Wednesday, May 6, 2009

15 Drop the Needle

TITLE: Light Bringer
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

Ryan and Heath rescued Jessica the previous night, snatching her from her apartment in the middle of the night. Now they are trying to explain to her that it’s not safe for her to leave and she wigs out.

“Well, I need to get my stuff, and try to fix up the place before I’m sued by my landlord.” Jessica spoke as if her audience was either very stupid or did not understand English.

“You can’t leave,” Kalie said. “Ryan and Heath are going to work we’ll talk.”

“Talk? Is that it?”

“I told you last night,” Heath continued, “Kalie can answer your questions. It’s not safe for you. There’s nothing more you can do right now.”

“How do you know what I can do? If it wasn’t for me, he—” She pointed to Ryan. “Would still be in the fetal position, crying, while that man played with his head.”

Ryan choked on his apple, but Jessica went on.

“I’m not some chick with perfectly manicured nails who has no idea how to protect myself!”

Kalie’s mouth flopped open and she tucked her neat fingers casually behind her back.

“I’ve slaughtered pigs for Pete’s sake,” Jessica continued. “If I wanna leave you can’t stop me. You—you can’t keep me here like a prisoner!” Her voice reached a shrill level. “She may be satisfied to play the little damsel in distress, but I—”

“Hey!” Bits of apple sprayed from Ryan’s mouth as he slammed his hand down on the table. Everything in the kitchen began vibrating ominously. Calm yourself, he thought, and had to chant it a few times before it worked. By then, Kalie and Heath seemed braced for a repeat of last night.


  1. I liked this, liked Jessica's anger. I've entered editor mode (officially), so the few grammatical mistakes did jar me momentarily, but I'm not sure if others would have the same problem. The only really noticeable "Huh?" was "Ryan and Heath are going to work we'll talk."

    I have no idea what that means. They'll talk at work? They'll talk after they leave for work? Maybe it was an editing thing? Anyway, that needs to be clarified.

    I think you could use stronger verbs in a few places: went, and continued. Continued is actually used twice in the passage, which could be fixed easily.

    Anywho, I enjoyed it. :) Yay for slaughtering pigs?

  2. I agree with the editing comment. That one sentence about Heath and Ryan going to work threw me.
    Really liked the use of the apple as a "showing" device; choking on it, spraying bits of it out.
    I also thought the first paragraph had a funny description of how Jessica spoke her words. That was cute.
    Jessica's anger escalated well, so you did a nice job with her reactions and overall the dialog was very believable.

  3. Thanks, theflightlytempstress and Jessie17, it is an editing thing as I condensed some of this from the original to make it fit the 250 words. How it reads in my MS is: "Ryan and Heath are going to work while you and I will talk."
    Sorry bout any confusion. Thanks again!

  4. The phrase "I've slaughtered pigs for Pete's sake" was great - I liked this a lot. Nice drama plus humour.

  5. I like Jessica's anger and most of the dialogue. The first dialogue line doesn't read like she's speaking as if the audience was stupid. And I wouldn't use "wanna" but I would spell it normally. I really like the image of the bits of apple spraying from Ryan's mouth. Funny.

  6. Thanks, goldchevy! I use the word "wanna" for Jessica only because (and you would have no way of knowing this from this excerpt) but she's southern and has a bit of a twang.

  7. I like the line about slaughtering pigs, and the spray of apple bits. Her saying the part about "perfectly manicured nails" not so much -- would a woman really say that at that moment?

    Mark in the Seattle area

  8. This is interesting and well written. Other than what I presume is a typo in the beginning, I thought this was funny and moved along nicely. I'd like to read more!