Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Beginning 948

They were saying from porch to sidewalk and across property fences and in the aisles of the grocery store: have you seen her? Her long red hair? They passed on winding roads and leaned out the windows of their trucks: red hair. Young girl, college girl. You know? She was heading up to the church. Dammit, I knew one of them would turn up. And they called for Pastor Claire.

After Claire hung up she put her cell phone in the turtle-shell bowl where she always kept it. Truth be told, she'd known one of them would turn up some day too. She got in her file drawer and found the right folder and took out her notes. She made a copy of them, returned them, and took another pre-copied piece of paper from another folder. At least, she thought, Sunday's sermon is going to be an easy one.


"Friends," pastor Claire began, "the Lord sayeth Love thy neighbor. The Lord sayeth, Do unto others yada yada. The Lord sayeth Thou shalt not kill. And we are all the Lord's children. But the Lord never had a redhead move next door to him in Jerusalem.

"After the service, gather ye some stones from the sacred rock pile out back; we'll meet in front of the witch's room at the Motel 6 at two P.M. Now turn in your hymnals to page 168, O Jesus, Lord Of Heavenly Grace."

Opening: 150.....Continuation: Evil Editor


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

She uncapped her pen and began to scribble in her notebook:

"Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us, 'There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.'

Take notice, my friends, that not one of these references gingers."


The life of a part-time-literary agent, full-time-pastor was never a dull one. Although how was she going to work in "The wages of sin are death" combined with submitting a hot new work to Evil Editor?


"The Whore of Babylon" was the title. Claire kept it ready for redheads. Everyone knew red was the color of the Whore. In this sleepy country town, you couldn't safeguard the young men too closely. Claire had learned long ago not to let a redheaded woman near her flock of consorts.


Evil Editor said...

This opening is from a WIP that may not have gone much beyond this point.

Also, it was the last opening in the queue, and only one query remains to be critiqued. Hint, hint.

In P1, I'd use italics or quotation marks to distinguish between what people say and what the narrator says.

It would be more intriguing if it were clear that "one of them" refers to something more than just hair color.

sarahhawthorne said...

I think you build up some good mystery and momentum in the first paragraph - but then in the second it stalls a bit with unnecessary details about Pastor Claire's cell phone location and photocopying. I would edit like so:

Truth be told, Pastor Claire had known one of them would turn up someday too. After she hung up she got in her file drawer and found the right folder and took out her notes. At least, she thought, Sunday's sermon is going to be an easy one.

Dave Fragments said...

It's obviously a whisper campaign but there's nothing more than talk. If this is like the "hippie" thing where adults sneered at and mistreated their own children, or if it is like the Scarlet Letter A embroidered on a blouse or a doublet, then the reader needs to know that in those two paragraphs.