Fiction Relay — Part 43

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get to this! To catch up on the last few episodes:

Fiction Relay — Part 39 (by me)

Fiction Relay — Part 40 (by TRG)

Fiction Relay — Part 41 (by Joanne)

Fiction Relay — Part 42 (by KC)

To catch up on the entire story, you can link to the very first post, and all subsequent posts, from the Fiction Relay Homepage. (Or, you can cheat and read the cliff-notes on the Fiction Relay Summary page.)

—–

Blue tailed the two black SUVs for over an hour and a half.  Her mom was in one with her dumbass dad. Their annoying cop-friend Ephraim, whom she’d met back in Kentucky, was in the other. Ephraim was with some guy whose name she couldn’t make out. He didn’t seem to have any abilities, though, as far as she could sense, and she couldn’t figure why the guy was with them.

Spence had somehow transferred to her the ability to shield herself from the four huge Native American dudes who were driving the cars, but she still kept a good half-mile back on her bike as they traveled flat, barren terrain deep into the desert. It was obvious where they were headed, though. The blue mountain, Mount Taylor, stuck out like the desert’s own giant, asphyxiated boob. Its energy, which she’d always previously been aware of, had more than doubled in the past day. Since her parents and their “friends” arrived in town.

Earlier, when she’d been bored on the long stretch of I-40, she’d made her bike steer itself — a neat telepathy trick she grudgingly admitted she must have gotten from her father — while she Googled to find what was so special about it. According to Wikipedia:

To the Navajo people, Mount Taylor is Tsoodził, the turquoise mountain, one of the four sacred mountains marking the cardinal directions and the boundaries of the Dinetah, the traditional Navajo homeland. Mount Taylor marks the southern boundary, and is associated with the direction south and the color blue; it is gendered female. In Navajo mythology, First Man created the sacred mountains from soil from the Fourth World, together with sacred matter, as replicas of mountains from that world. He fastened Mount Taylor to the earth with a stone knife. The supernatural beings Black God, Turquoise Boy, and Turquoise Girl are said to reside on the mountain.[6] Mount Taylor is also sacred to the Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni people.

Blah, blah, blah. Turquoise Boy, Turquoise Girl. Shark Boy, Lava Girl. And of course the ancient tribes called it a “female” mountain. Proved she wasn’t the only one who thought it looked like a boob. Blue rolled her eyes and felt Spence chuckle in her mind. He’d checked in with her more than a few times this afternoon, meaning he was more worried than he’d let on before she left. He was almost done with whatever it was he was doing and would meet her out here as soon as he could. Blue knew it would be faster if she just teleported back to get him, but she wasn’t ready to share knowledge of that gift of hers with anyone just yet. Not even Spence. She put her cell phone away and resumed manual control of her bike, blazing into a red-orange sunset.

*****

Sam rolled his shoulders and tried again to see inside the heads of the two brick walls in the front seat of the SUV, to no avail. It was the same with all of these guys, almost as though their lineage was impervious to him. Not good. Also not-good were Ephraim’s visions — blood, Meagan, Raj, the coyote-man, and more blood — which weighed on Sam. He had a bad feeling about how this would go down, but he was determined to get both Meagan and Samantha out of this damn place safely. His family.

They turned north off of the highway, following the access road on the mountain’s west slope. Sam reached his thoughts out, stretching, searching. There had to be a way to avoid the scenario that involved Meagan-and-blood. He picked up on something unexpected. Relief flooded through him to discover their blue-haired teenage tail. Meaning Samantha wasn’t strapped to some lab table, like he’d seen in Sanderson’s twisted mind. But Sam’s relief was quickly followed by a sick feeling in his stomach for the danger his daughter could be headed into. He sent Meagan the image, and her gaze reflected how he felt.

“She’s okay!” Meagan said in her head. “But…!”

“Yeah,” he thought back. “We need to get her out of here.”

She squeezed his hand across the back seat. In her mind she wrapped her arms around his waist and pressed her front against his. He hugged her back, kissing the top of her head.

“Is this how it always is?” he asked. “This parent-thing? The worry…?”

“Yeah,” she replied. “But you get used to it.” Her face softened into a gentle smile and she suddenly seemed to glow from within. Sam caught his breath at her beauty and reaffirmed a private vow to protect her.

Just then the car jerked to a stop. They were near the mouth of a small cave which, according to an information-sign, lead to an old, abandoned section of a uranium mine.  The information-sign was posted on top of a steel barricade with another sign that read: Keep Out! Danger! Unfortunately, Sam thought, the barricade wouldn’t be an obstacle to a teleporter.

