Monday, 1 February 2010

A novel taster...

I don't know why I'm here. Here in this decaying building with single paned windows that rattle in the slightest breeze and walls so blue I feel sad just looking at them. People come but never go. We sit, talk and listen until it's time to sleep and if we're unlucky, we wake, sit, talk and listen all over again. It's one endless nightmare of circles. I hate circles. They always make me dizzy.

I don't know how I got here. I opened my eyes to the blue, the strangers, to closed doors. I stood- grogginess clung to my sandpaper skin and tasted grey in my sticky mouth. Lead-filled bones had slept for a hundred years except no Prince had kissed to claim me.

I ran at the doors, shoving them with the full force of my body. Arms jarred, elbows cracked, the metal threw me. I landed on my backside. Brushing dust, I walked over and shook them again. All doors opened. What made these so special?

Whacking them with my palms, I rattled the handles, pounding fists on thin panes of glass until my chest heaved. Pain nestled in my joints and stayed there. I didn't care. I just wanted to get out. Later a dark-haired woman peered up from her magazine and pressed a button. Two burly men walked out of nowhere and pinned me to the floor with big fists and heavy thighs. The hard edge of a boot made an imprint on my cheek as one of the men pushed at the clothes around my hip. I flushed as hands touched bare skin. Hairs provoked rose sharply from my neck. I felt the violation rush down my spine. The fierce prick of an ice-cold needle would have floored me had I not already been there. I felt like shouting for a Doctor or a Lawyer but wasn't sure which was needed first.

Whimpering, my breathing slowed. Thousand tonne eyelids blocked out the light and the boots, and I felt my fists slacken to palms. I was air and nothingness, clouds and stars. And then, I was night.

So reader, what do you think?


  1. it's a good opening. she's in a nut house and doesn't know why she's there. makes me want to know more. one question: since she's in a groggy state of mind, do you think "some time passed" is better than a precise "ten minutes later"?

    are you almost finished? are you going to post more of the novel? i want to read more.

  2. That's a very good point Sarah- thank you! This is what happens when you stare at something so much- you don't see the little tweaks you can make. Cheers for that.

    As for the passage- well it's not the opening- it's intended to be a flashback. And she isn't necessarily in a nut house. It's complicated. Part of the evolving story. I may cut things from this. It may not end up in the final draft at all. I'm just playing around with style and such.

    Nowhere near finished at the moment. Probably won't post any more. Don't want people to get bored! haha :)

  3. Lou! This little excerpt has me wanting more. And more. Such great writing. Do we need to know hom much time has passed at all?

    I really love when the two burly men show up. Fantastic Lou! I knew you should write a novel I just knew it. I wonder where she is at. A prison? Some sort of hospital. Not a nut house. Hmmmm,it doesn't matter where she is to me though. And what should have you excited is that the readers are wondering. That's a great sign for you. Super job. I can't wait to read more. (^_^)

  4. Yep, I'd be intrigued to know the context but it definitely left me wanting more. The first 21 words had me hooked. Great imagery - very evocative. Beautifully written - though I'd expect nothing less from you Lou.

  5. Beautifullly written, I can picture it all in my head.

  6. I really like it - very atmospheric and I want to know what happens next!

    Kate x

  7. Petty Witter and Kate: Thanks for the great comments! :)


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