September 27, 2011

Opening scene

Falling dry leaves in yellows, reds, browns dance and twirl about before piling onto the ground. The gray sky emits a crisp breeze. A picture perfect October day. Schools have let out and groups of teens and pre-teens litter the sidewalks and alleys.

Two girls in their early teens walk slowly toward a big intersection, their Junior High School looming in the distance, several blocks away. One of the girls crosses the side of the street the school is on and enters an apartment building leaving the other, Christina, standing by an alley’s entrance. A larger group of about 8 teens, boys and girls, are slowly closing in. Christina enters the alley, and the others soon follow, some running to catch up.

“You think you’re such tough shit!” shouts a girl with short brown curls as she pushes Christina from behind.

Christina, with backpack in hand, turns to face the girl and is greeted by the group creeping in around her. She says nothing as the boys and girls trap her into the center of a circle. Another girl, with longer dark hair, darts into the circle to snatch Christina’s backpack out of her hands and immediately returns to the others, leaving Christina standing in the center of her laughing, pointing, and taunting peers.

“Now what you gonna do?!” one of the girls roars.

“Yeah, c’mon! You’re so tough, prove it!” screams another.

Christina stands and looks at the ground, her face contorted as if she’s about to cry.

“Not so tough now, huh?” someone barks.

The circle of teens move in closer, then move away almost like young kids do when playing Ring Around the Rosie. Laughter, shrieking, pointing close in around Christina who seems to try to break free for a moment.

“What about your bag?!” one boy taunts.

Tears start to flood Christina’s eyes and some trickle down her cheeks and make their way onto her flannel shirt.

The crowd of teens continue to laugh.

A boy with long black hair takes the backpack from the girl who originally snatched it away and throws it up and over everyone, including Christina. It falls onto the ground several hundred feet into the alley.

As everyone watches the bag fly, Christina runs through the kids blocking her, scoops up the bag, and runs and runs down the alleyway until she turns out of the alley at the next street.

The group of remaining teens all laugh and disperse into smaller groups as some continue walking thru the alley, while others continue toward the busy intersection on the side street.

This week we asked you, in 500 words or less, to describe the opening scene of a film. The film made from your best-selling memoir. What does the camera see? Who speaks the first lines of your story? Is there music?


  1. HA! The girl with the short brown curls sound s like my 8 yr old daughter...sorry

    just kidding..

    The dialogue and scenery is great. I could picture it all. Good job.

  2. hehe, Lance; it's all good, no worries. thanks for commenting!

  3. Now I want to know why they did that. Why did the 2 girls separate, why did the boy toss the bag, what happened to her later? Did any of those kids last in her life?
    Which means...well done.

  4. Poor Christina. I hate bullies. But I really want to see what happens next! Great job with the prompt.

  5. This hurt my heart. Bullies are the worst. Great post!

  6. I think this is a really great start - you created tension and anxiety through action rather than dialogue. It was clear that this was a bully situation,and it has me wanting to know more. Just stopping by from Write on Edge.

  7. OK, the problem with this prompt is that now I wanna see everybody's movies!

    This was wonderful writing. It must've been such a painful experience, but you were able to move outside of it enough to draw US into it (if that makes any sense).

    I think it would make a great movie scene!

  8. I remember a new kid in high school . . . he carried a bag with him everywhere, never seemed to fit in.

    One day, some bully decided to grab some of his friends and take the bag away . . . reading this, it just brings memories flooding back.

    Such a violation. Ick :-(

  9. Such a sad thing. Bullying breaks my heart. I felt so very sad for this girl.

  10. Bullying makes me so sad. I feel like the bullies just go about their days after an incident like this, but it sticks with the victim forever.

    The writing was lovely, though, I could see the action occurring, the friends, then the isolation of the alley.

  11. thank you all SO very much for all your comments on this piece!

  12. Kids in groups. They are a frightening thing.

    This is well written. The tension. And the pain.

  13. Ok, I had to read this so I can read what you posted on Tuesday. Fabulous! I definitely want to know more. If only they'd make your film... : )


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