#WriterinMotion Week 5–Final Version

Like the old adage, all good things must come to an end.  And this #WriterinMotion experience has been wonderful for me and my 23 writer friends. But before I say goodbye, I’m happy to post my final version of my adult mystery short story, Light My Fire. My 1038 words have been trimmed down to 867 words.  I’ve kept some of my own writing and took suggestions from my editor friend, Jeni Chappelle, from her 737-word version in make it tighter. I have a screenshot version of it of the first page to show you comments from an editor to make it sound like you.  I did have fun writing Adrienne’s mini story and can’t wait to write it next year for Camp Nano in April 2020. Some of my writer friends are going to be my betas for it to tell my story. One of friends, Paulette Wiles, wants “more” of the story between sassy Adrienne and cocky Sebastian. So I’m going to give it to her next year! I can’t wait.


Here’s my screenshot of the first page to show you Jeni’s commnets on how she helped me make it tighter down below. Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 1.12.59 PM   And here’s my final version of Light my Fire.  Stay tuned next week on a wrap-up with my thoughts and feelings on WIM and how to apply you for your writing adventures too.

Adrienne Sinclair sprinted past the Point Reyes Shipwreck sign and headed to the charred fishing boat. She snapped a shot with her Iphone’s camera to capture the moldering beauty of the landmark against the starry night. The Pacific Ocean lapped in the distance, carrying its secrets with seaweed and seashells in the foamy tide.

Her sturdy boots clunked on the deck. She shone her penlight around the splintered wood from aft to starboard and flicked on the blacklight feature. A path of faded dried blood led to the galley. She held her breath as she stepped closer to the crew rooms.

A looming shadow moved toward her from the bow. “Adrienne, what are you doing here?”

Her ex-partner in crime, Sebastian Pruitt. She groaned. She wanted nothing more to do with him. “Bastian!” What was Sebastian doing here of all places?

Sebastian cursed out loud. He’d hated that nickname when they were together. “The same as you—claiming the prize.”

“Get out of my way. Or I’ll call the cops on you.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Shouldn’t you be locked away?” As far as she was concerned, he deserved to rot for the rest of his miserable life. Once a con man always a con man.

Adrienne scowled. Since when they did release his sorry ass?

“Released a month ago for good behavior. I’ve served my time.” He smirked. “I’m here to help you find the letters.”

“Help? Why would you want to help me?” She didn’t trust him as far as she could throw him. “You’ve lied to me in the past. I don’t buy it.” Adrienne stepped away from the crew rooms toward the staircase to go below deck.

He pointed his flashlight in the same direction, closed the distance to her, and fingered a strange of her sandy blond hair. “Come on, Rennie. I know what you’re after.”

“Ha!” Every bone and fiber of her body cringed. “We’re not a team anymore—professionally or personally.”

“I know where it is. Let me lead the way.”

“What are you talking about?” Adrienne asked. A wind chilled her as she went downstairs to the mid-cabin.

“Starry Night.” He led the way and found the locked safe. “Aren’t you a bit interested in why someone set this boat on fire?”

Adrienne didn’t blink. She wasn’t going to bite. She spun the dial to twenty-nine then to seven. “Not really.”

“I have the combination for the safe. Your last number is wrong.” His dark blue eyes widened with obvious delight. “I can read your mind so well..”

Little did he know the surprise she had for him.

To prove him wrong, she spun the dial to fifty and pulled the knob. Nothing happened. It was stuck. She cursed and tried again. She kicked the safe. “Damn you!”

Sebastian laughed out loud and shook his head. “Told you. Let me work with you on this. Trust me.”

She shot red-hot daggers at him. “Why would I?”

“Because we work well together.”

“Not anymore.” She rubbed the back of her neck and sighed. “All right. What’s the last digit?”

He folded his arms across his chest. “Ninety. The year Van Gogh died. Try it.”

She rolled her eyes. Why didn’t she think of that? Adrienne rotated the dial to ninety and yanked the wheel. It clicked open. She removed Starry Night and searched the matting for a bulge. “How did you figure it out?”

“You learn a lot in prison.” He grinned and crouched down. “Including a new interpretation behind the story of this painting.”

“What? Van Gogh was in an asylum when he painted it.”

“True.” Sebastian lifted the artwork and flipped it to the other side. He snatched her flashlight, and in a slow, careful manner, she the light around to the middle of the matting. “But rumor has it, Van Gogh contemplated escaping this world. Failure at love and art and in life…”

Adrienne gasped as Sebastian found a slit opening in the matting.

“He wrote letters to his brother Theo and Dr. Rey. They were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum. Never made it to any biography. It remained hidden in there.” He pointed to the safe. “It’s all in this loot.”

“So what stopped him?”

“The guards.”

A knowing smile formed across her lips. Those purloined letters could make her a ton of money. So how did this boat go up in flames? How is It connected to Van Gogh? “And what happened to the boat?”

“Engine failure caused the boat to go aflame, leaving them shipwrecked here.”

I bet you had something to do with the arson and the theft. She grabbed a stack of missing letters.” How else would you know all this?

He laughed. “I was in prison, remember.”

“The San Diego PD told me about your prison break” .She stepped away from him. “And I know your penchant for starting fires.”

Sebastian cursed.

“You’re busted!” Adrienne revealed the taped wire on her chest. “Game over. You’re going back to prison.”

When the three police officers took Sebastian away in handcuffs, a slow smile formed across her face as she left the boat with the letters and the painting.



2 Responses

  1. You’ve managed to tighten this up so well!


  2. Love the bantering between these two! Sneaky little Adrienne. I’m a bit confused why her internal musings express surprise to find him at the scene, but in the end, she reveals she knew it all along by trapping him with the recording wires. But I’m sure you’ll get it all hammered out next year during Nano. Best of luck to you and your story, Kristen!!


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