Friday, August 12, 2011

New Beginning 875

The first time I saw the man with no face was on my way to school. Less than a week since I got out of the hospital and I was already totally wired, even before the horror show started. I just caught a fleeting glimpse, more of an impression than anything, a guy on the sidewalk with smooth blank skin where eyes, nose, mouth should have been. He seemed to be looking at something – for something. His head craned around on a skinny neck, as if he were searching for ... me.

“Did you see that?” I burst out, feeling a chill run up my spine as our driver stopped for a light.

“Quinn, what is it?” said Mina. She could read the fear in my voice. She leaned her forehead against the window of the car, trying to see what I'd seen.

"I thought I saw a man with no face," I told her. "Do you see him?"

"No," Mina replied. Then, to our driver: "Turn back, driver. It appears Quinn was released from the hospital prematurely."

The second time I saw the man with no face he was standing at the foot of my hospital bed when I woke up. I started screaming in terror, and he turned toward me. It was one of my shrinks, the bald one. I'd been looking at the back of his head. Awkward.

Opening: Deb Hoag.....Continuation: Evil Editor


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

"Look," I said, this time louder, "that man! With no face! There!"

Mina slammed on the brakes. "No arms either! Or legs!"

"It's just...clothes."

We stared at the impression that was anything, something and everything — yet nothing — as it stuttered towards the car.

"It's like those Dr Seuss pants," gasped Mina, "only with a matching sweat top."

"Let's get the hell outta here," I said. "maybe the Phantom Tollbooth is on the next block."


"That's the guy from the news, you know, the one running for city council, Joe."

"Wow, they said he was smooth-faced, but what an understatement." Mina sighed, "You really have to take care of his dog this weekend?"

I cried, "Well, his mom is my mom's best friend... Still have teeth marks from that dog on my tukus."

"You said Tuckus." Mina laughed.

--R.T. Davis

Evil Editor said...

First we get "I just caught a fleeting glimpse, more of an impression than anything," and then we get a fairly detailed description, down to the size of his neck and that fact that he was searching for the narrator. Perhaps the third sentence should start: He was standing on the sidewalk, smooth blank skin...

That omits the brief glimpse/impression part. I get the impression it was more than a brief glimpse.

I'm interested in the man with no face, as it sounds like he returns. Does he breathe though gills?

Anonymous said...

Um - how does a man with no face appear to be looking at/for something? Was he using a cane?

none said...

The appearance of looking for something could easily be created by movements.

I'm suffering deja vu with this opening for some reason. Eh.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

A small point maybe pressed her forehead rather than leaned. I like the opening. A touch of foreshadow. Works for me and
I'd read on.

vkw said...

I think it was interesting, I would read on a bit.

I agree with EE that the narrator saw more than a glimpse.

I would suggest also omitting "She could read fear in my voice". If you are very fond of this and really think it is important maybe try. "She sounded concerned; she must have heard the fear in my voice."

I am not sure one reads tone as much as they hear it. I am further not sure your narrator should be all that all knowing.


AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Interesting premise. There's just a tad too much repetion. Trust your reader.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

ps-- or "repetition", even.

debhoag said...

Thanks, everybody! Your comments are barbed yet pointy, and really help me tune up the opening!