Thursday, May 10, 2012

Agentversary Entry: Day 4!

First of all, I have to say how amazing the entries have been so far.  I'm totally blown away by your entries.  I'm going to be making this a regular feature on my blog (without the whole giveaway attached) just for inspiration.

You know the drill.  150 words or less inspired by this photo.  Winner gets a mid-summer query critique from my agent, Mollie Glick.  You can enter once each day.  There are more rules, but you can check earlier posts for them ;)




  1. Ness walked along the cobblestone path. Washes of color flowed across the individual stones, changing the dingy grays, browns, and blacks to her favorite color, a brilliant purple. The color spread outward from her body, like ripples in a pond after a stone has been thrown in. The flowerpots along the steps to the witch's front door changed next, although the plants inside them remained untouched.

    As she approached the door, the colors branching out before her changed from purple, to pink, and then to a rusty red color. The colors knew her mood before the anger had a chance to well up inside her.

    The witch flung open the door before Ness had a chance to knock. Her eyes were unreadable behind her black veil. The rusty red color crept up her black dress.

    If only the colors would touch her living heart, Ness thought.

    "Hello, Mother," Ness said.

  2. If you knock on the Raksha's door seven times, you may be granted two wishes.

    Or you may be burnt as sacrifice.

    I'll take my chances. Long ago, when my Dadaji was young and the birds still cracked open the morning in their beaks, these streets were spilt with colour in celebration. Now, the gutterings of turquoise and hibiscus are a warning.

    "Why two wishes?" I'd asked, still as small as his two fists.

    Dadaji twinkled old stars at me, as if I should have known. "Because wishes always come at a price," he said. "And it is worth having a back-up plan."

    I'm sorry, Dadaji. This is my back-up plan. The bitterness of regret is nothing against the scattering agony of loss. I adjust the carefully-coloured folds of my sari. The tear-blue door rasps under my palms; the kiss of my knife is cool on my skin.

    I knock.

  3. My blood is not red. It is violet, like a stream of forget-me-nots circulating through my heart.

    A purple wash flows down from the door. Only the thin soles of my slippers separate me from my kin’s lifeblood.

    Gorge rises from my belly. I swallow once, twice.

    I could walk away and never pass the plant flowering at the top of the stairs, never approach the brass-studded door. What hubris to think that I, of us all, might survive?

    My love is far away, but I whisper, even though he cannot hear. “I do this for you.”

    The first step is worn with use. The second is not yet dry from the blood of the last pilgrim. The third is grainy with undisturbed peeling flecks of color.

    As I take each step, a flower falls, leaving the air a little less sweet.

    I knock. Then it is too late.

    This started out as a fun exercise, something to stretch my writerly muscles. But by gosh, a story is starting to coalesce. Just what I need. Another new shiny….

  4. The air is scented with sandalwood and clove. Sharp yet soothing, the smells reminded Usha that she neglected that day’s puja. Not offering anything to the gods, particularly before doing something like this, could be a huge mistake. How could she be so stupid? Even if the ceremony had to be shortened, she never skipped the dhupa. Burning the incense was her favorite part. She thought of her altar, Nani Ria’s final gift, with its anointed images of Vishnu and Shiv awaiting devotion. Usha hoped her silent gratitude would suffice. She needed both a protector and a destroyer for this plan to work.

    Hand poised against the teak door, her confidence faltered. Is this the only solution? Dakshi’s voice echoed in her head: “You can do this. Screw your courage to the sticking place.”

    It was just like him to quote Shakespeare before their lives changed forever.

  5. Rebecca HipworthMay 11, 2012 at 6:14 AM

    Bright colours filled my vision as I opened the door to the world outside. Colours exploded around me: purple, blue, pink... All the shades of India. As I walked down to the market, the fragrant smell of curry hit my nose making me crave the delicacy. Stall holders shouted in a foreign language I could not understand but despite this I felt no hostility. The sky was alight with pink, the colour of peace and happiness. As I turned to talk to a local, an elephant wandered past, covered in the most exquisite jewels, reminding me just how wonderful and perfect this country truly is.

  6. Two pale yellow butterflies dance in the wind. They come to rest on an arched door.

    I approach and ask the butterflies, “Who waits for me inside?”

    On the door, Lord Krishna’s green paint is scratched and pealing. Beneath its layers the red fire of the Goddess Durga burns . The door is heavy and battered as if it had stood strong against angry and desperate storms.

    I raise my hand to knock and someone opens the peephole. “Yes,” a young voice answers. Her eyes are the color of the summer sky over the desert.

    “Namaste,” I say and wonder if she sees me, too.

    “Namaste,” she says and opens the door wide for me. Cold air rushes out to greet me and I shiver. Hope spills from my skin and soaks through my sari, staining it pink.

    The butterflies have led me to my sister.

  7. Gennifer,

    I know the contest is long over, but your image inspired me and I couldn't resist! Absolutely gorgeous.

    Best regards,