“Congratulations. Your boy just clocked a billion followers, so now he’s ours.”
Men with ear pieces pushed past. “You can’t do this.”
“Read the fine print.” The agent smiled. “His people will call you.”
“I should have insisted we play baseball.”
The cult leader reached the fields where her people toiled. They bowed as she approached.
“Family, our sacred book will now be replaced by…” Mother Rhapsody held up a triangle and struck a pure note. “This.”
As one the followers tore the pumpkins from the vines and flattened their leader.
Grandpa’s eyes fluttered closed, face now still like a shrunken wax facsimile.
I touched Dad’s shoulder. “He’s gone. Let’s go.”
He smiled, lips tight with hidden grief. “I need a few moments.”
I swallowed. “I understand.”
I walked out into the autumn air, wishing I’d hugged him instead of speaking.
In my last post on this topic ( Part1) we covered some of the basics of story openings or hooks.
Going back to my opening line from The Mask of White and Red:
Ilsa’s first memory was of fire.
Something is clearly wrong when someone’s first memory is of fire. There’s no nurture there, only trauma. We instinctively know that there must be a reason for that. There must be a story there. It intrigues us. It entices us and we read on to find out more about Ilsa and learn what happened to her (the What question) and then finally why this happened to her (the Why question) as well as what she’s going to do about it. And ultimately, will she prevail? Your first line needs to set all of this up. If it doesn’t, Discord is going to win.
“Did you even read this before you darkened my door with it?” The editor glared.
The coroner scribbled in her notebook. “Is that twenty-five feet? Thirty?”
Surrounded by guards, the parent-murdering despot gave a jolly smile.
So close, but too far to reach. Especially for a boy.
If he did hit him, he’d be captured. Jailed. Killed.
The boy looked for something to throw. He weighed a lemon in his hand.
It was worth the risk.
The shade slew the last sailor.
Only the captain and I remained. And I, no pirate, but a priest disguised.
Cassandra spun the dial.
“You done yet?” Joel never believed in her. “Security. Two minutes tops.”
A few more turns…
He sighed. “Time. I’m leaving.”
His footsteps faded just as the safe opened.
Pocketing the gems, she checked her watch. Thirty seconds.
Time enough to escape from security. And Joel.
I had so much fun with the challenge last week that I thought I would taking another crack at @jayna’s awesome fifty word story challenge again. This time the prompt was “break.” Never let anyone tell you that writing or editing a fifty word story should be easy just because it’s short. Ha! Here’s a glimpse of the effort that went into this.
Silver Good-Fisher shot across the tops of the waves.
Land was close and she was fast approaching the place where the breakers pounded themselves into spray and foam. Here at the surface where the Great Deep met the sky, the water was warm and pleasant. Joy and water blended in a symphony of wind and wave. The scents of salt, weed, fish, crab and mollusk–both the living and the dead–were a heady mixture. It was almost enough for her to forget the loss of her pod, of her mother. Her adopted pod members were fun, but they were not yet family.
She leaped and twisted, twirled and dove, but part of her knew that she needed to take care. Past the patch of seagrass and the fast current was the cove.