NP12: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Safe at Last
Caleb faces his most feared enemy and has to choose between life and death.

“I said let her go!” Caleb shouted, enraged as he stepped even closer to the two distinct figures standing near the ledge of the gorge inside the cave. He held the gun steady, aiming straight at the villain’s head. Caleb stood his ground about twenty feet away from them because any sudden move could cause Scar to lose his grip, sending Katie to her death.

“Now slow down mister hero,” Scar said motioning a hand out towards Caleb, “You wouldn’t want your friend here to get hurt now would you?” He laughed in a cruel tone which plainly showed his evil side and his mere pleasure for watching others in distress.

“Just give me the girl, and I’ll let you live… for now,” Caleb said now angered at his opponents psychotic words.
Deep crevasse
“How about you put that little pistol down first,” Scar gestured towards the ground.

Caleb slowly kneeled down and placed his firearm on a flat stone slab lining the bottom of the cave’s surface as Scar shoved Katie forward; sending her with such force towards Caleb that she tripped and fell to her knees. Rushing over to her side, Caleb embraced Katie and stood her upright. He held her tight with both arms and then turned toward Scar, but he had quickly run over towards the loaded revolver while the two hugged, and now was pointing it directly into Caleb’s face.

“It looks like things turned out for the better,” Scar said cheerfully with a sense of childish glee, “But not for you guys!

“Turns out that you my friend…,” he said pointing to Caleb, “Have caused my men a great deal of trouble…. Now… we could perhaps make you pay for all the damages, or just simply repay me with your life…. How’s that sound, huh?”

Just then a figure emerged from the shadows nearby holding a gun and aiming it at Scar. “Drop it,” the man said with a stern voice.

“Tim!” Caleb said, relieved to see his friend. “How did you….”

“I heard the laughter of this scandalous fellow,” he said walking over to Scar and snatching the weapon out of his hands without any resistance. “I just followed the sound, and here I was, witnessing yet another one of this guy’s murderous attempts.”

Scar, who was gloating in his pride not moments before, had lost his sense of dominance and now took a more cowering appearance. He slightly bore his teeth at Tim when he turned around to face his captor. “Oh, does the wound still bother you?” Tim said, returning the mockery towards Scar. “I’d say I’ve made my signature across your face… who would’ve known they’d change your name to that…, I see it’s at least fitting.”

Instead of cringing into more resentment, Scar calmly, but cruelly smiled and said, “You can’t kill me…; you have to bring me into custody for an interrogation or a judge’s sentence. Only then can you determine my fate; that is… if you make it out of here alive.”

Tim slowly walked closer with an angry, but determined look on his face. He dropped reveling in his enemy’s failure and turned to all seriousness and said, “My orders were to destroy any evidence that could counteract our undercover procedure.” Scar stood in place, his head tilted to one side as he listened impatiently for Tim to finish. “Those orders were not specified to just documents or material, but clearly to that which would hold any information regarding the operation to overthrow the government.” He paused for a moment and noticed Scar’s grim smile turn to a frown. “In other words, I could very well and perhaps should, just kill you right now.”

“Well, let’s think about that shall we?” Scar said trying to deter the agent from carrying out his words. A short pause followed

“I already have,” Caleb said stepping forward and away from Katie’s side. He stood face to face with Scar; who now had his back exposed to the cliff. Frustrated, Caleb turned his head to one side, and then back at Scar. “You killed my father….” he said gripping the collar of Scar’s shirt. The hatred burned even greater inside of Caleb as he continued, “You killed my sister…; you killed my mother!”

Scar took a step back every accusation Caleb threw at him until he caught his foot on one of the jagged rocks on the ground and plunged straight down into the bottomless ravine.

Moments of silence followed.

Tim and Katie joined Caleb at the pitch-black drop off and sat gazing down into nothingness. “Do you think he’s alive?” Katie finally spoke up.

“There’s no way of knowing for sure,” Tim said, holstering his pistol in the waste of his pants.

Another few minutes followed without speaking.

“We should head out before the rest of them find us,” Tim said in a lower tone.

