I am working on a mystery and you get to participate! In this post you will find two versions of the opening paragraphs. Vote for which version you like best! Please comment on your preference.

Version One – Jacob

The shot ripped through skin, fat, and muscle. Bone shattered along with the peacefulness of the cool, autumn day. Fallen maple and birch leaves were painted with an additional color of red like someone had sprayed a paint brush of red across the ground.

Koira’s romp in the woods had stopped dead. She lay under the low branches of a fir tree her black eyes watched a pair of mud specked army boots walk through the dead, dried grass.

The boots approached Koira’s owner. The black lab mix lay motionless, hidden. Her fear of guns overwhelmed her. The boots stood next to the body, nudged it gently.

The owner of the boots, smiled. He dipped a finger into a freshly painted leaf. He smelled the red liquid, tasted it. He felt an arousal, a small dampness in his pants. He couldn’t believe the sense of excitement, the exhilaration. The rush could was intense. But he also felt a sense of disappointment. He would not be able to talk about it to brag. It had to remain a secret – his secret.

Jacob jumped out of truck. “Thanks Dad, I’ll get grandpa to give me a ride home.” Jacob ran to the house, bolted through the back door.  “Grandpa?” There was no response. Jacob dropped his book on the kitchen table. He opened the refrigerator. He pulled out some leftover lasagna, loaded it onto a plate and put it into the microwave. He found a package of Oreos in the cupboard. He twisted one apart, licked the cream feeling and popped the top half of the cookie into his mouth. Jacob wondered where his grandfather was. Maybe he took Koira for a walk. Hopefully he wouldn’t be gone too long.

Version Two – Penn

Hank Saari debated whether he should walk around the fallen maple that blocked his path or climb over it, either way it wasn’t going to make his day any better. Hank decided to go over the trunk. He stepped over with his left leg. As he pulled his right leg over, the lace of his walking shoe snagged the stump of a small branch. He tugged on the shoe. A shot rang out. As Hank fell forward, his eyes registered a spray of red floating before it fell to abstractly paint the scattered orange and yellow leaves of autumn.

Koira yelped loudly at the gunshot and scuttled under some low hanging ever green branches. She lay low to the ground and peered out. Her black eyes, watched Hank’s prone figure.  She whimpered a couple times and then lay quietly.

Penn honked his horn and parked his Chevy S10 in front of the two car garage. He stepped out of the truck and started towards the house. Opening the door into the neat, tidy kitchen, Penn noticed there was no bakery. He laughed to himself, “Wonder how long this diet will last.” The house was quiet.  Penn shrugged, “Must be out for a walk with the dog.”

Penn took a sip of his coffee. It was lukewarm. As he looked out the kitchen window towards the back forty, Penn picked up the coffee pot. He heard a sloshing sound and poured some. “Ahhhh, much better.”

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10 thoughts on “Koira

  1. Oooooo, I think the first one is much more dramatic 🙂


  2. Joyce Kopp says:

    Definitely version 1 with Jacob. Pulled my heart right into the story. Go for the grandson yelling for Koira and finding grandpa. It’s the better hook!

  3. diditevercrossyourmind says:

    The image of jacob with the lasagna and oreos, completely unaware of the terrible image of his grandfather dying at the hands of that curious booted man… very interesting.. plus, the fact that u represented the killer, solely by his boots, is a great idea.. I vote for the 1st. 🙂

  4. diditevercrossyourmind says:

    Just keep writing 🙂

  5. Version 1 – much clearer

  6. Denise DeSio says:

    Definitely #1, but your first paragraph needs work. “Were painted,” “like someone had,” “sprayed a paintbrush” all phrases that don’t work for me for various reasons.

    The shot ripped through skin, fat, muscle and bone. A spray of blood exploded from the wound and splattered a pile of colorful maple and birch leaves with a deeper shade of red. With a soft crunch, the body fell to the ground, head resting on a pillow of newly painted leaves.

    Koira’s romp in the woods came to a dead stop under the low branches of a nearby fir tree. Her black eyes followed a pair of mud specked army boots walking through the dead, dried grass….

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