Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Here Comes the Sun

At a recent checkup, my doctor asked whether I spend much time in the sun.  I laughed, flashed a blindingly-pale arm, and said “I’m really more of an ‘indoors with a book’ type.”  However, during this time of year, with its sunny skies and extended hours of daylight, even I venture outside from time to time.

We’ve been having a bit of a heat-wave the last week or so – not like Arizona melt-the-pavement hot, but hot nonetheless – so my outside time is currently limited to dinner on the back deck once the cooling breezes have kicked in but before the bugs and wildlife have started roaming around.  In the lake that I can see outside my office window at work, there have been little groups of boaters (kayakers, maybe?) all week, as well as a gondolier who appears in late afternoon.  They’re too far away for me to tell for sure, but I’m betting they’re all having a good time.

Regardless of whether you prefer to spend your summer days inside or out, taking a few minutes for a little Random Word Improv is a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  So, whether you’re relaxing with a frosty beverage, slaving away in a temperature-controlled office, dreaming of a tropical getaway, or just looking for a little distraction, find a comfortable spot, kick off your shoes, and let’s get ready to write.

Are you with me?

Today’s random words are summer themed, but don’t let that constrain you.  Bonus points if you manage to include the Loch Ness monster in your sprint (I’ve been in a Scotland frame of mind recently):

             sun                    sand                      cabin                     canoe

             heat                   melt                      ice cream            floaties

             bikini                raft                        breeze                  freckled

             hat                     campfire              lake                       towel

For any of you new to Random Word Improv, here’s how we play:

  1. Pick as many words from the list as you want
  2. Write the first line(s) of a story incorporating your words
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

Okay.  Are you ready?  Let’s sprint!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

4 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Here Comes the Sun

  1. I didn’t get all the words in — kind of in a rush, because I’m sure I could have gotten raft and freckled in without a lot of fuss. But anyway, summer camp:

    Frost gods were normally miserable in the middle of June, but Jack was ecstatic. How could he not be? Beautiful dusky-skinned Olivia was by his side like a sun goddess, with that ridiculously large straw hat that he wanted to use as cover – he’d tilt it towards the campers, and kiss her until they were both breathless. Unfortunately, a fantasy it would remain – the hat was almost big enough to hide two bodies writhing in the grass, but not quite. No sense in starting something he could finish. He grinned at Olivia and flicked the brim. She looked at him with those big brown eyes, and he melted. Again. The woman had the most remarkable effect on him. She smiled and said, “Behave.” He took her hand, and tried to pay attention to the lake.

    The children from F Cabin were preparing for the Calling of the Fishes. Thank the stars they weren’t his students this summer. They were the most unruly batch of brats at camp, and they were led by Nixie’s niece Mellie and that rotten kid, Jeremy Sunclocke. Their instructor, Madame Wandbranche, complained about them nightly at dinner. Last night she announced, “I give up. They have no desire to stick to my lessons, although they seem endlessly enthusiastic about creating their own curriculum. Oh well, as long as they are learning, I’ll just referee the fights, and keep them from blowing up the campground.” The camp instructors had all agreed that it seemed like a sensible approach. Professor Bruin regaled them with the story of The Year the Evil Wizard Tried to Impose His Will on Summer Camp, and nobody wanted to see that disaster replay itself.

    The breeze from the lake was cool and pleasant after the heat of the day. The sun was low and gave the scene a golden light that made the greens greener and the sand mellow. Mellie in her bikini and a cape made of a very large beach towel stood in the prow of a canoe – Jack wondered if her balance was magically enhanced, but didn’t want to use the energy to Look yet – while that sex fiend Jeremy rowed her to the center of the waters. On the shore, around a small campfire, their cabinmates sat chanting and sending energy to the pair. Mellie had a flair for showbiz, like her aunt. It certainly looked dramatic and important.

    Mellie raised her hands in the air, and began to sing. Jack pulled a pair of earplugs out of his pocket, and stuffed them in his ears – he wasn’t taking any chances with a Voss family singer – and offered a set to Olivia, who waved them away. Oh well, it probably was an unnecessary precaution, but he held her hand tighter, anyway.

