I open my eyes, and there he stands above me holding out a hand that drips with blood. I tug my arm up from the dirt and reach out to take it. He takes hold and hoists me up out ditch in a graceful motion. For a moment, I'm airborne. My feet hover just above the ground until he wraps his other hand around my waist, gently placing me down. The damp earth chills my toes.
I look up at his face, and he smiles at me. He actually has the gall to smile at me. Quickly, I wrest my hand from his and push away from him.
"Rae, I. . ." he begins but quickly closes his mouth.
I shake my head at him. What do you say to the person who murdered you just weeks ago?
"Fuck you, Mark!" I snap. "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you! Put me back!"
I stare at him, my eyes wide -- bugging, as they say. "Fuck you!" I say again. His lips tremble, his Adam's apple bounces in his throat.
He stammers. "W-What were you doing in the hole?" he asks, and a nervous laugh sounds like his death rattle.
I don't need him. "Fuck you! Put me down! It's over!" I'm the one people love; he's nothing.
Trent steps forward and puts a hand on his shoulder. He's known Trent for years; we both have. "Forget it, Mark," Trent says. "I can still see your lips moving. You need a different act."
He throws me back in the ditch, and all of a sudden I'm speechless.
Opening: Xiexie.....Continuation: Anonymous
He continues to smile at me. Apparently "fuck you" wasn't the thing to say to the person who just murdered you.
I back away and brush dirt from my clothes. There had to be something I could say. Something to wrest that smile off his face.
"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" I shout.
"Get your hands off me, you damn dirty ape!" I scream.
Mark stares at me in confusion. This wasn't working.
I lower my voice for stronger effect. "They're making our food out of people. Next thing they'll be breeding us like cattle for food. You've gotta tell them."
Mark almost laughs, but he stops himself. My movie lines aren't working.
At last, I find the right words.
"Evil Editor said your manuscript sucked. SUCKED! DO YOU HEAR ME?"
Apparently, he does. Mark recoils in horror, and I check out my new zombie digs.
What do you say to the person who murdered you... is a good hook, as is the blood dripping from his hands.
p.1 He's holding out a hand, she reaches out to take it, he takes hold... We don't need such a detailed play-by-play. You can delete "to take it" from s.2 and/or "takes hold and" from s.3. Also, note other obvious error in s.3.
p.2 "Quickly" not needed.
I think the last paragraph would be more effective if it just read "Put me back," I tell him. All those Fuck you's are distracting from the cold fact that she'd rather be buried in the dirt than out with him. She can say Fuck you next time she speaks, if you wish, though I think once will be sufficient.
This opening brings immediately to mind the myriad scenes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer of the recently sucked crawling out of their graves.
Also, be aware in "Sunshine," Robin McKinley's most excellent vampire book, the heroine's name is Rae...
If this isn't actually a vampire book, then your opening is misleading. Intentionally or otherwise.
If she'd rather be buried in the dirt, though, why does she take the offered hand?
I LOVE these continuations!
And I agree with EE that, in the last paragraph, less is more.
What EE said.
How is his "graceful" hoisting relevant?
This could be fun. I liked it.
Agree with EE's comments, and would add one more. I felt 'just weeks agon' in your last sentence diluted the strength of this sentence. I would just say:
What do you say to the person who murdered you? and leave the time reference for later.
Love this. And I loved the 'fuck you's. Really puts me in mind of how pissed she is. Like she can't say it often enough to express the depth of feeling.
There are the obvious issues that everyone's pointed out, but it's a great beginning!
Taking nothing away from Anonymous's continuation, I've already re-read Church Lady's unchosen continuation multiple times today and find it just as funny every time!
I'd love to know where this story goes.
Forgot to add that I think this is an excellent place to start your story.
I agree that this is a perfect place to start a novel and that you've got a great hook. However, I think this could be even better, though I don't know how without knowing the novel. What I mean is that the way she reacts is how I would react if some jerk smashed into my car as I was on the way to a super important meeting. Man, I'd be pissed off and curse away.
But is this how I would react if I was truly in terror? Such as if the car was headed towards my child or towards me? In such a situation, I might be hysterical, in shock, crying, frozen in fear, etc. And if anger did take over, I might attack someone mindlessly.
I am wondering if the reaction from our MC here is the right reaction. If she's been hanging around comfortably in her tomb and her murderer comes to grab her, then she'd react just like this. But if she's been dead in the normal way, i.e., umm dead, then being brought back to life might bring tears, panic, disorientation, dot dot dot. Moreover, if she was actually in mortal fear when being killed, perhaps she is alive again right in the middle of that same fear, or the fear takes over again when she sees her killer
I don't know what dying is like to her, so I don't know if my ideas are appropriate. However, I actually get the impression that being killed is not a huge deal to her.
I like this, but I'd like to know why she took Mark's hand and then wanted to be put back - was it only because of the smile? I'd have thought she'd already be pissed in royal fashion, you know, from having been murdered by the guy.
On the other hand...she's been released from her burial place.
Hmmm. I definitely wanna know what
happens, and why.
I love the two continuations. I'll nix the "weeks ago" and a make the other corrections.
Rae is half-vetala (or baital). A vetala (short definition) is a spirit that inhabits corpses at will and can use them to get around and cause terror or guard places (towns, villages, a home or family). Her spirit can inhabit only her own body. She doesn't have enough power to exert complete control over her corpse like Mark, the necromancer, can.
Paca: She's not in any terror, more disgust than anything else.
However, I actually get the impression that being killed is not a huge deal to her.
(That's a comment, not a typo.)
Bu keqi. Bu keqi.
How about she takes the hand but doesn't realize who it is until she's standing in front of him. That could help with the issue of why does she grab his hand and then say 'put me back'. It should also help with her reaction - makes it more immediate to realizing who has pulled her from her grave.
Unless this can't happen in this story.
I got the impression that being dead was no big deal and that she had been there and back again or some such thing. Not a problem for me that she has a matter of fact reaction to being pulled from the grave.
That makes a lot of sense Sarah.
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