Monday, August 07, 2006

New Beginning 51

No one should have to give her kid sister all the credit, but Lisa had to admit that Katie had dragged her into it. Lisa thought Katie's guessing game was silly, but that's how it all began: guessing what was in the box from Gran.

When Dad dumped the cardboard box onto the living room floor, Lisa was hanging up the phone, too stunned by her best friend's bombshell to pay any attention.

"Whew; that's darned heavy," Dad said, rubbing his lower back.

This couldn't be happening to her! Lisa slumped on the couch.

Katie's unruly curls bounced as she did a little dance. "What did we get? Anything for me?" Her brown eyes sparkled at the possibility of presents.

"Just some things that won't fit into Gran's new condo," Mom said as she walked into the room. "We'll open it after dinner. Lisa, what's the matter?"

"Mary Beth just called and said that she and her new boyfriend Bruno killed Gran and drank her blood and then cut off her head and shipped it to us in a cardboard box."

"I thought Bruno was your boyfriend," Dad said.

"So did I," Lisa sobbed.

"Dinner'll be a little late," Mom said, picking up the box and heading for the kitchen. "There's one more thing I want to throw into the crock pot."

Continuation: Evil Editor


HawkOwl said...

I'm sure all these fragments are gathered up neatly in the next 150 words. (Well, I'm not sure, but let's say I feel lucky.) If that's the case, then this might possibly work. If it keeps on going with all these disconnected thoughts, I'd put it down quickly. I know it's supposed to make me wonder what has and what will happen, but it doesn't. It makes me wonder when I'm gonna see something that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

1.Lisa and Katie were guessing what's in the box.

2.Dad brings the box in.

3.Lisa hangs up the phone.

Somehow, I'm confused about this. How's the phone conversation connected to the guessing game, and how do the sisters guess what's in the box, before it arrived.

Of course, you might wanna bypass this comment, cause I am a nut, and I do get confused a lot. Just ask the ogre.

Anonymous said...

The continuation is fun. Maybe ol' granny tastes like pastramy.

Anonymous said...

Master, I'm beginning to worry about some of the other Minions. First the Muffin Man and Gingerbread Boy turn out to be homicidal maniacs, now Mom is a cannibal.

Nice pun on Head Cook, though.

McKoala said...

To be honest, I got confused by all the hints. e.g. 'Katie had dragged her into it' - why? 'that's how it all began - guessing what was in the box from gran' - what began? what's in the box? Then Lisa is 'stunned by her best friend's bombshell' and you start tantalising us with that too. I may be on my own here, but I just thought that there were too many mysteries starting up in too few words and I found it hard to follow.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing this is a mid-grade novel. I agree with everybody who said-too much going on. Pick one mystery (either the phone call or the box) and stick with it.

Add sensory details. (I find that I love stories that start with these and feel disconnected in those that don't.)

Is this anywhere, anytime USA? Sounds like it. If not, let us know now.

And a nitpick--"When Dad dumped the cardboard box..." I imagined that he overturned the box and dumped its contents. I realized later that is not what you meant, so "dumped" may not be the word to use.

The opening paragraph takes us forward to the "it" that Katie drags Lisa into. The rest takes us back. I'd prefer to continue going forward.

Anonymous said...

I'm humor-impaired, so I didn't like the continuation.

Anonymous said...

Nobody, but nobody, waits to open a box. I mean nobody. -JTC

Anonymous said...

I noticed the word "had" three times in the first sentence. I'm partial to the word "then", but I'm working hard to get rid of it.

Anonymous said...

What JTC said.

Anonymous said...

If I've learned one thing from the New Beginnings series, it's that there aren't enough people out there writing funny horror.

Anonymous said...

This reads like you're trying too hard to be brief and concise and get to the point. But you've cut out too much that would help make sense of the story. Trying to introduce both mysteries at the same time might be too much too soon.

none said...

Lisa isn't paying any attention, yet she knows what the other characters are doing and saying. Odd.

Beth said...

I'd keep reading. I want to find out what's in the box and what Lisa found out on the phone. In fact, I'm annoyed that the author hit the word limit before I found out.

I guess that's a thumbs up. :D

Ryoryo said...

Considering that the original post was in 2006 and it is now 2011, I probably shouldn't bother. But I didn't really think that the juxtaposition of the phone call and the box was all that confusing. Here's my take on what's going on:

The first sentence is setting the stage. The subsequent events are jumping back a bit to explain the arrival of the box and how the guessing game came up. It seems to me that Lisa got bad news in the phone call (maybe her friend is moving? I'm sure she shares that next, whatever it is) and Katie suggests the guessing game as a distraction from Lisa's unhappiness. Then I would expect the story to proceed from there.

And, just to get into the spirit of things, useless though my feedback is at this point... The sentence about the "things that won't fit into Gran's new condo" doesn't really make sense -- it's just one box of stuff. But a minor quibble. I thought it was a good start.