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  • Writer's pictureSteph Whitaker

Writer In Motion 4: The First Draft

Updated: Jul 29, 2021


Hello and thank you for reading my blog. I wanted to challenge myself and decided at the end of 2020 that I would attempt to write a full length novel in 10 days. Yup, you heard that right, 10 days. Mind you, this doesn't include the drafting part of the writing process. I'd been working on trying to come up with a unique plot that was more contemporary than fantasy. BUT like always, fantasy has a way of seeping into my stories. What can I say, I like to keep my head in the clouds.


So, Bulletproof Beck started as a self challenge: Write a novel in 10 days.


Honestly, I didn't think I could do it, but somehow I managed to get it done. At 75k words it isn't one of my longer stories, but I still fell in love with the characters and their struggles.

The story is told in two points of view, alternating between Ryn (the gangster girl out for revenge - Beck's sister) and Ryatt (the rich Cloudwalker guy who can't control his abilities and lost his girlfriend the same night Ryn lost her brother).

For Writer In Motion, I felt the prompt visually showed Ryatt's torment and loss of control of his abilities. So, without further ado... as promised, here is the first draft of my #WriterInMotion short story.

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Ryatt's Story

(Bulletproof Beck)

YA Contemporary Fantasy

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I stand in front of Founder's Fountain, tingling with excitement, and buzzing from a rush of anticipated adrenaline. The fountain rests in the center of the roundabout with four statues at its center, hands raised giving the illusion they are lifting the water into the air around them. Something most Cloudwalkers can do with their eyes closed.

Though that is one of the forbidden rules; never let a normal person see you use your abilities.

Beck stands along the edge of the bridge. He nearly blends into the darkness, dressed in a black hoodie and matching ripped jeans. The tall graying girders rise into the city skyline behind him. When he spots us, he stops pacing and for the briefest of seconds his hooded face expresses something akin to disappointment or frustration, which, I'm not sure. He quickly replaces it with a familiar smile and trots toward us, pale knees flashing through the rips in his black jeans.

“Hey!” he says, “you brought friends?” It sounds like a question.

“Yeah, hope that’s okay,” I say as my girlfriend, Vivi dips under my arm and drags it over her shoulder with a smile.

“Don’t worry. I’m here to jump too.” She gives a beaming smile meant for the media that stalks her every move. As the face of Blaine Industries, she is always volunteering with the homeless, and helping those less fortunate. She’s amazing. But tonight she’s wearing a bright red wig and baseball cap to protect her identity.

Beck smiles as though he’s amused by Vivi’s comment. “You sound like my sister,” he says as Mylen stands back with Sirus, arms crossed under her chest in disapproval.

Vivi smiles brighter. “Is she coming too?”

Beck’s smile flattens. “Sorry, no. She’s not much of an adrenaline junky.”

“That’s too bad,” I say, and his gaze flips to me as though I’ve said something wrong. He shots a glance over his shoulder into the surrounding darkness. It seems strange, but then again we are planning on jumping off a bridge in the middle of the night. It’s not exactly legal. As a safeguard, I’ve never given him my actual name. Imagine what people would say if they discovered the heir to the Everson Group was caught bungee jumping from the Washington Street Bridge at midnight. It would cause a scandal for sure.

He flips his hood back, revealing a ponytail tangled with braids.

“Can we talk for a second, Ryatt? Alone?” he says, and I get the feeling something is wrong.

“Is everything okay?” Sirus edges up alongside me, my ever watchful friend and bodyguard.

I force a smile. “Everything’s fine.” I give him an elbow in the side to silence him. He heaves a sigh but says nothing more, as I reluctantly break away from Vivi. “Just give us a minute.” I turn and walk away from the fountain and toward the bridge with Beck. He stuffs his hands deep into his black hoodie and his shoulders hunch slightly.

Damn. What am I going to do if I read him wrong, and this was supposed to be a date? I’m running through the best way to let him down easily when he suddenly stops.

“Please hear me out,” he says, before he turns around to face me. “I thought you would come alone, like before.” Once more his gaze darts to the side. “I didn’t want to have to do it this way but I need you to leave here with me.”

