Special thanks to all those who submitted openings of their unpublished manuscripts. We had a great number of volunteers, and of course this look at openings wouldn’t be possible without you.
After random selection, we have the five we’ll be looking at. The question before you is this: after reading a submission, were you hooked enough that you want to keep reading? You may vote only once, but you may select more than one submission!
Now comes the “shredding” part. In the comments tell us why you made your selections, or why you did not find a submission compelling. Please make your remarks constructive, but at the same time be honest. If you say something that won’t help the author to improve, it probably shouldn’t be said. On the other hand, if you aren’t honest, the writer won’t learn how to improve, and I’m confident that’s why each one submitted an entry.
Thanks for your part. Nothing helps a writer more, in my opinion, than unbiased feedback.
And now the entries:
The man, a wild man, dragged the unconscious body of his pursuer behind him toward the edge of the promontory with his one arm. As he did he was aware of a memory falling away from him like sand and he thought to look back as he tread. The dirt and stones, popping and grinding underneath the torso as he pulled, issued puffs of dust from its sides and caused the man to stop and consider his foe’s one mangled arm—the arm that was the focus of his attacks when the wild man was confronted and cornered.
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The demon is crouched in the corner, between the Cheetos and the onion dip. It’s a small one, only about four feet tall; a low-level creeper. I flick my eyes over the area like I don’t see it–like a normal person would–and open the cooler door to get a Coke.
I watch the cashier behind me in the refection of the round mirror as he finishes ringing up a customer. He studies me intently, his one hand under the counter, probably gripping the butt of a shotgun or a bat he’s got hidden there.
The bell on the door rings as the customer leaves.
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Jeremy used his moth wings to flutter upwards. He pulled himself on top of a stack of crates and remained crouched. The men he’d followed to the lake pier stepped briskly toward a boat. But where was the kid they’d abducted?
Jeremy waved at Mickey, suited up as Vulture, and pointed toward the men. Mickey nodded and lifted himself into the air. Jeremy leaped off the crates and danced through the evening air toward the boat.
One of the men glanced their direction, then jerked his head back toward them. His eyes grew wide, and he pointed at them.
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Stopping at Kroger to pick up a birthday cake, ice cream, and plastic plates and forks seemed like a good idea an hour ago, but I, Morgan Wheaton, was still short on one item on my shopping list, and the idea of looking at Wal-Mart filled me with absolute disgust. As I waited for Kroger for to hand me Scott’s birthday cake which I ordered three weeks ago, my cell phone rang.
“Morgan,” said Gregor with doom in his voice, and by the tone of his voice, I knew right away my surprise party was ruined. “Scott is home.”
– – – – –
The steam rising from the morning coffee was no thicker than the fog settling on the young professor’s head. His head jolted up from his coffee as the bell above the door of the Beans n’ Cream rung, signaling the entry of yet another caffeine starved patron. The professor let out a low groan while returning his gaze to the hot mug of highland grog he held in his hands. Just as he was about to take his drink, the professor was rudely interrupted by a question.
“Good morning Professor Kittlewell. Why do you look so tired?”
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Reminder: you may vote only once, but you may select more than one submission. Even though submissions have been assigned letters of the alphabet, the poll will randomize the order.