Friday, October 19, 2012

Hot Chips and Sand 16-20 First Draft Comparison

Hot Chips and Sand
Copyright © 2012 Mary Hughes 
All rights reserved 

Vickie triedbreathed carefully in the pepper-filled dark, trying to relax. Being on a ship inside a pepper‑ sprinkled crate was just one more bizarre occurrence[MH1] . Well, she’dShe’d have some story to tell when she arrived back home.  As she once more consciously let go ofShe closed her tension,eyes and leaned back. Gradually she became aware of her body’s sensations. body. Her stomach was just starting to twinge, her feet were sore, and her leg was falling asleep.  She shifted her weight to
Couldn’t do anything about food or her feet, but she could relieve the pressure.  on her leg. She shifted—and felt a stabbing pain in her bottom. “Ouch!”
“What has happened?”
“I’ve got a splinter in my…my…well, you know.”
“Oh.”  Vickie heard[MH2]  aA rustle, steps, and then steps.  Kulinahr touched her shoulder. “Here. Sit on my jacket.”
Vickie reached upfinger into a rich silk fabric.  ““Wow. Nice coat. Are you sure? I mean, this seems a pretty expensive suit coat.”
“Yes, I’m sure. This suit will never receive another U.N. delegation, but I think it should continue a useful life. Now, quiet, please.”
Vickie took the jacket and arranged it into a seat pad. She folded her legs into a half lotus and opened herself to what was happening.  Dimly she heardher environment. Dim shouts of dock workers andpunctuated the muted clank and roar of machinery, as if the outside were wrapped in cotton.  Even farther, justJust over the threshold of her hearing, was the incessant rush and slap of water.
A low thrumming of engines began under her. Her spirits lifted. They were leaving the harbor, headed home.
Then a series of sharper clanks and bangs indicatedannounced the start of the police inspections.
Vickie sucked in a breath. When her chest felt Kulinahr tense, and she barely breathed.  The sounds of heavyabout to explode she let it out, so very slowly[MH3] . Heavy boots on metal stairs mixed in with shouts of men and pants and yelps of dogs.  The soundsShe barely breathed. The clangs and yelps advanced and receded as the teams went back and forth between stacks of cargo.  Then the soundsIt seemed to recedeit would never end.
Gradually the sounds receded, and then vanish. Vickie let out a gush of air, relieved that they’d. They were gone. She reached out a hand to grab Kulinahr’s, opened her mouth to speak.
Suddenly the sounds returned.  Vickie’s eyes widened andA dog barked—right next to her.
Boots clomped up to the crate where she sat, trembling now. Wide-eyed, she clamped her lower lip with her teeth.  The snufflingSomething snuffled at the edge of the dogs approached.  Vickiecrate, then barked. She tried to make herself as small and quiet as possible.  TheMore dogs came closer, whining and snuffling in their eagerness.
Almost inevitably, Vickie feltWhich was when a small tickle buildstarted in Vickie’s throat. It built in the back of her throat.  Her until her eyes watered and she was certain she was going to cough. She swallowed several times in an effort to keep her body under control.
Then, blessedly and thankfully, the threatening advance of the dogs was replaced by sneezing, snorting and wheezing. Suddenly a dog sneezed. Another snorted. Several more wheezed and yipped. The dogs had run into the pepper and sniffed full noses. Vickie smiled. There was no possibility now that they would be discovered.
An officer shouted orders in Arabic. Boots pounded and then clanged as the police hustled the dogs topside.
Vickie felt herself relax, butstarted to rise. But Kulinahr’s warning touch held her still.
Boots pounded the steel deck as the police hustled the dogs topside.  The tramping returned. Then silence.
Crack! Vickie jumped.An officer shouted orders in Arabic.  Vickie heard the men tramp away, then return. A resounding series of bangs and cracks ensued. followed, getting closer. The police were banging the crates and boxes, apparently trying to scare anythingthem out of hiding.  Vickie heard the
Then several sets of feet comemarched closerand cringed back when a set stopped right outside their crate. Vickie cringed back. Kulinahr tightened his grip on Vickie’sher wrist, probably.
It was the only thing that saved them from being discovered a moment laterwhen the crate tipped like  carnival ride.
The crate suddenlyIt shifted, crazily tilting crazily onto an edge, sending Vickie and Kulinahr tumbling along the side. Kulinahr, though, had found grabbed a handhold and he held onto it and Vickie with all his strength.  Just as suddenly, the
The crate dropped back on the deck with an explosive thud[MH4] .
Vickie, landed on her hands and knees, . Gasping silently like a fish, she waited.  This time she did notShe didn’t move a muscle, even when the banging retreated, even when it stopped altogether, even when she heard the boots clang back up the stairs. She remained frozen until, at last, she felt the ship move under her, when she gingerly sat down.  ‘Now I know how a deer feels in hunting season,’ she thought.  .
Gingerly, she edged into a corner. Now I know how a deer feels in hunting season[MH5] . Hiding in the woods, never able to show their snouts. Sneaking out only to eat.   Of course thinking of eatingWhich reminded her of her own empty stomach.
Kulinahr slid himself overnext to where Vickie was sitting.  her. He spoke in a low voice. “I believe they are gone, but we had better wait until we are in international waterswell away before we present ourselves.”
Vickie nodded, then realized he couldn’t see her. “How long?”
“Perhaps twenty minutes. half an hour to leave Middle Yemen waters. Then another hour or two past that, to leave the area, would be prudent.”
She sure hoped it was no longer than that. Her stomach was starting to make a nuisance of itself. She tried to ignore it. “What was all that aboutwith the dogs?”
“Fahrrad evidently knew I was still in the country.”  Vickie heard him pause,He paused and muttermuttered a phrase in Arabic. “That was his special police. They are deadly. It is well Cliff planned this escape, for I think Fahrrad has spies among even my most loyal militia.  Although theyThey would have found us had we shifted in this crate.”
“We’re lucky you found that hand‑holdhandhold then.”
“Luck was not involved. The strap I held on to is not standard equipment for a crate; not on the inside, at any rate.”
“How’d it get here, then? Oh, don’t tell me. Cliff.” That man again.
“Yes.” Another pause. “He would make a most formidable enemy.”
And obviously an amazing ally. “Could you tell me more about him now?”
This time there was a longer silence. Finally, Kulinahr said, “I am concerned that you would not understand, right now. And I am tired. We will meet after this trip and discuss it, yes?”
Oh, sure, let’s do lunch.  “Maybe.  Why don’t you get“Get some rest, then, if you’re tired.”
She settled back into the dark silence. The rocking of the ship lulled her into closing her eyes, although she was still too tense to sleep.
The escape had been close. She had been athletic in her youth, but had let all that slide in favor of sitting in front of a tube 20laptop screen twenty [MH6] hours a day with diet Mountain Dew and popcorn foras her constant companion. nod toward health. That run up the stairs had really taxed her.
‘Let’s notNot to mention swinging through the air.’  like Tarzan and Jane. She clamped down on that thought, preferring to try. Trying to relax. , here. Thinking about that man did not, strangely enough, cause her to relax.
Her stomach growled. How much time had gone by? She started to shift her position but abruptly froze when the crate creaked. Gingerly, she settled back against the side. Where was that coat of Kulinahr’s? Lost when the crate had done its rumba, probably. She could sure use it right about now.  Although I suppose I could use this lunking T‑shirt I have wrapped around my head to sit on. It probably has just as much material as Kulinahr’s coat.
She pulled the shirt offfrom her head and was folding it when she felt something hard, apparently embedded in the material. Carefully, she moved her fingertips along the shirt, searching for some opening.  When she found nothing, she methodically Nothing. Methodically she turned the shirt inside out and tried again, revealing . This time she found a small, hidden storm flap pocket.
GingerlyPoking gingerly into the pocket she got the impression of small, flat and plastic. She withdrew the object from the pocket.  In the dark, she, wishing for some light but not willing to tempt their discovery quite yet. She ran her finger over the edges, noting a notch, and what felt like tiny threads.  Touching the flat surface revealed nothing.  It felt like a computer chip, she realized, but different somehow. but not any computer chip she’d encountered before. Puzzled, she returned the object to the pocket. Perhaps seeing it in the light would give her some clue.
Her stomach growled again, remindingdistracting her of. She opened her current situation.  By the sound of the enginemouth to ask Kulinahr how long until they would soon bewere in international waters.  Time to face the captain of this vessel.  Well, Cliff’s name had certainly struck a chord with Kulinahr.  She hoped, realized it would be equally effective with the captain, for Kulinahr’s sake as much as for her own.  If anything, he was in sound like a kid on a car ride. Are we there yet? Kulinahr wouldn’t stay here any longer than he had to. Although he had more danger than sheto lose if the ship’s captain should decide to return them to Misr.

