NaNoWriMo Friday Excerpts: Week Three

alcatrazIt’s Friday again, which means it’s time to post another excerpt.

I’m a fair bit behind on my novel right now (about 5k) and we’re heading into the weekend which is usually a really bad writing time for me. I’d planned to write 5,000 words today to get caught up before the weekend hit but that’s not happening so far. I am locked in my (small) bedroom with three cats and a dog while there are people using jackhammers in my basement. Not exactly an ideal work environment LOL

Anyway, I’ll see what I can manage. The construction ought to be done by Tuesday or Wednesday next week so if all else fails I’ll do 5k days on both Thursday and Friday. It’ll suck, but *shrugs*

But you aren’t here for my whining, are you? Time to bust out another excerpt from this years NaNoWriMo novel, with the working titled of Hollow Children:

Suddenly she wasn’t sure this was such a good idea. Morgan didn’t believe in ghosts. Not anymore. Not really. But she did believe in rusty nails, crumbling supports and unstable vagrants. Perhaps it would be a better idea to just go home and face her parents now. She looked over her shoulder, out at the neighbourhood she’d grown up in. She couldn’t see her house from here, it was on the other side of the prison, but all the streets around her home were as familiar to her as her own block. All safe. All boring. Maybe what she really needed to deal with Barry, and all the other troubles in her life, was to learn to be braver. Maybe that was what this trip would teach her. Maybe. She looked back toward the prison.

“Twenty seconds,” she told the boarded up window. “I’ll give you twenty seconds to start.” If she was too frightened after twenty seconds she would leave, but not before.

“One one thousand…”

Morgan pushed the board out of the way and peered down into the darkness.

“Two one thousand,” she whispered. She could see a table pushed up against the wall beneath the window. It was filty from the passage of countless feet but very welcome as it saved her from a substantial jump down into the prison’s basement.

“Three one thousand,” she said, putting her left foot down carefully, testing the table before putting all her weight on it. Though it looked sturdy enough there was no telling how long it had been in there, nor how many hundreds of kids or vagrants had tromped across it. Better safe than sorry, as her mother used to say. The table wobbled a little beneath her weight, but it seemed stable enough. “Four one thousand.”

She pulled her other leg through the window, followed by the rest of her. The plywood over the opening swung shut behind her, taking the light with it. Suddenly it was dark. A new flutter of fear flitted in her belly and her voice shook a little when she whispered, “Five one thousand.”

Her mouth was dry, and the familiar taste of fear filled it, tangy and bitter. She strained her ears against the darkness, slowing her breathing to minimize its interference and searching for any sound. Any proof she was not alone.

She waited, her back pressed against the cool concrete wall, for her eyes to adjust to the difference in light. Nebulous blobs of color floated across her field of view and she imagined a dozen sets of eyes on her. Eyes belonging to rats and spiders and other creatures unhampered by the darkness.

“Six one thousand,” she said as the darkness bled away into a grey half-light and shapes began to become visible. A filing cabinet leaned in one corner, three of its drawers were missing completely and the remaining two stuck out at drunken angles. Obviously this had been some sort of an office back when the prison was still in operation. Nothing to be afraid of.

Morgan sat on the table, dangling her feet over the edge before making the tiny hop to the floor. “Seven one thousand.”

She scoured the ground with her gaze as well as she could in the dim light, making sure there were no hazards waiting to trip her up and make her break a leg. Or worse. All she saw was water stains and tracked-in dirt.

“Eight one thousand,” she said after much more than a second had passed with only the sound of her heartbeat heavy in her ears.

“Nine one thousand,” she said, though the more time she spent in the shell of a prison the more comfortable she became in it, and despite her count she’d already been there substantially longer than nine seconds. “Right,” she said, looking around the room once more before following the tracks of hundreds of other adventure-seekers deeper into the old jail.

Other people are sharing excerpts from their work over at the Absolute Write NaNo Excerpt Blog Chain. Check ’em out 🙂

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3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Friday Excerpts: Week Three

  1. Ooh! There’s so much suspense in this passage! I hope you have time to up your word count. A jackhammer in the basement is definitely not the ideal accompaniment to NaNo.

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