It is the morning of day 11 and I am checking in from just behind the mark. As of midnight on day 11 I am at 16,155 words. That is just behind where I should be for day 10. Every day I am getting closer to being back on track. I do most of my writing at night so there is a good chance I could catch up today. Here is a chart of my word count:
The one thing I have noticed about this year’s NaNoWriMo is that I have been moving around between sections. Instead of writing chronologically I have opted multiple times to work between chapters and have found that it has actually helped me get around the writers block that has occasionally popped up.
Here is another excerpt from the first chapter:
Sergeant Jensen pushed Abdul Kalida forward. Stumbling he turned around and grunted something at her in Arabic. It sounded harsh despite the fact I didn’t speak the language.
“Kalida move it.” I quipped quietly. It was night out and I didn’t want my voice to carry.
My words earned me a glare from the sergeant. Inside my head I told her that I knew she was a strong soldier but it was still my responsibility to control the detainee.
“Jasp, ov…” Before Sergeant Fowler could finish his sentence there was a crack and Kalida’s head exploded.
There was a delay as I dove to the side but it was only moments. Two of my team members dove away two but Taylor Jensen stumbled back a step and toppled to the side.
“Cover me.” I shouted to my team. Each one of them had USP pistols in their hand and immediately started scanning the roof tops.
Without thinking I ran out, crouched, into the road. Sticking one hand underneath her arm and grabbing her shirt collar with the other hand I pulled her out of the street.
“Flick, the door.” I said pointing out a door to a closed bar.
Sergeant Fowler came up behind me and kicked the door to the bar in. Shots rang out down the alley and I saw dirt start to fly where Sergeants Espinoza and Ren were standing across the street. They opened with their USP’s. That was only as much attention as I payed it as Fowler and I pulled Taylor into the bar. By now I didn’t need to search her for the wound, blood was starting to come out in her upper chest. I didn’t need to be a doctor to know this wasn’t good.
“We are pinned down Jasp, could use some help.”
Fowler started to say something but I interrupted. “Go, get them in here.”
Fowler left my side and I heard his USP open up. Ren came running through the door, his boots screeching as he came to a stop and returned to the door to help Flick cover Espinoza. I knew all of this in my head. We had trained so hard that I didn’t even need to look.
“Jasper.” Her voice was weak but I could hear it.
I looked up at her face, keeping pressure on the wound. We were in civilian clothes, not combat gear. I didn’t have a med pack.
“I… I love you.”
The voice she used, it was soft but succinct. Instantly I knew that she wasn’t going to make it. I had lost people over the years and a few of them had used that same voice before they died.
“I love you too.” I said back to her. “I knew we shouldn’t have done this.” I whispered.
“I don’t regret our relationship.”
Starring back into her eyes I knew she was telling the truth. I also knew that we might not be in this position if we hadn’t had this relationship.
Taylor’s arms reached up and grabbed me. They were weaker than normal but they were still able to pull me towards her.
“Don’t regret it.” She whispered in my ear as she hugged me. “I know you will blame yourself.”
I pulled her into me. Her arms went loose. A single tear ran down my face and my skin tracked it as it rolled down my neck and got absorbed by my shirt.
“Jasper, we need you.” Fowler’s voice sounded as if it were in a fog. “NOW.”
Looking up I saw him standing in the door. His face was grim. He had obviously watched Taylor pass away in my arms. I set her gently to the floor and grabbed her gun from its concealed holster in the waist of her pants. I also grabbed the three magazines that were in her back pocket.
“Status?” It was more gruff than I meant it.
“Very low on ammo sir. We have at least four shooters at the other end of the street. They were staying put but now they are advancing towards us. We have to move.”
“The extraction point?”
“Exactly what I was thinking.” Fowler nodded.
“We can’t leave her behind.” He nodded again.
After handing Fowler two of her magazines I put one of Taylor’s arms over my shoulder and lifted her onto my shoulders.
Carrying her I moved just inside the door. Fowler looked back at me and we nodded to each other. He jumped out onto the street and opened fire. I hurried down the street as the others moved behind me.
One of them let out a scream of pain but Fowler yelled to continue on. One of the other members of my team probably took another bullet. It couldn’t have been serious or we would have stopped to cover them while we aided them.
As we moved the dirt packed road around us blew by. At some point the shots stopped but I lost track.
A hand clamped down on my shoulder as my vision started to go blurry. I spun despite having Taylor on my shoulders, ready to try and fight but after blinking I found myself facing Fowler.
“We are here Jasper.” He grabbed Taylor off my shoulders and set her body down next to me on the ground.
“Jasper, I don’t know what to say.” Sergeant Espinoza said as he walked up to me.
I fell to the ground next to her, not out of sadness but out of weariness. I had carried her for several miles on my shoulders. Closing my eyes I took a few long breaths. Then I remembered the scream.
“Who was shot?” I asked.
“Me LT.” I heard Ren say from somewhere behind me. “I am okay, it just grazed my arm.” I didn’t turn my head. My whole body already ached.
Thwump, thwump, thwump, came the noise of helicopter blades cutting through the air. In less than ten minutes a black military helicopter had landed in the clearing we had been sitting in. It took only a minute for us to get on the helicopter and for it to get back in the air. We were in the air and on our way to our base of operations.