The Truth About Mentors in Books and Real-Life

As writers, I think we can all agree that mentors are pretty important, whether we’re referring to the character role or real people impacting our careers as aspiring authors. Mentors serve to guide our heroes and ourselves, and whether the problem is helping us rise up to face a villain or finish a manuscript makes their role no less important.
So today, let’s talk about mentors, and the misconceptions we young writers often have about them.

A moment in time: A short story

Note: This is a "flashback" moment in Skylar's past that I wanted to share and see how it would work as a possible part of my story. Enjoy.

God Can Use Our Vulnerable Writing~ Guest post by Sara Willoughby



I didn’t want to post it. The moment I clicked send, I began to second guess myself. I tried to assure myself that it was in God’s hands, and I put it to the back of my mind for a few days. Except that two days later, none of the three people I’d sent the article to had responded. Which wasn’t entirely unusual, but...

The doubts started all over again.

Finally, as I was lying in bed one night, I decided that if no one had responded by morning, I would just switch it out with another one I already had written, and it would be fine. I could stop worrying about it, and no one would see it. Perfect.

However, the next morning, when I checked my email, two of the people had responded overnight! One of them had even written an unusually long email, expounding on the topic. She told me that she had been nearly in tears from reading my article. Encouraged, I decided to let it be, and before I had time to change my mind again, my fellow writer had published it. By the time I began to question my writing again, I didn’t have the courage to ask them to swap it out. Plus, I really felt like God wanted it this specific article there (however much I did not).

I’d better explain. The reason I didn’t want it read in the first place was simply because of my own pride and humiliation at what it said. In the article, I admitted a weakness of mine that felt really personal, and I was afraid people would take it the wrong way.

Well, now it was published, and I couldn’t really do much about it very easily. It got a normal amount of likes, and I started to breathe a sigh of relief. At least it wasn’t standing out as either better or worse than my usual posts. But then, a stranger reblogged it, and a day or two later another friend of mine asked if she could reblog the article. I’d never had any piece of my writing reblogged before! God had gotten His point across. He was going to use this piece of writing, despite my doubts and humiliation. It wasn’t about me.

Have you been in a similar place? Something I’ve noticed is that whenever I have an article or a blog post that I think has just flopped, that didn’t turn out how I wanted it to- those seem to be the pieces that God uses the most. Other bloggers I’ve talked to have noticed the same thing. It shows that it definitely isn’t in our own strength, or by own own eloquence or genius that those pieces were done, but by His power, and for His glory. (1 Cor 1:17 & 2:1).

Writing is incredibly vulnerable, whether we choose to purposely write that way or not. Even in fiction, I’ve noticed this as well! Both my sister and some of my best friends are fiction writers, and when I read their writing, I come across many parts when I see them in their characters. And not just their personality or something. No, I see very vulnerable parts of them that they would never have told the world otherwise.

When we write, we allow the reader to view and analyze how we see the world. They get to see things through our eyes, and we can’t hide much, no matter how hard we try. But guess what? That’s okay. God can use that. God can use our vulnerability. Vulnerability is a key to writing: in fiction, it makes things so much more real, and in nonfiction, it gains both so much more trust from your readers, and truth in your writing when you write things that you’ve personally experienced, felt, or gone through.

I know sometimes it’s hard, and that we really don’t want to, but will you learn from my situation, and allow God to use your writing for His glory? Even the parts that you really don’t want to share?

I’m not saying that there aren’t pieces of our writing that we shouldn’t keep to ourselves. I have a whole folder (or two) of writing that no one at all has read, nor do I intend to let anyone else read. And that’s okay too! I just wanted to share with you the lesson God has been teaching me recently: that He can use my vulnerable writing.

It's Okay To Stop Writing

Hey, everyone, King and Tyrant returning at last with a bit of a conversation sparking question.
Do you ever just get tired of writing?
Like, bottom of the word bin, if I were standing at the edge of a fictional cliff I'd probably fall over tired?
It's okay. It's okay to get tired.
It's okay to want to quit and stop writing or blogging forever and potentially live as a Netflix watching Pizza eating caterpillar for the rest of your life.
What's maybe not okay?
Actually doing that.

