Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In Her Shadow

Hi All,
I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I would share the initial pages of my novel for those of you who haven't gotten a peak. I've been busy working away on my second, querying agents to represent my first and enjoying life overall. I hope all's well in your world, too!

She gulps the swig of poison like an eight-year-old inhaling cough syrup – nose plugged, eyes squeezed shut, her face pulled 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 of which she can’t let go. 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 be regurgitated. 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. 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. She takes a moment to collect herself. Easy does it. Bumping around or toppling over would make noise, and 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 cause for HIM to suspect.

She teeters back to her bed, heaviness pulling like a vacuum on her body. Dizziness clamps her brain as she tucks herself in, the sheets now cool from her absence. She rests her head on her pillow. Slumber finds her quickly, a far cry from the insomnia to which she’s accustomed. A dream captures her before she can detect the blood trickling from her nose.

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