A small time-travel-ish scene tidbit(Urban Fantasy)(939 words)[so far]


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Thread: A small time-travel-ish scene tidbit(Urban Fantasy)(939 words)[so far]

  1. #1

    A small time-travel-ish scene tidbit(Urban Fantasy)(939 words)[so far]

    I relayed the time to Bruce. Bruce's eyes looked skyward a moment, or maybe into his head. He started mumbling things under his breath. I heard random words like 'under two days' and 'bubble' and 'is it safe?'. Finally he seemed to decide on something and yelled, "I have a solution!"

    I squinted my eyes at him and he simply said, "Do you trust me?"

    "No," I replied, "But if you got an idea I'll hear you out."

    He started chewing on his fingernails. Either he was nervous, or he couldn't figure out how to put his plan into words. He cried out in frustration and grabbed me by my shirt. Suddenly the sun was in a different position in the sky and we found ourselves in the shade of two big school buses. The noise of a hundred screaming children filled the air. "Bruce, what the hell?" I asked.

    "We went back in time. Well, not technically. We're phased out so we can't interact, only observe." He motioned for to be quiet. A black sedan pulled up to where we were standing. I had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by it. I was about to curse out the woman behind the wheel for not looking where she was going when I realized I knew the driver.

    It was Raegan.

    * * * <=== this is actually a chapter break between 5 and 6

    I stared in disbelief as my wife stepped out of the unfamiliar car.

    Where the hell did she get a coupé? I looked the black Mercedes-Benz over as my wife stepped out of it, wondering how she found the money to pay for it. I certainly didn't buy it.

    My wife walked around the front of the car and stood between the two busses. She called out my daughter's name and the scene played out for the third time in front of me, except this time in full color and in three dimensions, but this time I got to see what happened after Laila went out of range of the camera. As an added bonus, I could hear their conversation too because I was standing right next to them.

    "What are you doing here mommy?" Laila asked innocently. I probably wanted to know the answer to that question more than she did.

    "Your father has to work late princess. I thought I'd take you out for dinner, just you and me."

    Did I say that? I puzzled over that tidbit of knowledge. I certainly didn't remember saying I was going to be late for dinner. Hell, I didn't even know I was going to be late until I was.

    Laila, however, perked up at the mention of eating out. It was a luxury our family could rarely afford. "McDonald's!?" she shouted questioningly with childhood excitement. I chuckled while my wife looked down at her, eyes narrowing.

    "That's hardly considered eating out, princess." Raegan chastised, waggling her finger. "I was thinking something a bit nicer and a bit more filling, like an all-you-can-eat-buffet."

    Laila's eyes lit up. "Yummy!"

    "Just get in the car princess and we'll go right there," my wife said gesturing toward the coupé.

    "Who's car is that?" asked Laila.

    That's my daughter.

    "A friend let me borrow it," Raegan replied, not missing a beat. Laila believed her answer as easily as I did because she shrugged and went to the back door of the coupé, opened the door, threw her backpack and fairy wand to the far side of the seat, and hopped in. I walked around to the back of the car, desperately wishing I could get in the car and find out where they went to, but Bruce had said this was a bubble, so I had to take what I could get. I fished my backup cellphone out of my jacket pocket and turned it on, the several year old, black and grey Nokia taking forever to boot up. I had barely gotten into the screen I wanted and hammered out the license plate of the Mercedes on the numpad by the time the car came to life and drove away.

    I jumped back as the car behind her drove right through me. Being phased out can certainly be creepy. I tabbed through my contacts, picked the one I wanted, and hit send.

    "I sent the plate number to Beth, hopefully we can get a trace."

    Bruce ran up to me with a panicked look on his face. "You did what!?"

    "That wasn't my wife's car. I sent Beth a text asking her to trace the owner of the car."

    "Yeah, you sent her a message," Bruce retorted, "Two and a half days in the past!"

    I looked at the date that read Oct. 31 in the corner of my phone. Realizing the implications, my eyes widened. "Great Scott!"

    "What did the message say Richard?" Bruce asked looking up at me seriously.

    "It-" I replied stuttering. "It just said 'Can you run this plate?'."

