Writing Wednesdays & A Writing Sprint link up

Because I’m a writer & storyteller and enjoy weaving words together into tapestries of stories both real and imagined, I’ve dedicated Wednesdays to my novel writing. I am currently working through the revision of a story about a young man named Daniel who embarked on an incredible quest based on a series of dreams he had involving people he’s never met.

And because writers need to hone their craft, I’m adding a new weekly feature: the Writing Sprint link up. The Writing Sprint link up will appear at the end of the weekly post and provide a writing prompt that encourages you to freewrite for 15 minutes without the alleged help of your inner critic. No overthinking. No stopping. No editing. No worries. No inner critics. Daily writing exercises help writers grow, improve and free their writing. The only rule is that you must leave a comment for the person who linked up before you. That’s it. Other than, free yourself from your doubts, your fears and your inner critic and have some writing fun with us!

serving God & others through writing
serving God & others through writing

Chapter 5: It’s What’s Inside

The door to the pilot’s cabin opens and there stands Jonas.

Daniel leaps to his feet and strides toward him. “Where’s Peter?” he demands.

“I would guess that he’s at work about now, right?” Jonas replies. “Billable hours start early and run late.”

“He was here!” Daniel yells. “We drank together. We talked about changing the world.”

“That must have been a mighty fine dream, my friend.” Jonas squeezes Daniel’s shoulder.

“It was no dream!” Daniel shouts and pushes Jonas’ hand from his shoulder. “He sat right there, he told me this was his company’s chartered plane, he had my dad’s wedding ring on his middle finger.” Didn’t he? Daniel finds himself wondering. He thinks about all of his other dreams that were so vivid. So real. “He was right there.” Daniel points to the love seat. “Wasn’t he?”

He looks from Jonas to Sara and back.

“Wasn’t he?” His voice is barely a whisper.

Daniel falters slightly and drops into the closest chair, rubbing his temples hard. Sara hands him the water and two Tylenol. “You didn’t see him?” he asks her. “You didn’t bring us a bottle of tequila and buffalo wings?”

“I’m sorry,” she replies quietly. She touches his arm briefly.

He takes the pills and hands the glass back to her. “Thank you.”

Jonas smiles a big, warm smile. “Sounds like you miss your brother, Daniel.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

He turns to Sara. “Could I get the Pittsburgh paper? I wanted to bring it with me.”

Sara retrieves the paper and he scans the front page. Nothing but the usual stories on the economy and jobs and healthcare reform and overseas actions. Not a word about the Three Sisters being damaged in a freak, powerful storm.

“Where’s the paper with the story about the freak electrical storm?”

Sara stares at him for a moment then casts a glance at Jonas. “That’s the only copy I have on board,” she says.

Daniel stands. “None of this makes sense.”

“You will get answers as you complete each leg of your quest. Things do not make sense just now,” Jonas explains in a quiet voice, “but they will. Right now you are looking through a dark window, but soon there will be light enough for you to see how all of this is working.”

Daniel breathes out an exasperated sigh. “That’s nothing but more riddles.”

“Perhaps. But for now you must focus on your objective. Time is of the essence.”

“So you keep saying. Except I don’t have any idea what my objective is.”

“You will,” Jonas assures him. “I am here to point you in the direction you need to go to find the first of the ten people you are searching for.”

“Yeah. That’s another thing. Who are these ten people? Why do I need to find them at all?”

“That will become clear.”

“Of course it will,” Daniel says. He collects his things.

“You can leave your duffle bag here though you may want your messenger bag.”

Daniel slings his messenger bag over his head and checks to make sure he has his phone, grabbing it from the charging station (Sara’s idea that he make sure it was charged up before they arrived). He nods at her as he pushes the phone into his front pocket. It gets caught on something and he searches his pocket. He fingers a cold metal ring and strongly suspects it is the one Peter was wearing.

“Ready, Daniel?” Jonas watches him closely, studying Daniel as if he can read Daniel’s thoughts.

