In Time: The Face Off

In Time: The Face Off

February 24, 2012 Writing 18

This picks up at some point after Dreamcatcher. You last met Roderick here.

“I know you have it. Give it to me or else!” Viola demanded as she entered the antique shop. Her tight-lipped smile looked menacing on her beautiful face. Her hands hovered at her hips, ready to rip her gun from its holster. Her eyes blazed as she took in the scene. The shopkeeper lay dead on the floor beneath Roderick’s feet. Flashes of light sparked from between his fingers.

Roderick laughed. “Or else? Really? You need me more than I need you, so please, tell me, what does this ‘or else’ entail?”

Viola’s smile faded. She fingered the butterfly pendant. The single hand lay dead on the twelve of its clock face, now scarred where the magnet once was. Something gold whipped through the air as more laughter erupted from Roderick’s chest. It landed in a small box of gears sitting on a counter at an equal distance between them. The small clicking from the box assured her it would be easy enough to find since it had attached itself to several other gears with its magnetic appeal.

“I knew you weren’t to be trusted.” Viola stepped to the right, inching closer to the box slowly. Her hand shook slightly. She hoped Roderick hadn’t seen. He was an attack dog when he smelled fear. Disgusted with herself for her fear, she spoke with a bravado she didn’t feel.

“I will have your piece when it’s all over. You know this.”

Metal gleamed under the broad brown fedora. The fleshy side of Roderick’s face held a wicked smile. It was the same smile he’d worn before throwing an innocent bystander to his death on the train tracks. He threw his head back, taking his eyes from Viola for a moment. He knew that she couldn’t hurt him. He knew she still needed him. The time was coming when she wouldn’t, but he’d be that much stronger then. He feared nothing.

“We shall see,” he said before leaping over the counter. His hand dived into the box and he filled his pocket. He looked at her once more before going out the door of the shop. “We shall see.”

With a tip of his hat, he was gone.


We asked you to use a Gandhi quote to inspire you to throw a little conflict at your characters in the name of strong plot development.

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
Mahatma Gandhi

Write a piece, either fiction or non, in which your character gets rid of or finds something at a thrift or antique store. Your challenge is to write the piece in a different genre that what you are used to writing. Happy hunting… or maybe not… (*hint*)

The word count for RWH was 300, and for Story Dam was 600, and this comes in at 366. This is a story that I have been working on, but the whole Steampunk genre is definitely something new for me so qualifies as a different genre from what I usually write (horror and thrillers are my usual cup of tea).

I appreciate any and all feedback. In fact, I need it to become a better writer, so its very important to me. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for stopping in!!

(PS. There is a reversed angle to this story from Roderick’s point of view if you click here.)


18 Responses

  1. I’m having a really hard time with this prompt, so I gave in and decided to see what other people are doing first.

    I’m so happy to see a little Steampunk here! When I share anything Steampunk with Write on Edge, I get comments like “I have no idea what that is, but it sounds cool!” lol!

    I like this snippet here, although I have no idea whether this is towards the end of a larger story or perhaps towards the beginning of something. I haven’t read the others yet, but I really appreciate the links so I know that it’s not a stand-alone piece.

    One little concrit: He LAY on the floor (past tense of being in a horizontal position)

    • SAM says:

      Thank you. I get those lay, lie, laid, lied mixed up sometimes. my gut said lay. lol should have listened to it.

      I’m not sure exactly where this piece falls in the story. More “backstory” between Viola and Roderick will be needed for this to flow into the story so I’m thinking it’s a bit later.

      Sent from my iPad

  2. J.R. Reed says:

    I loved it. The characters were cool and the story was great, especially with the 300 word limit. *fist bump*

  3. Ray Yanek says:

    That was a helluve first paragraph. Action packed and brought me right in. The line at the end of the paragraph created a great visual and hooked me. A nice note of menace to end on as well.

    I know there was a short word count but this line caught my attention: “Her tight-lipped smile looked menacing on her beautiful face” It’s a tell. With the other strong visuals, I would to have you show me the menace and also her beauty. Even if it was just a hint.

    And this ended on a nice note of menance and the little forshadow concerning Viola’s growing power makes me want to come back and see how all this turns out.

    As soon as I get a chance, I’ll definitely come back and check out the other pieces. Looking forward to it!

    • SAM says:

      Thanking for pointing out that tell for me and explaining it so well. I do need to work on the fine art of knowing when to show and when to tell while using KISS.

      I would love it if you read more and offered more feedback. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Carrie says:

    To follow up on Ray’s comment about her smile: since this piece is supposed to be in Viola’s POV it’s out of place. She wouldn’t be able to see how menacing her smile looked unless there was a mirror…and don’t go there, that’s a cop out 😉

    You could have her sense the tightness of her smile on her cheeks perhaps…

    This line would possibly work in your other piece from Roderick POV. Will be heading over there in a sec 🙂

  5. I love where this went. As a reader, though, the following feels awkward:

    Her hand shook slightly. She hoped Roderick hadn’t seen. He was an attack dog when he smelled fear. Disgusted with herself for her fear, she spoke with a bravado she didn’t feel.

    “Fear” was used too often and too close together, and “bravado” implies a flamboyance in the pretense of bravery, like a blatant overcompensation. I think simple bravery is a better fit for Viola’s character.

    Perhaps something more akin to this: “She hoped Roderick hadn’t noticed her trembling hand. He was vicious when he sensed fear. Disgusted at her own frailty, she spoke with bravery she didn’t feel.”

    I can tell there’s an underlying tone of danger here that is delicious and I think you’ve got some great character and plot advancement happening. I’m ready for more!

  6. Renee says:

    I had to go read some of the other pieces.
    This puts me in mind of King’s Dark Tower series, which I love. So I really want to read more in order to place these characters better.
    I like what I’ve read so far!

    The previous comments are pretty thorough. Nothing else jumped out at me.

  7. I really felt like I was in the room with the characters and boy does Roderick seem like one heck of a bad guy! Can’t wait to read more.

    • SAM says:

      He really is developing quite evilly. I’m still interested in seeing just exactly how evil Viola is. Thanks for giving it a read!

  8. Nancy says:

    I agree with the feedback above….Carrie’s in particular. I guess I need to get here earlier if I want a chance to give you some concrit.

    Loving that you’re trying something new. It seems like I’m seeing a lot of steampunk recently…fun!

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