The Impact of Books

Today, I’d like to talk about books, something we are all very familiar with on this blog. As soon as we hear that beautiful word, the image of little black letters lined up perfectly on a white page springs to our mind, and we have a sudden desire to go find the nearest book and read it.

This post isn’t about any random book, though. No, this post is about books that inspire.

Get Over Your Limitations

Last week, I was at a youth conference, one that I go to every year. One of the speakers, however, came up with a point in his message that made me think about it, not just regarding my walk with God, but in the case of my writing as well. His point? "Get Over Your Limitations."

It is ok to say "No"

Throughout the timeframe of twenty-four hours, there are several different things we say. Yes, I can’t, will you help me? Mom, dad, and the list goes on. But what about writing? Usually, when I sit at my computer with every intention of putting my thoughts on paper, my brain clicks off and I end up just binge watching a tv show or get into a good conversation with other writers. I have, therefore, turned my deadlines into maybe's, my urgencies into extensions, and my yes’s into no’s.

I wasn’t facing writer's block, I had several ideas, thoughts, and plot twists that I wanted to explore and put in the paths of my readers and in my own story that I’m currently working on, so what happened? Why couldn’t I just sit down and make my mind work so that I could write? I like to kinda explain it this way……..my brain went to outer space to take a nap. There was complete oblivion, darkness, silence, and a dark emptiness that I couldn’t control. It was like my brain hit a kill switch and the breaker box blew all at once. To put it simply, I said no.

It was just easier to say no and call it a day.

Why It's Important to Share Your Writing

One of the hardest things for a writer (other than writing), is working up the courage to start sharing our work with friends, family, and strangers. It’s scary, because we wonder if maybe everything we’ve worked so hard on isn’t as good as we thought. It’s something that’ll help you grow, though, and today I’m going to tell you why.

The beauty of spoken poetry

As a writer, I love reading and finding other works in the same genre that I’m working on at the time. The same is for poetry. I have found that it is one thing to write poetry, and another to hear it being read. So if you do it right, the imagery is beautiful and can leave pictures in your mind as the one reciting it takes you on the said journey. I first came across this poetry piece below on Facebook as one of those “caption this” clips. And therefore with my curiosity piqued, I found the full version on YouTube. It's titled Explaining my depression to my mother: A conversation and rightfully so. Below are the words or “lyrics” to the piece, and then the video from YouTube. The request I have is that you first read the poem and then watch the video as Sabrina Benaim brings this piece to life.

Never Give Up


“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7(NIV)
Never give up. I am sure that you heard these three words plenty of times, but sometimes you feel like the words, “Never Give Up” are not helping, especially if a family member or friends tell you this.

Are you discouraged?
Are you frustrated?
Are you doing something to please someone else?
Are you having a hard time figuring out how to balance your time to accomplish something that God has placed on your heart to focus on?

Standing Out (Open Pen Critique)

This is an open pen critique. If you have any thoughts or comments, be sure to write them below!

I started up from my bed. My room was pitch dark. Everything was calm and quiet, but my heart was racing. The cold, clammy fingers of fear began to wrap around my mind. "Why did I tell Altam? What if he tells everyone else?" Giant cold drops of sweat began to trickle down my face. I passed the night in silent misery.

At the crack of dawn, I was up and dressing. I was anxious to get to the university to see if Altam had told on me. After racing through the early morning rush traffic, I walked into the university. I was somewhat relieved when the receptionist gave me a cheery "Good morning." But it didn't help my suspense much. I just had to know. I just had to find Altam.

