First sentence flash fiction – flashback

Last year, along with other members of Literary plus I played first line flash fiction. Paired up with another member of the group, I had to create a 300 word flash fiction from the first line of

Jackson recognized the coppery taste of blood on his tongue…”                                                                                                    

Here was my first attempt at it:

Jackson recognized the coppery taste of blood on his tongue…

Licking his lips he threw the corpse of the Labrador against the sewer wall and smiled at the delicious sound of the drained corpse plopping into the shallow water that still seemed to drain through the tunnels underneath the abandoned city. The Victorian sewer system under Manchester was extensive; it’s long red brick tunnels burrowing for miles around the underbelly of the sprawling northern mill town that was once the glory of the cotton industry. But that was long gone and Jackson’s mad glare that was now reflected in the torchlight of the oncoming walkers was rabid with raged filled frustration. Thin lines of drool dripped sporadically from his chin pooling in a crevice of his top that was torn and tattered. He groaned long and low, the sound emitting deep within his throat possessing a guttural primal cry of pain and despair. He moved forward faster towards the party, who realising his state had turned to flee in the opposite direction. His moans became more frequent, louder more desperate and eager, to them it sounded like the monsters hunting cry. His halting steps made him stagger as he moved faster against his will, his flaccid limbs flopping against his body. The rancid sewer strewn water splashed against his calf, spraying the remains of bodily functions against his clothes but he was powerless to respond just as he was powerless to stop himself from chasing after the living in the depths of the sewer. The implant on the back of his neck, imbedded into his nervous system controlling his body forced him forward. Raising his arms, the gun in his hands, his sweaty palms locked their grip around the trigger. His clear mind protested but his vocal chords had been removed, once more he would kill against his will.

~V C Willow

Flash forward eleven months and there are still some things I quite like about this. I know where I’m trying to go with the story, the direction the plot would take if I was to expand it and make it into a short story/novelette or novel. It has a decent amount of show allowing readers to begin to imply the multi-layered and  richly textured background to the story but I think there are some improvements to be made.

So here’s the 1st June 2013 rewrite

Jackson recognized the coppery taste of blood on his tongue. Licking his lips he threw the corpse of the Labrador against the sewer wall, smiling through gritted teeth at the delicious sound of the drained corpse plopping into the shallow water that drained through the abandoned tunnels underneath the rubble-strewn city. The Victorian sewer system under Manchester was extensive; it’s long red brick tunnels burrowing for miles around the underbelly of the sprawling northern mill town that was once the glory of the cotton industry. But that was now long gone.

Jackson’s smile faded as quickly as it had risen, as his face contorted into a mad glare, rabid with raged filled frustration and he bared his teeth as his eyes were blinded by the torchlight of oncoming walkers. Thin lines of drool dripped sporadically from his chin pooling in a crevice of his top that was torn and tattered. He groaned long and low, the sound emitting deep within his throat possessing a guttural primal cry of pain and despair. He moved forward faster towards the walkers, his moans becoming more frequent, louder, more desperate and eager. His halting steps made him stagger as he moved faster, his flaccid limbs flopping against his body. The rancid sewer strewn water splashed against his calves but he was powerless to respond, just as he was powerless to stop himself from chasing after the living in the depths of the sewer. The implant on the back of his neck, embedded into his nervous system forced him forward. Raising his rigid arm, his sweaty palms locked their grip around the trigger of the gun. His clear mind protested but his vocal chords had been severed, once more he would kill against his will.

~V C Willow

01.06.2013

About V C Willow

V C Willow has always loved to write and read for pleasure. During her teenage years she wrote a lot of poetry but graduated to writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, Epic Fiction, Urban Fantasy and Suspense as she reached her twenties. She is a geek and comic nerd. A very keen reader, an enthusiastic cook and gardener and loves to craft. She's even been known to get down and dirty and do some DIY. V.C live in Manchester, England with her ball of cat fluff, Willow. She is currently writing her début fantasy novel. You can follow her authors page on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/vcwillow Connect with her on Linked in at: uk.linkedin.com/pub/vc-willow/4b/b90/521 Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/inquisitivevic Follow her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5563938-v-c-willow )O(
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