Also, this is the manuscript of mine that I'm working the hardest on revising, due to issues I've had with point of view. As you can see, this second segment is in omniscient POV. Which I will probably be changing soon.
SEGMENT 1 (novel's prologue)
Alone for the first time in days, Raegan Fairbanks dug her nails into the palm of her hand, staring into the blackened storm. Through a thunderous crack of white, she hardly flinched. She placed her hands on the frigid windowpane, absorbing the house’s vibration. The lightning was close, just overhead, but her vision stayed loyal to the white bench, its luster holding her eyes. It had been his, and hers, and now it was the storm’s.
Her mother was asleep upstairs, and Justice was on the couch. It was the first time Raegan hadn’t been watched like a fragile infant since Russell died. They hadn’t left her side the past three days, even laid next to her when she sobbed herself into a nightly coma. But tonight was different. Tonight they sensed her desire for solitude, and though their leash still choked her, she reveled in the temporary abandonment. In that moment with the bench.
The thought of her mother in her own bed—their bed—brought some of her fury to life, and a piece of numbness flaked to the ground. But she’d do anything to keep her mother at a distance, even if it meant tarnishing the place where her late husband once warmed her. Besides, now it was empty, cold. More fitting for the bitter woman atop it.
Her late husband. A woman in her twenties shouldn’t have to think that profane term. It aged her, pulled her to the ground. It gave gravity a win as it had its way with her. Three days and she went from twenty-eight to eighty-two.
Rain pelted the glass pane in a sideways fury as it had the last three days. It was unusual, but fitting. The universe seemed to mourn with her, letting her know Russell’s undue absence was known to the heavens. It seemed to threaten her fondest memory, consume the bench as though it was its own.
Three days. It didn’t matter how short the time was; there was no way she could go back and change it. He’d been there, in that very kitchen, and now he was…where?
His things haunted her, the memories tearing through her. She looked back to the sinister yard, puddles swallowing the browning lawn. The white bench at the base of the cottonwood tree replaced the sting of trivial reminders with the throb of a precious memory. It’d been her birthday surprise last year, handmade. He’d apologized for its crooked panels when lifting the sheet, revealing the thoughtful token of his love.
She wanted to keep it forever, wanted to take it back from the storm.
Riveted by the bright, crooked panels, she unlatched the back door and walked outside, shivering as the almost frozen November rain beat against her. Russell had always said rain smelled of a cleansing shower, of a new start. But tonight it reeked of loss.
Surrounded by darkness, she warily made her way to the bench, her bare feet sloshing through the muddy puddles. Water cascaded relentlessly down her face and blurred her vision, the bench appearing as a smear of white.
She mindlessly sat, saturating her clothes—his clothes. She ran her hands over the sopping panels, feeling the rough, splintery spots as affectionately as the pieces still glazed in glossy finish. Her fingers took in every touch, extra sensitive to embrace the feel she once took for granted.
Her tears poured to match the vibrancy of the rain as she imagined his solid, sturdy figure, hunched to carve her gift. She imagined white paint stains in his hair, speckling his arms and callused hands. As if able to connect her to him, she laid against the uneven panels, planting her cheek against the sodden wood. Creaking, it spoke of the many memories. Sunny afternoons, late nights, and even an early morning.
In the fetal position she sobbed, trying to press every inch of her aching body against it in the hope its touch could heal her, in the hope that the material reminder would feed his void. Like a roaring freight train, the rainfall intensified and buckets poured over her, attempting to take it back. Attempting to revive a lost cause.
Lightning flashed and thunder cracked—temporarily lighting her surroundings. Strings of hair hindered her view, but she was sure a figure was beside her. Unable to force movement of her limbs, unable to turn to see more clearly, she let herself believe it was him.
“I’m sorry,” she hoarsely cried at the apparition, her teeth chattering. She hardly noticed her fingers and toes numbing in the icy rainfall, hardly noticed as her swollen eyes closed and her body deadened in drowsiness.
She heard a murmur above her, maybe even her name. And before blacking out, she dreamed the added pressure of a warm hand on her shuddering back was Russell—there to wake from her nightmare.
Actual post here.
The strangest scene played before Justice, and a faint, deadly tune was its soundtrack. A funeral?
