Wednesday, May 5, 2010

First blogfest entry!

I had no idea what I was going to do for my blog post today and then I found Raquel Byrnes Primal Scream Blogfest. This particular blogfest calls for a heart pumping scene. I actually have a part of my WIP that I thought would work for this, so *deep breath* I decided to enter my first ever blogfest.  There are some really great entries at Raquel's blog.  Well worth checking out if you haven't already.

Here's my entry:

I cracked the seal, tossed the pills in my mouth and followed them with the vodka. I didn’t want sleep. I wanted oblivion because somehow, despite all I’d done to make sure it didn’t, something had gone very wrong and tomorrow I wouldn’t be living out what I’d already seen of my wedding day. David was finished with me and that thought was much too enormous for my brain to bear for another second.

I went into my room, laid down and waited for that warm almost wet oozing lassitude that I remembered from my few teenage forays into my mother’s medicine cabinet. As the Vicodin dropped its weighty hand over my limbs, my eyes drooped closed and I gave myself over to sleep with a sense of profound thankfulness.

What felt like days later my brain paddled upward through the Grey Goose, forced itself past the woolen veil of Vicodin to clamor at me that I had to wake up. Though the uproar was in my own head, I felt so removed from it, so unconcerned about it that it took all my will to force my eyes open even a slit. When I did I saw nothing but blackness. Waving away the commotion in my head as though it were a mosquito come to ruin a perfect summer evening, I closed my eyes and rolled from my stomach to my side. A sharp tug of pain in my scalp sent shock waves radiating over my skull and down my neck. The din in my brain intensified, refusing to be ignored.

Fighting against the stupor that almost wholly bound me, I lifted my hand, unable to manage anything but the slowest most casual of motions. My hand flopped to my head and like a starfish seeking for an afternoon snack, languidly explored my scalp. At first I felt nothing but the thick tangled pad of my hair. Then, not at what I felt, but what I didn’t feel, a shot of adrenalin, that was somehow ice cold and burning hot zipped through my body. My fingers scrabbled over my head as fast as they could manage. And here was hair and here was hair and here was not hair and here, here was something wet and warm and sticky and when I brought my hand to my nose it smelled of metal and salt.

Every muscle and sinew of my body now cursed the drug that still held me fast in a burdensome stupor. Flailing against it I pulled myself into a sitting position, both hands now skittering over the once familiar terrain on top of my head.

A chill wind from the open window moved over the bare skin of my arm. Another hit of adrenalin punched me in the gut. I dropped my hands from the top of my head, curled them into tight fists in my lap. My gaze roved around the darkness of my room seeking the bogeyman who had done this. And there huddled by my bookcase, I found him; a crouched and queer golemlike creature, face contorted, gleaming eyes fastened on me, hands clutched furtively to his chest.

I opened my mouth to scream and in one fluid movement the golem straightened, lengthened became David, but somehow not. He was still somehow alien, somehow frightening.

“David. What. . . .”

“Hush.” He moved to my side, sat down on the bed and the bright winter moonlight coming in from the window glittered over the pair of scissors he held. I could see bits of my hair, bits of my flesh, bits of my blood caught along one sharp steel edge. I recoiled.

His hand shot out, tangled in the hair at the nape of my neck, drawing me back to him. He raised the scissors. I squirmed in his grasp. There was a soft snick and a snowstorm of wheat blond hair drifted down, some of it settling on my nose, cheeks and lips, but most falling all the way down to cover my bedspread.

“David.” I strained against his grip.

He shifted his hold and then all I could see in my right eye was the huge and looming tip of one scissor blade. Beyond it, fuzzy and out of focus, was the curved handle and David’s blank face. His lips moved. “Who loves well chastises well.”

I went rigid, unable to even blink.  With exquisite slowness David finally moved the tip of the blade away from the never before appreciated fragility of my eyeball. “Good girl, Ruthie.”

Another snick, another sheaf of hair. I swallowed convulsively on the sobs that beat for release against the walls of my throat.

David paused in his cutting and released me. His eyes ran over my face. Then he reached forward and I forced myself not to flinch. I felt a long strand of hair brush against my cheek. David tugged at it and then the scissors went to work. There was a hot, sharp pain in my scalp and then I could no longer feel the hair on my skin.

He sat back once again. This time as he explored my face, his eyes brushed mine and though no one I recognized looked out at me, I opened my lips. “David.”

His eyes snagged on mine, some unreadable emotion eeling about in their black, frightening depths.

I began to lever myself backward, still looking into his eyes, afraid if I lost that tenuous connection I’d lose any chance I had of emerging from this with no further damage done.

I saw the moment my David returned behind the vacuum of those dark irises. A sort of stunned horror first widened his eyes, then swarmed down his entire face, leaving the skin hanging long and loose off the bones. The scissors fell from his hand with a rattling clank. “Ruth, oh my God, Ruth. Ruth.”

I crabbed away from him. Then when I felt the wall at my back, I brought my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around my knees. My heart beat so heavily and so fast my entire body shook with it and I felt like I might vomit.

“I don’t-don’t know what to say. Oh my God. I can’t-oh, Ruth. Oh God, I’m so sorry.”

