Rewrite of prologue for Helix


As a new writer I value the input of other writers new and experienced, readers as well. This is the rewrite for my prologue, I am very proud of it. Thank you for taking the time to read my work!

“Mr. President, can I have a moment of your time?” Mrs. Pickett knows he wont listen, but she has to try one last time.

“Yes, of course. Give me five minutes gentlemen,” the president says to those near him. “I will meat you in my office.”

The President is very busy these days. Planing a war, making sure as many people as passable are safe deep under the earth’s surface, all while keeping the peace would take a lot out of any man. He would have little time for his family if they where still home, he barley eats any more, five minutes is a lot to ask of him.

Grace, this isn’t the best time, the Secretary of Defense is waiting in my office. You are supposed to be in the Washington colony bye now.”

“I know, that’s why we are here, this office has bin empty for months. I had to come and say good bye, I had to…..”

Tears are starting to well in her eyes, her words stop short. He takes a handkerchief from his breast pocket dabbing at the tears gently.

“I know, I’m going to miss you too. I can’t go with you, no matter how many times you ask. My place is here. Our country needs me. I love you grace, but I can’t go.”

Fighting back tears of his own, trying to be strong for her sake, he holds her close and kisses her tenderly. They melt into each other, unwilling to let go, wanting this moment to last for ever.

“If you stay you could die, I don’t wont to live in a world without you. If we don’t win the war, I’ll never see you again. I’ll stay here with you. I’ll die, I don’t care as long as we are together!” She realizes she has raised her voice to much. Regaining her composure, she takes a deep breath.

“Don’t worry about me, Grace, I’ll be fine. We will win the war, and then we can be together again. Just give us some time.”

He lies to her knowing The united stats is out matched. He will go down fighting. “If that’s true, why can’t I stay with you?” She knows her makeup is running, she can’t hold the tears back any longer.

“Grace look at me.” He grabs her chin, gently turning her head to face him. “You know I love you, that is why you can’t stay. Put my mind at ease Grace and get into the Washington colony before the doors close. With you there safe I can concentrate on my job, and when it is all over you can come back to me.”

“I will go my love, just know I leave my hart with you.”

They kiss, a long and passionate kiss, reluctant to let go of one another. He gives her his monogrammed handkerchief to whip the tears from her eyes.

“Hold onto it Grace, you can give it back when I see you again.”

Kissing him one more time, she straitens her jacket, smooths her hair,  goes to the door. She stops for just a moment with her hand on the nob, but she knows she has to go. If she hesitates any longer, she will stay. She needs to make it to the colony in time.   He stands in the hallway watching her leave, his hart pulling at him to fallow her. He knows he will never see her again, or his wife and kids, but it is his duty to stay and fight, to die like a true soldier.

*        *       *       *       *       *      *

Jim, I miss the kids.” she is crying, it seems like she is always crying.

“I know Nora, I do to. But they’re safe with your sister in the colony, we are lucky they got in.”

Jim holds her as they watch the news. They always watch the news about the war. Some call it World War III.

“Things are worse Jim, I’m afraid we wont see them again.”

“Maybe not, but it is better for them with Grace. With her we know they will live and have families of there own. If they had stayed with us,  they wouldn’t be safe.”

“I know, I herd what the President said. What if he is wrong, what happens then?”

she starts to sob quietly, without control. She wants  her babies home, her life back the way it was before the war, her family hole.

“Then they come home and we can be a family again. You should be happier Nora, they are safe, if the President is right our children live.”

“And if we die Jim, how is that fare? We won’t be there for them, watch them grow.”

“Its not fair, Nora. There wasn’t room for us, we are lucky they let your sister take the kids.”

Nora stands and walks to the window, rubbing her locket between her fingers. She opens it to look at the photo of her children. Closing her eyes she can see her daughter dancing and singing into a brush in her room upstairs, her son playing baseball with his father in the back yard.

On the TV a man says, “The President gave no comment today when asked about a possible nuclear retaliation after….”

Jim shuts the TV off. The ground and walls start to quiver, then shake violently.

“Jim, you have to come see this. There’s bin an explosion.”

Jim never made it to his wife’s side. He didn’t see the smoke rise high into the air in the shape of a massive mushroom. Never saw the gray smoke and fire glowing red, orange, and yellow. He didn’t see buildings falling as the shock wave hit them, ruble flying as fires ignited. Jim can hear screams all around him, he can hear Nora only feet away, loudest of all are his own screams before everything gets quiet, dark, and goes blank.

Jim and Nora are the lucky one’s, it was over quickly for them. People further away survive long enough to know what’s happened. Further still, they live to feel their insides die. To get violently sick, maybe grow tumors, their skin pealing off burned and charred. But still they die.   The unlucky live for some time, their bodies change horribly before dying. A few do live, the ones in extremely remote arias. What is to become of them is hard to tell. Radiation seeps deep into the ground, nuclear winter consumes the planet, the earths future bleak and uncertain.


About artfulhelix

I'm a mother to three beautiful boys, 8 years, 2 years, and 1 year old, all there birthdays in April with mine (very busy month). I am a wife to a wonderful man who supports every thing I want to do. I have 10 piercings and 11 tattoos, more tattoos coming soon. I am an artist, painting, tattooing, sculpting (haven't done that for a long time), poetry, and a few small crafts. As an artist I felt writing was the next logical step for me. I am enjoying every minute of it, writing, blogging (never thought I would blog), and critiquing. I not only want to talk about my book and the writing proses, but art in general in my blog. I would like to share a poem I wrote a few years ago, but is so me. I came up with it when a very old woman came up to me on the side walk and said " Do you know you are going to hell?" laughing a little inside I said "No, why am I going to hell?" "Because you have desecrated the lords temple with all your piercings and tattoos!" She looks so serious when she said this. I said "I'm not desecrating, I'm decorating!" well that made her mad of course, and she stomped off. later I wrote this: You look at me that way in disgust and disdain I’m pierced and tattooed I must be insane But who are you to judge when you kneel down and pray Just because our beliefs are not the same We are not so different you and I for we are all the same when we die This is nothing against religion, merely about judgment in general. Can't wait to share more of what I love and who I am.

6 responses »

  1. Good job starting “In Medias Res”. There’s nothing more boring that having once upon a time little Old Mrs. Smith … blah, blah, blah. Action right up front! 🙂

    However, I noticed some typos:
    – Did you do this on purpose or is it a typo? “I will MEAT [meet] you in my office.”
    – I think you meant “possible”? — “as many people as PASSABLE [possible] are safe.”
    – Did you mean “by”? — “colony bye [by] now.”

    Also, a suggestion on this paragraph:
    “The President is very busy these days. Planing a war, making sure as many people as passable are safe deep under the earth’s surface, all while keeping the peace would take a lot out of any man. He would have little time for his family if they where still home, he barley eats any more, five minutes is a lot to ask of him.”
    I think what you are trying to say would connect with readers better if you “Show” this. Show a memory or something the President does of him being busy, how he tries to keep as many people safe as possible. Readers will only trust what you are saying if they can *see* it. It’s like asking someone to believe you can fly without showing them.

    Does that make sense? Am I being too harsh? I hope not — to the latter. If you want, you can check out my writing and editing tips on my blog to help your writing. Good luck and keep going 🙂

  2. Pingback: Prologue for Helix first half rewrite « artfulhelix

  3. Pingback: Writing a novel : My improvement on Helix « artfulhelix

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