Friday, May 18, 2012

Possible New Prologue

Since school got out I've been working more on my comics (which will begin to be posted in June) and less on writing.  But the other night I was lying in bed and an idea for my novel, Jacky Boy, came to me and I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I tried to just sleep, but my mind was reeling with ideas so I crept quietly out of bed, tip-toed to the living room and with only the glow from my laptop screen I plunked out this short little prologue.

It's a first draft and who knows if it will ever make it into the book (in fact, who knows if the book will ever happen... ha ha), but there are things I like about it.  I let Brian read it the other day and he said it was good.  He's a really harsh critic so I believe him when he says it has potential.  Let me know what you think.  (Oh, as a warning, there's a vague sexual reference in there... so proceed with caution).

The boy was surely dead by now.

Even from a distance the red blood was as noticeable as a clown’s nose.  Comical in its vibrant hue yet sad in its significance.  She hadn’t expected to witness something so ghastly.  Had she been given a warning, she wouldn’t have taken to her newly acquired hobby of spying on the neighbors, but no such notice had been issued.  She was caught completely unawares by the sudden act of violence seen through the telescope.

Nobody in the town below her dwelling had any inclination that she existed.  Now that she thought of it, nobody in her own home seemed to know she existed either.  Well, perhaps her husband knew it, but he didn’t seem to care.  She bit her lip at the thought of her husband.  Gently at first, like a pouting schoolgirl.  It might have looked adorable were she not in her mid-forties.  But before she realized it she was biting down on her lower lip rather aggressively and as tooth punctured soft skin a drop of blood fell forth. 

From her vantage point, it almost looked as if the blood below was somehow a result of this careless lip-biting and the thought made her laugh. Laughing made her feel uneasy and she took her eye away from the telescope and made to return inside from the balcony.  Instead she stood still for a moment, pinching her fingers tightly before biting on an untrimmed thumbnail.  An annoying habit really.  Always biting.  Always chewing.

In a rash decision she returned to the telescope—almost tripping on her long skirts in her haste—and peered back down on the scene.  The two bodies lay still in the bloodied dirt, but in the distance, coming from the boy’s house, she saw a woman in a bathrobe making her way towards them.  The observer couldn’t tell if the woman could see the bodies yet.  They lay over a quarter mile away at the base of the small hill from which they fell.

Her heart went out to the boy.  She liked to watch him the best.  He was much too young for a woman of her age, yet she felt something for him.  Most times she was able to convince herself that her fascination with him came from her strong female yearning to have a child—to be a mother.  She didn’t have any children.  Not any of her own at least.  A young man stayed with them once, not too long ago, and had called her mother.  She liked it.

She wasn’t, however, truly naïve enough to believe that maternal affection was all that interested her in the boy now bleeding in the dry earth.  She often thought about him in a way that no mother should ever think of a son; she entertained ideas that caused her to perspire and slip her fingers down below.  Something about his smooth, slender body as he performed his outside chores in nothing but blue jeans made her happy inside and out.  He would push his yellow hair from his face with the back of a sweaty hand and stretch his arms out like a beautifully tanned angel made in the dirt and not in the snow.

A tear slid easily from her eye and trickled down her laugh line and curved around her bloodied lip.  She stuck out the tip of her tongue ever so slightly and tasted the salt of her tear mingled with the rust of the blood.  It tasted good somehow and she let it comfort her as she closed her eyes and tried not to think of her imagined young lover dead in the dirt.

A scream sharp and penetrating erupted the silent morning and the woman with the telescope snapped back to attention.  Peering through the lens she saw the mother falling to her knees over the boy.  Another—this time quieter—scream was let out by the mother and the watching woman pushed the telescope away with her wrist and buried her face in her hands.  She couldn’t watch anymore.  That poor mother deserved her privacy.

Again she stepped away only to return.  This time she remembered that if she didn’t focus the telescope on the spot where it had originally been, her husband would know she had been looking through it.  She peered inside it once more and jumped as if shocked by another scream.  She was startled to find that the telescope was now resting on a small house several miles from the tragic scene and through a window somebody was looking right at her.  She held in her breath as she pondered over whether there was any way the white-haired old woman could possibly see her.  But what else was the woman staring at if it weren’t her?

Unnerved, she swung the telescope back around and focused in on the house it was normally on.  The girl’s house.  And as she retired quickly into the dimly lit room adjacent to the balcony, she couldn’t help but take solace in the knowledge that if the boy was dead, the girl must be dead as well.
So... good?  Bad?  I'm excited to proceed!

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