Justin W. Parente is hosting the Hook Line & Sinker Blogfest over on his blog In My Write Mind. Click on the link above to check out all the participants’ entries and friend Justin–his site is awesome! Here’s the challenge in Justin’s words:
“Just to remind you, the theme of the blogfest is such: Please post a 1000 word (a few over is okay) sample of your hook. Preferably, chop it right out from the opening of your manuscript. I’d like to see the range of openings various writers have to grab attention. Can you establish a great character relationship in just those few words? How about showing the world? Whatever your hook is, post it for the fest and we’ll do the little jig around it (and give you comments along the way).“
I didn’t want to use the same story I’ve been using for other blogfests I’ve participated in. So, I dusted off a story I had started because of a dream.I had planned to go back to it after I finish the project I’ll be doing for NaNoWriMo in November. I have several first scenes of stories that have come to me, and I write them, so I won’t lose the inspiration.I put them away for when it’s their time to be written.This is one, so I hope you like it.
Ms. Landon is so clueless; she never knows what goes on in her classroom. The marker squeaks angrily across the dry-erase board as she writes out a polynomial equation. Why Ms. Landon doesn’t wear Spanx or something is beyond me. Seriously, her cream-colored, polyester skirt is so tight I can see her lady lumps–and I mean cellulite, not Fergalicious curves–not to mention her panty lines. I’m no fashion critic, I wear the same thing every day, but even I’ve heard Oprah go on about how Spanx makes a woman’s curves smoother when my checked-out-of-life mother blasts the show while washing dishes.
“What is it, Rayne?” asks Ms. Landon, her hand rests on her hip and a cloud of red hair frames her face as she looks pointedly through her glasses at me.
“Certainly, but don’t dawdle, we have a lot to cover today.”
I stumble to my feet and peer through the black strands of my overly long bangs at Parker, Mr. Popularity, the smirk still lingering on his face tells me the loogie was a present from him.
Parker glares at me. “What freak?”
Ms. Landon spins away from the board. “Mr. Davis! This is your first warning. You don’t want to spend today’s game in detention after school, do you?”
“No ma’am,” Parker drones.
We all know she won’t act on that threat. No one puts the point guard in a corner.
I pass Jessica Harvey on my way over to the door, and she gives me a sympathetic smile.We were friends back in ninth grade, before the accident. She’s nice to me, but only if I cross her path. The jester is kind, so I return a grateful grin. I pull the hall pass off the wall and yank the door open. My cupped hand reminds me of the snot I hold. How can anyone be so cruel? I go through the mini-maze into the girls’ bathroom and immediately rinse my hand. Grabbing several paper towels and drenching them with water, I wipe the gunk from the back of my head.
I’m not Emo or Goth, just an introvert. I like people as long as they stay in their own space. My light brown roots scream against the ebony dye on the rest of my hair. The mirror hates me and I hate it. There was a time when I fitted in, when I wanted to fit in, when I needed to fit in, now I just want to hide. How do you face people when the vultures plastered the details of the accident over all the newspapers and media stations? I hate him. I wished he had died.
Tears spill over my eyelids as I stare at the girl I don’t even know in the mirror. Her once happy life gone because of one wild night she couldn’t control. The lights flicker angrily overhead and for a second I think I see the girl I used to be. I blink once, then twice, and the girl who looks like hell is there again.
Shaking my head and cupping water in my hands, I splash my face. “God. I’ve lost my mind,” I mutter and turn off the water facet. Grabbing a couple of more towels, I dry my face.
The lights flicker again and then blackout.
“Damn it. What’s going on?” As if someone would answer my question, I add another. “The school can’t even pay their electric bills, or what?”
“I know, right?” There was no mistaking Jessica Harvey’s voice. Throbbing like a strobe, the overhead lights came back to life. “We’d better hurry back or Ms. Landon might make us stay after class.”
Wow, she hasn’t spoken this many words to me all year. I follow her out of the bathroom and down the hall to our classroom, dreading the lecture about only one person at a time going to the restroom from Ms. Landon.
We walk in and I rush to my seat. Ms. Landon smiles at us and continues writing her lesson plan on the board. A finger pokes my back and I turn to face Parker.
“Hey sexy,” he says. “Are we still on after the game?”
“What?” My eyes are wide.
Ms. Landon spins away from the blackboard. “Mr. Davis! This is your first warning. Please keep your comments to yourself.”
First warning? I whirl around in my seat to face Ms. Landon. What the hell? Did Ms. Landon change while I was gone? She’s wearing designer jeans, a green shirt, and a black, cropped blazer. Her red hair is straightened and tamed.
“Turn to page twenty-two,” Ms. Landon orders.
I glance at my book and a strand of blond hair falls across my eyes. My shirt isn’t black, it’s red and white, and instead of my jeans, I’m wearing a red skirt. A. Cheerleader’s. Skirt. Without thinking, my hand shoots into the air.
“What is it, Addyson?” asks Ms. Landon, with her hand on her hip, she looks pointedly through her glasses at me.
I glance around the room, wondering whom she means. As far as I know, we don’t have an Addyson in the class.
“Miss Gray, what do you need?”
“Um . . . may I go to the restroom?”
“Oh, all right, but don’t dawdle, we have a lot to cover today.”
Whoa. Déjà vu, much?
(This is a bit over 1,000 words here. I’ve posted the rest of the scene below in case anyone wants to continue.)
I stumble to my feet and peer through blond strands of bangs at Parker, his lips twist into a sexy grin and then he mouths, I love you. I practically trip over someone’s pink and black, plaid backpack that is leaning against my desk and dash for the door.
“I think she’s sick,” I hear Jessica say to someone.
What the hell is going on? What the hell is going on? What the hell . . ., runs through my head as I sprint to the restroom. I scurry around the mini maze and stop cold between the stalls and sinks. Sitting on one of the sinks is the loveliest pixie of a girl. Glittery yellow hair falls to the middle of her back, and the outer corner of her green eyes tilts up toward her temples. Her outfit looks made with more than a dozen rose petals in a variety of colors. She kicks her legs back and forth and her cupid lips pull into a smile.
“Hello, Addy . . . I mean Rayne.”