This is from the Prologue, something that I felt needed to be added after I had completed about fifty pages of the novel. I had initially built the entire concept of the book around the scene in the first chapter, and I had adamantly told myself (there was, and currently is, no one at this point to be adamant about anything to) that it should be the first thing that the reader experiences.
On reflection, however, it isn’t the best way to start the story. There needed to be something “present” for the reader first, something immediate and jarring.
I’m still not convinced that this scene is what I need it to be. I think it will change heavily in revision, but I can’t start thinking about editing just yet.
Here it is, a piece of the story currently being dragged kicking and screaming from some part of my brain that doesn’t seem to like me very much.
Emily lay on top of the round tower, exhausted and aching from the chase. She had not seen many structures like this tall, domed cylinder, its insides devoid of floors or structures. She could only imagine that it was some sort of storage device, something left over from when the District extended this far to the north. There was a flat spot on the top, just big enough for her to lie out comfortably, with a raised edge to hide her from view from anything not airborne. The ladder up was on the far side of the building, away from the view of any of the hunters that might have kept up with her. She felt sure that none had kept her pace, and any that tried to reach her here would have to climb the ladder, and would be treated to a slingshot stone between the eyes.
But only when they get high enough to have a nasty fall.
Her arm throbbed where the bullet had grazed her. Not for the first time, she cursed her stupidity for moving so carelessly after speaking to the Mayor. She should have known that he would do something like this; it was entirely in character, now that he had lost control of it all.
It was a cold thought. Emily wrapped her cloak more tightly around herself, rolled to her side, and fell into a restless sleep.
She dreamt of being a young child again. She walked the old streets of her youth, too young to know the depth of what was happening around her. Her ma and her da were there, their smiles tired but happy, as they often were. She smelled bacon frying in the old cast iron pan, felt the crunch of the gravel spread below the back stoop. She visited the Pale Witch’s store, saw the two old ladies in the square, working at their needlepoint and laughing at jokes she never understood. In her dreams, she felt happy again.