Don't Stress Over Not Writing

As some of you may have noticed, I have not been writing/updating on here.
 I unintentionally dropped posting a few weeks ago (on both my blog, and here), partly due to VBS, which took up a lot of energy, it left me not wanting to do much else. And one last thing. The. Heat. Peoples. It sure gets hot here before monsoon (this summer is worse).
Back to the point.
The first week or so I stressed out about how I should be writing and posting it (I post twice a week, so that seemed like a lot to miss).
But I don’t always need to post without fail.
It’s always good to recharge, take a break from, well anything, really.
While I still feel  bad for not posting consistently, I just didn’t have any motivation to write for anyone else.
Take note.
-Sometimes you need a break
-Not everything you write has to be posted for public viewing.
-Not everyone will care (not that people are heartless, mind you)

What should you do while you’re taking a break and feeling very unproductive?
-Maybe that thing that needs to be done, you’ve been avoiding? Yeah, that one.
-Read. Everything!
-Go out, do something, have an adventure. Drag someone along with you.
-Do something creative that has nothing to do with writing (food, paper crafting, etc.,)
While I’m sure this doesn’t even scratch the surface for reasons you should take a break when you need to, or what to do in the meantime, these are just a few ideas to keep your creative “juices” active, and ready for your next writing endeavor! Till next time!

-Kirstie Rhys

Yes, God Can Still Use Another Writer

As Christian writers, we are sometimes filled with a desire to write for the Lord, to use our words to share His love, whether that is in a direct or indirect way. The only problem is that the next thought that fills our brains is often doubt, because there are simply so many other writers doing the very thing that we wish to do. While this is encouraging and uplifting to see others who have accomplished our own dreams, it is also a bit intimidating. We wonder, if there are so many others, does God really need me?

The Excitement of Filmmaking


It was fall of 2014. I was four weeks away from my college’s production of the play The Robber Bridegroom when I found myself in our auditorium filming one of the scenes for the movie Amelia 2.0, which is set to be released on Friday, August 4th, 2017. But my love for movie making didn’t start there at the filming, no. That was just a once in a lifetime experience. It started when I was a freshman in high school, reading biographies to play scripts, to thick “The making of….” with behind the scenes stills and cast member’s remarks, to the actual film schedule of one of my favorite Civil War movies, God’s and Generals.

But what does all of that have to do with writing?
Everything.

You see, to make a good movie like God’s and Generals, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Amelia 2.0, you first have to do the casting before the filming process even starts. But before the casting, you have to have a script, and before you have a script, you have to have a story. And if you can guess by now, to have a good story, it first has to be written. Once that is done, and the story is chosen to be made into a big screen deal, everything else falls into place. Then once the filming starts you have the set and scene schedules that have to be written, you have to number or categorize the costumes, and such.

So why do I love the excitement of filmmaking and watch the process of good movies come to the big screen? It's because I believe in the project, and from being part of a small scene myself a few years ago, I appreciate the “man hours” it takes to make a project of that caliber. It's the fact that the end project, the polished piece, that several thousands of people see on the screen and the responses, emotions, and how they react to the project, makes everything worthwhile. Even in a play, I had a glimpse of what the actors, actresses, directors, and the rest of the crew on any acting project go through to put an enjoyable piece of good entertainment together for everyone to enjoy.

Now you may be wondering what exactly is Amelia 2.0? It's a sci/fi movie on robotic technology.

After his wife Amelia suffers an aneurysm that leaves her bedridden and slowly dying, police officer Carter Summerland searches for a way to revive her. He's approached by Wesley Enterprises about allowing Amelia to be the test subject for an experimental program that will place her mind in an artificial body.




The Conquering Inconsistency Challenge - What I Learned

Last week, I felt that I wasn't writing consistently enough. As a result, I posted a challenge: Write 200 Words Every Day

What I didn't realize when I started that post was that this week was going to be absolutely packed, what with the 4th of July and all. In fact, I was camping in a tent without a computer for 5 of those days.

The 4th of July

That date comes around only once a year. So does every date really, if you think about it. There's only one New Years Day, one April Fools, one Memorial Day, one Thanksgiving, and so on for that entire year. Usually, without a doubt, I have this crazy thought of what would happen if our for fathers never signed the Constitution of the United States or the Declaration of Independence. I've always wondered what would happen if they had the chance to see what America has become and made their decision based on that alone. I had written this poem a few years ago, but I still think it rings true today because I still wonder what would happen. Hope you enjoy.
OUR FATHER'S VOICE
Seasons come, seasons go,
America's grown, that we know.
But she's forgotten
Forgotten our past
The past we need to remember.