“Wait,” Caleb said as he grabbed the lit torch that Scar had dropped when Tim confronted him. “I want to see something.” He picked up the burning branch and tossed it out into the chasm. The three of them watched as it rapidly descended and then suddenly vanished from sight. “No way of knowing,” Caleb said as he, Katie, and Tim started proceeding back through the cave with the light of the two glow sticks guiding their way.

They reached the mouth of the cave, only to hear the distant sounds of the men returning from their wolf hunting. “Quickly, back up the cliff,” Tim urged them on. One by one they scrambled up the rather steep incline and behind the boulder where Tim and Caleb had originally hid. “There’s too many of them to fight off,” he said peering over at the camp filled with tiresome thugs. “We’ll have to climb the rest of this mountain if we hope to escape without them noticing.”
Torchy torch
“He’s right,” Katie said, trying to pull Caleb away from searching out another route. “Don’t worry, I can do this.”

Caleb turned around and looked directly into Katie’s eyes and saw that she did not show any sign of backing down at this point. He nodded to Tim and the three of them slowly hoisted themselves up on the tiny ledges and cracks in the cliff all the way up to the top.


It was midafternoon before the trio achieved their goal. After a long struggle of painful gripping on to the niches in the precipice, they reached the top, aching from their climb. Katie especially was worn out the most, and lay sprawled out in the grass panting for air after the ascent. They settled there for twenty minutes, recovering from their trial.

A beeping sound from Tim’s pocket broke the silence. He pulled out a tablet communicator, read the message and then spoke up and said, “Well it seems like my work is done here in Montana. With Scar dealt with, there isn’t any other direct threat in this area of the country. My service is needed in another area. It’s been a pleasure working with you Caleb.”

“The pleasure is mine,” Caleb said standing up, and grasping Tim’s hand confidently.

They exchanged goodbyes, and various other stories of their encounters, and then Tim finally stood up tall, and began walking off down the summit. Caleb and Katie sat in the lush meadow, watching their friend slowly fade away in the distance.

“We’d best be getting back to the house,” Caleb said looking at the sun.

Katie tried to stand up but then staggered back into her sitting position. “I can’t walk,” she said in a pitiful tone. Caleb bent down, swung his muscular arms around her, and scooped her up. “But…,” she started to protest.

“I’ll just carry you home,” he said smiling.



NP11: Chapter 9

Previous chapter summary: after being rescued by Tim, Caleb learns of the capture of Katie; who is being held a few miles away in a highly fortified camp constructed by Scar’s men. Caleb’s feeble strength and injury prohibit him to venture out immediately, but he plans on continuing on the next morning.

Chapter 9: A Daring Attempt
Caleb sets out with Tim on a bold, yet dangerous, adventure to rescue Katie.

“Hey, are you awake?” Caleb could hear someone whisper faintly to him, but he was still half asleep. “Caleb,” the voice said yet again, and this time he awoke into consciousness but only saw darkness when he opened his eyes.

“Who… who’s there,” Caleb said rubbing his eyes and trying to focus on the barely visible shapes around him.

“Shhhh; if we plan on going, we’d better start now,” the familiar voice said urgently.

At this moment, Caleb remembered the plan to rescue Katie with Tim, and then everything came back to him so quickly that he raised himself up, but then forgot about his swollen leg and tumbled face first onto the floor.
“Careful!” Tim said putting his hands out quickly to help Caleb up. He positioned his friend against the wall and then calmly asked, “How’s the leg?”

Caleb reached down and touched the bandaged area around his thigh, “It only hurts touch when I touch it.”

“Think you’ll be able to journey a couple of miles before sunup?”

“I’ll try,” Caleb said as he painfully stood up and looked around at his damaged home. The faint moonlight shining in through the window reflected off of the broken glass all over the floor, revealing what once was a beautiful house.

“Here’s your gun in case we need it,” Tim said handing Caleb the firearm.

“It was my father’s,” Caleb said with dismay, “If only he had…,” he paused, wishing his father would have decided to take the weapon with him so many years back, but now Caleb held the pistol with regret. “Never mind… we should get going,” he said, holstering the gun in his pocket and then headed for the door.

“Right behind you,” Tim stated happily as he followed Caleb into the darkness.


