Friday, February 5, 2010

A piece of my novel

Okay, so a special treat today for you faithful readers.  This is a piece of my novel-in-progress.  It's an intense moment, when the narrator, who is a ghost, is killed.  I may take it off of the blog in a few days so it's not floating around out there-- I do kind of want to publish it one of these days.  But I wanted to share a part I really like. 

What do you think?  Critiques welcome.  Is there something you don't like?  Pacing?  Want to read more?  :) 


I can see it like it is happening right now.

Someone grabs me from behind. I am still laughing, looking at Tony’s face, and he suddenly stops laughing as strong arms go around my neck. I don’t realize what is happening at first and then Tony’s smile falls and he steps forward and then stops moving. His face goes hard, like a cowboy in a movie and I’m about to make fun of him for that and then the guy behind me (I had somehow thought, for a second, that it must be someone I knew, someone there to congratulate me on the engagement, because I couldn’t be being robbed; I didn’t have anything worth stealing.) But no. He, the guy behind me, not Tony, he says “look, if you just hold still no one has to get hurt” and he’s not laughing, not congratulating me, but he’s holding something really hard into my back, on the right side, just above the small. It hurts. I can feel it poke my spine a little as he wiggles it some. He stepped out of a doorway, out of the dark, and since I was walking backwards looking at Tony, I don’t even see his face. Tony does, though, and what he sees there makes his eyes go flinty; they go dark in a way I’ve never seen them. I mean, we were going to La Villita! There are tourists everywhere, but not tonight. For some reason, we seem to be in a bubble of space and time and there is NO one there to help us. No cars, no walking people. I think of La Llorona, for some reason, and the kids at the railroad, but I know they aren’t here to help. No one is. No one drives by, no one laughs. We don’t hear any footsteps come up to help us. Just this guy behind me, and I can smell his aftershave a little bit, like on a first date, and I think it might be Drakkar Noir and I think how funny that would be, to be robbed by someone wearing Drakkar Noir, for God’s sake, and I start to tell the guy that my purse is right here, take it.

Tony is holding his hands up, holding really still, saying something like “Okay, man, chill, it’s okay” and for some reason, the guy behind me gets nervous, breathes out sharply, and then holds me even tighter, jamming HIS gun into my side ribcage even harder. I can’t believe I was just a second ago laughing and looking at my golden butterfly ruby ring. And we were going to La Villita! I can still taste mint and sugar on my lips, and I lick them again, because I seem to have gone really dry, and I feel 100% sober, too.

I hear a noise back behind Tony somewhere, like feet scuffing, and I guess the guy holding me thinks someone is coming or maybe he had something to prove to whomever was making that foot noise and before I know it, Tony is trying to step towards us and I hear this crack, and something hits me, hard, in the middle of my side. I don’t really feel anything other than this whack; it’s kind of like falling off a merry go round when I was a kid. Falling on my back and the breath whooshes out and then I’m left staring up at the sky waiting to breathe, to breathe. Except, it doesn’t happen. I don’t catch my breath.



Brigindo said...

Very engrossing. I love how you have her struggle with the conflicting realities (getting engaged/going to La Vilita) of the past moment and the present moment.

jenny said...

More, more, more! I want to