Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can you Hook a Teen - Blogfest Contest

First 250 Words
Title: The Lion Within
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
By: Rachel A. Dillon

Insects were scattered across the outside of the shower curtain. Renna ignored them, and focused on the inconsistent stream of water splashing her head. The shower would only last a few minutes, and her lengthy mane of hair took most of the water to clean. She had her mother’s thick locks, and despite the inconvenience, she wouldn’t dream of cutting it short. Every time she brushed it she reminded herself, like a mantra, she wasn’t her mother. Only five more showers in Kenya, she thought, and then she, and her dad, would return to California to start her junior year in high school.

The last soap suds rinsed away just before the water ran out. After two years in Africa, Renna had the timing down to the second. She grabbed her towel and tapped the curtain. Bugs took to the air or fell to the ground. All but one departed, an insect the size of Renna’s pointer finger. She tried to flick the straggler off multiple times but it wouldn’t budge. With her usual curiosity she moved to the other side of the curtain to take a closer look. The beetle was bright purple with long antennae. She’d never seen one like it. She leaned in to admire its textures. Paper thin, iridescent wings were folded across its flat back.

It tilted its head to look at her and then took flight, bouncing off her cheek.

Startled, Renna shrieked, and fell backwards hitting her funny bone against the wooden divider 


Brenda Drake said...

This is written very well. Since I have a bug phobia, I cringed at the thought of bugs on the curtain. I was very curious to read on to answer the questions I had. Like, why is she in Africa and is that beetle going to end up changing her in some way? Great job and good luck with the contest! <3

L.M. Miller said...

I like how you've started this. I'm interested as to what direction this will go in science fiction-wise.

Masako Moonshade said...

Very nice. There were a few typos, but I was more caught by the situation and the character. You've told me a lot about her without saying too much, and now I'm absolutely intrigued. I especially love the opening sentence. That's one of those "SAY WHAT?!?" openings.

1000th.monkey said...

Oh I liked this one! ...though it irritated me that you used the word 'insects' in the first line because it's such a vague word. if she's been there for two years, she'd know what type of insects they were (other than the purple beetle) and showing her familiarity would really ground the reader.

RAD - Dot Painter said...

Thank you for taking time to review this. I really appreciate it! I'll check yours out this evening...I'll also take into consideration the bug comment, as far as types. Thanks again.

Tanya Parker Mills said...

Very well done. I'm hooked. But I'd take out "The shower would only last...she wasn't her mother." All of that seems unnecessary at this point and more telling than showing. Besides, we get the point about limited shower time in the next paragraph. To me, it makes the opening stronger.

Good luck!

Shallee said...

Just wanted to say I love this! I write YA sci fi too, and I lived in Africa for several months. This rang very true to me, and I'm interested in why she's in Africa. Very well written!