“Ready?” one of the brick walls asked Meagan. She nodded. Sam stepped up next to her and took her hand in his.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I’m going in there with you.”

“But — ?”

“Me too,” Ephraim said, taking her other hand.

Meagan frowned. “I don’t know if I can get myself in, for sure, let alone you guys!”

Sam looked into her brown eyes. “You can do this, Megs.”

“Okay, then.” Jose smiled, joining the end of the line. He clasped Ephraim’s palm.

Without warning, a surge of energy vibrated up from the ground beneath the mountain and pulsed outward, knocking them and their guards to the ground. The mountain began to hum, a deep, low, ominous throb.

“What was that?” Meagan asked, getting to her feet.

“I don’t know,” Jose answered, “but I think we just activated something in the mountain.”

*****

In the middle of his shift at Bad Ass Coffee, in downtown Albuquerque, Dak dropped the order he was about to deliver, turned on his heel, and walked out the door. “Hey!” Tyrone, his boss, called after him. “Where you goin’? Get back here!” Dak paused, growled over his shoulder, and then continued forward, his eyes transfixed on the west. He began to jog, then broke into a run. Suddenly Dak wasn’t there anymore. Tyrone blinked as a large, snarling, gray coyote shot out of a pile of Dak’s clothes. The coyote ran off down the road and was soon a speck in the distance. But there were other specks, too. Tyrone squinted, rubbed his eyes, and squinted again. He grabbed up his binoculars. Dozens — no, hundreds — of coyotes charging west, a vicious gray-brown-black cloud hurtling across the desert. Toward the mountain. Tyrone rubbed at the chill that rippled across his arms. Then he stepped back inside and locked the door.

—–

Okay, not sure, but I think the bossman, TRG, is up next…?

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15 thoughts on “Fiction Relay — Part 43

  1. Thank you for the huge ass grin I have on my face right now :-D, so much awesome here, and damn do I love Blue so much! I’m loving that we’re at the mountain, [I love that I’ve been googling blue mountains recently ;-), this East Coast Jersey girl hasn’t left the tri-state area like, ever 😀 ]
    Plus Tyrone! And Dak?!?!? LOVE.

    Everything flows together so wonderfully it amazes me the way it all melds!
    I’ve never written like this before and it’s about the most fun ever!
    I just adore the way you’ve got everyone about to converge mountainside (or will they? *evil chuckle*); I have to go read it again now, carry on, lol 😀

    Did I mention how much I love this?

    • Thanks, Joanne! 😀 (Is that a huge-ass grin, like Bad Ass Coffee? 😉 )

      I can’t take credit for Tyrone’s name — TRG came up with that. “Dak” was just short for Dakota, which is a Native American name, which sounded regionally appropriate. (I started out calling him Cody, but “Cody” turning into a “coyote” was too corny.)

      Yes, Blue is terribly fun to write b/c she’s so edgy, and she’s “allowed” to be snarky, more so than the other characters (b/c of her age and the attitude with which KC invented her).

      Living in Colorado, I might have an edge w/ understanding mountains, but mine are purple (really), so this whole “blue mountain” thing is something I’ve been researching a lot for my chapters, along w/ New Mexico, in general. (In case you couldn’t tell from my blatant Wiki quote-reference. 😉 )

      I hope I haven’t prematurely started gettin’ the band back together — it just felt like it was going this way. I was going to have a paragraph, too, where Melissa woke up suddenly (she felt the “activation,” too) and mobilized Raj, but I was already over 1,100 words. So glad you liked it, though! Thank you! 🙂

  2. Okies, the promised “not-so-out-of-it* comment. Wow. That is all.

    *giggles* Ok, maybe not -entirely- all. There’s also a resounding “Wheeeee!” at you bringing Dak and the rest…I liked him, despite the habit he seems to have of being a professional “really-scary-guy*. *eg* And poor Tyrone…good thing Bad-Ass serves alcohol… *giggles*

    Loved the Wiki bit…it’s totally appropriate, dates the piece, unobtrusively, which has needed to be done for a while, and gives us lazy folks (aka Me) a lot of nifty info to work with. *hugs*

    My stupid hands are starting to get tired now, so just know that I love your work here and always, and never stop writing!

    KC

    • Thanks, KC! 🙂 Glad you like it!

      Yeah, maybe Dak is a bit of a flat, 2D scary-guy. Interesting, b/c I’d pictured him as rather a nice waiter. Before Blue’s vision — which, I just realized, happened earlier that same day!

