The Accidental Novelist has announced the finalists for the first round of the 50 First Lines Contest. One of my 5 lines made it through: Nobody wanted to claim the abandoned baby on the hill.
Woo hoo! Now it’s on to the second round. We have to write 5 first paragraphs from the 5 first lines we entered. Then we have to pick our favorite 3 and enter those. Below are my paragraphs, with the first three the ones I entered into round 2:
1. Nobody wanted to claim the abandoned baby on the hill. Not a single hunter from the King’s clan and not one farmer from the Queen’s clan knelt in admission. That hill, with its concealed scorpion pits and live landmines, was supposed to keep the two clans divided as part of the War treaty. But the baby had all the markings, proof that the hill had been crossed. He had the silvery eyes of the Kings and the ruddy skin of the Queens. His secret will not last long. In time, the family birthmark will bloom. Announcing to which hunter and which farmer the baby truly belonged. And then the spooks will come after them.
2. She and the horse eyed each other with suspicion, remembering how one tried to kill the other. Fifteen-year-old Violet circled the mare, hoping to gain some advantage. The darn animal matched her moves, step for step, nostrils flaring. Neither was going to break soon, Violet could see that. But with the Red Hawk Cavalry hot on their trail, they didn’t have time for this foolishness. She shielded her eyes against the Danger Zone. One hour before the gates closed. If they were locked out of Mark 1 they’d be imprisoned again. Together. Violet really wasn’t sure what would be worse. Sleeping in a snake-infested dungeon, or being stuck there with that stupid horse.
3. Deadly and desirable, that was the heading on my business card. So, why am I surprised when Seven Mendoza, aka Blood God, saunters into my office? His latest tattoo covers his forehead and when I look closer, I see that his eyeballs are inked also. I pretend I’m not repulsed and offer him coffee. He accepts, then slips out a vial of a thick, maroon substance. He pours it into his coffee, smirking at me. Somehow I know it is the remnants of his latest kill. Now I know why I’m surprised with his visit. If he’s still the top marksman of the Huntings, then what does he want with me?
4. Seven deadly sins have become eight now that I returned home. Admittedly, I’m entertained when I see all the citizens of Ferrytown running into their houses, locking their doors, turning out their lights at the sight of me walking down the street. That’s fine, actually. It’ll be much easier to find out the truth if everyone leaves me alone. But when I see Lacey Martin hurry up the farmer’s porch and disappear into her father’s home, I am upset. Even she believed it? That’s a shock. I really thought that out of anyone I’d grown up with, she would know I didn’t murder Bruce Dobbs.
5. She glared at the wheelchair knowing if she ever used the damn thing, it would be to commit suicide. That’s exactly what they want, Barbara reminded herself. Just three more days, and you’ll be free. Barbara’s scheme to break out of the retirement home was in its final stages. She learned the schedules of all the people she’d have to avoid: the pimply boy who mowed the lawn, Mrs V. and her dog Frenchie. She kept track of the nurses’ round-the-clock routine. She kept all her notes in a leather journal. No one would ever be able to crack her coded messages that she devised with letters and words she cut out of AARP magazines. Barbara’s next step was to bribe Zoe, her twenty-five-year-old granddaughter. Somehow she had to convince her to defy her father. Help her make the slickest escape in the history of the Baldwins.