Weekend Writing Warriors – 5/7/23 – The Five Barred Gate II – Take it From the Top

Hey Weekend Writing Warriors. A new week, and here we are with a new snippet. It’s been an interesting week. Slowed down tremendously with work and while I accept the break, it’s a bit of a letdown to my bank account. But I will take the break as a sign from the Lord that I need to relax my mind. I have been using that time to touch up The Five Barred Gate II as I am still still in the middle of edits. With that said, let’s get into it. You can catch up missed WWW entries here.

The Five Barred Gate is a Dystopian Suspense novel that takes place about 20 years after the events after the first novel. It surrounds the life of Michael, Jacob’s son. He faces the same, but different challenges his father faced. Times are much more difficult. I am excited to revisit this world. I love my characters and getting to revisit the Dystopian genre.


Still working on a full synopsis:

Michael Andrews is Jacob’s son. He is now the main character. His wife has been arrested for talking to someone on her trip to the store about God. Now he must find a way to fight for her release and raise their twins. 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 Federal and local laws that are even more strict than what his father had to deal with. They must also struggle 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 Johnathan Clarke, Rachel’s attorney, and Michael, are discussing what had occurred in the preliminary hearing. They are on their way to meet with Rachel. You can catch up with the past snippets here.

First, here is a bit from last week:

“Where are you going now?” Michael asked.

“To see Rachel. You can join me if you behave yourself.” Johnathan eyed Michael, “They have rules. You are to stay 10 feet away from her; no hugs or kisses. You cannot pass her anything, not even a glance or blink—no coded messages. If you violate these rules, they will ban you from future visits, or worse, I could be removed from representing her. So, don’t break the rules, got it?”

“Got it,” Michael said as they rounded a corner.

Now we move into the next scene. Michael and Johnathan are heading to a room to meet with Rachel.

Johnathan knocked on a door, and a man in uniform answered. He gave both of them a once over. When he seemed satisfied, he let them through the door.

“I’ll need to frisk both of you if I’m to leave you alone,” he said.

Michael and Johnathan did as they were asked, and after a couple of minor personal space violations, the bailiff grunted his approval. “Mrs. Andrews will be brought to you shortly,” he said, then turned to Michael. “You know the rules about fraternization, correct? You can look, but don’t touch. Ten feet, or you’re out of here.”

“Understood,” Michael said with raised hands.

“Alright. I will be back with the accused,” he said and left the room.

::There is your ten (or so). Here is a bit more for good measure.

Michael snickered, “Did he have to say it like that? The accused?”

“Relax. He’s just trying to get under your skin. They all are,” Johnathan said. “Like I said. Sit back and say as little as possible. Remember, don’t get up when he brings her back. Even if she approaches you, don’t react if he restrains her. Overreaction will get you kicked out of here fast.”

“Why are you telling me all of this,” Michael asked.

“Because I don’t want you to get barred from seeing your wife. I’ve seen it too many times. One slip-up and you’re done. So please heed my words. You’ll thank me later.”

“Okay. I just hope they are giving her the same lecture about approaching me. Because I’m sure she will wonder why I won’t hold her.”

“You can explain. Or I can if you’d like me to if that’s easier. We’ll play it by ear when she arrives. Just relax, we’ll have this case wrapped up before you know it, and Rachel will be home with you and the kids soon.” Johnathan grinned and turned back to his paperwork.

The sound of approaching footfalls tapped in the hall and stopped at the door. The knob turned, and Rachel, now in an olive jumpsuit, entered the room. The bailiff held her by the arm and directed her to a chair at the table where they were sitting. He rearranged the cuffs from behind her back to a clip attached to the table, then he stood at ease in the corner.

Michael wanted to reach out and hold her but remained where he was. “How are you?”

Rachel sniffed, “Okay, I suppose. How are the kids? They with dad?”

“Yeah. Don’t worry. They don’t have a clue what’s going on. I told them you had a sleepover at grandpas.” Michael tried to laugh a little to ease Rachel. She smiled, but that was about all the emotion she gave.

“Thank you.” Rachel wiped her eyes. The cuff chain was just long enough to allow her to raise her arms that far. She looked to the ceiling, then back to him. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been so careless.”

“For what?”

“Talking to people.”

Michael nodded.

“That’s enough, Rachel,” Johnathan said. “If you start acting guilty, they will treat you as guilty. Don’t give in to their pressure. Stand firm.”

Rachel nodded, wiping her eyes again.

“He’s right, Rache. Stay strong. We’re here for you. Mr. Clarke is here to see that you are treated fairly and that you get out of here as soon as possible.”

Jonathan pulled out a yellow legal pad and a pen from his jacket pocket. “Okay, Rachel. I need you to take me through your day. From the time you got up until you were brought into the courtroom to see the judge. Don’t leave out any details. What did you say? What was said to you?”

Here we are. About to get Rachel’s side of the story. So far what we know is that she has been arrested for something she said to someone and it may have something to do with talking about God. Stay tuned and we will see how that plays into this Dystopian society. If you remember our first peak with the first novel, you know it did not go well for Jacob. How will it play out for his daughter-in-law.

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. — I am way behind on this… sorry.
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 this week. And for your continued support.

As you may have noticed I placed the link for the first installment of The Five Barred Gate above. I cant believe its been four years since that was published, five since it was written. Seems like an eternity ago. So much has changed in my life in such a short span of time. Never did I think that I would be a published author. I laughed at the thought I could write a full length novel. Now I could not dream of writing not being part of my life. Crazy how life can do a 180 like that.

Here’s to living the dream. God bless Writing Warriors!!

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.

15 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – 5/7/23 – The Five Barred Gate II – Take it From the Top

  1. Freedom of speech needs to be protected. This is a very timely topic. As an agnostic, I’m not comfortable with people trying to convert me to their beliefs, but I uphold their right to be able to talk about their religion without fear of punishment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure this is the most difficult thing they’ve ever had to deal with. And not being able to touch–makes it 10 times worse. You’ve made the situation seem almost hopeless for them. Good job! Tweeted

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jenna. Considering this is the second book, his parents had to go through an ordeal, but he was 2 at the time. This is his and his wife’s biggest struggle. We’ll see how they face the challenge.


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