Thursday, 29 September 2011

Fearful Heart - Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 21 - TWO TEXTS!!!

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writing Challenge, where participants share their own 300-400-word text on a given theme. This week's theme for Friday, 30th September, Challenge No. 21, is 'Fearful Heart'.

Here is my text: [I've added an extra Sanna-&-Tomas-text! Scroll down past this first text about Eva.] This is the first text:


'Hi, I'm on my way home.'

'Please come soon. Tommy misses you.'

'Alright. Kiss Tommy for me.' Eva put her phone in her back pants pocket. It was dark. She had been out with girlfriends and wanted to get home.

Should I take the short-cut through the park? she wondered, but didn't have time to think more about it, because she was grabbed from behind and pulled her off her bike. Her hands were
tied behind her back. She was then blindfolded, before she could see her assailant.

'Hey, what's this all about?' said Eva, trying not to show fear. But she was fearful for her life.

'You're coming with me,' muttered a male voice.

A luney. I need to get away, thought Eva, as he picked her up and dumped her into what seemed to be the boot of a car. The floor was hard, damp and smelled of petrol and filth. Hearing the boot slam shut and then the sound of the engine, she checked to see if her phone was still there. Yes!

She pulled the phone from her back-pocket with her fingers behnd her back and pressed the emergency-number. Then she rolled over and
held her face near the microphone.

'Emergency services, how may I help you!'

'Police', she whispered, 'I need the Police.'

'What has happened and from where are you calling?'

She told the dispatcher the location of the abduction. 'But I don't know where I am now.'

The dispatcher asked for her name, address and next of kin.

'We are tracing your phone now. Please keep the phone on. Are you able to speak up so that we can hear you better? '

'No, and I'm afraid to talk louder than this. He might hear me. Oh no, the car is stopping.'

'Hang on, I think we know where you are.'

'Please hurry', she whispered as she rolled over again and stuffed the phone back in her pocket. Suddenly the boot flew open and someone was pulling her out.

'Get on your feet.' orderd a harsh voice. She seemed to be lead up some steps and into a house.

She thought about the sweet smell of her baby son and the warmth of her husband's embrace, as she was pushed along.
Dear God, let me see my baby and husband again!
[Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]

Word count according to WordCalc: 399; FCA (Full Critique Acceptable - Write whatever you like. Constructive criticism is always welcome.)


And here is an extra text, a prequel of Sanna's & Tomas' romantic story:

It was a group photograph with, if not all, at least twenty-two of the teachers at Sanna's daughter's school, taken on a nice autumn day, about a year ago. The photographer had arranged them in three rows, with ten teachers standing in the back row, eight sitting in front of these, and then four teachers sitting in the grass in front of them. Everyone looked happy.

Sanna found readily the image of Tomas far to the right in the back row. He looked especially handsome, smiling with his left hand resting on Katinka's shoulder, the female gym-teacher who sat in front of him. It looked like they really liked each other, and this could have been a source of jealousy for Sanna, but she suspected that it was simply the photographer's way of composing a picture, as Malte, the tall male gym-teacher, also rested his hand on the shoulder of the lady in front of him.

Sanna stod in the stairway hall of the school where this photo was hanging for anyone to see. She was facing the wall with the photo and had her back to the stairs. What if Tomas came bounding down the stairs and hugged her from behind? Or what if he put his hands over her eyes and asked 'Guess who?' But he would not do that at school. Or would he do that at all, anywhere? Sanna did not know enough about him other than that he was a teacher at her children's school. It worried her that she may have invested emotional energy in a man who was impossible to reach. He was most likely already married to the woman of his dreams. He seemed too happy, too harmonious, too sure of himself. In short, he seemed to be a man who already was loved. What Sanna saw, was perhaps how she wished that a man would look like, act like, because of her. But the sad fact of the matter was that he was probably happy because of someone else.

Sanna heard footsteps behind her and turned around to see who it was. It was Tomas bounding down the stairs. He looked at her, smiled, said 'Hello', and continued walking past her toward the headmaster's office.

Sanna went home with a fearful heart. She was not ready to stop hopping to be loved or liked by Tomas; but it seemed unlikely.

[Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]
Word count according to WordCalc: 400; FCA (Write whatever you like; Constructive criticsm is always welcome.)
Best wishes,

These two texts are both fictional.

The first text is fictional, but is based in part on events that have actually happened.

I know that this first story may be criticised for not having enough 'romance' in it. The heroine, Eva, does indeed have romance in her life, with her family, but someone is trying to remove her from everything that she loves. The threat of loss makes her family more dear to her. This is a study of fear. I have two sources of inspiration:

One is a real-life story from 'The FBI files' about a serial killer who murdered about a dozen women, except for this one teen-aged girl, whom he let go because she never saw his face. She also had the presense of mind to keep him talking and to play along with him convincingly. She was blindfolded the whole time and satt in the seat next to the driver's seat, so she couldn't have used a mobil phone, even if she had had one. What she did do to help the police find the killer was to memorise the number of stops and turns from where she had been taken. They could pin-point his home geographically. She spend several hours with this man before he finally let her go. While there in his home, she asked to use the toilet and behind the locked door, she left her fingerprints everywhere, in case she would not survive. She made certain that there was enough evidence to prove that she had been there.

