Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Very Special Birthday Contest.

A lovely Brazilian writer, Gabriela Lessa, is having a birthday today. Happy Birthday Gabriela!
To celebrate, she's hosting a contest. And I'm entering. So, here are the first 312 words of my WIP. Apologies to those who read the 550 words I posted in the blogfest earlier this week... I do try not to repeat myself.... And apologies for the weird ending. 312 words ended in a strange place.

TITLE: Chasing the Tail Lights
GENRE: YA Contemporary

The darkness is absolute. For a moment I’m not sure if my eyes are open or closed. I strain to push the lids up, but they’re already wide. Not a pinpoint of light penetrates the space I’m in. Something covers my mouth and nose, making breathing difficult. My lungs burn for air, but I can only suck in tiny mouthfuls through whatever smothers my face.

I turn my head, crying out as a savage bolt of pain shoots through it. For a moment I waver on the edge of consciousness, wavy grey lines wafting across the blank space before my eyes. I struggle to keep my wits about me - what’s left of them - fighting the the darkness threatening to drown me. I gasp for breath, certain now I won’t pass out. Reaching out my left hand, I try to find something to hold onto. My fingers scrabble over some small objects, pebbles perhaps, that skitter away beneath my touch. I reach further, wrapping my fingers around them. Pain prickles through my fingertips. Not pebbles. Glass. Small, sharp shards of glass.

Using my scored digits, I drag myself forward, an inch, maybe two. A huge weight pins my legs to the ground. I can’t move them, can’t even feel them. Raising my head, I see light. Not a lot of light, but light. Red light, bright at one end, dull at the other. I know what this is. I do. My heart thumps at the side of my head and I can almost hear the gears of my brain creaking to make sense of this weird red glow.

A taillight.

I let my throbbing head drop as a reward, a surge of relief passing through me at this small achievement. It’s a taillight. But why is it up there? What is up there? And if that’s there, where am I? The


  1. Wow. Nice. I found myself gasping for air. Well done :)

  2. Gah, I really want the rest of this chapter to find out what's going on!

  3. So loving this! I was drawn in from the beginning and so wanting more.
    If I could say one tiny the very beginning when you say "the lids", to me I think "my lids" might sound a little better. Seriously, other than that...soo good!!!

  4. Terrific. Very tramatic, dramatic, and love the way it cuts off just when I was getting drawn in. AHA! 312 words. We need more. Nice job.

  5. Congratulations! You are one of the 12 finalists! Your entry has been forwarded to guest judge Lora Rivera. The 3 winners will be announced on March 30th. Thanks for entering the contest and giving me the chance to read some great writing! Good luck!

  6. Oh wow! That is exciting. Thanks Gabriela! And thanks everyone else for reading...

  7. Very nice job! I felt the disorientation and trauma right off and wanted to keep reading.

  8. This does suck you right in from the get-go. I was thinking traffic accident before the taillights are notices, which I thought was great. It is mysterious without being completely ambiguous. Loved it.

  9. This is pretty fantastic. My moderate hope after being told I was one of the finalists keeps being happily trampled as I read the other entries. I say happily because I honestly enjoy reading good writing, even if it can eclipse my own. :)