Friday, August 2, 2013

Hot Chips and Sand 221-225 Draft Comparison

Hot Chips and Sand
Copyright © 2013 Mary Hughes
All rights reserved

Cliff, it’s me, Vickie.  ,” she whispered sharply. “Nod if you can hear me.”  For one fearful second, she thought they hadyou’re awake.”

His head wobbled slightly. Fear iced her. If he was drugged, she’d never rescue him asbefore Fahrrad got here.


            Then she saw him tryHe tried to thrustnod again. Had no more success. His face contorted around the gag, his jaw elongating. She blinked. He was trying to tell her something…

He was pointing his chin at his chest.  He was attempting to tell her something!  But what?  His shirt.  He was wearing another of those At his black T‑shirts.  The T‑shirts with the hidden pockets!  Quickly she pulled the shirt out of his pants and -shirt.

She snaked her arm up the inside.  She ignored the tingly feeling she got when her skin contacted the firm muscles of his chest.  She thrust her hand into his shirt, grabbed the hidden pocket and pulled it back fast.  Ouch!  There was something sharp in there.—and cut herself. She jerked.


            Sharp.  More carefully she pulled the flat tried again. A small handleless knife out ofblade lay flat in the inner pocket. She worked it out and gleefully began slashingslashed the rope at his bonds. neck. As soon as theythe rope loosened he pulled against themit, ripping then apart.  She hadit away. She’d forgotten how strong he really was.  Then he tore the gagShe started working on the gag. She’d barely frayed it before he tore it off, then ripped the blindfold from his mouth and finally the blindfold from his eyes.  He stared at her, disbelieving.  She reached out eyes.

His blue eyes blazed into hers. She hesitantly to touchtouched his face. Would he ever forgive her for not trusting him?[M1] 

“Oh, Vickie,” he gasped hoarsely,.” Her name was a hoarse gasp but his arms were sure and strong as he folded her into his arms.  embrace. He hugged her desperately for a moment, then moved back. . “How long do we have?”

A lifetime, she wanted to answer, but knew his question was about Fahrrad.  [M2] “About. “Maybe fifteen seconds.”

He noddedreleased her and got stiffly to his feet. After shaking his muscles loose, he moved forward into the room.  “Fahrrad and company are on the second floor,” Vickie noted.  “Where’s the computer?  John’s gone after it.”started for the door. “Where’s Fahrrad?”


            A glint shown in Cliff’s eye.  “In the lobby.  They hid it in that sculpture.  That would be the first place John would check, so let’s go.”


            She followed him as he sprang into action.  “But why“Second floor. Where’s the computer?”

“The lobby.” He headed for the stairwell. “Anyone here with you?”

“John. Tess is Fahrradoutside. Kulinahr’s  on his way.”

“You’ve been busy.” He threw open the second floor, then?”  Their feet rangdoor.

“I wish we could’ve been here sooner. I didn’t understand the clue you left on the stairwell.chip—”


            “The only television in the whole place is there.  He probably wants to watch the destruction of[M3] “Not a last minute rescue? Where the hell’s the fun in that?” He took her hand and ran with her down the stairs. “Whether the palace.”


            “And when it doesn’t blow?”


            “We blows or not, we probably have half a minute of confusion time to get out.  No,” he corrected…damn.”

Angry shouts vibrated the air as they passed the second floor landing and heard the angry shouts[M4] , “we have no time at all.  Go on, Vickie!”  He . “Go on.” Cliff shoved herVickie ahead of him and turned, like a big bull, to block the landing door.

She couldn’t leavehesitated. Leave him!  , with rescue so close?

The door swept open and the first man made it two steps before Cliff decked him. “Vickie! Go get John!”.”


            Oh.  That made more sense, seeing as JohnWho had the gun. She spun and raced down the stairs, then froze as shots.

Gunshots rang out from above. , freezing her. “John!” she screamed.

John’s handsome face appeared below, questioning.

 She leaped over the remaining steps and grabbed his arm.  “Come on,” she urged him.  .” She nearly yanked her arm out gesturing him to follow.

Another shot exploded in the stairwell.   TheyShe raced back up the stairs, Vickie fighting icynot waiting for John. Ice filled Vickie’s chest, fear for Cliff.

The fear evaporated as the first of Fahrrad’s men came, tumbling down the stairs, nearly took her out at the ankles.

Vickie had to jump pastleaped at the last minute, then jumped another two more unconscious obstaclesmen on her way up.  Then

On the narrow landing she sawbeheld Cliff, even more graceful than ever with the economy of motion imposed by the narrow landing. small space. He was picking them off one by one as they came through the doorway with a single punch to the face.

“What a tactician,” John breathed.   from behind her.

Vickie felt laughter bubbling up inside.  What an idiot,’ she thought, as she tugged his arm.  “Just . Why not just shoot them,” she urged.?”


            “It’s too“Too confined.  TheA stray bullet might hit one of us.”  John pocketed the gun and ran up the rest of the stairs to offer Cliff whatever help he might need.

“They don’t seem to care.”

“They’re the idiots.” John edged her out of the way and stood behind Cliff. “Hey. Let me have some.”

Vickie countedmentally tallied the unconscious bodies.  Three here, and three more down the stairs.  That still left Six, which left Fahrrad well over a dozen.  If Fahrrad’s men And he might decide at any time that safety wasn’t worth it and order his men to shoot wholesale. Even so, with a dozen to one, it was only a matter of time before the goons broke past the doorway bottleneckout. The instant they did, the three of them were as good as dead.  Then she had a brainstorm.If only they could lock the door, even for a moment…

An idea juiced her brain.

She ran quickly back down the stairs to the lobby, where she collected. Next to the waist-high triangle sculpture.  The lay the first HCC300 console lay next to it, smashed. Poor thing.  Oh, Vickie, only She shook her head and wrapped her arms around the sculpture. Only a computer geek like you would lament the passing of a machine[M5] . She sighed and luggeddragged the heavy sculpture across the floor and up the stairs. After the first flight she paused, breathing hard. This would have been impossible without the weights, she realized.  Then she heardweight training.

A gunshot. John crycried out.

Adrenalin rushed her blood and she quickly picked the thing up again.

She got todragged the sculpture onto the landing just in time.  Two as two of Fahrrad’s men battledshoved John, who was bleeding heavily from a nasty gash on the arm., out of the doorway. Cliff had just cut one down when anotherknocked one’s face in but two more rushed through the doorway.  “Cliff!” she cried..

“Cliff,” she cried. “Some help!”

He saw the sculpturespun. His eyes widened. He spun back and caught on immediately.  Crackingcracked the heads of two of Fahrrad’sthe men together,. Then he put his immense shoulder to the door and slowly, excruciatingly pushed it shut.

Vickie brought overdragged the sculpture andto Cliff, who wedged it under the doorknob. Then he turned and cut John’s last opponent down with a swift kick.  “Let’s go,” he said, grabbingHe grabbed Vickie’s arm.  and dragged her down the stairs. John held onto, holding his woundarm with one hand and, followed.  Vickie and Cliff had gotten to, tottering.

In the lobby when they realized, Vickie turned. No John wasn’t with them.  “He must have.

“He fainted,” Vickie cried out, and ?”Cliff rushed back up the stairs.

“Stay here.” Cliff rushed back up the stairs.

 [M1]This whole bit was talking around the action with all the details rather than showing the high points in clear, strong words.
 [M3]Already taken care of with two earlier inserted words, it's his "command center".
 [M4]Example of editing out a filter word (heard).
 [M5]She did a lot of talking to herself. This is a more modern way of handling that.

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