This is the first page of my JANO project. Keep in mind that it is very rough. My working title is either Rooftop Angels or The Rooftop of Hell.
Her head hurt. Something assaulted her sense of smell. She wrinkled her nose when she tried to move. A sharp jab of pain traveled up her hip. The floor where she sat was compacted dirt. Even in the dim light that seeped through the ragged covering over the window, Tessa knew she was no longer home. But where was she? How did she get here? Why were her hands tied with something that looked like baling twine? Her eyes felt puffy. Did she have allergies or had she been crying? She tasted salt as her tongue ran across her lips. They were dry, maybe cracked.
She was not alone. Who were the small people cowering along the wall near her? Something hard and round moved on her shoulder. Tessa flinched away in panic as the downward movement landed a small child in her lap. The little one smiled up at Tessa before snuggling back against her shoulder.
The child had light colored eyes and her skin was neither tan nor white but something in between, as if she’d spent a great deal of time outdoors. She smelled liked boiled onions or was it cabbage? The overpowering scent of wood smoke confused not only Tessa’s sense of smell but her ability to piece together the events that led her to this point in time.
Panic began to race through her body as her heart accelerated. Even though her arms and legs felt cold, sweat beaded up on her neck and forehead. Her hands sensed a sticky covering. Lifting them, Tessa adjusted them so that the ribbons of light could fall across her palms.Blood. Her hands were covered in blood. Whose blood? Was that why her body ached? With urgency she rubbed her hands against the torn robe she wore. The fibers, rough and shaggy pulled the blood from her hands as she frantically rubbed them back and forth. The child’s head grew heavy against her shoulder. Tessa wanted to check herself for open wounds.