Our second submission of the month is one you may recognize if you've been following First Impressions. Here is the first page of Patricia's scifi, LEGACY OF THE EYE. You can find her @patchi_writes and at My Middle Years. To see what Dianne thought of this head over to In High Spirits.
After following Cat into the traveling pod, I covered the keypad and faced our instructor, who blocked the doorway. "Max, we're leaving the school anyway, why not let me punch the code?" It might be a symbolic gesture, but I was not budging. This beginning feels a little abrupt to me, a little too much in media res. Since this an adult story, I wouldn't mind a bit of an intro to one of these characters before the narrator decides not to budge along with an explanation of what that means. Is the narrator not budging about keying in the code or is he physically not budging?
Arms crossed over his loose-fitting black outfit, Max obscured the pod's exit despite his short stature. "The council should have made you wait until after graduation like everyone else." See, if we knew that Max didn't like them before, then this would feel more natural. Does that make sense?
Cat and I had been confined in the school since we were two. What difference would two weeks make after sixteen years?
"Next you'll ask to stop for a black uniform on the way out," the instructor said.
We probably earned that too, but I knew how to pick my battles.
Cat's hand pressed my shoulder. "David, we'll be late."
"Tell him that," I said.
"You're only making him more stubborn, Max," she said. "You know we have no reason to run away."
The instructor hesitated. Would he make us miss our appointment with the council? Max knew Cat and I could not navigate the maze of buildings to get to the gates--even disregarding the risk of being detained as soon as we left the governance complex. Our gray uniforms would give us away as soon as we stepped outside because students were not allowed to leave their home departments. How long would it take to convince every instructor in our path that we had an appointment with the council? We had one, not fourteen daylight hours to reach the government building. The easiest way to the front entrance was by pod. I had never been in one of these vehicles, but I was certain the motorized spheres did not travel at the speed of light. I think you could cut this paragraph down to this: "The instructor hesitated. Would he make us miss our appointment with the council? Max knew that without access to a pod we would never make our appointment in time." Then, when they actually leave, show us what they see.
"CO3X04W." Max pointed his rolled up hat at me. "If you don't behave, I'll deny you my recommendation and the council will veto the Tutor Program." This seems rather demeaning, like he's talking to a small child. Is it intentional?
He must be bluffing. I doubted we needed his help to defend the proposal. We had discussed the idea with students and faculty for months. Plus, Cat had written a meticulous petition.
"We don't have our hats," Cat said as I turned to the keypad and pressed the first two letters. What hats?
Max stepped out of the pod. "Then go get them." Is he ordering?
I finished inputting the destination code to the front entrance and grabbed Cat by the waist before she could exit the pod for our hats.