Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes November 1, 2013 - 11:28am

Launching myself into the madness of NaNoWriMo. Deep breath. 

So here it is---the first paragraph(s) of my novel: Cross-cut. 

Some days felt like last days.

Trinidad O’Laughlin knew better than to ignore that itch of intuition. She also knew not to let it slow her down. She shrugged and stretched, extending her arms high above her head. Trinidad wiggled her fingers and tried to grab a sliver of sky. It was a habit from childhood. It hadn’t worked yet, but there’s a first time for everything. She arched backward, then bent forward to touch the stone path in front of her. She stretched out her legs, felt the good ache deep in her calves. Trinidad loved her legs. They were long and solid with muscle. She’d put a lot of miles on them, and they hadn’t failed her yet.

 

Kristi's picture
Kristi from Connecticut is reading Anything I can get my hands on! November 2, 2013 - 8:36pm

From: "The Spark"

I grab the puzzle box, small sparks dance between my fingers as the cool brass touches my hand. It begins to vibrate. Emitting a low hum, as a tiny river of blood flows through the intricately carved channels cut into the box. Switches flip and levers pop, with a ratcheting sound the box slowly begins to unwind and change shape. My heart pounds in my ears, the sound of a thousand drums as my past unfolds before my eyes. Finally eight triangles of thinly hammered brass unfold revealing the contents of the box. Eighteens years of wanting to know and now scared to death to find out.

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones November 2, 2013 - 9:55pm

Good one, Kristi.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami November 9, 2013 - 4:15pm

--- A large debugger, a female tacker -- you would not hug her. She waves her hand across the ripples in time -- but instead runs out of time. She falls out of the binary sky, and upon the trail -- her knees fried. Eternity sinking, and falling into the darkness ... sleep --- and falls back upon her bed, without hitting her head. Instead she sleeps a long sleep, until the morning sun.

Technically this would be part of the novella. But it would end up being a bit of non sequiter. It was an experiment in paragraphical fiction.

Also, this excerpt is from a dystopian slice of life. A bit like full house, seinfield, or friend -- if it were to be set  in the cremlin.

It was just a day ago, when he was dreaming of purchasing another cool comic book, that he had his first argument with Bianca. By age twenty, she had developed the type of cynicism you might expect out of someone much older. But Richard wasn't completely different, so up to that point he had no complaints.

He had no other need, for Heaven.

Kristi's picture
Kristi from Connecticut is reading Anything I can get my hands on! November 10, 2013 - 8:15am

From: "The Spark"

I wake in a cold sweat, startled from a restless dream. The sheets are tangled knots, binding
me to the bed, wound around me. I can’t sleep in this place, it’s too big, so big that I even get lost inside my dreams. Getting out of bed I glance at the clock it’s three in the morning. I walk out of my bedroom foregoing my robe and head to the kitchen.  I need to walk to settle my mind and something to drink. I wander the halls, padding lightly through the dark passages that confuse me at every turn. A pale yellow sliver of light slices through the darkness; a cracked door leading into the study, two muffled voices are speaking inside.

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb November 10, 2013 - 11:55am

Whammer: nice start, I'm interested in that already.

Kelby Losack's picture
Kelby Losack from Texas is reading Muerte Con Carne; The Summer Job; Bizarro Bizarro November 10, 2013 - 5:37pm

From The Reapers, a novella that will be published as a split with another author: 

Skeletons type at their keyboards in a cubicle maze.

A paper airplane flies over the desk of Grim Reaper, somersaults, and nosedives into the hole in his temple.

Sleeves rolled up past his ulna, shirt unbuttoned to the sternum, tie loosened, Grim plucks the airplane from his skull and crushes it in his phalanges. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 10, 2013 - 9:24pm

@Kristi - Am I reading ahead? I think I'm reading ahead.

Kristi's picture
Kristi from Connecticut is reading Anything I can get my hands on! November 11, 2013 - 9:17am

@Dwayne: Yes you are reading ahead! 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 11, 2013 - 12:41pm

Thought so.

