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Supernova

Supernova

A high school graduate discovers she has super powers and a father who can travel through metal who has been protecting her until it was her time to learn to use her powers.

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Fantasy / Sci-fi


author-small

Deborah J (United States)


Chapter 1
Daddy’s Little Girl

Clad in black from head to toe, a trio quietly slipped under the partially opened garage door of a large, brick townhome which sat at the top of a winding hill. A tranquil quiet rested on the newly gentrified streets of the Northwest Washington DC neighborhood. It was a typical Saturday night with cars lining both sides of the road, barely allowing space for the multiple driveways. Just blocks away, a seemingly contradictory scene explained the parking traffic.
Millennials formed lines into various nightclubs on U Street while music of all kinds trickled out from behind the doors of each club upon a new patron’s entry. While some were sober, most brought their buzz from home. Young women strutted arm-in-arm bursting with laughter as their stiletto and pump heels clicked across sidewalks. Young men watched expectantly as innumerable pairs of lean, thick, attractive limbs of all shades passed by.
It was Tiffani’s idea to leave Red Lounge to find something more exciting to get into. She’d sat through her biology study group that morning, and she wasn’t satisfied with going home to her room full of books and assignments.
“Okay this is lame! Lame! Lame!” Tiffani chirped while flipping her soft, brown curls back over her shoulders. Black nylon was fitted against her pale skin with a black, sequined vest on top of the bodysuit. Her rider boots were embellished with stainless steel chains which matched the slightly oversized chain around her neck.
“Okay Tiff … what’s your idea of not lame because everyone within a five mile radius of us is pretty much doing the same thing.” Arnold was the star point guard for the University of Maryland. He loved to party as much as the next person, but he had his eye on a young lady who, judging by her barely-there red dress, was ready for some post-party fun. “Besides, I’m not really trying to go out into the cold just yet.” He winked at the woman he swore was flirting with him with the way she rolled her hips toward him. He rolled his head in circles imitating her movements.
Tiffani ran her fingertip along the jawline of another man who stood close to her and saddened her eyes. “I just want to get some air and get out of here! I mean life is passing us by!”
“Ten minutes; you can have anything you want baby,” Matthew grinned. He wrapped an arm around her, and she began to finger one of his neatly twisted dread locks.
“Okay,” she said with a satisfied smile.
They passed the hour competing at knocking back shots while Arnold inconspicuously nibbled on the neck of his future hook-up in a corner of the lounge. Her red dress was pushed up slightly by Arnold’s knee resting lightly against her thigh.
“Stop sweetheart; I gotta go find my girls,” she whispered playfully.
“I think I need just one more taste,” Arnold said as he continued to nibble.
“Seriously, sweetie,” she pushed against his chest, but he bared down on her palms with his muscular build.
“You’ve been seducing me all night, now you wanna play games?” He began to turn red with frustration as she brushed past him.
“Clearly you feel entitled, must be an athlete thing,” she replied. Arnold reached for her wrist, but she snatched her hand away.
Without the alcohol, Arnold would’ve more readily taken no for an answer. He wasn’t short on women who wanted his attention, but tonight he meant to have her. After all, he reasoned, she teased me half of the night. As he went to grab her again, Matthew roughly snatched at his forearm.
“Bro, are you trying to catch a charge over?” Matthew laughed drunkenly.
“Yeah, he likes challenges,” Tiffani added. “Go head AJ, go get your girl. I ain bailing you out bro.”
“Let’s get out of here man,” Arnold grumbled as he watched the young lady disappear into the crowd.
Their drunken banter trickled out into the cold night air. They stumbled a few blocks attempting to stay huddled as they walked. Unconscious of the half hour that had elapsed, the trio stood in front of a single-family townhome. They took the opened garage door as an invitation to come in and warm up from the cold.
Backed into the garage was a silver Ford truck. Several closed cardboard boxes were stacked on a shelf behind the truck with a broom, dustpan and garden tools piled against the wall.
“Hey guys, umm this truck is like fresh. I’m trying to take a drive,” Tiffani slurred.
They laughed
Matthew picked up a pruning saw. “Let me try to open it for you.” He pushed the saw into the door with his loafer bottom, but it didn’t budge. Instead, the hood popped open, and a bright, blue light beamed out.
“What the hell?” Arnold stood back.
Matthew walked toward the light and peered under the hood. The smiling face of a man peered up at him. Matthew turned to run, but the man’s lips opened and sucked him up like a whirlwind leaving only the garden tool to fall to the ground. Tiffani’s screech was cut short as she too was pulled under the hood. Arnold rubbed his eyes and shook his head.
“Bruh, I must seriously be wasted,” he said to himself as his body shook violently.
“Seems you chose the wrong house, bruh,” a deep voice came from under the hood.
“Look man, I don’t know what’s happening, but I didn’t mean any harm. I was trying to get warm. I have a full scholarship to school. I play ball. I have a decent GPA. I … I …” Before Arnold could finish his sentence, he was sucked under the hood of the truck which fell closed with a loud thud.