David began to cry, his face wrenched and ugly as tears runneled down it. He reached for me and then withdrew when I flinched back. He put his hands to his face, scrubbed at it, ran his hands through his hair again and again. Then he put both hands on top of his head, curled his face down toward his chest and began to silently sob, his entire body shaking.

“Ruth, please,” he choked out.

My heart twisted at the agony in his voice. I didn’t know who the creature was that had come into my bedroom and desecrated me, but this man, the one weeping before me, this was David. David who I loved, David who took care of me, David who loved me with all of himself, holding nothing back. I put a hand out, hesitated and then tentatively placed it on the top of his hands which gripped his hair as though he meant to yank every last strand from his scalp.

Something akin to a gag came from his throat and he opened his hands to latch onto mine. It felt as though I were giving him a benediction. The thought, the image of repentance, restitution it brought to mind didn’t sit well with me and I tried to pull away but David wouldn’t let go.

“Oh God, Ruth.”

“Why, David?”

Under my hand his head moved back and forth. “I don’t-I-I don’t know. It wasn’t me, Ruth. You have to believe that. I mean, I know it was me, but it didn’t feel like me. I-I was just thinking about your hair and how much I loved it and how you cut it all off and how I asked you not to change it and then-and then here I was, doing what I did. And-oh, God, Ruth.”

He let go of my hand, dropped his arms and raised his face. The holocaust of his eyes lanced me to my core.

“I’ll get help. I’ll do whatever I have to do. I know there are things that aren’t right in my head. I’ll go to counseling. I’ll take drugs. Anything, anything, Ruth, just, God, just don’t leave me. Please tell me I didn’t destroy us. I can’t survive without the wonder of you in my life. I’ll have to die if you leave me. I’ll have to kill myself.”

He reached for me again and this time I let him catch hold. His arms went around me, clutching as though I were the only buoy in the heaving sea of his existence. “Don’t leave me.”

I leaned my head against his chest, tightened my arms around him, summoned up the flash I’d seen of our wedding day. “No, I won’t. I know I won’t.”


Jen said...

This was great Angie! Very intense! I love the ending it was really sweet!

Kaylie said...

Definitely very intense. You have a gift for drawing your reader in. I don't really have anything negative to say. I haven't read the rest of the novel, of course, but I like how you can't tell who or what David is. It's really suspenseful and I love how you can feel what your character does and see what she sees.

Catherine A. Winn said...

This was sooooo good. Only if I were her I'd be out of that house and as far as I could get thinking he was crazy or possessed. Of course, then there wouldn't be a story.

Mary Anne Gruen said...

Really creepy! I have to agree with Catherine, I'd want to be out of there too!

Piedmont Writer said...

Wowee! For a first ever blogfest entry, you done pretty darn good!

Great job Angie, nice flow, continuity, scary as all get out. Makes me definately want to know what David's problem is.

Raquel Byrnes said...

His eyes snagged on mine, some unreadable emotion eeling about in their black, frightening depths.

You describe things so vividly, the similes so powerful that I literally leaned away from the words. Wow. Thank you so much for participating!

I hope to read more...preferably from a book I bought. =)

Sophia said...

I second (seventh?) the feeling that this is a very vivid and intense scene, well-written and a definite hook. I'm clamouring for more!

My only critique would be to drop the 'merely' before sleep in the second line. I stumbled over the word and it jerked me out of the flow. I feel it would be a much tighter sentence without the adverb since the 'merely' part becomes clear through the next sentence. Just my two cents.
- Sophia.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Whoa! Super creepy and intense and utterly absorbing. I was engaged from beginning to end. You did such a great job with the POV, letting us see through her drug-addled eyes as she's coming out of the haze. Well done.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

WOW! You hooked me with this. *shivers* :-)

Julie Musil said...

WOW! is all I can say. Well done!

Jaydee Morgan said...

How very brave of you to put your work out there and enter the blogfest - great job!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Vivid and intense, this was a great entry for the blogfest. :)

VR Barkowski said...

Fabulous. Beautifully paced and very powerful. I wanted to scream for her to get out of there, but she clearly loves David, and love sometimes makes us stupid.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Very, very good job. Quite intense, riveting actually.

And as soon as the strength hits Ruth's legs, she should go very far, very fast.

David is a very sick man. I got the impression that Ruth's a pychic. If so, then she should see nothing but darkness can come from staying with an insane man. Brrrr.

Old Kitty said...

Oh Angie!!

This was a really vivid and terrifying piece of a woman on the edge and nearly over it!

I do like how she thought David was a golem - the way he unfurled before her stupor and drugged vision - brilliant!

I'd really want to know more about the dynamics of the David and Ruth relationship to feel for David - I think it's because this poor woman nearly obliterates herself for this man who then returns to her. Very, very intriguing!

Thanks for sharing!

Take care

laughingwolf said...

well done!

but typical woman, thinks she can 'fix' him ;) lol

Angie Paxton said...

Thank you everyone for all the great feedback and compliments. It's amazing what a little positive feedback can do. You've given me a new lease on my WIP. Thanks so much! Oh and Sophia, 'merely' is outta there. Thanks again.

Lola Sharp said...

WooHoo! I LOVED this! Really loved it. Well done, Angie.