Hello everyone, today I thought I’d share the opening of my story-in-progress: “Human By Design” (title subject to change, which it has already. Multiple times.)
A previous edit was sent in to a critique-website earlier, so who knows… I might share that at a later point as well. For now, here are the first few paragraphs of my story. I’ve struggled to create a flowing opening by having a main character who has no name at the start of the story… so, here goes:
He had no memory from before waking up inside the tank. A bespectacled face peered at him through the water, which flashed red at set intervals. A worried smile played across her features as the water flushed from the tank. With a soft hiss the glass panel in front of him slid open and he fell forwards into her arms. He shivered against the cold air as she helped him further out of the tank. She inhaled, the sound sharp in his ear.
“It feels so good to hold you. I know you don’t know who I am,” she placed her hand on his shoulder as she pulled back. “I’m your mother, in a manner of speaking.”
Her hand felt cold and trembled as it grazed his naked skin. The red lights were still flashing and he noticed the sound of an alarm now, like a deep throbbing pulse to accompany the light.
She pointed down the hallway behind her, “You have to go now son, quick, I’ll try to give you time.”
He opened his mouth as if to speak but she shook her head, then she cocked it sideways and ran her hand through his hair and peered into his eyes. “Blinking seems OK, you understand what I’m saying… The memory engrams were integrated then,” she muttered under her breath. Then she pecked him on the cheek. “Go now,” she whispered in his ear.
He nodded and ran in the direction she pointed. The alarm shifted in pitch. He could hear voices, loud and sharp. Were they coming for him?
“Go!” his mother repeated.
He ran and stopped as soon as he heard several loud bangs behind him. A woman screamed and then fell silent.
His heart pounding in his ears, he ran faster. Pushing through a door, he felt snow crunch underneath his bare feet. His shivering became more intense as his teeth began to chatter. Small branches hit him as he crashed through the bare trees, but he kept going, not knowing where. With no light to guide him this far from the building he let his eyes adjust to the night. The moon slid in and out of view behind clouds above, providing scant illumination to guide him. A gust of biting wind blew across his skin and he stifled a sharp cry. Something roared in the distance below him and he came to a sudden halt as the ground dropped away in front of him. His feet dug into the soil at this sudden ledge and he tried to look down into the darkness. The deep rumbling of the water below became louder as he peered into the darkness. He discerned vague shapes, rocks maybe, but a sudden feeling of vertigo that tingled in his lower belly made him stumble backwards.
He crept along the cliff, mist swirling around his bare feet, testing the ground, looking for a way down. A loud bang rang through the air and sudden pain shot through his arm. He saw dark blood stream from a gaping hole in his upper left arm. Shocked, he stopped and stared, the pain barely registering.
“Let me get a good last look at you,” a slender figure emerged from the trees, her gun trained at his chest. Her slim figure slid through the night with ease, her face obscured by black cloth. He noticed a shock of red hair that escaped from beneath her cap.
His heart thudded in his ears as his eyes darted from left to right in a frantic moment of horror. She moved closer and aimed her gun at his chest. Seeing no way out, he did the only thing I could think of and he let himself fall backwards into the cold embrace of the night. The rocks rushed past him as another gunshot rang out. Everything went black.
Black and cold.
Let me know what you think of it in the comments below!