The two men, under the cover of the early morning gloom, traveled rather quickly in the direction to where Katie was taken captive. Tim noticed a new burst of energy from Caleb when he told him the sun was about to peak over the mountains and that they should reach their destination before the sunlight could reveal their plan. They continued on until they saw, in the distance, a warm glow from a crevasse in a cliff not too far off.

cliff in the mountain “There,” Tim said pointing. “They’re set up in a cleft in the side of the precipice. We’ll travel down there around the camp and possibly find cover. Then we’ll decide what to do from there.”

“Alright,” Caleb said in an unexciting tone as if the mission was going to fail.

“Liven up,” Tim said trying to encourage his partner, “I bet that girl of yours is perfectly fine; give me a good reason why she wouldn’t be.”

Still unconvinced, Caleb continued on without a word towards the encampment.


Caleb and Tim reached the mountain and situated themselves on a camouflaged ledge above the campsite. They noted the guards walking and standing around the area, but they could not seem to catch a glimpse of where Katie was held, or even where the leader of the men was. Just then Caleb focused his attention on a larger tent off to the side of all the other smaller shelters and said pointing, “That right there, the big one… I bet that’s where she is.”

“It’s a good guess,” Tim whispered back, “But there’s only one way to find out.”

“I can’t go down there with my leg like this,” Caleb protested.

“No…,” Tim sighed, “I’ll sneak down there myself and report back to you what I find. There’s a great deal of brush around the base of this cliff, so I should be able to slip in and out without anyone noticing.”

“That’s great,” Caleb said, now noticing the sun completely peak over the hilltops, “You better hurry; we didn’t plan on staying here long.”

cave “Right,” Tim said as he jumped over the boulder they hid behind, and started lowering his way carefully down the steep incline. It wasn’t long before he reached the bottom and now lay hidden entirely behind the thick bushes. He peered over the hedge and saw the tent, with two bodyguards standing outside of it in deep conversation. To the right of the tent, Tim saw the mouth opening of a dark, gargantuan cavern. He slowly bent down on hands and knees, and crawled even closer to the tent; directing his attention towards the two men’s exchange in hopes of obtaining any valuable information.

Another guard walked up to the two conversing and demanded to know where their leader was. “He’s in the cave with the girl,” one of the men sneered. After hearing this, Tim swiftly and quietly returned to Caleb.

“Well?” Caleb asked eagerly.

“They’re in the cave,” Tim said with disappointment. “But there’s no way…,” and then he cut himself off as he heard the chilling howls of wolves not afar off. Then both of them watched in amazement as all of the sentries grabbed their weapons, while they shouted, and hasten into the trees.

Stunned by this, Tim crouched next to Caleb not knowing what to think. Caleb spoke up, “It looks like the wolves aren’t just my problems; there must be at least twenty of them if not more from the sound of their cries.” Tim just nodded in agreement. “Now’s our chance,” Caleb said with a rush of excitement as he hurriedly lowered himself down from the ledge with Tim close behind.

“Hold up,” Tim motioned to Caleb as they stopped in front of the entrance to the cave, “We don’t know if there’s other guards still around. Get your gun out and then we’ll continue.”

“It’s pitch black in there,” Caleb said with a sense of fear.

“Fortunately for us, my chief commander gave me these,” he said pulling out a pair of sixteen-inch glow sticks from his left pant leg, and handed one to Caleb.

dark cave They entered the unlit cavern with the neon-light sticks swallowing up the shadows every step they took as they descended deeper and deeper.  After a minute of silent walking through the passageway, they stumbled upon a division in the path. Two separate tunnels lay before them and Tim immediately whispered to Caleb, “You take the right side; I’ll take the left… if anything goes wrong, yell for help, and fire your pistol or something. The sound will travel through these tunnels, signaling me if you need support for any reason.”

Just then they heard a faint, mortal laugh echo through the obscure dwelling. “He’s in here,” Caleb said as anger poured into his body.

They quickly parted ways and Caleb began to powerwalk instead of creep through the passage. The further he went, the darker and deeper the place became. He could hear the cruel laughs from Scar and the screams that emanated from Katie’s horror. Unable to stand the taunts any longer, Caleb started running in the direction of the clamor, but then froze in his tracks as he rounded a corner into an enormous, one-hundred foot wide, bottomless ravine. Near the edge of the overhang he saw Scar with a torch in his left hand, and his right hand holding Katie by the neck over the ledge.

