A woman in black stands at the foot of my bed. Her hair is long and dark and covers her face. I don’t know who she is or why she’s here, but she keeps saying the same thing.
“She’s dead. She’s dead.”
My body is stuck to my bed. I can’t move my arms or legs. I turn my head and look out the window. A crow sits on th sill and look in at me through the glass.
“She’s dead,” the woman cries again. Only, each time she says it, her voice cracks some more and more, and I hear tears, and something else, hiding in her throat.
First Chapter First Paragraph Thursday Intros ~ Aggie Morton Mystery Queen: The Dead Man in the Garden by Marthe Jocelyn, Isabelle Follath
The news that a woman had died three days before our arrival was quite worrying for Mummy. We had come to Wellspring Hotel & Spa for healing and serenity, not to learn that a previous visitor has departed for the Great Unknown. Hector and I did our best to empathize with Mummy’s fears, but, truthfully, we were very much intrigued.
First Chapter First Paragraph Thursday Intros ~ Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce
By the end of tonight, I will be Andy Keating’s girlfriend. It’s all I can think about as I leap over piles of my dirty clothes and shimmy past the fairy gardens that fill my window ledge as “Take On Me” plays for the hundredth time. I land on a discarded dress – the third one I tried on tonight – and go sliding across the laminate wood floor. I’m glad Andy can’t see me now… but I still do one more spin as the lead singer from a-ha hits the last high note. Usually I don’t listen to eighties music, but this isn’t just another song. This is our song.
First Chapter First Paragraph Thursday Intros ~ Killer Content by Kiley Roache
The flash from the camera lights up my face. The officer tells me to turn. To hold the sign a little higher.
There used to be so much to prepare before I stepped in front of a camera. The right outfit, flattering and fashionable – but without appearing as if I cared about those things – and no visible logos, unless they’ve been paid for in advance. The right angle – determined through a series of test shots before-hand. The right lighting – I’d position myself 45 degrees from a window for natural light without the risk of being backlit, then prop up reflective boards to make sure both sides of my face were evenly bright, and of course, no shoot was ready without setting up my two-hundred-dollar ring light.
It was all about curating the right image: desirable, inimitable, unattainable, yet somehow still approachable. It was a balancing act so complicated that of course it required extensive preparation.
But I don’t get to do any of these things before my mug shot.
First Chapter First Paragraph Thursday Intros ~ How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T. Smith
The toy shop on Mistletoe Street was crowded and noisy.
There were exactly twelve minutes left before it was supposed to close for the holidays, but people were still shuffling in through the door hoping to pick up just one last present for a special someone, or to gawp at all the jolly toys sitting smartly on the shelves and admire the enormous doll’s house in the window.
First Chapter First Paragraph Thursday Intros ~ The Parisian Christmas Bake Off by Jenny Oliver
“Why is Jesus a Buzz Lightyear?”
Rachel came into the school hall carrying two cups of PG Tips, and a packet of chocolate HobNobs that she’d stolen from the staffroom.
“Purely for my own amusement,” said Jackie, sitting back, feet up on a nursery-school chair as she took three biscuits out of the packet. “And because the arm fell off the normal one and Mrs Norris’s husband is fixing it.” She nodded towards the stage. “The nativity’s good this year, isn’t it?”
Rachel turned to where fourteen five-year-olds had forgotten the words to ‘Away in a Manger’ as they rehearsed. “I’d say it bears a remarkable resemblance to last year’s.”
Jackie did a mock gasp of affront. “Except for the genius addition of the hip hop WyZe men and One Direction’s visit to the manger. I think I will make the school proud.”
First Chapter First Paragraph Thursday Intros ~ Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley
Even though it was barely December, the hospital ward had been decked out with a tiny tree and moulded plastic wall decorations depicting a fat Santa, with bunchy bright scarlet cheeks and dark, almond-shaped eyes. He was offering what looked like a stick of dynamite to Rudolf the very red-nosed reindeer, but I expect you need explosive power to deliver all those presents in on single night.
First Chapter First Paragraph Thursday Intros ~ How Winston Came Home For Christmas by Alex T. Smith
It was five days until Christmas and the snow had come. Soft and white, it covered the earth, making it shimmer and sparkle like the edges of a dream.
It was five days until Christmas and on the wide, open, snowcovered plains someone was sneaking away from the herd, their hoofs crunching lightly on the powdery ground beneath them, their fur glittering and glowing like starlight.
It was five days until Christmas and high in the frozen sky great wings unfurled and flapped and soared in the falling snow. Bright yellow eyes blinked wide open, keeping a close watch on the world below.
First Chapter First Paragraph Thursday Intros ~ The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori
Stella hung over the wooden rail and watched the inky waves, far below.
I know you’re down there…
As if in answer, a sudden swell made the ferry tip and her stomach rolled. She’d never liked being out on the open water, but the nightmare had made it worse. She couldn’t remember all of it. Deep, dark water. The feeling of drowning. In the daytime, the details always faded away, like mist in the sunlight.
Mum always blamed it on Gran – all her tales of sea witches and selkies, blue men and sea monsters. Stella didn’t really believe the stories any more, but deep water still made her uneasy.
She couldn’t shake the feeling there was something down there, watching.
First Chapter First Paragraph Thursday Intros ~ The Santa List by Kieran Crowley
It was 5.53 pm on a snowy Saturday before Christmas when Mrs Grough came to stay. The tree was up, the house cheerfully decorated, and the cupboards were full of treats. And Aisling had no idea that within a few days everything would go horribly wrong.