17-11-2022 - KC: The Farmhouse #10 19-11-2022 - KC: The Farmhouse #12

KC: The Farmhouse #11

18-11-2022 - 1 year ago - 5m 25s


I'm still a bit surprised that yesterday's writing session went so well, even better than normal. I'm going to throw it around a bit more next week to test other situations: writing in public, longer/marathon sessions, writing later in the day,… Who knows?
Storywise: I decided to hide the tractor from Derrek's view. Instead, he spotted some stacked hay and a spotlight in the field. I will foreshadow the tractor for the readers (big crude machination). I like these moments best in reading where you know what's coming, but you're still eager to see how it plays it.
One big but: I promised not to rewrite anything in this draft, so I just noted this down for now. I'm afraid that once I begin editing, I'll just keep going. I added a note in the story itself too, so it is visible where this change occurred.

Picking off from Derrek at the edge of the orchard, where he's guessing where the pumpkin guy could have gone to. Going forward with him NOT knowing there's a tractor there, but you do.


Session 1 - Time: 30m - Words: 560

I don't like it, this seems like a trap. There ain't a lot of spots he could hide back there though, in the haystack or else he went a whole lot deeper. It doesn't seem like there's anything beyond it, the spotlight is blocking a lot though. I could try circle round.
Derrek followed the orchard row further away from the farmhouse. He walked for a good hundred meters and checked again. He still couldn't see more. The spotlight ate away his further sight. As long as I'm not walking straight in the light, he shouldn't be able to see me either.
He passed through the final row of [fruit, apples or pears?] trees, passed the muddy road and stepped onto the mowed fields toward the stack of hay.

NEW CHAPTER - Mowed field

The ground was way looser than he expected. The mud road had been slippery, but the ground was pressed together from all the passage. The field's ground was fully loose from the harvest. He pressed his foot down and it sunk a bit deeper as soon as he put some weight on it. Damn, this is hard work. Even worse than walking loose sand on a beach. His progress was slow. Only after a few, what once had been, rows, he got the hang of stepping on the ground that hadn't been split open. The occasional misstep still had him flinging his arms around to keep his balance.
He had his flashlight and rubber gun at the ready, he really didn't want to hit the mud with those. Slow and steady. That light is really annoying, can't see anything except the hay. Derrek was within fifty meters of the stack now. Going straight at it, would put him fully in the spotlight. I'm already visible from afar probably. Don't have to make it worse. I'll circle it from the left to see what's at the back.
His night vision was all ruined from the spotlight, with eyes pinched he tried catching glances from beyond the stack.
A tiny glint, some light passing through the stack which seemed to reflect on a glossy surface. There's some— oh, snap! With his focus fully on the dark, his left foot slipped forward through the mud. He went full helicopter arms, keeping both his fingers pointedly away from any buttons and triggers, found a spot with both arms up in the air and was able to regain his stance. A laugh escaped him as he imaged the sight he must strike: half split, arms up, gun and flashlight in hand. I'd be fired if anyone saw me waving my gun like that. Better take it even slower.
A blinding light flooded over him. It came from beyond the hay stacks and sounded like one of the big floodlights from a stadion. Derrek's left arm dropped a bit to block the bulk of it. He blinked a few times to get most of the blinding effect out of his eyes but still couldn't see with the light in his eyes. He ignited his flashlight.
The glint he had seen shone bright now. Metal knives, interspersed in different directions. About a hundred-thousand he counted in the fraction of a second. Oh, hell no. You gotta be kidding me.
The sudden sound of an engine starting, confirmed his suspicion. The metal contraption of death was attached to a big green tractor.

Session 2 - Time: 30m - Words: 480

Seated on that green machine, mister pumpkin. He can't be serious, this is not a joke anymore. The engine made a sputtering sound as the metal knives started spinning slowly. Derrek aimed his rubber gun, knowing it was still a hell of a distance. He pulled the trigger any way. Over the sound of the engine, the sound of the pressurized gun firing, was lost. He pulled the trigger again and again, until it clicked empty.
One hit, he was sure of it. He saw the pumpkin head shake. He pushed the gun in its holster, hand going to his other gun. Should I go with live bullets? The thought went through him and froze him, even while standing some fifty meters from a machine that could slice him to strips of bacon. Am I going to shoot a kid? Really? The thoughts flooded him, newspaper articles with his name, parents in tears, a gravestone with two dates that had only passed not so long ago. He felt his stomach turn.
The tractor's steer turned too, as it shifted into gear. Holy shit. Derrek turned away from it and started stumbling through the mud. The tractor was slow, but so was he. No way, he can't be serious. His hand still on his real gun, he knew he could make the shot if he was a bit closer.
"Stop!" Derrek shouted. He barely heard it himself over the sounds coming for him. The orchard and the road is too far off. The rows are the sturdiest part, if I follow them, I can run maybe a bit faster. Derrek put all his focus on the ground, with his flashlight he could make out where to follow the row.
He ran, slipped, slipped some more and ran. A glance behind him pushed another spike of adrenaline through his body. It's gaining on me. Fuck. He slipped again, and stumbled forward, only barely keeping himself from going headfirst into the mud.
Not like this. No way. He shone his light in front of him.
To his left were the barn, the farmhouse and further the livestock pen, down too many rows of the field. Too far.
To his right, even further away than the farmhouse, were more unmowed fields. Also too far.
In front of him was more field, except, there! Further down the row and two rows to his left was another stack of hay, only three stacks, but enough.
The sound was closing in. With his heart beating at 2500 beats per second, through his chest, throat, feet, pinkies, and ears, Derrek ran down row. He came almost perpendicular to the haystacks when he jumped a row to his left, the machination was within 5 meters of him now.
He didn't dare looking back. He jumped another row, but slipped the landing. The haystack was just one more jump away.


Woops, ended on a cliffhanger there. I like this approach with the tractor hidden way better. It puts Derrek into a genuine dilemma: would he shoot a kid? (with real bullets) Even in a life-threatening situation, I think this would stop anyone in their tracks. That's a bridge too far.
I've also been thinking of drawing up some simple maps for each chapter, to give a tiny sketch of where Derrek is. I love maps in books and I think they could help a lot for positioning here too. Let me know what you think; is this clear for you or would you like something visual as well?
Thanks and enjoy your day!

See next post: KC: The Farmhouse #12

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