Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda…

Here I am at, Camp NaNoWriMo!  Don’t worry, I’m not about to break into song.  But I’m sure you’re all thinking it now- or perhaps my age is showing….

At any rate, it’s Day 3 of Camp and all but three of my Cabin Mates are hammering out the word counts.  I myself am up to 8,351 words so far.  Feels like a good start.  It also gives me some wiggle room since tomorrow, on the 4th, is Independence Day here in the US.  That means BBQ and beer, plus good company of family and friends.

Below you will find a tiny excerpt from the novel I’m writing for camp.  This novel is called: Distance From The Moon.  I hope you enjoy this beginning few pages of what is to come.  Throughout the month I will drop other bits of the book for your enjoyment.

Please feel free to let me know if you think it could use something or even just if you like/ hate what you’re seeing.  Any feedback through this novel in a month process would be appreciated.  I know for a fact there may be some run-on sentences and some passive voice (these are my biggest problems in a first draft), but I’m working hard to write without those well known crutches.

Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!

P.S.  If you live in America- Happy 4th of July!!  If you live elsewhere in the world- 🙂  🙂  HAVE A GREAT DAY!  🙂  🙂

*     *     *     *     *

Distance From The Moon (Excerpt)

Peter Ambrose had read the email dozens of times and still it didn’t feel real. It couldn’t be real. A prank, that’s all it was. An inter-office prank from the guys down in the Survey Department. Yet he looked down at his tablet again and re-read the message:

We found life! Drone 32-Alpha took a mineral sweep and in the background we found it. A mile down through the gas we have images of structures. The drone was told to take further sweeps and we found hundreds of them. Pete the structures are NOT OF NATURAL ORIGIN, something BUILT them! You’ve got to get down here NOW!

Peter set the tablet down on his desk and ignored the chime of a new message. He stood and looked out the window of his office. Despite the glare from the Sun on the habitat dome, he could see the blue orb of the Earth coming up on the horizon in contrast with the cold grey of the Lunar surface. He let out a sigh as the phone rang.
He reached up and tapped the small device cuffed to his ear.

“Peter Ambrose, Department of Resource Acquisitions.”

“Peter, what’s this message all about? Life? Structures? What’s going on over there?”

He knew without question who had called him, it was the very call he was expecting. Dreading to be precise. The Survey Department downstairs had CC‘d everyone in the company. If was a prank, there were jobs to be lost. Peter only hoped his wouldn’t be one of them.

“I’ve seen the email Mr. Rutherford.”

“So what can you tell me about the images? What do these ‘structures’ look like? Are they Terran? Martian? Those blue and red bastards trying to lay claim to Hydrogen? The Ammonia?”

“I’m not sure, Sir. I haven’t seen the images for myself yet. I was debating on their validity.”

“You’re not here to debate Ambrose. Get the hell down there and find out what the hell is going on!”

“Yes, Sir.”

Peter turned away from the window and grabbed his tablet.

“Now you listen to me Ambrose, you call me straight away. And say nothing to anyone about it. I’m releasing a press statement that our info-log was hacked, you hear me? It’s a hoax till we know more. If this is legit and it goes public before I give the go ahead, it’s your ass Ambrose. Do you hear me?”

“Yes, Sir. I understand.”

The line went dead and Peter reached up and switched the ear cuff off. He looked down at his tablet as he left the office and tapped the new message:

Pete, where are you? The new images just loaded onto our screens. GET DOWN HERE. You NEED to see this!

Peter had already begun to sweat by the time he got to the end of the hall and tapped the call button for the lift. This day was already becoming more stressful than it should have been. The door chimed and slid open. Peter stepped inside and thumbed floor 67 as the doors slid closed. Seconds later they reopened and he exited.

As he pushed through the door into the Survey Department a few heads turned, though most were fixed on the large screen set into the wall. Plain as day, Peter could see odd teardrop shaped objects scattered in the field displayed on the monitor. Dennis Argyle, head of the department, shouted out and jogged towards him.

“Pete, what the hell took you so long? Did you get my email? Jesus Christ man, can you believe this shit?”

Peter scanned the screens. Each new image that came in seemed stranger than the last. Some of the objects were difficult to discern amid the static, but the drone was at maximum zoom and scanning for density. There was no denying the images though, there was something solid floating in the liquid hydrogen on Saturn.

“Are we sure this isn’t just ice, Dennis?”

“Not a chance. Density scans are telling us it’s carbon,” he said through a smile stretching across his face. “Pete, they’re hollow like shells or something. I can’t explain it any other way. This is monumental! We have to tell the press Pete.”

“This can’t happen.”

“But it is happening,” Dennis interrupted.

“No. It’s not. Rutherford’s orders. He’s issued a statement saying we got hacked, it’s a hoax for now. Put a blanket over it until we know exactly what we’re looking at.”

Dennis’s smile was gone. The others in the room had all turned from the screens and watched quietly. Peter was really sweating now. He dabbed at his flushed face with a sleeve.

“What are we supposed to do? Just ignore it? What the hell Pete?”

“Mr. Rutherford says keep it quiet for now. He‘s pissed you sent the info as a mass-email. He‘s threatening that we could all lose our jobs from it. Damn it man, this is serious. Did you stop to think that Earth or Mars could have broken the treaty and sent hydrogen collectors in there?” Peter started massaging his left arm, it felt like a cramp or a muscle spasm. “Our orders from the big man are to find out everything we can before going public. Send the drone to Saturn for closer scans. Why is it so hot in here?”

“You don’t look so good Pete.”

“No one looks good to Mr. Rutherford right now.” Peter swabbed his brow with his sleeve again. “I just need to sit for a minute. This is big.”

Dennis grinned, a big ear-to-ear smile, as he rolled a chair out from an empty desk. Peter sat and looked back to the large monitor on the wall. He let his eyes trace each screen in the room, all full with images from the drone that was now on path towards Saturn. In eight months there would be no doubt.


4 thoughts on “Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda…

  1. Cut out yet in the 5th sentence; If was a prank, there were jobs to be lost. (“it” is missing); very engaging. I enjoy your diction and description.. it’s too early to really say more, but I am intrigued to see more!

  2. Congrats on the word count thus far. It could a bit of editing, but of course that’s to be expected. There’s a couple places I’d have added a comma (as in “What the hell, Pete?” and “We have to tell the press, Pete.” But comma use is sometimes subjective and on a project deadline like you are doing, there isn’t much time for editing, though you want to be clear, of course.

    For the first sentence, I would probably have used “but”, not “and”, but that’s just me. 😉 The sentence makes me hesitate slightly and I keep feeling like I need to put an “it” before still, like it wants me to read the end differently. (if that makes sense? Perhaps it is because we know the email is real, but he’d doubting the validity of the email, so it might be just a tad strained – maybe). Another way would be something like (leaving his last name for someone else to say later): “Although Peter had read the email dozens of times, he still couldn’t bring himself to believe it. A prank, that’s all it was. It had to be!”

    Anyway, it’s a fun read so far! You are a fast writer from what I can tell. Thanks for sharing! Btw, I’ll have an email out to you in the next few days regarding the anthology. Cheers!

    • Glad you like the rough-cut. I’ll get in to edit once it’s done, so far copy and paste is all it’s gotten so far. A long way to go still. Thanks for reading. 🙂

      I’ll keep an eye on my email. Excited to get to work on the project!

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