I can't think of anything witty to write about this evening for my blog. So instead, let me share with you the opening lines from my soon-to-be-self-published-although-it's-taking-a-really-long-time-to-finish manuscript.
STUCK by Stacey D. Atkinson
Page 1 & 2
I dreamed I was alone on an ice floe out at sea. The fur-lined hood of my red parka gave me tunnel vision as I watched the fluttering image of the moon reflected on the skin of the water. The wind tugged at my hood but I held it tightly under my chin so it wouldn't blow off.
I judged the distance between the ice floe I was standing on and the one directly in front of me and leapt forward. Landing unsteadily, I rocked back and forth, stretching out my arms for balance as I peered over the edge into the bottomless black water.
I considered my next move and quickly jumped again. This time I only reached the corner of the ice and slipped to the edge. I pushed myself back to the centre and leaned down on my hands and knees, panting from the excitement.
I gazed across the water to Shediac Island. The sheets of ice had crossed the channel in the tide, moving together like puzzle pieces. They glistened in the moonlight revealing dead leaves and frozen bits of twigs. I heard them grinding up against the wharf behind me like slow-motion bumper cars. A herd of white-tailed deer skittered by, their sharp hooves digging into the ice as they ran from a coyote chasing them off the island.
Qu’est-ce qu’il se passe?
Distracted, I miscalculated my next jump and plunged into the water like a tossed anchor. I grasped the side of the ice through my fingerless mittens but couldn't find a solid grip.
Underwater I went. My arm reached out around me to grab at something, anything for leverage. I stopped breathing, scared the water would flood my lungs. The panic triggered my heart to beat harder and my eyeballs pulsed.
In front of me was the underbelly of the ice, much bigger than its surface area. To the left another floe glided straight toward me to deliver a silent, yet crushing impact. When it hit, I knew it should have hurt but I felt no pain. Here I was pinched between two massive chunks of ice, trapped and undoubtedly drowning.
Then I saw a light—an illumination that burned so brightly ahead of me I could see it through my closed eyelids. A warm glow filled the space around me and awakened my senses. The air smelled of brine and morning dew. I heard ocean waves breaking offshore while seagulls flew overhead squawking their way to the wharf. The sand shifted underneath me as I pressed my back against the cool granite boulder.
I opened my eyes to the sun rising like fire over the great wide ocean. I rubbed my face with my hands and stretched out my legs, digging my bare heels in the sand.
It had been a long night. I must have fallen asleep on the beach. It was only a dream.
In my reverse world, the rising sun meant it was time to go home to bed. I stood up and gave one last look at the painted sky before walking home.