Opening: Venom on Her Tongue


[The following is a potential novel opening. Would you keep reading?]

It all started with a secret. No wait, that’s not right. A lie was the culprit

Mrs. Mure was incapable of telling the truth to anyone. Even the smallest detail—like what she had for breakfast—wasn’t safe. There was always a falsehood circling around in her brain, she wouldn’t even have to think of one. To the old woman asking her if she owned a cat as she watched her stroking the ear of a kitten on a street corner, Mrs. Mure simply replied with no. She did have a cat, however; his name was Sampson and he was the crankiest cat ever to walk the earth. To the young man asking if her hair was naturally blonde, not-so-subtly hitting on her in the park as she rested in the middle of her job, Mrs. Mure responded yes. Her natural hair as a light chestnut that she had despised since she was thirteen.

A woman after Lugh’s own heart. Lying was his favorite game to play, though he wasn’t overly fond of being the victim. Especially when he could tell at the drop of a hat that he was being lied to. He did enjoy a perfectly tailored con as long as it had a proper procedure and was planned for a specific, desirable outcome. Sadly, Mrs. Mure did neither. She simply enjoyed presenting herself as something she wasn’t.

Her greatest lie was of the father of her child. Call it personal, but if there was one thing Lugh couldn’t stand, it was lying about someone’s heritage, especially when it came to fathers. Nothing drove him up a wall more. So when Mrs. Mure lied without thought or intention about oh-so-personal a topic to his face—Lugh, the king of lies—things didn’t end well for her. She should have told the truth just that once.


Opening: Under the Bridge


[The following is a potential novel opening. Would you keep reading?]

I am nothing. I was once something, perhaps a very long time ago. I can still remember the days when I could feel, when I could write with emotion. Back then, things seemed…brighter. Now I am nothing. There is a hole inside me. I can’t fill it, I can’t even see the bottom—I doubt there really is one—so how could I possibly fill it? It’s just there. Its lack of substance is the only true substance I have. I do not exist. I never will. My thoughts will be the only thing death will rob from me. 

Opening: Tears of Blood


[The following is a potential novel opening. Would you keep reading?]

Every hero needs a villain just as every day needs a night. Valor and bravery thrive in the face of opposition. In the end, it is the hero’s decision to follow his path, just as the villain must chose to take his circumstance into his own hands and try to change it.

As Gabbie Donahue sat in her cell, watching the pale blue flashes of the other inmates passing the time before Lights Out in their own way, she was struck with one salient fact that is often overlooked: many villains don’t have a choice. She certainly didn’t. The news reporters continued to say she just snapped that one March evening. 

Prompt for March 28: Sloppy


[prompt from]

“Here comes the plane, coming in for a landing.”

I slowly moved the spoon closer to Sasha’s mouth, opening mine as she opened hers. She closed her mouth around the spoon and I slowly withdrew it, catching the excess sauce around her chin with the spoon.

The phone rang. “Mommy will be back in just a moment, Sweetheart.” I turned and took the few steps to the counter, picking up my cell. I didn’t recognize the number. “Hello?”


“Jake? What number is this?”

He coughed on the other end. “The, uh, police department?”

I hand clutched the phone tighter, as if trying to break it. My free hand simply clenched itself around air. “What do you mean, the police department?” I said through my teeth.

“The guys and I were just having fun.” I heard the clanking of a gate in the background. “Apparently the guy was leaving the restaurant right as we drove off in his car. Officer Dickwad wouldn’t let me call until this morning. Anyway, can you come and get me?”

“What about dad?” I asked. There was a spot of heat on my forehead, the beginnings of a headache. I tried to massage the heat away before it changed to full-blown pain.

“He bailed me last time. Said he would let me rot before he did it again.”

I sighed. “Well, I can see why.” I looked at the clock and saw that I could drop Sasha off at daycare on the way. I would have to call them to tell them she was coming in, however. So much for my day off. “Okay, I’m on my way. But I swear, Jake, you’ve got to stop this!”

“I know, I know. Just please come. I think this guy is thinking about making me his bitch.”

“Language,” I said before I hung up. I turned around to find Sasha had grown impatient and was stuffing Spaghetti-O’s into her face. I reached for the towel.

“Oh Sweetie, what a mess.” I started to wipe the red sauce on her face. Her yellow shirt, however, was done for. “Looks like Uncle Jake got himself into trouble again.”

Prompt for March 27: Defiance


[prompt from, characters and story from a novel idea I have]

He twisted his head to the side, spitting out a mouthful of blood. “No.”

The king again punched him. “I told you to yield.”

Val’s grimace morphed into a smirk. If the king wanted to cause him pain, what better way to go against him than reveling in it? He had experienced more pain and misery in his lifetime than the king could ever fathom. He was used to the dull ache in his chest, the swirling hopelessness crushing his insides.

He emptied his mouth of more blood. The king wanted to break him in front of his court? The least Val could do was dirty his floor.

“I have told you, I shall not,” he spoke, his voice low and even. “I was only obeying the prince’s orders to leave him to the kill. As his right hand, it was my sworn duty to do so. It was not my fault the man managed to kill him instead. It was yours for sending him on a fool’s mission.”

Anger flared behind the king’s brown eyes like the flames dancing around the pile of woods the night before a battle. His jaw even betrayed the barest of a tremble. “How dare you imply such a thing? He was my son, the heir to the throne.”

“Yes,” Val responded, “and now he’s dead. You killed him.”

Every other guard in court took a step towards Val, all with the intension of striking down the man offending their king. The king, however, needed to assistance. Blow after blow, he took out his rage and sorrow on Val. Blow after blow, Val remained standing. His blue eyes never left the king’s. 

Prompt for March 25: The Copycat


[prompt from]

I blinked and it blinked.

The strange little creature, bearing only one bloodshot eye, stared straight at me. Its hair stuck up straight in certain places, the grey strands appearing to be rods conducting electricity from the center of the earth to the sky. Its skin was ashen, with boils and blisters marring what could have once been pristine marble. The look it gave me was one of fear.

How could this hideous creature be afraid? What on earth could possibly overpower what I saw before my eyes?

I began to smell something rancid and immediately grabbed my nose to fend off the stench. The creature grabbed its nose with a clawed hand, the finger tips blackened and cracked. There was even one missing.

Was it smelling the burnt flesh, too? Maybe its smell offended it as well. It sure was offending me.

I bent down and threw up greenish yellow slime, pretending I wasn’t seeing pieces of food in the mess. When I stood up and searched for the creature, praying it hadn’t decided to attack me in my vulnerable state, I realized it, too, had retched. There was droplets of green and yellow covering the twisted mouth. I felt wetness on my own lips and tried to wipe it away. The creature followed suit.

Strange how it mimicked everything I was doing, down the very sickness I felt swirling again in my stomach.

I reached up to pull my hair into a ponytail, a habit I formed from experience at college parties with alcohol and long hair, when I felt bumps and wrinkles instead of hair on my head. When I saw the creature’s clawed hand freeze while touching its scalp and saw its eyes widen at the same moment I felt my own do the same, every organ inside me dropped.

I slowly pulled my hand in front of my face. My fingertips were blackened and cracked. One was even missing.

The creature, with all its horrifying disfigurements, was me.