A less QUIET opening...reworked first 2 paragraphs (after Davinia's advice)
1. Can you follow the timeline (picture the events as I have written them)?
2. Do you even care what happens next? Honestly, I want to get better so that reader really wants to turn the page (or swipe!)
Thank you in advance for all the growth you've catalyzed in me through your previous comments.
Cp. 1 - Order & Chaos (first 2 paragraphes)
“K-H-E-N-T,” Magen paused, hoping the digital voice on the other end would get it right this time. Her name wasn’t even that hard to spell. Soft music. Not calming me down. More soft music. At least this meant she was in line to speak with the next available medical representative. Things had gotten out of control lately. After the incident yesterday, she knew she needed more help. It had happened around in late afternoon, the scorching August sun finally releasing its hot grip on the West Coast. Needing to get out of the house, Magen had announced, “I’m taking the dogs over to the school,” and then added because she knew it’s what a good mom would do, “if you want to come, let’s go.” And much to her dismay both her husband and daughter had decided that yes, a walk sounded like a great idea. You should’ve just gone yourself. Now you have to interact and try to be normal. Before leaving the house, she grabbed a peach Fresca from the beverage fridge. In her other hand, she held Buttercup’s thin leash, the one she and Isaac had bought on their trip to Kauai’i back in March. Before the volcano.
Once out the door, Isaac handed off Bisous’ (pronounced Bee-zoo) hibiscus patterned leash, to his step-daughter who was still deciding to walk or ride her bike. As Abby had a seventy-pound labrador at her dad’s house, handling Bisous, a seventeen-pound Maltese, was almost too easy. Maybe that’s why she decided to ride her bike this time; it was Magen’s old mountain bike, the one she had bought when she was first dating Abby’s dad almost twenty years ago. It fit Abby’s eleven-year-old frame perfectly, her long legs creating gentle circles as she rode slowly with her mom, step-dad and two dogs, a crowded awkward group ambling along.
Yes, the walk had started alright. And then they had to cross the street.