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children November 11, 2013 - 2:38pm

"I married later in life than most to a woman of exceptional beauty and grace. Not the superficial beauty of transient physical qualities, though she is certainly pleasant to view with my eyes. More pleasant still to hold in my arms and caress with my hands. Her true beauty is the enduring, rich beauty of personality and character and humor. Her love for me and mine for her remain the most fortunate and rewarding event in my life. My wife isn't listed there as a hobby or interest. Your questionnaire didn't have a category for 'Reason to keep on living every day', but that's exactly what she is. In the evening we lay side by side, once we curled around each other like kittens in a laundry basket. Now we try grasping for each other's hand without pulling a muscle or dislocating a hip. The darkness creeps in and I wonder if at dawn, will we both open our eyes again. It has come to that time in life when a day is a gift not to be overlooked. I catch myself hoping if one of us does not open their eyes to see another day, that it's me. Instantly I curse myself as a coward every time I do. I know she would be just as lost and afraid as I, if I awoke one day alone. It isn't fair to even wish for her to bear that burden too, after all that she's put up with just living with me for all these years. I would love to have the joys of youth again but without her, in the end, they would just count as the loneliest years of my life. If she and I have only a few years left together, then together we'll make them the best years of our lives."

Wendy Hammer's picture
Wendy Hammer from Indiana is reading One Night in Sixes November 11, 2013 - 7:05pm

Thanks, @Chacron! Good to know it has some appeal. 

Here's another bit--still getting used to the character's voice. 

But then that Ramones song had started to play and she’d thought about Ache. It had been two or three years and four cities since she’d seen him. The big fella had been the first person she’d connected to in America—and, to be honest, he was one of the very few people she could stand being around for any length of time at all. When his temp gig with that shite punk band he’d been working with had wrapped up, he’d moved back to his home in Indiana.

And--@OtterMan: Some lovely stuff in that paragraph, very touching. 

Shannon Barber's picture
Shannon Barber from Seattle is reading Paradoxia: A Predators Diary by Lydia Lunch November 11, 2013 - 8:23pm

From my fantasyish thing I'm doing for nanowrimo.

Outside of their community, namely in stuffy covens populated by feminine aspect worshipping types, there was derision about their “urban magic”. They were judged harshly for their retributions and hexes. A few tried to draw them into Mother, Maiden Crone White witchery and they would have none of it.

-

This comes before the first murder. Good times.

Julie_Smits's picture
Julie_Smits from Antwerp is reading Stuff November 14, 2013 - 12:17pm

@Wendy: Voice really grabbed I'm curious to read more when you get through NaNo.

Here's my bit:

Fuck, John had swagger, could’ve been a rockstar, knows how to play the guitar and everything, just … well John never wanted to be a star. Rock and roll, that one through and through, but he wanted to experience it all from behind the scenes. Be a roadie, that’s all he ever wanted to be and that’s what he became. And she admired that about him, she did, she really did, it’s just that being a roadie meant the same shitty touring schedules as the ones shaking and playing, just less recognition and pay. And it just seems less worth it, cause who remembers the guy unloading the equipment and helping out with the sound.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami November 14, 2013 - 2:35pm

Nadine was resting, beneath the dunes nesting. As the wind on the surface blew, buried in the mountains she flew.  Coldness darkness chill, underneath the buried aluminum. Cardboard house, residential district. Potato outskirts. It was a certain culture, similar to that of flies. But nesting, beneath a buried sky. In the dream-space mind, she was of a certain type of hive-mind. It had been a few hours, since she had the taste of sand dragon heart. She was hungry, but she did not feel hungry. Her head was buzzing, her mind was becoming fuzzy. Vision fading, like steamed window-glass.

Kristi's picture
Kristi from Connecticut is reading Anything I can get my hands on! November 15, 2013 - 7:58pm

From: "The Spark"

*It's a paragraph-and-a-half!*

We walk through several more twisting corridors and come to a dead end. Two oak doors with intricate carvings stand before us. The doors depict a forest scene, two large trees with books hanging from the limbs.

“This is what I really wanted you to see,” he says, opening the doors. Inside is a massive library. The sweet smell of decomposing books fills the air. Glue, ink, and paper, a hint of musty earth and vanilla. Every book in the New World must be in this room, millions of pages pressed between leather and paperboard.  Every book you could never imagine. I look up to the ceiling; the room is at least three stories high. There are tall rolling ladders ascending to the catwalks that run around the upper levels. On the highest catwalk is a tightly wound spiral staircase that leads up to a private reading area inside a glass cupola.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal November 15, 2013 - 10:56pm

^

I'm really wanting to read this when it's done...

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami November 18, 2013 - 4:25pm

I'm not sure how big this paragraph is, its something I came up with semi on the fly. (But surely your either on the fly or off of it.)

