Week 7 Finalist – 2nd Place Winner

TITLE: Galaxy Girls
AUTHOR: Edie Ramer
CATEGORY: Paranormal Romance

It was the best day of Phyrne’s life, even before landing on earth five days ago. She, her mother Liss, her aunt Ki and her cousin Deena strutted through the gleaming casino with the one thing that gave them freedom.

Money. Bundles of money. Their purses stuffed with money. Lovely, lovely money.

Phyrne wanted to laugh, dance and do cartwheels. But not yet. Later. When they left this place with too many people and too many sensations. Except for the plumes of acrid cigarette smoke, the casino was just like she’d seen on the monitors on Kergeron. But in person the constant noise and motion was more intense, the air sizzling with excitement. Music blaring, machines clinking, voices talking, colored lights blinking.

Avid eyes stared at the machines, but a few followed her and her family. She faced forward, careful not to catch anyone’s gaze, but in her peripheral she saw auras, flashes of colors tinted with the deep pinkish red of carnality.

She clamped down on her pheromones. The worst timing for her make-me-a-mom chemicals to fire up. She didn’t want men following her. She didn’t want men in her new life. She didn’t want men.

Fighting the urge to release stray scents that would make men crawl and dogs howl, she kept her gaze on the back of the nice hostess leading them out of the busy casino.

Out into the new life they would live as average earthlings.

She quivered with eagerness. They’d planned this moment for years. Since the vision Ki had ten earth years ago of the four of them of them walking through the casino with the one thing they needed on earth to survive.

Money.

Phyrne thought of the many times she’d wondered if her aunt’s vision had been an hallucination. Hard to believe this would come true while married to Argon and he was ramming her like she was the hill and he was the bulldozer. But here they were. Free.

Better yet, free and rich.

The casino hostess opened a door and ushered them into a corridor. The smile she gave them was strained, brown spiking her peach aura.

“Since you insisted on cash, we thought it would be safer for you to leave from the back.”

Her eyes darted away from theirs, and the brown spikes bled into the peach.

Phyrne shivered, her excitement turning to trepidation, though the bleeding aura could mean anything. The hostess could be thinking about a sick child or a lover who beat her. Or she could suffer from one of many health issues they’d seen on the monitors back in Kergeron.

Deena with her telepathic skills could find out, but her jaw was rigid, her thin face tense with the effort of blocking out the cacophony of thoughts.

Phyrne ached for Deena. The plethora of auras in the casino had distracted Phyrne, colors flashing and popping wherever she looked. How much worse to have hundreds of thoughts swarming into her brain like an army of buzzing blusts?

The hostess took the lead again, hurrying past a stairway, elevator and bathroom. No glitz here, the walls white and stark, the mud-colored carpet so smooth Phyrne’s feet slipped. Feeling like a clumsy udzo, she slapped her palm against the wall to keep from falling.

The others moved on, and she scurried to catch up. The hostess opened the back door, bidding them good day, speaking so fast her tongue tripped and she had to say it again. Phyrne didn’t need to read her thoughts to know she was thinking: Go. Get out. Hurry.

Maybe the hostess needed to pee. Kergeronians had elimination emergencies too. That came with the human body they shared with earth people, the genetic similarity confirmed by tests conducted in the previous century on a few earth specimens. Unwilling earth specimens.

Phyrne’s relatives chirped goodbye to the hostess and hurried out into the air that smelled like ocean mixed with car fumes. A black dumpster loomed on one side of the door and a sign on the other said Deliveries Only. Across the street was a huge concrete structure Phyrne identified as a parking building for cars. One lone van was parked by the curb, beige and nondescript.

The door behind Phyrne clanked shut. The earth sun slunk under a black cloud – on Kergeron they called it a death cloud. The sky dimmed, the air chilling Phyrne’s arms, bare from her elbows to her cold fingertips.

From the beige van, a bright blue aura pierced the gloom, jewel colored and so bright her breath caught. As she twisted to view it better, Liss stopped and Phyrne ran into her.

“Oomph.” She bounced back, her mouth open to ask what was going on when she saw two men stealing out from behind the dumpster. Blood red auras glowed around both men.

