So, I am working on writing a novel. The inspiration for my book actually came from a writing prompt I posted a few months ago on another blog of mine. It started as a way to avoid doing homework, but I liked the story and I kept thinking about what would happen next. I started back up on it about a month ago, and I am now in the process of rewriting it to fit a full-length plot line. Here is the original writing prompt and my response.
‘You wake up by the side of the road lying next to a bicycle, with no memory and no wallet. What happens in the next hour?’
Everything hurt. A lot. That was all that was going through my head as I tried to get my bearings. I realized I was on the ground, with my eyes closed. I was vaguely aware of someone kneeling beside me, talking to someone.
Slowly I opened my eyes, squinting against the fading sunlight. There was a strange girl leaning over me, concern obvious on her face. Behind her was a young boy who looked as if he had just seen a ghost.
“Are you okay?” the girl asked, “We saw what happened, that jerk didn’t even stop!”
“What did happen?” I groaned, struggling to sit up. A wave of pain hit me, and I clutched my head. A rather large bump was starting to form on the back of my skull.
“Well, you were riding down the road, and some jerk came flying around the bend in his car,” she said, pointing uphill to the dirt road in question. “He ran you into this ditch and kept going. You hit that tree stump and flew over the handlebars.” As she spoke I took in my surroundings for the first time. We were at the bottom of hill at the edge of what looked like a forest. Lying a few feet away was a bike with the front tire mangled, I suppose from hitting the tree stump. There was a tattered backpack lying on the ground next to the girl. Nothing looked particularly familiar, and I wondered how I had gotten there or what I was doing.
“We were playing over on our climbing trees across the road and saw the whole thing!” the boy exclaimed, speaking up for the first time. “I thought you were dead!”
“Hush!” The girl replied. She looked to be about fourteen, and the boy six. “We live just down the road there. You can call someone, and have them come get you,” she said, turning to me.
“Thanks,” I said, smiling. I tried getting up, but I needed her help.
“You took quite a fall,” she said taking my arm. “My mom is a doctor, and I want her to check you out, make sure you are okay. My name is Hannah Montgomery, and this is my little brother, Michael. What’s your name?”
“I’m… My name is…” Crap. Why can’t I remember? “I… don’t remember,” I said, shaking my head slightly.
“That’s okay,” Hannah said. “You hit your head pretty hard. It should come back to you soon. Don’t worry.”
“Mo-om? Are you here?” Hannah called as we walked in her front door. She lived in a beautiful log cabin style home with high ceilings and gorgeous rafters. A wood-burning stove was nestled in the corner next to a hallway that led to another part of the house. She led me over to the couch, where I gratefully sat. I was starting to get dizzy. “She must not be home yet,” Hannah said. “You just sit there, I’m gonna call her.” She walked down the hallway and out of sight.
“Can’tcha remember anything?” Michael inquired, staring curiously at me from where he was perched on the sofa on the other side of the coffee table.
“Well… no,” I said, desperately searching my thoughts for some scrap of memory. “All I remember is you and your sister finding me. Before that, nothing.”
“Would there be something in here that could help?” he asked, holding up the tattered backpack. I had assumed it was Hannah’s, but maybe it was mine?
“I don’t know, maybe,” I replied. “Let’s find out.” With that, Michael upturned the bag and dumped its contents onto the coffee table. A pair of jeans, a teal tank top, a navy blue windbreaker, a few granola bars and a water bottle fell out. No wallet, no ID, nothing that would give me a clue as to who I am.
“Looks like you were going on a trip,” Michael observed. “Maybe you were camping?”
“Maybe,” I muttered, turning over the clothes in my hand, marveling at how it could feel familiar and like a stranger at the same time.
“I got a hold of Mom and she’s on her way,” Hannah informed us as she walked back into the living room, carrying a cell phone. “Apparently we weren’t supposed to move you with a head injury. She said to have you carefully lay down on the couch until she gets home and try not to move too much.”
“Looks like you have a slight concussion,” Mrs. Montgomery said as she hung up the results of the CT scan. When she got home had immediately brought me to the hospital for tests. “Memory loss is common with this kind of injury and is almost always temporary,” she continued.
“Almost always?” I asked. “What if it isn’t? I get the feeling that there was something important that I was supposed to do.”
“Don’t worry. I’m sure it will all come rushing back to you. In the meantime, I want you to stay with me and my family. It should help jog your memory quicker than this hospital room.”
“You can sleep in Dana’s room tonight,” Mrs. Montgomery said as she led me through the living room and down the hallway. “She’s studying abroad in Germany this semester. It should be more comfortable than the couch.” We had arrived at a door with a D hanging in the middle. She opened it and I saw the walls were adorned with postcards from every corner of the world. In the center of one there was a world map with the words ‘Travel Plans’ written in bold letters above it. There were push pins in various places, from New York, to South Korea, to Australia. This girl really wants to travel, I thought. My backpack was sitting on the bed, its contents securely returned inside. “Dinner will be at seven, you can settle in here or watch tv in the living room until then if you like,” she said as she turned to leave.
“Thanks Mrs. Montgomery,” I said. “For everything.”
“Don’t mention it,” she replied. “And please, call me Martha.”
She left the room, and I sat down next to the backpack. I fiddled with the zippers for a couple minutes before realizing there was a second pocket I hadn’t checked yet. Curiously I unzipped it and reached inside. I pulled out a crumpled piece of notebook paper and a torn envelope. In the envelope was money! There had to be over $500 in there! I turned over the paper and on the backside was a hastily scrawled note:
They found me. They’re coming for us. Meet me at the place where we first met the angel, on the anniversary of the win.
Trust no one.
What is going on? I reread the note, trying to make some sense of it. Who was Z? Was I E? What did any of this mean? I got up to see what the Montgomery family thought of this. I got halfway to the door when I stopped and looked down at the paper in my hand.
Trust no one.