All of this blog’s content is also available in an audio podcast on iTunes and on Podbean under the podcast name “Another Notch”
Welcome to Another Notch, the podcast about writing prompts. I try to get thoughts on paper and stretch ideas until they become stories. If it inspires you, fantastic! If you have critical commentary, I’ll take that, too. The whole idea of this is to make me a better writer, and from where I am starting, the only place to go is up!
Here’s today’s writing from a random prompt I found in the internet. The prompt was to write about someone caught in the crossfire of rival street fighting. So, here goes…
Allegiance. Respect. Territory. Control.
Some of the things properly motivated youth will die for.
If a lieutenant orders a hit on an enemy, they made it happen. It’s as simple as that. The bloodier, the better. It stood as a warning to others. There was no collateral damage. There were only things and people that got in the way of them doing their job. Such is the mindset of a gang member.
Kenneth wasn’t a gang member. He was the guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He had just purchased some Excedrin and a Coke on his way to the train when his headache went from bad to irreparable. It couldn’t haver been a better shot if the thug had actually been aiming for him. Dental records could have identified him well enough but everything above that was pretty much gone.
Kenneth had no idea why he had died on his way to work. His mind had no time to react to the sound of the first two shots echoing down the sidewalk. He never heard the sound of the shot that took him out. The bullet arrived well before the bang. He collapsed with the forward momentum of his fast-paced stroll and was dead before he hit the ground.
The intended target was only wounded by one of the two earlier rounds. That guy was fortunate he had a trained bodyguard returned fire. By the time the thug had fired his three shots, the bodyguard had stepped in front of his boss, drawn his own weapon, and put five tight-grouped rounds, center of mass, into the thug.
The thug would also die from his wounds, but not for several minutes. After taking five rounds his torso, he eventually bled out. The bodyguard and his employer were gone; Their limo halfway across the city.
This is how 27-year-old bartender Kenneth Garner died on that cool afternoon. The Excedrin and Coke wouldn’t go to waste. It was retrieved later by a homeless guy from the nearby alley. Everything gets recycled. There is no waste. Everything serves a purpose, eventually.
Now, that was the first draft. All of these writings will be the result of shooting from the hip, so they’re not finished works. In retrospect, I find that I was trying to get down thoughts about scene and background and a little bit of character, and I have included no dialogue whatsoever. I admit, I generally tend to go back and add dialogue after getting a general setting and scene. Writing dialogue is a different mindset for me. Its like I have to get everything else started and then go back and get the character’s reactions to the story progression.
I have to work on that, among a great many other things.
Anyway, that’s today’s writing prompt. I’ll be back with more. Be sure to subscribe if you think it’s something that may interest you. Thanks for listening and for your feedback. This is Kurt Copeland. Keep the momentum and take your writing up Another Notch.