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Novel opening

on Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:42 pm
Hi everyone,
Hope your writing is going well. I'm just getting back into mine after a long period of inertia. I'd be grateful if you could cast your expert eyes over the following? The brief was to write a 200 word opening for a novel beginning 'I read it in a book ...'
Thanks,
Jac

‘I read it in a book …’ Each word tastes like a lie and yet …

He cuts in.

‘Margaret Frye was nothing to me and now she is nothing at all.’

He lounges back in his chair, tapping at his teeth with a biro. It makes me squirm and he knows it. I close my eyes. The lighting is harsh for such a small room. Thin fluorescent tubes pulse above us like elongated jelly fish. Utilitarian jelly fish. My head aches. I breathe slowly. In. Out. He’s waiting for me to fill the silence. I don’t. It’s an old tactic.

‘So …’

I open my eyes. He’s leaning forward on sharp elbows. His body language is clear. ‘You read it in a book.’

Statement not question. Another slow breath. In. Out.

‘As I said, it was written in the margin.’

‘On page 96?’

He knows the answer so it’s a rhetorical question. In my mind I see the words again, scratched deep into the yellowing paper. A black waterfall of ill-formed, skeletal letters written with the sharp nib of a cheap fountain pen. Written by a murderer’s hand?

The Detective Inspector raises an eyebrow. Our mother would be proud of him

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