Wednesday, May 5, 2010

First Kiss #19

TITLE: Untitled
GENRE: Young adult dystopian

The girl is in the hospital; the boy's come to visit. The pain meds are about to knock her out.

Her voice trailed off into a breathy whistle, and he was sure he'd lost her. But then three faded words managed to sail out on a sigh: "Except about you."

His cheeks were already close to scalding, and yet they found a way to ratchet up the temperature another few degrees. "Well," he squeaked, then cleared his throat. "You were always interesting." He scooted his chair a little closer. Gently, very gently, took her hand. "To me."

She smiled a wispy smile that lingered around her mouth, gave his hand a feeble squeeze. "You'll stay?"

He squeezed hers back. "For as long as you'll let me."

"I'll," she replied, and then sleep carried her away.

And so Seth sat like that, her hand cradled in his, until the night nurse kicked him out--and then he stayed one minute more. Long enough to coax one of the lilies from the bouquet (the plastic's crackle-crackle made him wince), and lay it across the extra pillows. Long enough to raise her warm hand to his lips and brush her knuckles with a kiss.

That was the sound that stayed with him as he tiptoed from the room: the swishing whisper of his kiss upon her skin.


  1. This was good. Really good. I think there could be more emotion from him besides his scalding cheeks, but this is good. Really good.

  2. Oh my goodness - how sweet! What a nice twist to have a first kiss on the hand and not have one of the participants even know about it.

    I also don't like "scalding". The scene is so soft so the word was jarring. Maybe change "knuckles" too. Especially if you want have him make a sound, the top of her hand is sweeter and you can use a softer word.


  3. I agree with the above poster. I really like the scene - and having just been in a hospital bed on pain meds, it hits home. ;) But the scalding cheeks threw me. I kept checking the genre to see if this was spec fic and that had significance. If he's just blushing, I'd choose a different word. If he's sick, I'd make it more clear or maybe the surrounding paragraphs do that. But I really like the sentiment of the scene.

  4. Cut the sentence about his cheeks scalding (don't even change it, just whack it,) and the sentence where the plastic crackle-crackles and you've got a winner.

    Those sentences felt awkward and take me out of the moment, but I skipped over them the second read and my heart actually started racing, which I hope is the goal in any first kiss scene.

    Very sweet. Love, love, love the last line.

  5. I agree with the above commenters - love the scene. Actually, I kind of like what the plastic crackle-crackles making him wince tells us about him. But the line is distracting. Maybe you could take it out of parenthesis and throw a "though" in front of it.

  6. Love the kiss on the hand. I agree with the scalding and I liked the crackle, maybe find a way to work it in without having it in ( ).

  7. Beautiful! I love this.

  8. I really liked this one. So sweet. Especially the "and then he stayed one minute more." ::sigh::

    You also did an excellent job portraying her fading-out-ness. (See, I had to make a word up, and you used real words!)

  9. This felt very real and very sad. I liked it a lot.

  10. I like this. Very sweet. The 'crackle-crackle' is a nice detail.

  11. Thank you, everyone, for your feedback. Scalding cheeks line, gone! :)

  12. Esther VanderlaanMay 28, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Pretty good!