Thursday, October 11, 2018

New Beginning 1083

Running. I’ve just got to keep going, keep putting one foot in front of the other. And breathing of course, I mustn’t forget that. I can hear them right behind me; the footsteps cracking the same twigs mine just cracked, the lungs sucking in and blowing out my partly used air. They’re getting closer, and I don’t even know what they’ll do if they catch me, but it’ll definitely be terrible and it’ll all be my fault, for taking the short cut through the woods even though I’ve been told (how many times!) that it’s not safe at this time of day, and it’s not so much further to go the other way and… Just keep going, keep going…

Then…I can’t hear them any more. They’ve stopped.

I’m still focussed on escape, watching for trip hazards on the ground instead of looking forward, when I blunder into something. It’s not soft, but it doesn’t hurt, even when it …she… grabs my arms and hisses “What the fuck, Bry?”

It’s big sister Jen – only three years older, but with her by my side I can turn and face them. And it turns out they aren’t six feet tall and armed with mutant superpowers, just normal kids, my age, maybe even a bit younger. Jen just stands there glaring, arms folded, and they slink off. They don’t even know she does Judo at the weekends, it’s all in her, I don’t know, her posture I suppose.

“Jesus, Bry, do I have to do everything for you?”

Hmm, yes, the glaring works on me too and I feel about 6 years old.

That's probably because I am six years old.

Suddenly, everything goes black. As I slump to the ground, cracking twigs, I hear
Jen's voice: "What the fuck, Bry? Did you forget to breathe again?"

Opening: Mel.....Continuation: St0n3henge


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

"We'd better hurry," I say. "We'll be tardy again."  —jcwrites

I felt even smaller when Jen snatched the football from my hand and said, "When are you little morons going to find a better place to play your stupid game? —Paul Penna

I pull off my Darth Vader mask. "They tried to take my lightsaber!"

Jen does not move. Her white dress flutters around her, like the wings of an avenging angel.

"All right," she says. "Come with me. We'll just have to go trick or treating together, okay?"


Evil Editor said...

P1: I would prefer the air be described as cold or dry or humid rather than "my partly used." In the really long sentence, get rid of "definitely" and "all," and change "further" to "farther."

P4: I'd get rid of "I don't know" or "I suppose," as they both convey the same idea. If Bry really feared she was being followed by 6-foot-tall beings with mutant superpowers, would she feel safe with her big sister? Just asking.

P5: "Do I have to do everything for you?" doesn't seem like the right question. It suggests she's done something Bry should have done herself. "How many times have I told you not to take the shortcut?" or "Do I have to be your bodyguard 24-7?" are more likely questions.

It's kind of a letdown when you build up suspense and it fizzles out. Maybe if it were a shorter buildup: I'd been told a thousand times not to take the shortcut through the woods, but here I am, being chased by who knows who or what, when I suddenly run smack into my big sister. AKA my bodyguard.

Mel said...

Author here

Thank you so much for your comments! You're right of course. I might need to make something nastier happen to Bryony to make it more impactful.

Can I ask a question? This is currently the opening of a novel which is mostly about Bry and Jen as adults, with a sort of industrial espionage story line. This event isn't really directly relevant to the story, it's more establishing the character. I'm now wondering whether it would be better to have it later in the book - the rest of the book is not in 100% chronological order so this needn't be first?

Mel said...

I'm British, so sorry if some of my spellings/word usages are unusual!

Unknown said...

It could be summed up in dialog. "Remember the time you were running through the woods and crashed into me?" That segues into the memory shown here.

Mister Furkles said...

If you've got industrial espionage, that's a better start. This old relationship between sisters can go somewhere else. You'll need a hook with suspense not two sisters frolicking the Hundred Acre Woods.

Bye the way, where are Winny and Tigger?

Iamanoldvampirechild said...

I loved that continuation. ( Not a bad beginning either btw. imho. ) But that continuation , how it referred back to the forgetting to breathe thing which puzzled me a little, was hilarious XD

Unknown said...

I did not pick up that Bry was a girl, probably because my cousin Brian is called Bry. I think she needs a bit more description if you want this to be your opening, something along the lines of "my braids flying", "my jeans and Hello Kitty top almost glowing in the gloom", etc.