He remembers taking the ring from Peter earlier. When Daniel came back from the bathroom, Peter was sleeping and he held the ring between two of his fingers. Afraid Peter might drop it, Daniel took it and put it in his pocket, planning to return it to Peter when he woke up.

So, he was here, Daniel thinks.

“Daniel?” Jonas narrows his eyes.

“Sure. I’m ready.” He pushes the phone into his other pocket and heads for the door.

“So where am I going?” He looks hard at Jonas, who hands him a photo with an address printed on the back. “This is it? Just show up at his door and say what, exactly?”

“You’ll know when you arrive.”

Daniel shakes his head. “Whatever, man.”

He stalks off the plane and heads into the airport. He studies the face in the picture and wonders why it seems familiar. Does he know this guy? Then he remembers the ring. He pulls it out and slides it onto his middle finger; it fits perfectly and he twists it a couple of time for good measure. Right before finding the ring he considered punching Jonas square in the mouth and heading back to Boston. But now. Well, now he needs to figure out what happened to Peter.

He checks his phone. It’s about noon, so still plenty early enough to track down this guy’s address and maybe look around Pittsburgh and see what he can find out about this quest, about Jonas, about the electrical storm or about Peter. His phone buzzes. It’s Isabel. There’s still three hours before he’s supposed to arrive at the airport, so he ignores her message.

There’s a crispness to the day and he can feel fall seeping into the air around him. He’s glad he’s got a jacket and zips it up. He takes a deep breath, breathing in the smell of the leaves, of the fall around him. He’s always loved this time of year and he remembers times he and Peter sat outside on the front porch watching the leaves swirl around the front yard as they planned where they’d live once they left their parents’ house. A nostalgic wistfulness settles on him with each memory and he pushes it aside. He needs to focus.

He sits down on a bench and calls up Google maps on his phone and plugs in the address from the back of the picture. It’s somewhere downtown. Pretty close to one of the three bridges, actually, so he heads off to an ATM and gets some cash and then hunts down a cab. He’s curious to check out the bridges and grabs a paper on the way to the cab line.

“Downtown,” Daniel tells the driver.

“Anywhere specific downtown.”

“Yeah. I’ll let you know in a minute. Just head that way.”

“You got it, buddy.”

Of course the paper is the same as the one Sara handed him just before he left the plane. And life in Pittsburgh seems to be moving at the regular pace of a back-to-work Monday.

He looks up at the cabbie. “I thought I overheard folks talking about some crazy electrical storm surge here last night,” Daniel says.

The driver glances at him in the rearview mirror and shrugs. “Nah. Weather Service issued some watches and we got some lightning, but it didn’t amount to much, ya know?”

“Right.” Then, “Around what time did the first watch come in?”

The driver shrugs again, shaking his head. “Don’t know. Sometime around two or three this morning? Why?”

“Just curious. I got a message about possible flight delays early this morning. Wondering if the two things were related.” This time Daniel shrugs even though his mind is working on the connection to the story he read and what the cabbie described. “So, hey, you can drop me at the corner of 7th and Taylor Street.”

“Sure thing.”

For the rest of the short ride Daniel scans through the pages of the paper quickly and sees little of interest until page 13. There in the community interest section is a picture of the guy he’s supposed to meet. He pulls the picture out to be sure. Yep, that’s definitely the same guy, Daniel thinks.

He reads through the story three times, trying to glean anything worthwhile. It’s basically a short write up touting the guy’s most recent marathon finish. At least now he knows the guy’s name. But what is he supposed to do when he meets this guy, this Michael Atkins? All he learns from the caption beneath the finish line photo is that the man is 67 years old and this is his 3rd marathon, his first being the Pittsburgh marathon just a few months ago, in May.

Daniel’s phone buzzes with a text message from Lucy. How in the world did she get his phone number? He clicks on the message.

“Hey, Daniel. This is about Peter so I hope you’ll read this all the way through. He was supposed to meet me at the airport this morning. That’s why I was on the shuttle.”