The room was like cardboard stiff. With the smell, of old rot and whiff. It was a light sparing room, that feeling one gets when one feels doom. Yet nothing to it. Or at least that was what Nadine would have liked to think. But she couldn't shake the feeling, and she was reeling. From that tiredness, but not sleeping feeling one gets when they are in a small dungeon. The dungeon however -- is what kept her living -- kept her clean, kept her a fighting machine. Yet she could not fight that feeling of sleepiness. So she was glad when she finally got the chance to leave work. Nadine walked through the back room, put up her coat -- that garment that made her feel bloated. Then signed up on the slip on the clipboard, and finally left for the evening.

Kristi's picture
Kristi from Connecticut is reading Anything I can get my hands on! November 24, 2013 - 6:22pm

From: "The Spark"

A hand slips over my mouth. I try to scream, but all that comes out is a muffled whimper. An arm grasps me firmly around my waist, crushing me into a warm body and soft fabric. I’m drawn backward into a dark room, the heels of my shoes scraping along the stone floor. The door closes, it’s pitch black inside. A new type of fear makes me teeter on the edge of consciousness, my breathing is labored as I am spun around, dizzied in the darkness. I draw up energy from all around me, from every corner and dark recess of the room. I hold it deep inside me, very hair on my body standing on end as the static draws toward me.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami November 24, 2013 - 7:57pm

I guess the ones renting the place still had not payed rent for that month. It was evidenced by the light that was buzzing in and out in the overhead. I saw Ellen sitting in the bleachers. Or at least that was what they were referred to. Instead to me at least -- it looked more like sitting on a log. I didn't have wooden chairs growing up. They were all automated. We could adjust to whatever height we saw fit.

Alex Kane's picture
Alex Kane from west-central Illinois is reading Dark Orbit November 26, 2013 - 10:08am

PANEL 2

Now we see the bartender, SIBYLLA ROSE. Early twenties. Her wavy bleach-blonde hair hangs like white smoke around her roundish face. She wears a row of silver earrings along her left cartilage, and a round black stud in each earlobe. Also, a necklace: one made from leather string that supports a narrow shard of crystal, icy blue. A floral tattoo forms a half sleeve on her left arm. She's wearing a red bandana in her hair; her wardrobe consists of distressed jeans and a loose, black long-sleeve top emblazoned with the band name A HILL TO DIE UPON.

She holds an empty glass in one hand and a hose from the tap in the other. She's looking up at the patron who has just approached the bar, and in her bright brown eyes it's evident she has never seen him before. She offers the hint of a smile.

SIBYLLA:
Getcha somethin' to drink?

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami November 30, 2013 - 12:25am

Our bedroom we shared together was like an empty closet. There were no other gadgets for people our age -- at least I thought normally -- would get to have. When our parents died, there was nothing left for us, but this stained Earth -- it had worms growing through it as if it were rotten wood. But every now and then, we would get the shakes. Like Earth collapsing below our feet.

This one was hard to pick, as its difficult to find one that sounds good out of context.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 30, 2013 - 5:00am

I hate that I’m letting a man I barely know comfort me, it feels effeminate, but I cry again and he holds me again, and it feels like I was bitten by a snake too.  Just like the girl, except someone is sucking out the poison through my eyes.  It hurts and feels better all at once, I wonder when he’ll reject me, when he’ll turn me in, or black mail me.  Is that why he didn’t care if I knew his secret, because he knows one so much worse?  I’m shocked to hear myself say, “There was a girl.  Young.”

“Go on, tell me.  Did you touch her?”

“No.  Worse.  I killed her.”

"Oh."

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones November 30, 2013 - 8:34am

Most times it's only a nightmare. Boot soles falling on the hardwood. The sound reverberating through the hallway. Twelve of them in black and white masks. Gloves. Knives. Braided polypropylene utility rope and duct tape. A hand over your mouth. Words whispered softly into your ear. But sometimes, when I wake up, they're standing outside the bedroom window, watching me sleep.

 

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Chelsea Cain! November 30, 2013 - 2:19pm

@Devon ~ nice

 

...and kind of freaky too :)

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones November 30, 2013 - 6:04pm

Thanks em. This is the beginning of my new novel.

