Friday, March 27, 2015

First Fight Friday: Harsh Climate by Camille LaGuire

Goats solve their differences head-on. They don’t give the silent treatment or yell, they butt heads, and then it’s over.

Cowboy Marvin has learned humans resolve issues differently especially those romantically involved. His curiosity sparked, he has invited authors to stop by on Fridays and share the first fight from one of their books.


Camille LaGuire

     is here for ...

First Fight Friday 

with a scene from

Harsh Climate
In the cold of winter, two teens run away. 


From Chapter 1:

Clyde Watkins turned the battered Oldsmobile into the driveway on Windsor Street. He was seventeen and not dressed for the weather: no socks, worn sneakers, and just an extra sweatshirt for warmth. It was his own damn fault. He'd left his coat at a party somewhere, and he never did like socks.

He hesitated before getting out, but it wasn't really the cold wind or snow. He looked with trepidation at the house. Even inside the car he thought he could hear yelling. Mr. Bleur, Vicki's dad, was not happy. He was a state trooper and he scared the hell out of Clyde. But there was no point in delaying. Vicki wanted a rescue so he was there to provide it.

Clyde threw himself out of the car and ran to the house. Tiny ice crystals worked their way into his shoes, making his ankles ache. He ducked his head and jumped up on the porch and knocked.

Inside he could hear Vicki shouting.

"That's what's wrong with you!" she said. "You don't care!"

"Oh, sure," roared the voice of her father, so loud he must have been standing near the door. "Miss Teen-Queen I-don't-care girl is telling me I don't care."

"I care! I care about everything," screamed Vicki. "You don't even know how to care any more. You're just a cynical old fart!"

Clyde sighed. It was not going to get any better and he was cold. He knocked again, louder this time. The door jerked open and Mr. Bleur glared down at him.

"Oh, Christ, it's Poughkeepsie," he said, as if Clyde were just a package left on the step-a package Mr. Bleur was not much interested in receiving.

"Actually I'm from-" began Clyde, but he was interrupted by Vicki, who stood on the stairs behind her father.

"That's Denver," she said firmly. "And tell him I'll be right there."

"-I'm from Toledo," continued Clyde, "and my name is-"

Mr. Bleur shut the door in his face as if Clyde wasn't even there.

Clyde stood on the porch and considered whether this was worth it. He was about to strike out on the open road with the most interesting girl in school. Worth it. But there was no point in just standing there on the cold porch. Vicki needed a ride.

He tried the knob, and found the door was not locked. He pushed it open and stepped into the warmth of the house.

Mr. Bleur was glaring up the stairs after his daughter. He didn't turn around to look at Clyde, but he knew he was there.

"She's not going anywhere, Poughkeepsie, so you can just forget it," he said.

"My name is-" began Clyde one more time, but then Mr. Bleur turned to glare at him. Man that guy had a tough glare. Clyde backed away a step.

"Are you her boyfriend now?"

"No?" said Clyde. They'd never dated, they were just friends more or less, so he assumed that was true.

Mr. Bleur turned and shouted up the stairs.

"So is this your fag ballet partner?"

"Don't be a homophobe!" shouted Vicki from somewhere upstairs.

"No, I'm not," said Clyde. He supposed he shouldn't be a homophobe either, but he didn't want that misunderstood.

"So what are you doing here?" growled Mr. Bleur, but he didn't wait for an answer. He slapped the air dismissively, with a force that could have knocked over a horse, and went into the next room.

Clyde stood alone in the entryway, and looked after Bleur.

"I... guess I don't have any purpose here whatsoever," he said. He stepped to the bottom of the stairs and called up. "Vicki?"

"I'll be right there, Denver," she called from somewhere out of sight.

"No she won't!" roared her father from the next room.

"I'll wait in the car," said Clyde.

"It'll be a long wait!" called Mr. Bleur.

Clyde went back to the car, figuring that Mr. Bleur was probably wrong.

It was so cold in the car already. One of the windows didn't quite close and the wind seemed to sneak in, like one of those evil mists in a horror movie. He considered starting the car to let the heater run, but he wasn't sure about the gas. If they were going all the way to Colorado then they were going to need gas.

At least he thought they were going to Colorado. Vicki had been calling him Denver ever since he agreed to drive, but she'd never actually said where she wanted to go. She was kind of obnoxious, really, but Clyde had this philosophy about people. If you let them get to you, you miss out on a lot of life. If you get offended all the time, you might not notice something really cool right there on the other side of the insult. Besides, life's too short to deal with other people's shit.

So he sat and shivered and considered whether he should start calling himself Denver, The Ride Guy. Everybody else was calling him Denver now at school.

Vicki came running around from the back of the house. She must have snuck out. She was hauling a large suitcase with her. She just made it to the car when her father threw open a window.

"Is that a suitcase? Where the heck are you going?"

Vicki threw the suitcase in the back seat.

"Go!" she yelled and she jumped into the passenger seat.

Clyde started the car. Of course it took a minute to turn over. Mr. Bleur disappeared from the window, and he knew it would be only a minute before he'd come running out the door. But then the engine roared roughly to life, and Clyde hit the reverse so fast his tires squealed.

Vicki buckled her seatbelt. She may have been a rebel but she was a cop's daughter. She settled back.

"This doesn't make you my boyfriend."

"I know," said Clyde. "I'm doing this for the gas money." He paused. "You have got the gas money, right?"

"Of course," she said, and she patted her purse.

"Then westward ho."

She paused, and he could tell she was looking at him. Why did he say something stupid like that?

"Thanks, Denver," she said at last.

"My name's Clyde," he said. "And I'm from Toledo."

"Denver's a better name," she said.

He glanced away from the slippery road to look at her. She was smiling a thin smile. Mona Lisa style. God, she was beautiful. Blond hair, green eyes, lithe and energetic. She was a dancer and sometimes her body just seem like a taut spring-even in her lumpy winter coat.

He took a breath and turned back to the road before he ran them into a ditch. Okay, Denver was better. He could be Denver.

Copyright © Camille LaGuire


 Harsh Climate by Camille LaGuire

On a lonely country road, in the cold of winter, two runaway teens are out of gas and stranded. 

They seek shelter in a distant farmhouse, only to find it's the lair of a gang of vicious kidnappers. 

Can they dodge the crooks and the weather long enough to save the kidnapped child...
and themselves?

Harsh Climate
is available on
Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes

Camille's Bio:

Camille LaGuire hails from the north country. work has appeared in publications such as Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine; Handheld Crime; Cricket, the Magazine For Children and Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine. Stories have been collected into anthologies, reprinted overseas, and in educational materials. She's worked as a horse wrangler, fry cook, teacher, tech, editor, script analyst and even had a play produced.

Harsh Climate was originally a screenplay, written for fun as a very low budget adventure with limited cast and locations. Camille likes to think of it as Nancy Drew Meets Die Hard (or Die Hard in a Farm House). And audiobook version of this story is posted on her free podcast, Reading in the Attic. Which can be subscribed to on iTunes, or through the Reading in the Attic Blog.

Follow Camille LaGuire online
Thanks for sharing Camille!

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