Well, I've mentioned before that I can't seem to refuse a challenge, but today's blogfest, brought to us by Kelly @ Kelly's Compositions, is a challenge I really believe I need to take part in. Because, as so many people do, I hate the first chapter of my WIP. I can't seem to get it right. This is the latest incarnation of probably at the very least, twelve different versions...yikes. So, if you enjoy ripping apart people's work, rip away...I'll take any and all comments.
Thanks for hosting, Kelly--and please, readers, be sure to check out the other posters.
And if you're here for yesterday's Alternate Version blogfest, well, look at the post directly below this one!
Sallie Kingston sank down onto her knees in the dirt, and put her fingers over the words, to feel the engraving as she had when she was younger. Helena, 1851. Death knows life’s secrets.
It was one of the few markers in the graveyard still inscribed with a name, one of the fewer marked by a date; it was engraved so deeply that, centuries later, Helena still lived on. At least for Sallie.
She folded herself against the stone to read it over again, one last time before going home, before her mother started to wonder, and then she stood. Yellow leaves fell from her lap like rain. Her knees were sodden, and she tried to wipe them down, but only made it look worse. She looked out beyond the front of the graveyard, to the small house she shared with her mother; it was a bit less than a mile away, but there was nothing in the way, and she could see it clearly, the windows lighting up as the sky darkened. As long as her mother wasn’t waiting for her at the door, Sallie could clean herself up, and she wouldn’t know.
Unless she asked. Sallie wasn’t exactly the world's greatest liar.
She should have gone straight home, probably, but sometimes she stayed after to study, so her mother would probably assume that’s where she was now. Maybe she would have been, too. But that had been before Trina Smithson had tormented her at school, before she had gotten in trouble in one of her classes for dozing off. Before the others had whispered about her as she walked through the halls. She was tired out, and now she was waiting for—well, just waiting to forget, a little. To not think about the day—but more to forget about the night.
Nights had never been easy, but they were mostly manageable. Her mother was overly concerned when something like this came up, and it made Sallie uncomfortable. It wasn’t anything, really. Sometimes, she just worried. Or her dreams woke her, sometimes—something just wasn’t right about them. They were nonsensical and gray.
It was much easier to forget, here and now, in her sanctuary.