Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last Line Blogfest

This is the end of the first chapter of my YA sci-fi novel, Embrol. You can read the beginning of this chapter here. Check out the other Last Line Blogfest posts here.

Just a little setup. The MC, Olivia, and her mother have just been in a car accident that flipped their car. Olivia’s feeling a little disoriented for some reason. ;) And I’ve been told by a couple of betas that this scene is a little graphic, so you have been warned. Enjoy!

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“Mom?” Was that shrill voice mine?

She didn’t answer. Her upturned hand lay in front of my face amid a mass of auburn hair—mine or hers, I couldn’t tell. Blood oozed into the gaps, pooling around her hand. I reached a trembling hand out to hers. My fingers brushed her palm and recoiled, my stomach lurching.

How can she feel so empty? The image of her face as her head struck, flashed in my mind—her eyes, so blue and so vacant.

A whimpering rose within me. This isn’t real. This isn’t happening. I clawed at the steering wheel, the frame of the windshield, trying to free myself from the nightmare around me. My legs refused to cooperate, and every movement brought more pain, shooting through my torso and radiating out to my arms and my neck.

“Be calm. Help is on the way.” A woman crouched in front of the windshield and patted my hand. I jerked it away. That was how Mom’s hand should’ve felt—warm, pulsing with life. Tears formed in the woman’s eyes before she stood and walked away. She spoke to someone in a low voice, but I couldn’t make out the words. Clouds crowded my vision, dark shadows creeping into the corners. Sound came in spurts. Sirens, soft in the distance, then nothing—they blared closer, then nothing. An invisible weight pressed down on my chest.

Something warm brushed my hand, pulling my eyes open.

The face of a beautiful, blue-eyed angel hovered before me, the jagged edges of the windshield creating a halo around his golden curls. I opened my mouth to ask who he was, but my subconscious whispered I already knew the answer. If I could just remember…

“Olivia,” he said, his deep voice soft and comforting. The chaos around us faded away, as if only the two of us existed. My eyes slid closed, and for a moment, I was there beside him, examining the wreckage. I saw myself, my head pinned between the seat and the roof of the car, blood trickling a grisly mask over my face, my body bent in places it wasn’t meant to bend. Mom hung next to me, her petite frame held upside down by her seatbelt. Her body was clean, no blood except for the puddle around her hand. Her head rested against the roof, twisted at an unnatural angle, her eyes open, staring.

Pain shot through my chest, yanking me back to my body as a scream—my scream—shredded my eardrums. Piercing agony worked its way into every cell, throbbing with each beat of my heart. The clouds thickened, blanketing my vision, and I hovered somewhere between the light and the dark. The thread holding me there, the one I clung to so desperately, slipped in my grasp. I could think of nothing but the pain, and how it would all disappear if I could only let go.

“Olivia,” the angel whispered. Warmth flowed into me from his fingertips against my cheek. “Come back to me.”

He pulled his hand away, and the world turned black.

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Thanks for reading! :)

20 comments:

  1. That was incredible! I really, really loved it! I can imagine that would be a difficult scene to write, and you handled it beautifully.

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  2. Uh oh, I seem to have done this wrong. Because I only posted the last few lines of my chapter.

    Very well-written, Abby. But it doesn't feel like an ending! I want to know what happens next. It seems like she knows this angel, or should know him.

    I assume there's a sequel? Please say 'yes'?

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  3. Wow. I really like this a lot. The imagery is fantastic here. You nailed a scene difficult to write.

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  4. I didn't think this was graphic at all. Your descriptions are wonderful and painted the picture easily in my mind. I so want to know who this angel is!

    Loved it! I didn't even notice anything to nitpick on.

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  5. Very real and moving. Great job, Abby. I would definitely read on.

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  6. wasn't i one of those people who said graphic? maybe. but it's a great scene. makes me want to know more, even though i *do* know more.

    i played along on my blog.

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  7. Oh wow. The language and flow in such a difficult scene is amazing. Great job! I definitely want to read more. (If you're looking for a critique partner...)

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  8. This is terrific - the only thing that blipped on my screen was the description of the angel as a blue-eyed guy with curly blonde hair with the windshield halo seemed just a teensy bit "angel cliche". But, it wasn't distracting or anything. Just a blip. I'm already sad about the mom. Good work.

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  9. Well written Abby, you really made me care. Where are they off to next I wonder?

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  10. This was not too graphic at all, it was very intense and drew me in. Excellent scene.

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  11. Very gripping! The only speed bump I hit reading was the frequency of some words -- for example, "hand" appears three times in the second paragraph.

    I definitely want to read more.

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  12. Beautiful! This was scene was perfectly done. I didn't think it was too graphic at all. The details are what really grab you and make you feel the pain of the narrator. Looking forward to reading more. =)

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  13. Very nicely done. I was enthralled throughout the entire piece.

    I would definitely want to read more.

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  14. I love a good fade to black ending. Classic. And the aftermath of the car accident was well described. There's something really spooky about those, since they happen all the time and almost all of us have been in at least one. Well done!

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  15. I LOVEd it SO much! Thank you for participating, great job!

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  16. Can't wait to read more of this!

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  17. That was very powerful. The mystery of her knowing the 'angel' and her out of body experience really drew me in. Great job.

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  18. ooh exciting! Makes me want to read more!

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  19. wow. made me catch my breath. Really well done.

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