Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A sneak peak...

Today I visited an old friend--aka, a long-ago-written, freshly updated page of my novel. I promised a reader I'd share an excerpt, so here you have it. Shh...don't tell!

Excerpt from my novel:
She gulps the swig of poison like an eight year old inhaling cough syrup – nose plugged, eyes squeezed shut, her face cringed into a tight round ball. Toxic, metallic tasting vapors trail the liquid down her throat, filling her with venomous stench and nausea. Swallow, she instructs. Gulp. Breathe. There, that’s it. She did it.

She trembles on the floor, her sweaty back pressed against the bedside, awaiting action. The wrapper from the candy bar he forced into her mouth lies on the floor beside her, crumpled like an odd bit of wrapping paper on Christmas morning. No celebrations today, though. Well, maybe after. She withholds her tears, clinging as though to a ledge she can’t let go of. If she cries the poison might come out and that would ruin everything. Come on, she thinks. Work, damn it. Work! If it doesn’t start soon, she’ll have to sip some more.

A moment later she feels it. The gurgling in her stomach, the slight lift in her gut, the poisoned-food-particle-stuff moving raucously around inside of her, ready to regurgitate. Yes, she thinks, it’s working!

Vomit shoots violently from her, a volcano erupting. It cuts slashes in her esophagus, wounds that will sting like paper cuts. But she doesn’t mind the pain. In a way, she likes it. Proof of her efforts, her un-doing of the food forced in.

She stands, dizzy, and grasps the countertop for balance. A moment to collect herself. Easy does it. Bumping around or toppling over would make too much noise. Any noise is too much. She tucks the bottle away with caution, conceals the evidence before flushing. The gushing water obscures the swishing sound in her mouth. She puffs warm breath onto her cupped palm and sniffs it. Well done. No scent, no flavor, no reason for him to suspect.

She teeters back to her bed, aware of the heaviness that holds her body. She’s weighted down, far wearier than usual. Dizziness clamps her brain as she tucks herself into her bed, the sheets now cool from her absence. She rests her head on her pillow, then slumber finds her, almost too quickly. She’s asleep before she has time to consider that she’s drifting, nothing like the insomnia she’s accustomed to. A dream captures her before she can notice the blood trickle escaping her nose.

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