Another buzz and the rest of her message.

“He and I were supposed to meet at his company’s plane. He had a meeting in Philadelphia and then we were going to head to New York to catch a show and grab some dinner.”

Another buzz.

“He never showed up. Have you heard from him? If you do, will you let me know?”

Instinctively, he begins twisting the ring around his middle finger. He’s not sure what to tell Lucy and, even though his gut tells him Peter is okay, he doesn’t have any details for her. Besides, right now he needs to focus on Michael Atkins. He stands for a second on the front porch of the 1960s style bungalow and wonders again how he’s going to explain why he’s here. He scoffs slightly at the idea that he’ll just know when he meets him, but he knocks anyway.

No answer.

He knocks again and waits. Just when it seems like no one will answer the door, he notices an elderly gentleman coming through the gate at the end of the walk way.

“Can I help you?” the man calls out.

“Ah, yeah. I mean, yes, sir.” Daniel sees that the man is carrying several bags of groceries and heads down to help him. “Let me get that for you.”

The man lets him take two of the bags out of his hands. “Thank you, young man.” He smiles a genuine, warm smile.

They head up onto the porch and Michael Atkins unlocks the front door. “If you don’t mind taking those into the kitchen for me,” he says.

“Sure.” Daniel marvels at the trust the man has despite having just met him. And he’s pretty sure that he looks pretty disheveled from his plane trip and having not changed out of yesterday’s clothes. And he probably wreaks at least a little of tequila. He briefly wonders if the charter plane has a shower as he follows the gentleman into his kitchen.

“You can put those over there,” the man tells him and motions to the counter next to the oven. The man then proceeds to put his bags on the dining table, and turns back toward Daniel; he extends his hand. “I’m Michael Atkins,” he says with a warm smile, “but you can call me Mike.”

“Nice to meet you Mike,” Daniel replies, shaking Mike’s hand. “I’m Daniel. Daniel Martin.”

“It’s nice to meet you Daniel Martin.” He smiles again then turns back to the bags on the table. “So, what can I do for you today, Daniel Martin?”

“That’s a good question.”

Mike places a few more things on the table and turns to look Daniel in the eyes. “How’s that?”

“Well, it’s a long story.” Daniel smiles and averts his eyes.

“Ah. I see.” Mike turns and rummages through the bags, pulling out a skinny loaf of bread, some tomatoes, some cheese. He lays these on the table and clears the bags, then moves toward the cupboards where he pulls down some olive oil and several small plates. He looks at Daniel with a twinkle in his eyes. “A long story can only be told over a breaking of good bread and the sharing of some fine cheese. Oh, and, of course,” he pauses and pulls open the fridge, taking out two cold beers, holding one out to Daniel.

Daniel can’t help but smile when he looks at the label. Sam Adams.


Daniel and Mike sit down at the table that is now spread with sliced tomatoes, kalmata olives, sliced gruyere cheese and fresh bread along with a plate of olive oil and balsamic vinegar sprinkled with a special mix of herbs Mike created himself. Daniel is thrilled with the opportunity to eat something real. It’s been a little too long and his stomach feels slightly unsettled. Obviously, some of that is due to the tequila, but it didn’t help much that he hasn’t eaten an actual meal since yesterday morning. As hard as it is, Daniel waits for Mike to go first. Mike bows his head and whispers under his breath a moment and then looks at Daniel and invites him to dive in.

“So, tell me your long story,” Mike says, relaxing in his chair and dipping some bread in the olive oil and vinegar.

“I’m not quite sure where to start. It’s all a bit, well, surreal and strange. To say the least.”

“Well, you’re here and that’s a start. And we’ve got plenty of food in front of us. Why not just dive in.” Mike’s smile invites Daniel to start talking. For Daniel, it’s like sitting across from his grandfather, also a warm person always willing to sit and talk a spell. He loved to listen to a good story as well as weave one himself. It’s a gift that Daniel certainly inherited from him.

