My story start:
"Ah, yes… I recall that my story starts in the dark of night… It was a moonless sky littered with clouds. I had chosen this night to make the escape once again, out of the occupied country and into the free world. I had delivered the people who had paid me to get them to safety and was just about to cross my way back across the border when…
“Gesicht im erde!!”
Well with me having almost everything to lose I dropped immediately. And I felt almost directly the heel of a boot on the small of my back.
Questions started to form in my head: How did they find me out? Was I about to get executed? Had they followed me to the pick-up point?
But those thoughts seized when I felt the heel lift and someone straddled me. With the muddy ground making me wet and cold from underneath… the warmth of the body on top should be apparent… but it was not.
Then a hand crept up my neck and seemed to stroke my hair. At that time the cold shivers went right up my spine.
The weight stirred and I got swept up by my neck. I craned to see my assaulter… but had no luck. The strength now and the voice earlier let me to believe it was a very burly man that had caught up with me. With my neck still firmly in his grasp I got partly dragged and partly marched towards a farm house I knew was very close, but had always believed to deserted during earlier departure runs.
Anyway… when we arrived at the farmhouse I was manhandled into what once was a living chamber but had already deteriorated into less then a prison cell, with the wallpaper torn down at places, furniture that had fungus on it and a fireplace that was even colder then its surroundings. In the corner there was a backpack and a bedroll, much like what I had supplied my customers with.
I got thrown into the corner with the basic supplies and then it was I could see the full figure of who had captured me.
It was a man I had just set off over the border. The leader of a group of refugees who came from Bulgaria and had fled ever since the war had broken out in their country. They had paid me well and I was more then happy to give them my services. But now, being ambushed and abducted by this man made me feel like I had done something very stupid.
During every departure run you have to be absolutely sure the people you take are willing to do anything you say and follow every order you give. They have paid you to take them, yes. And they have paid you a lot to make sure the danger is being compensated, but still it is vital that there is a certain level of trust between you and your troupe for that night. It wouldn’t be the first time some departaire had been captured with his entire troupe because some stupid refugee woman couldn’t hold herself when faced with the cold and dark waters of the moor. Or because a man fell down and sprained his ankle, falling into the water with a loud splash. You need to be sure you can trust these people. Even before you take them on. And the less able they seem the more I charge. It’s as easy as that.
And when this man and his group had contacted me I had a nagging feeling it was going to be trouble. Even though they seemed very resolute and steadfast… very efficient in their movements as well, I had charged them the highest fee. They somehow knew I was the best and would take no other.
Well… I was ready for pay back time. I had no money on me but if he was going to kill me I had some nasty surprise right in my pocket.
“please do not move one muscle, mister I had already felt your little gun when I picked you up earlier. The reason I have not taken it away is because it is not going to do you any good. I would even advise you not to use it because you might anger me. We, my group and I are very thankful for your help in bringing us into a new country. We have debated on the payment. And even though we have already paid your highest fee, we feel you still are not compensated enough, besides we feel a certain bond with you. And that is why we want to give you an even greater gift. a gift that can not be bought with money, only with effort and services.”
I was perplexed by this statement, but as always I was on my guard. “Why couldn’t you give me that gift before, when we were at the drop off point?” I asked.
“Well, I would be lying if I said it couldn’t be done, but then again, it would also feel slightly out of place to have the rest of those refugees there. See it as protecting your safety that I brought you here to receive the gift.”
“Hmmm… It sound quite al right but I still feel very awkward when you say something like that. Lets get it over with then, we can both go our ways when you give it to me. What is it?”
“Ah… yes please stand up then, lets do this official. Could I persuade you to turn your back until I have the gift? No? Ah, I thought so… well then we just have to do it the hard way…” And he rushed at me, not simply running or jumping, he flew right at me. The speed with which he hit me with threw both of us against the wall and then I felt a pain at my neck. My eyeballs strained to get a look at the man who embraced me, he had me pinned down against the wall, and seemed to kiss my neck.
Then I the real world came in on me. I struggled. I tried to bite him, I tried to kick him. But nothing would hurt him it seemed. He kept embracing me and kissing me.
I thought about the gun and my hand crept to my pocket. The room that was needed to take it out and properly aim a shot was not there so I had to fire it right from my pocket through my pants. The hand crept nearer. I got high headed. It had been a long day and I hadn’t eaten much, and then this strain on my muscles and the stress… it all took its toll. And just now. I found it getting harder and harder to breathe, to think… I was convinced the guy was trying to crush the life out of me. Now or Never I thought and plunged my hand into my pocket, found the trigger and shot.
Then all went black and I felt my legs getting weak and I slid towards the ground.
When I woke up I was still in the farmhouse. There was a lot of blood around, I could smell it. That meant I had shot my opponent and severely wounded him. So much he couldn’t finish his job killing me. But had dragged himself away so I couldn’t finish him off either.
