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  1. #1
    Amy Lou

    Opening Scene - Revised

    Sorry if this is double posted.

    I've been working on my opening scene again and have tried to consider all the wonderful critiques I've received. If your not sick of me, would some of you look this over?
    Thanks in advance for your time.

    I neglected the hair on my legs and didn't care about shampoo or soap. But my teeth that were fuzzy after four days of neglect could not be ignored. I slipped into jeans that felt loose for the first time; however basking in the glory wasn't an option, not today. A black sweater finished off the look, as did my hair tied back in the old familiar way and a face that remained a pallid canvas. I was on my way to work with one goal; no sharing secrets with Maggie; not this one anyway.

    My disheveled appearance would be blamed on the illness that kept me home for three days. No one would come near for fear of catching my disease; however what I had contracted wasn't contagious.

    The elevator opened on the 28th floor, and glass doors to the office invited me in.

    Okay, stay focused.

    Carmen, the office receptionist sat at her post with leftover roses occupying her desk. Why hadn't she taken that oversized bouquet home?

    “Good morning, Chloe, glad you're feeling better.”

    “Not really.”

    I did my best to offer a smile, but her perky voice and wilted flowers frightened it away. I managed a cough, but never met her over lined eyes.

    Rounding the corner, Maggie's voice was a slap that stung; my cheeks burned; my chest tingled.

    Damn it; focus.

    "You're back! I missed you. You have no idea what it's like around here when you're gone."

    “I missed you too.”

    "Brought you this; thought it might help."

    Unaware that my appetite walked out five days ago, she placed a cup of coffee and a muffin on my desk. A tattoo etched into the pale flesh of her wrist erased my pain for a moment.

    "When did you get that?" I asked.

    “You look like ****, sweetie."

    "I know. ---- When did you get that?"



    "Oh God. Alastor and I got them this weekend, but I don't remember a damn thing; too much to drink."

    Maggie gazed at the tattoo she had no sentiment for.

    "Is that his name?" I snatched her arm. "Avenger? It says Avenger? You couldn't get a flower, or butterfly?"

    "I know. Evidently, it's the one I had to have."

    "What did he get?"

    "Same thing. Isn't it sweet? It'll make a great story to tell our kids."

    I met her starry eyed gaze with a smile, but I had higher aspirations for Maggie than procreating with Alastor.

    "Enough about my drunken tattoo. How was Valentine’s night?” She asked.

    “I got sick after dinner."

    "Gavin didn't get his surprise?"


    The surprise turned into a failed seduction while wearing a red bustier, garter and fishnets.

    When we arrived home after an awkward dinner, Gavin watched television, and I disappeared upstairs, making one last attempt to salvage the night. I lit candles and got dressed in his Valentine's Day gift.

    I found him asleep in his favorite chair with the TV blaring. When the room fell quiet, his bloodshot eyes reflected confusion. I reached down and touched him, but he remained unaffected.

    "What's wrong?” I whispered.

    "I'm tired."

    "I can help you wake up."

    "I still don't feel well.”

    "Don't you like my outfit?" I asked while unfastening his belt.

    A sigh of dread escaped him.

    "Damn it, Gavin! What’s wrong?”

    Pulling away, his eyes held tears and searched mine for understanding.

    "Gavin, what is it?"

    "I don't know."

    "What do you mean? You can tell me anything."

    "I don't know where to start."

    "Well, start somewhere." My sympathy for his lack of words was fleeting. "Do you love me? ----- Gavin, answer me. Do you still love me?”

    "I ---- I'm not sure."


    "I don't know."

    "You don't know if you love me?"

    "Of course I do, but I'm not sure if this marriage is what I want. ---- Things have changed. I don't know what I want. You're not the same."

    His thoughts were broken and his honesty brutal.

    "I don't understand."

    "I'm not sure that I love you. We've been together so long, but it’s not enough. You've lost yourself. You never paint. And when was the last time you exercised? You're not the person I married."

    "I am; I've never changed. ---- I admit that I've wanted us to try for another baby, but that's never changed my love for you. I thought you wanted those things too."

    "I don't know what I want anymore. ---- I just need time to clear my head."

    Time away to clear his was a two-bedroom apartment with his girlfriend.

    My mind had not yet processed everything that was said between us, but I knew in time his words would return like a flood and drowned me.

    Maggie's voice cut through my memory.

    "Chloe, Hello? What did he say about the appointment?"


    "Gavin, silly."

    I was confused; my brain felt cluttered and fuzzy. I had an appointment?

    “What appointment?”

    “The fertility specialist. God, you really are sick, aren't you?"

    “He was excited.”

    “You’ll be walking around with that baby bump soon. I just know it.”

    Her hands made the shape of a pregnant belly.

    On a normal day, her enthusiasm would thrill me. I would be delighted by such thoughtfulness. But today, her words were unintentionally cruel.

    “How was you’re Valentine’s with Alastor, besides the tattoo?” I asked.

    “We ordered Chinese and ate by candlelight. Then he ate me for dessert. I had four in a row; he's just so good at it.”

    She fanned herself with an insurance claim, and I laughed for the first time in days; I actually laughed.

  2. #2
    martin shaw
    It moves fast; the dialogue grabs me but is taken away on the final scene... an unpolished afterthought maybe? All told, you harmonise on real life. You take the truth and expand, as if a seedling in springtime.
    ‘Ill at ease...’ This work on first impression grabs, but in dialogue only; the rest is a recognised forte for other WN critters on here to critique and that I don’t really care to mention.
    The line is, other than I like you and wanna see your ass, I think you have made a step forward. There is energy here, and success is perhaps not so distant if you carry on being patient in the queue to what might be rightfully yours.

    Anyway, I pick you to hold my hand while they tattoo my helmet.
    Last edited by martin shaw; 05-17-2011 at 11:23 AM.

  3. #3
    Amy Lou
    Anyway, I pick you to hold my hand while they tattoo my helmet.

    Martin, that's the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me. And I already sent you a picture of my ass.

    Anyway thanks for your comments, I really appreciate you reading this again. I know you must be sick of it. The last scene that seemed like an after thought, was that the flashback or her last conversation with Maggie?

    Let me know about that tattoo and I'm there!

  4. #4
    martin shaw
    Amy, you need to clear your message space

  5. #5
    Amy Lou
    Cleared! Thanks.

  6. #6
    martin shaw
    lovely lovely lovely

  7. #7
    James North
    I have not seen many of your writing examples, but you do seem to be improving a lot. You don’t have a lot of wasted words here and it is fast enough to progress through to the next scene without giving the reader a feeling of plodding along. Find below the one technical problem I found. Others may tell you you’re looking for places to use semicolons here, but I’m not. This is not the kind of story I would read or write. I don’t even write in the first person, I certainly would not try to write in the first as a woman character. So I cannot comment on the story itself.

    “My mind had not yet processed everything that was said between us, but I knew in time his words would return like a flood and drowned me.” [Shouldn’t that be drown?]

  8. #8
    Amy Lou
    Hey James, thanks for looking this over especially since it's not up your ally. Thanks for saying I'm improving, sometimes it doesn't seem like it. I've learned a lot on here about using extra words. The sentence you mentioned below, before I posted, I had the word drown and then I changed it to drowned because I just wasn't real sure. Maybe you're right? Thanks again, your opinion means a lot. Did you get my message?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Amy. I'd like to return the favor and help you here, but since it's not my kind of read, I don't want to point you in the wrong direction. Good Luck!!!

  10. #10
    Amy Lou
    You mean you don't read paranormal romance, chick-lit? What's wrong with you Tinman? Seriously?

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