Monday, February 17, 2014

New Beginning 1024

The first time I saw her I was a few thousand feet above the Atlantic, blue sky above and pillows of clouds below. She didn’t have a harp or halo or wings, but she was definitely there. On the other side of the window. Hovering above the mist, yet keeping up with the plane. She looked straight at me, green eyes twinkling, smiling, as if she and I shared a secret joke the rest of the world would be too stupid to understand. Then she turned and was gone as if reality had suddenly noticed a breach of its rules and engulfed her.

The moment had lasted a few heartbeats at most, but I did not doubt what I had seen had been real.

My Dad snored beside me. No use waking and telling him about her. Adults struggled to believe perfectly well-crafted excuses; he’d have no hope with this. So I kept my secret to myself and pressed my face against the window for the rest of the flight, willing her return.

It was to be another ten years before I saw her again. I was in the supermarket, white knuckles gripping the kart, my pulse thundering in my neck, the shelves and their gleaming choices towering above me. I was only able to keep walking because I willed every step.

"Come along, Clive," the fair-haired vision exhorted me, grabbing me roughly under the arm and hefting me along. "People want to get home in time for today's supper, after all." Her green eyes shone with mirth and I saw my own reflection in the shine on her white teeth.

It was then I saw her pointed canines and realized how she flew without wings. Perfect. Wasn't bad enough I was the last non-mutated human male to survive the thermal holocaust. Now I had a guardian vampire.

Opening: Jo Antareau.....Continuation: Veronica Rundell


Unknown said...

You had me "she smelled of urine."

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:

My heart flopped irregularly in my chest. I'd been ignoring the warning signs for years. My heart hadn't.

There she was, next to me, those wise, infinite green eyes smiling at me. She grabbed my arm as I slumped to the floor.

"Richard." I heard her voice everywhere. "I tried to tell you that being an atheist wasn't the way to go, but you wouldn't listen. Should I return you to earth, or just take you with me now so I can drop you off in Hell?"


I realized she had been a he all along, and when the "woman" wearing red lipstick and fuchsia heels sauntered my direction, I was smitten. She could fly, swim, and strut, and we had many pleasurable adventures. My dad sure did enjoy her company, and he never snored again.


There she was, dripping beef blood from a cheap cut of sirloin on the floor in front of me as I pushed down the aisle. My angel glanced back at me with red-rimmed, green eyes that her grey hair kept falling into. Her hunched back bristled with cat hair, and she smelled of urine, but she was unmistakably my angel. My grip on the cart didn’t keep me from slipping on the greasy bits of a dead steer, and I landed sharply on my back, driving the air from lungs.

As I lay gasping on the slimy floor, her miraculous face hovered over mine, and she said, “I saved you from dying over the Atlantic," she stopped and shook her head, "I don’t think I’ll do it twice.”
--Krag Churchill

Evil Editor said...

I think I can safely say that even an adult who always believed the narrator's perfectly well-crafted excuses would be skeptical if told someone was flying outside the airplane above the Atlantic. Thus there's no point in bringing up perfectly well-crafted excuses.

Perhaps something along the lines of: No use waking him for this; he'd think I was joking, and if I pressed the issue he'd tell me to take a couple Clozapines and have me committed as soon as we landed.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

This seems good, except that the set-up seems a bit like a middle grade novel. Then we skip forward in time ten years, suggesting the narrator is no longer the right age for a middle grade protagonist.

So, either start where the action starts, or try for a less middle grade voice. (It's the reflections on the shortcomings of adults that make it seem MG.)

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

By the way, it took me a long time to figure this out but in case anyone's struggling with it: You can just ignore the fuzzy, illegible partial photographs of house numbers on the "captcha". Leave 'em out, and your comment will go through.

January said...

“It was to be another ten years before I saw her again.”
It takes too long to say that. What’s wrong with: Ten years later, I saw her again…
Short and to the point. We can gloss over those 10 unnecessary years and leap right into that exciting supermarket action.
Also, too many “wills” going on in too short a space: willing her return/willed every step. Made me think of Hiro Nakamura

Mister Furkles said...


Alaska and January are probably right about starting with the supermarket. You can flash back to the jet later.

On the Airplane, transatlantic flights fly at something like 35000 feet not a few thousand. Also, you are at 35000 feet flying going 550 miles/hr But there is mist? Sometimes water streaks across the window but how could she see mist when flying Mach .8?

P2 is better in simple past tense: “The moment lasted only a few heartbeats, but I didn’t doubt what I saw.”

P4, I don’t get “….pulse thundering in my neck.” Don’t you mean throbbing? Also, I’d go with “…shelves with their gleaming…”

P4: I would drop ‘only’. It seems stronger as “I was able to keep walking …”.

I like it. Please be more careful with details and metaphors.

Unknown said...

Hi author,
While I agree this could be tightened somewhat, I'll just say I'd keep on reading. You hooked me...

Also, for some reason, this opening reminded me of SPLASH, an 80's movie starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. It was a fave of mine as a kid. May have something to do with why I liked the opening.

Best of luck!

Jo-Ann S said...

Thanks for the continuations and comments.

I'm not sure how krag Churchill's name found itself on my perfectly well crafted excuse...I mean opening... but I dont begrudge him. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, so I guess plagarism is too. It's not that I submitted anoymously (this time).

The continuations were priceless! Thanks for the laughs.

I could tighten the prose, I guess. Thanks to those who took the time to point out where.

The age is older YA, she is about 9 at the start, therefore 19 when she has a meltdown at the supermarket. I'll heed your comments regarding voice, AlaskaRC. The reasons for the meltdown become clearer as the character's POV will flash back to childhood.

You've all given me great food for thought.

Kregger said...

Hi everybody,

I feel like this could be a scene right out of Cyrano de Bergerac where, as Christian, I take credit for anothers words.

Alas, it is a lie...well, more like a mistake.

Sorry, author, I had hoped this morning I would see a comment by you, clearing up the confusion.

I'm sure we've all had the experience of reaching for a product on a store shelf, and grabbing something totally different and unnecessary. I'm sure that is what happened to EE's attribution. I wish my "New Begining" entry had garnered as many laudable comments.

Please contact Mister E.E. to rectify the error.

Oh...Veronica, thank you for your support. I find urine always makes a story smell better.

Jo-Ann S said...

Oh, Kregger!! I guessed there was a glitch. Thanks for your lovely comments and i did not seriously believe you were plagarising. Please accept my apologies for any offence.

Kregger said...

No problema. No offense taken. Mistakes happen, just ask my wife. It was a little weird to see one of my alter egos show up as an attribution on another person's story.


CavalierdeNuit said...

Oh, not needing to type those blurry house numbers has freed me from perilous frustration!