Saturday, April 10, 2010

Murder Scene Blogfest!

It's Murder scene blogfest day! Today, blogs around the blog-o-sphere are posting scenes from their WIP, or scenes they wrote just for this day, where someone gets murdered or almost murdered. Fun! (That makes me sound crazy.)

OK, here's the deal...death is a huge theme in my novel. Like HUGE. I explore different relationships with death - people who want to die, people who don't want to die, and people who don't know which would be better for them. So I had a few scenes to choose from. But all of my favorite murder scenes were big spoilers for the book, and like I've said in the past, I like to pretend that you all care about spoilers. Therefore, my options were:
  1. Write an entirely new scene just for the blogfest.
  2. Post a spoiler scene.
  3. Post a non-spoiler scene that's semi-lame and not necessarily that bloody/obviously muderiffic. 
I decided to go with option three because, well, I don't have time to write a new scene (as much as I love Anne Riley, I really want to dedicate my time to my WIP), and I just don't have it in me to post a super-spoilery scene. This one is pretty good, though, and even though it's not bloody or gory, and it's really short (less than 400 words...but the set-up is really long because it winds throughout some other action), it is quiet and a little disturbing and I thought it would be a nice change of pace from all the other Murder scene blogfest entries which you should definitely, definitely read.

This scene takes place early in the novel, so I'm not going to give a lot of set-up. Basically, you need to know that my book is a YA future dystopian novel, and my main character is part of the government group which helps control the a way. 

Enjoy! Comment! And don't forget to visit Anne's blog and read all the other entries!

In the foyer, a slight man with curly black hair and the deep maroon uniform of a dispatcher was bent over Joseth’s sleeping body. I watched as the dispatcher pulled a case from his pocket, a case which, at the beginning of the evening, had been full of needles. Now, there was only one left. He removed the cap off its pointed end and tapped the glass edge with his nail. A tiny clink echoed in the marble room. Then, the dispatcher lowered the needle to Joseth’s arm and plunged it into his bicep. My eyes lingered on the boy’s chest as it rose and fell, rose and fell, then, simply, stopped. The dispatcher smiled and removed the needle, leaving the now-empty vial on the floor next to the dead child.

“Aren’t you going to check his pulse?” I called.

 The man turned to me, the corner of his mouth twitching.

“Isn’t that what you’re here for?” he asked.

 He picked up the now-empty needle case and made for the door, feet crunching on the bits of broken table scattered throughout the room. I hesitated for a moment, but I knew what I needed to do. It wasn’t the cleaners’ responsibility to check the dead. I had to be sure Joseth was gone.

Hand outstretched, I approached the body. It was slouched against the wall, limp and definitely not breathing. My fingers found the spot on his neck where his heart would pulse through. Nothing. I exhaled deeply. I brought my other hand around to do an ocular check – examining the eyes was part of the process. With my thumbs at the tops of his cheeks and my forefingers resting on his soft eyebrows, I pulled apart Joseth’s thin eyelids to reveal the most startling pair of golden-brown eyes I’d ever seen. Golden-brown wasn’t even the right description, as they had almost no brown in them at all. They were the color of honey, the strangest thing I’d ever seen. I pulled my hands back in surprise, but his lids didn’t close. I turned away, scrambling to stand up and get out.  
So, there you go! The world's smallest blogfest entry ever. 

And for those who want a little more's some Dexter!

(Season 2, Episode 2 some naughty language and obviously graphic content.)


  1. Very nice scene. Not gory but shows a quick insight into the main character. Love the details of the eyes from the dead person. Well done.

  2. Really good, Heather! Eerie and effective.

  3. I was right there in that room. Great hook at the end!

  4. Well done! I liked the description of the boy's eyes, and when they didn't close, I got a chill!

  5. I don't think a murder scene has to be gory to be good. Your entry proves it. I love how your MC is startled by the victim's eyes. An excellent, unexpected touch.

  6. I had the same spoiler problem with all my pre-written murder scenes! I thought this was really well done and chilling in its own way, just because of how methodical it was. It reminded me a bit of The Giver. Great finish, too!

  7. Great little scene. Very descriptive and you did a great job getting detail like the gold in the eyes in. I like this a lot. :)

  8. A murder scene blogfest. What a fun idea! I loved your scene, very dark and very titillating, definitely made me want to know more about the screwed up world where something like that could take place and apparently not be against the law.

  9. Hitchcock proved that blood isn't necessary for shock. That famous shower scene. Think back. You never saw the knife slash into flesh. The only blood you saw was mingled with the water swirling down into the drain.

    1st person snares the reader into your character's mind. You further pulled us in with the many, minute details that lend reality to the scene. Great last line.

    Come check out my scene from my fantasy historical fantasy set aboard a transatlantic steamer in 1853, RITES OF PASSAGE.

    Thanks, Roland

  10. It's a nice slice.
    Wanted some more emotional content from the narrator, but got a good sense of the room.
    Never trust a man with a case full of needles!
    Good job!

  11. Oh, nicely done! Love the twist at the end. Guarantees the reader wants to keep going.

    Also like the emotionlessness of the act, the situation the characters are in... like this is just expected, how things are. Nice!

  12. Very nice, Heather! I'm definitely intrigued to read more. Well done!

  13. I think you still did a good job, and like Denise said, not all murder scenes have to be gory. :) The twist as the end is GREAT! Nice job.

  14. You set the scene up perfectly and the eye color made the victim interesting, which made me sad that he was dead. Then the eyes didn't close, which totally creeped me out! Great job!

  15. The Needle man was beyond creepy. The ending was so unexpected! Wow.

  16. That was chilling! The clinicalness gave me shivers (I've worked in a vet clinic and seen animals put to sleep, and it's awful, so... flashbacks!). And the beautiful brown eye was so symbolic of the uniqueness of the individual, never realized by the killers, and now gone forever. Great work!

  17. Thanks for your comments, everyone! It's so nice to see that the creepy, emotionless world you're trying to create is coming through.


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