Friday, July 29, 2011

Red Writing Hood: Rewrite

*Post inspired by the TRDC Red Writing Hood prompt, "Rewrite."
Go back in the archives and pick a fiction or nonfiction piece. Perhaps something you posted on your blog, or an old Red Dress Club prompt? Find something that you're proud of, but something you haven't read for awhile. Do a complete overhaul.

My archives don't go that far back as far as my fiction and writing prompts go, so I went back to my first Red Writing Hood post (original post here), which was only 2.5 months ago. But the fiction piece itself is "old," since it's an excerpt from my novel, The Exception.

I rewrote it in Elanor's first person, present tense, and changed it up a bit (and cut some, of course, since we have to bring it down to 400 words). Feel free to comment/critique!

For the other segments of The Exception, visit the The Exception label at the bottom of this post.

Sam reaches into his pocket and pulls out a gold key, and I shouldn’t be surprised he still has it.  But for some reason it stirs me, makes me forget the last twenty years even happened.  I’m still whirled by this when he unlocks the door, so I don’t move, keep my back against it.  He’s close, his eyes piercing, and I feel his body heat.  And I know I’d do anything those blue eyes ask of me.
He opens the door and I feel the open air against my back, the unnerving energy saturated in memories.  Lurking.  He motions behind me, raising a brow.  And as I swallow hard, his eyes give me the courage to step backward.  And then again.  My back is still turned on the interior of the house, but I’m inside.  And my skin crawls.  My palms sweat and my chest feels tight, and I know Sam senses my fear because he smiles.  In the way he always did.
He leaves me then, but not before touching me on the shoulder.  I hear him opening drapes behind me, allowing light to infiltrate the house.  “This is yours now, Elanor.  Take it in.  Accept it.”
I sigh as I turn, and my brow is tense.  Dust dances in the sunlight, but everything isn’t caked in it as I expected.  My shoulders relax and my chest feels lighter.  It’s clean, immaculate even.  It almost looks lived-in, but not by me and my father.  It’s easier to take in like this, so unlike the way I remember.
I’m pulled by an intruding memory.  I step past Sam and kneel on the dulled hardwood floor by the stairs, running my hand over its smooth surface as I search for any trace of blood.  And even though there is none, that night is fresh in my mind.  I’m eleven now, and I hear my father standing above me, snaring me with his honey-sweet lies.  I see his face and hate that no trace of life remains behind his eyes.  I feel myself hit the wall, smash the mirror and table; I feel him crushing me.  I hear my eleven-year-old screams.
I feel Sam’s warm blood on my hands and the shuddering of his chest as his life is sucked away.  And I can’t remove myself from the past.
But Sam kneels before me, and his touch on my shoulder brings me back, reminds me that twenty years have passed.  “I’m still here,” he softly reminds me.


Cindi said...

How have I completely forgotten about this book? I don't know that I ever finished it because I started it around the time I had Abbey... if you have a revised version and want to send it to me, go ahead! I wanna read it all the way through this time!!! Good job, by the way. :)

Nancy C said...

WOW! I mean, WOW!

I love this. YOu are so frugal and perfect with your words. No waste. Just pure, perfect emotion.

That first paragraph alone, with those blue casts a spell.

And then that last line leaves you scrolling down, wanting it never to end.

Carrie said...

I remember that post. I quite like the change of POV. It makes it more immediate, more real somehow. Her emotions and feeling come through so much clearer as First person.

Galit Breen said...

i so love that you went for a change in POV- brave!

This piece is ever strong and your word choices are ever meticulous.

Lines like this -snaring me with his honey-sweet lies- just plain grabbed ahold of me.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm totally, totally intrigued. I love how you captivated me.

You managed to do so much, with so few words--hesitation, fear, comfort, present, past. And dialogue.

Great job!