Our past there is `92,
When Chris sailed the ocean blue.
The Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock,
For them, it was a shock.
Since they survived the winter `20,
We now have a feast of plenty.
As they signed the Mayflower Compact,
They only knew it wasn't a contract.

Now we jump a hundred and fifty years,
England's oppression only nears.
As we find in the `70's,
Old towns are now new cities.
King George kept his power and might,
And he wouldn't leave without a fight.

But what would happen?
What if one of our father's jumped?
Jumped that thing called death,
Traveled in that place as time.
Saw America today,
What would they do?
What would they say?
They would likely say:

For you, we lived
For you, we died
For you, we breathed
For you, we cried
For you, we up and grew
For you, we fired and flew

For you, we were hunted
For you, the spy Hale was hung
For you, he bled "I regret"
For you, Franklin said, "Together or Die"
For you, we joined to tie.
For you, Paul rode,
Rode to tell town, village, and farm,
To tell men up and arm.

For you, we said no more,
No tax, no king, we're on our own.
For you, Lexington saw a war,
The day that the Green turned red.
Red with blood,
For you, Jeff wrote,
Wrote for you till he could no more.

But why do you choose to ignore?
Ignore our cry, our pleas, our wants,
Ignore the two great documents.
We didn't write them as a Decoration,
But a Declaration.
We didn't write them as a Contradiction,
 But a Constitution.
So as I go, will you remember?
Will you choose to tell your friends,
Your family, your neighbor?
Tell them about what we did so long ago.

How we fired and fled,
How the grass turned red.
How we did it in the face of death,
When we knew it would mean our last breath.
So let me tell you to tell near and far,
Tell one and all.
I wasn't for us what we did that day,
It was for you,
For you we signed.

I Challenge You To Conquer Inconsistency

Take a poll of hobby writers, and almost all of them will say that they don't write as often as they want to. I'm in that same boat. I will catch the "writer's bug" for a few days, but afterwards, I don't write for weeks on end. However, I have realized that my sporadic writing is doing very little to actually help me improve my writing ability.

So I'm going to change that.

I'm issuing a challenge to everyone here at Elysian, and everyone out there who's reading this:

Write 200 words every day this week.


It shouldn't be hard at all.

Two hundred words is just a couple paragraphs.

This challenge could jumpstart you into writing growth.

So will you join me in writing every day?

If so, say so in the comments, or on our social media pages.

~James

Tips on Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding-something that many writers either love, or dread. Why? Because there are so many amazing, unique experiences that you go through whilst making your very own universe. It’s one of my favorite things in writing, and so that’s what I’ll be talking about today.

On Deck



"So Abijah rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David. Then Asa his son reigned in his place..." -2 Chronicles 14:1
You are probably asking yourself, "Who is Abijah?" At this junction, King Solomon has died...if you've read this part of the Bible before, you will recall that due to insolence on the part of Solomon's son, the kingdom of Israel was divided in two- Jeroboam became king of Israel and Rehoboam (Solomon's son) became king of Judah.
The reason for the split of the kingdom was because Rehoboam acted in an incredibly unwise manner: when the people came to make him king after his father's death, Rehoboam ignored the wise council of the older men and instead followed that of those he had grown up with...in a move to gain their obedience and fear, he essentially told the people that he would rule with an iron fist. That didn't go over with the people very well, and as you can understand, the nation divided...all but two of the tribes made Jeroboam their king.
Rehoboam rules and dies. His son, Ahijah, also rules. How did his reign go? "And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him; his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David." (1 Kings 15:3)
And then Ahijah dies. His son, Asa, is next in line. He has a choice to make. What will he do? How will he rule? Will he walk in the ways of his ancestor David, a man after God's own heart? Or will he follow the examples of his father and grandfather? He chose rightly.
Verses 11-12 of 1 Kings 15 say, "Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did his father David. And he banished the perverted persons from the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made." Well done, Asa! It would've been easy to follow the wrong path...he had plenty of examples to follow! But he did what was pleasing to God.
In baseball, there's a term that describes the person who's next in line to bat: On Deck. While Asa's father was "batting," Asa was on deck, waiting for his turn. And when it was his turn, Asa was ready- he hit a homerun.
My family just found out last week that an older person we had known had died after hitting her head. This lady had a special meaning to my parents...she and her husband were the ones who mentored my mom and dad in their marriage and their walks with Christ right after they got married. Yet it was like a torch- they mentored my parents, but as soon as God provided opportunity, my parents took that torch and now mentor other married couples when the occasion arises. As we young adults get older and older, we are getting so much closer to taking a hold of that "torch" that has been passed down to us. Christian mentorship, leadership, and wisdom are all investments...at some point, it'll be our turn to pour all that we've learned back out into those coming after us. It's a heritage.
In a sense, we're all like Asa. He was waiting for when God called him to take up his torch, and we're doing the same. At some point, instead of being directly under our parents, we'll have children of our own who we'll need to instruct in the wisdom of the Lord! If you're not already old enough to vote, there will soon be a time when you will be called upon to make wise decisions in selecting godly leaders. That torch is getting close!
Asa did what was right...1 Kings 15:14b says, "Nevertheless [even though the high places remained] Asa's heart was loyal to the Lord all his days." Study God's Word so you can be ready when you're handed the bat. It's close...right now, you're on deck.
In Christ,
Christopher

