Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New Beginning 477

Visits from Satan are never social calls, even when he's your brother. So, the first time Luke paid me one Here, on Earth, I knew what—or rather whom—he wanted.

"Long time, no see, Adora," he said.

"Maybe not long enough," I answered, unwilling to turn around from my studying, trying to hide my surprise at him showing up out of nowhere, or, more correctly, Hell. I also didn't want him to see how glad I was to have him back, glad even if he did sound ticked off at the moment. I watched him out of the corner of my eye as he made his way around my bedroom. His hands were behind his back and he strolled like he was in an art gallery, looking at the small jewelry box and scattered mementos on my dresser, the black-and-white posters on my walls, the framed family photos on the shelf above my desk. Here, finally. Not my imagination, but my brother. And not flesh and blood, but as near tangible as a fallen angel could get.

"Where are my Ozzy albums?" he said. He was irritated; I could tell by the way the carpet burst into flames beneath his feet.

"Bookcase. Middle shelf."

He stomped over to my considerable library and began prodding at the spines with his ridiculous ornamental fork.

"What do you need them for anyway? Isn't it loud enough down there already? All those burning souls?"

Luke turned round and scowled, his heels igniting a smoky twister that whizzed off toward the kitchen, spitting sulphur and sparks.

I rubbed my eyes and took another look around the room. Gone. Empty. Nobody.

So, it was my imagination, after all, I thought. And on the heels of that: I really need to stop smoking crack.

Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: WO/freddie


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

"I just don't get it, Richard. You've read the Bible and know the ending, yet you still fulfill prophesy. God's promise holds for everyone, so your actions are soul-suicidal. Why do you continue?" I never could out-maneuver Dick's Wurds. No matter the subject or the situation, he'd toss out the most outrageous and precisely correct solution, all while examining mementoes he'd examined a million times before. I braced for the answer's inevitable impact.


“To what do I owe the honor of this visit?” I asked, after I tired of his prowling. I mean, a girl can only take so much uninvited invasion of her territory. Plus the suspense was practically killing me. Still, even though I had turned to face him, I kept my features as expressionless as possible.

“I’m glad you see it as the honor it is, Adora,” he said, a sardonic smile that never touched his cold blue eyes removed all doubt that honor—could he even spell the word?—was the last thing on his mind. “And smart of you to say so, whether or not you truly see it that way. You always were cagey.”

Being cagey himself, Luke paused, waiting for me to pick up the conversation gauntlet. I let him wait. Patience was a virtue I knew he didn’t possess, at least not since he’d left this world for the one he now ruled. I’d been given the grand tour of Hell during our last encounter. Not an experience I wanted to remember, much less repeat. Still, knowing firsthand his penchant for reruns and leftovers, I feared a return visit was exactly what he had in mind. And if it was, I knew there was no escaping it.


"Hah," he stated and dropped in an elegant slump upon my bed. One black nail traced the outline of the duvet print and he carefully didn't look at me for a long moment.

I put down my homework. There was no point in trying to avoid his pique. Satan would get it out of his system and we could get back to living our mostly-separate lives once more. "So. Are you here about that immaculate conception prank or the levitating donkey at the frat party?"

"Levitating donkey? Tell me you didn't do the--"

"--shit storm. Yes. Yes, I did. And well worth the effort, giving those twats their comeuppance."

He chuckled, then his face blanked. "No, that's not why I'm here."

I sighed. "Out with it then. What did I do now?"

"As if you didn't know. I told you, never eat the last of the Cheerios without telling me, damn it!"

Evil Editor said...

Well done. "I knew what—or rather whom—he wanted" is enough to hook me, at least until I find out the answer.

Possibly you could clear up the seeming contradiction: So, the first time Luke paid me one Here, on Earth,/how glad I was to have him back (if he's never been here, he can't be back, but I assume you mean back in her life) changing to something like how glad I was to see him again?

Dave F. said...

I think that this matches Facelift 491 with the title - Angel Girl.

EE does point out the problem with it being the "first" time. Is there a good reason for this being "first" or was that just a nice wording?

Why is "Here" capitalized? And rather than "one" why not simply "a visit".

I also think that you over-described the dorm room. that's what it is, isn't it? a dorm room? It's not very feminine the way you describe it, so I am guessing that it's more study than bedroom. That makes it a dorm room and not a bedroom in her parent's home. But that's not important to the story, the two important sentences in that paragraph are
I also didn't want him to see how glad I was to have him back, glad even if he did sound ticked off at the moment.
And not flesh and blood, but as near tangible as a fallen angel could get.

I like those lines.

Wes said...

Great opening, Anonymous. It will hook most readers. You should put your name on it and take credit. Nice continuation too.

ChristineEldin said...

I agree with Dave about overdescribing the room, but other than that I really liked it.
Great voice!

Anonymous said...

OMG that continuation was hilarious!

Author, that was a great opening. Had me wanting to read more. I'm assuming we have an urban fantasy of some flavor, possibly a paranormal romance?


Whirlochre said...

This has such a great opening, and what follows is tight enough to invite a broad range of specific continuations - and I had fun adding to this one. Nice to be spliced with Freddie, btw - all the fun of genetic modification without the rampaging monster.

The location seems pretty clear to me and you establish a relationship quickly.

One problem - I now expect Big Stuff. Satan with a seemingly mortal sister? Sounds good. I'm hoping what follows lives up to this opening, but as you're anon, I can't be sure whether this is part of some wider project or merely a one-para snifferoo - as a previous incumbent of the haughty anon mantle, I've done likewise. So - unless you're Robert Mugabe, coming out of the closet might be a good thing.

Visits from Satan are never social calls, even when he's your brother.

Oh yes - I would definitely read on.

Bernita said...

MUCH potential and anticipation.

Bobbie said...

Oh, I didn't mean to be anonymous. Honest. Don't know how that happened. And I loved the continuation. Makes me wonder if I need to start all over and head the story in a different direction, plagiarize a little.

And, yeah, I did mean back in her life, not back on Earth. Need to fix that. It's his first visit to her since she was born.

Yes, Dave, it's from the "Angel Girl" query (which I revamped thanks to everyone's help) from not too far back--urban fantasy. I'll see about trimming the description of the room. Thanks for pointing it out.

WO, you now have me anxious about the Big-Stuff expectations. Hopefully, I won't disappoint.

Thanks everyone for your comments. Helpful as always...

And still laughing over the continuations.

bunnygirl said...

Very nicely done. Per some of the other comments here, it could stand one final tune-up to catch a few nit-picky things, but it's a solid hook. I'd keep reading.

Dave F. said...

I look at almost everything (everything someone else wrote faster than my own writing, of course) and see excess. This time, maybe it's only words that bother me as excess.
Does it matter that it's a "small" jewelry box?
Are family photo always framed?
But I'm careful about saying there's anything wrong there because your writing style is not anywhere near mine. The books that leave me breathless and awestruck have a style that is usually 100% opposite mine.

By the way, as a reader, I put that all aside and enjoy the story. So I would read on.

freddie said...

I adore this opening. Tight writing. I happen to be a fan of short sentences, even though I don't use them much myself. I'm finding my own style means I usually write sentences about twelve lines long. But I love writers who can use short sentences and fragments effectively.

And the content. Love it. Satan visiting his mortal sister? I'm hooked. This sounds like it could be funny and scary at the same time.

I also loved whilochre's part of the continuation as part of her, um, "hallucination." Happy to be paired with you, WO!