Weekend Writing Warriors – 5/14/23 – The Five Barred Gate II – Going Too Far

Hey Weekend Writing Warriors. Second week in May. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms AND the dads who fulfill the motherly role out there. You are recognized. We praise you for your service and could not succeed at what we do without your love and support you give. God bless!! This week we support a mom who finds herself behind bars and strenuously desires to be at home with her family. Can her husband and attorney help? ICYMI: 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 this week’s snippet Johnathan Clarke, Rachel’s attorney, and Michael, continue their meeting from last week. You can catch up with the past snippets here.

First, here is a bit from last week:

“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?”

Now we move into the next scene. We pick up right were we left off.

Rachel began her account from seeing Michael off to work that morning. She gave Johnathan times and details even Michael had forgotten, like what color shirt he had been wearing but changed his mind. She mentioned the disagreement about when he would pick up the kids, which turned Michael a couple of shades of pink. She proceeded through her day with various errands and then to the grocery store.

She slowed her pace at that point, taking a deep breath. “I don’t know what it was. But I kept passing a woman in the store. Nearly every aisle we would pass each other.”

“Well, wouldn’t that be common in a grocery store?” Johnathan said. “I shop at one, and people cross paths frequently as their patterns match up.”

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

“Yeah, but this was different. It’s hard to explain. I just felt like I should talk to her.”

“What made you feel that way? Do you know her? Had you seen her before that gave you familiarity?”

“No, not at all. I’ve never seen her before,” Rachel said, shaking her head.

“But you had the urge to speak to her?” Johnathan said, writing on his pad.

Rachel nodded, “An overwhelming urge. I finally figured that maybe God wanted me to talk to her or say something to her. At that point, I didn’t know what yet.”

“God wanted you to talk to her?”

“Yeah. It was the only reasonable explanation I could think of,” Rachel shrugged. “I know I didn’t know her. She hadn’t given me any reason to believe she was looking to speak to me.”

“Are you sure?”

Rachel’s eyebrows furrowed. “I don’t think so. Why?”

“Just asking,” Johnathan wrote. “Continue.”

“Well, we get into the produce section and make eye contact. That’s when she smiled at me. So, I figured that was my opening. Plus, there is no better place to strike up a conversation with a stranger than produce. We were near the onions, and she had placed both sweet yellow and white in her basket. So, I asked her about the difference.”

“But you know the difference,” Michael said.

“I know that. But she didn’t. It was a conversation starter.” Rachel said.

“So that opened the door for you to talk about God?” Johnathan asked.


“How did that work?”

“We first talked about food. Then cooking. And who for. That led to cooking times and jobs. It turned out she was new to the area. That opened the door, and I felt led to ask her if she had been able to find a local church.”

“You know that’s close to going too far, right?” Johnathan asked. “There are laws.”

“I know. But I didn’t ask her if she believed in God. I just asked about church. It did not step over any lines or laws.”
“You certainly toed it, though. And if someone were an atheist, they could very well take offense to even the mention of church.”

“Yeah. I suppose. But the truth is. It’s what I felt led to do. And I would do it all over again,” Rachel said with a smile, tears nowhere near her face.

How did she handle you asking her about church?” Johnathan continued.

“She thanked me and said she would consider it. Then we ended our conversation, and she went to find tomatoes. I headed for the cashier.”

“Mrs. Andrews, did Dr. Houston at any point give you any indication that you upset her with your words? Did she frown, growl, snarl, smirk, squint, throw a turnip, or say anything that would give you the idea she disapproved of your conversation that day?”

“None whatsoever.”

Now we have Rachel’s side of the story. She was apparently arrested for speaking to Dr. Houston, we now know, about her church attendance. So we can assume thus far that Dr. Houston took offence since Rachel finds herself in this predicament. But Rachel has no shame in it. And what’s more is that Dr. Houston did not show her offense at the time. Could this mean something?

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.

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

Editing is going slower than planned. I am just lazy. I’ve gotten just a couple of chapters done this week. Sad because since my workload has lessened, I now have the time. I did get a couple of blogs written and a vlog posted. I haven’t done either in ages; the vlog was my first of the year. Sad since that was supposed to be a New Year’s Resolution to be more consistent with that. Well, here’s to a new week.

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.

8 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – 5/14/23 – The Five Barred Gate II – Going Too Far

  1. I hope that the fact the woman didn’t express any problem with Rachel’s words will help in the long run. Hard to imagine a society where mention of a church is a criminal offense, but I then I remember how Christians had to meet in secret in the early days or risk death and it doesn’t sound so far fetched. Tweeted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it didn’t go to well in the first novel, now it’s 20 years later. Laws have gotten much more strict. Seeing how people take offense at just about anything, were not too far off, I’m afraid.


  2. One never knows what people are thinking. I try never to talk about politics or religion, but I certainly don’t think it should be a jailable offense to do so. Tweeted.

    Liked by 1 person

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