The small hairs on Phyrne’s arms and the back of her neck rose. The last time she’d seen an aura that color, she’d ended up in a room in Kergeron’s clinic, her body covered with bruises, one eye covered with a patch and an arm in a sling.

Liss stepped back, grabbing Phyrne’s forearm. “Let’s run. I feel the tall one’s anger. He wants to hurt us.”

The men pulled out guns.

“Too late to run.” Deena’s voice quavered. “We’ll have to do something else. I’ll take care of it.” She swallowed but stood tall and tossed her head.

No! Phyrne’s mind screamed out, cutting through Deena’s walls. Deena grimaced, lifting one hand to the side of her head.

“I’ll stop them.” Phyrne pushed past Deena. She was older and stronger than Deena, plus she possessed a powerful weapon. The ultimate weapon.

She was ovulating.

RACHELLE SAYS:

Edie, what a fun story idea — aliens landing in Las Vegas and Phyrne considering that the best day of her life! You had me hooked from the opening paragraph. I was totally into Phyrne, feeling her excitement and seeing the world through her eyes, and reveling in her naivete. I liked her right off the bat.

Lots of cute moments, too, that had me chuckling. Like, them having “…the one thing they needed on earth to survive…Money,” Phyrne thinking the hostess needed to pee, and the ending line, just to name a few.

Nice place to end the scene, too – I’d definitely read on see how Phyrne uses her ‘weapon.’ Β πŸ™‚ Great job!

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59 responses

25 02 2009
Observations on Week 7 Entries « Chase the Dream Writers Contest

[…] Week 7 Finalist Week 7 Mini-Critique Winner […]

25 02 2009
Leigh Michaels

Edie, I really, really like this opening. It’s fresh, it’s creative, it’s unique. The character is fun (and funny) as well as sympathetic — especially with her urge to protect her compnaions with any “weapon” at hand. I want to find out more — why they came to earth, what ELSE makes these people so different, how will she emply her defense mechanism…

Great job.

25 02 2009
Edie

Thanks so much, Rachelle and Leigh! This made my day. I had a lot of fun writing the beginning of Galaxy Girls. I had a vision and it’s pretty much the same as I first wrote it, except for my constant tweaking. Rachelle, it’s actually New Jersey, not Las Vegas. Sorry.

I’m so honored to be the finalist. Now I’m off to tell all my writer friends. πŸ™‚

25 02 2009
LaDonna

Edie, from the moment I read your first line, I’ve wanted to read more! And so happy to have that opportunity now. Congrats on finaling, GF! You go! πŸ™‚

25 02 2009
Liz Kreger

Excellent submission, Edie. You had me hooked from the start.

25 02 2009
Krysia

This was one of the better finalist stories I’ve read. The last line is both funny and kind of ew. LOL… But makes one wonder *how* she’d use her weapon; depending on that, it could stay amusing or turn down other paths. Curious about the why the Earth preference over their own, curious about their possible alien “powers”… Curious to read more. Great job. πŸ™‚

25 02 2009
Karin Tabke

Love this! You so deserve to win!!!!!

25 02 2009
Edie Ramer - Author

[…] More good news! I finaled in Rachelle Chase and Leigh Michaels’ Chase the Dream contest! I’m thrilled. If you care to, you can read the first 945 words of GALAXY GIRLS here. […]

25 02 2009
Edie

LaD, thanks!

Liz, so glad you’re not sick of it by now. (Liz is my CP and has read this two or three times.)

25 02 2009
Edie

Krysia, thanks so much! I had hoped the reader would feel everything you said. πŸ™‚

25 02 2009
Edie

Karin, thanks for your support!

25 02 2009
Arianna Skye

Congrats Edie! I can see why you’re also an AT5 finalist. Good luck in both contests πŸ™‚

Arianna

25 02 2009
Donnell

Edie, I love it! What wonderful writing πŸ™‚

25 02 2009
julietrevelyan

Funny! The last line made me lol. Everything was definitely very unique and fresh. And the sensory details were great too–I could *smell* that casino. Awesome job, and congratulations.

