What’s in a name? #BlogBattle Writing Challenge

#BlogBattle is a weekly writing challenge organised by Rachael Ritchey. You can find more information about it here. It’s a fun battle, and a supportive group – a great place to hang out! The theme this week is ‘EYE’.

I’m working on the third novel in my Morgan and Fairchild series. It is taking longer than it should to get back into the right headspace, so writing a short story using one of the characters really helped. Here is my contribution to the challenge. I hope you enjoy.

Andrew Butcher was stuck between a rock and a hard place. The hard being his buddy, Dom; the guy was one tough son of a bitch. He was also out cold and, judging by the head wound, would be for a while.

Andrew squinted into the dark, listening to the sounds of pursuit. He didn’t bother trying to radio for help, his team wouldn’t get to them in time; they were on their own. He glanced at the blood, which still trickled down Dom’s face; despite his efforts to stanch the flow. There was a nasty cut, running from Dom’s left eyebrow to the centre of his nose, dangerously close to his left eye.

Removing his helmet, Andrew slipped off the bandanna. In a few swift, decisive movements he secured it tightly around Dom’s head. The material covered his left eye completely, but it did the job.

That done, he angled his body beneath Dom’s and, gritting his teeth, Andrew stood. His muscles protested, a complaint Andrew ignored; though he did curse his friend to hell and back. He should have known their intel was too good to be true. Extractions were always the worst assignments, there were just too many variables. Now Andrew’s team was scattered, and his only choice was to try and make it to safety with a dead weight on his back.

The thought filled him with a sense of unease. If he didn’t get Dom out safely, it was on him. But at least they didn’t have to rely on blind luck. They had an exit strategy, one which helped Andrew to circumvent the enemy. His instincts didn’t let him down either, even with the heavy load.

After almost a mile with Dom on his back, Andrew finally began to relax; or his legs were feeling particularly free and loose. He paused to catch his breath. The darkness slipped around them like an old friend. Andrew was comfortable in the shadows. He used them now to lower Dom to the dry, cracked earth. It was either that or drop him on his head; Dom was thrashing like a fish on a hook.

“Jesus, Butch. I feel like I was hit by a truck,” Dom muttered.

“Try carrying one on your back.”

Dom snorted, pulling at the bandanna. “Is this your idea of a joke?”

Despite their situation, Andrew laughed. Dom’s nickname within the team was Cyclops, so he understood the reference. “Forgive me for wanting to keep the brains inside your skull.”

Dom grinned, waiting just long enough for the customary, ‘What brains?’ which they voiced at the same time.

Of course the moment was ruined by the arrival of their enemy.

“How you feeling, Dom?” Andrew asked, assessing the threat; only two of the men were armed.

“Like I could go another few rounds with that truck.” He didn’t pause for effect. Dom knew Andrew had his back, and would cover him. He engaged with the enemy before they even raised a weapon.

The man was a whirlwind and, even with the injury, he fought with a brutal kind of grace. His sharp focus, size and strength had earned him the name Cyclops in the field. Watching him in action, Andrew knew the only way he’d been able to carry him so far was a result of the adrenalin coursing through his system. Pure and simple. Dom wasn’t a truck, he was a tank, and he was pissed.

He made it look so easy, Andrew almost took a load off. Still, a part of him waited for the other shoe to drop – or Dom – one or the other. The big guy was swaying a little by the end. Not that they had anything to worry about now. Andrew could feel his team, moving silently towards them in the dark.

“Maybe you should carry me for a while,” Andrew said, when Dom turned in his direction.

Dom’s gaze dropped to the dark red stain on Andrew’s shoulder. “You’ve been hit.”

Andrew rolled his eyes. “Tell me something I don’t know. The bullet’s the least of my problems, I think you dislocated my shoulder.”

“More like acted as a tourniquet.” They laughed again, as Dom swung an arm around Andrew’s shoulders. “Let’s get the hell out of here, Sarg. This heat is giving me a headache.”

Andrew groaned. Not that it was the worst joke he heard on the way back to base. Cyclops was also king of the one liners.


Thanks for stopping by.




Love the combination of tension and lighthearted humor. 🙂

Brilliant! I’m really glad to hear we can expect another full length entry in this series in the future as well 🙂

I don’t participate in this, Mel, but always enjoy reading your contribution. I’ve often heard people write stories to develop their characters, but never tried it. You feel like it works well, hunh?

    I write my characters into short stories for a variety of reasons and I get something out of it each time. Sometimes it’s that I miss them, others, like this week, when I’m struggling to connect. Then there are times I’m being lazy and fall back on the familiar or when the characters don’t give me a choice 😀 I’m so glad you enjoy reading them. I’m struggling with my close protection team at the moment so this was really nice.

Great story. Love the lightness sprinkled throughout a tense situation. Made it flow well.

Mel, you make it seem so easy to write humor. I struggle with that aspect. You did it beautifully! ❤

Nice weave of tension and humour. Liked it!

I agree with so many of the comments, great way of mixing humor with fights and tension and some suspense. The brotherly feeling between the characters is also really nice and easy o grasp.

I love the who cyclops vibe! I agree with the other comments about humor and tension. 🙂 Great characters!

I enjoyed reading this. The characters are distinctive and you’ve given them a good mi of tension/seriousness and humour/light-heartedness :).

Love the Cyclops name! I agree with the others, the humor was a nice touch woven throughout. 🙂 I hope writing the 3rd book is going well, so far. The Blog Battle can be a nice writing diversion. I know I enjoy it for that reason and more. 🙂

❤ Loved these characters!! Great banter between them. I love a good action packed, tension laced story, with a few rough and tough men thrown in for good measure!! 😉

This flowed really well I found it engaging and well written, and humourous too.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

[…] What’s in a Name? by Melissa Barker-Simpson […]

I'd love to hear from you.

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q

Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Author, Horror, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Suspense/Thriller Short Stories & Articles

Jane Dougherty Writes

About fantastical places and other stuff

Julie Powell - Photographer & Graphic Artist

Creating & Capturing Life's Precious Moments

Author Don Massenzio

Independent Authors Unite!

Melissa Barker-Simpson

Multigenre Romance Author

Journey To Ambeth

by Helen Jones

Fiction by Rachael Ritchey

Escapades of an Indie Author & Publisher

Dr Gulara Vincent

Re-write your inner story to (re)launch your writing career

s o F a r S o S t u

Working It Out

Robin Gott

Artist, Actor och occasional blogger


Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman


Writing, the Universe and whatever occurs to me

Sincerely Kate

The Obsessive Blog of a Compulsive Pen Pal

Steve McSteveface

"just a guy, writing stuff on a blog - hoping that people will read it"

Judith Barrow

Writer & Author

Sue Archer

Wordsmith | Editor

Leisure Lane

A leisurely place to visit where anything is possible!

Planetary Defense Command

Defending the planet from bad science fiction

I came for the soup...

Nourishing the Faith, Arts, & Vision in The Creative Soul

Daniel Abram

Resilience against adversity.

Plucking Of My Heartstrings

Blogging on a variety of things that pluck at the hearts' emotions & more

Magnanimous Word

...words to please your heart...words to change the world

Cobweb Queen

you were singing in your sleep

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Jade the Mystic

Be the light unto yourself

Be Your Natural Self

Create Your Own Reality

Daydreams by Dolly

could-have-beens and might-bes

The Moldy Daisy

A many-storied life

Writerish Ramblings

A Writer's Journey

Mostly Blogging

Practical solutions and established strategies to improve your blog. Suggestions that will make a difference.

Wasted Days And Wasted Nights

You're to blame for making me blue

%d bloggers like this: