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  • Writer's pictureSteph Whitaker

Writer In Motion 4: Week 2 / self-edits

Updated: Jul 29, 2021


I can't believe week 2 of Writer In Motion is here already. While I used a piece of one of my novels for this round of WIM, it was unedited and showed too. First of all, it was 300 words over the 1000 word limit. Second, there were a lot of areas that needed cleaning up and clarifying, seeing as none of you have read the previous chapters or know the characters in this scene as well as someone who would have.


In the past I've had extra time to work on my Writer In Motion story. This round, happened to be staring around the busiest time of the year for me. Plus, on top of that my family was on vacation last week. A vacation in which I slipped on some rocks while hiking and nearly fell over a waterfall.


P.S. I CAN'T SWIM!!!

So, while I sprained my wrist and dumped my phone in the water, I got lucky and managed to pick my ass up and make it out of the forest mostly okay. BUT, typing with a sprained wrist has been a bit of a challenge.


I persisted and set to work doing a round of self-edits on my story. Like most writers though, I think it still needs some work, but I'm out of time.


Without further ado... here it is... my Week 2 Self-edited 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, buzzing with excitement. Four statues rest at its center, hands raised, giving the illusion they are lifting the water into the surrounding air. It’s something most Cloudwalkers can do with little effort, though it is one of the forbidden rules; never let a normal person see you use your abilities.


Beck waits along the edge of the bridge we plan to bungee jump from. Dressed in a black hoodie and matching ripped jeans, he nearly blends into the darkness. He stops pacing when he spots us. Briefly, his hooded face expresses something akin to disappointment or frustration, which I’m not sure. He quickly replaces it with a smile and trots toward us.


“Hey, you brought friends?”


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


“Don’t worry. I’m jumping.” She gives a beaming smile meant for the media. Her sister Mylen is less than happy to be tagging along. She lingers several steps away with Sirus, arms crossed under her chest in disapproval.


Beck smiles, as though amused. “You sound like my sister.”


“Is she coming?” Vivi asks.


Beck’s smile flattens. “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.


In the next instant, he shoots a glance into the surrounding darkness. It seems strange. Then again, we are planning on jumping off a bridge at midnight. It’s not exactly legal.


I can only imagine what people would say if someone caught me, the heir to the Everson Group, bungee jumping from the Washington Street Bridge at midnight. It would cause a scandal for sure.


“Can we talk? Alone?” Beck asks.


“Is everything okay?” Sirus edges up alongside me.


“Everything’s fine.” I elbow him in the side to silence him. He heaves a sigh as I break away from Vivi. “Just give us a minute.” I turn and walk away from them and toward the bridge with Beck. He stuffs his hands deep into his hoodie, shoulders hunching slightly.


“Please hear me out,” he says, before turning to face me. “I thought you would come alone, like before.” He darts a glance to the side. “I need you to leave with me, Halston.”


On the inside, I freeze in place. I’ve never told him my real name. He is the one person outside my rich, stuck-up world that makes me feel like a normal teenager.


“W-What?” I stammer.


Beck’s frown deepens. “I need you to come with me willingly or-”


I snort and take a step back. What was I thinking? I’ll never be normal. Shaking my head, I turn to run, but Beck lunges. A sudden jolt of electricity surges through my body—a taser.


But I’m a Cloudwalker and it’s like jumpstarting a battery. Heat sears through my veins, awakening my abilities. My skin glows as I swing around to face Beck. Shouts ring out. Not just from my friends, but from those hiding in the shadows to make sure my kidnapping went off without a hitch. All I can do is stare as Beck’s eyes widen and reflect the storm swirling in my now silver eyes. It’s as though he didn’t realize what he was getting himself into.


Tire’s screech and bullets ping against the stone fountain. My friends scream and duck for cover. Bombarded with electricity, the current rushes through me. It 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. The force of it 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, but it’s too late. I’m like a cloud filled with too much moisture. The energy must go somewhere. It spills over in waves as I ignore the pain and scramble backwards. But it’s too late. The bullet that tore through my shoulder struck Beck, too. The electricity did the rest. He stares up at the dark swirling clouds overhead, eyes wide and chest unmoving.


He’s dead. The thought slams into me as my abilities surge out of control. Thunder rumbles overhead and lightning flashes. Every breath heaving from my chest is pain filled. Fog rises from my skin, coating the street as rain falls with force. I take several deep breaths, trying to shut down my abilities. Nothing works. Flipping around, I search for my friends. We have to get out of here.


When I spot 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 leans over them. 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. Blood soaks her pale blue hoodie. The one I bought her last week on a whim. I scramble toward her, slipping on the drenched pavement. I pull Vivi from Melyn and cradle her in my arms. Rainwater pours down my face, blending with tears and matting the loose strains of my ponytail to my cheeks and neck.


“No… No… No…” The word pours out of me on repeat as panic bubbles up inside like a tsunami. “Vivi!” I shout and shake her, trying 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.


Even after Sirus tries to calm me and an ambulance arrives, I can’t breathe. 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 the city as they pronounce Vivi dead and pry her from my grasp isn’t either.


Because I’ve become the storm.

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Thank you for reading Beck's story. I look forward to working with CPs next week and seeing if we can make his story even stronger. Feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think. I'm always interested in what others think of my stories.


- Steph

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s.roffey
Jul 24, 2021

love her power!


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