Weekend Writing Warriors – 4/23/23 – The Five Barred Gate II – All Rise!

Here we are, Weekend Writing Warriors with a new snippet from The Five Barred Gate II. Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. We jump off the cliff here. First, if you want to catch up on snippets, you can find past posts here. There are about five of them and it’s only about a chapter.

To quickly sum up again, The Five Barred Gate II, is a dystopian suspense novel. It takes place about 20 years after the first book. It follows the son of the MC in the first book. Michael Andrews who was two years old at the time is now married and has two children. His wife is arrested for breaking a Federal speech law, like Andrew was in the first book, but this is much different.

I hope we are caught up now. In this snippet we pick up after Rachel is arrested and now must face her accuser. Let’s get into it.


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 his father Jacob had to deal with them. They must also deal with 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 <<<


In our last snippet Michael has put his children to bed. He was surprised by his sons strength and even more by his desire to pray for his mom. A quality that had been lacking in his own life. We move on and into a new day and a new chapter. You can catch up with the past five snippets here.

First I give you the close out of Chapter One from last week:

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.

Now we move into Chapter Two: As a reminder, Michaels wife, Rachel, has been arrested. It is still not quite clear what for. She had gone to the grocery store and not come home. Michael had only received a vague call about it. Now we pick in Chapter Two inside the courtroom.

“The next case on the docket County vs. Andrews. Two counts of soliciting an undercover Official agent of the state in violation of JSI2399. One count of violating the ADA Title VI.”

“Thank you, bailiff,” the judge said. Then reviewing her notes, “These charges state you were openly trying to force an innocent bystander to acquiesce to your religious views. Is this accurate, Mrs. Andrews?”

“Johnathan Clarke for the defense, Your Honor,” Rachel Andrews’ attorney stood and answered. He lifted a file folder toward the bailiff, who approached him and handed it to the judge. “I am submitting my qualifications as stipulated by the court, and you should find my standing above reproach. I am here to represent Mrs. Andrews in this case. May I speak, Your Honor?”

::There is your ten (or so). And now we continue on for a little bit::

The judge flipped through the folder; she nodded with an approving pout. “You have excellent credentials, counselor. I grant your motion. You may represent Mrs. Andrews.”

“Thank you, Your Honor,” Johnathan Clarke said with a nod to Rachel. “I would like to begin with a request to dismiss this case. It is Mrs. Andrews’ first offense. She is a model citizen, and the solicitation laws are vague when it concerns the matter of faith. The conversation she was involved in was mutual and private. If anything, we should be filing a case against the party filing these charges for invasion of privacy.”

“Counselor. If you examine the documents closely, you will find the charges are filed by the party she was having the discussion with.”

“Pardon?” the attorney reexamined his documents. The names were there, but they did not mention who filed the complaint by name.

“Page twelve. Paragraph four, Counselor.”

Johnathan Clarke thumbed through his file. Nine, ten, eleven… “Your Honor, my file does contain a page twelve.”

“I’m not sure what to tell you. Your office must be lacking in its abilities. Are you sure you can handle your client’s defense, Mr. Clarke?”

“I’m quite sure, Madame Judge. I am not in the habit of losing critical documents,” the attorney said in a firm but respectful tone.

The judge exchanged glances with him and his client. “It doesn’t change the facts. This case was brought against Mrs. Andrews by the party she was harassing. The charges will stand, and she will face her accuser. As for the law and its ambiguity, that is a matter for trial. You can argue your case, and the jury can make that decision.”

“A jury trial, Your Honor? For two counts of solicitation?”

“You are forgetting the count regarding the Anti-Dehumanization Act of 2015. Dr. Houston’s rights were violated when Mrs. Andrews approached her and verbally berated her. It is within her right to request a trial by jury. And so, she has requested.” The judge turned her attention toward Rachel. “Mrs. Andrews. Did you or did you not ask Dr. Houston if she was a Christian?”

Johnathan quickly answered, placing his hand on Rachel’s shoulder, “Don’t answer that, Rachel. It’s a trap.”

I forgot how much I loved writing this series. Especially this book. I loved getting into the courtroom aspect of the novel. I had always wanted to write within a courtroom, but I know that there is so much to know and so many tripping points. But being 25 years in the future, I do have some leeway here. I loved writing Johnathan Clarke, Rachel’s attorney. He became one of my more favorite characters. Much like Carter became. Hope you enjoyed this week. More to come next week as we continue with this courtroom scene and what follows here.

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.

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Thanks for reading this week. And for your continued support.

It has been a crazy couple of weeks with freelance writing. My main client has chosen to write write a review of several different insurance companies. This is exciting for me because it is pretty much guaranteed work. I has kept me busy and looks to keep me busy for the next two weeks. I love this type of work. The best thing about it is that getting to know these companies prepares me for other work we may do in the future. If you don’t know by now, I love my job. I am truly blessed and can’t believe I am living my dream.

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.

9 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – 4/23/23 – The Five Barred Gate II – All Rise!

    1. Mine too. Another topic I had fun writing. Why I will spend some time finishing the edit on this one right now. Not really writing much this year as I prepare for my October release of Little Reminders III.


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