Good Morning! Sorry for the late post, I was up late writing last night.
So I’m posting two first pages today.
Here’s the first one:
Jolie Burke stepped onto the outdoor walkway of the Regal 8 Motel on her way to get ice. And stopped cold.
At the end of the walkway, near the ice machine’s lighted alcove, stood a figure.
A man or a woman?
Impossible to tell. Flip a coin. Woman.
The woman wore shades—unusual for the outside of a Regal 8 in the middle of the night. She wore dark slacks, and a suit jacket. The suit jacket looked a little big. Thick material, one button, closed. An impassive face and a pale complexion. Hair trimmed tight to the skull. Medium height and slim, even in the bulky jacket.
They locked eyes. Rather, they locked eyes and sunglasses. The woman-who-looked-like-a-man made a negligible move, pulling back the cuff of the suit jacket to look at her watch. The action raised the coat on the other side and under it Jolie thought she saw an underarm holster.
The woman let the sleeve drop and put one foot up on the bottom rung of the walkway railing and casually lifted the cuff of the slacks. Just a quick check to make sure everything was there. It was. Light bounced off the ankle holster.
Then she straightened up and set the foot down on the walkway next to its mate. The shoes were black lace-ups, men’s shoes, buffed to a deep shine.
Jolie held up her ice tub.
The woman-who-looked-like-a-man nodded briefly, then turned the corner. She seemed to have evaporated away.
Y numero dos:
Suffolk Coast, 1812
“Something is amiss at the Hall.”
It was an understatement of the matter, if ever there was one.
Ravencrest Hall sat on the edge of crumbling cliffs, a stone gargoyle clinging to the land like some dying beast spat out of the sea. It devoured all who entered and sucked the last drop of joy, laughter, and life out of them as surely as the worms in the grave. She hated the place.
Madeline Carston glanced up from her seat on the rickety gig and realized the old Welsh groom was indeed correct. The ancient mansion appeared monstrous enough in its normal darkened state. As it stood now, candlelight aglow in every window, it took on the aspect of a smiling, hungry demon.
“I’m sure you’re mistaken, Mr. Hughes,” she said primly, even as a fierce shiver ran up her spine. “Please hurry. We’re already late.”
The gig continued up the long, graveled drive under the watchful eye of the ancient oaks. Their leafless limbs rattled ominously in the throes of a salt-tinged wind off the nearby North Sea. For a moment the skeletal sentries seemed to point at her – in warning or accusation, she knew not which. The closer the gig and sturdy pony drew to it; the more ravenous the stone mansion appeared.
May the critiques commence!