The Seven Challenge

Someone tagged me to post seven sentences from the seventh chapter of a work in progress. That left me with choosing the one in edits or the one I'm writing. So I decided to give you both. I also cheated and made it seven paragraphs, because reasons.

I'm also supposed to tag seven other writers, but I'm going to be recalcitrant and say if you want to do this, go ahead and do it! It's fun.


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From Chapter 7 of Yellow Roses:

Cat’s gaze roved over the carved-wood railings, the ornate Byzantine design of long-neglected walls and balconies. If she concentrated on that open-window image, she could see the colors and gilt flow over the sad remains of the theater and see the way it had been.
         A shadowy figure stood on the balcony over stage right.
         “There!” Cat pointed up at the balcony. As she spoke, the figure became clearer: the dark-haired woman she had seen in her mental window, the lovely woman in the high-necked blouse and a wide-waisted skirt. The woman stood alone in the balcony, as Justin snapped pictures and Sora gazed up in her direction.
         “Sadness,” Sora said. “I don’t see anything, but… nervousness, mixed with a terrible sadness, longing.”
         The ghost flickered as if she were in a movie herself, an old one with rough film. She turned away from Cat and another form coalesced from the shadows. A man, tall and dark in a flowing coat. He reached for her and she kissed him, holding him close. Then she broke away from him, her face crumpled with silent sobs.
         Cat could hear nothing, but the man clearly protested, grabbing the woman by the arms. She pulled away, still sobbing, her face miserable. She ran from him and he grabbed after her.
         The woman twisted away from him and lost her balance, her body falling over the low railing. The man reached after her, but caught only a scrap of cloth as she fell.


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From the seventh story of Moonlight Sonata, previously published elsewhere:

Her left arm tightened against his back. “Move your hands off me,” she whispered.
“If I had a nickel…” he whispered back, obeying. That light breath of air said she was laughing again, but her body was back to that tense band of muscle. He slid his own hand to his sidearm, the back of his neck crawling.
A horrible screech split the air, as a burning acrid stench suddenly overwhelmed them. Harvey’s arm shoved hard against Horowitz’s back, propelling him off the bench and onto the ground. Harvey leaped up onto the bench and fired in two-handed stance.
Horowitz rolled over and stared at hell itself.
Giant and black, its wings stretched at least ten feet across. It rose above the bench, screeching from its twisted beak below a single strange orange eye that seemed to glow in the reflection from the river lights. Covered in sleek black fur, it reached toward Horowitz with clawlike hands.
His horrified gaze went lower. He saw what it had for him.
Horowitz fired his own gun from his prone position. He struck one of the wings, tearing a hole in the thin, fibrous material. The popobawa screeched and banked toward Harvey. She fired into its trunk, hitting it at least three times. “Now would be a good time!” she shouted.
 

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