Several hours later, she andVickie sat next to Kulinahr sat in a walnut paneled room with . She should have been enjoying the soft chair cushions and the ankle deep Persian carpeting, a or examining the dusky gold spy glass and a huge relief globe.  Vickie saw only Instead her gaze was riveted on the delicate pink shrimp incoated with shiny red sauce disappearing one by one into the thick ruddy lips of the man opposite. She licked her own lips. The captain hadn’t offered them any, and she hadn’t wanted to rock the boat to ask.
What I’d like toI may know,” he said flicking this Cliff of yours.” He flicked a bit of sauce from his bristling mustache, “is what this Cliff of yours looks like.  May know him, may not. . “I may not. A lot of people named Cliff, after all.”. What does he looks like?”
Vickie sighed as the last of the shrimp vanished into the captain’s mouth.  It was strange how in two days she had notWhile she’d only vaguely missed eating at all, but over the previous two days of her kidnapping,  in the last two minutes she hadshe’d become ravenous. Pavlov’s dogs had nothing on her. Ring the shrimp and she salivates.

 [MH1]One of the rules is to make it more important to the POV character. It gives storytelling more tension and impact. This change takes the pepper-sprinkled crate and smacks it in Vickie's face.

 [MH2]Gotta love those filter words.

 [MH3]feeling her companion's tension and barely breathing herself is good showing. But experiencing Vickie's bursting lungs with her is even better.

 [MH4]Again, I started out writing the actions, which is good. This adds tactile, concrete information, even better.

 [MH5]Italics is a more modern, immediate way of indicating internal dialog.

 [MH6]Anyone remember tube CRTs?

 [MH7]This is a bit of foreshadowing I stuck in. Overtly she's ambivalent about him. He's a romantic rescuer but treats her like a sack of cat litter. But this shows that underneath it all, she's comforted by him.

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