A Monday Moment: Protector

As I attempt to get back into a daily writing habit, I hope to also get back to my Monday feature, which I call Monday Moments. Short explanation: every Monday I will post a piece of writing practice from the past week. For a longer explanation, go here.

For today’s Monday Moment, in honor of NaNoWriMo, here is a short excerpt from my recently finished NaNoNovel “Protector.”


After everyone had left, Lorrin stayed in the room again. She had many notes that she wanted to go over, trying to come up with an idea for how to proceed.

“I think I have it figured out,” she heard from a man who had come back in after the others had left. It was Falin.

“How’s that?” she asked, trying to pull her brain from the thoughts that had been getting her nowhere.

“I know what we can do to solve this.”

“Do tell.” She didn’t believe for a moment that he was going to give her some brilliant plan. And sure enough…

“We should go out into the fields and stare at the grass.”

She didn’t look back up. It was exactly as she had expected.

“No, I’m serious,” he said. “We’ll all go out and lie on our bellies, pick a blade of grass each, and just stare at it for hours. I’m sure we’ll see some sign of trouble.”

She still didn’t answer him, but he was making it difficult for her to concentrate on the notes.

“Look, do you have any better ideas?” he asked. “Maybe cut off some pieces and bring them back here. Oh, I know! We’ll put some in our food and see if it affects us like it does the animals. Maybe we’ll all wake up in the morning with a double next to us.”

“Falin!” she finally stopped him, mentally chastising herself for reacting at all. “None of this is helpful. Do you find it all a joke?”

“Yes.”

“Yes? This is all a joke to you—that your village is in danger of being overrun by predators if we do not stay out there killing them first? That the ecosystem is out of control and we have no idea why?”

“No, not that. The joke is that you and your army men will be the ones to figure it out.”

“We’re all you have, so you might as well make the best of it.”

“Oh, sure, I get that. You and your soldiers will get it all solved for us, I’m sure.”

“Seriously, what is your problem? Why can’t you just realize that we’re only here to help? None of us has done anything to bother you, so why do you antagonize us so? Why do you insist on making your snarky comments during every meeting?”

He opened his mouth to speak, but she continued.

“You are making my job more difficult than it already is. If you do not want to help us solve this problem, just leave and we’ll find someone else from your village who can take your place.”

He sat down in the chair opposite the table from her. “You won’t find anyone from the village who knows the area as well as I do.”

“I don’t care. We’ve been here long enough, we’ll make do with someone who knows the area less than you do, but who is more willing to help.”

“I am helping.”

“That’s debatable.” Those words hung in the air for a moment as neither of them said anything else. Lorrin was surprised by the force with which she’d said them. She was normally quite a calm person.

“I don’t mean to make your job harder,” he finally said quietly. “I just…don’t like soldiers.”

“I’ve gathered that. Any particular reason?”

He chuckled. “None you need to hear.”

 

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