Caleb ran forward, burning with rage, as he aimed his gun and shouted, “PUT THE GIRL DOWN!”

S11: Front to Back

This week’s assignment was to write out the opening/closing lines of ten novels, and then choose a favorite.

Title: The Call of the Wild
Author: Jack London
First line: The day that changed Buck’s life began like every other day on Judge Miller’s California estate.
Last line: From time to time he raises his great head, and with the pack, he sounds the call of the wild

Title: A Journey to the Center of the Earth
Author: Jules Verne
First line: Looking back at all that has happened to me since that eventful day, I am hardly able to believe that my adventures were real.
Last line: There I continued to work with the distinguished professor for the rest of his days.
moby dick
Title: Moby Dick
Author: Herman Melville
First line: Call me Ishmael.
Last line: But she found only me, Ishmael, another orphan.

Title: Kidnapped
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
First line: My adventures began early one June morning in the year 1751.
Last line: We sat down and arranged for Alan’s safe trip.

Title: Captains Courageous
Author: Rudyard Kipling
First line: The North Atlantic fog rolled over the huge ocean liner and over the schooners and dories of a fishing fleet.
Last line: The prophecy, made many years before on the We’re Here, had at last come true.

Title: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Author: Howard Pyle
First line: In ancient days there lived a noble king named Uther-Pendragon.
Last line: With these words the great King Arthur disappeared.

Title: The Man in the Iron Mask
Author: Alexander Dumas
First line: D’Artagnan, captain of the king’s musketeers, sincerely regretted having to deliver his friend Athos to prison.
Last line: The days of the musketeers had drawn to a close.

Title: The Count of Monte Cristo
Author: Alexander Dumas
First line: A little boy first sighted the masts of the ship Pharaon.
Last line: “And until He decides to reveal that future to man, man must simply wait and hope… as I did for so many years… wait and hope.”

Title: The Merry Adventure of Robin Hood
Author: Howard Pyle
First line: In merry England in olden times, when good King Henry ruled the land, there lived in the green glades of Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham, a famous outlaw named Robin Hood.
Last line: And these children handed them down to their children and to their children’s children.
Robin Hood
Title: The Last of the Mohicans
Author: James Fenimore Cooper
First line: Our story opens on a hot July day in 1757.
Last line: For years afterward, as these two sturdy woodsmen prowled the forests of the New World together, they never forgot the deep ties of brotherhood that had taken root on the grave of Uncas, the last of the Mohicans.

Out of all these novels’ opening and closing lines, Captains Courageous stands out to me the most, because of clincher and descriptive details it holds at the very beginning of the book. As soon as a person starts to read, he or she is already grasped into the book, and has a desire to keep on reading. Where as many of the other novels, start with simply the facts.

NP10: Chapter 8

Previous chapter summary: Caleb and Katie safely reached the house in the mountain in the night; but Scar and his men follow them at day-break and eventually find and attack the home. Caleb is trapped unconsciously in the wreckage that the men made and Katie tried to escape while Caleb attempted to hold them off. The story continues after mid-day; when Caleb finally regains consciousness.

Chapter 8: Captured
After the attack, Caleb finds Katie missing

Hours had passed after the sudden assault had taken place. Caleb’s eyes flickered as the afternoon breeze flowed through what remained of the door, the shattered windows and into the living room. He felt an intense swelling all over his body which ached even more as he tried to move; but he couldn’t because the beams of wood that crashed down from the second floor now lay on top of Caleb. He was pinned to the ground in his own house which he and his father had built, and now he could do nothing but bear the pain and lie there helplessly in the rubble.

Suddenly, Caleb heard a familiar voice coming from the outside his home; he could just barely make out the words. “Hello?” the person called; Caleb couldn’t quite figure out who stood outside so he remained quiet. “Is anyone still in there?” the man shouted directly into the heavily damaged building.
shattered glass
At this point, Caleb knew that no one else would have this deep, southern-accented voice other than Tim. “Help,” Caleb struggled to say; but then he put additional volume into his second plea, “Help me.”

