What’s in a name? #BlogBattle Writing Challenge

#BlogBattle is a weekly writing challenge organised by Rachael Ritchey. You can find more information about it here. It’s a fun battle, and a supportive group – a great place to hang out! The theme this week is ‘EYE’.

I’m working on the third novel in my Morgan and Fairchild series. It is taking longer than it should to get back into the right headspace, so writing a short story using one of the characters really helped. Here is my contribution to the challenge. I hope you enjoy.

Andrew Butcher was stuck between a rock and a hard place. The hard being his buddy, Dom; the guy was one tough son of a bitch. He was also out cold and, judging by the head wound, would be for a while.

Andrew squinted into the dark, listening to the sounds of pursuit. He didn’t bother trying to radio for help, his team wouldn’t get to them in time; they were on their own. He glanced at the blood, which still trickled down Dom’s face; despite his efforts to stanch the flow. There was a nasty cut, running from Dom’s left eyebrow to the centre of his nose, dangerously close to his left eye.

Removing his helmet, Andrew slipped off the bandanna. In a few swift, decisive movements he secured it tightly around Dom’s head. The material covered his left eye completely, but it did the job.

That done, he angled his body beneath Dom’s and, gritting his teeth, Andrew stood. His muscles protested, a complaint Andrew ignored; though he did curse his friend to hell and back. He should have known their intel was too good to be true. Extractions were always the worst assignments, there were just too many variables. Now Andrew’s team was scattered, and his only choice was to try and make it to safety with a dead weight on his back.

The thought filled him with a sense of unease. If he didn’t get Dom out safely, it was on him. But at least they didn’t have to rely on blind luck. They had an exit strategy, one which helped Andrew to circumvent the enemy. His instincts didn’t let him down either, even with the heavy load.

After almost a mile with Dom on his back, Andrew finally began to relax; or his legs were feeling particularly free and loose. He paused to catch his breath. The darkness slipped around them like an old friend. Andrew was comfortable in the shadows. He used them now to lower Dom to the dry, cracked earth. It was either that or drop him on his head; Dom was thrashing like a fish on a hook.

“Jesus, Butch. I feel like I was hit by a truck,” Dom muttered.

“Try carrying one on your back.”

Dom snorted, pulling at the bandanna. “Is this your idea of a joke?”

Despite their situation, Andrew laughed. Dom’s nickname within the team was Cyclops, so he understood the reference. “Forgive me for wanting to keep the brains inside your skull.”

Dom grinned, waiting just long enough for the customary, ‘What brains?’ which they voiced at the same time.

Of course the moment was ruined by the arrival of their enemy.

“How you feeling, Dom?” Andrew asked, assessing the threat; only two of the men were armed.

“Like I could go another few rounds with that truck.” He didn’t pause for effect. Dom knew Andrew had his back, and would cover him. He engaged with the enemy before they even raised a weapon.

The man was a whirlwind and, even with the injury, he fought with a brutal kind of grace. His sharp focus, size and strength had earned him the name Cyclops in the field. Watching him in action, Andrew knew the only way he’d been able to carry him so far was a result of the adrenalin coursing through his system. Pure and simple. Dom wasn’t a truck, he was a tank, and he was pissed.

He made it look so easy, Andrew almost took a load off. Still, a part of him waited for the other shoe to drop – or Dom – one or the other. The big guy was swaying a little by the end. Not that they had anything to worry about now. Andrew could feel his team, moving silently towards them in the dark.

“Maybe you should carry me for a while,” Andrew said, when Dom turned in his direction.

Dom’s gaze dropped to the dark red stain on Andrew’s shoulder. “You’ve been hit.”

Andrew rolled his eyes. “Tell me something I don’t know. The bullet’s the least of my problems, I think you dislocated my shoulder.”

“More like acted as a tourniquet.” They laughed again, as Dom swung an arm around Andrew’s shoulders. “Let’s get the hell out of here, Sarg. This heat is giving me a headache.”

Andrew groaned. Not that it was the worst joke he heard on the way back to base. Cyclops was also king of the one liners.


Thanks for stopping by.


43 responses to “What’s in a name? #BlogBattle Writing Challenge”

  1. I don’t participate in this, Mel, but always enjoy reading your contribution. I’ve often heard people write stories to develop their characters, but never tried it. You feel like it works well, hunh?

    • I write my characters into short stories for a variety of reasons and I get something out of it each time. Sometimes it’s that I miss them, others, like this week, when I’m struggling to connect. Then there are times I’m being lazy and fall back on the familiar or when the characters don’t give me a choice 😀 I’m so glad you enjoy reading them. I’m struggling with my close protection team at the moment so this was really nice.

  2. Mel, you make it seem so easy to write humor. I struggle with that aspect. You did it beautifully! ❤

  3. I enjoyed reading this. The characters are distinctive and you’ve given them a good mi of tension/seriousness and humour/light-heartedness :).

  4. Love the Cyclops name! I agree with the others, the humor was a nice touch woven throughout. 🙂 I hope writing the 3rd book is going well, so far. The Blog Battle can be a nice writing diversion. I know I enjoy it for that reason and more. 🙂

  5. ❤ Loved these characters!! Great banter between them. I love a good action packed, tension laced story, with a few rough and tough men thrown in for good measure!! 😉

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