“You remind me of my grandfather,” Daniel tells Mike, then frowns. “I hope that’s okay to say.”

Mike laughs. “Absolutely. At sixty-seven, I could most certainly be your granddad.”

When Mike laughs, there is a familiarity to the sound. Daniel looks at him for a long moment. Really looks at him. The way his bright blue eyes crinkle up at the edges when he smiles. The way his smile crookens on the left side when he isn’t smiling the big warm smile Daniel has already grown used to. There is something familiar about Mike and yet Daniel has never been to Pittsburgh before.

“Have you ever been to Boston?” Daniel asks him.

“Afraid not. At least not yet.” He smiles and his eyes crinkle. “I’m planning to run the marathon up there, but I don’t know if I’ll be ready to go next year.”

Daniel nods. “That’s right. I read that you ran your first marathon just this year. Here in Pittsburgh.”

“That’s right,” Mike says with a bit of pride. “Turned sixty-seven in February and ran my first one in May.”


“Thank you.”

“Mind if I ask you why you did it.”

Mike pauses for a few moments, dipping more bread in the oil and vinegar and chewing thoughtfully. Daniel finds himself holding his breath and isn’t quite sure why. He edges slightly forward in his seat.

“Well,” Mike begins, “if you think about it, we’ve all got a race to run, you know. It’s set out before us and, well, mine’s closing in on the finish line in a lot of ways. My wife died last year, completely unexpectedly just after I retired. I’m entering a time of being able to give more and volunteer more.” He pauses and takes a drink, looking at Daniel over the bottle.

Daniel nods, leaning forward a little more.

“Anyway, I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to run a marathon, not just to run it, not just to challenge myself. But to make a difference. To run the race with a purpose that was bigger than me.”

“Room to Grow,” Daniel whispers, his voice barely audible.

“That’s right,” Mike says. He looks at Daniel quizzically.

Daniel looks at him intently. His face is more than just vaguely familiar now. Daniel realizes he knows Mike. He’s met him, talked to him, been mentored by him. In his dreams. “I’ve worked with you and Room to Grow.”

“I didn’t think you’d been to Pittsburgh before,” Mike begins.

“I haven’t,” Daniel agrees.

“Then you couldn’t have –”

Daniel interrupts him. “Remember when I told you it was a long story that was surreal and, well, strange?”

Mike nods and now it’s his turn to lean forward in his chair, his eyes more intense than they’ve been since Daniel first walked through the door over an hour ago. Before they’d chatted like old friends.

“Have you ever had an incredibly vivid dream? One where when you wake up you could swear it was real? Like you’d just lived what you’d dreamed. You met the people, you talked to them. You were there, wherever there is.”

Mike slowly shakes his head. “Don’t believe I have.”

“Well, I have. A lot and all pretty recently, like over the last six months. Dreams so vivid I can’t tell them from real life. They tend to involve people I’ve never met, but after the dream, I feel like I know them. LIke I’ve spent time with them, you know?”

Mike nods. “And you said these dreams happen often?”

“Yeah. Sometimes more than one a night and almost all of them are single dreams.”

“Single dreams?”

“They only happen once,” Daniel explains. “And then, I don’t see those people again. But there are a few dreams or people from those dreams who show up more often.”

“I see.”

“I sound crazy, right?” Daniel’s voice is hoarse, his throat tight, his breath coming in short bursts. He pauses a moment as he rubs his temples.

“No, son, you don’t sound crazy.”

Daniel looks Mike in the eye for a long moment. “Even if I tell you that you were in one of them.”


“And that’s why I’m here.”

“Go on.”

“You and Room to Grow,” Daniel croaks and nods. His mouth is dry and his throat so tight he can barely catch his breath. His eyes go dark on the edges and his head feels light. Daniel twists the ring on his middle finger. Doing this makes him feel connected to his dad, and for the first time in a long time, he wishes his dad were here to help him. Help him make sense of what’s happening to him.

