Lucky Number Seven

Posted: April 4, 2012 in Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

So, I was tagged THREE times for this meme. And I was so worried I was going to miss out on all the fun! I’d just like to thank Jessica O’Neal, Debra Kristi, and Laura Stanfill for tagging me. I really appreciate it!

Here are the rules:

  1. Go to page 77.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs as they are written.
  4. Tag 7 new authors.

Easy enough! I’m actually following in Fabio Bueno’s footsteps and posting one snippet per tag. I switched it up, too. I decided that the first one would start on the 7th paragraph and go for 7 additional paragraphs (this one doesn’t have 77 pages anyway). The second one started on page 77 and went for 7 sentences, while the third one started on page 77 and went for 7 paragraphs.

And here I thought everything was going to be fun and exciting…and now I’m just really scared! They’re not perfect, and I know they’ll be confusing since you don’t know any background information, but I hope it won’t be a complete waste of your time to read them.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths!!

Okay, here we go:

Here’s a snippet from one of my short stories called “Taken.”

The mother does not notice her daughter straining against her grip. She is deep in conversation with the teacher, one arm on her swollen belly. The baby is moving around a lot, and it is uncomfortable. She releases her daughter’s hand in order to place her own against her face. The teacher looks worried, but the mother reassures her. Everything is fine. She just feels a little dizzy.

At the same time, I lean forward so that my hand is closer to the little girl. I do not want her to have to walk so far to get to me. She looks at me with trust in her eyes, and I know that I am doing the right thing. There is no guilt and no sadness.  She understands far more than she should. I am happy.

The moment her hand touches mine, I feel a surge of victory. This is fate. This is destiny. It was meant to happen as it is happening now. The little girl grips my hand firmly and I begin to take her away from her family. She does not struggle to go back to them.

I hear the body fall behind me, but I don’t think the little girl does. It isn’t until we both hear the scream that she turns around. For the first time it appears that she feels some panic because of what has happened. I take a moment’s pause, then turn my head slowly in the direction of the mother.

It was she that screamed when she saw her daughter’s body fall to the ground. She screamed in terror and panic and hatred at what I had done. I can feel the fear emanating from her in thick coils. But it is too late and there is nothing that can be done.

“Are they going to be very sad?” asks the little girl. She looks up at me with wide eyes, deep brown in color. The curiosity is still at the forefront of that gaze, but she looks a little sad too.

I kneel down next to her, not wanting to see her looking that way. I don’t like it when they turn around and see what they are leaving behind, but sometimes it is inevitable. And it is important for them to understand.

Here’s a section from D1.

Surely he had known how dangerous it was to go into the forest alone to see a stranger. In more peaceful times, no one would give that idea another thought. But these times were perilous, and Society members were going missing left and right. Max had definitely known more than he was letting on. He wouldn’t have underestimated someone, even if this person appeared to be a friend. He had known exactly what he was getting himself into when he left last night. But if that was truly the case, why would he have risked his life by leaving the safety of the house?

And here’s a section from L1 (newly edited for you guys and everything!)

When I got to breakfast half an hour later, I could barely curl my right hand around the serving spoon. I had to use my left one instead, and that made for slow-going. A few people gave me knowing and sympathetic glances, but most just walked around me as if I didn’t exist. I didn’t know what I hated more, pity or indifference.

I sat down at the same table as before, across from David. He took one look at my hands and shook his head.

“I don’t know if I can take this seven days a week,” I said, trying to steady my hand enough to put a piece of potato in my mouth.

“Six, actually,” he said. “We have Sundays off. Which reminds me.” He reached into his pocket and drew out a little calendar. It had kittens on it. I laughed, but took it with thanks.

“Sundays off, huh? Day of rest?”

He laughed. “More like day of partying, mischief, and rule breaking. Most of us go out, looking for something to do. We spend a lot of time at Base. The only time we’re not here during the week is if we’re out getting rid of Sids. You start to feel confined after a while. Sunday is the day that we can let loose a little.”

“The only thing I’m going to be doing tomorrow is lying in bed all day.”

There you have it! Please be gentle!!

I’m not tagging anyone else, because this meme has been going around a lot lately. If you haven’t been lucky enough to be chosen, consider yourself tagged. 😉

  1. Fabio Bueno says:

    Holy cow! Taken has given me goosebumps. What a command of writing, Karen! The snippet could be the whole story: you tell an entire tale with seven short paragraphs. Loved it.
    This line from L1 had me nodding happily: “I didn’t know what I hated more, pity or indifference.” I’m a sucker for great lines 🙂
    Thanks for sharing those with us.

    • Karen Rought says:

      Thank you! It’s part of a series of short stories that are all super creepy. Goosebumps are a good thing! And I’m a sucker for those kind of lines, too – looks like we both found something in each others writing that we really enjoyed!

  2. This was my favorite part “A few people gave me knowing and sympathetic glances, but most just walked around me as if I didn’t exist. I didn’t know what I hated more, pity or indifference.”

    That captured it perfectly for me because I’ve felt that way before (obviously in a very different situation).

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