Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #217

Just Desserts
by Craig Smith


Alarm bells rang out in the distance, and Lord Myron's bloodhounds howled against the savage wind. Normally, I wouldn't have taken much notice of them as I worked for Lord Myron, but things had changed. They had changed very quickly. I had been caught stealing. But I had no choice, no other hope.

I could see my brother far-off… if I could just reach him, maybe, just maybe she would live. I clutched the engagement ring more tightly: holding in my hand the very life of my beloved.

I looked up and over my shoulder. For possessing only a bird brain the crow seemed to be quite smart. It danced there up in the sky. As if mocking me, daring me to try escape.

It was Gladys' fault. If only she hadn't spotted me taking it, I would have gotten away with ease. I was a trusted member of the household. I would never have been suspected, but nosy old Gladys had to ruin everything. Money for the ring was the only way I could pay for my wife's life or death operation. Gladys was meddling with my wife’s life. She would get her just desserts. I was sure of it!

A few paces from the rendezvous, I tripped over a tree root, crashing to the ground. The ring flew into the air. A black streak shot down and snatched it. The crow shrieked as it flew off with its prize, my wife's life, clutched tightly in its claws.

17 comments:

Laurel said...

Desperate. Please tell me Lord Myron is a kindly soul who, when apprised of the misfortune of his servant takes pity and forgives the debt while helping the wife.

Bernita said...

You packed a lot of plot in this.

Leah said...

Very very good. Bernita's comment really sums it up nicely.

Jean Ann Williams said...

Wow! You did pack a lot of plot into so few words.

Good job!

Jean Ann

laughingwolf said...

nicely done, craig...

methinks it'd be in the beak, rather than the claws...

Aniket said...

Echo to Bernita. Liked this one.

The Red Stone by Craig Smith said...

Thanks all for the kind words and comments :).

You have a good point there laughingwolf!

Forgot to include my website:
My twitter is twitter.com/TheRedStone if anyone wants to connect

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

The "oh, hells" ending - and a sort of twist on Gladys getting her just desserts, since he's the one who's the thief.

Something I Might Tweak

Balance the action and exposition so there's a bit more of the former and less of the latter

Preeti said...

Oh dear...i feel so sorry for the man... :-(

I liked this because the sense of hurry and desperation has been brought out really well.
It kept me hooked.

James R. Tomlinson said...

I was hoping for a happy ending. With only 250-words, it's not easy setting up the conflict, devising a plot, and making it work. Perhaps, if the opening paragraph showed a dual desperation, or some type of foreshadowing of the events to come, I'd be less cranky. Well written piece though.

Deb Smythe said...

Your writing is very clean, which makes it easy to read. Nice job there. I like the plot idea, as well.

I do agree with Aerin on the old "show don't tell" adage. A little more immediacy and emotion, especially in that first paragraph, would have really made this piece shine IMO. ie Give the outside stimuli (alarm bells), then show his reaction/emotion in real-time.

ie: My heart plummeted; I'd been found out.

Cliché example, but you get the idea.

Aimee Laine said...

Darn Gladys! ;) Guess the ring wasn't meant to be!

JaneyV said...

While I have sympathy for him and his poor wife it should be remembered that he used his position as a trusted member of the household to steal from his employer. I feel that he did indeed get his just desserts.

But his poor wife, on the other hand, probably deserved much more...

Craig said...

Nice flow to this piece and I think the ending worked well.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Aww! Clever set-up.

pjd said...

Aerin and Deb nailed it on the show-don't-tell advice. I like the ending and personally hope that Lord Myron is an insensitive lout who might pay for the girl's operation but remove something of importance from the groom for the theft. As in, Lord Myron Bobbit perhaps.

catvibe said...

Aw! Why didn't he just ask Lord Myron for the money? Surely the man has a heart? Oh, but then it wouldn't be this story, now would it?