Our last First Impression of the month comes from Robin at Your Daily Dose. OUT OF TOUCH is the first in a paranormal mystery/romance series. Author Dianne Salerni is also critiquing this first page so head over to her place for a second opinion.
After college, I ran through jobs faster than a line of cars in a McDonalds drive-through at noon.
I currently work for Brown and Bell, a small PR firm in Rockdale. As an Assistant Publicist, I've learned the ins and outs of marketing and am in the running for a promotion. I've been here almost six months, which is the longest I have worked anywhere, and I like it. Not incidentally, when I hit my six month employment goal I will finally move out of my mother's house and into an apartment of my own.
I looked up and Roger Brown was standing over my desk. My boss. "Gigi, can I see you in my office please?"
It wasn't a question.
I followed him in and he closed the door. He settled into his chair, cleared his throat, while his eyes darted around the room, not quite knowing where to settle. His obvious discomfort set off my internal alarm. I grasped the arms of my chair braced for what was to come. The sun bounced off a diamond cufflink on the floor. Without considering the consequences, I picked it up.
I was swamped with a feeling of desperation and lust. The vision unfolded revealing my co-worker, and biggest competition for the Publicist position, Bambi, half naked. Roger tore off his clothes in an effort to catch up. When he dropped the cufflink, the connection was severed.
"....understand that Bambi is more qualified for the promotion," he said.
Bile rose in my throat. Bambi stooped lower than I dreamed possible to beat me out of a promotion. And Roger... it disgusted me that he fell for Bambi's obvious move to pull herself up the ladder. I shook my head in an effort to erase the picture of them together.
"I realize that this is a tough break," Roger said, "but refusing to accept it doesn't change anything."
" I know this is a disappointment. "
This was more than a disappointment. This changed how I felt about Roger as a boss. As a man. As a human being. "You and Bambi get naked and I lose out on a promotion. Unbelievable."
I didn't realize I spoke the words aloud until his eyes opened wide and then narrowed to slits.
"Oh, crack." I muttered to myself. When I was a kid, and things went sideways, I said, "Holy firecracker." Over the years it became just crack.
I desperately needed time to think this through and had none. Roger Brown stared daggers at me, waiting for an explanation. I could try to laugh this off. In the past, that sometimes worked. But, I would still have to work here. For him. With her.
He finally spoke. "Do you have proof?" (Would he even admit to it? Or would he say, "Excuse me?" in surprise, because, well, how did she know? How could she possibly know? That will give her an out and she'll answer/mutter,"Nothing."- just a thought...)
Have any of my visions ever been wrong? No. But, I had no reasonable explanation.
He shrunk into the chair like a Lay Flat To Dry blouse run through the dryer. I watched him mentally calculate the risk of keeping me around. I knew that look. I'd seen it on the faces of most of my previous bosses.The whisper of the ax cleaving the air preceded his verdict. "You're fired."
My first thought is that I'm not wild about the beginning. The story starts when the boss calls Gigi into his office. Gigi is thinking she's going to get promoted and about finally moving out of mom's and having a place of her own. Maybe she's been marking the days on a calender in her cubby or office. Then Roger shows up. Make it brief and work in all the rest later. Otherwise, I love it, and I definitely want to know more about Gigi and her 'gift,' and what is she going to do now that she's been fired?! You've put her in a great place, making the reader both curious and concerned. Nice job.