Michelle Gregory is hosting the Share Your Darlings Blogfest today! :)
Finding a scene to post for this blogfest was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It's not like I don't have a whole manuscript of cut scenes from my current WIP, Embrol, but going through them, it was difficult to find one that (1) I loved, (2) didn't give too much away about the story, since I'm currently doing a full rewrite, (3) the writing wasn't awful, and (4) wasn't way too long. So, I finally settled on another discarded opening. This one I liked, but it just wasn't working as an opening.
My art teacher says the eyes are the window to the soul. Apparently, I don’t have one.
I studied the self-portrait lying on my desk. Dull, lifeless eyes stared back. Definitely soulless—next thing I knew, I’d be wandering the streets in search of brains. The stiff paper crumpled beneath my fingers. Why can I draw anyone, anything else, but I can’t draw myself?
I pulled a drawing of my mother from my portfolio. Maybe I could pass it off as me. Her straight, auburn hair was only slightly darker than mine, and her deep blue eyes had the same shape and color, but I knew Mr. Harper would see it for the fraud that it was.
Olivia, this isn’t the quality of work that earned you a full scholarship to Pratt, he would say and frown. In his mind, everything I drew had to be a masterpiece.
Whatever. I pushed my chair back. I don’t care anymore. One F shouldn’t affect my grade that much.
A faint shimmer lit up the air around me as I got to my feet. I blinked to clear my vision, thinking I stood up too fast. The shimmer thickened, coalescing into a gelatinous mass around my legs, then my arms and hands, slowing their ascent as I lifted them to my eyes. It felt like my mind was stuck on fast forward, as if time had slowed down, retarding my movements but not my brain—or my heart, hammering against my ribcage.
“Wake up, Livy,” I mumbled, trying to pull my arms free. It’s not real. Just a nightmare. A very realistic nightmare. “Mom!” It should’ve been a scream, but only a strangled whimper escaped. I twisted my body as the glistening mass moved upward, molding itself to my chest, my neck. Wake up. Tears rolled down my face, my breath coming in short, erratic bursts. Wake up! I fought to breathe, forcing a deep, shuddering breath. “MOM! Hel—”
In an instant, the mass solidified, expanding to cover my entire body. It filled my gaping mouth, tasteless and smooth like a glass marble on my tongue. My heart pounded in my ears as the mass pressed against me, halting the trembling waves coursing through me. My eyes rolled and burned as they rubbed against the iridescent surface, slick with my tears.
Seconds passed, maybe it was minutes. It could’ve been an eternity for all that it mattered. Escape was hopeless.
Not real. I fought the fog forcing its way into my mind. A heavy ache spread through my chest as shadows crept in around me. My heartbeat slowed. Just have to… A cloud passed over my eyes. Wake up.
I thought I heard my name, muffled, like hearing it through a wall. Mom. Help. One last beat of my heart and darkness overwhelmed everything.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out all the other entries here.
And registration is open for WriteOnCon, the fabulous online writing conference happening next month.