Mike leans forward and grasps Daniel by the shoulders, holding him firmly. “Daniel,” he says softly. “Daniel, can you hear me? Are you okay?”

Daniel looks at him and nods slightly. Mike steadies Daniel against the back of his chair then gets up and pours Daniel a glass of water.

“Drink this,” he says, handing the glass to Daniel.

Daniel’s hands are shaking and Mike helps him guide the glass to his mouth.

“It’s okay, Daniel Martin. You’re okay.” Mike talks gently to him then sits down beside him, pulling his chair closer. “Why don’t you tell me what you remember from your dream and we’ll work it out together, okay?”

Daniel nods. Mike has that grandfatherly tone again and he finds it reassuring. He takes another sip of water and then several deep breaths.

“Room to Grow,” Daniel begins. “It’s a really cool idea. It’s something I wish I’d had access to when I started college, well, probably even before that.”

Mike nods. “Why’s that, Daniel?”

“I’ve always loved photography. Since I was a kid, you know? And I knew I wanted to do that, be a photographer. An artist, really. But I never really talked about it once my dad brought Lucy, that’s my sister, home for good. I was angry. And so much changed when I was a senior in high school.”

“Change is hard,” Mike agrees. “But it can be a good thing.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Daniel agrees. “But it certainly didn’t seem like a good thing at the time. Sometimes, it still doesn’t.”

“So, where would Room to Grow have fit in for you?”

“Well, I was a became more of a loner. Broke away from my friends, my family. Stopped taking pictures and started making trouble because I didn’t like what was going on. And Lucy was causing problems for my parents with her choices.”

They sit in silence for a few moments. “I think a creative mentor would have helped,” Daniel says finally. “Maybe I could have expressed some of what I was feeling with my camera.” He pats his messenger bag where his camera is safely stored.

Mike nods empathetically. “Maybe,” he agrees.

He takes in a deep, shaky breath. “You talked about how we’ve all got a race to run? Well, most of my life I feel like all I’ve been doing is running. But not to anything. Always trying to get away.”

As he talks, Daniel turns and twists his father’s ring repeatedly.

“We all feel that way at times, Danny,” Mike says.

“You called me Danny.”

“You look more like a Danny than a Daniel to me.”

Daniel smiles wistfully.

“I have no idea how or why I dreamed about Room to Grow. You just showed up one night. You and I were in line together at a coffee shop near the Rachel Carson Bridge, and you started talking to the barista about how excited you were about getting it started and this week was the real test. This was the week you were getting your first class of troubled teens who were going to get all kinds of exposure to the arts and opportunities to explore their imaginations and creativity.

“I thought it was the coolest thing I’d heard about in a long time. So, after you got your coffee and left the shop, I skipped my coffee and followed you. You weren’t put off in the least at being followed.” Daniel pauses and looks at him. “Sort of like today. You had no idea who I was or what I wanted but when I asked if I could help you, not only did you accept, but you invited me to follow you into your home. I was amazed at that kind of blind trust. Especially with how the world is, you know?”

“Maybe it’s not so much blind trust as a strong faith.”

“I don’t see the difference.”

Mike rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Maybe that’s why you’re here. To understand that difference.”

“Seems more like splitting hairs,” Daniel says.

“How’s that, Danny?” Mike asks.

“People are just so selfish. And mean, like to the point of violence. Personally, I don’t think I’d trust some guy  who looked like me, disheveled and in need of a shower, standing on my porch. And I certainly wouldn’t let him into my house.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Mike says. “I don’t think the world is so bad. A few bad apples and all that.” He laughs a long, deep laugh. “And after sixty seven years, I like to think I’m a pretty good judge of character. It’s more about what’s inside,” he says, looking at the ring on Daniel’s finger as he twists it around and around.

Daniel’s phone buzzes in his pocket. He pulls it out and sees another text from Lucy, one from Isabel and one from an unknown number. “Would you excuse me?” he says to Mike.

“Take all the time you need.”

