Monday, January 19, 2015

Opening lines...

Anyone aspiring to be an author or even a well published one will tell you that the opening line to any written work, whether fiction or non, must capture the reader's attention. This is generally referred to as 'a hook'.

When I am sitting and considering what to write I practice writing opening lines. I use them as prompts to see where they take me. I have decided that I would start posting some of my opening lines and see what you, my friends think about them. You are welcome to use them as prompts as well and should you craft a fine tale using one or more please feel free to use them as you will. I only ask that you send me a copy of your story so that I can enjoy your creativity as well.

Here are just a few with the title of possible works included:

Few things are more frightening than seeing your own blood, especially if you cannot see the puncture wound. 

Deaf from the explosion and unable to move because of the rubble that had pushed me into a corner before burying me up to my neck, I saw that I was looking down toward my feet with my left eye while looking up into the darkening sky with my right.

Even sitting on the porch at the opposite side of the house I could hear my grandfather choking down his liquid lunch, the failed removal of a cancerous growth in his throat made it impossible for him to eat.

I sensed the music coming from somewhere below me long before I heard it.

Jammed into a garden loveseat with my ponderous and funny Aunt Fanny, I tried to not fidget or act up doing my best to ignore the appalled looks upon many of the faces of her audience as she enthusiastically recounted stories of our comical relatives while repeatedly releasing gastric reminders of an earlier meal with all of the subtlety of a trumpeter swan.

Zombie Flyball...

Keeping my head down and my breathing shallow I waited for the last of the zombies to shuffle past. I watched it sniff the air in my direction like a hunting dog or a wolf. My hands were shaking as I readied myself to plunge the long, heavy crowbar through its misshapen skull. It walked a little further before it stopped and turned back. It seemed to be staring right at me but I could not tell for sure as it didn't appear to have any eyes. It sniffed again and started walking towards me. The way it bumped around its surroundings implied that it was indeed blind. In the narrow alcove of the corner of the building where I stood, just off from the main alley it would not matter if that son-of-a-bitch could see or not. It would feel me.

I looked around in a quick scan to see if I could shift my position and get out of its path before it got any closer but there was no time or room. I lifted the sturdy crowbar above my head swiveling it slowly like a batter readying himself for the next pitch... wait for it... wait for... SWING!

"And it's a high fly ball going back... back... yes! It's a home run!" I cheered, my voice barely above a whisper as I watched the bulk of the zombie's head soar up and over an adjoining fence, its scalp flopping as the head spun under an overhead light like I had knocked the cover off of the ball before splattering against the building's west wall. It sounded like a wet mop slapping the pavement followed by the mushy splat of spilled oatmeal dumped by a baby when it landed in the parking lot. I sidestepped the falling body hip bumping it against the wall hoping it would slide down instead of crashing into the debris strewn behind me.

Zombies seem to be sensitive to sound so I try hard to be as quiet as possible, especially since I forage at night. If lighting matters little when dealing with zombies you are probably wondering why I don't forage during daylight hours. It is because of other survivors.  Many are so paranoid, whacked out, or just plain selfish that they attack other survivors, wounding them to be used as distractions or bait; killing them to protect their stuff or take their victim's stuff. Either way, it's a shitty situation and not worth the risk.

 It's a shame, I genuinely like people and loneliness is the toughest part of surviving... cause you're surviving for what?... to walk alone?... where's the future in that?

Tommy's Hot Mom

"It's not to late to change your mind." a husky voice accompanied by an electric hum hissed through hidden speakers.

"Well..." Tommy's mother grew impatient.

'So many choices' Tommy thought as he scanned the drive-thru menu. He could see his mom's face turning a slow red. "Okay already... I'll take the double cheese with extra pickles, no onions or lettuce or mayo on a toasted bun with curly fries and a medium Squirt with little ice."

"Good call, little dude." said the voice, "And, what can I get for you pretty lady."

Tommy saw his mom's face turn a different shade of red and watched her fuss with her hair, checking her makeup in the rearview mirror before she replied, "Well, Eddie... what do you recommend... any specials?" she finished with a flirty chuckle.

'Oh good grief' Tommy groaned within himself cupping his eyes and shaking his head side-to-side, 'having a hot momma is so embarrassing'.

Amity - The Shack

The low setting sun's dappled rays seeping through the loose fitting clap boards of the old hunter's shack gave off a warm, soft glow that reminded Amity of happier less complicated times; of days spent in innocence with schoolmates giggling as girls do unconcerned about missing teeth, braces, or the awkward features that would later become a source of joy or anxiety in the secondary school dating game.

It made Amity slip back and remember her best friend and true sister, Tiffany. Her smiles turned to tears as she came back to the present.

While attending a seance, Tiffany was brutally murdered by a mutual friend possessed by a demon that the foolish teens released. Amity was supposed to attend but she was busy with her boyfriend, it was her 19th birthday. Less than an hour after its release the demon who had killed Tiffany and several other of Amity's friends found her and temporarily possessed Amity, the demon forcing her to attack her boyfriend with the kitchen knife she had used to cut the cake. It's assault upon her was thwarted by Joshua who coaxed the demon out of her and into himself before killing himself to save her.

It seemed like so long ago but was in fact only 3 years prior when the town she grew up in and the world around her changed before her eyes compelling Amity to become the person she was now... a battle-hardened warrior, an outcast, an exorcist/demonologist, and worst of all... a loner. Everyone she gets close to either dies, gets possessed, or damaged along the way.

It was rare when she allowed herself a pity party but today seemed like a good day for it, she was alone, so very tired in every way a person can be tired, and... it was her birthday.

Easing back into writing...

It  has been over a year since I did any real writing, creative or otherwise. The pain and pain medication I was taking to alleviate a lengthy bout of kidney stones and eight bulging discs (4 upper and 4 lower... it's nice to know my body does its best to stay balanced :)) in my spine sapped me of my desire to write more than a snippet or two.

I spent most of my time laying in bed playing video games on my XBox360. Fun... yeah, but not very fulfilling. My main desktop computer died and I was unable to make the proper repairs so I offline for months... how many? I haven't a clue. I stopped all social media interactions prior to my forced sabbatical and became a hermit. Other than a blog or two I don't know if I can transition back into a social butterfly. It is not that I no longer wish to make new friends and strengthen the relationships I have with so many wonderful writers, authors, and just good folk from around the world that I have allowed to go fallow due to my absence, it is simply not having the motivation to do so. I hope this is due to my continuing recovery... I am now sitting typing this on a resurrected laptop in a recliner in my living room. A big step up... typing while prone just doesn't cut it.

To all of my friends who are still interested in being my friends I thank you... and, to the rest of you that have moved on, I will miss you and you have my best regards in your future endeavors and relationships.

Cheers & Ciao for now.