Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Project A" Excerpt

Hey, guys! This is an excerpt from my book "Project A." Hope you like it, let me know what you think. I know some of it won't make sense, but just bear with me for now.
I check my watch: 3:15 AM. Everyone around me is asleep, and there’s not a sound coming from anywhere. As I peer out of the cage, I see a fire going in the distance. It must be from the people who decided to stay behind at the old camp.
I turn my attention back to the cave. My eyes crawl over every inch of the cave walls looking for any sign of the computers. So many computers, gone in a day. Why were they here in the first place?
I get lost in my thoughts, but am quickly snapped back into reality by a loud crack in the distance. My head whips around as I spot lighting bolts striking the ground where I’d seen the fire earlier.
My reaction is immediate. I take off running, leaping from the cave. It’s only by pure chance that I don’t fall. My feet pound against the hard ground, leaving clouds of dust in my wake. I run and don’t stop. More lightning. More running.
Between strikes of lightning, I hear someone coming up behind me. I don’t look back, my eyes focused on that fire in the distance. It’s getting closer every second. My legs feel like lead weights and my lungs burn, but I keep on going.
“Asher!” It’s Bailey. “Asher, stop!”
I don’t reply or turn around. But then she catches up to me, and is running into me. We both fall over, and she pins me to the ground. I spit dirt out of my mouth. More lighting hits the ground, and it vibrates my whole body. Bailey’s grip loosens, and I take the chance to get away. I start running again, but she holds onto my ankle. I try to pull it away. More people scream in the distance, and I can’t stand it.
“There’s nothing you can do, Ash,” she says. Her grip doesn’t loosen. “You can’t save those people.”
“I can!” I say, trying to wriggle my ankle free.
“What can you do? You can’t risk getting struck by lighting,” she says. I hadn’t really thought about what I was going to do when I got there, just that I had to get there. But she was making sense.
“I have to try,” I say. “Please, I have to try.”
“I’m sorry if you have some pathalogical need to be the hero all the time, but this time you can’t do anything. This time you have to worry about yourself,” she says. She let’s go of my foot, but I don’t run. Instead, I fall to my knees, helpless. I try to hold them back, but the tears come anyway. They’re streaming down my face before I can do anything about it.
Bailey comes over to me and pats me on the back. It doesn’t feel rehearsed like it always does with my dad. It feels right, like her hand is meant to be there. I keep on crying, and my throat is making those weird noises that it always makes when you cry too much. I can’t bring myself to look at Bailey. I wipe the tears from my face and stand up.
“We’ll come back in the morning and collect the survivors,” Bailey says.
“You act like they’re something you buy in stores,” I say, my voice cracking with the desperation to help those people. “They’re people.”
“I know,” she says, her voice soft. We don’t say anything else the rest of the way back to the cave.
I feel dead inside. All those people, they might actually be dead. And maybe I couldn’t have done anything, but I could’ve at least tried. Now it’s my turn to cry myself to sleep.


  1. I'm always intrigued when I read first-person present tense stories. I've yet to try it. It gives a good sense of immediacy in your excerpt though.

  2. I'm guessing that you've read the Hunger Games books, based upon your choice of first-person present? The only critique that I have are that the last paragraph needs to be revised, as it is a tad too much of a "teller", and the situation needs to be explained quickly. The mix of technology and lack thereof feels odd, but can certainly be lived with if you make sense of it in the next scene or two. Overall, I like it.