In a lecture the other day, we looked at opening lines and ways to hook the reader from quite literally the first few words of a story. It was challenging but fun at the same time.
We took a few minutes to throw down some short sentences before looking at ways to cut them up, making them more concise and eye-grabbing (not literally. I know it’s the month of Halloween and all…)
I decided to expand on mine to make it a piece of flash fiction and thought I’d share it. As usual I’m tempted to add more to it, to perhaps make it a short story…I dunno. Feel free to comment/like.
Her hand burst from the soil and waved. I leapt back with a squeal, gawping at the dirty, pale limb. The fingers wriggled. I looked around, hoping for a witness. It was dusk. I was alone.
Well, apparently not.
‘Judith?’ I asked, feeling stupid and at the same time a little lightheaded. The arm extended, fingers latching onto soil and stones. It pulled and I watched, my conscience screaming, as the arm grew a shoulder.
Out through the eruption of soil appeared my deceased aunt, Judith Mayweather.
The sun was fading fast and so was I. I could not believe my eyes. Stumbling back, my legs failed me and I fell onto the grass as the autumn sun disappeared behind a cluster of ancient oak trees. My heart palpitated and still my aunt continued to rise from the dead.
‘What’s happening?’ I cried, my whole body frozen; fear pumping through me like liquid ice.
Dirt clung to its auburn hair. It had her long face, now a little gaunt. Even in the semi darkness I detected the pale hazel shade of her eyes.
I blinked. Aunt Judith smiled.