You already know I had something of an obsession with Lost. So I could show you the "ultimate" alternate ending. (sadly, not my creation.)
You've seen me as an elf:
<--- I thought maybe I'd entertain you by standing on my head. (It's so dang hard to get the shoe prints off my skull.) What's that look for? You look like you've just spotted a crazy person on the bus.
I decided to use the first 250 words (241, whatever) that I've been trying to get into the first post slot on Nathan Bransford's blog the last few weeks. If you're not familiar with how that works, the 1st post on Monday gets a full redline crit of what does and doesn't work. Here's mine; the beginning of Arclight:
All I have to do is close my eyes.
I can sneak four... make that three... minutes before the bell signals next class. Mr. Pace won't care, he's in his own world of numbers and letters, and I lost track of what he was saying half an equation ago. A nap would be great. Four minutes where the pain stops.
But then that blue bulb starts blinking again.
Everyone sits straighter in their seats. There's a pause in the cadence of Mr. Pace's words, the chalk breaks under the pressure of his halt, and his eyes flick left to the silent alarm over the window. He takes a breath, erases his mistake, and starts over.
This time, everyone listens because the sound of his voice gives us something to think about other than the the light reflecting off our desks a half-beat out of time with our hearts. It doesn't matter that the words are artificially slow, or that his voice is higher than usual, or that Mr. Pace makes another mistake.
He never makes mistakes.
We don't look sideways, because no one wants to know that everyone else is as scared as they're trying not to be. Warnings aren't supposed to last this long.
Then the blue turns violet.
Chairs scrape across the floor as we move closer to our desks, then move our desks closer to each other. Someone in the back tries to cover a whimper with a cough.
(Copyright -- Josin L. McQuein; 2010)