 

Kristi's picture
Kristi from Connecticut is reading Anything I can get my hands on! December 1, 2013 - 8:32am

From: "The Spark"

She takes out her vials of ink. I’ve made her happy, and on some level that scares me. I sit down in the chair and she begins outlining the design. The high pitched buzz of the pen and the initial pain set me on edge. Something jagged pushing ink under skin, grinding against bone. She hooks around my ankle. The feeling radiates; bee stings on sun burn. I breathe through it and stay calm, the pain will pass. I glance down watching her work. She's an artist. Her elaborate design unfolding across the opalescent canvas of my skin.

Kristi's picture
Kristi from Connecticut is reading Anything I can get my hands on! December 1, 2013 - 10:07am

Devon-- Nice start!

 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 1, 2013 - 8:56pm

@ Devon

There's a thread around here, something about intriguing opening paragraphs.  I think yours qualifies.

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones December 1, 2013 - 9:35pm

Thanks. I try.

Dogmeat42's picture
Dogmeat42 from Long Island, NY is reading House of Leaves December 2, 2013 - 12:34pm

This is from a short story called Approaching Storm that I started earlier this year, worked on a bit, put away until this past weekend, and started re-working again. 

 

"The suburban environment has a strong sense of uneasiness about it.  The air rings with an orchestra of geese and seagulls and sparrows squawking and honking and chirping their pre-storm alarms.  This is accented by the squeals of electric screwdrivers and the rhythms of pounding hammers boarding up the windows of dying middle class houses.  Squirrels run frantically around peoples lawns, scampering around bushes and lawn gnomes and soggy leftover Halloween pumpkins in a desperate struggle to snatch up any last-minute food they can find.  The occasional oversized inflatable smiling Turkey, bed-sheet ghost, or cartoon-eyed Frankenstein bob and sway to the music.  In the background, this is all conducted by the winds constant promise of stronger gusts to come."

H.I.Marcuson's picture
H.I.Marcuson from Toulouse is reading a book on spelling December 3, 2013 - 1:01pm

From my novel

 

“How’s your chicken Micheal? “
He looked at her.
“Your chicken. I asked how you found it.”
Maybe she had noticed, maybe she had seen that he had been watching her eat. Watching her bring the meat to her mouth and watching her lips part and draw back far enough that he could see the small pieces of flesh caught in them near her gumline, which seemed very high. Long in the tooth. An old persons gumline, he thought as her lips clamped down again, moulding themselves to the meat, hiding the action but not the tearing or the gnawing or the sounds of the slight slurp or gristly crunches that followed. He saw and heard it all while attending to his own meal, his discretion perhaps wavering but he was not overly worried while Anne Sofer was eating and especially chicken he thought, she was intent. And then she had turned to face him and he had quickly looked away.
“Very fine. And yours?”
“Mm, yes. She sniffed and drank.”

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 6, 2013 - 8:06pm

A jack in was a particular spot in the lower right or left of your skull. Those who were right thinking, took a jack in to the left. Those who were left brained, took a jack into the right. You did not need a left and right duo anymore.

I'm more used to smaller paragraphs.

On revision -

The bell was screaming through the red halls. Julie walked toward Rudy, reaching out in desperation. And she could smell the sweat from her brow, as she tried to get his attention. It was only with her calling, that she was even able to get some minor sign of acknowledgment. “Wait Rudy, please talk to me." But it was no use. She could feel her heart pound, as she restrained her tears.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt December 16, 2013 - 10:16am

This is what I did this weekend.

From Now, They Spoke Only Her Name:

The Sun waned as Meesha broke through the tree line. She pulled her spear up, brandishing it as the foul odor reached her nose. She squinted at the sun, at the barren lands that greeted her—the stench of flesh long rotted. Bodies hung from the roots of toppled down ancient trees, their faces expressionless, the curvature of their skulls worn down, as flat and featureless as the plains ahead. They were dyed reddish-brown by the russet colored ground. Somehow, she was not surprised to see it so.

The smell that greeted her was familiar, too. This is home, Meesha, her mother’s dead voice crooned from the lush green behind her. The only home there ever was. She could hear the beasts in the forest she left behind, their growls sorrowful. Their eyes were specks in the shadows, pacing behind the canopy of leaves. They did not charge at her, even though she was a mere leap away.

One howled as Meesha placed her spear through the loop in her shoulder bag and stepped into the Necropolis her mother never told her of. The one she somehow knew was there all along. Necropolis. She said it aloud, tasing the word on her lips. It tasted of cinnamon. Home.

