Discarded Novel Opening

The way my current work-in-progress manuscript originally opened. I later decided to skip this scene and start the novel at a later point, but I still thought this was a fun moment.

 

There was the sound of performance-grade fireworks, then a pillar of blue flame erupted on the living room sofa. When the inferno abated Nesrin was sitting on the sofa crosslegged.

Neither of her roommates looked up from their schoolwork. Isabelle, seated to Nesrin’s left, had her eyes trained on her laptop and was typing one handed while she twirled her hair. Jason, on Nesrin’s right, was flipping through a packet of printouts and making notes when he wasn’t chewing his pen.

“I can not get used to you being used to that.”

She reached out her right hand, her eyes glowed gold, and she pulled a bottle of water out of the air. She stood and looked over Isabelle’s shoulder. Isabelle was typing a psychology paper, with research notes and open text books covering the couch beside her.  Nesrin moved to Jason’s chair. His printouts were charts of investments and returns from various companies. He also had the coffee table covered with news articles and his laptop, which showed the first page of his research paper and a paused video of a squirrel hanging upside down on a bird feeder.

Nesrin leaned close to Jason. “You look even more skinny and pale than usual.”

Nothing.

“Guess I could try insulting your red hair, but I actually like that.” She went back to Isabelle, putting her arm beside Isabelle’s. “You know, now that I look at it, I guess I can see why people think we’re related.” She held a lock of her hair and a lock of Isabelle’s together. “Same shade of black. Maybe you should start telling people you’re my sister instead of Jason’s.”

Isabelle’s mouth stayed closed.

“Smart. With our voices, talking would give it away.”

Not a flinch.

Nesrin snapped her fingers and her roommates’ study materials vanished. Isabelle and Jason’s hands shot to their foreheads. Jason started grabbing the bare tabletop and Isabelle lifted her feet to check the floor. They caught sight of Nesrin at the same time, leaning on a chair looking at the them. They spazzed together.

“¿Por qué? Eso es todo lo que quiero saber. ¿Por qué?”

“What the frick?”

Nesrin tried not to smirk. “I thought that would get a reaction.”

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