Tim rushed in once he heard Caleb and pushed aside the beat-up obstruction in the doorway. He surveyed the room but then saw no one and shouted once again, “Where are you?”

Caleb could barely breathe from all the pressure from the wooden heaps that pressed against him. “Right… here,” he said as he flexed every muscle in his body, trying to remove the burdens from himself.

At once Tim noticed the moving boards and began to take the planks one by one and fling them into a separated pile than that which covered Caleb. “Almost there,” Tim said as he hurriedly removed the last few obstacles which blocked him from reaching to where Caleb lay confined. A heavy main beam from the second floor sprawled across the trapped man’s chest which made it almost impossible for him to obtain oxygen. Tim tried his best to move it but even with the size and body strength he possessed, he could not remove it without chancing crushing Caleb even more.

“Alright we need to do this together,” Tim said breathing heavier than before, “On the count of three I need you to push this up, and I’ll slide it over that way and off of you entirely. One… two… three,” And with that both of the men desperately fought to take away the long, and extremely thick object; and after great effort, they managed to heave it off to the side, leaving Caleb free from the imprisonment.

The two rested momentarily before continuing on with anything. “Katie!” Caleb yelled as he sat up with a bit of pain.

“She’s not here,” Tim said in dismay.

“Well then let’s find her!” Caleb said determined now standing up as if the pain had subsided.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa there,” Tim said objecting and gesturing for Caleb to sit down, “There’s something I need to tell you.”

Caleb slumped to the ground and looked at his friend with tear-filled eyes, “You mean?”

“No, no she’s not dead,” Tim said assuredly, “but she was taken to the camp where Scar and his criminals are at now. You see, I was following that group of men back in town; I watched their every move, listened in on conversations, and even witnessed them burn your friend’s house.” Caleb looked down at the ground now, but continued to listen. “I saw them chase you two and then give up at the forest last night. They set out early the next morning to find you and I followed them from a distance.
montana bush forest view for cw picture thingy-ma-jig
“If I had known the way up here I would’ve come and warned you about their coming; but they were already ahead of me and had found your home without much difficulty. I watched them one by one enter the house and destroy it.”

“But what about Katie,” Caleb asked, interrupting Tim’s account.

“Yes, about her… one of the men stood outside to keep watch, and saw her run off into the woods. I suppose you have some hidden way out of here or she was just outside for some reason.”

“Yes,” Caleb said with disappointment, “I tried to distract them while she snuck out the back to safety. I was on the second floor when they hacked away at the foundation and then the whole top level crashed with me in it. They must’ve left me for dead after that, or I’d probably not be here right now.”

“Maybe,” Tim said slightly considering the thought, “But soon after I heard the crash all of the men came running out and started chasing Katie; who had already started running down the mountain. I think they were more interested in finding the girl then dealing with you.

“Anyways, I followed them to try and potentially save your friend but then they caught her and took her to their camp and by that time I was already outnumbered and feeling completely useless. So I came back here to see what remained of this place and if they had done away with you or see if you had somehow survived; and now I see that you have!”

Caleb sat on the floor with his back up against the wall still pondering all the information he had just received. “We have to go and at least try to save her,” he said determined, “Just bring me to the camp and I’ll think of something that can get her out alive.”

“Now hold on a second,” Tim said protesting, “You’re not thinking straight… we walk in there and they’ve outnumbered, out-gunned, and outsmarted both of us before we would have time to do anything useful. No, we’ll wait until tomorrow… you’re still injured.”
Caleb attempted to quickly sit up in opposition to Tim’s statement but then he quickly found the pain in his arms and chest that sent him back into his curled up position on the floor. “Alright,” he said unwillingly, “We wait till tomorrow.”

S10: Threesome Questionnaire

With the progression of the novel project and all the extra sandbox activities linked to it, a new thought on the matter is thrown into play and these questions are asked: (1) what song would be the film score for your story? (2) What book would be your main character’s favorite; And (3) what TV show(s) would he or she watch.

(1) After searching over and over for a song that might fit the film score for my novel, I finally settled on this techno piece of music; in the context of a movie, I picture this music at the very beginning of the novel when Caleb is running through the woods and away from his pursuers. If it had to be a song I would choose ‘Say Goodnight’ by Bullet for My Valentine, (at least the first half of the song).

