Saturday, October 9, 2010

October writefest

I’ve probably been a bit subtle about this over the last couple days but I love October.

Everywhere I look, horror and dark fantasy-ness color the world. Big boxes of pumpkins hang out outside the grocery stores, windy evenings have a delightfully creepy edge, and various channels begin airing spooky shows (let’s hear it for the Walking Dead on AMC! Whoo!). The smorgasbord of darkness inspires me to write :)

(Yes, it also gives me new writing ideas. However, I’ve surrounded myself with things that remind me of Is It Done Yet?. A picture of Andrew and Devon adorn the wall beside the desk, a stuffed wolf sits on a nearby shelf, and a carafe of coffee waits behind me. They act as a shield, keeping the bunnies back... for now).

So far, this October has been good for the revision. The revision isn’t done yet (damn it) but I’m getting further. Since it’s going well, though, I’ve decided to post a snippet from it. I hope you enjoy it:

The rain slipped past the edges of Andrew Sutter’s black umbrella, driving cold slivers into his fingers. Frowning, he drew his umbrella lower.

The movement cut his world in half. The Oak Hill Memorial Park graveyard disappeared, taking with it the trembling sequoias, oaks, and rows of gray stones. It was just him, the midnight silver casket before him, and the bottom halves of his fellow mourners.

The subtle dismemberment sent a thread of uneasiness through Andrew. It was just a trick of his sight. They were fine.

Flesh is so fragile, Andrew.

Andrew raised the umbrella, giving the people around him life.

The three other mourners stood in an uneven circle around the casket. Their umbrellas were low, doing their best to shield them from the storm. Past them, the gravestones circled out, creating a precision of death.

Thunder rumbled above.

An old childhood game clicked in Andrew’s mind. It was something he’d picked up after watching Poltergeist, a film that had made others fear clown puppets and old trees and things that might be under the bed. Andrew hadn’t. His older brother, Tyler, had shown him that people could be scarier.

Tyler was dead, though, and the lightning, while ephemeral, could be deadly. Andrew focused on the game, the numbers. One one thousand, two one thousand, three-

Light flashed overhead.

The brief brightness cast everything around him into monochrome. As it faded, shades of gray and green returned. There was open grave to Andrew’s left. Before him, Tyler waited beneath the casket’s slick surface. Above, the sky mourned his brother.

Its tears were heavy. Cold. When it cried, its voice thundered close. Tyler Sutter was dead.

Thank God.

A sob cut through the rain.

A few feet away, Julia’s umbrella shifted. Her son’s umbrella followed as he leaned into her. The domino movement made something inside Andrew ache. In spite of how long he’d been on the phone that week, the service was small. Besides them, there was a caretaker, haunting the edges of Andrew’s sight. Across from Andrew were Julia and Sean. Beside Andrew-

The wind yanked his umbrella forward.

Wet shards slipped past the brim, stabbing Andrew. His wireless frames tried to shield his eyes but the rain darted around the glass, attacking them.

Andrew tightened his grip, fighting to bring his umbrella back up.

Something moved at the edge of Andrew’s sight, and then Devon was there, grabbing the brim of his umbrella and steadying it.

“Thanks,” Andrew said. “For a moment I was afraid I was going to lose it.”

The wind jerked Devon’s umbrella out of his hand. The black shape tumbled over the casket, past a startled Julia, and then disappeared into a cluster of oaks.

“Damn,” Devon said. “That worked a lot better in my mind.” An English accent haunted his voice, turning the quiet words into a secret.

Andrew braced his umbrella against the wind and then stepped up behind Devon, shielding him. Sometimes things worked out better in his mind too. Sometimes, things were worse.

Devon glanced at him. In the moment the rain had with him, it had left its mark. His hair was drenched, making the pale blond strands cling to his face and half hide his eyes. The tips of his hair brushed over his shoulders, leaving wet shadows wherever they brushed over cloth.

Andrew suspected that his partner kept his hair that long because he wanted to hide an embarrassing truth: he was beautiful.

It wasn’t something most thirty-odd year old men wanted to hear, but it was there, hidden behind the long black coat and shoulder length hair. Devon had a boyish face, long lashes, and eyes the color of deep woods, a green so sharp, so alive and beautiful, that...

That sometimes Andrew was left without words.

He didn’t know if he’d ever find them, just like he didn’t know where Tyler had buried the body of Andrew’s first love. For now, that was all right. Andrew intended to keep looking.

“How’re you doing?” Devon asked.

Andrew shrugged. He’d killed his brother. He felt better than he probably should.


Chris said...

I'm infamous for not reading excerpts... but I'm glad you're making progress! Because you know I want you to release the sequel plot bunnies. :)

Judith Leger said...

You left me speechless and enthralled. Thank you for sharing.

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