~

“Nana?”
Monique’s low whisper came from behind the cracked open back door. It’s too early for this, she thought as she slowly pulled the door open the rest of the way with one hand and held her cellphone in the other, prepared to call the police. Clicking on the garage light, Monique walked down the four cold, cement steps on her tip toes involuntarily flexing her lean, caramel calf muscles.
It was a couple hours ahead of the time for Danita Jones to be home from her overnight shift at Holy Cross Hospital, but Monique hoped Nana decided to ditch her job early or worst case scenario, a raccoon had fallen from a shelf to create the noise which had awakened her. She slowly made her way around her truck, scanning below it in the process, and she saw fresh scratches running along the frame of the driver’s side door. A couple of feet away, she saw one of Nana’s gardening tools. How did that get there?
Monique returned the tool to the pile beside the broomstick and decided to call the police to be on the safe side. As she dialed, she saw what seemed to be a blue glow spilling out from under the hood of the truck. She darted inside the house to grab her car keys while giving a police dispatcher her address and proceeding to explain her predicament.
“I heard a bang, and it woke me up. I went to the garage, and my truck has some scratches on it. I just want to make sure everything is good,” she said.
“An officer will be there soon. Stay out of the garage in the meantime, and keep your doors and windows locked.
Ignoring the dispatcher, she quickly returned to the truck. Popping open the hood, Monique looked for where the blue light could’ve come from. She was met with car parts and the usual car fluid containers she cared little for as long as she got from point A to point B. I know what I saw. Monique hit the side of the truck a couple of times before giving up, shutting the hood in the process.
She returned up the four steps and closed the door behind her. Moments later an officer stood coolly in the frame of the front door scanning the living room.
“So, you say you heard something loud in your garage?” His chin tilted forward as he raised an eyebrow at Monique. She found his demeanor comforting. Clearly he spent plenty of time in the gym by the looks of his biceps. You can protect me any day officer.
“Yes the sound woke me up. I came down, and I found some things out of place and scratches on my door.”
“Is it through that door there?” He asked pointing at a white door just inside the kitchen.
“Yup.”
“Okay ma’am, I will go check it out. You can just have a seat in your living room; I’ll be right back.” Monique watched the officer walk out of the back door. I can’t just sit here. She stood up and quietly followed behind him.


Competition: June 2015 Pen Factor, Round 1

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Read Reviews

Review 1:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • The protagonist didn’t always respond believably against the backdrop of the story. Ask yourself if people would really answer to a situation in that way. Think about whether the characters’ voices could be more convincing for their age, background, gender, time period, genre, gender and ethnicity. Dialogue should be natural and consistent throughout the story.
Characterization
  • Your characters were multidimensional. I found them believable and engaging and they genuinely responded to the events of the story.
Main character
  • Your protagonist exhibited a unique voice and had original characteristics. Their actions and dialogue were convincing!
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals, conflicts and purpose were clearly introduced and I wanted to find out more about them.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a challenging balancing act. The story had a clear and coherent progression with a structured plot. A truly absorbing story!
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts.
Technique and tight writing
  • The writing was tight and economical and each word had purpose. This enabled the plot to unravel clearly. Your writing exhibits technical proficiency.
Point of view
  • The story successfully solicited the reader’s empathy through the clever use of the narrator's point of view. You show great deftness in handling point of view.
Style and originality
  • Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose is tricky. As writers, we face the daunting task of making sure we are not being predictable. Can you find a way to give the content and characters more of a unique edge? Perhaps say something boldly, something fresh or show an unorthodox approach to a topic?
Atmosphere and description
  • Your story was a feast for the senses. The atmosphere wrapped itself around me and transported me onto the page alongside your characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The setting was realistic and vivid. The characters’ mood and emotions were conveyed successfully through the believable setting.
Opening line and hook
  • Great books, nowadays, start with a powerful opening and compelling hook in order to keep the reader engaged. Have you baited the reader enough?

