Monday, January 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday from The Guardians

So, I talked to my wonderful agent today about where we'll be going with The Guardians. I've got some lovely revisions ahead, but I also had some great ideas today of ways to achieve some of the suggestions. Because of that, I decided to tease from TG, well, actually give you the opening. Here's to it giving me the momentum I need!

We are the watchers—the keepers of things both seen and unseen. The unexplainable and inexplicable like the prickly sensation that runs up your spine, causing the hairs on your neck to rise. We are the feeling of comfort that wraps itself around you in times of grief and trouble. We are the guiders and protectors of the Host—the Guardians.

While we were tracking close on their heels, the mother and daughter hadn’t noticed us. Our shoes sloshed through the dingy puddles leftover from the morning’s rain. Striding across the deserted parking lot, the mother and daughter were engrossed in conversation. They knew nothing of us, but we know their names. The mother, who was edging towards forty, was Victoria; the fourteen-year-old daughter, and baby of the family, was Hannah. With their blonde hair and crystal blue eyes, they were mirror images of each other.

While on the outskirts of their conversation, we felt its light banter. Words like “crush” and “cutest boy in school” floated back to us. Then Victoria teased Hannah about something, causing Hannah’s to flush the color of her red shirt. At her daughter’s visible embarrassment, Victoria nudged Hannah playfully. It brought a smile to my face.

Then fear pierced us.

We felt the gang members’ pain long before they shuffled around the corner. Searing and dark, it hung around us like a cloak blocking out the May sun. Their eyes glowed amber, the hue of souls polluted by drugs and alcohol. Multicolored artwork and track marks tattooed their arms. In their animalistic state, they didn’t see the mother and daughter as people. To these animals, they were the next fix, the next trip. Their last high fading, the thugs’ bodies twitched for relief from their suffering. Gold wedding bands and glittering diamonds meant quick cash.

A desperate sob rose in my throat. I fought the urge to scream at the mother and the daughter. Why had they parked in such a place? Why weren’t they running to their car instead of ambling along, joking about who was the cutest Jonas brother and what were they going to have for dinner? I wanted to rail at them for being so naïve, so trusting. For all the little inconsequential details that altered the fate of our lives. But I couldn’t. The line between guiding and interfering was clearly drawn, and I couldn’t cross it.

As if to reiterate that fact, Gabriel, our leader, touched my arm. I glanced into his dark eyes, and he shook his head. “It isn’t our fight, Elijah.”

I bowed my head as the cold truth washed over me. I could only watch helplessly as it spiraled towards confrontation.

At the sound of the gang’s hurried footsteps, Victoria glanced over her shoulder. I saw the fear in her eyes and so did the gang.

“Mom?” Hannah questioned.

“Keep walking, Hannah!”

Victoria fumbled in her purse for the keys. One of the gang members cut in front of her before they could reach the car.

“Gimme your purse, Senora!” an angry teenager demanded. His clothes were ragged and dirty, and his tan skin pulled tautly over the bones in his face, illustrating how he only fed his hunger for drugs.

Victoria hesitated, noticing the silver gleam of a gun.

“I ain’t kidding, Senora! Give us the damn purse!” She thrust the bag into his waiting hands. “And the ring!”

Torment replaced the fear. “Please, don’t take it! It’s my wedding ring!”

“I don’t give a shit!”

“But it--

A single bullet tore through Victoria’s chest. As she collapsed, a crimson river flowed out onto the pavement.

“Mama!” Hannah screamed. She fell to the ground, burying her face in her mother’s lap.

A skinny guy with a greasy ponytail stared in astonishment. “Dude, what did you do?”

“Let’s go!” another cried.

As two of them turned, one spoke up. “But she’s seen us.”

“What?”

“Waste her,” the leader murmured.

At his words, Hannah snapped her head up. “Please don’t hurt me!”

The leader ignored her cries. As he raised his gun, Hannah shielded her face with her arms. Saving Victoria’s life had always been out of our hands. The reason we even stood here watching the scene unfold was understanding this moment would be vital for our mission’s success. This one tragic moment would be like a rock thrown into a pond, its ripples would be felt throughout the entire Thomas family.

It was then that Sophie broke away from us. Time crawled to a standstill as she stepped in front of the waiting bullet. Any other person would have cringed or trembled. But not Sophie. With a steely determination, she stared into the eyes of the killer.

The gun clicked.

Over and over, he pulled the trigger. With each misfire, Hannah jerked violently. Finally, the leader dropped his gun.

23 comments:

Laura McMeeking said...

Ummmm, Krista. If I had this in my hands, I would not be putting it down right now. Not only do you have brilliant description, but you capture the mood perfectly. It starts off nice and interesting, then we see danger looming. As the action pulls you to read faster and faster, until...DAMN! What happens next?! :-D

Karla Nellenbach said...

I'm with Laura! Wow...jut wow! More, more, more!

Becca said...

I remember reading this before and was blown away. I really, really love the opening paragraph. Srsly. I can see this selling quickly. :D

Kristin said...

"Searing and dark, it hung around us like a cloak blocking out the May sun."

Sooo prettyful. *swoons from the pretty* Also, I'm so happy you're working on this again! YAY for Elijah and Cassie!!!

Also also, I <3 that last paragraph. So. Much. Angels are so badass. :D

CupofDice said...

Wow.

Powerful.

All I can say.

Deniz Kuypers said...

Hey, I didn't know you have an agent. Congrats!! Nice teaser.

Lost Crayons said...

Holy crap, this was amazing. I want more. Angels = win.

Jamie B said...

Loved it the first time I read it, and still do! :D

LizPage said...

Omg this is incredible! I love the way it just pulls me in from the start.
Have you heard monsters by matchbook romance? Your beginning is what I've always wanted to write from the inspiration it gives me.
Incredible!!

Amanda said...

What a brilliant teaser. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it ended. I'm intrigued by the premise and want to know more about your story. Great job!

corrinejackson said...

I definitely rooted for this mother and her daughter. Poor Hannah!

Angie said...

Pulls you in and keeps you hanging on every word. Hate that the mother died, but what an ending! You're building a fanbase right here. :)

Véro said...

Wow! It's dark and captivating. Absolutely beautiful

Kathy Bradey said...

Whoa Krista. Grabs you right away... as everyone said! So impressed. And I love the analogies, eg. rock thrown into a pond... ripples felt through the family. :)

Lia Victoria said...

That is one of the most chilling last lines I've read. It stays with you - the whole thing is so nicely done!

MOREEEE :D

Annie McElfresh said...

I love love love the opening!! It hooked me right away! *fingers crossed* :D

Rachele Alpine said...

This is AWESOME! Uhm....I love it! Can I please, please, please beta it when you make changes. Okay, one more please! :)

Sandy Shin said...

Oh wow, this is intense. I am definitely hooked.

Hannah said...

Poor Hannah :(

houndrat said...

Wow--the action part is fabulous! I was totally biting my nails. And love the moment when Sophie steps forward.

But--what the heck? I read the first third or so and never read this part? Is it a prologue or something?

Yay for Guardians! :)

Linda said...

This is a great snip. I want to read more!

bclement412 said...

This blew me away.

Karla Calalang said...

Wow.. this was so GOOD!

Descriptions are amazing.

I really LOVE your writing!