They Shoot The White Girl First.

I recently took a writing workshop on “beginnings” and I thought I’d share the outcome of one of the writing exercises we did. We were given a list of opening sentences, which were taken from numerous novels, and were asked to continue the story.

Mine is my usual action-packed dark story, which could possibly be turned into a longer piece. By the end of it, I was somehow reminded of Misery by Stephen King and the scenes where Paul is lying on the bed being abused by Annie Wilkes. And at the beginning I started out envisioning it like the scene at the beach from Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Odd how those two should fit together..

Anyway, I hope you enjoy! And I do hope it’s not too dark.. I think there was a collective releasing of breaths when I finished up reading it out loud to the class. Though I don’t know why – I keep envisioning a happy ending somewhere down the road, beyond what happens in the snippet of the story that I focused on telling.

***

They shoot the white girl first. I didn’t know they actually meant to carry out their threat and so I stand frozen, unable to move, watching them point the gun at the second girl, and knowing that my time will come.

I snap out of my frozen state. I turn and run. I hear the voices behind me, shouting orders. Gunshots follow me, but I have started zig-zagging my way through the trees, so they don’t hit me. I hear footsteps and heavy breathing. My own breaths are coming ragged and I don’t know how much longer I can go on.

Suddenly, I have left the forest behind me and the sun seems to punch me in the face. It is too hot; my skin feels like it is burning.

The footsteps keep coming behind me; then I hear the shot, feel it going through me and tossing me to the ground.

I smell the foul stench of sweat and bad breath, then feel a kick to my ribs.

I scream and my eyes fly open.

Sunlight almost blinds me and I squint. Disoriented, I try to figure out what happened. Had I died? Or was I somewhere between life and death? I didn’t even remember whether I had passed out or not.

All of a sudden, I smell the foul stench again. I scream, feeling nauseated.

“Hey there,” a voice by my ear. “Slept well?” Then, I feel a punch to my already broken ribs.

I scream again and the figure I now recognise as a man laughs. I recognise him as the man who shot the white girl, the same laugh that escaped his lips after the shot.

© 2017

***

-Fia

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

I just finished reading this and I absolutely love26127588d it! I could barely stop to catch a breath – I just simply had to keep reading, had to know the ending.

If you haven’t done so already, please check it out! Here’s a summary of the book:

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful thriller from one of the finest suspense writers working today.

Goodreads