25 02 2009
Edie

Ariana, thanks so much! BTW, your name would be great for a heroine. LOL

25 02 2009
Edie

Donnell, thanks!

25 02 2009
Misty Evans

Edie, you have a very unique voice and I always enjoy reading your stories! Since I love money, too, I’m with Phyrne. She’s a great character.

25 02 2009
Ellen Dye

Hey Edie!
It’s totally awesome—great job and congratulations!!!

25 02 2009
Edie

Julie, thanks! I had fun writing the scene.

25 02 2009
Kath Calarco

I LOVE this! Oh, Edie, the last line is killer. Actually, there are several others that had me guffawing on the screen. (And now I have to go find the Windex)

The writing is strong; the story idea creative and original; your comedic timing: IMPECCABLE! Bravo! Bravo! Five stars, my friend!

26 02 2009
Cynthia Eden

LOL, I loved this Edie!! And that last line was perfect!

26 02 2009
Edie

Misty, I have a deep affection for money, too. Thanks for all the nice things you said. πŸ™‚

26 02 2009
Edie

Ellen, you’re pretty awesome, too. Thanks!

26 02 2009
Edie

Kath, thanks! Now if you were only an editor … πŸ˜‰

26 02 2009
Edie

Cynthia, thank you!

26 02 2009
Michelle

Woohoo, Edie! Congrats. You are on a roll, GF πŸ™‚ .

26 02 2009
Edie

Michelle, thanks!

26 02 2009
Rachelle Chase

Oops. Being from the West Coast, I just NATURALLY assumed that it was Las Vegas. As if that’s the only casino in the world — guess the world really is as big as me, after all (in my mind, that is). LOL.

Sorry about that, Edie. Thanks for the correction. πŸ™‚

26 02 2009
Edie

Rachelle, I wouldn’t have said anything, except people might wonder why I mentioned the smell of the ocean. LOL

26 02 2009
jeannielin

I flew through this opening! The voice feels fresh and I love paranormal/scifi that rolls along and fills in the details just as I need them. Congrats!

26 02 2009
Edie

Jean, thank you! I’m still on a high from the final.

26 02 2009
Nancy Haddock

She was ovulating? Dang good thing I didn’t have a mouthful of coffee when I read this! Wonderful, and congrats!!

26 02 2009
Edie

Nancy, yes, ovulating. lol And now I got another idea to use for the book! Woohoo! I love that. Thanks so much for stopping by!

1 03 2009
Darlene Torday

This was a fun read.

1 03 2009
edie17

Darlene, thanks! I had fun writing it.

2 03 2009
Ending with a bang « Love Conquers

[…] important to end with a bang in contests, too. I finaled in the Chase the Dream contest with GALAXY GIRLS last week. Four women, including my heroine, are facing two men with guns.Β  Here […]

4 03 2009
Theresa Stevens

Wow, what a great line to end on. I definitely want to turn the page. You’re doing something sort of special in this piece, blending real-world contemporary details with futuristic/paranormal elements, and you’re doing it in a way that is seamless and entertaining. I simultaneously feel as though I know this familiar world and want to enter this unfamiliar world. It’s a neat trick.

I do think that we’re not quite as solidly locked into Phryne’s point of view as I would like. Unless this pov choice is deliberate, you might want to look for ways to eliminate “telling” and put us more firmly into Phryne’s consciousness.

Good job! Good luck!

5 03 2009
edie17

Theresa, thank you so much! It’s terrific to hear what you thought. I’ll keep in mind everything you said.

5 03 2009
Edie Ramer - Author

[…] news! Voting for Chase the Dream contest started. Whether we place in the top three or the top bottom, the five editors (that’s right […]

5 03 2009
Cindy Procter-King

Edie, what an imagination you have. Love it.

6 03 2009
edie17

Cindy, thanks!

