Folks, hope all is well!! Sorry I haven't posted in awhile- I've recently accepted a teaching position at a Middle School down here in Florida, so I haven't had too much time for my writing- thought I am trying to change that this weekend. I've been going through and wrapping up the first round of edits on my novel "The Night House", and came across this section with about 100 pages left in the book. Thought I'd share and see what you think!! I love hearing from you!
The drone rain
had been beating for days. It had to have been at least six, or at least that’s
what she thought. What was even weirder is that she could have sworn it had
been the dead of evening for the entire six days. The darkness was so heavy
that she wouldn’t dare go outside. She couldn’t dare go outside, or else she
knew she’d be buried. The weight of the world would drown over her in some sort
of ocean swell, wrapping itself around her like a sweet southern heat. How that
made any sense in the starkness of New England she had no idea, but she knew
that no matter what, should would refuse to step outside. It wasn’t possible.
She blinked and
realized she was in her car, driving. And really not so much driving but racing
down the highway toward some masterful destination. How the hell did I end up outside? The rain continued to beat down
more violently than ever. That’s not
possible. Between the intensity of the revving engine, the complete
blinding rain, and the wipers frantically racing to attempt to catch up, she
realized her world was completely silent. She closed her eyes with force, and
held them closed for what seemed like ages, an attempt to bring her back to
reality. She was still racing on the completely deserted silent highway. And this makes sense, how?
She turned her
head to the left, gazing out the window she realized that for whatever reason,
the passing images were almost completely clear, yet were making no sense. As
the racing continued, she made out what she thought looked like a cactus, with
thin swirls of a white powdery sand being stirred up by the wind. She turned
her attention back to the windshield, her singular focus on the road ahead of
her. Why the hell am I going so fast,
anyhow? She began to place her foot on the brake pedal, but to her horror
the car almost seemed to speed up. In another moment of terror, she finally
recognized that this wasn’t even her car.
again to her left, she noticed the crystal white powdery sand wrapping around
what appeared to be another cactus. It was a slow, dramatic entanglement that
didn’t seem physically possible given the torrential circumstances. More sand
began to get kicked up from the group, resembling a dusty country western
scene. Alright, I’m going to pretend like
this is totally normal.
was again drawn to the road in front of her, a seemingly desolate stretch of
bizarre, unknown desert highway that according to her odometer had gone on for
nearly twenty miles. I just got here, how
is that possible? Though she could hardly see fifty feet beyond her front
windshield, she reckoned this stretch could go on for another fifty silent
miles. How the *REPORT ME!!* did I end up here, anyway? The silence
ensured she would never get an answer. The silence was heavy. The silence was
dense, and it sure as hell wasn’t going anywhere. I’ll close my eyes and let things take care of themselves. I got here
just as quick, maybe it’ll all end the same way.
“Mom, when are
we getting back home, I need to pee.” The deep voice startled her more than the
rain had. She glanced in her rear view mirror and was beyond startled and what
she noticed in the back seat. Seated right in the middle, leaning forward,
apparently with no seatbelt on was a large boy, probably of around fifteen,
staring at her questioningly, obviously wanting some sort of answer to his
“Who are you?”
was all she could manage to ask. The boy looked up at her.
“I’m your son,
obviously.” She looked hard in the mirror. Though the car was quite dark, much
like the darkness outside, she could have sworn that this boy was at least two
shades too dark to be her son. However, she decided to go along with it,
praying this twisted moment would pass.
“Where are we?”
“How am I
supposed to know.” The boy quipped nonchalantly.
“I must have
forgotten… Remind me, where are we going?”
“I don’t know.
You just said we were going to fix it?” again, very nonchalant, as though this
were all totally believable.
“Fix what, son?”
the words felt foreign to her.
“You didn’t say.
We just sort of walked out the door.” She nodded subtly, acting as though it
made total sense.
“So you don’t
know where we’re going?”
“Neither do I.”
her focus was now back to the road ahead of her, the rain falling just as
heavily as before, the road just as deserted. Like clockwork, she took a quick
glance out of the left window. More powder white sand.
And the racing
continued, racing to some sort of uncertain certainty. As time passed, she
seemed to be going faster, much like her tangled thoughts, no certainty in
trying to figure this out.
