Chapter 10

Written by: h.patel

Daniel and Uchendu took cover as volleys of bullets tore through the main door. Hearing a crash from above, Daniel raced to the stairs and climbed two steps at a time as Uchendu provided cover fire. He reached the landing and found Melanie collapsed in a pool of blood. Gently raising her head, he found a gash caused by broken glass, just above her neckline. Daniel shouted, ‘Uchendu, Melanie’s hit, she needs medical help.’ ‘We are outnumbered and out gunned’ Uchendu called back. Daniel picked Melanie up and carried her into the nearest bedroom. He laid her onto the bed, next to a very terrified Mrs. Callahan. Melanie’s face was quickly losing colour. Daniel pulled a sheet from a bed nearby and ripped off a strip. ‘I need your help,’ he said, touching Mrs. Callahan’s arm. I have to be downstairs. Mrs. Callahan understood, her own illness forgotten. She took the makeshift bandage and pressed it to Melanie’s wound as Daniel stepped out onto the landing.  The firing stopped. Taking cover near the broken window, he tried to gauge the number of assailants that they were up against. He peered out of the window. A powerful beam of light from a searchlight mounted on a police jeep flashed across the window. He blinked and ducked. Below, the local police were holding several Nigerians.

Daniel ran back to the bedroom. Mrs Callahan sat holding her neighbour in her arms, pressing the blood soaked bandage to Melanie’s neck. ‘It’s okay, Ma’am,’ he said, ‘the police have everything under control.’ Daniel picked Melanie up and carried her downstairs. ‘I’m taking her to the hospital,’ he said as he passed Uchendu in the hall. ‘Look after Mrs Callahan.’ Outside, he was helped into the police commander’s car.

Cradling Melanie in his arms, Daniel kissed her forehead and whispered, ‘You’re safe now, everything’s going to be fine.’  

Melanie was unconscious by the time they arrived at the hospital. Staff rushed her into the theatre. Daniel stood, looking after her, his heart thumping. He felt tired and helpless. The aroma of coffee drifted across the lobby. He poured a cup from the machine and wondered if he had a chance with Melanie.

Dave appeared for a moment when Melanie came out of surgery. Ignoring Daniel’s outstretched he angrily whispered, ‘if it weren’t for you she’d be fine’.

In the ward, Melanie asked to see Dave, alone. A smug smile appeared on Dave’s face as he watched Daniel sink into the chair outside.

“I’ve been rather stupid…..” Melanie said, softly, reaching for Dave’s hand. Dave bent over her but she turned away. “No, Dave, I…..” She looked at Daniel’s form in the passage, “I want to be with Daniel…..if he will have me.”

Dave stormed from the room. “Looks like she wants you, pin-up boy!” he growled sarcastically as he brushed past Daniel.

As if feeling her eyes on him, Daniel turned and smiled. Their eyes met as he walked into the room.


Hetal Patel  (UK)






Well I guess we all had something to learn in this genre. The biggest lesson was that Romance is not all hearts and roses, especially for the writer. Well done Hetal. You had a real trial but you managed to bring it all together at the end. I liked the way Dave treated Daniel at the end, and thought Melanie ended up a real DITZ. I think Daniel will have a problem on his hands. The action was also sustained but the only thing I couldn't find out was - 'Whatever happened to Mrs Callahan' and what was she suffering from? Apart from that I thought this was pretty good.
A love triangle will always involve a choice and that is well held back until the last few sentences. Whether you agree with the choice as a reader is not relevant. Well finished Hetal.
Thank you for the comments, a very big thank you to Raymond for looking through the chapter with me.
This was the first time I wrote in this genre and I have come out of it learning quite a bit.
The experience will be very useful when writing such a scene in my own book.
Writing in a different genre, out of a writer's comfort zone, can only improve the individual's all round knowledge of the craft and increase the chances of being recognized through a worldwide readership. Being able to write in different genres/tense increases our skills at conveying a whole variety of human emotions from every POV. The more we tackle each genre, the better the writer we become. To 'stick to what we know best' is to admit our creative talents are gathering dust. We should all experiment with a new pen at every opportunity.
I still say Daniel is a cad and Melanie has mad the wrong choice. Is that the feeling that is supposed to come through or did I miss something. That's why I don't read romance, I don't get the nuances.
I think this serial came together well. We had many people who were not familiar with writing romance, take a chance and put their words out there for everyone to see. Hopefully we will all continue to take these chances. You never know what may come of it.
HERE, HERE - HEAR, HEAR - ERE, ERE - EAR, EAR !!! Is it any wonder that English is one of the hardest languages to learn, so full marks to our fellow writers who contribute in a foreign tongue? Good show, chaps.