This week's challenge from Terrible Minds was to pick a setting.
Pick one of the following five settings/situations and write about it. That’s it. OH SO EASY.
The five are:
In the middle of a prison riot.
Chinatown during a hurricane.
In the Martian suburbs celebrating the Red Planet’s independence.
In a haunted mountain pass.
On the battlefield during a war between two races of mythological creature.
Due Friday Aug 24 - 12 noon 1000 words
I had no idea, so started brainstorming a bit. I wanted a setting I could build some characters in.
In the middle of a prison riot. - noise, chaos, panic, some good and some bad prisoners, some good and some bad guards.
Chinatown during a hurricane. - flimsy decorations and buildings, flooding, school in danger, strong local bank to hide in, dragon comes forth to help, led by young boy
In the Martian suburbs celebrating the Red Planet’s independence. - long a US/China colony, US explored and claimed rights, had to bargain w China over US economy, suburbs is a dome, chinese dissident blows it up
In a haunted mountain pass - mist, voices, pebbles rattle down, someone running, takes the pass, ghosts get people chasing him
On the battlefield during a war between two races of mythological creature. - fairy tale folk in costume - or just two monsters taking a break.
I picked the first one. Came in at 997 words.
Pierre ducked as another shot rang out behind him. Must be from the armoury they'd seized in B-block. He could already smell some tear gas mixed with the smoke as both sides escalated the battle. He was in for life, but right now that seemed like a short sentence. There'd been a prison riot last year over at Beckwith that had gone on for weeks. After countless negotiations and compromises by the Governor, it had ended with the prisoners killing all the hostages anyway. They wouldn't make the same mistake again, now the Governor had a tough on crime mandate, with the backing of the media and the majority right wing government. Pierre figured within a day there would be an all out assault, with an unofficial shoot to kill mandate. Including him.
He'd tried to retire from a life in Canadian and US biker gangs, but the FBI wanted him bad, so managed to frame him for several murders. In fact, his reign had been relatively peaceful, ruling with brains rather than brawn, but at six and a half feet, and three hundred pounds, with tattoos up both arms, and a full beard, he looked violent – and that was all the jury needed. The warden had made his hatred clear from the start, and had delighted in adding that rival gangs had been told he'd ratted on them, so there was a nice bounty on his head. Pierre had already been jumped a few times, guards mysteriously elsewhere, but so far had been lucky.
He heard more shots, so headed for the gym. If there was a lot of smoke or tear gas, maybe the showers would help. He'd spent most of his free time in the gym, not just pumping iron, but organizing some games and coaching the newer prisoners on ways to avoid trouble, how to look tough enough, but not too tough. He let himself in with his key – slipped to him by a sympathetic guard. She saw past the Sasquatch, and appreciated what he was trying to do.
It was quieter in here, lockers all closed, a hint of soap in the air. And of something else – he walked over to the lockers and noticed at the bottom of one door a thin trickle of liquid, yellow, pungent.
“Bonny, what are you doing in here?”
“Hiding,” she said. “And apparently peeing myself.” She squeezed out of the locker and brushed her hair out of her eyes. “Sorry about the mess. The other guards locked down the section and ran - I didn't know what to do.
“Bastards,” he said. “They won't be coming back either.”
“Maybe there will be some hostage negotiations,” she said.
“After Beckwith?” he said. “No way. There'll be a full armed assault within a day I'm sure, with the dead prisoners dismissed as deserving their fate, and you just collateral damage. Besides, you don't want the guys in here to get a hold of you – if they knew you were here they'd be beating down the door.”
“OK, Pierre, do you have a plan?”
“I always have a plan. Well almost always. Between the warden, gangs, and army outside I know I'm done ...”
“I can be at your parole hearing this summer,” she said. “I've seen the good you've done here.”
“Thanks Bonnie, but I doubt I'll make it to the summer. But you will. Quick, we don't have much time – first you need to strip.”
“Do I smell that bad?” she said.
He reached into another locker and handed her an orange prison jumpsuit.
“Good idea,” she said. She stripped off her uniform, stuffed it back in the locker, and zipped up the jumpsuit. “Not very flattering,”
“It'll get worse,” he said. “Give me your knife – I assume it's sharp?”
She nodded and paused. “OK, I trust you, here.”
He grabbed her by her ponytail. “Hold still.”
He sliced, right through the hair, then added a few more cuts. “Nice punk look.”
“So now I'll get shot as just another prisoner, is that the plan?”
“Nope, there's more to it. But you won't like it.”
“Try me,” she said.
He smiled, then unexpectedly bent and kissed the top of her head. “Thanks for all you've done. You're a good person, tougher than you look, but wasted in here. Finish that degree, then work against those right wing idiots. And say a little prayer for me.”
She was opening her mouth to speak when he carefully clipped her on the jaw, then caught her as she fell. He stuffed her badge in his pocket, threw her over his shoulder, opened the door, and headed down the hall.
He met a group of prisoners heading the other way, but just kept on walking.
“Hey Pierre,” one of them called. “Nice buns on that one, the new guys just keep looking younger and younger. Have fun with him. Just watch out – guards are regrouping down the east hallway.”
He smiled and patted Bonnie's butt – luckily she was still out.
“Sorry,” he muttered.
He waited for the others to turn the corner, then turned to the doors for the east corridor. He ripped off the chains and pushed his way past the barricade.
“Halt!” There were four guards there, nervously pointing weapons at him.
“I come bearing gifts,” he said. They looked at him blankly. He turned so they could see her face. “It's Bonnie, your Bonnie. I smuggled her out.”
“It's a trick,” one of them said. “It's that bastard Pierre, the warden warned me about him.”
Pierre rolled his eyes, and set Bonnie down on the polished floor. He gave her a shove, and she slid, face up, halfway to the guards.
“Look at her, you idiots. Here, I have her badge too.” He reached into his pocket.
The same guard yelled and raised his rifle. “It's a gun.”
Pierre felt the bullet hit his stomach, then another his leg, then nothing.