Weekend Writing Warriors – 4/16/23 – The Five Barred Gate II – Baths and Bedtime Prayers

Here we go, Weekend Writing Warriors. Another week and another novel. Well, back to a novel in my stack, The Five Barred Gate II. I had given you the first chapter about a year ago. Then I moved over to The Transference and Little Reminders II. Now I move back into it for a bit. If you want to see those snippets, you can see those past posts here.

The Five Barred Gate II, is a dystopian suspense novel that takes place roughly 20 years after the first installment. It follows the son of MC, Jacob Andrews. In the first book, Jacob was arrested for his behavior. He becomes friends with another inmate who was arrested for supposedly breaking the law of speaking out against the government. Eric was a pastor of a church. In the second installment it is now twenty years later and the laws have become more strict. Michael, was two years old during the time of the first book, and now his family has become the target.


Still working on a full synopsis:
Michael, Jacob’s son, will be the main character. His wife is arrested for talking to someone in a store about God. Now he must find a way to fight for her release and raise their fraternal twin five-year-olds. He has the help of Rachel’s grandfather Frank Dunham, his parents, and a supportive attorney that will do their best to protect Rachel. But they must fight local and federal laws that are even more strict than when Jacob had to deal with them. They must also fight a corrupt accuser and an old family adversary to ensure justice is served and Rachel is able to come home to her family.

>>>If you are curious about the first novels snippets, I have them archived: Here is a link to them if you want to read up on The Fiver Barred Gate <<<


Last time we talked Michael had just picked up his kids from his in-laws, they are on their way for ice cream. Aiden and Alyse do not know about their moms arrest. He wants to keep it that way, for now. To keep it that way, he wants to distract them in any way possible, and to be honest himself too. We pick up right here. You can catch up with the past four snippets here.

First a bit from the last time:

“Sure, why not. Double scoops for everyone,” Michael said, turning down the road leading to the ice cream parlor.

“Make mine a triple,” said Aiden. “I am almost five. I can take it now.”

“Hey,” Alyse reached across the backseat and whacked her brother, “I’m almost five too, silly-head.”

“Oh, come on now, you two. She was just playing, Aiden. And Alyse, you don’t need to be hitting your brother.”

A duet of ‘okay’s’ sang from the backseat.

Now we pick up from there. We are still in Chapter One:

Michael pulled into the Dairy Queen, and the family went inside and ordered, settling on double scoops all around.

“Should we order for mommy?” Alyse asked.

“No, mommy won’t be here with us. We’ll see her later,” Michael answered, feeling the stress in his voice becoming more evident. He knew he had to come up with something because soon, the children would realize that Rachel wasn’t coming home. He had to buy some time because he already knew it would be at least until the morning.

Alyse accepted his answer and scooped into her double chocolate bowl with whipped cream, syrup, and two cherries. Aiden was strawberry and vanilla with a strawberry topping and whipped cream. Forgotten was the punch in the car, and it was replaced with a ‘taste mine’ challenge. They both agreed it was good but still felt they had the better deal. Even dad got to sample each on top of his chocolate strawberry combo with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Taking bites in between glances at his phone.

::There is your ten (or so). And now we continue to finish out the chapter::

By the time the bowls were empty, and both faces and clothing were chocolate-covered, Michael had come up with a plan. Get the kids home and call Frank for a check-in. He would tell the kids that she went to Grandpa Frank’s and they invited her to eat dinner. After she ate, she got so sleepy she didn’t want to drive and decided to have a sleepover.

After they arrived home and Michael was helping the kids clean up for bed, he told them his well-laid-out plan.

“Ooohh,” Alyse said. “Can we go have a sleepover with mommy?”

Michael could only laugh, “No, sweetie. We need to stay here. It’s bedtime, and mommy is already asleep. She was tired.”

“Oh, alright,” she said, pulling her pajama top over her head. Michael kissed her on her now clean forehead, tucked her into bed, and headed to Aiden’s room.

“You okay, buddy?” Aiden was already under his covers.

“Yep,” Aiden said, then sat up. “Daddy? Can we pray for mommy?”

Michael was taken back by his four-year-old’s request. He was a bit nervous too because he wasn’t sure what he would say. He hadn’t prayed in quite a long time.

“Sure, Aiden. We can pray for mom.” Michael said, sitting on the edge of his bed.

Michael took a breath, but the second his eyes were closed, Aiden began to pray, “Dear Jesus, please be with mommy. Help her to sleep good and don’t let her be sad. Amen.”

After his ‘Amen,’ Aiden laid back down, “Thank you, daddy. I feel better now. Good night.”

Michael turned his son’s light out. He wasn’t sure where the prayer came from. He knows it wasn’t from anything he had taught him. He didn’t pray. Was it something Rachel had been teaching the kids? Whatever it was, it had helped comfort him. And to be honest, he felt much better too.

Diving back into The Five Barred Gate II, I can’t believe it’s been over a year though. I had to refamiliarize myself with my forgotten family. I had gotten so used to Evelyn and Joshua in Little Reminder, two different ages, that I had reremind myself that Aiden and Angela are twins. I remember that I had to do the backwards earlier. I think I mentioned that I struggled remembering the children, Evelyn and Joshua were different ages. Well, this is where I got it from. The struggles of writing. Heh!

Monday is Memory Monday
We remember an important event that occurred on that Monday or sometime that week.

Tuesday is Two Twenty-Two Tuesday
A weekly vlog where I talk about writing or something that’s been on my heart, all in two minutes and twenty-two seconds.
This is posted on my YouTube channel.

Wednesday is when I post my blog for the week.
I speak from my heart on various topics from writing to faith.

Thursday is This or That Thursday
A weekly two-option poll that raises the question, do you like this, or do you prefer that?
I host this on this on Twitter, IG, and Facebook.

Friday is Fun Fact Friday
I find and share interesting or obscure facts on my pages.

Saturday is for Weekend Writing Warriors
Saturday is for Snippets from a current piece or past work.

Featured Titles


Thanks for reading through my snippets Little Reminders of Who I’m Going to Be and for your help with selecting my title. We shall see what happens from here.

This book will probably sit on the shelf for who knows how long. I wrote it during Camp NaNoWriMo last year. With Little Reminders of Who I’m Going to Be being released in November, I don’t want to hurt sales trying to release something too close to it’s date. I really hurt sales of The Transference last year with releasing Little Reminders II so close to it. Well, lessons learned. And I really had big plans for The Transference. I though it was ‘the one’. — May release it next year if I don’t have a NaNo project for 2023. I will just edit this one. Although I do have a Transference II idea floating around.

In His Exciting Service,

Jeff S. Bray

Check out amazing established and emerging writers at Weekend Writing Warriors. Each week we post new snippets from either published works or works in progress for each other to comment on. Gain insight into how the mind of a writer works and a behind-the-scenes look at works before they hit bookstands everywhere.

8 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – 4/16/23 – The Five Barred Gate II – Baths and Bedtime Prayers

    1. Thanks, Jenna. The kids were fun to write. Though they only make a brief appearance. I often wondered writing this if I shoved them to the background.

      Tried to answer the confirmation email, but it would not allow me to. Not sure what happened there.


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