For my regular readers, these are some special posts this week as part of a pitch contest I'm providing feedback for. My normal musings will return next week.
For participants, welcome to my blog! I'm happy to host you and excited to see what kinds of stories you've written. Please remember that only the author of this piece and the participating judges are supposed to comment. All other comments will be deleted.
We're Team Fluttershy! Because here on Balancing Act, we're both quite sweet unless you provoke us, in which case, we are terrifying.
You can check out other teams on the other hosting blogs: Rena Rocford (Rainbow Dash), Kathleen Ann Palm (Rarity), Elizabeth Roderick (Discord)
______________________________________Title: The Camp
Category and Genre: Adult SciFi
Word Count: 94,000
Three hundred years ago, the colonies of Drea and Baile were established, safe havens for the people when their home planet died out. Two hundred year ago, Drea went silent. Ten days ago, missiles rained down on Baile.
As a prisoner of war, twenty-four year old Celia does not make it to the work camp before she has her first run in with her captors. Beaten for using the restroom without permission, separated from the young charge she has sworn to protect, and ogled by the guards during her first shower in weeks, Celia is terrified, angry and lost. But she rejects an opportunity for an easier life in camp because it means accepting, even supporting, the Drea in their conquest. Better food and an easier job are not worth that price.
Then a chance conversation reveals Celia’s ultimate fate. The Drea plan to send her and all the other young women to breeding houses. Spending the rest of her life as a brood mare for the enemy is a future that she will do anything to avoid. When she receives an invitation to join the resistance, it’s the opportunity she has been waiting for, escape and the chance to deal a blow to the people who took everything from her.
The problem: the resistance is led by a traitor, a Bailen soldier turned Drea stooge and the man who abandoned her during the invasion. If he betrays her again, Celia will face public execution.
First 250 Words:
There is only one rule and it is strictly enforced: Stay in your seat.
But Oona’s squirming has become increasingly frantic. It’s been hours since the guards have been through and, with no one to grant permission, a trip to the train car’s single restroom is out of the question. At least it is until the little girl starts sobbing with the pain of holding it. Despite knowing her for less than a week, I can’t bear to watch her humiliate herself.
I decide to risk it.
Horrified stares follow us as we hustle down the aisle but no one says a word. No one dares, even as I stand outside the door, waiting for her to come out. And once she’s done, I place her in the only empty seat nearby while I take my turn.
When I come out, she’s gone, her empty seat a hollow gap that draws me in. The three people remaining in the section don’t look over. They continue to stare out the window, riveted to the monotonous landscape that flashes past.
“Where is she?” I ask the woman who had been sitting next to Oona.
“We sent her away. They could have come through and she would have caused trouble.” I have to stoop low to catch the words.
I would like to ask her how much trouble a tiny, frightened child could possibly make but, when I look at her, the words crumble in my mouth.