Monday, November 12, 2012

1st 5 Pages November Workshop - Hilios Rev 1

Name: Carly Hilios
Genre: Young Adult
Title: The Killers Club

Chapter One

Of course, I hadn’t meant to slap her.

After it happened we both just stared at my palm, me holding it up like I was carrying an invisible platter.

The pain burned so good.

“Oh princess,” she said, a smirk forming on her skeletal face, swallowed cheeks showing the traces of dimples. “You so did not just do that.”

“How do you know about my mom?” I kept my voice low, even though all the other students were gone – at lunch with their friends, laughing and catching up after a long summer.

She tossed her head back and snorted with giddy laughter, obviously pleased she’d pegged me as a mom-less girl so quickly. Her straw-like hair was dyed fluorescent pink at the tips and hung motionless around her shoulders.

She was psychotic. A stalker.

A psychotic-stalker. It was the only thing that would explain how she knew anything about me. I’d lived in Clatskanie all of three weeks. I’d attended Clatskanie High all of four hours.

“I read you like a book,” she leaned in, moving in a half-circle around me. I shifted along with her body, not willing to let this Pink-Hair get behind me, out of my eyesight, not even for a second. “Look at you, just standing here, longingly staring at these photos of what, is it this girl you want to be?”

She gestured to the timeline of photos I’d been lost in. Photos of Clatskanie high students past –the newspaper clubs, the state championship winning basketball team from two years ago. And the prom courts from every year, all the way back to 1942.

Pink-Hair was pointing to the latest addition – the prom queen from the year before, her golden locks twisting and twirling in a side ponytail, her smile so alluring I’d been sucked right in. And she was right, I had been staring. I’d been thinking it should have been my sister Cassie – which was ridiculous, considering the year before Cassie and I went to high school in Portland – but I couldn’t help but feel slighted when I saw the photo. Cassie would have been the perfect prom queen – everyone thought so. Until that dumbass Jared took it all away from her and ruined my life along with it.

“I was just looking,” I said, snatching my backpack off the ground.

“Just looking? So that’s why my innocent little comment sparked such a pathetic display of rage from you?”

Hey new girl. Who’d you fucking maim to get sent to buttcrack Clatskanie as a senior? her words came back to me all in a rush. Or was it something with your mom? Maybe that’s why she never comes home to you.

“You’re wrong about everything,” I said. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.” I held my chin high, trying to pretend I’d taken the high road and not whipped out any emotionally-driven self-defense.

At least Pink-Hair didn’t seem like the type to be slapped and tattle. She was enjoying it too much. And no one else saw. No one else at Clatskanie would ever have to know. I fumbled in the small pocket of my backpack for my school schedule, just wanting to get away from her and on to my next class.
With shaking hands, I tried to unfold the paper, the creases so thick and deep it was on the verge of tearing. In a fluid motion she snatched it from my hands.

With a snort and a roll of her eyes she handed it back to me.

Mr. Lee – Homeroom – Wednesdays only – Room 124

“And to think,” Pink-Hair said. “Your pearl earrings almost fooled me into thinking you were just a sweet little girl that would be fun to mess with.” She flicked at my ear lobe, the pearl stud jiggling, and I pulled my head away but didn’t retaliate. I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction.

With one last nasty smile, she turned and stormed away, her to-the-thigh laced up black leather boots beating onto the floor with a satisfying rhythm of power.

The bell rang, signaling lunch was over, and kids immediately poured in every door of the school, weaving their way around each other going to class. Silently, I slipped into the tide, heading in the same direction as Pink-Hair who clearly wasn’t ashamed to walk everywhere alone, without any friends to laugh with her along the way.

Room 124 was in the math and science wing, the tile floor screeched under my shoes I as I took tiny steps so I didn’t run into the guy walking slowly in front of me. Finally, I made it to my homeroom door, and with a deep breath, collected myself, ready to go in and be that simple, sweet girl anyone and everyone would want to be friends with.

But when I opened the door the only thing that greeted me was Pink-Hair, already at a desk, a smug smile on her face. Her pointed finger was anchored in the thumbhole of a pair of scissors which she spun mercilessly on the desk, so fast, she made the kid next to her cringe.

