Listen to Part 1 here.
In this episode Clark Chamberlain and Peter Turley continue with part two of editing Robert Hawkwood’s YA story, The Wind Hath Heirs. They concentrate on adding more emotion, feathering in description in action and bringing forth a fitting ending for the Brockodile!
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Clark’s Edits (Bold is Original)
He zipped up and turned to wash his hands at the sinks across from the stalls, and saw the Brock Vincent, the Brockodile, an olive complected boy, ropey muscled, with short black hair, large eyes, and a wide toothy smile that melted teacher’s hearts. That same smile meant something altogether different to Jeremy. It meant, Oh look, dinner-time.
He zipped up and turned to wash his hands. Before the water started running, he saw him. Brock Vincent, the Brockodile, Jeremy’s heart beat faster. His hands shook as he fumbled to turn the tap off.
The Brocodile gave a snort of laughter, “Need some help?”
Jeremy clenched his jaw and turned to flee.
An arm of ropey muscle shot out from the Brockodile and blocked his path. Jeremy tried to go around him, but the Brockodile countered each of his moves.
“Where’re you going?”
Jeremy ignored him again, intently looking down.
Jeremy looked up into the Brockodile’s face. His wide eyes and toothy smile might have melted the teacher’s hearts but for Jeremy it looked like the Brockodile had one thing on his mind, dinner time.
“Move please, I’ve got to catch the bus.”
“Stop it, I’ll miss my bus.”
“It will make a mess. Now let me go.”
“No! I don’t want that crap on me! LET ME GO!”
First came a split second of blackness, then a flash of heat, and his his arm dropped free of the Brockodile’s grasp. Jeremy turned. A blob of burning ooze bubbled where Brock Vincent once stood, and a ragged scream tore from Jeremy’s throat. He did not know his own hands. His fingers had hardened into a dripping talons, each digit a steaming hollow fang…and the snake-eyed red-leather face that stared back at him from the restroom mirror belonged to nothing human.
Blackness closed around his vision and a flash of heat exploded from his chest. He screamed as his body twisted and buckled. The blackness receded and as he looked in the mirror a pair of red eyes looked back at him.
Jeremy clenched his jaw. He couldn’t understand what was happening. The heat expanded like a wildfire in a strong wind. It danced around him, jumping from his red-leather skin.
“What the heck are you freak?” the Brockodile shouted as he backed away from the transformed Jeremy.
Jeremy spun to face him and the Brockodile made an escape. He wasn’t fast enough.
Jeremy’s hand shot out and caught hold of the back of the Brockodile’s neck. The Brockodile screamed in pain as his flesh seared.
“How does it feel? How does it feel?” Jeremy kept shouting but the Brockodile could only answer with screams as the flames engulfed his clothes and body.
Jeremy dropped him and recoiled as if he just realized what he’d done.
He looked at his hands. His fingers had hardened into a dripping talons, each digit a steaming hollow fang. He clutched them together and forced himself to look down at where the Brockodile had been. All that was left was a bubbling blob of burning ooze.
“No, no. We just got back from the hospital ourselves. Thank God, Jeremy wasn’t injured, scared though. Poor baby, wouldn’t say a word.”
How could he? He’d done the unthinkable.
“It must have been awful. Any news on Brock? No? I don’t see how you can stand it. I would be out of my mind.”
Brock. just hearing his mom say the name made him sick. He could still smell the burnt flesh.
“I know. I know, dear. There’s been no news on the vice-principal either…not a word. The police aren’t saying anything. Whoever started that fired ought to be…just…just horsewhipped. That’s what my grandfather would say…and that’s pretty much how I feel.
Even his mom would hate him if she knew what he’d become. What had he become? Why did he change like that? Was he a monster? A demon? More importantly, how’d he back to normal? These questions had been circling around his mind since he’d woke up.
“Uh huh. No, not a word. Gary plans to try and talk to him latter when things have calmed down. Well bye, dear. Let me know when they find Brock. Don’t cry. They will. They will. I’m sure of it.”
No they won’t, Jeremy thought.
“You’re kidding?” he closed the refrigerator and glared in disbelief at his sister. “It’s been two days, Addy…since that stuff on the news about…about downtown.” He glanced into the den where their little brother sat with his attention fixed on the television’s non-stop coverage of the crisis in the city center. It showed long shots of dense rising smoke, with flashes of what might be lightening deep within. Coverage cut to police barricades manned by grim faced officers. They showed an interview with a distraught family in an overloaded car, trapped in bumper to fender traffic headed away from the smoke. They switched to a commentator pointing out distant military helicopters and convoys of national guardsmen snaking through the main arteries of the city, past the barricades and on towards no one knew what. Over and over again, every twenty minutes the T.V. recycled a dozen unanswered questions, and a hundred inarticulable fears. Transfixed by it all, an eight, nearly nine, year old boy crouched upon a sofa clutching a throw pillow to his chest.