There was no way
she could have seen the intersection as she approached it, almost as if it had
formed instantaneously. There was no way she could have known that the light
had turned red before she had reached it, and there was no way she could have
seen the woman in the convertible, top completely down, hair matted down from
was so violent that she knew beyond doubt that the car was flying through the
air, and probably flipping end over end. She felt the need to grab hold of
anything she could, to brace herself, but somehow within the confines of her
car, it was as if none of this were going on. She looked out the windshield
trying to get her bearings, and all she saw was a dark barrage of a pelting
sky, the car tipped upwards, before completing a back flip, landing on its
roof, and skidding for what had to have been fifty yards. The sparks brightly
flew against the pavement, her head seemingly only inches from it.
She felt herself
throw her arm back toward the boy in the back seat, hoping to grab hold of his
hand, to pull him close to her. The unknown son of hers, but all she could
manage was to brush against his pant leg, what felt like his knee. She
continued to wriggle her fingers in hopes of grabbing something, but she managed
nothing but the still air.
later, a silence commenced, and all was still. She took a quick second to let
her thoughts settle, before discovering that she felt completely fine. She
turned her head slowly to check on the boy.
“Son, are you alright?”
“Yeah mom. Still
have to pee back here.” You’ve got to be
kidding me. Is he serious?
bleeding? Is anything broken?” she unlatched her seatbelt with purpose, turning
around to examine both herself and her son. Both seemed to be completely unhurt
by the accident.
“Did you not see
the car coming mom?” the boy asked with the same nonchalant timbre as before.
“What the hell
do you mean? I haven’t been able to see anything the whole time. For some
reason, here we are out here, driving in this wicked rain. What is up with this
raining like this.”
there was no way I could see them coming. You sure you’re okay?” the boy nodded
subtly. “Fine… I’m going to check on the other car.”
She reached for
the door handle, all the windows and windshield seemingly perfectly intact, and
swiftly and easily opened the door. The car was on its roof, so the exit to the
ground was a bit awkward. “Son, you stay right there. Please don’t move. I’ll
be right back.”
She felt her feet
hit the pavement, and she was pleased to see that her legs were much stronger
than what would be hoped for with such a violent collision. The rain was
relentless and didn’t back down whatsoever, making it difficult for her to get
her bearings. Looking out across the horizon, where the road continued on for
what seemed like miles, she saw the other car several yards away, and she began
approached, she again noticed that it was a convertible, with its top down in
the rain. The car was lying on its side, the driver’s side door wedged against
the pavement. She’s got to be dead.
There’s no other way around it. Upon approach, she was reminded that it was
a woman who had been driving, thin wisps long hair draped over the side of the
door, having gently settled, barely touching the stark ground. She began
running. Though the rain made it impossible to really see the woman at this
point, she knew she could have been somebody’s daughter. Somebody’s mother.
Somebody’s sister. What the hell am I
supposed to do?
She got to the
car, and couldn’t see the woman’s face. It was as though she was frozen in
time, the impact having not thrown her in any way shape or form. The woman sat,
head facing frontward, her arms at her side, as though she were simply sitting.
And waiting. Alex finally reached the car, crawling down to the ground to get
eye level with the victim. Once she hit the ground, her heart hit the floor.
She was nearly face to face with a woman she had only known well through all
the years. A woman who was seemingly frozen in time and ageless whom she had
not seen in years.
Nadia, slowly turned her head, the right side completely bloodied up with
apparent pieces of asphalt embedded in her skin. She turned her head slowly,
like a rusty door handle that hadn’t been used in years. There was no
expression on Nadia’s face as her gaze met her daughter’s. The daughter she
hadn’t seen in years. The daughter who had meant so much to her.
exclaimed, a mixture of reunion euphoria and a realization that the crash
victim would be dead in a matter of minutes.
mother’s gaze turned harsh, a final warning forming in her final breaths.
future lies within the secrets he keeps in his closet”. She closed her eyes
slowly, very tightly for a few seconds, and slowly opened them, her expression
evolving to maternal concern.
What is…Why are you here…How is this… Are you alright?”
stare was deep, and though she couldn’t answer, it gave Alex all the answers
she would need. Your future lies within
the secrets he keeps in his closet.
speak to me. Let me help you, hold on.” She began to head to the car to grab
some towels to wrap around her mother, but looking down at her, she realized
she was about to go, again.
stare was unwavering as she began to close her eyes slowly, one final time.
love you mom.” Her eyes had closed completely.
turned back to the car to head home.