As she walked onward the beast’s yowls drifted away, swallowed up by the barren lands ahead and around her as she opened the space between she and them. Only the birds followed her, singing loudly in the evening hours and waking her in the early mornings when the dark still coated the land, as if eager to get on the road. She’d wake to a pair of dead rabbits or some other form of nourishment laid at her tent entrance, or a short walk away—The birds perched upon her tent. When she emerged, they came to her. They rested on her shoulders, whispering as she marched on.

Now, they spoke only her name.

 

Dogmeat42's picture
Dogmeat42 from Long Island, NY is reading House of Leaves December 16, 2013 - 5:33pm

I was working on two stories today, so here are two paragraphs.  This first one is from the same "Approaching Storm" story I posted last time.

"Again, Joe tries to get up, but as soon as he lifts his head, the full force swing of a hammer uppercuts him right in the mush.  There is a loud crackling sound as his jawbone splits.  Blood and pieces of teeth are sent arching in the air before scattering across the street like a handful of Chiclets."

 

This is a short segment from a short story I started today called "Alien Pranksters."  Keep in mind, this is from a (very) rough and unfinished first draft. 

"Sir Calington steps forward.  The rest of the party stays back, their looks turning to those of complete shock.  There is a loud rumbling, another “Hissss” screams out from the disk-shaped object like a banshee, and then there is a bright flash.  Sir Calington begins to hover; to float- ever so slightly.  At first, he is just above the stone ground; pointing his toes downward in an effort to keep contact, but then in an instant he is lifted higher.
There is another flash- this one brighter than the last, so bright that it swallows everything.  As this flash of light goes away, the entire party- including Sir Calington, disappear, whisked away into the night so suddenly that it would seem that they had never existed, except for the piles of gear left behind.."

 

 

I really need to get myself into the workshop to get some real critique/suggestions on these...

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 22, 2013 - 10:55am

This is for my short story, I'm currently revising.

I could here the slab of metal, banging loudly. Louder still the students in the hall singing rowdily -- other loud beating hearts. What I missed, my beating heart. And as I could here them chatting, gossiping, and popping, I walked over to the locker to hide my face, by the contraption with an orange shade. I turned as fast as she could. But there was no moments dance; no more goodnight kisses. Only the silence, of the class room shining in the light. Only kisses to myself, no goodnight dance. Only the locker, who’s dials turned in it’s own rhythm. I could see that rat with my boy walking, and through the halls I saw them talking. Talking about their new life, together. They were like birds of a feather. But I was a different sort of bird. This was already not a good start for a school day, along with the fact that I was already being poked at in class. I felt like a lab rat, who was being poked at.

Edit: I decided to cut the scene altogether, as it makes the voice inconsistent. I'm currently trying to revise a young adult Numero-Hex short story. I may end up expanding the plot later, maybe not.

This ended up like Paranormal Cyberpunk.:P

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 22, 2013 - 1:42pm

Amir made his way through the café and found the back door.  Looking over his shoulder and adjusting his new coat, nobody was paying attention to him.  He opened it and emerged into a small alley.  There was no sign of the man he’d met in the bathroom.  He headed left, fidgeting his phone, awaiting further instruction.  Prochaine droite, trouver la rue.  Voiture bleu foncé.  Amir turned right when able, snaking between the buildings and dodging trashcans until emerging onto a new sidewalk.  This street was smaller and not busy.  He saw a dark blue Audi parked with the engine running just up the sidewalk with heavy tinted windows.  As he approached, he heard the doors unlock.  The back window rolled down.  “Amir, entrer.”  He climbed inside.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt December 22, 2013 - 2:33pm

When they reached camp, Tomiko took the roots, bowed quickly, smiled and mouthed a thank you. Her skin was taut over her freckled cheeks, red and peeling. She already had a fire going, and in the dwindling warmth of the sun, their campmates emerged from their make-shift tents, hunched and huddled, their breaths like ghosts from their lips.

“Here, let me help,” Meesha said, taking her knife from her belt and piercing the roots. Margot held a bowl up to them to collect the nectar while Tomiko held what remained of the roots on her open palm and cut them into large chunks, tossing them into the boiling pot of water nestled on smoldering coals and glowing stones.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 24, 2013 - 4:59pm

From the final draft of my nowpunk.

