Sunday, June 12, 2011

A love scene and a contest

An Aspiring Writer's World is hosting a Love scene contest.  Go to the link to see all the wonderful entries.

Here's mine.
YA Contemporary
Scene word count: 703

I rested my chin on my hand atop his chest while he stared up at the ceiling. I felt soft tugging at my hair as he ran his fingers through it. My heart swelled for him, though I could not call it love. But it was enough. "You know, after I found out my mom was going to die I blamed the world. I blamed the doctors. I blamed the factories for the pollution. I blamed my brother and I blamed me. I thought that if I had prayed enough perhaps god would save her. If I had gone to church, if I had been a better sister, daughter, and friend. I was not good enough and so he was taking my mother from me." I paused, swallowed back the tears. He did not move. "It's not your fault she’s dead."

His fingers stopped and I could no longer sense his breathing.

"You both were meant to be in that exact same place together. For some reason no one will ever understand, it was her instead of you. The pain is yours forever. But so is your decision to live." Lance had tried to convince me of this for years, only now did I understand what it meant.

“We can’t control everything Ari,” he sat up and didn’t look at me. “You can never plan for your sister to be shot and bleeding, her small body broken and splattered with blood, her innocent wide eyes looking at you wondering what happened. Why? Why her? You can’t plan for a day when you learn that everything you thought was good was actually wrong. When the world as you knew it carried endless possibilities for you, only there was a catch: your sister had to die in one senseless act. I never even found out who did it. The cops said it was a stray bullet from a shooting across the street. One stray bullet smashed through the windshield and caught her right on the side of her head. I didn’t decide this for my life.” He stood up and took her picture slamming it on the floor. The glass didn't shatter and I wondered how many times that picture ended up there. The chords on his neck bulged and he tightened his hands into fists.

I went to him and placed my hand on his shoulder. He whirled around fast, forcing me to jerk backwards. I skidded back and slammed into the door. He was on me already, smashing the door with his fist above my head. His eyes widened and he leaned his forehead against mine.

“Don’t do this. Don’t try to make sense of this. Don’t try to feed me the bullshit of going on with my life. You were there in the car with us. It happened again. I almost lost you. I have to end this.”

“How Marcus? How can you end this?” My voice tight.

He hit the door one more time and pulled away from me, his back towards me. “I’m going to find who did it.” He didn’t turn around to look at me when he said it. I felt sorry for the person he finds to feed his anger.

It was life living in the streets. It was war. It was survival. It was real.

“It’s not going to bring her back. There’s always going to be someone Marcus. It will never end.”

“I should take you home.” He turned to look at me but did not move.

“Marcus...” I wanted to tell him something, anything that would make him stay with me. That would give him hope. “Stay with me. I don’t want to lose you to the streets. I can’t follow you there.” I felt my feet moving though I could no longer control them. I put my hand behind his neck and pulled him towards me, kissing him. A flutter of emotions and sensations enveloped me. I didn’t want it to end. For one magical moment I thought of all the possibilities for our future, Marcus at MIT and me at Brown. The East coast. Together. He could meet my mom. We could be together. Always. I was ready.

Then his phone buzzed.



  1. Ah yeah I want more! That was awesome!

  2. This is a very intense emotional scene. We're given a lot of information, but I wasn't sure who was talking. Did Marcus lose his sister, and the girl Ari lose her mother? Because she talks about him meeting her mother in the last paragraph, but in the first I thought she was dead. Also, I'm not sure where this scene takes place. Are they in a car or in a house? With a little more clarification, this will be great! =)

  3. I'm a little confused by everything that's going on here. I was under the impression they were in bed together, probably post-sex, but the conversation is too lucid and stark to be in this glow-period. I also found some of the dialogue unbelievable. Especially the section where Marcus talks about his sister. People just don't talk like that. It felt like that was information the reader needed, so you had him say it. I could be much simpler and still get the message across.

    And is Ari's mother alive or dead?

  4. The phone. It's always the g-d phone, isn't it? I loved the intense emotional bond I felt here. Very loving.

  5. Thanks everyone! LOL. Yeah, Anne, that darn phone call.☺ I'll make sure to take another look for clarity.

    Thanks again!

  6. I wasn't quite sure what was going on at first without having a context to place it in--but by the time Marcus starting speaking, I figured it out and I started really feeling for him and his guilt. I think part of what threw me was the second peice of dialogue that ends with: Lance tried to tell me that. I thought her boyfriend was Lance until she called him Marcus. Even though it's an excerpt, maybe you could clarify that she's speaking in that second piece of dialogue or say who Lance is.

    Great emotion here, lots of buildup and tension, and the pace kept me reading right through. Love her hope.

  7. I think you've done a good job here. My one crit would be the graphic dialogue about the sisters death, I found unrealistic. Sounds like a dramatic, intense story!

  8. It's so hard just jumping into a scene!

    I'll agree with Kaylee in that I felt a little lost, but I expected that, not having the background.

    Intense, good luck!

  9. Drew me in. Shocking. As others said hard to jump into the middle and know all the characters but it makes me want to know the before and after.

  10. Thanks everyone. This scene is the end of act 2 and the beginning of act 3 so we already know all the key players. It's Marcus's venting and Arianna's character arc moment. It is hard to follow without knowing the before. Thanks for all your wonderful comments. It helps!

  11. The sense of loss was intense, and right away I felt for her... she was struggling, and still trying to hold onto some sanity in her life - her boyfriend. I did want a bit more sensitivity from him or maybe closeness to sympathise with her. The only other thing I wanted to know was why she couldn't follow him to the streets? That had me curious, and I would keep reading.

    Good luck.

  12. Wow...I need to learn to write tamer love scenes like this. It had me on my toes, but it wasn't full of friction and spit. Good job.

  13. Anytime. I'd love to read more of your writing!

  14. Sorry I missed this the first time around. I went back to look over the finalists and honorable mentions and realized that I hadn't read yours! I agree with the other commentors, little confusing without knowing the players, but still powerful. Congratulations on the honorable mention!


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