Author’s Note: Didi Oviatt’s WIP writing challenge is up for this month and Oooo! It’s a good one! It is FIGHT OR FLIGHT!
To put it in Didi’s direct words: “If put in the face of a life altering/traumatic dilemma, how would they REALLY handle it?! We all like to think that we’re strong and smart and would take the best approach, but really, I mean REALLY, how do we actually react when it’s…
FIGHT OR FLIGHT?!
If confronted by surprise, be it violently or otherwise, do we fight back or retract in that two seconds that it counts. When our minds don’t have the time to fully process, what happens? Do we throw punches on instinct, or do we freeze and/or flee? Same goes with our characters! Who are they really? In the depths of our character’s souls, do they have what it takes to act accordingly? Are they passive, or are they aggressive naturally?My monthly WIP challenge is easy, you just take the characters from your WIP and plug them into a scene that fits the prompt. Give me your link in a comment here, and I’ll share it along with the others at the end of the month….”
So! Let’s see what happens to my characters when they are faced with a fight or flight situation. Wish them all good luck! 😉
The scents were everywhere.
No matter where Ambrose went, there was no escaping it. Every place, every person, every thing had its own unique blend of smells. Some were traces of whoever had entered the house, the room, the barn, the outhouse, the attic, the loft. Some were traces of whoever had touched the object and held the object.
Even when he tried to cover his face, his own personal scent overwhelmed him.
But he didn’t want to die.
He didn’t want to be staked.
Ambrose escaped the cold winter air. It hadn’t started to snow yet. But it would. It had to snow. It felt like snow.
He entered an abandoned horse stall and huddled up against the wall.
He shivered and rubbed his arms.
It smelled like snow.
He pressed his forehead against his knees and shivered again.
All of these scents and more haunted the air.
He shivered again.
I wish I were somewhere warm.
I wish I were home.
He remembered the light fading from his father’s eyes.
The taste of his blood.
All of the servants slashed and fallen. Their blood on his face.
On his clothes.
Staining his claws.
He shuddered. “I have no one.”
I am alone.
He quickly raised his head as a new scent filtered into the room: bourbon and dry whiskey.
His pupils widened. He rose quickly into a crouch, ready to run or fight as needed.
“Come out, vampire. I know you’re in here.”
He caught the moist-dry scent of fresh cut wood and bared his fangs.
I don’t want to be staked.
The scent strengthened as the hunter came closer.
He unsheathed his claws.
I will not be staked.
But I’m trapped in here. What am I going to do?
The scent strengthened ever more.
The footsteps came ever closer.
I will not be staked.
I WILL NOT!
He stayed low. The sides of the stall concealed him, but they would protect him for only so long. As soon as the hunter entered the stall, his cover would be ruined. So, he stayed low, like a stalking cat. He walked carefully, as silently as he could.
The scent strengthened.
He could hear her footsteps.
He could hear her breathing.
She was so close.
He could taste her scent.
He could feel it sting the back of his throat.
He could almost see its almond-shaded color.
“I know you’re in here. There’s nowhere else you could be. Give up.”
Give up and be staked? How stupid does she think I am?
Not that I really want to know.
He stopped next to the former feed bin which hung next to the stall’s sliding door. Baby mice squeaked plaintively inside the bin. The mother mouse hurried back to her babies to do a quick head count/wellness check.
I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. I DON’T want to die!
She stopped outside his stall door.
He stopped breathing.
Her fingers curved around the gap between the door and the frame. They touched down on the door. They pushed the door open.
Ambrose’s heart pounded inside his ears.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE STAKED!
He grabbed his side of the door and slammed it shut on her fingers.
She let out a pained scream.
He charged at the door, yanked it open.
She was doubled over in pain.
The wooden stake lay on the ground. He kicked it away.
She looked up at him.
He extended his claws a little further and snarled a smile. “Hello, hunter. Care to join me in a dance? Or you could just concede defeat. You are injured.” He lowered his gaze to her fingers. “They aren’t amputated, but they hurt, don’t they?” His gaze rose to her face. “Do you really think you can defeat me, pretty hunter?”
She stood up straight and went into a fighting position. “I will do all that I can. A creature as twisted and evil as you doesn’t deserve to live.”
“Am I really that evil?”
“Yes.” She charged at him.
Fear did all sorts of things to his stomach, but he raced at her.
I will not be staked.