Monday, March 7, 2011

Catch Me If You Can Blogfest March 7-8

Today I am participating in the Catch Me If You Can Blogfest hosted by Kristina Fugate @ KayKay's Corner

The rules are pretty simple.

1.) Sign up on the Linky so everyone knows you're participating and will be able to stop by your page.
2.) On Monday March 7, post the first 550 words (or less) of your WIP on your blog. If you can, leave a link to your email address* in case someone has an especially long critique.
(*Suggested by Madeline of Capricious Existence!)
3.) Hop around on the 7th and 8th to spread the love to the other participants. Feel free to post an updated version after you've gotten some suggestions. Remember: The more comment love you give, the more will come back to you :)
4.) Be sure to leave a link back to Kristina so everyone can find the Linky. Be sure to mention this on your blog and/or host that nifty little button.




So without further adieu here are my first 550 word of my WIP 'THE CROSS OF BE'HAN
 
Prologue

The bomb exploded sending shrapnel into the already mangled torso of Lieutenant Frank Shepard. The overpowering stench of burnt flesh seared his nostrils. He laid in the muck behind enemy lines dying . He was in hell. He needed morphine. He writhed in pain, his twisted form crumbled.

Where was that damn medic?

Ice cold fingers touched his blood soaked face.

"Medic?"

Frank couldn't open his eyes. He drifted in and out of consciousness. The smell of death was all around. Was he dead too?

"Medic, I need morphine," his voice quivered.

The medic didn't respond. Frank tried to reach for the medic, but it was an illusion.

I'm in hell...

I'm in hell, he repeated over and over in his foggy mind. Pain raced through his ravaged and shrapnel riddled body. Frank pleaded with the apparition. "I need morphine," he begged. The apparition laughed and continued to prod Frank's torn and mangled shell.

The ice cold fingers poked their way through the gaping wound in his stomach. He blacked out. The hideous shape danced around Frank's lifeless body. It didn't speak, but continued the demonic ritual. Frank lay unaware of what the creature was doing to his torn body.

Flames swirled inside his blood soaked body, but he didn't stir. The creature proceeded to prod and poke until it found a piece of metal. The creature carefully removed the blood and gut covered object. 'The Cross of Be'han had been recovered.Lieutenant Frank Shepard was of no use now. He could be destroyed. Karton had the Cross and now he would kill the human lying before him.

*****
Chapter One

The buzzing grew louder. The swarm of angry bees grew closer and finally caught up with Frank. The bees latched onto him, digging their stingers deep into his flesh and stung Frank until his body was raw and bleeding. He tried to run, but the bees covered him. Frank gave up and sank into the rain soaked ground. The bees continued to gnaw at his skin. The little creatures were killing him.

"Frank, wake up man." The distant voice called his name. Frank couldn't answer. The bees had infested his mouth.

"Frank! Wake up!" The voice continued it's request louder.

The bees finally stopped stinging him. Frank tried to run, but he had no control over his body. What was happening? He heard a blood curdling scream coming from somewhere...that scream was coming from inside him.

Frank gasped for air, but he was deflated. Breath was not an option. His body was on fire. The bees had done their damage. Where am I? Something was shaking him. The bees had come back.

“Frank! Frank! Wake up!”

He couldn't wake up. His eyes were swollen shut. Help me... But help wasn't coming.
Frank felt something cold on his face. Was he dead? He clawed at his swollen face.

Something tried to restrain his flailing hands. Go away. He tried to swat the bees. Go away . He felt cold water trickled down his face and onto his lips. Frank tried once again to move, but his body wouldn't cooperate. All he could do was lie there and wait to die.

*****

Turkish archeologist Leyla Aslan had heard the rumors Lieutenant Frank Shepard was still alive. If he were alive he would be in grave danger. The Cross of Be'han. She prayed Lieutenant Shepard still possessed the ancient artifact. And what of Karton? The demon never left unfinished business. He would be back and Leyla would use Lieutenant Frank Shepard as bait.


Feel free to leave a comment or contact me @ Debra Ann Gray-Elliott

8 comments:

KO: The Insect Collector said...

Wow- there is a lot going on here. You set up several themes from the plot without giving away too much. It sets the stage. Really intriguing. The only thing I noticed was a typo:
She prayed Lieutenant Shepard still possessed the ancient artifact?
By the context, I think you don't mean for this to end with a question mark.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I'm a little confused. I believe I would keep reading to figure out what is going on.
I saw the same error as KO and I saw this one too: Frank lie unaware
HMG

writesbymoonlight said...

First of all, not a fan of prologues. That said, sounds like your going for horror? You've done a great job showing Frank's reaction to his pain/suffering so there's not need to keep repeating information about his broken, bloody body. It's sound repetitious. Based on the prologue and the beginning of Chapter 1, sounds like Frank's got a lot of torture in his future. Kinda of made me wonder if he's been reincarnated many times only to suffer the same fate. I'd keep reading to find out.

Thanks for sharing. Natasha Hanova

Zan Marie said...

OMG! I don't want to be in Frank's place. No, not an inviting idea, but the read is very inviting. ; ) I want to know if he's alive.

BTW, I'm following you.

Kristina Fugate said...

I agree with writesbymoonlight. Things seemed to get a tad repetitive in the prologue, but that's easily fixed. Other than that, this is very intriguing! I'd love to read on.

Thanks for sharing :)

Laura Kaye said...

Intense and intriguing. I'm definitely curious to read more. You've got repetition in your prologue, not just of ideas/feelings, but of words [creature appears 3 times in last 6 sentences of prologue]. You also have some POV issues, unless you mean to be writing in the omniscient POV, which generally isn't very common/well accepted. For example:

"He blacked out. The hideous shape danced around Frank's lifeless body. It didn't speak, but continued the demonic ritual. Frank lay unaware of what the creature was doing to his torn body." [Frank can't know any of this after he blacks out. So it seems you've shifted into the creature's POV here mid-paragraph, which agents/eds refer to as head-hopping. Then the first sentence of the next para goes back to Frank's POV, and then back to the creature.]

Another thing, re: your first sentence--your current wording creates distance where I think you really want your reader in the moment feeling Frank's agony alongside him:

Current wording:
"The bomb exploded sending shrapnel into the already mangled torso of Lieutenant Frank Shepard. The overpowering stench of burnt flesh seared his nostrils. He laid in the muck behind enemy lines dying . He was in hell. He needed morphine. He writhed in pain, his twisted form crumbled." ['sending' and 'laid' are weak verbs, don't give the intensity you want here, plus phrases like "He was in hell" are telling--I think you've already shown that]

I'd suggest something like:
Shrapnel ripped into his chest, ribs, and neck. Blood seeped from the scorching wounds. His muscles seized, every writhing motion like a high-voltage shock down his spine. Cold mud soaked through his shredded uniform, igniting agonizing shivers and shudders. His hope dimmed with his consciousness. There he was, dying behind enemy lines. Who would find him?

[Is he really with it enough to form that whole next thought about the medic? I like when he's pleading for morphine, but sometimes his thoughts seem too well-formed given the degree of pain he's in]

Just some thoughts. Intriguing premise for sure! Hope something here's helpful! :)

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Thanks for all the great feedback. I think I will take out the prologue and start with chapter one and re-word prologue to fit somewhere in chapter one.

Madeline Bartos said...

Whoa. This was amazing! It sounds way too cool, I'm beyond curious! :D Everything was just perfect, I'm fascinated by pain and this was awesome.

Good work! :D

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