The Look Challenge

I was tagged in the ‘Look Challenge’ over a week ago and it completely slipped my mind – so sorry Aurelia B Rowl, better late then never 🙂 The challenge is to find the first time the word ‘look’ appears in your recent works/wips and paste along with the paragraphs round it. I was very good and didn’t use ‘looking’ or ‘looked’ – which would have been bleeding easier apparently!

1. One of the current WIPs – doesn’t have a name yet as I hate names and never do them until the end 🙂

It was an odd day she thought, looking up the sky, that rare half light through thick clouds that made it seem much later then it was. Would be interesting for a level she thought to herself, her mind starting to tick over with ideas, despite the throbbing in her temples. Deep in thought, it took her a few blocks to notice that someone was walking behind her, she glanced back, two guys, thick jackets with hoods up. That didn’t mean anything she told herself, it was a bit nippy and it had been drizzling earlier, hoods were probably sensible. She picked up her pace a little and was gratified to see they didn’t seem bothered about matching her. See, you’re being paranoid, she told herself. If she was honest she’d been feeling off all day, something about the dreams last night had thrown her more then usual. She would go home, take a hot bath and have an early night. She paused slightly, the next part of her walk took her through a narrow alleyway, glancing back she saw the two men were miles back now but she still had a bad feeling. You’re being ridiculous, she told herself, and forced herself to turn down it, unconsciously picking up her pace. It was the weird light, it made things look a bit creepy.

She was just starting to relax when two dark shapes appeared at the exit of the alleyway, blocking off the sun. Ali shivered, the bad feeling was back and getting worse. She gave into her instincts and turned on her heel to go back the other way, if she was wrong then fine she didn’t care if strangers thought she looked stupid. She froze when she saw two other figures appear at the end she’d just come from. They started towards her, and glancing behind her she saw the other two had done the same. Christ, what was she supposed to do? She backed up against the wall, feeling the cold damp of the bricks on her palms as she tried to keep an eye on both groups.

She’d done self-defence but she didn’t fancy her chances when it was four against one. They’d almost reached her now and she tried to note details, be optimistic she told herself, she would live through this to be able to tell the police afterwards.

2. Serviced Anthology – went in a few weeks ago

Suzanne Kelsey felt her heart stop as she turned onto the gravel driveway of her house and saw the uniformed soldier. He was sat under the shade of the large chestnut in the front garden; the same tree she and Patrick had hung a tyre swing from when they were children. She had been scared of going too high but Patrick was always fearless. Well, look where it had got him, she thought bitterly. There had been no word from him for weeks and she’d know something was wrong. She’d been praying for simply injured but that got a phone call not a personal visit.

She studied the soldier; he was wearing fatigues, clean but slightly worn and his dark blonde hair was cropped close to his head. She’d somehow expected one of the stuffy officers Patrick had introduced her to at parties, with immaculate uniforms and a retired desk job. He was attractive in a rough and ready way, light stubble covered his face but he had a strong jaw, sharp planes to his face that meant he would never be described as anything other then completely masculine.

3. Angel for the Tree – at least this isn’t a ‘currently being edited bit’ :- yet at least 🙂

 

Laurel stood in the middle of the snowy street. Crowds of people jostled and pushed each other along, yet they parted around her, some glancing over at her with perplexed looks while others looked right through her. She wore a thick winter coat for appearances, but she hadn’t bothered buttoning it. The snow would melt before it touched her anyway. Right now she was frowning as her gaze intently followed the figure of a tall, broad shouldered man making his way through the crowds.

This man parted the crowds in a different way, as though people realized from the set mouth and the loping stride that it was move or be moved. In fact, if someone was too slow to move in time he seemed to relish jostling past them with muttered curses about the “bloody season.” When a group of carollers started singing just ahead of him, the look he shot at them made one of the women actually shriek and draw back.

Laurel followed him, keeping pacing easily down the busy street, and paused as he entered a toy store. She watched through the window seeing that for the first time he looked slightly bemused, inspecting various large dolls, before abruptly shrugging and picking up one with dark curling hair and thick-lashed eyes. He emerged back into the snow, juggling the large package and cursing some more at Santa’s elves from the grotto down the street before stalking through the center to the car park.

 

Is it bad that I still slightly cringe at seeing centre spelt ‘center’ – I wouldn’t Americanise well I fear!