Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Domino Effect

Trying to get a jumpstart and post a little earlier in the day. We'll see how that goes. :D

Finished up a marathon of Continuum…really, really like the show. Makes me have lots of thinky type thoughts. Always a good thing for writers.

Tonight's post is from The Domino Effect. The tagline pretty much sums up the storyline, but I'd like to make a special note that I love writing the type of drama that feeds on itself. Not sure that makes sense to anyone but me. LOL

Here's the tagline:

Every action Frank and Katya take pushes a reaction out of the other. And like dominos, one barrier crashes into the next until nothing is left but a tangle of emotions they have to deal with.

And here's a wee sneaky peek:

Katya traveled stealthily through the underground passageway. Too bad she didn't know about it when she'd been on the elementary school field trip. Even though the wide corridor kinda creeped her out, she imagined what a great boredom buster it would have been. Her small group of friends could've had so much fun running wild in the maze-like tangle of tunnels.
Probably why it had been kept fairly secret.
She hefted her light higher and cast its glow back and forth. According to the map she'd reviewed, she should hit her turn pretty soon. She checked her forearm for good measure. The cheat of jotting things down on skin took her back. She hadn't done it often, didn't even use the answers most of the time. She tended to know her material cold…but when the old man expected perfection, it never hurt to have a backup plan.
And damned if that didn't make her think of Frank again. He'd burned her once, back in flight school, for having ink on her skin. Only showing him she could pass the test without looking at her scribbles had saved her ass. And once she explained why she opted to put crib notes on her skin, he'd kept her secret.
She still wondered why. Frank didn't shirk his responsibilities and he had her dead to right. He should've informed the instructor and the commanding officer as soon as he busted her. Instead he pulled her into an empty classroom and watched her take the test.
She'd never forget that day. He'd given her a chance to prove herself and usually still did. Sometimes she lived up to the challenge, other times not so much. But that incident didn't prove to be the last time he'd veered from the expected norm. Frank made a very strange mix of rules, regs and contrarian choices.
One of the many traits that drew her in and wouldn't let go.
So lost in thought, she almost missed her turn. "Way to stay alert, Katya." Her voice echoed in the tomb-like corridor. She shuddered and said a silent thank you to be close to her destination.
Another right and two lefts found her deep under the city. Standing outside a huge wooden door, she frowned. Figured there'd be a stupid padlock on the thing. She dumped her pack on the ground and dug around inside. No key or bolt cutters, but she did have a hammer. Maybe she could break the old thing off. Wait…her hand reached all the way to the bottom and her fingers closed around a metal pin used to set weights on the dumbbells in the gym.
Ha. She could pick the lock. Bending the metal open, she stuck the curved section into the heavy iron mechanism. Working it around, she got it unlocked and pushed on the door. It creaked open, swinging slowly in toward the room. Katya grabbed her light and took a tentative step inside.
Artifacts overfilled the huge room. She needed to find an ancient star chart and cipher in the mess? Where the hell should she start? Frank would know exactly where to look. So think like Frank, Katya.   
She could almost hear his voice in her head. 'You have to be methodical. Don't just poke around here and there.' Okay, even she got that much. But where would Frank start? Katya held the lantern up high and perused the area. The jumbled mess actually had some structure to the chaotic piles. Weapons lined one large floor to ceiling section of the wall to her right. Spilling out in a tangled pile, they'd be handy if she needed to fight her way out of the museum.
The left side of the room held a hodge-podge of ornate and stately furniture. A series of shelves behind the antiques contained a mish mash of odds and ends. Nothing looked like books or charts.
"To the right it is." But first, Katya dragged a heavy chair over and blocked the door. If anyone came nosing around it would give her something of a warning.
She didn't want to die over a star chart in the Book of Wisdom. No matter how important it might be.
She found an oil lamp and struck a match to the wick. Deciding to play it cautious, she grabbed several small fire arms and dug around for ammo. To be on the safe side, she picked up some cutlery, too. Several short daggers and one nice long blade. She tucked everything in hidden pockets and got to work.
Katya did a quick inventory of the other paraphernalia along the right wall. Nothing of interest. Headed to the back of the room and struck pay dirt. Loads of drawers and bins lined the lower section of the area. The book had to be in one of them.
She began a methodical search, sifting through old texts and huge, heavy tomes. Blowing a thick layer of dust off a pile of blueprints, she shuffled quickly through each one, hoping she didn't end up with a series of paper cuts. Score! Halfway through the stack she found the chart. Carefully removing the large sheet she rolled it up, print side in and inserted it into a carrying tube.
Now to find the cipher. Of course it couldn't possibly be in the same stack as the star chart. She dreaded trying to sift through everything, including the furniture, to find the necessary method to decode the chart. Her eyes scanned the area again and inspiration struck. She hadn't checked the back wall, yet. Katya made her way across the room, climbing over metal grates and more than a few rolled up carpets. When she reached the back section of the room, she chuckled. The entire wall had shelves filled with locked boxes. Wouldn't it make sense to protect the cipher by making it nearly impossible to find the thing? Katya would go through every single locked up crate if necessary. Her gut couldn't be wrong.

Writing Katya has been an exercise in ups and downs. She really did Frank wrong and thinks they'll never have another chance. But she's starting to realize how much of role he plays in her life.

And Frank has some soul searching to do also. Katya's influence on him definitely shows up in a big way later in the story.

See what I mean by domino effect? LOL

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

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