No, there was no casket. But is sounded like a funeral. It felt like one. There was a congregation, but she wasn’t a part of it, and every person sobbed. She stood before them, at the front of a chapel, and a priest was there, too. And so was Lily, Russell’s sister that Justice had only met a few times. She and Justice were matching in dark purple gowns, the material stiff and constricting.
A wedding? The preacher started to speak, the deadly, funeral-like song still lingering in the background, and she looked around in order to find where it was coming from.
That was when she saw Raegan. Justice couldn’t see her face, since Raegan was shrouded in a black veil, but there was no question in her mind that it was her best friend. Justice sensed her, sensed her familiar dismal energy that had a long time ago killed her sunny soul. Her dress was heavy and black, unfitting for the matrimony she was clearly a part of, but fitting for the person who wore it.
Even stranger was the man, Lucas, standing with her, his large dog loyally at his side. Lucas’s hands grasped Raegan’s tightly, and he looked desperate. Happy, but desperate.
Just as the preacher was about to ask Lucas if he took Raegan as his wife, Raegan shuddered with a sob and ran from him, down the aisle and through the large church doors. Justice wanted to go after her, but she couldn’t move. And that music…
That damn tune still played in the background, and none of it made sense. Then her surroundings appeared hazy, the picture slipping away and leaving blackness in its place.
Still, the tune played.
She lay in her bed now, slowly coming to, and forced herself awake. Her phone was on her nightstand, coming to life with Raegan’s personalized ringtone. A few months ago, Raegan had stolen Justice’s phone and set it in an attempt to be morbidly funny: Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor—or better known as the Funeral March.
Actual post here.
Actual post here.
SEGMENT 3 (much later in novel)
Raegan stood at the bar with a martini as her friends danced to the slow rhythm of the band. She tried ignoring the man from her peripheral vision that had been steeling glances at her all night, his eyes mysterious over the rim of his glass. She tried ignoring Lucas and Hannah. She tried ignoring the ping of disappointment that betrayed her once firm desire to remain single the rest of her life.
Instead, she lingered on the moment, her atmosphere. She lingered on the overwhelming excitement that she would be published. She lingered on Russell, how extremely unfitting, but attractive, he’d look in this club as they bore it together. She let her mind imagine him there.
The end of the song easily segued into the next, the band barely pausing to change the tempo. Only a short second passed before Raegan recognized the tune and she immediately looked to Lucas, her heart sinking.
As if connected once again, he stopped dancing with Hannah and turned to meet Raegan’s gaze. The vocalist started the evocative lyrics to Come Rain or Come Shine, her voice oddly similar to Billie Holiday’s, and a whirlwind of emotions hit the both of them. Raegan smiled feebly, trying to read the intensity of the storm in his sapphire eyes.
Lucas looked down in thought, hardly aware of Hannah inquiring of his sudden concern. He brought his eyes back to Raegan at the same time that a man removed himself from the bar and offered his hand to her, smoothly speaking unheard words. Raegan shook her head ruefully and turned away from the stranger, her back now facing Lucas.
There was no question in his mind, no doubts or reservations as he approached her. Sensing him, she turned. “Rae?” he asked, raising his hand. “Dance with me?”
“Of course,” she murmured, somewhat reluctantly. As she took it, his heat thawed her.
Neither of them noticed her admirer gritting his teeth as he turned away in disappointment, or Hannah standing on the sidelines with cross moisture in her eyes. Lucas softly pulled her into him, only aware of the spell she put him in, the power of his parents’ song as it became theirs, and the memory of them dancing to it with the same level of adoration his eyes now held.
It didn’t matter how much he tried to bury his love, or that he used his desire for her to fuel his moments with Hannah. Raegan was the first and only woman that, since Adele, would hold his heart, and she was here in his arms—a vision in canary satin. …
He could almost taste her as he brushed his lips against her cheek and buried his face in her hair, the locks falling onto her bare shoulders in a wave. He consumed himself in her energy as he held her close, let it flow through her back and into his palm, then through his other hand and into hers—a cycle of renewal. In response, he tightened his fingers through hers and held her hand close to his heart.
Closing her eyes, Raegan slightly angled her head, willing the warmth of his breath against her neck as it weakened her knees. Fused together, she melted into him, forgetting in that much too brief a moment that he was merely her best friend friend. He was Lucas, the man that held her heart in a way she didn’t understand.
Both were speechless, communicating through the lyrics of the music and the simultaneous rhythm of their hearts.
Actual post here.