    Bruce thought for a moment. "We should be ok. There was nothing in there telling her about the future, and its only two days. If she happens to tell the other you about the trace you might be confused, but I'm sure you can just ask her about it later.

    "So no time paradoxes?" I confirmed.

    "I don't think so, but turn your bloody mobile off."

    I hit the button with the red off icon and watched the screen go blank then turned to face him.

    "Sorry... So how do we break the bubble and get back to our own time?"

    "It should be as simple as walking out of the bubble. Inside the bubble it is October 31st, but everywhere else it's November 2nd.

    ***

    Haven't posted here in a while. Been busy, then too busy not being busy while on vacation. While on vacation however I had a lot of time to think about this story. Granted I probably could have been writing, but really bad sunburn caused me to not like the prospect of doing much. This scene was originally supposed to just start a backstory chapter about Bruce where he talks about his past while waiting for the time bubble to 'pop' when it catches back up with real time. But on vacation I thought of something much neater. The main character in the book has Multiple Personality Disorder. He lost a day and a half when his one personality took over. I thought it would be so much more fun, if, without changing what actual plot I had planned, the bubble actually broke but they were stuck two days in the past. That way they not only had to dodge paradoxes, but a) had more time to find his kidnapped daughter and b) had an opportunity to mess with his alternate personality by showing up where he knew she was going to be. I'm giddy with glee about writing these next few chapters now, just thought I'd share the setup scene.

    EDIT: Thought I should just note that I have posted scenes from this book before
    this is in order in which they happen. first is the beginning of the book, then it skips to chapter 3, then the third one is in ch4 which happens soon after the second link. These were earlier copies. I have revised them since, other than the one that says 'first chapter revision' that's recent
    http://www.writingforums.com/fantasy...-revision.html
    http://www.writingforums.com/fiction/116331-first-page-attention-grabber-urban-fantasy.html
    http://www.writingforums.com/fantasy...-language.html
    Last edited by Razzazzika; July 21st, 2011 at 04:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Hey Raz (for short I guess)

    An interesting idea you got here. I really like the idea you have explained at the bottom of the extract and it makes me eager for your next post. But before that, there are a few things I'd like to point out with this one.

    There's a major lack of description in this scene. I have no idea what the area around the characters is like which makes it difficult for you to engage the reader. I would include more description about the surroundings. I don't think I ran into any thing I could picture in my head vividly until the part about the phone. I'd advice more description of that type just to help readers picture where you are writing about.

    'It was Raegan.

    * * * <=== this is actually a chapter break between 5 and 6

    I stared in disbelief as my wife stepped out of the unfamiliar car.'

    I think in this part you could swap the words 'Raegan' and 'My wife' around to give a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter. Obviously as I havn't read the other chapters i'm limmited here, it might be just as effective to use Raegan if I'd read the other chapters, but as an extract by itself I would swap them.

    I also notice that you use italics alot, which isn't bad, just something for you to think about.

    A great idea though and a real nice opening few lines which grabbed my attention.

    Looking forward to it should you post more.

  3. #3
    Yeah, since it is the end of chapter 5 and the beginning of chapter 6, the scene isn't set very well for this blurb. I set the scene earlier in chapter 5, and Raegan was introduced in chapter two or three I forget, so the reader by this point would know who she is. As for my italics, I'm aware. I use them for two things: interior monologue and stressing certain words.
    EDIT 2: This edit made after I posted the links in the first post-> Raegan was introduced around the "first page attention grabber" well, shortly before, but if you want to see a bit more of that you can read that blurb.

    EDIT: Setting the scene wasn't THAT long of a description, so I'll just post it. It's still not complete, because he saw the scene initially on a security camera, but roll with it for now. This was IMMEDIATELY before my first post. But of course, it warrants another explanation. The downfall of posting blurbs further into the story. Jacob is one of two of the main character(Richard)'s personalities. He's the more cooperative one. Each of his two personalities can cast magic. Jacob's involves lightning/electricity. It will take too long to explain the in-depth nuances.

