Tuesday, July 08, 2008

New Beginning 525

I stood on the side of a mountain peak, just below the precipice. On the precipice itself stood a silver wolf with harvest-moon eyes, and he made me nervous with the way he breathed. In with in, held with hold; every breath I took, he matched. We breathed together, exhaled together; and by this pacing he held me, pinned, like an insect to a collection. So when at last I fell into wakefulness, I knew I had been infected by the werewolf.

"So you didn't see anything?"


"You didn't see anything when you were attacked?"

"I'm sorry, but no. There was a light and a roar, I put my hand in front of my face and then I woke up here in this hospital."

"You know the girl is dead?"

"Yes, thank you. The doctor was kind enough to tell me in terms that weren't quite so blunt."

The police detective nodded. His eyes fell to my too-large and still slightly hairy fist. "Whattaya got there?"

I opened my hand to find a delicate finger with polished nail.

"Her color," said the detective.

I grimaced. "I want to talk to a lawyer," I told him. "A PETA lawyer."

Opening: D Jason Cooper.....Continuation: Bill H.


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:

"There's one other thing."

I felt the hairs quiver on the back of my neck. Had they discovered the canine influence already? "Yes, doctor?"

"Well, we were talking to your folks and... They asked to have you, uh, fixed."

Oh, how I howled.


"By the way," she added, "you need a shave and a flea dip if you intend to pass."

She walked away, daintily tucking her tail back into her skirt.


"Well," the detective said, "the evidence certainly points toward a werewolf attack..."

"You believe me? Thank God! Was it the description of the beast? The claw marks on my hands?"

"Well the clincher was the way you smelled my butt and rolled over when I walked in."

"But you believe me. So what do we do now?"

"Well, I'll follow up on what little you could tell me, and you'll leave go of my leg. Sir."


Evil Editor said...

Good opening. I'd go with "in" a collection, and you don't need "in this hospital." "Here" is enough, as the detective is surely aware that "here" is this hospital. I'm sure another opportunity to tell the readers it's a hospital will materialize, possibly when a team of nurses come in to shave him.

writtenwyrdd said...

That whole wolf dream thing would have put me off your book, but I liked the rest of it, in particular the last line. However, the scene isn't set at all in terms of description. I'd recommend adding a little bit in instead of the wolf dream.

Kiersten White said...

The description of the breathing ("held with hold" seemed very awkward) didn't quite work for me, and I didn't like precipice used twice.

The last line of the dialogue I quite liked, and I think that would keep me reading.

Also, do werewolves roar? I would have thought it was more a growl. But I've never met one, so that's just me.

EB said...

I'm not so into dream openings; but I liked where it was going after things started.

The concept of the wolf matching the narrator's breath is cool, but "in with in, held with hold (why not held with held?), etc" read strangely to me.

"Falling into wakefulness" is a nice touch.

When your narrator wakes up, s/he seems awfully formal in the lines right after what I presume is a bleary-eyed "what?"

I'm with EE on "this hospital." You've stripped any dialogue tags or actions which might suggest the narrator and detective are in a hospital, but that's easily rectified.

Great continuation, although I suspect a PETA lawyer might be conflicted: don't werewolves eat meat?

fairyhedgehog said...

There's some lyrical writing in here that I liked. I got confused though. I found it hard to move from standing on the side of a mountain peak to standing underneath a precipice. I would miss out "In with in, held with hold;" as I didn't get it until after I'd read the next part of the sentence. I didn't realise that "falling into wakefulness" meant that the person was waking up from a dream and that the wolf was a dream.

I wondered who the girl was and why the narrator was sarcastic rather than emotional about her being dead.

I do like the writing style and I am intrigued but I found this portion rather hard work.

Dave Fragments said...

I'm with fairyhedgehog on this.

I read it when it was posted and never understood it until EE's comment about the hospital. The other minions pointed out the problems.

Anonymous said...

I liked the opening but 'held with hold' sounded odd to me.

Bill H.

Robin S. said...

I like this - and I loved the opening paragraph. Beautifully written and evocative to the senses in a way that took me into the scene - breathing rhythm, the harvest-moon eyes, and the idea of "falling into wakefulness". All of it.

And hey Bill, loved your lawyer thing, too!

Xiexie said...

Nice opening. *Echoes other minions* and I liked the matching between the narrator and the wolf; however, "in with in" had me confused for a moment.

McKoala said...

While I liked the writing, I was confused in the same way as fairyhedgehog. Reading on would probably sort it out, though.

batgirl said...

The writing is pretty good, and with the conversation I'd probably read on. The transition between dream? vision? memory? of the wolf and the conversation was jarring. I had to look twice to make sure that wasn't where the text turned blue.
I wouldn't mind a little more transition to clarify whether the narrator had spoken the first paragraph or just thought it.

Anonymous said...

"In" a collection. Yep. "in this hospital" I thought would remove the need for describing most things: 'hospital' like 'airport' is a one word scene-setter.

I tried to make him odd, but I seem to have gone a bit too far for an opening scene. I'll try drawing it back and setting the transition more strongly and see how it goes.

The two uses of precipice will definitely have to be trimmed back.