Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Shannon

Name: Shannon MacDougall
Title & Genre: TALON’S REACH – YA Dystopian

In a future America, rival camps vie for control before the Second Civil War and Lillie Forester trades a fast-food spatula for a Revolver.

1st 250 words

Chapter 1: Whatever
“Anthony, you can kish my saggy, white ash …” Jeanne cackled a drunken laugh.

“ASH!” She yelled the word, as if it would help her form it better. “You … you lef! Ah’m sill HEER!”

She pointed at her bed, but her hand slipped. Her face hit the pillow and her hysterical laughter was muffled for a precious moment. She pulled her makeup-smeared face off the pillow and blinked in slow motion trying to keep me in focus.

I didn’t respond.

She wasn’t talking to me.

I finished shoving her right leg and arm under her covers, careful to make sure she was on her side. I placed her trash can in easy barfing distance and closed her door. Her vibrato of incoherent slurs wafted down the hall as I headed for the kitchen.

I waited for my oatmeal to warm up and watched my dog’s dark shadow sniff around our tiny backyard. The darkness engulfed her for a moment until she took off after something white.

The morning note. “Lillie.”

“That’s me.” I sighed.

“We need bread. Get me some Quervo too. You got paid yesterday. Mom.”

I shoved the note in my pocket and grabbed my backpack. ‘Mom’ was the least used word to identify Jeanne.

My pace would have put a speed-walker to shame. The autumn mornings were my favorite, but I wasn’t stupid.


  1. Nice. A well executed turn right at the end. At first I thought a girlfriend was drunk, but then realize it's his mom.

    You did an excellent job of showing, not telling.

  2. Very nice, but I wouldn't start off with dialogue. Can you briefly get us into the scene first (where are they) so those of us with movie brains can visualize the scene? Otherwise, your characters are talking heads. ;)

  3. Your pitch is intriguing and your character seems to have a good voice. My 1 critique is to watch for echoes. For example, you say the word "her" 10 times between your third and fifth paragraph. Good job!