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Feedback on my first chapter draft?

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Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:11 pm
nbradley says...

Hey there readers,
I was just wondering if any of you would be willing to check out another draft of my first chapter of a book/series I am thinking of calling "Sacred Grove" or "The Sacred Grove Chronicles". I will also paste the blurb/summary I have come up with for the story. I know that the first chapter is shorter than your typical chapter but in the first chapter, I really wanted to just focus on setting up the story. All feedback is greatly appreciated!
Blurb: Her whole life, Jessica Jones had tried to fit in but after her parents are murdered, she is forced to settle into her new life in the care of her crazy grandmother. Adjusting to life in a small town where people are not used to newcomers, she quickly finds herself struggling to keep her emotions in check when all eyes are on her. No matter where she goes, disaster seems to follow as things burst into flames, buildings flood, and earthquakes shake up everything around her. Is this her fault, her grandmother seems to think so. As her anger builds, she comes across a strange boy. Does he know what is happening to her?
Chapter One:
If you were popular, things were always easier. You could kill someone but as long as people like you, you could get away with it. But life wasn’t as fun for people who were less popular or liked, and high school was the same way. The system was unfair and cruel, yet everyone strived to be on top, to be that very person they despised. It was a feeling I had gotten used to because if you don’t it eats you away and you start to lose yourself.
It had always been my dream, my goal to reach the top of the social pyramid but along the way, I had lost one of my closest friends. She had said that I had changed, that I wasn’t the same person I used to be. Maybe she was right, I was different, but was that such a bad thing?
The problem with the pyramid was that once you reach the top, you can never go back because if you do you might as well kiss your life goodbye. It is one thing to always be at the bottom, but for those who had once risen and fallen, they have it so much worse, meaning I can never go back, I won’t.
I sat down, smiling but unhappy.
“Here,” Georgia said, tossing a banana towards me as she sat down across from me, it was ripe and maybe a little too ripe.
Georgia pretty much runs this place and is a total cliche, but for whatever reason cliches were what people wanted. High school was a crazy place filled with crazy people, but I had given up on trying to understand it. Nothing was ever as it should, nothing was ever truly fair.
“Earth to Jessica,” Amy waved her hand in front of my face, “Hellooo, anybody home?”
“Oh sorry,” I laughed, completely unaware that anyone was talking to me, “What are we talking about?”
“Prom, obvi,” Georgia said, narrowing her eyes at me. “You did get asked, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, I don’t know who to go with though. Both Austin and Matty asked me, and I heard that Josh was going to ask me during Biology.”
“Okay good, well tell Matt that you’re going with him, he is the best option,” she said, unpeeling her own banana, and she wasn’t wrong, Matthew was one of the hottest guys in school. He wasn’t the brightest guy but he was actually a good guy when he wasn’t with his friends.
I rose from the table to scan the room for Matt and the other boys, when I found them they were throwing carrots at each other, which wasn’t surprising in the least. I snuck up behind Matt to scare him but was caught off guard by a news report he was watching on his phone.
He got the attention of the others around him, telling them to tune in to watch whatever it was that was happening. A silence soon swept through the cafeteria as everyone pulled out their phones to see what was happening.
The cameras turned to show the surroundings, a tight back alleyway right off of Main Street, closed off by police tape. They struggled to get a good view of what the police were trying to hide but the police couldn’t hold them off forever and they knew that. The press was vicious and did what was needed to get their big scoop, as a reporter should.
Finally, there was a glimpse of two bodies lying there in the alley. A man and woman, both young and seemingly good looking, it was hard to tell with their bodies mutilated and shredded apart. There was something familiar about the pair and I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off of them.
The woman must’ve been important, she had on a lovely suit and a case was lying nearby, broken open and papers fluttering around in the slight breeze. The man was also dressed nicely but his jacket was shredded and thrown aside.
