Sidetracked


Patton had been asleep for less than an hour when the doorbell rang.

His doorbell never rings! The last time the doorbell rang a sheriff was at the door, and the news wasn’t good.

He glanced out the window at the driveway, but didn’t see any vehicle. The doorbell rang again, so, grumbling, Patton staggered his way downstairs to the kitchen door. A quick peek between the curtains revealed a tall woman on his porch. Her aura was one of strength and determination, but not much more was revealed. In particular there was no sense of imminent danger, so he turned on the porch light and opened the door.

“What?” Patton was too groggy to form whole sentences.

“I understand you know where the Belt of Hippolyta is.” The woman pushed her way into the unlighted kitchen before Patton could engage his mind enough to stop her. She was over six feet tall, with a lot of muscle on her shapely frame. Patton sighed, closed the door and turned on the lights.

“Say what?” He’d advanced to two-word sentences.

“The Belt of Hippolyta was stolen from my family five hundred years ago. We’ve been looking for it ever since. Now you’ve learned of its location. We need to get it back.” In the light he could see she had dark hair and fiery eyes and was dressed in leather. A biker chick, here in his kitchen? Naw, it must be something else.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.” Patton was more or less awake now. “And what makes you think I know about this Belt of Hippopotamus?” He saw irritation flash through her aura at the messed up name.

“I overheard you talking to your girlfriend this morning, at the cafe. You know where it is. Tell me!” Her eyes flashed, but she didn’t otherwise threaten him.

“One last time. Tell me who you are or I’ll call the cops.” He started preparing a spell to immobilize her.

Maybe she sensed the buildup of magic around her. The woman backed off a little, and said, “I am…

What’s a good name for an Amazon who wakes your protagonist up in the middle of the night just to hit him with the inciting incident that kicks off the main conflict of the story?

I hate these little distractions. In this case the break in the scene occurred around three in the afternoon, and it took until ten that evening for me to come up with a good name (Polydora Virago). In the interval my research came up with the names of 140 Amazons from mythology (Polydora is one, as is Hippolyta), a good last name (a virago is a bossy or pushy woman), and more background about Amazon myths than I really need (including a questionable piece on Amazons in the New World prior to Columbus).

Unfortunately, that interval of research also caused me to lose the thread of my scene. At this point my brain is too tired to finish up the scene, so I’ll have to pick it up in the morning. (Big yawn!)

By the way, the scene was inspired by a blog post I’m drafting about putting together a traditional plot and how I like to jump into the inciting incident early in my story, filling in the background for the reader as the action moves forward. But that’s another post.

Your thoughts?

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About Kurt Schweitzer

A former vampire logistics facilitator, past purveyor of Italian-style transportation, and Y2K disaster preventer, I'm currently creating websites, novels and other fictions while reinventing myself. Again.
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