I recently attended a writing workshop for kids at Wellesley Books led by three amazing authors — Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Dionne, and Ellen Booraem. I brought my niece along, and she had a great time following the prompts and hearing passages from each author’s work. But of course I wasn’t going to just sit back and listen… I wanted to play, too! Above is the picture of my character that I had to work with, and the prompt (after figuring out a bit of his back story) was to write a chase scene.
Here is what I came up with, embellished and continued a bit while re-typing it here:
Aldo looked up — there, across the dark street in the next alley, a single light flickered. An other-worldly light, greenish-white and full of dancing sparks. A wizard light. Balthasar was here.
How did he find me? Aldo thought, heart racing. I traveled 2,000 miles!
Still, there he was — and Aldo refused to give him what he wanted.
The light moved — exiting the alley and drifting down the street — faster and faster. It knew where he was.
Aldo turned and ran, down the street and toward the park. Hopefully the open space and the trees would throw the old wizard off. He hated sunshine and green, growing things as much as Aldo loved them.
The light gained on him, pulsing and growing in size. Aldo turned just once to see a hand emerge, then an arm, a nose, and a head — Balthasar stepped out of the light and laughed.
Aldo ran smack into a wall. A wall that hadn’t been there one moment before — Balthasar must have summoned it.
Aldo touched the seeds in his pocket — the precious cargo he’d carried on trains and through subways and across dozens of state lines on midnight buses. The flowers they produced held more magic than anyone had ever seen. If Balthasar got his hands on them… he’d be unstoppable.
Aldo didn’t have time to think or take a deep breath or even say a prayer. He hated using magic, but he hated Balthasar more.
His other pocket held a single, small, white flower. The last one, unless someone got the seeds and grew more.
Aldo crushed it in his fingertips, and felt its magic drain into his hands, up his arms, and through his chest. His heart raced and sweat beaded on his forehead.
Balthasar saw, and roared. “No! You don’t dare!”
Aldo shook his head slowly, and shot straight up in the air — leaping over Balthasar’s wall in one, effortless, inhuman leap.