Weekend Writing Warriors – 5/21/23 – The Five Barred Gate II – Non-negotiable Terms

Hey Weekend Writing Warriors. Another stormy week. We did have a couple of nights where it didn’t rumble us awake. But as I write this, on Friday night, we are in line for another round of storms. Should be here right about the time I get to my deepest sleep. UGH. If it were earlier, I would be attempted to stay up and write through it, but not much on radar now and I need to get some sleep. Now to complete the below entry. If you’ve missed any WWW entries you can catch up 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 we move into Chapter Three. Johnathan Clarke and Xavier Ford, Dr. Houston’s attorney are meeting in a conference room discussing terms of surrender, so to speak. Let’s get into the action. You can catch up with the past snippets here.

First, here is a bit from last week:

“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.”

“Hmm,” Johnathan scribbled on his pad, then looked up. “We may be in a good position here, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews. I don’t see any laws broken if the encounter went as you say. There shouldn’t be any reason we couldn’t settle out of court. I will speak with opposing counsel and see if we can work something out.”

Now we move into the next chapter. We pick up with Johnathan and Xavier Ford, the prosecuting attorney meeting in a conference room.

“You’re joking, right?” prosecuting attorney Xavier Ford said, leaning back in his chair. “A slap on the wrist?”

“Who has she hurt here? What real law has she broken, Xavier?” Jonathan said.

“Federal law, John. You’re lucky we are still sitting here in County courts.”

“For asking a woman to church?”

“Precisely. My client is an Atheist. She was offended at your clients’ forward remarks.”

“She was attempting to be friendly.

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

“To Mrs. Andrews, maybe. But a clear infringement of Dr. Houston’s Dehumanization Act rights to remain free from such abusive language hurled at her.”

“Abusive language? I don’t see how a discussion can be abusive.”

Xavier leaned forward, “Did you know Dr. Houston had to leave the market immediately and abandon her purchases? She needed to call her therapist and take a Xanax to calm down. She had been off those meds for nearly two months. Your client set Dr. Houston’s mental health progress back months, if not years.”

Johnathan didn’t have a response. How could he? This was turning into something far more serious than he had imagined. This wasn’t going to be settled with a handshake and a slap on the wrist.

“What are you suggesting?” Johnathan asked.

“We are beyond apologies and simple fines, John. They are seeking time here. Serious time. The amount on the table is two million and the full term of ten years.”

“All because my client invited her to church?” Johnathan asked, grateful that he was able to maintain his composure.

“It seems that way,” the opposing lawyer nodded. He pushed a file folder across the table. “I’m afraid this deal is non-negotiable. The ink was dry even before I touched it. I’m sorry.”

“Non-negotiable?” Johnathan said.

“The only two who can alter the document are the client and the judge at sentencing.”

Now we are getting a greater sense of how strict these “Anti-Dehumanization” laws have become and how far some can legally take their grievances? Pretty much think of how our society is with how some take things so personally and inject it with steroids. Then add a legal aspect to it and top it with a spiritual. Then you get this book. Now we have Rachel in the middle of it all. It’s no wonder the first novel’s tagline was “Watch what you say.” And here we are 20 years later an added laws.

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.

Picked up a new client this week which kept me busy. It is always interesting to see how a new client and I will come together. Will we bond and work together? Or will we be one job and done? I really would like this one to turn into a long term. We shall see.

I was able to get a blog written , but no vlog. You can still see last weeks vlog. I keep those up indefinitely.

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.

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