“Blue skins aren’t allowed on Station 3,” the terminal conductor repeated with some annoyance.
Her father waved a holo display in the conductor’s face. “Would you look at the papers. She’s a legal citizen and has the same rights as—”
“I don’t care what it is. Letting that thing on the transport will only cause problems with the other passengers.” The conductor slammed the transports’ doors and fired up the engines, leaving the two of them alone on the space bridge dock.
“Your species is filled with assholes,” Jamie finally said, interrupting the silence.
A martian usher escorted the woman away from the rest of us enslaved musicians. As she stepped onto the levitating stage, the alien audience let out a deafening cheer that rumbled the ship.
“She’ll be the one that wins her freedom,” Mikhail, my accompanying pianist, said as the ship began to quiet.
I nodded. Why wouldn’t she win? She was Alyssa Garner! A gifted violinist coveted by conductors back on Earth.
Alyssa’s bow hung in the air. Once it was silent, she struck the strings and played a strong chord. She progressed through her piece. Her delicate fingers gliding across the violin’s neck with practiced precision.
A true master.
But her enchantment on me shattered when she yelped. The stage split and sucked her into space. A raucous noise, that I can only describe as laughter, erupted from the audience.
I wrote this for a comedy flash fiction challenge years ago. I didn’t win, but I still find this scene funny. I think that says something about my sanity 🙂
I learned that truth at a young age and hoped Death would save me from the minutiae of life. When he didn’t—if Death was indeed a he—I got desperate and figured I’d force his arrival. I remember sitting in my room holding my father’s gun to my head, the cold barrel digging into my temple. A twisted smile plastered on my face. I felt as if I was a lover waiting for my date to arrive, but the bastard stood me up.
For the sake of my concerned parents, I started preoccupying my time with normal things while I waited for Death. This meant getting a job at a local market where I dealt with high nosed customers. Secretly, I hoped I’d trip and break my neck or get hit by a car.
In winters like this—where the wind was a silent enemy that blistered everything it touched—his tribe would hunker in the belly of the White Mountain. Families drawn close and circling small fires never expecting to lose each other.
At least that’s how he felt before the exile.
This dangerous train of thought faded as his silent enemy shook his makeshift home made from branches and thickets. His body, numbed from the cold, protected a waning fire.
I stepped into a sterile glass box that whirled as it carried me into the computerized brain of the Ancient One. Red lights ran the length of my body, gathering data for the algorithm that would determine my life’s purpose or, as the Ancient called it, Life Assignment.
A disembodied voice told me this was the day I’d truly begin living my life, but what the machine considered living…wasn’t living at all.
Sure, we writers have to do a lot to “sell” our work—but that doesn’t discount the power of the first sentence. The first set of words in your work determines if a potential reader will invest in you art or click away.
No pressure, right? Right. Lets have some fun with this.
This post is the first in a long series of “Writing Dares” meant to challenge you or (at least) encourage you to have some fun. I’ll present a dare every other week and then you complete it. But remember: you have to stick to the rules.
(If you’re a regular to my blog, you’d know that I post “Freewriting” prompts every so often. “Writing Dares” are not like my “Freewriting” prompts. These are for folks who want a little challenge.)
Your goal is to construct five sentences that captures each of these emotions:
Write one sentence for each emotion.
Your sentences can be no longer than 12 words.
Tell me how it went for you in the comments.
Post them on your blog or online space with a link to this post (optional)
Need inspiration? Here’s some short first sentences from the authors in my Kindle library.
Got it? Now distance yourself from every piece of technology in your home (cellphones, laptops, TV, teleportation devices, laser guns, etc). If it’s not deterimental to your health, leave it! I personally suggest that you take a field trip into the backyard or a local park.
Get cozy. Write for fifteen minutes.
The point of this Freewriting exercise is to pull you away from all distractions (twitter, facebook, email, texting, your blog, so on) forcing you to do one thing: Write. Be hard on yourself! Don’t go back into your home or pick up any piece of tech until you’ve written something.
What should you write about? That’s your choice.
Freewrite #11 Goals:
Get away from technology. (Go in the backyard, park, coffee shop—somewhere!)
Write for fifteen minutes. (I suggest using a pencil and notepad)
Don’t censor / edit yourself.
Once you’re done pat yourself on the back. You’ve just done one of the hardest things for a writer to do. If you want to share what you wrote on your blog—FANSTATIC! If not, let me know how this experience helped (or did not help) you in the comments. Good luck!