Daniel steps out on the porch and sets himself on the weathered porch swing, falling into a comforting rhythm as he goes through his messages.

Lucy still sounds concerned about Peter: “I still can’t reach Peter. Will you let me know if you hear anything?”

As he swings, he wonders what he can tell her. He doesn’t really know much, only that he and Peter took off together this morning and now he’s gone missing. From a plane in flight. He composes a short message: “No word here. I’ll let you know if that changes.”

The next message is from Isabel. Actually there are three from Isabel: “Your plane touches down in less than 20 minutes and I can. not. wait. to see you <3”

Then: “I’m at the bottom of the stairs so I’ll be the first person you see :)”

Finally: “Where are you? Did you miss the plane? Is everything okay? Let me know. I’ll stay here for now.”

Daniel knows he should probably call her, but he has no idea what he’d say to her, so he opts for a text: “Hey. Sorry I didn’t let you know that I ended up catching up with Peter and decided to take a little longer before heading home. It was a last minute deal. I’ll call soon.” He hits send before he can change his mind.

He moves onto the message from the unknown number. He wonders if it’s from Jonas, and, if it is, why his messages never come in on the same number. If he didn’t trust him, he’d wonder what was up with all this stuff. That trust is beginning to wane a bit, though. It’s true that Jonas has been the single most repeat visitor in his dreams and that Daniel feels like he knows him as well as he knows anyone in his actual life, but that doesn’t take away the game of riddles he’s now playing. At least right now.

He opens the message. “Time is of the essence. We need to be heading on to our next destination at the end of the hour.”

“Seriously?” Daniel doesn’t feel like he knows anything more now than he did when he arrived. He calculates how long the drive to the airport will likely take so he can talk to Mike a little more before he has to get back to the plane.

Mike sticks his head out the door. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah.” Daniel moves over and invites Mike to join him. “I’m going to have to head back to the airport in a few,” Daniel tells him. Mike nods. “Can I ask you, before I go, why Room to Grow? How did you come up with the idea?”

Before Mike begins speaking, Daniel pulls out his camera and asks if he can shoot some photos while Mike talks. Mike agrees with a smile.

“Room to Grow,” Mike begins, “that would be my Marie. My wife. She had a heart for teens, especially troubled ones.” He seems to drift into his own world as he speaks. His eyes take on a brighter sparkle to them and Daniel snaps off several shots capturing him in his musings.

“And a supporter of the arts? You never saw such a fierce defender of funding the arts and for making sure kids had access to them as my sweet Marie,” Mike says. “She believed, rightly so, that art was a wonderful way to connect people. To themselves. To God. To each other.” He wipes his eyes just as Daniel clicks the shutter. That will be a great photo, Daniel thinks, lowering his camera to peer at Mike..

“Oh, she and I talked for years about how to put something together like Room to Grow.” He smiles at the memory and at Daniel.

“So, how does running marathons fit in with all of that?”

“The idea is two-fold. I recruit teens from various rehab programs or who are on probation and in order for them to be accepted into Room to Grow they need to commit to a rigorous training program with me. Not the running unless that’s what they choose, but something that challenges them, that makes them work hard and shows me they can stick with it. They are expected to work out every day, like I do, and they are expected to have something to show for it. I run 26.2 miles, they need something concrete: a journal, a project, hours of service. Something.”

“Wow. Pretty cool,” Daniel says, then adds, “I may not have gotten in.”

“Oh, I have a pretty good suspicion you would have.” Mike winks.

“Thanks,” Daniel says, and stands. “For everything. The food. The trust. For listening to my rambling crazy story and not calling in the guys with the nets.”

Mike extends his hand and the two shake. “I’ve heard crazier things in my life, Daniel Martin. Much, much crazier.”

“Maybe one day you can tell me some of those stories,” Daniel replies.

“I’d love the opportunity.”

“Thanks, again.” Daniel nods.

“Good luck to you on this quest.”

