TITLE: THE BONE TREE
GENRE: MG Horror
The crackle of static wakes me up before the pebble against my window does.
“Echo Lima Sierra Indigo Echo, do you read me?” My best friend’s voice cracks and pops over the rechargeable grey walkie talkie he got me for Christmas last year.
I sit up and scramble through my nightstand drawer until my hand wraps around the hard plastic. I turn the volume down and hold my breath, waiting for Dad’s thundering footsteps. They don’t come. Another pebble hits my window. My heart thumps in my chest and I wrinkle my nose. I hold down the long plastic button on the side of the walkie. “Romeo Oxford Mike Alpha November, I’m up. Stop chucking stuff at my window.”
I hear Roman laugh without the help of the walkie talkie. “You tryin’ to chicken out on me?”
“No, but if you don’t shut up I’ll be busted before I leave.” I toss the walkie on my bed and stand up, still dressed in my clothes from school so I don’t have to turn on my light. I grab a can of Pam out of my nightstand and spray it around the windowsill. The window slides up without a peep. I hop on the roof, crawl to the edge, and fall into the night. I land in the middle of the trampoline and scamper off.
If I’m going to get caught, it’ll happen now. I give Mom a few seconds to turn on her bedside lamp and fling up the blinds.
Hi there! Thanks for sharing. A couple things:ReplyDelete
Your opening sentence. You can probably cut "before the pebble..." I say this because the static has already woken him up, so the pebble can't.
Also, you use a form of "crack" twice within three sentences. Maybe use a different word.
I know you're trying to get at the point your MC doesn't want his dad to hear the pebbles or the walkie, but I get the sense it's pretty late, so unless the dad is a night owl, he's probably out hard enough that he wouldn't notice a few white noises. I wouldn't.
Last thing: I'm taking you at your word about this kid "falling into the night." That makes me think he took a header or belly flopped from the roof of a two-story home onto a trampoline. He definitely wouldn't land but would instead fly off and break/sprain something.
I hope this helps. Good luck!
I think your opening scene is a great starter! Although I'm not sure how many kids have walkie talkies anymore, lol. Even just from this small bit I think you do a good job giving Elsie (I assume that's her name) a likable personality and I think this is a perfect set up for a horror.ReplyDelete
I love this! The set up is great, and I love Elsie's and Riman's personalities already. The only thing, I'm worried about the way she gets out of the house. I don't know how big the house is. I'm having a hard time picturing her climbing onto the roof and jumping from a second story without falling on her face. Trampolines can bounce people pretty high. And how is she going to get back in? Is there some reason she can't go down the stairs? Use the Pam (I loved that detail!) on the door instead? When I was young, I just snuck out through a window downstairs and hopped over the steps that creaked. But yeah! I love this, I want to read it!ReplyDelete
Definitely address the walkie-talkies. Maybe they're into retro or police gadgets. Do they have a few other things you could mention too? Does she mean to leave the walkie-talkie on the bed? Will her mom notice it? I feel like this might be a clue to something later, but I'm not sure.ReplyDelete
I like the idea that she's confident about scaling the roof and falling into the night. Take your time here and give us a description (build suspense) of what she sees, hears, smells, feels as she's falling. OR describe what she's feeling as she's looking over the edge. I'd love to read more.
I really like the opening here. I might even suggest cutting the first sentence and starting with the second. I also like that right away I know the best friend is male, and if I spell out the name I know that the speaker is female, but it's done so seamlessly! Definitely compelled to read more so far. The walkie talkies make me think that maybe this is set in the 80s or 90s? I like that idea, and if that's true, it's a great way to introduce us to the era.ReplyDelete
There are some slight things I'd tweak about the sentences here grammatically, but all in all I'm definitely keen to read more.
Thanks for entering!
I love this! First, your title is fantastic. Second, I'm not going to lie, the walkie talkies had me thinking about Stranger Things on Netflix, so I enjoyed the overall tone and fun between the two best friends. Maybe the first line can be morphed to cut out the "wakes me up" part? It's hard to think the protagonist would be sleeping if they know they are about to sneak out.ReplyDelete