Catch Me If You Can Blogfest


Kristina Fugate is hosting the Catch Me If You Can blogfest today! The idea behind this blogfest is to answer the question, “Does my WIP catch people’s attention right away?” Participants post up to 550 words from the beginning of their WIP, and then visit other participants’ blogs as well. Click the button to the left to sign up and find out about the prize.

I hope you enjoy the opening to my YA speculative thriller On the Run.  I’m always open to feedback. So, positive or constructive criticism, comment away. Thanks!

On the Run


         The overhead light flares on, and my groan is instinctual as I open one eye. The green numbers on the alarm clock glare at me. 12:01. “It’s the middle of the freakin’ night.”

              “Get up. It’s time,” Dad says.

              His eyes widen, his lips thin. He means business.

            “We told you it’d be this way.” He punches the code to open the panic room at the back of my closet. He installed it last month while spouting a detailed explanation involving as much intrigue as a political thriller.

            After the tenth kidnapping, parents all over town took extreme measures. But panic rooms? Get real. I thought Mom and Dad were overreacting. Maybe not.        

            “Where’s Mom?” I stumble in.

            Dad’s response, if there is one, is silenced by the door. Its sharp clank is followed by the sucking of the vacuum seal. I’m imprisoned by iron walls, cold and unwelcoming.  

       The door throws back my distorted reflection, and I wait.

       The cold floor freezes my feet. I scrub at my eyes to clear my vision. My fluffy white robe is on the floor by my bed. On the other side of that door.

            I long for the security of my iPod and my cell.

            I’m so totally screwed.

            This room is smaller than most of my friend’s closets. Maybe this is just a drill. Like all those disaster drills at school: fire, tornado, code red, code yellow, code fed up. Dad’s just testing me, right?

            I plop yoga-style, to tuck my now cold feet in my lap. A whir of air circulates through the chamber. The white noise isn’t quite soothing but not disquieting either. Didn’t it occur to Mom and Dad that if anyone wanted to kidnap me, they could just snatch me from the mall like pervs on TV do?

            Obviously my folks have early onset Alzheimer’s. Or maybe it’s just insanity. Thank God, I’m adopted. It’s not like they haven’t been talking about this, but I really didn’t believe them. So far the kids being kidnapped all came from outlying areas. I guess I assumed we were safe.

            Time drags like block schedule in ol’ man Harrison’s psych class as the cramped quarters wear on me. The time on the small control panel flashes red – only 12:15.

            I get claustrophobic in an elevator, and this chamber makes an elevator look like the mall’s food court. Anytime, now guys. Let me out.

            Amazing how slow time moves when you’re waiting for it to.      

            During the early tour, just after the room was finished, Dad told me the temperature would always be sixty-eight. It feels more like thirty, too cold for my Battle of the Bands T-shirt. He could at least have tossed in my blanket. A chill deep in my center works its way out, tattooing my skin with goose bumps.

            If the kidnappings have reached our area, they’re increasing. Why? Where are all these kids going?

            The blower starts up again. I have a busy summer. The guys and I have a camping trip planned for June. My quiz bowl team took state. We’re headed to National’s in July. I’m running all summer. There isn’t time for a kidnapping crisis on my schedule.


Filed under Writing

10 responses to “Catch Me If You Can Blogfest

  1. I hope the father lets her out soon. I don’t like being in there either.
    Good start. I would keep reading to find out about the kidnappings and why the father stuck her in there in the middle of the night.

  2. Thanks for leaving a comment on my entry! It was really helpful.

    I was wondering why they didn’t put all of her bedding in the room with her and just let her sleep there all night. Can’t she get kidnapped at 11:59? How long are they going to trap her in there? It sounds like it’ll only be for a few minutes, which makes me wonder how her dad knows “it’s time.” It kind of sounds like her parents are abusive, like maybe they pretended there are kidnappings so they could lock her up. It’s a good set-up though. Very tense.

  3. Thank you for your very helpful comments on mine.

    You hooked me, I want to know more about her I want to know more about the kidnappings, I want her dad to let her out soon, and I want her to be warm. I hate the cold. Very nice.

  4. I love the voice in this piece 🙂 “There isn’t time for a kidnapping crisis on my schedule.” That line made me snicker.

    I’ve got some great questions–what’s going on with all these kidnappings? Are the MC’s parents just loopy or is there really a need for a panic room? What’s going on outside that door? I’d really love to turn the page and find out!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Okay, I liked the MC’s snarky teen voice, but overall, it didn’t catch me. I don’t know if it’s the present tense writing format, but I had to stop and reread a lot. It started with the first sentence. I am very intrigued with the kidnappings and why all the parents have gone to such extremes. I definitely want to find out more about that!

  6. Ooh, wow. What an interesting premise. A string of kidnappings! Super-paranoid parents! A panic room!? I’ll definitely read more! And I love your MC’s voice!

  7. I love the premise! And the tension is so real, yet the natural disdain of a teenager also comes through. I love how we have time to get to know her, while she sits and waits. I’m definitely worried enough to want to know what is going to happen to her, and I like that she’s cold and uncomfortable. A panic room is not a warm and lovely place. It’s an emergency response.

    Without being able to read on, I do wonder how her parents know it’s time to put her in the room, whether the kidnappings are systematic, state-ordered so that there’s no need for secrecy on the part of the kidnappers. Otherwise, what’s the warning? But perhaps that comes later.

    This is definitely cool. I’d love to read more.

  8. Antimony

    I’d love to read more – I want to know about the kidnappings, and why 12.01 is time?

    Lady A x

  9. This is pretty damn awesome! I’m wondering why the hell they even have a panic room, what’s up with the kidnappings, etc. VERY curious and want to read on!

    Good job 🙂

  10. I really enjoyed your piece. I would continue reading. Your voice is incredible. Can’t wait to find out that happens.
    Stop by my blog, I have a styling award for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s