Christopher O’Rear, 19, is a Jesus following, piano playing, entrepreneur-ing, writing, soccer player for Boyce College. He is proud to call Louisville his home despite the miserable winters he endures there! He leads a team of writers for FoundWhoIAm, a blog by Christian teens to encourage other believers in their walk with Christ. 

Turn of a Leaf

The party is here, the room is crowding
My vision is dimmed, my head is pounding
I’ll fight to stay for as long as I can
This migraine is not going to have its say again

Playing invisible is how I’ll get through
Staying in the back is how I’ll make do
The exit is beside me so now believe
If disaster strikes, I can sneak out and leave

An hour in and I’m losing my hearing
I feel a disaster creeping and nearing
The stone cold wall felt warm on my back
If I don’t go now, time I will lose track

My vision is black, dark as a cell
It’s completely frightening, can’t you tell?
Powerless to even cry and yelp
To find a solution, to seek and get help

Goodbye’s are said and I head towards the door
Go now before there’s a scene on the floor
Anxiety is a blinding, crippling thief
My life is changed like the turn of a leaf


Connecting Your Head and your Heart

When I sat down to write this article, I didn't really want to. Let me clarify that last sentence. My head knew that I should do it, that it was good for me. But my heart was convinced that I would be better off doing something else. That is because while my brain can look into the future, my heart only knows how I feel right now. But do you wonder why I buckled down and started writing? It's because my heart also knew that if I didn't write I'd let down all the Writers of Elysian. So I opened my computer and started writing.

From this experience, you can see that to do anything hard, you need to connect your head and your heart. You need to make them work together, in unison.

But before we go any farther, let's clarify a couple terms:
Your heart is the part of you that feels
Your head is the part of you that reasons and thinks ahead.

So how do you make them work in unison?

One way to connect the two is accountability. For example, if it were not for the accountability that I have from the other Writers of Elysian, I probably wouldn't write regularly at all. The accountability that they provide gives me an immediate reason to write.

Another way to connect the two is to give yourself "rewards". A reward can be anything you enjoy doing or having. To get a reward, you need to do something that works toward your goal, such as doing that workout or writing that article. You only give yourself the reward after you complete your task.

By connecting what your heart wants and what your head wants, you can do things you don't really feel like doing, such as writing another article. :)

Until next time, keep writing!

Coffee Shop Encounter (repost from Fathers Joy)

Hello all! Today is an excerpt of a short story I posted on my blog a bit ago, follow the link to read the rest!

"Liam read the text message, disbelieving what it held. He sat in the coffee shop loft/library. For

minutes his thoughts flew around, trying to make sense of what he was reading. "Is this true? Is it a scam? What should I say? Should I just leave it?"
Finally, he decided to reply with, "Ryan...? Is that really you?"
And then to try and alleviate his own mood he added, "You still have my number, huh?"
He pressed 'enter' and waited. His friend's message had been sent nearly twenty minutes ago.
He must have been too busy writing, with his headphones in, to notice the phone vibrating.
Liam paced the floor, stopping at the railing to gaze down at the people below. Some sat just as silently as he had been, some sat in groups and joked around. While others just stood in line and left without another word, coffee in hand.
Brow furrowed he listened for a sound, any sound to come from his phone.
When a sound did come he nearly jumped out of his skin.With a sigh of relief, he realized it was only someone come up to the library."