As the sun glistened down upon them, the light caught on the woman’s necklace causing me to take a closer look. I leaned in, taking in the beautiful diamond necklace around her neck, I knew that necklace.
The air around me seemed to go cold, and my eyes began to pool, I didn’t understand what was happening.
“Momma? Daddy?” I gasped, stumbling back in shock staring down at the sight of my dead parents. Others around me began to stand but hesitated to come up to me, unsure of what to do in such a situation.
They had never done anyone any harm in their life, there was no reason for someone to want to hurt my parents, they were good and hardworking people.
I couldn’t catch my breath, I couldn’t contain my emotions. Tears started streaming down my face as my body shook with fear and anger. A million different things were flying through my head, I couldn’t concentrate.
There was too much going on not only around me but inside me, I was going to explode if people didn’t start leaving me alone.
They didn’t though, they kept calling out my name, asking me if I was okay, trying to hug me when the last thing I wanted was their fake sympathy and pity.
“No…” I mumbled, “Stop… please just go…” nobody heard me. I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I tried to contain my anger, I closed my eyes, fists clenched as I tried to hold everything in, but it became too much and I had to let the rage out.
I screamed louder than I ever had, my anger releasing itself but at the same time consuming me. At first, I thought I was letting it go but soon I realized the longer I screamed, the angrier I became and the more my rage grew.
Suddenly, there were people around me screaming, then they were running. Chaos had broken out, my surrounding now matched how I felt inside.
The temperature was steadily rising, beads of sweat slowly rolling down my face, mixing with my tears. My hands burned, but it smelled like camping.
I started to shake, now with more intensity as memories of camping trips with my parents flooded my thoughts, taking over.
There was a series of deafening clangs as pipes along the ceiling burst open, water pouring out, slowly flooding the cafeteria.
My throat was sore and I shouldn’t have still been screaming, but it was like at that moment I was another person. It was as if someone else were standing here screaming. There was so much anger, so much rage, so much hate that was being multiplied every time another memory came back.
The building shook with pain, pieces of the ceiling crashing down into the water below. The sound of panicked screams and people splashing through the water echoed throughout the room.
Just like that, the screaming stopped, from me and around me. It was dead silent, as not a single person spoke or even moved, but once I opened my eyes chaos roared back to life as charred tables burst back into flames, objects exploded, water gushed out from the pipes, and the building began to fall apart again.
The room began to spin and everything seemed to be spotty as I stumbled around, suddenly growing weak. My eyes were drawn over to the doorway where an unusual boy stood standing there smiling at me.
His eyes glistened a burning red from the fire as he looked at me and his damp dark curls sparkled, sticking out in all directions.
Who was that? I felt a strange connection to him even though I had never met or seen him before now. He moved towards me, walking through a large group of screaming girls, but nobody else noticed him. His dark hair swam in an ocean of blonde, making it impossible to miss him, and yet everyone was.
I took a step forward but my body was too weak to move, I collapsed splashing as I hit the water. Everything went blurry, water now completely engulfing me. There was a sharp pain stabbing along my body as water filled my lungs. Everything was starting to go black and it was hard to focus on anything other than the increasing pain flooding my body.
The light above me dimmed, as a dark shadow hovered over me. Suddenly, the shadow lifted me up and was carrying me away.
I couldn’t find the strength to speak, I couldn’t even move.
Soon we emerged from the darkness and the bright sun started to warm my body. He placed me down on the ground, cool against my skin.
I forced my eyes open one last time, fighting the pain, to see the beautiful dark-haired boy once more before the world went dark, and then there was nothing.
If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! If you have any feedback I would love to hear it. I also came up with a few ideas for titles for chapter one. (Disastrous, Uncontrollable/Out of Control, How it all began or Climbing the pyramid). Anyway, thank you and have a wonderful day!! :D
so lonely :(

Every time someone steps up and says who they are, the world becomes a better, more interesting place.
— Captain Raymond Holt