I looked where the blood trail went, but it vanished right outside the room in the hallway. So, there had to be an accomplish then. Someone who picked him up and bound the wound. If that was so then why was I still alive. Maybe they had only been looking for their money. I went back inside the room wanting to eat and drink something. I opened the backpack in the corner thinking it to contain some of the bare necessities needed when going on a week long hike to disappear. I rummaged around but could not find anything to eat. I thought it had to be that they had stupidly ignored my command to each pack their own food and drink, so as to be self supplied when you got separated. This bag contained only drinking flasks, some clothing and some books. Which irritated me because books are dead weight. And even if you can’t let them behind, you are better off burning them then to carry them around on your back instead of some much needed food!
Well… then I would just drink. I took a flask and put it to my mouth. The taste was… arghhh! It was blood! I dropped the bottle, adding to the bloody mess already on the floor. Who the hell would stuff a backpack full of drinking flasks full of blood? Wait! wasn’t one of those books not a diary?
I retrieved it from the backpack. And opened it up. To find the first page being addressed to me.
"My dear fellow,
It was our sincere wish to share with you the blessing we all possess. And even though you have to take some parts for granted we are sure that you will be as amazed and thankful as we are to be one of the darkwalkers.
We are also very sorry for no one being here with you to drag you through the first few days of agony, unwillingness and adaptation, but we know you will pull through on your own. The farmhouse we took you too is desolated and safe. So please stay there for about a week to let your body adapt and your mind be willing to receive the gift of power.
You have already found this diary and guide within the contents of the backpack and maybe have seen some of the other stuff that sits in there. The blood is enough to get you through the whole week. And the other two books contain the wisdom of the elders and history of our… of your heritage.
When you have read all these books you know everything needed to thrive in you new existence. We wanted to thank you once again for your services and hope to meet you later in time.
With sincere apologies,
Adam Grushman and his group"
This is about it I think… I actually have written some more but I find that the beginning ends here… I am already on my way to make this small tale longer and bigger than foreseen. So I cut this short and the rest you can read when I have written then rest of the middle part.
I started just like last time by pasting the lines in the layout I wanted to use for the beginning… those were:
He tells about his history.
I actually found that with my new gained powers I am better at my job. I immediately see the advantage I have against my competitors and use it to make enough money so I can go live the quiet life when the market dries up.
And I ended up by writing none of these. I really wanted to tell the embrace part of this character into the world of darkness… how he became a vampire before anything else. So I started there and ended before I could even begin to try and explain why his business is getting better and what competitors he has and what he did in those days. Those sentences I have copied are telling a story that includes about 30 years of life as a vampire and I really have no idea as how that would be inserted into a short story, like the one I am telling. So I have a problem on my hands but… like a true optimist and lazy bastard I am not going to think about a solution but I keep on going and we will do some editing at the end.
I have already mentioned several times that editing and revising is one of the most important aspects of writing a good story and I think you need to do that at the end, when you have all available material at hand. Just like editing a life action movie (animation is a little different with the story board taking the place of the footage) first you want to have all the scenes from the script, they may be edited or not, and then you want to play around and even delete some scenes.
That being said, a quick run through of what I have written. I wanted it to be apparent that we are listening to a speaker or teller of tales. therefore I do almost the same you see when a character in a movie tells a story… It starts with him telling and fades back to the past when you suddenly find yourself in the middle of the real deal. I also start with some mystery and ambience setting as to give the reader something to occupy him or herself with, the hints for the logical part of the mind and the imagery for the imagination of said person(s)
After that I pull my audience in with some action and more mystery. As an afterthought I would like to put some more landscape detail in there but I hadn’t so that is for the revision stage.
Also we already know it is a vampire story but the reader does not (this is the beginning you remember) Which means I also give some hints the vampire lovers will pick up on but hopefully just subtle enough to get some shocks out of some of the readers.
For me vampires are smart, strong, sexy (always) and that is why I have tried to give a sexual undertone to both action sequences, the capture in the mud and the part were Adam bites our hero. Finally, the whole scene comprises out of 2 characters, our hero, the one that thinks and Adam the barely 2 dimensional mysterious vampire. Note that he is two dimensional because he has needs, and we get a peek at his history and status. And the wants and needs of both characters drive this story (BTW you remember I give all my characters names with actually mean something… well Adam is the oldest (ad therefore first vampire in the story, just like Adam was the first human in popular belief… Grushman is a name that actually comes from a well known comedian in my country (only one letter difference) but fits very nice in the story and gives Adam a background in the east of Europe (maybe even middle eastern) and because of that more reason for him to flee the German Soldiers… and yes this part plays in WW2.
I am still not that happy about how this ends because when I place myself in his shoes, I find that the hero is too quick in actually taking for granted what just happened to him.
So to finish this off I really hope you people do a better job at writing your beginnings. I hope you like mine (feel free to comment on anything you may find interesting/ distracting and plain boring) And next time I will talk about Word Choice. Which I think will be a nice distraction from what we have done until now. ( I use notepad BTW for almost all my writing )
PS- thanks Mac if you ever use this to make a film, please let me know!
BTW I would be interested in hearing what everyone found most interesting until now or if something opened up a new perspective for you. Or if you have used some of this information to write something or to draw a storyboard. Post a link to blog or your site or maybe start a thread and let me know!