    --------

    I walked along the sidewalk in the direction of the security camera trying to pinpoint the correct angle. I'll love Jacob forever for what he did next. He used his incredible hologram magic to overlay the security camera footage over the real surroundings. Suddenly I was surrounded by dozens of phantom yellow children. It was the exact scene I had seen minutes before. It even impressed Bruce. I could tell because he muttered, "Whoa," under his breath. Jacob didn't need to highlight Laila this time. I knew exactly where to look. I ran to embrace my daughter but caught only air, after all, she wasn't really there. My breath caught in my throat as I watched her stand in line.

    "That's your daughter, eh?" Bruce commented. I nodded. "Pretty little thing she is."

    I couldn't help but laugh at that. My eight year old daughter was actually quite taller than Bruce.

    I watched as the scene played out again. Laila stepped out of her place in line and walked between the two buses. I followed her but she disappeared. I turned to see that the whole scene had vanished behind me.

    I sighed, "This is all I have to work with."

    "The bloody hell is it?" came Bruce's confused reply.

    "Holographically enhanced security camera footage... Don't ask." I walked around in circles around where my daughter's specter vanished. I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for. Eventually I just squatted down and gave up.

    Bruce was the one to offer up a solution. "Something happened here right? This is her last known location?" he asked.

    I nodded, not sure of where he was going.

    "What was the timestamp on that security... hologram?"

    Jacob?

    3:55 p.m. Thursday October 31, 2013. Was Jacob's immediate response.
    Last edited by Razzazzika; July 21st, 2011 at 04:18 PM.

  4. #4
    Hi Raz,
    since you were kind enough to have a look at my stuff I thought I'd have a look at yours.
    The problem with coming in half way is I have no clue as to what I am supposed to be picturing in my minds eye. Is it one person holding a conversation with alternate personalities? Or two people conversing somewhat cryptically but in the normal fashion?
    Somehow you have done the trick of engaging my interest. What are you going to do next?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bazz cargo View Post
    Hi Raz,
    Is it one person holding a conversation with alternate personalities? Or two people conversing somewhat cryptically but in the normal fashion?
    Haha. Sorry about that. I did mention the main character had multiple personalities, but Bruce isn't one of them. For a while Richard thinks Bruce is, because no one can see him but Richard, but that's because of a misfired spell that caused Bruce to erase his entire existence from the face of the planet. The reason Bruce is tagging along with Richard is because he's the first person in three years to see him.
    I thought I had given Bruce enough visual cues to denote that he was an actual person...
    Bruce's eyes looked skyward a moment
    and
    He started chewing on his fingernails. Either he was nervous, or he couldn't figure out how to put his plan into words. He cried out in frustration and grabbed me by my shirt.
    were both in the opening paragraphs of the blurb... Hard to do that if he were an alter, but oh well.

    EDIT: In the second post, that little italicized bit at the end, that was Jacob, one of his alters.

  6. #6
    I finished up chapter 6. Well, I'm not sure if I REALLY want to end the chapter here. 6 pages seemed a bit short, but it was a good stopping point for now I figured i'd at least share the rest of the scene with you.

    -----------------------------------

    "Alright, so let's go."

    "No, no, no," he hastily cried. "You first. Once I leave, the bubble will collapse most likely crushing you into infinitesimal nothingness."

    I glared at him. "Good to know."

    I took a deep breath and looked at the world beyond the bubble. The school busses had filled and were just beginning to file out of the loading dock one by one. Nervously, I took a few steps forward and was instantly blasted back by a very strong, and very painful force. I hit the ground forcefully near the other end of the bubble. I barely heard Bruce mumble, "Well that's not right..." before I lost consciousness.

    * * *

    When I awoke, I was already sitting up straight, legs crossed as though I had been meditating. I was sitting directly across from Bruce who was sitting on his knees. I knew I had been out a long time, because night had fallen, but because of the external lights on the school, I knew we were still trapped in the bubble.

    Bruce was the first to talk. "You really have to be more careful of falling unconscious."

    "It was your damn time bubble that knocked me out!"

    "Well, yeah, I know that, but when you lose consciousness your alters have free roam of your body."

    "What!?" I screamed, scurrying to my feet.

    "Yeah! Me and Jacob were yakking it up and having a good old time. Played a few rounds of holo-chess we did."

    I relaxed a bit knowing it was Jacob who took over and not Jennie, but the prospect of either of them being able to take over at any point if I lost consciousness did not settle well with me.

