Help me choose a story, part two

So, I have a dilemma. My second story idea is in the lead with two votes. Problem is, I don’t really have a plan for it.

Now, the third story on the other hand, I’ve had stuck in my head for a while. So here are two excerpts from the stories. They’re shorter than they actually will be, but will give a glimpse into what they’ll be like. Constructive criticism is welcome.

The first one is from number two, a mystery thriller called The Lake House.

Summary: Klare has always loved her mysteries, although she’s never thought about being a detective. She’s always though of herself as either too oblivious or unintelligent for it. But when two of her friends claim to find a body on the lake at prom, everyone wants her to investigate. But when all of the teachers vanish, taunts from the killer appear, and even more students end up dead, Klare finds herself needing solve the case…before everyone ends up dead.

Jenny thinks she has a stalker. But she hasn’t told anyone; not her best friends Klare and Anya, not her boyfriend Evan. She doesn’t even know if she’s simply paranoid. Prom was supposed to be a free, fun night. She wasn’t supposed to find a body.

Anya has a secret admirer. She thinks. Could be a prank. Probably is a prank. But when the taunts at the Lake House are in a writing style similar to her emails, her paranoia begins to set in. Could all of their problems be connected?

Excerpt: It’s from Klare’s perspective.

I never exactly expected prom night to be like this. I expected laughing with friends, tripping over either my shoes or dress, delicious cheesecake squares cold enough to taste like ice cream, music loud enough to cause deafness, and taking photos with my phone.

I certainly never expected to investigate a crime scene. And alone at that.

Jenny and Anya wanted to stay back at the house to try to calm everyone down. I wanted someone out here with me, but no one volunteered. Typical. Damn cowards.

The ground is soft underneath my shoes and my stomach twists. I don’t like this. For crying out loud, I could die out here if the killer is still around!

Keep calm, Klare. Detectives don’t freak out. Just channel your inner Sherlock Holmes, and observe.

Easy to say when every detective you know of is fictional.

I see the lake now. When we drove in, I’d thought it pretty. Now it’s just ominous.

Poor Jenny and Evan. They’d gone out to the lake to snack, drink punch, and make out in peace. They hadn’t anticipated they’d find a dead body in the lake.

I sigh and touch my forehead. What the hell am I even looking for? I don’t even know that much, and it’s so frustrating.

I stare out at the lake and see nothing. If it weren’t for the photo Jenny had taken, I would never have believed that she’d seen a body.

Oh yeah. I suppose the missing teachers are a good clue too. That’s just weird.

I groan and tilt my head. I don’t even know if the body in the lake is a boy or a girl. That could’ve helped, see if anyone was missing.

Something crunches under my shoe. I almost yelp, and then I see a plastic cup, like the one I’d had to drink punch.

No liquid inside, however. Well, nothing colorful like punch or lemonade or sneaked in alcohol.

And that’s when I see the note curled next to it.

My breath hitches, although I try not to get excited. It’s probably just a napkin. Notes from the killer are only in books after all…

I gather the paper with my dress; I don’t want to contaminate it, if it is important.

My eyes skim the paper and my heart stops. Yeah. Definitely not a napkin. These are words, and…I think they’re from the killer.

The next one is called Her Stolen Voice.

Summary: Sinead’s voice was torn out of her throat when she was fourteen by a wizard. Since then, she cannot speak. She now works as the Silence, a mysterious figure who operates as spy. She’s well known due to being able to get jobs done easily and quietly. However, she now has a lead on the wizard’s whereabouts, and she’s ready to get her voice back. So she goes on a journey, one that includes her boarding a train and meeting a descendant of a Shrieke, Ellé, who cannot raise his voice, lest destruction happen. Of course, it’s no ordinary train ride, as there’s a ghost stalking it and a soon to be war erupting on in between two groups….

Excerpt: Sinéad’s perspective.

I can only feel the soft rumble of the train beneath me, the soft silk of my dress fluttering just above my calves now.

I never wear dresses on the job. It’s never been all that professional to me. But this isn’t exactly a job, is it? And I didn’t have the time to to go back to my compartment to change.

The knife holster is cool against my thigh as I lift myself upon the bars in the closet; there seems to be a space right in between the roof and the train itself. Likely for storing supplies, medical gear and preserved food.

I clamber up, certain this is where I saw the faint light, the faint light that had between Robin as he cradled his sister’s body. It had moved away from the two children into this area.

What was it about her death that triggered me so? It can’t have simply been her youth. I’m loathe to admit it, but I’ve seen children injured or killed before, usually by crueler gang lords desperate to get their opponents where it really hurts.

