Okay, there's an upcoming contest over at Daisy Carter's blog wherein for a window of time you'll be able to post your query and first 250 words of a finished manuscript. After the window of time closes, Daisy's amazing agent Tricia Lawrence will read all of the entries in the comments section and choose whichever she likes the most! So, here's my quandary: which ms to enter? To help me decide, I'm putting up the first 250 (rounded up to the end of the sentence) of each manuscript, along with information about that manuscript. Read both excerpts and then post a comment telling me which you think is the strongest. Other feedback is welcome. And I apologize if there's weird spacing or anything with the excerpts. Blogger is hating on me.
Gone Missing Girl
I have never been that guy. You know, the one surrounded by adventure and covered in awesomesauce. That would be my younger brother, Ethan. But it wasn’t Ethan who found her. It was me.
It’s not like you get to pick and choose life-altering events the way you do socks from the bargain bin.
I went out to the book shed that night for a bottle of spine glue, but I didn’t bother to turn the lights on. So I didn’t immediately notice anything wrong. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, though, I flipped on the overheads.
And suffered a mild heart attack at the sight of the little shrunken zombie standing just a few feet away.
The garish florescence accentuated the hollows of the its face, bounced off the jutting points of its cheekbones.
*Insert very macho scream here*
Okay, so really, I just yelped. Which I think is acceptable in a zombie situation.
And then the broom slid sideways, hit the light switch and left me stranded in the dim twilight of the Alaskan summer.
After several deep breaths I convinced myself that I had not, in fact, just seen a zombie in the book shed.
I turned the light back on.
Hello, in fact, zombie.
But it wasn’t.
It was just a girl. Filthy, tangled, rumpled and undersized, but definitely female. Definitely alive. Her mouth hung partway open, eyes wide, yet disturbingly empty. As if her entire body was deserted. Bereft of whatever it is that makes you who you are.
Life is so much easier without underwear. That was one of the first things I figured out. Since then, I’ve figured out a lot more. Like how to pee while holding a bow with an arrow nocked and drawn. In the Wild, you have to be able to do that.
That’s what I’m doing now. Crouching over a leafy sprig of creeper so my urine makes no sound on its way to the ground. My bow, Donriel, rests across my knees. My left hand holds it steady, my index and middle fingers twisted to keep tension on the arrow which is, in turn, applying tension to the string. I can let it fly while still crouched if I need to. But my friend, Brother the raven, is nearby at the moment. He’ll forewarn me of anything approaching.
I couldn’t do this wearing underwear but in just chaps and a loincloth it’s easy, with practice.
Eyes constantly scanning the forest around me, I pluck a large leaf of lamb’s ear with my free hand. It’s almost better than toilet paper. Softer but also more substantial. The pale leaf comes away with a smearing of blood.
Damn! The curse is a silent one, trapped inside my mind. I’m too smart to speak aloud. Damn. Damn. Damn!
I stare at the leaf for a moment then toss it aside and pick up another. Same result. The last time I cycled in the Wild, I was with Sal. Now I’m alone, with no one to keep watch or hunt while I lie in miserable discomfort.