As Daniel approaches the gate, a black limo inches along the curb and idles in front of the house. Daniel shakes his head and turns to look at Mike. Deftly, he lifts his camera and captures Mike on his front porch bathed in the late afternoon light just as he lifts his hand in a quick salute.

“I don’t guess that’s here for you?” Daniel says.

“That’s got some style right there,” Mike replies. “Must be some quest you’re on young man.”

“Just another part of the strange,” Daniel tells him and shakes his head again, wondering if Jonas is here to escort him back to the plane. He waves one last time as the driver comes around and opens the door. Daniel climbs in and is physically relieved to find the car is empty. He melts into one of the seats and takes a deep breath, in, then lets it out slowly, closing his eyes and soaking in the silence. Absently, he twists the ring on his finger.

The driver tells him to relax and he’ll have Daniel at the airport shortly, depending on traffic. “And, not to worry,” he assures Daniel, “I know a few short cuts if need be.”

Daniel nods absently. It feels good to sit back and not think about anything in particular for a few minutes. He glances through the photos he took of Mike and selects his favorites.

“You got any decent tunes back here,” he asks after a few more minutes of flipping through his photos. The driver points him to a cabinet under the television. Like the plane, the limo is loaded with a state of the art sound system and thousands of playlists. He randomly selects one and hits play. Inside by Sting fills the car.

As the word, inside, repeats with each line, he has a flash of Mike saying it’s about what’s inside that matters as he stared intently at Daniel’s ring as Daniel twisted it around and around on his finger. He can’t help but wonder as the lyrics come around again and he slips the ring off his finger and peers closely at the inside. He can see a faint imprint of some kind and reaches up to turn on the light over his head. He brings the ring closer and squints slightly. There, he can see there’s an inscription. Slowly, he turns the ring and reads the words:

Beware the wolf that roams about

What? Daniel wonders. He reads it again and thinks there’s no way this could possibly be his father’s wedding ring. What sort of inscription is that? he thinks. Certainly not something you’d put on a wedding ring. He reads it several more times, wondering what it means.

Beware the wolf that roams about

He looks out the window and realizes they are not heading to the airport.

He sits quietly for another moment, taking in the scenic route along the river, and wonders if this is something Jonas arranged. In that moment, Daniel’s phone buzzes. Sure enough, it’s from Jonas’ unknown, unfamiliar number.

He opens the message and gets yet another surprise. It’s not from Jonas. It’s from Sara: “You should be in the limo right now, but, as I’m sure you realize, you are not going to the airport. Not yet. Sit back and enjoy the ride. I’ll meet you when you arrive at the extra stop and explain.”

Daniel slumps back against the seat and twists the ring a few more times, the ring’s phrase echoing in his mind: Beware the wolf that roams about.

Finally, the limo pulls up in front of a warehouse on the river. The driver opens the door and Daniel steps out to find Sara and Peter waiting for him.


This Week’s Writing Sprint: Secrets

Write a scene that involves a secret. Consider what’s at stake if the secret gets out and who knows or doesn’t know and why. Give us what you’ve got with as much detail and dialog you can muster in 15 minutes. And most of all, have fun. Free your writer from your inner critic.

When you’re done, come back and link up what you’ve got! And remember to give some encouragement to the person who linked up before you.


6 thoughts on “It’s What’s Inside

    1. I’ve started reading it and I love what you’ve done in just 15 minutes. And I love your site. Looking forward to future link ups!

  1. Everything keeps changing! I’m amazed that you have all this figured out in your head. All the twists and turns. One of my favorite lines, “Well,” Mike begins, “if you think about it, we’ve all got a race to run, you know. It’s set out before us and, well, mine’s closing in on the finish line in a lot of ways.”

    1. One of the ways that I keep track of it all is with a notes document that has character names and important details. And I have a rough idea of the basic story and some of the major plot points; but I’ve always been a writer who lets the characters decide the direction a story needs to go.

      Thank you for sharing a favorite line. I love to hear feedback like that.

      Question: how old do you think Daniel and Peter are?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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