Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Sneak Peek

7/03/2012 UPDATED! Got some great feedback and edited. Check it out! 

I feel brave enough today to give you a sneak peek at my current work-in-progress.  I'm almost done the second draft and so much has changed from one draft to the other, I'm almost writing a new novel, almost.  Here's the opening scene, just enough to wet your appetite. 

Excerpt from Enlightened, Chapter 1

Buried in darkness, Loti tossed and turned in a whirlwind of dreams.  Her husband limped through the sliding glass doors of the cancer treatment center as she rushed up to take his arm, but he jerked it out of her grasp.  Biting her lower lip to quell the quiver, she pleaded up at him with startling blue eyes, but his gaze was fixed on the ground, his brow pinched.
“I can walk,” he growled.
Not knowing the right thing to say, she just nodded.  A strong wind tossed her hair and threw dead leaves into her face, more and more swirling around her until she couldn’t see him anymore. Frightened, she swatted in vain at the rustling tornado, crying out “David!”
And as quickly as the wind blew in, it died down, the leaves drifting around her feet, revealing the river rocks of their fireplace, firelight dancing over their glossy surface. Her legs suddenly weak with an unknown dread, she collapsed into her recliner.  Rubbing her hands fretfully over the supple leather, the skin on her arms tightened into goose bumps, and she wrapped a knit throw around her shoulders.  She retreated into one of the safe places she built over her lifetime – this time the dark, quiet room in her head where she imagined her emotions couldn’t get ahold of her. The flames twisted and stretched, straining behind the fireplace glass.  Her stomach tightened into an all-too familiar knot as the air thickens around her, heat filling the dark corners of the room.  Wheezing, she pressed her hands to her chest. 
She licked dry and sticky lips, swallowed, wincing at her sore throat.  A trembling hand lifted a water goblet to those dry lips, and with a growing horror she watched the water simmer and bubble, transforming into blood. Screaming, she threw the gruesome wine onto the hardwood floor and as if in slow motion, it shattered into a million, tiny shards that each caught and reflected the moonlight. The stiff liquid oozed, extinguishing every pin prick of light, one by one, until they were all gone.
“You’re mine,” a deep voice whispered. 
Loti sat straight up in bed, clutching the white duvet to her chest, her heart banging, a thin sheen of sweat glistening on her forehead.  As her dark bedroom came into focus, the dream melted away like a puff of warm breath in cold air, leaving behind an untethered fear.  She dropped her head in her hands.  These weird flashback dreams about David had been going on for months, but this one was unusual, sinister somehow.  The other’s had left her sad, especially the ones where they made love one last time, but this one… this one.  She ran both hands through her long, brown hair, trying to remember what had scared her so much.  A broken glass?
But the more she tried to conjure the images, the further away they slipped.  She shook her head in frustration.  Let it go, she thought. Sliding her hand over the cool, flannel sheet on David’s side, she collapsed back to the bed, fighting back the swell in her throat.  It hurt, but she swallowed it, anyway, the lump settling in her spasming stomach. Tiny beads of sweat broke out on her upper lip, and she buried her face in David’s pillow, inhaling the fading scent of him.  She hadn’t washed the pillow case since he died.   As she shifted to wipe a tear from her lashes, it slid down her upturned cheek, eyelids fluttering and opening briefly, then closing. Her labored breath slowed; her pained expression softened.
Morning sun glared through the parted curtains making Loti grimace in her sleep. Rolling over onto her back, she draped a protective arm over her eyes.
“Up and at’em, Atom Ant,” she groaned. She pushed herself upright, squinting at the invading sunshine, fumbled for the green damask curtain and tugged it shut.  One eye opened at a time until she could bear the light, then she heaved herself out of bed and stumbled towards the bathroom.


  1. Melissa - Fantasic writing! Extremely descriptive, vivid and very well written. I can really feel the scene you've painted. I'm excited to see more!

  2. What happens next? Can't wait to find out. I'm hooked.

  3. Awesome work, descriptive and captivating 😉

  4. Thanks for the positive feedback, Don, Sidney, Buddy and Shane! Of course, as soon as posted this I saw all the things that could be changed and improved. This hasn't been to my editor, yet. But I will take it!

  5. Great snippet, thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks, Glynis! Still rough around the edges; I can see lots of opportunities to turn "tells" into "shows" - but all in good time.

  7. oooh, good going, like what I read