I LOVE writing the start of a story. Before the last month, I have never sat down and worked at writing an actual book, but I have written DOZENS of beginnings of books. In fact, if you pick up a random notebook on one of my bookshelves, the odds are pretty good there is a couple of handwritten pages of the beginning of a story. I have done that for years.
The following excerpt is one of those beginnings. I just worked with it a bit this week, to clean it up and expand it. Any of you that know me, should be able to recognize the inspiration from where this story line came from....and yes, the Major will be Katya's love interest in the book (if I ever write anything else on it.)
Katya peered up at the huge security gate as they approached the Ft. Bragg checkpoint.
Overwhelming…the gate appeared at the edge of this massive army base like a Jersey tollgate, but instead of grumpy tollbooth guards, each station was manned by a very young soldier holding a very large gun.
Katya looked at her escort, Capt. Neil Pierce and whispered, “Do they actually know how to use those?” gesturing at the very big black guns being held by, what appeared to be, baby-faced 12 year olds.
Capt. Pierce chuckled, “Ma’am, not only do they know how to use them, they won’t think twice about shooting someone who tries to run through this gate without stopping.”
A shudder wracked Katya’s body as she thought about what that meant. “Let’s just wait for our turn nice and easy, right Captain?”
“No problem, ma’am. I’ll take care of you. Believe me; it’s very rare for us to have problems at these security gates. Almost everyone in these lines of cars does this every day. We are all very familiar with the procedure and how to approach the gates.”
Katya tried to joke about her nervousness, “I’m sorry. This is all so foreign to me. It’s hard to believe that I was actually born here.”
“You were born in Fayetteville, ma’am?” the Captain looked at her questioningly. There was no mistaking that she had a Texas drawl.
“No, I was actually born on Ft. Bragg, at the hospital here. But my Dad retired about a year later and moved us to West Texas to work in the oilfields. My two older brothers, who are a lot older than me, grew up surrounded by all of this.” She said, waving her hand towards the massive gate. “They grew up with the nomadic life of exotic destinations like the Azores and Germany. Me, I just knew Texas, until I started working as a professional photographer a few years ago. I have been all over since then, but this is nothing like anything that I have ever seen before.”
Captain Pierce looked at her speculatively. He was simply her escort onto the base, but this was something usually done by an Airmen, not a Captain. She may not have any ties to the military any longer, but he would bet that her father, whoever he was, still had some significant pull or else she wouldn’t have had a Captain serving as her escort. It also helped that she was working on General Compton’s pet project to rejuvenate the 82nd’s battered image, after the PR mess they had suffered a few months ago.
Not that escorting this beauty was any hardship. She could have easily been a model herself. She was tall, about 5’10” with long, thick auburn hair that was pulled back into a ponytail. She had high cheekbones, riveting green eyes that took in everything, and legs that went on forever in her nicely fitting jeans. She was also really nice. He had enjoyed chatting with her on their way out to the base.
He just hated that he was going to have to turn her over to Major Cole Davidson. Cole had issues. He had good reasons for those issues, but there wasn’t anyone who was saved from his wrath when he got into a mood and lately, he had been in that mood pretty much 24/7. He just hoped that Cole didn’t chase Katya off before Neil had a chance to get to know her better.
These are my words so you are not allowed to copy, alter, or re-print them anywhere else without my permission. ;o)