In the spirit of my Best Opening writing contest, I wrote an opening for what may or may not become a full-length novel. I’d love your opinion. Do you think I should continue?
It’s the searching and the longing that keep me alive. Oh, and how can I forget to mention the hunger that never leaves my side?
I’m always looking for your smile hidden in a stranger’s face. I notice your legs on another’s body and your swagger in another’s walk. I’m forced to follow just because I want to remember you.
Yet the very things that keep me searching, hoping, and clinging to life are the same things that cut me to my core. And what bleeds out is vile. It’s no longer the cuteness of new love and lust. It’s the loneliness; it’s the yearning; these have become twisted with anger and jealousy when I notice the years that have slipped away. Time goes on, while all I do is wait and steal pieces of your existence from strangers.
This madness, this monster within me is real. I now know why the caged bird sings. It’s the waiting and longing that drives him mad!
I wonder will you recognize me for what I’ve become? Will you notice how I’ve been slowly tortured by time. How I’ve waited for what was not to come, and how my impatience has developed into the monster within, accompanied by the devil with idle hands who kept me company in the darkest hours. The monster within has whispered sweet, perverted things into my mind’s ear, gradually changing what was romantic into an affliction.
A new need was formed, and a desire that was neglected has grown out of control. Now the monster within is too strong to be held back from the civilized light and too strong to be held back from its nature.
Regrettably, actions have to be taken because the hunger has to be fed.
Like I said, it’s the searching and longing that keep me alive. And it’s the hunger that sustains me, like an old friend always by my side. Hunger finds my victims in the crowd. It’s your smile I see in an innocent face. It’s your sizzling touch I receive from a stranger’s hand. You’ve marked them, and now I have to claim them in the name of the monster within.
My hunger sees him standing over by the bar with his friends. Perhaps they play rugby or soccer. They’re a good-looking sporty bunch. But it’s him, the blond with the eyes like yours that have me mesmerized.
I told myself over and over that I should quit this game of cat and mouse. I should suppress my hunger. I should stop searching, but it is your fault that I continue on. You keep showing up. It may be weeks, even months, and when I finally feel cured from this haunting sickness, then out of nowhere—with no reason nor rhythm—you appear in my life. It’s you hiding in another’s body. Why do you keep coming back?
Like now, I see you me watching. You keep flashing your smile in my direction. You know what I’m capable of doing. My innocence is gone. I’ve taken too much; there is no forgiveness, and there is no repenting.
The only thing for me is the devil, who has taken more than the hind parts. The only peace I have in life is to walk away and save those you entice me with, but I miss you so.
I miss the sparkle in your eyes. I miss the trouble we used to make. I miss your simple touch that used to just send me—
Oh Lord, he’s coming over. His friends are looking in my direction, and he’s smiling your knowing smile. Where’s the waitress? I need to pay my tab. I need to walk away before it’s too late.
“Hello, Love. I’m normally not this forward.” He bashfully looks away. I feel that familiar flutter in my heart when he continues, “But I can’t stop myself. I had say hello.”
I lay my hand down on the table for balance. I’m hoping the feel of the wood beneath my hand will keep me in reality, keep me grounded and away from my hunger.
“Excuse me.” He runs his hand across the top of mine. “I hope I’m not making you nervous. I just wanted to know your name.”
He touched my hand. I can’t walk away.
It’s too late.
What do you think?
Where could I go with it?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
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