(2) Besides the daily newspapers and the politics that would go on in my novel’s setting, Caleb’s favorite books to read would be personal biographies of people who struggle to survive like Alone on the Ice, or Tsunami.

(3) The TV show Caleb would most likely end up watching would be ‘Man vs. Wild’ because this would, in a way, reflect his own struggle to survive on a daily bases.

man vs wild

NP9: Chapter 7

Previous Chapter Summary: Caleb meets a girl while fetching fresh water from the town well at night. He walks her home but they reach the house and it is being torched by a group of men. They end up escaping into the forest and find themselves no longer being pursued by the drunkards.


Chapter 7: The Attack
After Katie’s house is destroyed, Caleb begs her not to go back into the town in fear of what could happen to her. They escape the hands of the criminals in the night, but the next day the house in the woods is assaulted. The story continues after Caleb wakes up the next morning.

Tired, aching, and a little shaken from the day before, Caleb hoisted himself out of bed and wiped away the dreariness from his eyes. As he walked down the stairs of his comfy house and into the kitchen area, he remembered the previous days’ activities: he had taken Katie, who still lay sleeping in the guest bed, into the mountains with him and away from the men who had burned her home and all its contents to the ground. She had hesitated at his request to come with him into the terrifying forest, but then realized she had no other choice. They had reached the house a few hours before sunrise without any trouble.

‘The wolves have probably moved off by now,’ Caleb thought hopefully as he remembered the greater threat at hand. The only reason he and Katie had safely escaped Scar and his men was because of the darkness of the night which hid them from danger.

Caleb paid no attention to the person walking down the stairs and straight towards him. His mind was fixed solely on preparing a morning meal and thinking about the various events that went on. “Morning,” Katie said with a cheerful smile as she walked up to the counter next to Caleb and observed his work.

fried eggs
Caleb, who was always used to being alone all the time, jumped back a foot and then came to his senses and continued to fix breakfast. Katie laughed inwardly while smiling and then walked over to the wooden table in the middle of the room and sat down and waited patiently for Caleb to finish.

“I still can’t believe how you live up here all alone like this for so many years,” Katie said as Caleb walked over with a plate that contained eggs and strips of meat he had just fried. Caleb just nodded and then he picked up his fork and started to devour his portion of the food.

“Don’t you ever get lonely?” Katie asked as she picked up a piece of pork with her fork and began to eat.

“Nope,” Caleb replied without a pause in-between; he was intently fixed upon his meal and what he would do afterwards to detour Scar and his men from finding the cabin.

“Well don’t you ever wish you lived in the city?”

“Nope,” Caleb said sincerely as he finished his last bite of food.

“Do you have any emotions what-so-ever?” Katie asked now rather frustrated. “Do you feel anger? Are you happy…? Do you feel pain?” And with that she started breaking out in a small sob as she remembered the night before.

“I feel anger all the time,” Caleb said sympathetically as he gently sat back in his chair. “The way those men back in town treat other people makes every last part of me burn up inside.” He paused before continuing, “That’s why I work; when the steam builds up I let it out by cutting a tree down or any other sort of challenging labor.”

Katie looked up with tear filled eyes at Caleb, but she was still unsure about Caleb’s lifestyle and how he acted towards so many things. She thought Caleb was just a sort of zero-expressional type of person.hole in the floor

“And yes, I do feel pain; the same pain you are feeling right now” he continued, “I just restrain from showing it.”

Right after he said this, Caleb jumped out of his seat and ran to the window as he heard shouts from men nearby outside. “They’ve found us!” he said to Katie with alarm on his face. She stood up and searched Caleb’s eyes for an answer. “Out the back,” Caleb whispered as he hurried to the other side of the house, grabbed his axe, and began to pry open a crawl space in the floor.

“After you,” he said motioning for Katie to climb through. “When you reach the outside, run straight for the woods; I’ll catch up with you after I cover your escape.”

“But…,” Katie hesitated.

“Go!” Caleb insisted as the angry men began to pound on the door with their sludge hammers and various other tools.

