I came across an interesting contest where you had to write the “hook,” the first five-hundred words of a story using the opening line they gave you. The line is She was dancing on the table again. I was captivated by that line. I’m not sure of I’ll enter the contest, but here’s one version of my stab at a hook using that line. Enjoy.
© 2008 Suzanne Lazear
She was dancing on the table again. Unbound auburn hair cascaded down her back as she twirled on the small, round table, totally unaware she was making a spectacle.
Empty shot glasses decorated her “stage” like confetti. Who let Rory do shots? Probably my feckless twin, Carl. Apparently I got all the common sense in the womb.
They were cheering as she danced to the song on the jukebox in this dive of a bar someplace in Columbus. I should take her down, explain what her actions meant. Instead, I stood there, captivated.
Rory was graceful and athletic, reminding me of a cross between a rhythmic gymnast, an aerial ballerina, and a stripper.
Many were watching her. Including men who were fascinated, not only by her drunken display, but by her svelte figure. The looks on their faces angered me. Catching Tyrone’s eye, I jerked my chin towards one in particular.
With a nod, the bodyguard gave the leering man a look that made him back off in seconds.
Rory’s driver’s license might say she was twenty-one. But it was as fake as my own. We were supposed to be teaching her how to function in society. Instead, she had an incredible repertoire of karaoke and drinking songs, an appreciation for professional sports, and the foulest mouth I’d ever heard on a woman.
Lilly was going to kill me.
“Who let her do shots, David?” Amber’s Irish brogue brought me back from my musings.
I sighed. “Carl.” He encouraged her far too much.
But we all forgot that to Rory, this was all new. That she was in many ways very innocent. That her species could get drunk off alcohol.
“Do you want to take care of this?”
Amber was better at girl-stuff. She also knew Rory best. It was her friends Ray and Lilly rescued Rory. Who gave her a new name, a new life, a chance be a person, instead of a child who’d been used, abused, and forced to kill for profit.
Rory was still dancing with abandon.
Why did we let her be twenty-one again? Because we had no idea how old she was. Because it was easier. Because leaving Rory alone in a hotel room with a microwave was a very bad idea.
“Sure. I’ll distract her with karaoke.”
I like hearing Rory sing. I never expected someone who could hit the center of a dartboard from across the room with a pocketknife to have such a pure soprano.
Amber got up on the table with Rory and whispered in her ear. Both women giggled. A huge smile crossed Rory’s face. Rory was a pretty girl. That’s what she was. A girl. She didn’t even look twenty-one.
I watched as they took their places. The song started. Immediately, I recognized it. Carl’s face broke out in a large grin. So did Tyrone’s, as the bodyguard produced a video camera. I groaned.
We were so corrupting her.
Lilly was going to kill me.