Thursday, June 9, 2011

Red Writing Hood: Happy Non-End

Post inspired by the The Red Dress Club Red Writing Hood prompt "Happy Endings." We were to write a scene that includes a happy ending. If it's a continuation, it doesn't have to be the actual END of the story, but should include one challenge that your hero has to overcome.

Which is what I did. I have never, until now, posted anything from my fiction novels on my blog, so this post is even harder for me than the last one. Because this is a tiny bit of one of the projects I've spent hours and hours on.

And hours.

So, please, constructive criticism is welcome!

But be nice!

Shaky sigh.

So here goes. This is a brief excerpt from my most recent novel, The Exception.

Sam reached into his pocket to retrieve the key, then unlocked and opened the door behind Elanor.  He motioned inside with his hand.
The interior lurked behind her, the unnerving energy waiting.  She felt it, saturated in memories.  His eyes gave her strength and she swallowed hard, retreating until she was inside.  As he closed the door behind him, leaving them in murkiness, she quietly said, “I believe forging keys is illegal.”
He chuckled.  “I’ve had this key since before you were born,” he said, feeling strange again about their reunion.  “You should be grateful.  I’ve kept this house what it still is.”
Grasping his shoulders and reaching on her tiptoes, she kissed him lightly on the cheek.  “And I can’t thank you enough.”
His eyes grew wide.  It seemed that something once so innocent wasn’t anymore.  She lightly cleared her throat.  “Anyway, I believe you had a question to answer.  And now that we’re inside, no more games.  Time to spill your guts.”
 Elanor stayed in place, keeping her eyes on the door as Sam made his way to every window and lifted the drapes, allowing light to infiltrate the house.  “First you have to take this in,” he said.  “This is your house now, Lanor.  You have to accept it.”
She sighed, furrowing her brow as she slowly turned.  The dust danced in the sunlight, but everything wasn’t caked in it as she expected.  It was clean, immaculate even.  It almost looked lived-in, and seeing it in this condition made it easier to take in, unlike the way she remembered it—the way she expected it still to look.  Her mouth hung in surprise.  “Sam…”
“I’m sorry.  I hope you don’t mind I come in sometimes.  Cleaning helps me feel…sane.”
“It’s perfect,” she said, staring into his eyes.
“I get bored,” he shrugged.
Pulled by an intruding memory, she stepped past him and knelt on the faded hardwood floor by the stairs.  She ran her hand over it, feeling its smooth surface as she searched for any trace of blood.  Being in this place brought it all back, that night now fresh in the forefront of her mind.  She could hear her father standing just to her right, snaring her with his honey-sweet lies, his love a sham.  She could see his face, the way no trace of life remained behind his eyes.  She could feel herself hitting the wall, smashing the mirror and table, hear the clatter as she was showered with glass.  She felt him crushing her, heard her screams.  She felt her heart shattering.
She felt Sam’s warm blood on her hands, felt the shuddering of his chest as she held him, imaging his life being sucked away.
Sam knelt next to her, watching as she caressed the floor, absorbing the memories.  She was feeling them all over again with the touch of her hand and releasing them with her silent tears.  He touched her shoulder.  “I’m still here,” he softly reminded her.


Carrie said...

well, you've got my attention. I have tons of questions I want answered about these characters :)

visiting from RDC

~Beck~ said...

So intense and full of heavy emotion.

I cannot wait to read more!

The Drama Mama said...

This was over far too quickly.

I didn't really understand this part: "She felt Sam’s warm blood on her hands, felt the shuddering of his chest as she held him, imaging his life being sucked away." It's very possible that it is explained at some point in the story, it just struck me odd that I had to re-read it a couple of times to try to understand it.

It's a very vivid piece. I'm right there reliving these memories with her, some of them places I don't want to go, but will since you are so convincing. :)

Vikki @ She Has Cute Shoes! said...

Yep I'd read more. I would like to know if Sam was there that day. Was he protecting her? 0r was it something else entirely?

:) Thank you for sharing. I just did my first one too today. And fighting the urge to take it down after reading all these amazing stories now!

Vikki :)

Jen said...

This is great!!! Amazing...I wish I could keep reading it.
I would buy this book :)

Writerly Wanna Be said...

I am so glad you decided to write this...I want more as well. I am left with so many questions. I love how you slow down time, feel the intensity of each second. Yu eased into the flashback well. I had to read one of the same lines over that someone else mentioned, but again it could be because it is a piece. Great stuff!

Valerie said...

I'd love to read more of this too. I love the power of the emotions here-great writing!

Cheryl said...

There is a lot going on and a lot of questions, which is good!

The characters are interesting for sure.

One thing - the interior lurked behind her - wouldn't it have been in front of her? I know it's a small thing but it stopped me.

Jennie said...

Thanks for all the comments everyone...really! As for that one sentence that seems a little out of place, I can definitely see that. It all comes down to the fact that it is a piece, like you guys said, and if more of the backstory was known, it would definitely feel like it fits. In this instance, where the rest of the story isn't known, it certainly sparks the question, "Wait...was Sam there?"

(Which he was. That is all I will say, just in case I end up posting more in future writing posts)

And as far as the interior lurking behind her, that wasn't a typo, as weird as it sounds. It is behind her. I know that from this blurb, you don't really get the full effect, but she is in fact standing with her back to the door and backs up inside of the house (if I would have provided a little more of the story before this point, it would have been a little more obvious, so that's my bad). I was hoping that the end of the first sentence, "...unlocked and opened the door behind Elanor," would have given away a little of that. (She was standing with her back to the door, he was in front of her, facing the door)

Sorry about some confusion, but hopefully, in the same way I love reading things that spark questions and leave me a little confused, it makes you crave the answers. ;)

Thanks again everyone!

Jessica said...

I forgot how amazing this story is!!!! Love it!

lori said...

Came by to read this part before moving to today's post. I'm off to read more...woo-hoo!