I want a certain rewind in my life, but everything goes fast forward.
     “Hey Erika, have you seen that boy over there?” my friend Kandy said. But these days I wonder how I was ever friends with her. She was always gossiping. In that instance, she took out the gum from her mouth, and smashed it with her finger. “Don’t you think his hair looks like his dog chewed on it?”
     “That might explain why it’s so greasy.” my friend Erika said. Talking shit about other people, was not really my thing. So I simply kept my fork to myself, though there was a certain peer pressure that drove me to want to toss a fork at Sam -- who they were referring to -- to flirt. But I decided against it.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel December 25, 2013 - 2:05am

The police officer walks up the sedan’s drivers side window. He taps on it with his hairy knuckle. The driver rolls down his window manually. “Good evening, sir,” the officer says.
“Good evening,” the driver says.
“Sir, do you know why I pulled you over?”
“I guess it would have to be about the bird.”
Puzzled, the officer says, “The bird?”
“The bird.”
“What about the bird?”
“Well sir, the bird is the word.”
“The bird is the word?”
“Yep, the bird is the word, haven’t you heard?”
The officer leans forward a little and says, “Are you kitten me?”

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami January 4, 2014 - 2:59pm

Excerpt from a current chapter.

The flames from the fire danced like tiny fireflies lighting her blond hair, which gave her somewhat of a giggle -- it was a brief moment of pleasure, ignoring the pain of nearing frost bite. Millie only just barely avoided it, because they were able to get their present cottage largely out of luck. The old resident -- had been executed, because they had the corruption’s sickness. She wondered for a moment, how long it would be till they were.

Also from a different sort of sketch story.

A rotten wood over the blue abyss -- a series of waves that departed through the restful dream -- was at risk of capsizing. But it endured the winds of time, that seemed to feel like it went on, unchanged like tides on the sea. He, who steered the ship by morning, was about forty. Was smoking his pipe -- an old dried corn cob -- smelling the scent of the smoke as he watched the sky. He fely the rock of the boat. Gerard was like another portion of the boat, long sense attached to his dear Teresa, and so he hardly ever docked. “Smoke burns, and I wish to quit. ‘Nuttin else to entertain this old buzzard.”

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children January 7, 2014 - 2:02pm

Maybe I need to change gears and try something different. I've been stuck for awhile in meaningless details with no real development in sight. This is the first paragraph of... something. Pretty sure it's been tried a few times before. I also have trouble with dialog and wanted to do something to work on that.

 

“Do you know why you’re here?” “I’m not sure I think I was in court.” “Yes, do you know why you were in court?” “I was driving somewhere and I hurt somebody I think.” “Yes, actually three people were hurt when you rear ended their car.” “Oh, I’m sorry about that. Will they be alright? I hope they’re going to be OK, I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.” “No, they won’t all be alright. A woman in the back seat is paralyzed, it may be permanent.” “I’m really sorry. Am I in jail?” “No not jail. You’ve been in jail before haven’t you?” “Yes.” “How many times have you been in jail?” “I don’t remember a few I guess.” “A few, does thirty four sound right?” “Maybe” “You are fifty two years old, correct?” “Yeah, sounds right I think.” “You don’t know how old you are? When is your birthday, what year were you born?” “June 3rd 1961 somewhere near Scranton in Pennsylvania, it was a dark and stormy night suddenly a shot rang out dogs were barking in the ..” “You’re rambling I just need to know if you can remember when you were born.” “OK fine! Why don’t you tell me why the FUCK! am I fucking  here.”  “Keep your voice down, there’s no need for profanity, this is a place you can get help. If you want help that is, do you want help?”  “I want to get high can you help me get high?” “Are you high right now?” “I don’t know maybe.” “You don’t know if you’re high right now?” “No” “I don’t understand how you can’t tell me if you’re high or not right now. Can you explain that to me?” “Sure, when I get high I feel all fucked up but since I’m always high that feels normal. When I’m not high I feel normal and I want to get high and if I can’t get high I feel all fucked up. So right now I feel all fucked up but I can’t tell if it’s because I’m high fucked up or because I’m normal fucked up. Do you need me to explain that again?” “No” “Good, because I don’t think I can”

Kelby Losack's picture
Kelby Losack from Texas is reading Muerte Con Carne; The Summer Job; Bizarro Bizarro January 24, 2014 - 1:55am

From a novel I just started a few hours ago, the very first paragraph: 

"The Pianist only looked like a dinosaur when he smiled. The sun bounced off his razor teeth and stabbed me in the eyes. Peering between bloody fingers, trying to make out a face under that white cowboy hat.

