Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday Fiction for November 21, 2008

This week’s Friday Fiction is another excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel for this year. “Precocious by Design” is now a finished draft, and while I likely have a lot of things I’ll need to correct in the revision process, the story itself is plotted out and written.

The character in this chapter is seen once before, through the eyes of the main character, Lt. Lloyd Timmons. In this chapter, I wanted to bring the reader into her mind. I’m not sure I can adequately convey all the emotions this woman is going through at this point in the story, because in many ways, I cannot fully comprehend them myself. I’m not sure anyone truly can without having been there, and frankly, I would not wish that on anyone, including myself. If you have such insight, and would not mind sharing it, I would humbly appreciate comments helping me to better portray such a mental state.

Next week, I get to host Friday Fiction (provided I can figure out how to incorporate Mr. Linky into my blog), and I promise a lighter, more enjoyable entry. Please be sure to visit the other submissions this week, and thanks for reading.

From “Precocious by Design”
By Rick Higginson
NaNoWriMo 2008

Chapter 22
Saturday morning

She rose from the bed after a night in which she had slept very little. It was the second night in a row of almost no rest, and the images from the dreams when she had slept remained painfully vivid in her mind.

Dropping her pajamas on the floor, she entered the bathroom and started a hot bath running. She didn’t bother with her normal bath oil, reaching inside the medicine cabinet instead for a particular item. With the razor blade resting on the side of the tub, she lowered herself into the hot water and leaned back, waiting until the water was almost as deep as it could get.

She turned off the faucet, and slipped low in the bath. Memories of a once hopeful past flowed through her mind, and ran through to that moment of despair when she hadn’t even been able to cry out her anguish at the news.

“Ilsa,” she had almost said when the detective had shown her the photograph. How long had it been since she’d been allowed to see her? There was no more hope. She would never see the girl again.

“Ilsa,” she whispered towards the ceiling. “Forgive me.” She couldn’t begin to list all her failures, or hope to atone for them. What was one more?

She picked up the razor and stared at it, studying the edge with a detached interest. Just a couple of quick cuts, she told herself. It couldn’t hurt worse than the pain she already felt.

Wrist or thigh, she wondered. The wrist was shallower, but the thigh was faster. She had studied biology for her career in the U.S., and a cut to the femoral artery was one of the worst for bleeding out quickly.

Will they bury me with Ilsa? Or will my co-workers take up a collection to bury me someplace else?

Who will bury Ilsa, then?

She stared at the razor, and the reality of Ilsa’s death pressed in on her. The first tears blurred her vision, and the blade became a silver-gray haze. “Ilsa,” she cried, dropping the razor outside the tub. Sobbing, she sat up and buried her face in her hands.

“Anna?” Her roommate knocked on the bathroom door. “Are you all right?” The door opened just a crack. “Anna?” It opened all the way, and the other woman entered and rushed to the side of the tub. “Anna, what’s wrong? What’s the matter?”

She threw wet arms around the woman and buried her face in the soft nightgown. “My daughter,” she wailed, losing all ability to articulate anything more in words.


Joanne Sher said...

You have done an incredible job of putting us there, and carrying us through her desperately raw emotions. I can't imagine, nor do I hope I will ever have the chance. Powerful, Rick.

BethL said...

Wow! There's much I don't know about your characters, but just from reading this heart-rending scene I could figure a lot out. I am still amazed at what a prolific and exceptional writer you are. Congrats on finishing the first draft of this novel!

LauraLee Shaw said...

Okay, that had my emotions all intertwined with the story. The ending made me cry. Wow, great stuff!

Lynn Squire said...

Wow. I'm glad she didn't do it.

Patty Wysong said...

oh my. I was there, and it really wasn't a pleasant place, which means you did your job well.

Good job, Rick!