I know I don’t normally preface my writing, but I feel like this one needs it. This is the (largely unedited) opening to my novel-in-progress for NaNoWriMo this year. Just a snippet, a teaser. Just enough to whet the appetite, as it were. If you have any feedback about this, I would love it. More especially since I’m hoping to publish the completed work when it’s…you know…completed. So without further ado, please enjoy the first 425 words of Second Chances.
The nagging feeling that she shouldn’t be here was getting stronger with each mile Jackie Benson drove down the dirt road. It wasn’t the road that worried her, it was old but straight and her run down mess of a pick-up truck was more than capable of handling it. But the flickers of movement in the edges of her headlights became every ghost story her brother had ever told her. Even if he’d sworn up and down that he’d made them all up, it didn’t make her feel any better. Lightning lit up the sky and thunder crashed all around her, seeming to shake the ground itself.
“The entirety of the Five Rivers Township is reporting severe thunderstorms, Jim. Biggest we’ve seen this year, so we’re keeping a close eye out for flooding. Luckily for everyone out there, we haven’t seen anything on the doppler that looks like a funnel forming, but keep an ear out for the sirens in your area just in case.”
The weatherman’s voice was interrupted by crackles and snaps as the radio caught the sound of lightning playing in the clouds. Reaching to change the radio station, Jackie spotted a fluttering movement ahead and slammed on the brakes. Terror gripped her, her blood running cold until she realized what she was seeing. There was a girl on her knees in the road as though she’d fallen. Jackie shifted her truck into park and climbed out, a smile of sheer relief on her face.
“Hey, are you alright?”
She took a step towards the other girl, looking her over for any signs of injury. She was a slight thing with curly red hair tied back in an almost desperate attempt at a ponytail, her hair fighting the tie that held it. Her clothing was wet and mud splattered. Slowly, the girl got to her feet and Jackie reached out to offer her a hand up. It was until she got close that Jackie realized the girl had been crying.
“I…I didn’t think you’d see me.”
“What’re you doing out here? Can I give you a ride?” Then, as an afterthought. “I’m Jackie.”
“I’d love a ride, Jackie. If you don’t mind, I mean.” She looked down a little. “I’m Alice.”
For an absolutely irrational moment as the sky lit up and thunder cracked sounding like it was directly overhead, Jackie would have sworn she could see through Alice, clear to the curve of the road behind her. Shaking the notion free of her mind, she turned towards her truck.