Hope you enjoyed that! If you did, here's the link to the rest of it! https://aaablogfathersjoy.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/coffee-shop-encounter/

Logan (Open Pen Critique)

 Note: Our first Open Pen Critique, don't forget to comment your thoughts!

~Logan gasped heavily. With a twist and a flick, he escaped his opponent’s grasp and floored him long enough for a breather. With a lunge, Logan was back into the fight, it had to be finished now or never.

*Samuel grunted as his opponent, Logan landed on top of his back. The man was better than he had expected, but not too much better- yet. Logan had become a real threat to the empire and he must be eliminated before The Plan was carried out. Suddenly, Sam’s thoughts reverted to his child hood. Martha was on top of his back and he couldn’t get up. As a last resort, young Samuel kicked at his sister’s back to be let up.

~Logan landed on Samuel’s back with a thud. He disliked fighting, he had had enough of it in his younger days when he worked for The Plan. He wouldn’t be fighting now, if it weren’t for The Plan. If Logan lost this battle, millions of people would lose their lives.

*Samuel kicked hard as Logan jerked his chin up by his thin black hair.

~Pain screamed through Logan’s bionic arm and it lost its grip on Samuel’s hair. His right hand caught it but the damage had been done.

*Sam felt the grip falter and took his chance. Ignoring Logan’s horrible scream of pain, he squeezed around under the man’s straddling knees and punched upward into his stomach. Logan collapsed to the side and Samuel was up in an instant.

~Logan felt Samuel’s iron fists collide with his stomach and fought back the urge to throw-up. The force propelled him off Samuel and into the dust as he felt the man practically flip onto his feet and reach for a gun. Both began the fight with a revolver, but those had been knocked out of the game within minutes. Logan panted on his back and wondered why the daylight sun appeared to be nearing twilight.

*Samuel eyed Logan. He had learned since their last encounter, he had learned much. Samuel was waiting for a surprise, a dangerous trick that could turn the tables, but nothing happened. The threatening bionic arm lay lifeless, thrown at a painful looking angle and blood trickled down the side of Logan’s cheek, he was obviously delirious with pain. Samuel felt sick.

~Logan coughed and tried to shift his left shoulder off the rock it had landed on. He was waiting for a crack and then he would be released from this pain. Everyone knew Samuel left no survivors, especially Logan. When he finally caught his breath, he realized that Samuel wasn’t in sight. Logan coward into the dirt, wishing he could become invisible, Samuel had him where he wanted, he could do anything right now. Absolutely anything, and usually, that was signing your death warrant.

*Samuel speed through the trees, panting as his thoughts raced faster than his legs could go. He never bothered with the plans made higher up. He just followed. He never tried to understand motives. He just worked. He never tried to think for himself when on the job. He learned early second thoughts caused failure. But now, but what? Logan was the enemy, he would have been defeated, but as he reached for the revolver to put the man out of his misery, Samuel realized something. It was an unwanted realization, a realization that would put him out of a job, home, and would likely kill him. He realized The Plan was wrong. It had hit him over the head. The thought had left him dazed. The knowledge gave him emotion once again. That was why he was racing through the trees to his car. In it would be a First-Aid kit and he hoped a disposable phone.

~Laying in the clearing, Logan finally allowed himself to pass out; if Samuel wanted to kill him, it didn’t matter if he was awake to see it.

*Samuel pounded on the windshield of his truck. His keys had escaped his pocket while he dashed through the woods. His eye caught a large rock near the rear tire. Without a second thought, the way he had trained, he snatched it and smashed the driver’s window. An insane drive propelled him as he scrambled through the glass fragments to reach the disposable phone under the floor mat. He snatched it and hit the lock button as he tore his shirt on the jagged glass. Stumbling to the back seat, Samuel fumbled with the glove compartment. A First-Aid kit was produced and the phone was slipped into it. Finally, he could sprint back to the clearing Logan was laying in. What am I doing? What is Logan going to do. By now, he’ll have a revolver. I’m going to be shot before I can get this to him… Samuel had never realized how normal it was for a human being to think for himself, all he knew now was that he was doing the correct thing and would likely be killed for it.

