pierced, a strip of her ripped jeans serving as a tunicate, but it wasn’t working well. She needed medical attention. “We need to get to the docks.”
He spilled the baby into her arms, “You’re going to the docks, don’t wait for me.”
Gravel spewed over top of them, a boot stuck over the edge. “Did you hear that?” A dark, radio voice barked above.
He pressed his lips lightly against her forehead and spoke so quietly that there seemed to be no sound coming out, “I love you.”
The boot slipped off the edge as the man tugged with fervor, a body followed gravities command. His fists smashed in the soldier’s helmet, crumpling it.
“Go!” He yelled at her, she startled, jostling the baby awake. He pushed at her as more boots fell to ground level, her eyes blurred with tears and she clutched her baby and ran. She didn’t look back, she couldn’t, or maybe she wouldn’t but it didn’t matter, the ground spewed its lavish soil into the air as her feet slipped forward, and even more so when an explosion rained it atop of her. She ran blindly, adrenaline guiding her feet forward through the splatters of carmine.
The docks appeared suddenly, as if she had willed them to her. A man checked his pocket watch, a bloodied sword whiteknuckled in the other hand. He turned away but she rung her voice hoarse,
He turned, recognized her, and moved forward with a gallant only she had seen in her husband. An explosion of light purged her to her knees. The baby tumbled forward, Breyos scooped it up.
A hole the size of a human heart sizzled in her chest. Breyos couldn’t mourn, he strut the docks in leaping stride and slipped the baby down the hatch, and he followed ceiling the submarines port. He whistled, and the machine groaned as it begun its decent into the ocean.
The trumpet of explosions faded before Breyos looked at the child. He rested its head against the pillows and fingered away the spattered blood.
Breyos chuckled, amused by the small boy. Through all the noise and chaos, he hadn’t cried once, nor did he now, as he wondered with his aureate eyes.
“Well kid,” he dug nails into his scruff, “you escaped.”
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