Thursday, April 10, 2008

Are You Hooked? First Page #6

The color irritated Malcolm. Since when had the flashers on patrol cars changed from red to blue? He had no preference for one shade over the other, but interference with established patterns was never good.

He sighed. For the first time in eight years, he’d be late for work. He hit the button to lower the window, and noted he still smelled of lilacs. A second shower was in order, even if the officer changed the flat for him.

The latest darling to endure his idiosyncrasies had smiled with kindness when he’d requested to supervise her bathing before and after. She’d smelled quite pretty, been so anxious to please, understood his need to avoid her lips—he’d agreed to spend the night.

Of course he hadn’t planned on counting the minutes ticking from midnight to 2:46 AM as they shared the hotel room table, quizzing from Gray’s Anatomy. A second year med student, she hoped for a brighter future. Her step to hug her mentor when he attempted his exit, her smile encouraging him to drop a kiss on her forehead, remained a pattern he’d like to see broken.

Depressing. None of his well paid sweethearts allowed him to slink out like a john should. After one or two visits, attachments formed. Next month he’d request a different woman.

The police car crunched to a stop behind him, and he raised his eyes to the horizon of another dazzling day.

What a bizarre light—

His brain flat-lined and Malcolm collapsed.


  1. Um, I'm sorry, NO.

    The opening line was good and the idea that now he's seeing different color patterns is interesting.

    However, once past the first paragraph, I was highly confused about what was going on. This is probably just me. I understand Malcolm likes patterns and it sounds like he has some quirks, but on first read I was a bit lost.

    I did like the end, even though I still don't understand what's happening--I'm a little curious where you're going with this if you kill Malcolm off right away ;) but the middle part was too distracting to make me go on.

    Good luck.


  2. No. I'm sorry. I liked the beginning, but was confused after that. Is he being pulled over because he's caught in some sort of sting related to his "dates?" I kept expecting to find out what he was pulled over and then he dies. Did the policeman kill him or did he have a stroke? I did like end. I am curious why you killed off you MC on the first page, but I was too distracted to read more.

    Good Luck.


  3. Absolutely YES!!! This is excellent. The voice is strong and distinct, and Malcolm is complex and flawed. He has depth and I'm intrigued by his behavior. Very well-written. And I totally get what's going on with this philanderer, who could be dangerously close to American Psycho land. Or not. But it makes me want to find out. 8^)

  4. Yes. I like the bizarre light. Then he collapses, it begs me to ask what comes next, or at least read more to find out.

  5. I like the opening para, but there's no sense of setting--is he in a car, a cafe sipping latte as a police car goes by, crossing a street on foot? I think we need to have a clue of the 'where' in the opening para.

    Then, the hooker bit throws me. The focus is on the cop, being late, a flat, and suddenly it's a memory of a tryst? For me, this doesn't fit not here when we're trying to get a handle on what the story is about.

    The ending's a good hook, as long as you didn't kill the guy off. I'm going to assume he'll wake up in the hospital or something, but the story will go one for him.

  6. I'm sorry, I think I'm too confused to say "yes." I'm not sure I understand what's going on, and therefore I'm having trouble connecting with Malcolm.

    The last line is certainly intriguing! But the writing to that point is from Malcolm's POV. Suddenly it goes omniscient (he would not know that his brain was flatlining). So it is a bit jarring (though I'm sure you WANT to jar us just then; maybe just not because of a POV shift).

  7. Sorry but no from me. I got a bit lost, and it just didn't grab my interested (if the MC is male, it takes a lot for me to keep reading).