Courtney, I like this, but I would recommend deleting the first "that". It's unnecessary to the sentence. Also, I feel that "up" is, as well (unless, of course, you're speaking of a tornado or something else that pulls her "up"; then it would be appropriate and not extraneous). I also wonder if the sentence might be stronger as two sentences (as shown below). Just my two cents.
It leaves me curious though, so well done!
Candace Wright never dared to think she would be swallowed by a force of nature. That was her undoing.
Courtney, my stories will always be my stories - but I like to catch attension within the opening lines. And I feel so humble and grateful whenever a reader makes my stories her/his own. For instance when somebody who is a complete stranger to me, from Australia, from the other side of my world, writes to me that I can convert people who wouldn't read short stories - convert them, so they love short stories. Well, then I feel so happy and feel so lucky that my words got published. And I understand that they aren't entirely my stories anymore because I shared them. That's a precious feeling.
Courtney, it does sell since this Australian reader is head of the Scandinavian bookclub in Brisbane. But again, the opening lines! I worked so hard on the opening lines. I knew and I know I have up to 5 minutes to catch a possible reader - and I'm even a Dane - so who'd read my stories in English?
The opening lines are so important - they must carry the essense of the entire book! So you just carry on and the way I see it, you are doing fine.
Sandra, I'd like to say something comforting to this opening line. I think it bears my nightmares back then, many years ago, when I was young. And I'm not sure, I can be any good judge considering your line but to be honest, I would be scared to read on. But that's just me. I don't know how you convey such an important story because I couldn't write it. Only I think that I would open with what a wonderful little son or little daughter - and I would write: "I have."
Thanks for sharing.
Sandra, this is very strong. It's painful to read, but I would read on, because it has such honesty.