Nothing but a shadow with a razor grin."

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones January 27, 2014 - 5:44am

By the time the officers arrive, the fire has punched a hole in the roof of the cabin. Flames dancing inside the black smoke, coughing up embers as if newborn stars. A dog barks somewhere in the distance. Violent and hard-hearted. And I keep waiting, for the strength to pull myself out of the snow. To see myself in third person, a ghost, stepping away from my burned and battered body.

avryluy's picture
avryluy from Milwaukee, WI is reading Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin January 27, 2014 - 8:43am

From my first story I'm writing: In my mind I have reached the limit of my life’s capacity. I’ve spent all of my days. Do I regret what I’m about to do? I’m not entirely sure. Most would say I have no reason, for I have lived a happy and fulfilling life. Yet I am compelled by something; something dark inside. I haven’t seen this part of me for quite some time. The doctors say it’s not something that can cured, but rather a demon I must learn to live with. Well, I suppose I’ve suppressed this demon for as long as I could. This sudden emergence feels so overwhelming, as if my body is aching to fade away. I don’t think I would’ve lasted much longer anyways. My life was becoming too cliché. Everything was a little too magnificent.

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones January 31, 2014 - 7:24am

Two paramedics with bags and the sound of a stretcher rushing up the icy sidewalk. This woman, she cradles the back of my skull in her gloved hands. She doesn’t tell me that everything is okay, that I’ll be fine. But I want her to. I want her to hold me in her arms. To kiss the parts of my face that aren’t burned. She angles my head back and takes pieces of me with her as she pulls her hands away. The man on the other side of me puts his latex fingers in my mouth. I try to spit them out. Push them away with my tongue. And the woman isn’t as gentle as before, shoving a plastic tube into my throat.
Tears roll toward my ears. Salt in the wounds. The woman is breathing for me now. Disgusting false breaths from the bag valve in her hand, force feeding me air I’m not ready to take. The dirty jeans are grafted to my thighs like a thick new skin, and lifting me onto the stretcher is a delicate procedure. There are more hands now. Half a dozen voices, speaking in tongues.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Chelsea Cain! January 31, 2014 - 7:52am

^That's awesome, Devon.

Devon Robbins's picture
Devon Robbins from Utah is reading The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones January 31, 2014 - 2:35pm

Thanks, em.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami February 1, 2014 - 7:48pm

It was a cold month, the coldest it’s ever been. The temperature was getting down to her shins. She thought only another day, maybe a week at the most. This life style will be toast. I feel like a horse eating hay. But this would be no ordinary day, nay’ I will have my day off. Her old man was sitting. Staring into the darkness of the night, looking at strangers for any slight bit of slight, but there was not any. The old man said, “You can now go back to your shed." There was nothing else, she wanted to do instead.

Dmcleod's picture
Dmcleod from Florida is reading Molloy February 1, 2014 - 1:55am

Something brushed up against my foot. I glanced down, still holding the pellet gun; something was wrapping itself around my shoe. It looked like a blue mass of hair from one of those treasure troll dolls. I smashed it with the butt of the pellet gun, which was stupid -- now my foot hurt. There was no time to dwell on the pain because the mud was now up to my ankle, I was being pulled underground. I dropped the gun and tried pressing up with my free leg but it was no use, it felt like everyone who ever held a grudge against me were pulling on the other end of the troll hair with all their might. My leg was sinking fast and I was panicking, my knee was under now and my other leg was still free; I was going to be split apart at the groin. I felt my pelvic bone start to crack, tears dripped from my burning eyes and I hoped for an instant that my submerged leg would be ripped from my torso, leaving the rest of me above ground to crawl back home. No dice -- as my insides audibly cracked and split, my free leg bent parallel to my body, and my toes slowly reached towards the sky. I could feel myself splitting apart below my genitals, and then the utterly disturbing sensation of dirt filling me up from the end where stuff is usually supposed to come out. My innards were being pushed up into my throat, blocking my airways. Buried up to my ribs now the pain subsided somewhat, turning into pure astonishment at how unbelievable this was. The thought of Wesley from The Princess Bride sinking into quicksand popped into my mind. The last thing I saw was the peppered oak tree that I was pelting; “I need to get a life,” I thought.

This is from an old short story that I am attacking from a different angle now.