Sunday January 24th, 2010

The exercise:

Going to try something new today - a literary version of the random CD prompt, if you will. The random book prompt!

We all have books lying around. Go grab one. If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, all the better. Read the very first line of the book and stop there. Now go use that opening line as your own.

Poetry is welcome, as always, but I think it'll be more fun to stick to prose - up to each of you though, obviously. I've chosen my book but I haven't looked at the first line yet - I'm thinking I'll just go a few paragraphs, but we'll see how it goes.

AFC Word Count: 26,087
AFC Word Target: 24,000

I haven't read this book yet - hopefully the first line isn't so good that I end up being dragged into the story before I have the time to read it!

Mine:

From: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

"Good," he would say softly to himself before retracting his hand and returning it to the relative warmth of the threadbare blanket he had cocooned himself in.

He knows that he would hear them coming, that their clumsy and heavy footsteps would rouse him from sleep before they could take the child, but it was still a comfort to find him there beside him. If one night he were to reach out and touch only air he did not know what he would do.

Lose his mind, most likely.

But he did not dare to think such thoughts. Instead he would take solace in the child still being there and return to the long wait for morning.

4 Comments:

Greg said...

I like your take on that first line, that's nicely done. Especially since it could be seen as quite a sinister first line out of context.
I've tried to leave a small piece of praise on the latest AFC chapter, but Protagonize is being unresponsive, so I'll say it here: Very nicely done :)

Last I checked, it looked like two of our poets haven't got poems in, which is a real shame.

From Percolation by Geoffrey Grimmett

Suppose we immerse a large porous stone in a bucket of water said Dr. Frances. We wouldn't expect it to explode when it had absorbed its own weight in water. But on Clerys IV, it does. Dr. Frances picked a stone up from the desk and dropped it into a bucket of water stood on a chair where all the students could see it. They craned their necks, looking for tell-tale bubbles in the water and looking apprehensive. Dr. Frances smiled.
It won't explode here. Atmospheric pressure is too high, and earth stones have formed under that pressure.
The students relaxed, and Dr. Frances smiled again, this time because she knew that she could detonate the bomb under the seating at any moment. She wouldn't, not today. Not yet.

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Ooh, variation on a theme, I'm liking it... probably helps I love the random CD prompt to begin with. ^^

Part of first line from Dan Brown's Digital Fortress

It is said that in death, all things become clear...

Who said that? Somebody dead?

Listen, death is very confusing. It sees no need to tear away the veil of ignorance as you take your last breaths, especially if someone else introduced you to death.

As I lay there, gasping my last, nothing but questions raced through my mind. What had I done to deserve this fate? Why such cruelty?

And when I did die, how would I be able to make that sucker pay for staining the neckline of my new dress?
- - - - -
Not quite sure where that came from, but it's a heluva lot better than what my head spit out for the most recent poetry tourney round.

summerfield said...

hello. here's my take on today's prompt. i am reading this book on the titanic so it was the logical random book since i had it in my hand already. plus, a long time ago when i was a lot younger, i was very interested in reincarnation. my writing mind is in "lazy mode" so for the last several days all i've been doing is read the good writings i find here.

from: The Discovery of the Titanic - Robert D. Ballard


The research vessel Knorr heaved and plunged with the ocean swell as I leaned out over the bow railing, squinting into the blackness.

Eighty years ago, I died here. The same dark night, the same cold ocean, the same mysterious air. This is where I lost him, let go of his hand when I shouldn't. Only to die the same death; only to be eaten by the same dark cold waters that ate him. I cheated. I wanted desperately to survive but to do that, I had to get rid of him. He didn't know how to swim and he clung to me for his life. But I can't save him and me at the same time. Only one. Only one of us. I knew how to swim, and his life was in my hand.

"Hold my hand," I said, but my legs treaded the cold waters which made me move away from him. Splashes of salty cold water hit my face until he disappeared.

Then a lifeboat. There were hands extended and I heard yelling for me to grasp them. Above the yelling, I heard, "We can't have anymore. Let her swim to the next one, they only have five!"

"We can't have anymore!" But I clung to it until a strong hand pulled me up. I would survive after all. But when I looked, his other hand had a pistol. Although shivering from the cold, I still felt the coldness of the barrel as it touched my forehead. A deafening noise. A bright spark. Then it was just all darkness.

I had heard that after we die, we are always re-born, and each time we are free of the memories of our last life. Not me. I suppose I'd been sent to hell.

Marc said...

Greg - thanks :)

And yeah, two no shows is quite disappointing.

Interesting first line and I like what you did with it :)

g2 - haha, nice last line. And don't be so hard on yourself, I quite liked your poem.

Summerfield - good to see you again, and no worries - my writing mind is often lazy. We just argue until he caves in and lets me write something.

Great first line to use and you did really great with it. Nicely done :)