On the inside, I’m frozen solid. I totally screwed this up. Beck and I were supposed to be friends. He was the one person outside my rich, stuck up world that made me feel like a normal teenager.

“W-What?” My mouth opens and closes as I try to form words. “Are you…”

Beck’s frown deepens. “I need you to come with me willingly or things are going to get complicated fast.”

I snort a disbelieving sound and take a step back. I don’t know what I was thinking. Being normal isn’t something I’ll ever be allowed. Shaking my head I turn to run, but Beck lunges with something in hand. A sudden jolt of electricity surges through my body.

But I’m a Cloudwalker and it's like jumpstarting a battery.

Heat sears through my veins, awakening my sleeping abilities, and I light up, skin aglow, as I swing around to face Beck.

Shouts ring out, not just from my friends, but others who were apparently hiding in the shadows to make sure my kidnapping went off without a hook. But all I can do is stare into Beck’s brown eyes that widen and reflect the storm swirling in my own now silver eyes. It’s as though he didn't realize what he was getting himself into. We’re frozen in time for a second and my mouth forms one word.

“Why?”

Beck doesn’t have time to answer. The sounds around us return in a rush. Screeching tires as my security detail catches up to us. The ping of bullets against the stone fountain. The screams of my friends. The electricity inside me needs an outlet, but there is nowhere for it to go but the sky overhead.

Before I can release it, a searing hot pain pierces my shoulder and throws me forward. I crash into Beck at the same time I lose hold of my abilities. He screams as we crash to the ground and the current burns through him. I try to pull back on my abilities, ears ringing, but it’s too late. I’m like a cloud filled with too much moisture. The energy must go somewhere. It uncontrollably spills over in waves and into Beck.

Ignoring the pain in my shoulder, I scramble back from him, but it’s too late. The bullet that went through my shoulder struck him too, and the electricity did the rest. He stares up at the dark swirling clouds overhead, eyes wide and chest unmoving. Singed and scorched, his black hoodie is half melted off his chest.

He’s dead. The thought slams into me as my abilities surge to the surface without my calling. Thunder rumbles overhead and lightning flashes in response. Every breath heaving from my chest is pure anguish. Fog rises from my skin in a hazy white smoke coating the street as rain begins to fall with force. I try to focus on my abilities and calm them by taking deep breaths. It doesn’t work. Flipping around, I search for Vivi and my friends. We have to get out of here.

When I find them, my heart stops for a second before thundering back into rhythm, like a tidal wave racing for the shore. Melyn is on the ground wailing and holding Vivi close as Sirus races toward me. The bullets shot from those in the shadows have stopped flying and I finally notice the black sedans of the Everson Group security. They must have tracked my phone. But it’s Vivi my horrified gaze returns to. That and the blood soaking her pale blue hoodie. The one I bought her last week.

I scramble toward her, slipping in the rain that showers us in a deluge. Without asking, I pull Vivi’s unmoving form from Melyn and cradle her in my arms. My tears blend with the rainwater pouring down my face, matting the loose strains of my long black ponytail to my cheeks and neck.

“No… No… No…” The word pours out of me on repeat. Panic bubbles up inside like a tsunami, and the wind from the storm overhead howls. “Vivi!” I shout her name and try to shake her enough to get her to open her eyes. Melyn’s crying and I’m choking on the air that isn’t in my lungs anymore.

I can’t think.

I can’t breathe.

“Vivi!” I shout her name repeatedly. Even after the Everson Security guards try to calm me and the media arrives, I can’t breathe and it’s not because of the bullet wound in my shoulder. A normal person would have passed out. But I’m not normal, and the storm threatening to collide with the city as Vivi is pronounced dead and pried from my grasp to be loaded into an ambulance isn’t either.

Vivi’s dead, and it’s all my fault.

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Thank you for reading Beck's story. I hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to the day when I can share the whole story with the world. Until then, I'll get to work on my self-edits next for week and see if I can make this short even stronger. Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think.

- Steph


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