Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New Beginning 58

After a week in the Taygetos Mountains, hunger overcomes our fear.

The fiery pain in my belly is so intense that food is all I can think of, even as I gaze at the devastation below us. Others will have survived, perhaps including our families. We must find something to eat, even with the chance that some of the invaders are still around.

My son Gorgopas and I stumble across the first blackened field we reach, searching for a single vine that might have escaped destruction, but our hopes go unrewarded. As we near what had been the barn, the stench of death almost overpowers us. Corpses of goats and sheep lie everywhere. Except for the skeletal remains of a few scattered timbers, the farm shack is a pile of ashes. The bloated bodies of a dog and two young children lie in front.

We didn't expect to find food so quickly. The nearness of the fire has even given them a mesquite-grilled aroma. Now the only question is – blackened perro or roasted niño?

Continuation: MsJones


Anonymous said...

Brilliant continuation!

Anonymous said...

Oh there goes my drink. Dang. I loved that continuation!

Dave Fragments said...

IMHO - too many words.
Very descriptive but redundant:
i)fiery and intense, - my hunger so intense not even devestation diminishes it.
ii) blackened field and escaped destruction. - stumble across a blackened field where not even a single vine survived.
iii) the stench of dead cattle assaults us. We find a barn, blasted to timbers, a house in ashes, and a doorway with the bodies of two young children still holding their dog. Their bones protruding through bloated bodies...

This is a good opening of whatever disaster happened {Alien invasion, i guess} You need to build the horror.

Let the Taygetos mountains wait until after the opening. I don't know much about them and they distract from the horror. No one cares about the Taygetos after they spend a week without food, nearly dead, their hunger is so great that it blots out any fear because they know that in another they they will die. After a week, hunger overcomes fear, death trumps fear. They must eat or die.

I liked this. It inspired me. And it's a better end-of-world scenario than I did. I wish this were mine.

PJD said...

What's the title of this? Squirrels in Afghanistan?

Interesting opening, but can you sustain the first person and present tense for an entire novel? (OK, I know the answer is "yes" because it certainly is possible, but I'm not convinced from the opening that you can pull it off. I'm not convinced you can't, but I have my doubts.)

What kind of name is Gorgopas? Yet another name that might be better spelled backwards. And when do the vampire and brutal eunuchs show up?

Anonymous said...

Dark and dire. I wouldn't want to be in this place, but I would definitely read on.

Question: Are hopes "rewarded" or are they realized?

Dave Fragments said...

I looked in Wikipedia:
Taygetus or Taygetos (Greek: Ταΰγετος), also Taigetos is a mountain range of the Peloponnesus, Southern Greece, extending about 65 mi (100 km) north from the southern end of Cape Matapan in the Mani Peninsula.

And Gorgopas is a Greek name.

Anonymous said...

" . . . food is all I can think of, even as I gaze at the devastation below us. Others will have survived, perhaps including our families."

It sounds like you said you're so starving you can only think of food and then you are thinking about the devastation and wondering if anyone survived. It just doesn't read right to me.

I also wondered about the hopes being rewarded thing, picaxe. -JTC

Anonymous said...

Nothing to add to what the others said, except that I like this and would keep reading.

Anonymous said...

I'd definitely read on, but (I'd do you no good if I didn't say but ..., right!) I do have a couple comments:

1. 2nd paragraph, I'd start with the comment that others may have survived, and then bring out the thought that food is all I can think of. Then you continue on with the thoughts on food.

2. This is obviously a personal thing, but from what I've read with some agents, dead kids on page 1 will stop the reading. It's your story obviously, but I don't think you lose anything more than shock value if you lose that.

I like the first person present, and I don't see you having a problem sustaining that. Sure, it's difficult, but what isn't in this ridiculous life we've chosen.

Good luck