Review 2:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • The grammar, typography, sentence structure and punctuation would benefit from a further round of editing to avoid distracting from the quality of the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • The protagonist didn’t always respond believably against the backdrop of the story. Ask yourself if people would really answer to a situation in that way. Think about whether the characters’ voices could be more convincing for their age, background, gender, time period, genre, gender and ethnicity. Dialogue should be natural and consistent throughout the story.
Characterization
  • Make sure your characters are multidimensional. Do they have strengths and weaknesses? Mere mortals make the most interesting stories because they are like you and me and we are able to empathize with their journey. That’s how the connection with a character is formed.
Main character
  • Connect us to your main protagonist with a deeper characterization. Could your protagonist have a few more distinguishing character traits?
Character conflict
  • The reader’s experience of the story is heightened when the characters’ goals, conflicts and purpose are clear. Perhaps giving this aspect of the story further attention could be worthwhile.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a difficult balancing act. Are you sure all the material is relevant to the plot, setting and atmosphere? Make sure each sentence makes sense to the reader, and each paragraph moves their experience forward.
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts.
Technique and tight writing
  • When writing is tight, economical and each word has purpose, it enables the plot to unravel clearly. Try and make each individual word count.
Point of view
  • Point of view helps the reader identify whose perspective we are engaging with, i.e. who is narrating the story. It can sometimes be helpful to double check that the point of view in the story is successfully handled. Ensure you consistently use the same point of view and tense throughout, either: a) First person; b) Third-person limited; or c) Third-person omniscient.
Style and originality
  • Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose is tricky. As writers, we face the daunting task of making sure we are not being predictable. Can you find a way to give the content and characters more of a unique edge? Perhaps say something boldly, something fresh or show an unorthodox approach to a topic?
Atmosphere and description
  • A writer’s ability to create mood and atmosphere through evocative description is vital to the reader’s experience. It’s a real skill to craft out how the characters react to the setting and atmosphere and perhaps your story could go further in its description. The reader wants to experience the same sensory and poignant journey as the characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The scene needs to be vivid and realistic in order to hold the reader’s attention. Being concise and plausible at the same time is tricky. Giving this further attention could perhaps be worthwhile.
Opening line and hook
  • Great books, nowadays, start with a powerful opening and compelling hook in order to keep the reader engaged. Have you baited the reader enough?

Review 3:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • The grammar, typography, sentence structure and punctuation would benefit from a further round of editing to avoid distracting from the quality of the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters’ voices were convincing and authentic.
Characterization
  • Your characters were multidimensional. I found them believable and engaging and they genuinely responded to the events of the story.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a challenging balancing act. The story had a clear and coherent progression with a structured plot. A truly absorbing story!
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts.
Technique and tight writing
  • The writing was tight and economical and each word had purpose. This enabled the plot to unravel clearly. Your writing exhibits technical proficiency.
Point of view
  • The story successfully solicited the reader’s empathy through the clever use of the narrator's point of view. You show great deftness in handling point of view.
Style and originality
  • I loved your fresh approach. Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose requires both skill and practice. Impressive.
Atmosphere and description
  • Your story was a feast for the senses. The atmosphere wrapped itself around me and transported me onto the page alongside your characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The setting was realistic and vivid. The characters’ mood and emotions were conveyed successfully through the believable setting.
Opening line and hook
  • Your strong opening and compelling hook was a promise of wonderful things to come. I was hooked!