      I’m also a sucker for prelim-research on Wiki. The entry on Mt. Taylor already dovetailed in an amazing way with elements we’d already put in the story. (Even those of us who didn’t do the same Wiki look-up.) So it made sense to put it in. Relieved you guys aren’t calling me out on cheating on my writing duties for doing it! 😉

      • No, I love Dak! 2d he’s not! But then I have a thing for people who can be really scary if they need to be, and just a normal, even likable person, the rest of the time. 😉

        And yeah, this does seem to have been a -long- busy day… *eg*

      • “earlier that same day”
        this comment makes me realise i have no idea of the timescale of anything in this story at all, other than the 6-month break when Meagan moved away from her flat in… whatever city the Diner was in!
        Maybe soon i will draw up some sort of timeline. Not that it really matters but i am curious, and it may be useful if we want to refer back to previous events if we can talk about “yesterday” or “that morning”.
        Am i overanalyzing this too much? Sorry I am in novel-planning mode and can’t help thinking in timelines 🙂

        • You know, I could be wrong about them not getting to bed (except for Melissa) since arriving in Albuquerque, but it doesn’t seem that they’ve checked into a hotel or anything. Probably we’ve missed something along the way….

          • i think there is an unwritten assumption in any sort of fiction (novel, tv, film etc) that characters so things like sleep and check their emails and erm, well, visit the bathroom, offscreen. so youre right in that we havent shown them sleeping but ive no idea how long they have been here. hence i was going to try and draw up a timeline.

  3. As always a well-crafted chapter Dawn. I love how the action moves on and as Joanne says, the way everyone is coming together at the mountain. I never thought of this Relay as having an “end” (and maybe it won’t) but it does feel like we are heading to some sort of showdown. And i can’t wait 🙂
    And amongst that and the expert portrayal of the mountain, the characterisation is just excellent. The way Sam is growing into his new role as a father is very well done, as is Blue’s love for her mother and sneering for her mother’s friends. Will she eventually come to see them as good people? or will she never forgive Sam for walking out (as she sees it)? These questions are running as a completely separate yet intricately connected plot strand. Just like really good TV drama, there are plots within plots.
    Oh and Dak! One of the joys of FR is when someone picks up on a throwaway character who didnt even have a name and brings them to life and to (potentially) the centre of the story.
    In the traditional way, i am blown away by the chapter before me and nervous over whether i will match it or not. Great job Dawn!

    • Thanks, Boss! 🙂

      Maybe it won’t end, but it was definitely heading SOMEWHERE from the get-go, so we have to have a climax. Even if it’s only the first of many. 😉 I think we have many, many loose ends in this story that can be developed later-on. (As I’m also in “novel” mode, like you, my mind tends to think in terms of build-up, climax, denouement. I can’t wait, either! :D)

      Thanks for the character-development compliment! That really means a lot b/c it’s a weak spot for me, as a writer. The parent-part I drew from personal experience. But it’s always a relief to know that it’s translated to the page the way I intended. And the thing with Dak was too good, seemed too meaningful, to let go. (Then again, when I write, I’m all about the Easter eggs.)

      You’ll match this. And you’ll do better, carry this story to places none of the rest of us would have thought. You always do. As Joanne said, this is one of the funnest things ever, and I’m so glad you thought to start it. And that you made space for me to join. Thanks, TRG! 🙂

      • im with you, maybe it won’t end, but maybe it needs to go in “phases” with each phase having its climax. Who knows, it will go where it goes. I dont think any of us would want to walk away from these characters, even if this part of their life reaches a conclusion – we all love writing them (espec Blue of course (thanks again KC!)).
        as a writer i always concentrate on character, that’s how i feel my way in and solid character is the key to believable fiction aswell as those times where the characters live by themselves and we just watch and write it down. So i always look out for character work and your observations of Sam were spot on (im not a parent but i can still see that!)
        well i hope i CAN match it. i have thoughts already of where it will go. I need to let them ferment (can you tell i have been making wine this week haha) before i decant them onto the page (sorry!).
        One more thing… i worked on a duet project once that was great fun so i wondered how it would be in a group environment, espec with writers i didnt really know beforehand. And yes, i prob say it every chapter but it has been so much better and so much more fun than i ever imagined, and that is thanks to the brilliant team of writers – each one of us raising our game every time. So thanks to all of you, GROUP HUG PEOPLE!!!!!! 🙂

      • I might be inclined to try so long as I have an escape clause. I mean, if my fingers aren’t hitting the keyboard within 1 day of it being “my turn” I have the option to pass it along. I had way too much anxiety over this story and felt I had no choice but to pull away.

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