Most people don't survive when a serial killer captures them like this. This is the exception to the rule. The other victims were all prostitutes. This girl was not; she was just an ordinary innocent girl. She later made her career in some branch of law enforcement.

The second source of inspiration is from a newspaper article about a young mother in Sweden who had been out one evening celebrating something with several girlfriends before riding her bike home to her husband and young children. She stopped riding a moment to call home on her mobil phone. At that moment, she was stabbed to death by a young foreign man who just happened to walk past. He took his anger out on the first person he saw. They did not know each other.

The idea of calling the police from a mobil phone while you lay bound in the boot of a car is my own take on this horrible scenario. It would not work if you are gagged. People who wind up in the boots of cars are often no longer alive. I want my heroine to survive.


Text number two is a prequel to my suite about Sanna and Tomas who are completely made up characters.

First Commenter:

Madeleine Maddocks

Scribble and Edit

To read more texts for 'Fearful Heart', Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 21, Friday 30th September, please go to this site or click on the image below:


Madeleine Maddocks said...

A very intense piece. Yes the theme Fearful heart does lend itself to drama and finding the balance with romance is tough.

Andy said...

Hello Anna.
This is a scary, adrenaline rush story. Eva is very calm & I'm quite impressed with her quick thinking under the circumstances. I hope the outcome for her is a good one.

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Hello Anna. You are working so hard! Two texts again! This time I must admit even though it lacks a romance element, the first story grabbed me. What tension. What fear. What presence of mind.

Poor Sanna. She is so unsure of Tomas. I can imagine her heart fluttering as she wished he would hold her around the waist.

These stories are the best way to develop your writing Anna. There's a few spelling mistakes in the first story and a typo in the second, but you'll probably know about them by now!

Thank you for being so generous in your sharing of stories and your comments on other's stories. You are a great asset to RFWer!


Margo Benson said...

Wow, two texts! I was late,late just writing one - I found marrying fear and romance difficult! Both pieces really drew me,the first for its terror and the second for that fear over hope feeling. Good pieces :-)

N. R. Williams said...

Oh..I'm holding my breath. Fear is right. I hope the police get there soon and it isn't a prank posed by friends. I thought of that because I know someone who had that done to them.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

Ruth Madison said...

Wow! Heart-pounding fear for sure on that first one.

babyrocka said...

Wow. I'll admit I held my breath for this one! The fear was indeed palpable, and she still had time to think of her husband and child! Loved it.

Beverly Diehl said...

Both stories are excellent, Anna. :-)

The first story - to pump up the romance, you could put a little more lovey talk at the beginning. "Tommy misses you - and I miss you" for example.

Where you could cut: "trying not to show fear. But she was fearful for her life." The second sentence is unnecessary - "trying not to show fear" tells us both that she felt it, and that she is determined to be brave (which makes us like her.) There are a few other places you could trim, like "with her fingers behnd her back" because we're pretty sure she's getting the phone out with her fingers, not her toes or tongue, and we know it's in her back pocket. You could also tighten up passive things like "Suddenly the boot flew open and someone was pulling her out." to "The boot flew open, and someone pulled her out." (I'm a big user of the word suddenly, myself, but with strong enough verbs, it's unnecessary.)

This gives you extra words to "spend" elsewhere in the story.

Loving the Sanna and Tomas story. Interesting how she assumes he must be happy because of someone - that he could not be happy in and of himself, which says much about her.

Thanks for two great reads!

Scheherazade said...

The first story is definitely about fear, but it has a detached quality. It comes on too abruptly (paragraph 4)and it feels reported rather than experienced. So you have the makings of a really good story, now go deeper--what does it really feel like? Cut out phrases like "trying not to show fear. But she was fearful for her life." and let us experience Eva's raw fear.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Anna,

WOW! No.1 Fear, all out fear!

No. 2 Sanna and Tomas, just lovely!


Adura Ojo said...

There is so much to story number 1 that you would get out, Anna. You got the reader there with her fear.

Story number 2 characters - Sanna and Thomas are just so cute. I imagine they look alike - you know how some couples look alike and it makes the bond between them seem stronger. (Okay Sanna and Thomas are not exactly a couple yet but they will get there:)

Thanks for sharing your inspiration. It's really great when we can draw inspiration from each other. It's the same way I get fuelled up from some of the lovely offerings by RFWers.

J.L. Campbell said...

Anna, you went all out on the Challenge last week doing two stories. I understand how fearful Eva would be to be abducted like that. The only niggle I had was wondering if when she turned over her mouth would be close enough to the phone since it was in the pocket of her pants, That's a small thing to fix though.

I see Sanna and Tomas as edging around each other again. I think Sanna had better take things into her hands and claim him before he gets away.

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