Action Writing Samples
AT THE COTTAGE, AFTER THE FIRE
David survived! And Alex had left him behind. How could he ever forgive her? How could she excuse herself? She tried to ignore the chaos in the kitchen, including David and controlled her own breathing for Abe’s sake. Each breath she breathed for him improved his chance at survival. But, tasted the soot on his face distracted her and heightened her fear. The sounds, sensations, and most of all her panic dragged her back to that dark day that changed her life.
Her thoughts wrenched inside her mind, far from her current scenario to herself at fifteen. Alex used to accompany her brother to his community service. Caught hacking, Tristan was ordered to serve community service hours. At his young age of seventeen, the authorities took it easy on him. While he was busy, she sometimes wandered off. Thinking herself invincible at the time, she was clueless about the surrounding dangers, though she had been warned. She walked around the neighborhood and even to the bridge then, usually alone. On one of those walks, she experienced her last moment of innocence.
She had always loved her long hair, and adored it in a pretty ponytail, which she wore every day. The boys that seized her were in a gang, and it was initiation time. A mammoth-sized boy grabbed her ponytail, pulled her backward, using it like a leash, and smashed his hand over her mouth. He wrapped his arm around her neck, squeezed, and lifted her. Stunned, she didn’t know what had happened. Alex inhaled raggedly, trying to breathe with the boy’s bicep compressing her throat. She gagged at the memory’s smell of sweat and cheap, overly applied aftershave. He yanked Alex backwards into the alley so fast that she scrambled, unsuccessfully, to get her feet underneath herself. She struggled violently against him. Alex slammed the back of her head into his nose, thinking he’d drop her so she could escape, but he did not loosen his grip. Her attempt to resist only angered him, “Bitch, you will pay for that!” The intensity of her past vision generated an unexpected lightheadedness in the present.
As devastated as she felt about Abe, now she grew angry at the thought of the other boys watching as they laughed and called out to her. They watched as if she was a show put on just for them, as if her pain and humiliation were entertaining. She attempted her loudest scream, but it only came out as a faint, despondent moan. The boy who’d jumped her crushed her face with his calloused fingers and pressed against her with ruthless vigor. Inside her mouth, skin ripped open against the sharpness of her teeth. The metallic flavor of blood built up against her tongue. Unable to move her head, she clawed at his forearm and reached for his face. But he threw her down onto her back, knocking the wind out of her.
Alex’s breath stuck in her throat and she knew she was still breathing for Abe, but the memories produced a cringe. The enormous boy dropped on top of her with one of his knees, landing directly on her arm. After over a decade, she endured the dismay of mentally hearing the crunch of her bones breaking once more. She experienced the terror all over again. Alex realized she was hyperventilating, which was too fast for Abe to get the oxygen he needed. She tried to slow her inhales and exhales.
At the age of fifteen, Alex had the heart of a fighter, just not the strength of one. She thrashed about on the ground while the boy knelt on her other arm. She squirmed with all her might, but couldn’t move. He was too strong. Screaming her loudest, most desperate plea, nobody came to help her. He pressed his oversized, meaty hand aggressively against her face, and over her lips, preventing her from breathing. The boy withdrew a giant knife from the rear of his pants. Unable to stop him, he overwhelmed her with his size and power. Her struggle spurred laughter in the background as he waved the blade in the air and used it to trace around her temple, neck, and breasts. She wanted to forget his face, but it was forever scorched in her mind. That greasy dark hair and unshaven skin glistened with a film of sweat and grime.
Both then and now, tears burned her eyes, and dripped off of her cheeks. Even though Alex was in Rebecca’s cottage, the memory of the urine and garbage stink in the alley made her gag and feel more lightheaded. She licked her lips before pressing her mouth back onto Abe’s, trying to stifle her nausea.
A ringing whine pierced her ears as another boy pleaded with the one on top of her, “Don’t slice her up. I can’t do her if she’s all bloody and gross.” His words only inflamed her attacker, and he dragged the knife along Alex’s jaw in a slicing motion. At first, she sensed nothing, but then it began to burn. It left a scar on her, filling her with shame and anger since that day. Alex realized perspiration ran down her body and soaked her shirt, a strange reaction to a horrible memory.
The large boy with the weapon laughed, then made fun of his companion, “Aww, the poor baby can’t do it unless the girls look pretty. I am done playing with her, anyway. I get to go first, and then you all have your turn. Now hold her down so I can take what I came for.” Not one, but two others grabbed her arms and the pain in her crushed arm nearly blinded her. Alex recalled screaming as loud as possible, with all the death wrenching desperation she felt at the time. Almost too quick to see, the boy pulled his pants down and jumped on top of her. He landed on her ribs, leaving her unable to breathe. He swung his fist brutally into the side of Alex’s face. She reached up and touched her eye at the painful sensation in her memory, as if it exploded. A silver light replaced her vision where he hit, as the other eye watched blurs and heard muffled babbling, then white snow drifted around the edges of her sight. She faded in and out of blackness.