    Relax, Jacob reassured me, I have been protecting you from the day we were trapped here. If I weren't here, Jennie would have taken over the moment you first went to sleep.

    I let that bit of news sink in while I asked Bruce my next question. "So why didn't the bubble break when I tried to leave it?"

    "My best guess? Wild surge."

    "A wild... what?"

    Bruce smiled. "It's what I call it when one of my spells has an undesired.. side effect. It's a Dungeons and Dragons term."

    I raised my eyebrow at him. "I never figured you for a nerd."

    "What? Even wizards need to escape from reality sometimes. I can't be a seven foot tall half-orc barbarian in real life now can I?"

    I rolled my eyes and got the conversation back on track, "So basically you're saying the spell should have worked, but since it 'surged' we're, what, trapped here?"

    "At least until time catches up with itself... I hope."

    "You hope? That's not very reassuring."

    "Yeah, well, it's the best I got," Bruce said throwing his hands up in a resigning gesture.

    I turned my head to the sky and gazed at the stars, or what little of them I could see this close to New York City. Life wasn't so bad on Long Island. <insert contemplations on Long Island>(I want to expand this a bit more after I actually get to VISIT long island, I've started trip planning hehe)

    I took my phone out of my pocket and Bruce sprang up screaming, "What are you doing!?"

    "Relax!" I assured him, "I'm just checking the time." I turned on the phone and after the delay the screen displayed 9:32 in the right hand corner. I barely had time to read it before the phone rang. It was so unexpected that I dropped the phone, and upon realizing my folly made an awkward attempt to try to catch it. After unsuccessfully juggling the phone three or four times I hit it too hard and it went skidding across the parking lot. I quickly ran after it and picked it up, all the while the phone continued ringing. I snatched it up an pressed the talk button without first looking to see who it was and said, "Hello?"

    "Rich?" Beth's voice was distinct on the other side of the phone. I then cringed as I remembered I wasn't supposed to be talking to her.

    "Oh, hi Beth," I said, casting my eyes away from Bruce. He looked as though he wanted to strangle me.

    "God Rich, I just heard... How are you holding up?" she asked, concern in her voice.

    "I'm fine. Good as I can be in this situation I suppose."

    "Everyone here is doing everything they can to find Laila."

    Bruce walked up in front of me and started making some odd gestures with his arms. He circled his right finger with his left then moved his left to the other side of his right and opened his palms in a flourish. I had no idea what he was doing so I turned my back on him and continued the conversation.

    "Yeah... well, so am I. Did you get a trace on that plate?"

    "Rich... I'm talking to you as a friend when I say: whatever case you're working on, drop it. Your daughter is more important right now and you were about to step into something much too dangerous."

    I didn't like the sound of that, but I had to press her for Laila's sake, but I had to tread carefully.

    "They may be related," I said as calmly as I could, trying not to relay too much of my anxiety over the phone.

    "Impossible," she replied adamantly.

    "What makes you so sure?"

    "Because the car is registered to Tony Torrino."

    My heart sank. Him again? What was with this guy and what could he possibly want with my daughter.

    "So, you see, it couldn't be connected," she continued, "because unless you recently pissed him off he'd have no reason to go after you or your family."

    My eyes widened. Oh no. Thinking it over, however, it didn't add up. Laila was picked up by Raegan(or at least someone who looked very convincingly like Raegan) before my meeting with Tony T. So unless he knew in advance that I was going to do something, I was back to square one for motive.

    Beth noticed my long silence and said, "You... didn't piss off Tony T. recently... did you Rich?"

    I swallowed a big gulp of air. "Um... Earlier... Today... I kinda busted up his office trying to get a ring back for a client."

    "You did what!?" she yelled, loud enough that I had to pull the phone away from my ear.

    "Look, he didn't kidnap Laila because of me. I saw him at 6:30, Laila was kidnapped around four: that's a good two and a half hours before I even met the guy!"

    "Then why do you think that car has something to do with the kidnapping?"

    I wanted to slap myself for what I let blurt next. "Security camera footage at the school."

    "Wait..." she said, "Is that where you are? I thought we already looked the tapes over and couldn't find anything."

    I sighed. "Yes, I'm at the school."

    Bruce ran around to my front and started waving his arms in a 'not cool' motion. I waved him off.

