TITLE: Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds
GENRE: YA Suspense
L had forgotten how many times she’d died.
Then, after resurrection, withdrawal kicked in with shaking and seizures, making it impossible to pretend she’d not become addicted to dying. Craving the life discovered in those brief moments of oblivion before being reborn.
Once more. Her eternal promise to M: just one more death. Please.
L’s fingers shook where they rested on his arm, trying to pull the injector closer to the port in her forearm. “Just one more.”
“One more, for you,” he said. “Leaves the rest for me.”
M pressed the plunger.
For a moment, she wanted to curse him. Damn him for injecting her, for wanting the rest of the doses, for reminding her that after she died she’d forget her empty promises of never doing this again.
He’d heard it all before. He’d hear it again the next time he killed her.
But the moment was fatally brief as the heat reached her heart. Fire tore through her left arm, to her jaw, into her ears with the banshee wails of flatlining.
The pain overwhelmed. Until there was no pain at all.
The first seconds after dying were a vertigo death spiral, when the brain shuts down in a cascade of agony amid the inescapable sound of the last beat of her heart.
Seconds later, other memories return. She’d died before. She’d die again. On purpose.
Death had a reason.
This is intriguing! I'd cut this paragraph entirely, though:ReplyDelete
"Then, after resurrection, withdrawal kicked in with shaking and seizures, making it impossible to pretend she’d not become addicted to dying. Craving the life discovered in those brief moments of oblivion before being reborn."
You get her addiction across nicely later during the actual dying process. It's also odd to start with "Then," because it implies an action that came before the paragraph, when really this section is expository. Cut the exposition, go straight into the shock of your protagonist asking to die.
A minor note--you mention pain becoming "no pain at all," and a sentence later you're back to describing agony. It was also a little confusing to have her still experiencing agony and hearing her last heartbeat in the seconds after dying.
Are the memories returning after she's been resurrected? Is she experiencing some sort of in-between state? I'm really curious how she's coming back from lethal injection--does she have a strange supernatural talent or is M somehow resurrecting her? My curiosity is good--you've clearly hooked me into wanting to know more.
This is super catchy. I found myself being taken out of the moment with the second paragraph, where we jumped to resurrection, and wondering if it was the dying or the resurrection that kept L coming back. I think it would be even more intriguing if we stayed to watch M give L one ore death. I did wonder why no full names, but am assuming I’ll find out soon enough.ReplyDelete
This was definitely interesting. I did get a little confused by the names "L" and "M" and had to reread to keep track of who was who, but I'm sure there's a good reason for it. But I would keep reading to find out more!ReplyDelete
The idea of this definitely has me intrigued-that rebirth is normal and death is not only a choice, but an addictive activity. I want to know more about the reason that death holds L in such a grip. What does she really want (with at least a hint of why), what does she really want to forget, does she think that ‘just one more time’ will finally be permanent and take her away from a life that is probably more painful than the (wonderfully described) experience of death she seems compelled to seek out?ReplyDelete
Fascinating premise, based on what I can see of it so far! I'd definitely keep going to find out (hopefully quickly) what it is about dying that L is addicted to, and what purpose the whole setup serves.ReplyDelete
I agree with the other commenters that the second paragraph, as it stands, short-circuits the tension created by the first line. The information in it is important, but I'd ideally like to see it worked in a little more casually.