The large wooden barrier between Caleb and Scar’s men started cracking through the middle after only a minute. Caleb positioned himself with his axe in one hand and a fashioned club in the other. If they wanted trouble, which was obvious that they weren’t on a friendly visit, then he would give his guests an unwelcoming surprise. Just when the band of killers had nearly broken through, Caleb remembered his father’s gun still lying in the dresser upstairs. He bolted up the flight of steps, opened the drawer, and grabbed the firearm right as the men forced their way into the house.

“He’s up there!” One of the men shouted as they all piled into the main room.

Two of the men with the heavy hammers started knocking away at the beams which held the top floor upright. Caleb felt the ground shake from under him as he readied the pistol. Thinking that the group would one by one come up the stairs, he waited as the banging grew even more intense.

“That should do it,” one of the men, beating a support beam, said as he took one final swing. Caleb felt the floor fall right from under him as the entire second level collapsed to the ground inside the house.montana forest

“Now finish this place!” Scar, who had just walked in and witnessed the crash, roared to his band of ruffians. As they started removing the rubble to the exterior porch, one of the men spotted Katie running off into the woods.

“There’s one of them getting away,” a he shouted to the rest of the group. They all chased after the escapist and left Caleb underneath the wreckage, completely unconscious.

S9: Why Did He?

Just a side note: this assignment was to take the main character from my novel, and put him in a scenario where he would have to give a speech. This is what I came up with (and yes I was totally out of ideas).



Caleb strolled into the cheerful atmosphere of a little bagel shop in town. He sat himself down on one of the cushioned stools at the counter and waited for someone to serve him. Everyone in the room seemed to have their attention towards someone who was speaking.

“And that’s what I think about the whole matter,” a clumsy man behind Caleb said to the rest of the customers seated inside the building as he plopped himself in his chair. Caleb half turned his head towards the direction of the man and then quickly turned as the man who had just finished talking noticed Caleb’s interest. He noticed that just about everyone in the shop was drunk from the bar next door and he remained calm as if not to notice. “What about you stranger?” the man inquired of Caleb. “What do you think about this whole chicken crossing the road idea?”

Caleb gradually spun himself around on the stool and leaned back on the countertop to face the gathering of the local people. “Chicken crossing the road,” Caleb asked as if he had never heard of such an idea.
“Yeah,” the man began in a tone of unbelief, “My buddy Jimmy here said that the chicken crossed the road to get to the other side… but I think there’s more to it than that.”

“Well,” Caleb said, knowing now that these men were obviously not in their right minds, “Maybe the chicken saw something on the other side of the road?”

“Like a beer!” one of the men chimed in.

“Yes, maybe…,” Caleb stated, now playing along with the joke. “But why would a chicken want beer? No, I think there’s something else this chicken wanted; like perhaps he saw a corn field on the other side. Or maybe his house was on the other side. Or it could be that he was running away from something that was chasing him.”

“Why wouldn’t he just fly away?” another man asked in the lousiest voice Caleb had ever heard.

Caleb then started to give his explanation. “You see,” he stated, “Chickens fly down from stuff, but they cannot take off into the air and just fly away like you said. So then, in fact, the chicken would cross the road, not fly, in order to get to the other side.”

At this point the store manager had come out to see the commotion and then started roaring with laughter as he observed the drunken men with eyes bulging wide and waiting intently for Caleb to explain to them such a simple concept.

‘The chicken,” Caleb started to say, but then was interrupted by a darker-skinned man sitting in the corner.

“The fried chicken?”

“No, no, and no… the chicken… the bird…,” Caleb was obviously losing it now and had wished he had stuck to his usual means of lunch, but the man continued to fire questions.

“Oh, so the bird is going to be fried chicken?”

Caleb slapped his own head and then spurted out bluntly, “The chicken, crossed the road… to get to the other side… it’s a joke.”

One of the men started clapping after Caleb had finished but then he stopped as he noticed he was the only one giving the applause. “I don’t get it,” one of the chubbier men said scratching his head.

“That wasn’t funny at all,” an older man grumbled.

“Forget it…,” Caleb said as he furiously stood up and stormed out the door.

The men were puzzled, the store manager went back to work laughing his brains out, and Caleb went back to living life alone on the mountain.

the REAL chicken