And at last we see the light! This Thursday’s post is last year’s NaNo project, a story I called Mirage. Though it d efinitely could be be...

Throwback Thursday: NaNoWriMo 2013

And at last we see the light! This Thursday’s post is last year’s NaNo project, a story I called Mirage. Though it definitely could be better, I think we also see a bit more maturity in both the writing and the concept.

So read on, and hopefully, this won’t be as tortuous as the last two weeks.


Chapter 1


The gun goes off and I smile. Bullseye.

Dad comes over and grins, too. “Great shot, Ry. You've really been getting good.”

I grin back, wider now. “Thanks, Dad.”

My father kind of nods and half smiles. But before he can add anything else, a loud voice interrupts. “Ryker! Ryker!”

“Out here, Amos!” I call back to my brother. Dad turns around and goes back inside, while I turn back to the target, cocking the gun again and putting my eye through the crosshairs. My vision cuts off, like I'm half-blinded. I can see nothing but the target. Cock the gun. Pull the trigger.



I turn to Amos with a glare. “You made me miss!”

He squints at the target. “It's on the second ring.” He shrugs. “Better than what I can do, even when my meds are working.” He smirks and shrugs again. “Can I have a go?”

I shrug, too, handing the gun to Amos as he moves on to the target beside mine. For once, his hands don't shake. He holds them study as he looks through the crosshairs. Aims the gun. Cocks it. Pulls the trigger.


“It's a bullseye, you jerk!”

He laughs. “So it is, so it is.” He ruffles my hair. “Come on, you didn't think you'd ever actually beat me, did you, little brother?”

I roll my eyes. “I got a bullseye, too, you know.”

He looks at the target. “Luck of the draw.”


“Oh yeah?” He hands the gun back and points to another target down the line. “Prove it.”

I take the gun and walk over to the other target, Amos following on my heels as closely as a puppy. I feel him on my shoulder, breathing down my neck as I lift the gun and aim it. He's breathing too close. I can't concentrate with him right there. “Amos! Back up like two steps, could you?”

He takes two tiny steps back, still smirking at me and I look away. He's doing this on purpose, but I can't let him bother me. I lift the gun again, aim. Fire.

It's off, but just by a little. Still, it's not a bullseye.

I don't want to turn around and face Amos, but what else can I do? He's hiding a smile, but not very well. “Told you so.”

“Well, you only got one. So I could say the same about yours.”

He nods very, very slowly, in that deliberate way he has sometimes. “You could, couldn't you?” He holds out his hand for the gun, and I hand it back.

“How many bullets are left?” he asks, as he takes my place several feet from the target.


He smiles. “Perfect.”

The gun goes off in rapid succession, bang, bang, bang, three short, separate pops. But when he lowers the gun, and I look at the target, there's only two holes. Mine and his. One for my off-shot. One for his three bullseyes.

I shake my head. “I hate you.”

He frowns for a moment, but then he laughs. “Keep practicing, Ryker. I'm going inside. Got a class.”

I nod, watching as he slips off the protective glasses and the headphones that protect our ears, but let in just enough sound that we can hear each other, and start collecting the gear. It's great to have him back, after so long of the schizophrenia taking over him. But it's been two years since he was diagnosed, and he's done a lot better in this past year. So much better that it's like he's actually my big brother again.

I really missed that when he was “away.”


Whaddya think? As always, I welcome constructive criticism, even beg for it every once in a while. So, please, hit that comment button, let me in on your thoughts, and I shall see you Monday!

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  1. I find it a fascinating opening scene, although I have to admit, when I first started reading I thought that Ryker was a girl (and also I was thinking about Star Trek). I don't think it has to do with the name, though, so much as my personal experience—the scene isn't something I would do with my dad but I could envision my dad giving me the same kind of praise. So I suppose I could congratulate you for immediately setting me in the scene, even if I got the character mixed up.

    I also think it's good characterization, although I feel like you kind of gloss over the schizophrenia. And obviously, you'd go into detail later, but for the purposes of the current characterization we're a little bit trapped with a scarcity of details. Of course, maybe that's just me.

    Regardless, it was an awesome opening scene—definitely an interesting mood to be setting.

    1. Thanks! I'll keep all that in mind when I go back to edit! :)

  2. Hiya, Alexa! :D So, um, I've nominated you for two blog awards, which you can find here!

    And this was definitely a lovely piece of writing - I got a feel for the characters right away!

    1. Thank you so much! And I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D

  3. I loved the dialogue. It's very natural and realistic. I wish dialogue came that easily for me! Good job!

  4. Really interesting opening scene. I don't see schizophrenia mentioned too much and I love the names of the boys. I agree with Mariella that the dialogue is really natural and I love that it opens at a gun range. I love doing target practice since I grew up with my dad and uncles being a bunch of hunters. It brings back old memories. There are a few spots where I think it could be smoothed, but the concept definitely interests me. :) Good work!

    Stori Tori's Blog

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! And that's so cool! If you don't mind, I might pick your brain a little when I go back to edit, seeing as I don't actually know very much about guns.

    2. You're welcome. And sure. I'll share what I know. :) Ask away when you're ready.


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