777 Challenge: An Excerpt Concerning Bones and Balloons

Wow, would you look at that! I have been invited to take part in the 777 Challenge by the ever-so-thoughtful Norma, who writes and artifies over at the Emovere blog. I’m chuffed to have been asked. Thank you, Norma.letter_writi_24714_md

The premise of this challenge is that you go to page 7, line 7, of your work in progress. From there, quote the next 7 lines in a blog post on your Web site like so . .  .

Be sure to check out Norma’s slice of 777 heaven, and you can also view her other nominees’ links there.

My novel-in-progress’ page seven is a bit of a dud. It’s mid-dialogue, and I’m afraid it might not be easy to follow what’s going on. Instead, I have selected an excerpt from a longer short story that I wrote a couple of years ago and would still love to develop. It has flown through several title incarnations and has currently landed at “Wallow,” but I’m apt to change that.

I’ve given you an extra line or so at the end.

Without further ado, here it is.

. . . One time, I’d found a miniscule skull next to the stone ledge just under the pipe, as if the animal had recently put its head down only to rest and had decided, instead, to die. The bony head was so white next to the muddy ledge, and I’d accidentally tipped its ribcage over the edge with my toe before I saw all of the body. You couldn’t even see them slip silently like white strings of confetti dragged below the churning water’s surface; it was as if they’d never even been there.

Soon enough, I reached the pipe. I didn’t know what to do; I just knew I needed to get as far away from home, from my parents and all the reminders of the sister-who-never-was, as I could. Maybe I could go up to the abandoned barn my faraway friends and I’d found in the woods last summer. It was our makeshift clubhouse for a time, owl droppings, eerie noises, and all.

As soon as my foot was out on the slick, black metal, I began to slip.  . . .

Part of the 777 challenge is also tagging several other writer friends who might be interested in sharing 7 lines from a current, forthcoming, or, methinks, previous work (as long as it doesn’t violate any copyright or contractual obligations of course). From what I understand, you may alter the lines and tinker with them, in the event you want to get them published as never-before-seen text in the future.

I would like to nominate the following writers, and there is absolutely NO OBLIGATION to participate. It’s for fun, y’all. 🙂

Stephen at Stephen Thom Writing (if he’s not too busy with touring!)

Sarah at Sarah Potter Writes (she’s a busy writer who’s at work on a science fantasy novel, so she might be unavailable)

Andreé at One Starving Activist & Scribe’s Cave (she has a soon-to-be released title called After that you’ll want to see more about)

Ali Abbas, who has published two books so far: a collection of short stories, called Image and Other Stories, and Hajj – My Pilgrimage, which is a nonfiction account of his journey with his family to the holy city of Mecca

Dr. Joe in enchanting Dublin (hey, Joe, have you got any longer stories or poems you’d like to share?)

Syd Dent, who enthralls with his steampunk stories, including The Finder’s Saga, and shares author influences and more on his blog

Andrea Stephenson, who holds many awards and publication credits for her phenomenal short stories and who blogs at Harvesting Hecate



11 thoughts on “777 Challenge: An Excerpt Concerning Bones and Balloons

  1. You left us with a cliffhanger (maybe quite literally!) Sounds like an intriguing story. I was thinking YA… I like the hints of the main character’s past and what he/she might be running from.

  2. Thank, Leigh. Yes, I’m up for the challenge. I have done this twice before with an extract from my speculative fiction novel, although the challenge was called “Lucky Sevens” and my page 7 kept changing!

    This time, I’ll take an extract from the science fantasy novel that I’m revising. Bear with me. I will post it when I have a moment.

    I love your extract.

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