Teaser Tuesday

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday May 12, 2009 Under writing

Another excerpt today!? ? This takes place at a frat party in chapter five, when Alex is still not totally sure? what’s going on with her strange impulses to help people.? I just tweaked it a little this morning, so hopefully I didn’t mess something up–but if I did, I’m sure somebody will let me know!? She’s talking to Genna and a random frat guy at first.

Happy reading!

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“So, I was just asking Stu about that party coming up.”

I nodded like I was enthusiastic, although my thoughts were still with Logan. Stupid.? I gave myself a quick mental tidy and perked up.? “Yeah, I heard it’s going to be a total blast.”

Stu smiled.? “Should be rockin’.? If you two think you’re ready for some serious fun…”

Genna clapped her hands together like a little kid, and a smile started across my face.? I opened my mouth to respond.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? And then it? nailed me.? Terror.? The emotion slammed into me so hard, my muscles spasmed and the cup slipped from my hand.? It bounced and landed with a clatter, ricocheting off the floor and spraying beer all over my new sandals.? Sticky wetness trickled between my toes.? But before I could? investigate the damage, the feeling struck me again.? Only stronger this time.? Slivers of ice slid down my spine, and I felt my heartbeat accelerate.

“O-ho, check out the party foul!”? Stu yelled, to the cheers of the three other frat guys standing nearby.

I couldn’t even answer.? ? For starters, my head pounded like I’d been? trapped in a car? blasting heavy metal for ten hours straight.? More importantly, I was suddenly experiencing an urgent compulsion to find and help the person in danger.? As in, now.

“Sorry,” I muttered finally, looking to both sides, desperate to go.? “Um…I’ve got to run to the bathroom and wipe this off.”? Genna gave me a peculiar look, but I didn’t stop to explain.? I fought back the impulse to sprint and instead took off at a speed walk down a hall to the left, letting my instinct guide me.? I hurriedly passed a bunch of open doors on each side, where guys and girls were hanging out and partying.? At the end of the hallway was a door leading to a staircase.? Without hesitation, I entered and headed down.

The panic was getting worse—much worse.? It clawed its way into my chest and squeezed, making my lungs strain to suck in air.? I shivered again and started to run, taking the steps two at a time.? I didn’t stop to consider what I might find or how I could help.? The instinct just forced me to move. Fast.

When I got downstairs, I entered another hallway.? A couple of doors led to empty rooms with long tables, kind of like board rooms.? Only dirtier and smellier.? My nose wrinkled at the sickeningly sweet stench of stale beer, mixed with the pungent aroma of urine and some other yuck that I’d just as soon not know the origins of.? Seriously–hadn’t frat boys discovered Febreeze by now?? ? But I didn’t have long to ponder the finer points of air fresheners, since my instinct was urging me past those rooms, to the very end of the hall.? I didn’t see a door, but somehow, I knew she was in there, the girl calling to me.? And her desperation skyrocketed by the second.

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10 Responses to “Teaser Tuesday”

  1. sunna Says:

    Oh, lovely urgency! Well done. I’m curious: how new is this experience to your MC? She seems to be taking it in stride.

  2. firedrake Says:

    Um…so you’re going to leave us hanging?!?!?!?!?!?
    Definitely a ‘teaser’!
    I’m definitely intrigued to learn more. Well done on the transition from party time to something sinister.

  3. houndrat Says:

    Thanks, guys. Sunna, she’s definitely accustomed to feeling other people’s emotions, and this isn’t the first instance that she’s felt this strange need to help others. But I’m going to go over it again and see if I don’t need to make a few changes–thanks for the input.

  4. Branwyn Says:

    Nicely done. Felt the urgency. Tease!

  5. Bryn Greenwood Says:

    She does seem awfully calm, for example wondering about Febreze while she’s following this deluge of emotion. I love the moment she drops her beer, the way it’s metonymically part of this “other” experience. She mentions that the girl is “calling” to her, so I wondered…what is the girl saying?

  6. houndrat Says:

    Thanks. I *think* that by this spot in the story, the reader is well acquainted with how random and easily distracted the heroine is, so hopefully the Febreeze thing won’t seem out of place in context. Something to definitely ask my betas about, though–thanks!

  7. Gretchen Says:

    Gah! Don’t stop!

    My comment coincides with Amy’s – I want to really know that this feeling, this feeling of terror, is a new one for her to be sensing. Dropping the beer is the physical reaction, but since we’re doing first person and getting all her internal monologue, we need the moment when she tells us “This is new. This is scary. I need to fix this.” Or whatever.

  8. parametric Says:

    Really enjoyed this. I like the contrast between the nameless, faceless party people and the MC’s urgent need to find and save this one girl. It feels like the MC is isolated from the party world around her even as she moves through it.

  9. Karen Duvall Says:

    Very tense, and the writing is tight. Nicely done!

  10. Sarah Says:

    Love it! This is the most fascinating premise, and your execution is really, really good. I would omit terms like ‘kind of like’ and get rid of some of the qualifiers, and we can understand that she’s easily distracted, but I would suggest taking a little less of the narrative with that – you can make it a bit more staccato and still have the same effect.

    Am loving this!! Can’t wait to read more!

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