    "How did you get the tapes this late?" she paused, then changed her mind, "You know what I don't want to know. Is there anything else you need?"

    "Yeah... Anything you can dig up for me on Tony T. He set up our last meeting place, but I need to know where I can find him without him knowing I'm coming."

    "Rich..." she protested, but I cut her off, "Beth... I need this."

    "Okay, she resigned. I'll talk to you in a bit."

    I hung up the phone and Bruce practically exploded on me. "Are you fecking blinkered? It's still fecking Halloween you divvy!"

    "I'm aware of that fact, thank you," I replied calmly.

    Red in the face, Bruce continued yelling, "Then why the feck did you just have a five minute conversation with some totty that just caused a fecking paradox, huh?"

    "We're still here, aren't we? I can't have screwed things up too much."

    "Didn't you just tell me that until the night you met me, you were the prime and only suspect in your daughter's case? You just gave them another suspect. What happens if they never take you to the police station tomorrow? What if you never go to the bar and meet me? Then we'll never go back in time in the first place and the police will never get that evidence and..."

    I laid my hand on his shoulder. "Dude... relax."

    As he was catching his breath, I noticed something odd. I had chased my phone quite far away from where the time bubble's outer edge used to be.

    "Uh, Bruce..." I started to say, pointing past him.

    "Oh yeah, that's the other thing. It seems the incoming signal from your cell phone popped the time bubble. Thanks to you, we're stuck in the past."

    I big smile came to my lips. "Perfect," I said, turning my cell back on.

    "What are you doing?" Bruce once again protested.

    "Making the most of my extra time," I said and re-dialed Beth's number.

    When she picked up I said, "Actually, I think I'm going to need a ride..."
    Last edited by Razzazzika; July 20th, 2011 at 10:07 PM.

  7. #7
    I get where we are now. Looking forward to more.

  8. #8
    WF Veteran Winston's Avatar
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    This 'time bubble' device your characters are using...

    I the beginning, one of the characters had to jump out of the way of a car. BUT, they are in this 'bubble' where they can't interact with the past. Then, he makes a call where we are lead to believe that the signal has left the 'time bubble', and was received by Beth. And later she calls him.

    Nit-picky, yes. But if you are to make rules for your story, your characters must follow them. Either the 'time bubble' is isolated from real space or it isn't. If there is an exception mechanism, the reader needs to know what that is. The "time bubble was popped" only adds to the implied inconsistency.

    BTW: Have you already addressed the issue of the Nov. 2 characters meeting their Oct. 31 selves? There's a whole bunch of Laws of Physics issues involved, including conservation of matter. Good luck on your story.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston View Post
    This 'time bubble' device your characters are using...

    I the beginning, one of the characters had to jump out of the way of a car. BUT, they are in this 'bubble' where they can't interact with the past. Then, he makes a call where we are lead to believe that the signal has left the 'time bubble', and was received by Beth. And later she calls him.

    Nit-picky, yes. But if you are to make rules for your story, your characters must follow them. Either the 'time bubble' is isolated from real space or it isn't. If there is an exception mechanism, the reader needs to know what that is. The "time bubble was popped" only adds to the implied inconsistency.
    Two different things were happening there. Sure, they could not physically interact with the world because they were phased out, but the time bubble LITERALLY sent them back in time. The cell phone signal is wave-form and operates differently than physical matter. Should I have explained this more?
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston View Post
    This 'time bubble' device your characters are using...
    BTW: Have you already addressed the issue of the Nov. 2 characters meeting their Oct. 31 selves? There's a whole bunch of Laws of Physics issues involved, including conservation of matter. Good luck on your story.
    I'm using the 'Back to the Future' method of time travel. There will be two of them existing simultaneously and they have to take care to a) dodge their other selves and b)avoid paradoxes(which Richard already failed at)
    In fact, I have written a fun scene, where Richard, damning paradoxes for revenge, goes to the diner where he knows his alternate personality is after having taken over his body and has a 'chat' with her. Which confuses the hell out of her to say the least.(I don't think it creates a paradox, because he has no memory of the events that took place while his alter was in control)
    Last edited by Razzazzika; July 22nd, 2011 at 02:01 PM.

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