It had to be something more than that. But what?

I finally make it into the space. Thankfully, it’s roomy; I can even stand.

It’s chilly and my arms prickle. True to my suspicions, there is medical gear and preserved food stashed here.

Where could that light have gone? I am not like the DuStarkes; I don’t leap to the conclusions of ghosts right away, although I am more than willing to acknowledge their existence.

The room becomes even colder, and I tremble slightly. But then that glow returns.

I suck in a breath and step away slightly.

It is a ghost.

I think it’s a girl, a girl wearing a white dress, though with ghosts it’s hard to tell colors.

And then she turns to me. I swallow, because I can see her too clearly now.

Skin that must’ve been bronze in life, black curls, a dress with a perilously low neckline and big, poofy, layered skirts, the fashion from ten years ago. But that is not what makes me feel dizzy.

It’s the deep slash at her neck.

Much deeper than my marks, and there’s only one. Yet the scars on my throat chafe slightly, and I resist the need to touch them.

She lifts a finger at me…no, she’s pointing behind me.

And then I feel a rope tightening at my throat.

I gasp against my will and scrabble at it uselessly; need to make my assailant underestimate me, think me a child.

Runes, it hurts.

I move around uselessly too; it uses up oxygen, but I need whoever is behind me to be in a certain position.

I gag once more, and then I pull the blade from my holster and stab behind me.

The calculations were right; I feel it pierce flesh.

He screams, and the rope goes limp around my throat. I jerk away from him, yanking the knife out of him, but I keep the rope; it may come in handy.

A bloodied fist is coming at my face and I dodge. Has this man never fought a day in his life?

He coughs before raising his fists in front of his face; in the shadows, I cannot make out his appearance. “Stupid bitch,” he sneers. “I’ll kill you for that.”

He’s not even able to insult me properly. He’s not terribly clever. I’m somewhat disappointed in the fact that this will be a short fight, but at the same time it sends a flutter of nerves about me. If this fight is easy, does this mean I will have harder ones soon?

I only smile sweetly before I lunge at him. He’s about to hit me, and then I duck, slide on the floor, and trip him. As he falls I grab him by the arms tight enough to hurt like mad, and then I pull another knife out of my pocket and lay it across his throat.

“What the hell are you doing? What d’you wanna know?” he asks.

Naturally, I cannot answer. So I only press the knife in a little harder. He knows what I’m asking, even if I can’t say it.

Hektor even told me that sometimes it’s better to just stay silent while digging the blade in deeper. It frightens them more than idle threats. Out of desperation, sometimes they spill their guts out with even more information than you needed, but sometimes that comes in handy.

Silence can be much more frightening than noise, he liked to tell me.

What feels like minutes trickle by.

I think I see a little blood trailing down his neck now.

He’s about to crack, and my heart is racing now.

And then I see a pair of wine colored eyes reflecting in the metal, and my heart drops. Oh Runes. That’s Ellè.

Since there were only two excerpts, I would rather you comment which one I would write. Please let me know!

15 thoughts on “Help me choose a story, part two

  1. …I’m still totally stuck, Kate. I really enjoy both of them!! I think you can’t go wrong with either, but Her Stolen Voice really did captivate me. Wonderful excerpts, and can’t wait to see where you take both of these.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It went sort of well! I was doing really good with Nightmare Factory and then I lost my at home wifi for 1/2 of the weekend and then data got to be a lot. XD BUT! I’m at Episode 14 (well, what Webtoons considers 14 but I know it’s not that much in chapters) in Nightmare Factory and 9 in Dr. Frost. Nightmare Factory is…okay, I super love the art, but I’m honestly not sure about the story for me. I think it might be a little too dark for me, LOL? You’re 100% right on that art, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, internet. So lovely sometimes, annoying other times.
        For me, NF was always more of a horror comedy, so it never really got too dark for me. I know that it lessens on the horror aspects as it goes on and becomes more fantasy though, so it does lighten up on the horror comedy bits.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ahhhhh gotcha. Okay I’ll keep going with it and see how it goes. Right now I think I’m like where is this going and why are we so dark lol? But that is super good to know since I was wondering if it was just going to stay horror.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’ll just warn you that The Midnight Train bit is definitely the darkest, but even then, nothing is as it seems. (The episode after something big happens, don’t drop it; there’s explanations). NF is super crazy and unpredictable, but that’s part of the fun. At least stick around to when we see The Game Master’s face!

        Liked by 1 person

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