Before I move on with the meme, I wanted to let you all know I'm over at Vaughn Roycroft's blog today sharing The Way I Like My Rejections. Obviously something I'm living right now!
I'm going to share the rules of the meme first and then it'll all become clear, I promise.
Rules for the Magic 8 Ball Meme:
1. Post the button and link to Jaycee deLorenzo (following would be nice, but not required).
2. Share an excerpt from your current WIP, perhaps something you're struggling with, are stuck on, or just can't "get right."
3. Ask a question about your excerpt. It can be something easy such as "What do you think?" or something more in-depth, such as "Can you suggest a better way to word such-and-such," or "How can I make the emotions in this scene more realistic?"
4. Tag 8 people.
I contemplated the whole query letter thing because I think my query stinks, but I decided to ask for your knowledgeable help on the first couple pages of Finding Meara, instead. I have had contrary feedback on the beginning.
One person who would know said it was sufficient, but not strong. Another person who would know said that it was a great beginning. So, I'm giving you a little over the first two pages (the entire chapter is only five, but I didn't want to be greedy) and would like to know what you think I could do to make it stronger.
The beautiful fall day didn’t give any hint of the unbelievable mess my life was to become.
By late morning, I’d opened all the windows in my apartment. The outside smells of dried leaves and cool air flowed through the rooms. They mingled with the infrequent rumble of large delivery trucks coming off I-25 on their run into downtown Denver.
I focused on my laptop’s screen, and wished my online racing bet would download faster. I wanted to get going.
The loading bar ticked up to ninety-seven percent, ninety-eight…
“And…done!” I said to the empty apartment.
I snapped the lid of the laptop shut, and set the computer on the coffee table. Clasping my hands behind my head, I stretched the kink out of my back when the sound of heavy footsteps outside the door grabbed my attention.
Nobody had access to my floor without being buzzed up. I crossed to the door, while I checked my cell phone for messages. No alerts showed on the screen.
No one on the other side of the peephole, either.
“See there. You’re just hearing things, Hazel.” I checked my watch and headed for the bedroom to change into my workout clothes.
I made it halfway across the living room before the door shattered with a spectacular cracking noise. Shards of wood flew by me. Instinctively, I covered my face with my arm, and dropped to the floor.
I uncovered my eyes, and stared at the hole where the door had been. My heart pounded.
A gigantic man watched me from the hallway. He said one word.
The man strode through the wreck of the doorway. His black trench coat rippled around his legs. A fedora, pulled low on his forehead, obscured his face.
“No! I’m Hazel… Hazel Michelli.” I scrambled to my feet. “Stop!”
He didn’t stop. Who I was didn’t matter. He was going to kill me.
I searched the room for a weapon, but found nothing. No vase or lamp to throw. No baseball bat to beat him with.
The bathroom, I can lock myself in the bathroom.
Sprinting down the hallway, I slipped on the wooden floor and skidded past the sharp left into the bathroom. Crashing to the ground with a bounce that made my teeth hurt, I lost my grip on the phone. It fumbled from my fingers, and slid away from me.
Phone or bathroom? Indecision rendered me motionless.
The guy had made matchsticks out of my front door. A flimsy bathroom door would be no protection.
I lunged for the phone. A decision made too late.
An oversized hand wrapped around my ankle. The man flipped me on my back, and pulled me toward the balcony.
My breathing rasped in my ears. If he got me out of the apartment, I’d be a goner.
I stretched for a chair leg, then the coffee table as they slid by. Each time I grasped some piece of furniture, he gave me a violent shake, and I lost my grip. Whatever I held on to slipped away behind me.
He was way too strong for a man. I quit fighting long enough to really look at him.
My heart stopped.
His hat had fallen off. The skin on his bald head was grayish-green and had the waxy sheen of day old death. Bulky knots protruded from above his shoulder blades, while his arms reached to his knees.
A cold chill flooded through my blood.
He wasn’t a man at all.
Now for the tagging, which may be difficult because I know a lot of people have already been tagged. If you've already been tagged, just know I like you so much I tagged you again! Of course, if you haven't been tagged and I don't tag you, I still like you!
Emily R. King
Suzi at Literary Engineer
Okay, I'm stuck, so I'm going to cheat and only go for five! Thanks so much for any thoughts you might share on my pages.