    Ripples headed to the canoe – the carp, the bass, and all the little fishes of the lake seemed to have heard the Call. They piled upon each other, and pushed the canoe to the top of the water – Jeremy stabilizing things with his oars, and Mellie wobbling but never in danger of falling into the cold lake water. Jack could see the audience clap – indeed, it was very well done. But Mellie was not finished, and Jack could see the puzzlement on the instructors’ faces. Perhaps now was the time to Look.

    Jack gathered the meager summer energies that he could, and took a Look – and could See a pattern of minor magics bidding the fish to come in a beautiful geometric pattern that seemed to form an upside-down horn under the canoe. The net spread through the surface of the lake, and was gradually lost in the depths of the water, but it was not something one would expect a dozen kids to be able to create. He followed the Threads back to the students on shore who were providing a steady line of energy to Mellie . . . and saw that campfire’s energy was covering something even more powerful. A small burst of energy, like a neutron star, smaller than a walnut. What on earth could it be?

    A huge roar erupted from the lake – a gigantic lake monster, perhaps some prehistoric cousin to Loch Ness’s famous inhabitant, was attracted by the call. And by the Looks of things, it was drawing upon Mellie’s accumulated magic, and making a spell of its own.

    Olivia looked panicked. “I . . . I can’t move!” she mouthed at him. Jack checked his own mobility – it was fine. Perhaps the earplugs had kept him from being affected, but all the other instructors and students in the stands were stuck in their seats. Thom, one of the directors of the camp, gestured toward the campfire. Of course. It would have to be fire. Jack’s biggest weakness.

    There was no time – the sea monster seemed to target Mellie and Jeremy as the most likely evening appetizer, and was swimming quickly towards their canoe. Mellie and Jeremy also seemed stuck to the wooden boat.

    Jack grabbed that ridiculous hat – how he had loved that thing, the short time he had known it – and rushed to the little fire and beat it out. He could feel the burning heat sucking away all his little remaining powers, and he could no longer See. Fortunately, the ring that was causing all of the problems was now visible. He fished it out of the ashes with a stick, and used the last of his powers to start the Warding that would contain the magic. Smart kids, stuck though they were, they began chanting and feeding him with power, and he channeled it to the warding. They got off the ground, and surrounded him, as if he’d Called, and sealed the spell with a flourish.

    The instructors scrambled off the bleachers, and ordered row boats out to the lake – but Mellie and Jeremy, now unfrozen, had things well in hand and were beating the sea monster with their oars. Deprived of its power source, the sea monster slipped away into the depths of the lake again.

    Olivia and Nixie reached Jack at about the same time, but Nixie was faster – she threw herself in Jack’s arms. “You saved my niece!”

    Jack gently disengaged himself and double-checked his earplugs. “You’d better go check on her,” he said.

    A grim look crossed her face. “Oh, yes. This little surprise was not part of the plan.” And Nixie stalked off towards the shore.

    Olivia watched her go. “I don’t like her. She’s up to something.”

    “She’s always up to something,” Jack said. He looked at his blistered palms with dismay. At least he hadn’t fainted from the proximity to the fire. Olivia took his hands, kissed them, and traced some little healing frost patterns over the top of them, just as he had shown her to do the first night they’d met. Gorgeous, talented little witch.

    He sighed, and looked at the ring in the sand. Magical rings turning up out of nowhere never boded well. He’d better take the nasty thing to Thom and the rest of the directors.

    • I love this Michaeline. What a fun story.

      Have fun at your farewell party and good luck keeping the mosquitoes at bay. I seem to be a magnet for them; must give lavender oil a try next time I’m out.

      • Thanks!

        The lavender oil (pure stuff) really works for me — you can dilute it in a little water as a spray, or just put it on exposed skin. As long as you are not allergic! We have lavender farms here in Hokkaido, so I usually buy local. But if you get it from a health store or whatever, ask them if they have Lavendula augustifolia — it smells nicer than the “official” lavender to me. Sweeter, and it seems to work just as well.

        So . . . shall I push ever so slightly for your story? LOL! Ignore me if I’m being pushy.

        I’m going to tell you, this story is in my WIP world, but it’s not going to make it into the book. However, it was a useful exercise, and has given me some different ideas on how to present the climax. These kids keep showing up! (Mellie and Jeremy) But I can’t quite figure out how they fit into the Big Story. I guess there are musicals out there with the Main Love Story, the secondary love story . . . but tertiary? Still, I think the Girls in the Basement are telling me that the Puppy Love is really important in this story.

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