Well… now I just feel like a sheep! JJ’s instructions for this laaaast week’s Flash Fiction Friday project were to write a screenplay using the classic three-act structure and the “hero’s journey” for plot points- with the following theme: Vampires On A Train. I’ve never done a screenplay. So I researched the whole three act thing. I got examples off the World Wide Web and saved them as PDF files (yes- really). I attempted it. I admitted defeat.
And THEN I saw a comment from JJ on his site that he had actually been joking about the screenplay part!
I felt a little better when I saw I wasn’t the only one who caught out… I decided to work on what I had written and post it anyway as a regular FFF, and JJ- this blaudience is now ripe for your rule- now is the time to take over since so many of us just follow blindly!!

Tuesday, October 31st, close to 10pm
“What in the hell…?” whispered the guard as he switched on the big cargo carriage’s lights. With just the light coming in from the open sliding door behind him, he couldn’t see everything, but what he could see made his blood run cold, he didn’t even register when the big padlock fell from his fingers to the floor.

Friday, October 27th, nearly 10pm
“Nuh- it’s cool- come on. They won’t be opening this carriage before we get to Cape Town, we’ll be safe till then.” Nicky wasn’t too sure, but Lance was extra confident that this was the cheapest and fastest way to travel from Jo’burg to Cape Town. She took his hand and he pulled her up onto the ledge between the cars. He was already up the ladder and onto the roof before Nicky could argue anymore. By the time she stuck her head over the roof; he had undone the screws out of a ventilation cover with his pocket knife and slid it aside. Nicky looked around nervously but she still couldn’t see or hear anyone. Lance stuck his head in the hole and shone his torch around. “All clear” he said, “I’ll go in first and help you down, pull the cover back as you come down.” Nicky waited on her haunches as Lance disappeared inside, and when he softly called out “OK!” from the blackness, she dropped her bag down, then sat on the edge of the vent and gingerly pulled the cover as far as she could without squishing herself. She cautiously lowered herself, trusting Lance to catch her, but she was so tense that she nearly screamed when she felt his hands on her ankles!

Saturday, October 28th, around 10am
Nicky was pleasantly surprised when she woke up the next morning; she’d slept a lot better than she ever thought she would without home comforts like blankets and pillows. Thank goodness for summer she thought to herself. Lance was still snoring. She wondered how far they’d come. Surrounded by suitcases and boxes- mostly strapped to the baggage car’s floor- there was no indication of where they were on their journey. She’d again doubted their choice when she felt the train pull clumsily away from the station a couple of hours after they’d snuck on board. There were no windows in the baggage car so the only view out would have to be through the vent in the roof. Visions of getting herself decapitated as the train entered a tunnel just when she stuck her head out made Nicky decide she’d wait for Lance to wake up before attempting something like that. Judging by his snuffling and twitching it would be sooner rather than later. She rifled through the plastic bag in her backpack to decide on breakfast, taking out a couple of granola bars, some sliced biltong and a bottle of water. They figured they had plenty of food for a four day trip- but Nicky was not taking any chances. Lance kept trying to reassure her with tales of his “regular” jaunts to Durban and back, but Nicky doubted he’d stowed away on a train as often as he said he had. She wondered if her sister had found her note yet… she’d find a web café and send Tina an e-mail when she and Lance got to the Cape. Lance sat up next to her, startling her out of her reverie, and mumbled something about being hungry. She passed him the biltong and the water. He gave her a dirty look because they’d already argued over the food situation the night before, but Nicky ignored him and got up to see if any of the boxes and suitcases had labels on or maybe something interesting inside… most of them were locked, and the ones that weren’t just contained her fellow travelers clothing and shampoos and toothbrushes. This was going to be a long trip…

Sunday, October 29th, just after 3am
Nicky couldn’t remember sitting up, awake, but her eyes were wide open, and she had no idea what had woken her. She was battling to shake off the sticky feel of her half remembered dreams. She reached over to shake Lance awake and over balanced as she grabbed empty air. Trying not to panic, she grabbed her torch and shone it where Lance had been sitting playing with his PSP as she fell asleep the night before. The game was still there, and his back pack, but no Lance. She couldn’t have fallen asleep very long ago if Lance had not yet finished playing. Maybe he’d gone to take a leak… which was the one thing she hadn’t thought of when Lance suggested they travel for free in the baggage cars! It was all good and well for him though, more typical Lance thoughtlessness! She swung the torch around, being careful lest she attract attention and rehearsing in her mind what she’d say when she found him. The torch lit up the same boxes, crates and bags she’d seen the day before. The train was still moving. She called out softly but there was no answer from Lance. Nicky decided to risk leaving the torch on and began to move down the makeshift aisle between the crates. About halfway down the length of the carriage she thought she heard a sound, but she couldn’t work out where it was coming from. Things down this end of the car seemed to look a little different, but she hadn’t been down here at night before. Then she realised that it wasn’t just the darkness- a couple of the boxes were actually open. “Bloody Lance!” she muttered “…he keeps crapping me out when I scratch around and here he’s doing it too…”
OH… BUT HE DIDN’T OPEN MY BOX, BABY said a voice in her head.
She spun around, swinging the torch wildly. There was a man standing behind her. Just past the stranger she could see Lance hanging limply from the arms of a strange woman.

I edited it slightly, adding the dates so it would make a little more sense…
I’m not taking part in Flash Fiction Friday #50 because I’m working on another writing competition over here on Clarity Of Night.

8 thoughts on “FFF#49

  1. I think it works very well as is. I didn’t see it without the dates, but I could see how it might make it a little confusing without them. Leaving the story open ended is okay, since it is really about the two kids, and their story is over (insert evil laugh here). Great work.

  2. phats: oh thank goodness- i thought my browser had lost the plot!
    damien is in grade 8 this year.

    spookie: so i take it it made more sense with the date “headings”…
    thanx sis. i don’t think i’ll follow up on this one. i’m trying work out how to write a short story that doesn’t seem like it needs a follow on… make sense?

  3. So she obviously became “Vampire Bait hoo wa a!!!”

    Very good story – are you going to do a follow on one day?

  4. let damien know the band will be back on my blog haha 🙂

    What grade is he in, in school?

  5. phats: thanx for the compliment

    terri & dawn: hmm… clearly i lost my readers somewhere along the way… try reading it with the dates i added today.

  6. Wow – talk about a cliff hanger. Your characters have my cousins names – so it was really fun for me to picture them in this setting. Good luck with the other project! xox

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