I am flushing out an idea for a new book and wrote this opening scene. What do you think?
Johnny sat down at his desk and fidgeted a bit before paying attention to Miss Wilson, who stood in the front of the classroom. She held a stick of chalk in her hand and Johnny followed the white point as it moved in the air with her gesticulations. He heard giggling coming from behind him so he twisted around in his chair to sneak a quick glance. Betsy, who sat behind him, and Antonia, who sat next to Betsy were leaning towards each other, covering their mouths hoping to stifle their laughter. Johnny stared in horror at Antonia. Half of her face was scorched. An empty eye socket, red and raw, stretched down what was left of her cheek. White bone poked through blackened flesh. Wisps of burnt curls crumbled into ash on her shoulder.
Then the smell hit. Putrid and stomach turning, Johnny grunted and stood up, knocking his book onto the floor where is landed with a loud bang. He ran out of the room, leaving a stunned class behind.
Two days later Antonia and her family; three brothers, a sister, and her parents, perished when their house burned to the ground.
This was Johnny’s first real memory of his “gift” and the moment when he realized he wasn’t like the other kids.