~Logan woke with that screaming pain shooting through his body again. Samuel was leaning over him with a wide strip of cloth dangling from his mouth. With a final effort, Logan kicked his leg up into Samuel’s thigh. Samuel grunted and leaned heavily on the hand gripping the bionic arm. Logan nearly shrieked with the pain but Samuel slipped his heavy hand off the machine and onto the ground.

*Sam winced. His thigh smarted, but to hear a man like Logan scream like a child was unnerving, terrifying even. He slid his arm under Logan’s back and proceeded to tie the useless metal to the man’s body. When he finished, he leaned over Logan, trying to make eye contact.

~Logan stared fixedly at a tree to his left, trying to ignore the pain enveloping his life. Samuel was towering over him. Why he was still alive, he couldn’t tell. “Logan, listen.” Samuel was speaking now, his dry voice penetrated the unusual silence that enveloped the woods. “Logan, listen! I need you to- Logan, you have to trust me. I…” Logan turned his head to face Samuel.

“You what.” His voice was deep and cold. Icy cold.

“Logan, can you walk?” Samuel sounded despairing. Logan glared at him and tried to blow his blond hair out of his eyes. Samuel brushed it away for him with strangely gently fingers. “Logan, I need to get you out of the woods, I don’t know what is up with that…thing, but I can’t fix it and it needs a repairman.”

Logan frowned more. “You won’t get a chance to take me back for questioning, make no doubt about it.”

Samuel bit his lip. “That’s not why I want you to-” He stopped and swallowed. “Logan, have I ever lied? Sure, I’ve been on the wrong side the whole time, but have I lied?” Logan twitched his head to agree with him. “Well, maybe I- I don’t know what happened, but I’ll help you. I will, and you can’t say I’m untrustworthy, this’ll be the first time I’ve failed to carry out a mission and you know it. Let me help you.”

Logan stared distrustfully at the proffered hand. “Why.” His voice was husky and he almost choked on the word.

“Just- because! I know The Plan is bad, I know you’re the opposite of the plan, I can’t explain it any more than that. It- I can’t make it words, please just- just trust me.” Samuel felt himself being scrutinized by Logan.

“Fine.” Logan muttered and he held his hand out jerkily to be helped up. Samuel sighed and hauled him up gracefully.

“My truck is that way, I don’t know where to go and I can’t use my good phone or they’ll trace me. Will you be able to stay awake and give me directions?” Logan clutched Sam until the dizziness relaxed a little and he reached for his bionic arm.

“Sam, are you sure you’re…sane?” Sam looked pained.

“Logan, I can’t explain it, but it makes it no less true. I am sure that you’re right. I never thought of The Plan being right, but I want to think about you being right. That’s the only way for me to…justify any of this. Maybe I wasn’t sane then. My life was a gray fog then anyway. Now it’s clear.”

Logan laughed softly and flicked open a panel on his arm. “Here, I can’t see it, so find the green switch and flip it neutral. It will stop the arm from sending ‘pain signals’ to my brain and I should be able to make the drive.”

Samuel gingerly pressed the green switch and stepped back quickly. He didn’t trust the metal arm under any circumstances, whether it appeared broken or not. He glanced back at Logan and was surprised to see his face still screwed up in pain.

“Alright, Sam, you’ve got to carry through now, my side has our exact location and someone on his way to meet us. Let’s go back to your truck. You better carry through; this arm is rigged to self-destruct if I die. Keep that in mind.”

Samuel nodded grimly and led Logan to his truck, crossing his fingers that the spare key was under the floor mat.

“You don’t mind, do you Sam? I didn’t trust you yet, but you have to admit, there was precious little to trust in you.”

“No, Logan, I wouldn’t have trusted me either.”

The two men chuckled softly and Sam slapped Logan’s bionic arm in friendship.