They ripped Alex’s slacks and shirt from her body, mauled and tugged at her breasts with rough hands and fingers. Confusion, adrenaline, and panic took over, but nothing in her life prepared Alex for the feeling of being split in two. The inescapable panting, rancid breath covered her face, and the jerking motion of the sweaty body crushed her. She knew others were waiting their turn. Afterward several other boys violated her just as he had promised them. Vomit filled her mouth. She did not want to die. Her mind raced trying to develop an escape from the hell she was experiencing, but blackness took over.
Alex opened her eyes to remind her she was in Rebecca’s cottage, not an old alley. Alex never had a healthy, intimate relationship because of those memories. Not realizing how much time had passed, muffled babbling and exploding echoes brought Alex back to awareness, but similar sounds echoed in her present. Alex sighed a breath of relief peering at Rebecca’s wall. That was the first day she ever saw Rebecca, while her head rested against the softness of her lap and smooth hands stroked her forehead. Tears streamed down Alex’s face as she realized where she was. Alex’s anxious voice whispered, “I don’t feel too well.”
INFECTED SOLDIER FIGHT
Alex nodded to the gentleman she’d been speaking with, sorry to leave his side. Hesitantly, she stepped over to the patronizing soldier’s cot. His massive size filled the entire bed. Alex could not recall his name. He was still secured from when he came in because he reacted violently. The man flexed his giant wrist and twisted it in the restraint. His intensity caused her heart rate to speed up, but she had sworn to never again allow fear to control her.
She picked up his cup and held it to his mouth, trying not to let her hands tremble. The soldier grinned at her in a way that creeped her out. Suddenly, he yanked his wrist free from the restraint. The water spilled all down his front. With his restrained hand, he grabbed Alex by the arm. Unsure of where he got it, he gripped a knife in the other. Pressing it against her throat, he snarled, “Not a word or I’ll slice you through.”
Alex nodded. The sting of a large blade cut into Alex’s skin. The soldier growled, “Unclasp the other restraint.”
She swallowed hard and tried not to cry. As she fumbled clumsily with the buckle on the restraint, her fingers trembled. He swung his unsecured feet over the side of the bed and stood up. He kept the blade pressed sharply against Alex’s neck. The soldier wrapped his giant hand around the front of her neck. He yanked Alex’s body tightly into his and it felt like he thrust her against steel. He probably weighed twice what she did. The soldier dwarfed her in size and height.
The man Alex helped earlier jumped out of his bed. About to pounce, the soldier barked, “Return to your bunk, rapist, or I will slice her throat all the way to her spine.”
Alex trembled. David poked his head around the corner to check on the commotion. He disappeared. Then reappeared, dragging Jean into the room. They both tensed up, ready to leap in. Burning wetness dripped down her skin as the soldier pressed harder. He glared back and forth between Jean and David. They warily closed in on him. Alex determined she would not die this way. She had struggled through too much.
Without warning, Alex forced her fists together and pushed her arms up between the soldier’s arm and her neck while she screamed, “Size.” She stomped on the soldier’s foot with all her might, “Doesn’t.” Alex sprang upwards and flung her head up and to the rear, into his chin, “Matter.” She heard him grunt, and he stumbled backwards.
Jean and David both jumped onto the behemoth of a man. Elbows and fists tangled into a mishmash of discord. The glint of the knife streaked through the air. Chaotic groans and interrupted howls echoed off the room’s sterile walls. Alex saw blood fly. Jean stumbled backwards, gripping his middle. With his slashed face bleeding, a reddish-brown stain grew. The brawny soldier used his size and power to inflict the most damage with the least amount of effort. Jean shuddered and collapsed to his knees.
David was lithe, and the soldier was musclebound. David’s strength and training could not compare to the soldier’s. How could Alex stand by and watch? She bounded in and drove her fist upwards, nailing the soldier in the chin. David tried to wrestle him down to the floor, but the man’s size gave him an advantage. With her knee, Alex nailed him between the legs using all her might. As the knife sliced in her direction, burning lit up her middle. A warm, wet, red lake pooled on her stomach and spilled down her leg. The man’s arm got loose, and he swung. Ringing in the distance grew louder and her head ricocheted. The room spun. David and the soldier blurred. Her limbs deadened. Gradually, the room tilted. Her face plummeted toward the floor and bounced. Blackness filled in the maelstrom of conflict, grunts, and blood.