6 03 2009
Movies? - Cynthia Eden

[…] Totally, unrelated to movies, but I just read on Edie’ Ramer’s blog that voting for the CHASE THE DREAM contest has started. Edie made the finals–congrats, Edie! And I wanted to be sure and put up […]

6 03 2009
Laura Bradford

I think you ended the sample is a great place…definitely leaves the reader wanting more. It seems very fun and I do like the voice, but I think I would have liked to have been grounded in the story a little more at the outset. I found myself with lots of questions as the story progressed…did they win all that money, did they bring some, how did they learn how to gamble, did they escape their planet or just move to Earth, how in the world do you pronounce Phyrne and was it Aunt Ki who was married to Argon and getting “bulldozed” by him or Phyrne and what was that about anyway? Are we to gather that Phyrne is an abused wife who escaped to earth or an adventure seeker? The tone has a kind of B-movie Vixens-From-Outer-Space vibe that feels fresh and Phyrne seems impish in a delightful way. I enjoyed the piece for being unique.

7 03 2009
edie17

The tone has a kind of B-movie Vixens-From-Outer-Space vibe

Laura, I love that! Thanks so much for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Most of your questions will be answered in the following pages. The name Phyrne has a Greek origin, pronounced “Fry-nee,” but I pronounce it “Fern.” A friend asked how to pronounce it, too, so I’ll have to make that clear.

8 03 2009
Greta

Congratulations, Edie! I think your writing style is very effective–strong & vital. Sounds like your heroine is, too.

9 03 2009
Raelene Gorlinsky

We get clued in to the genre and setting from the first sentence – aliens in the casinos (New Jersey?). Great! Unusual and creative. The action moves along briskly, filling us in on the background without boring us with infodumps.

Some very clever phrases: “make-me-a-mom chemicals”, “men crawl and dogs howl”. I very much enjoy the author’s voice. I’m dying to see how Phyrne handles the bad guys by her fertility. The whole entry was fun and entertaining.

9 03 2009
edie17

Greta, thank you! My favorite heroines are strong women.

9 03 2009
edie17

Raelene, yes, it is New Jersey. Your comments made my weekend. Thank you so much!

10 03 2009
Faith Black

The setting and details are very unique and I like how we’re instantly pulled into the story. Some of the narration is a little clumsy though and leaves me wondering what exactly is going on. I’d like to know more from the outset and I’m unclear at times who or what is being referred to. I do like the mixing of paranormal and realistic elements and it makes for a very interesting juxtaposition. I don’t read a lot of paranormal but this had me wanting to turn the page.

12 03 2009
Jody W.

That was a great read! I especially loved the setting and the last line.

12 03 2009
edie17

Faith, thank you for your comments. I’ll keep this in mind when I revise.

12 03 2009
edie17

Jody, thanks so much! That last line seems to be a favorite. πŸ™‚

17 03 2009
Elaine English

This one is clearly fresh and unique — aliens adjusting to life on earth and vowing to give up men. I must admit, though, that I didn’t feel like I understood as much about Phryne as I would have liked. I had the feeling that the story was going off in too many directions that I didn’t understand before you zapped me with this ending. The ending was great and both got my attention and made me laugh. Although if it hadn’t come when it did, I might have given up on the story.

17 03 2009
Katie Gilligan

I wish I understood a bit more about Phyrne and/or the planet that she comes from–I just found myself a bit lost and asking too many questions that distracted a bit from the plot. I was also unsure of Phyrne’s age–landing with her family made her seem young, but then the action towards the end seems to negate that. It seems like there are some interesting elements going on, the auras and pheromones to name a few. I think you have a strong sense of dialogue and action which really showed up more towards the end and provided a very secure and attractive conclusion.

20 03 2009
Edie

Elaine, thank you for your insights. This seems to be what everyone says, and I’m listening to all of you.

20 03 2009
Edie

Katie, thanks for your comments. I’m planning to revise the beginning, before they leave the casino to give the reader a better sense of the characters.

20 03 2009
Megan McKeever

What a unique and interesting idea – which is so important in paranormal. Nicely done! And I loved the last line. You’ve definitely hooked me. I really liked the tone and voice here as well.

22 03 2009
Edie

Megan, thank you so much! I’m thrilled that you liked it.

24 03 2009
The End of the 2009 Contest « Chase the Dream Writers Contest

[…] 2nd Place Winner – Edie Ramer (Week 7 Finalist) […]




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