“Welcome to the Killers Club,” she said.

Chapter Two

“That’s not what we are,” the boy sitting beside Pink-Hair said. He had a yellow bag leaning up against his leg, a messenger bag and thick-rimmed glasses which took over his face . “She just made that up, it’s not a registered school club.”

I barely heard his words. I was caught off guard by the circle of chairs.

How I hated circles of chairs. It meant talking about feelings. Counselors. Accusations. Either that or musical chairs, but I didn’t hear any music playing.

A teacher typed away in the far back corner of the room, and looked up briefly when he saw my hesitation.

“You must be Jane,” the teacher, Mr Lee I assumed, called out. “You can sit by Scarlett there,” he waved towards Pink-Hair. Scarlett apparently.

“Are you okay?” Yellow-Bag Boy asked me, adjusting his big round glasses. Maybe I was out of focus. He had three pencils and two pens lined up neatly at the top of his desk and a red notebook that matched his red skinny tie centered perfectly on the table, just like the tie centered perfectly on his white collared short sleeve shirt.

“You’re just standing there,” he said.

“I’m fine,” I decided to obey Mr. Lee, better to get off on a good start with the teacher, and walked to sit down by Scarlett, pretending she was nothing but air.

“You’re new,” Yellow-Bag said. “Clatskanie High only gets new students who are freshmen and on average just one other new person per year. You fill the new student quota.”

“Okay,” I said, staring straight ahead so his words came at me sideways. I wouldn’t risk looking at him, because that would mean looking at her.

“Where are you from?” Yellow-Bag asked.


“Portland, Maine or Portland, Oregon?” he said, “There are also Portland’s in New Zealand, Canada,
Australia, Jamaica, and many other countries but you sound very American.”


  1. HI Carly,
    I really enjoyed reading your revisions. I feel like many of the questions I had about Pink-Hair were answered. I still wondered why she didn't sock Jane in the face until I read the part about her flicking the pearl earring. That was the best come back. I want to read more about Pink-Hair now more than ever!

    One part didn't seem to fit:
    Hey new girl. Who’d you fucking maim to get sent to buttcrack Clatskanie as a senior? her words came back to me all in a rush. Or was it something with your mom? Maybe that’s why she never comes home to you.
    I am not sure if it's the lack of quotes or placement of the paragraph, but it seems to put a bump in the flow of the story.

    I hope I helped! Good luck writing!

  2. hi Carly,
    I'm definitely getting a better feel for the MC and Pink-Hair in this revision.

    I like how you moved the photos into the first scene and made them part of the action. I think the scene should end more menacingly though. Somehow I don't believe that Pink-Hair only snorts and rolls her eyes and then storms away. No threat, physical or emotional? Also, maybe some setting cues for the scene... (I guessed from the next scene that they're in the school hallway?)

    I enjoyed all of chap2: the circle of chairs, Yellow Bag Boy's chatter.

    Thanks for sharing!
    :) ki-wing

  3. Hi Carly,

    Chapter 2 really hooked me!! It grounded the story for me - now I know where you're headed! (Then again, I'm a school counselor so maybe that's why I connected with your chapter 2 scene.)

    I liked it all. Man, is Pink Hair bad!

    I agree with Amy. I'm not quite sure that one part fit there.

    Nice work! Happy writing!

  4. Hi Carly,

    I love the changes overall. You really brought us into the story more actively and integrated dialogue well to reveal your plot elements. I didn't feel as if the conversation that sparked the confrontation with Pink Hair really rang true though. The point about her mom didn't seem like a natural leap for Pink Hair to make, but I suspect that's a tweak. You could so easily leave the point about the mom later. The part about maiming was perfect.

    I'm also not quite sure about Pink Hair's reaction to the photos, but the pearl earring is a natural tie-in to those, so again, tweak that a bit and give yourself a stronger transition into the narrative elements of that. I think you're nearly there. Just smooth it out.

    Do consider Pink Hair's reactions and where and how this is taking place. I'm having trouble envisioning her taking a slap in the face and laughing it off. At the same time, I'm having trouble envisioning where this takes place, believing there's anyplace that empty in a high school. Where is the timeline of photos? What does all this look like?

    A few tweaks and you'll be there!