Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Snippet: Project: Walker

Here's a small snippet of what I've been working on. It's still very rough but the main plot idea is firm and the characters are beginning to come alive. Yes I know I don't need ANOTHER project right now but I'm a glutton for punishment. :P

“He’s watching you again.” I said sliding the white ceramic cup across the grain of the table.

“What’s he doing?” Her eyes darted up quickly before descending back into the black coffee in front of her.

I casually turned my gaze from her glowing-carmine lips, letting it wander over the crammed cafe instead. Irregular tables set with chairs of different heights were wedged at odd intervals and filled with loud people. The air was a sort of orange-sepia hue the oozed out of the table lamps. Thick trails of smoke melded into gathering vaulted haze around our heads. But even in all that, I could still see the glow at the end of his cigarette, burning like some orange demon star between the pillars of smoke.

“Nothing.” I turned back to those lips, “He’s just sitting there. Smoking.”

Her voice dropped to a whisper as her pale hand slid across the table and wrapped cold fingers around my own, “We should go.”

I hesitated, savoring the icy feel of her ivory touch, placing my other hand over hers reassuringly. “Why don’t we stay? He would have done something by now if he knew.”

White teeth bit the corner of those glowing cardinal lips and a single canine glisten in the torpid, brown light. “It doesn’t feel right. Come on.”

There seemed to be a slight hush in the conversations filling the air with round vowels and soft syllables, right as her grip started to unravel in the palm of my sweating hand. We pulled our hands apart, separating slowly like a Russian nesting doll. As her cold hands retreated to their nest in her lap, their absence only made my hands burn the more for wanting them.

“My family.” I looked back around casually as a roar of laughter exploded from a nearby table, “Did I ever tell you about them? My family I mean.”

“It’s nearly half passed.” She glanced at the clock on the wall entrenched on all sides by pictures, posters, and mounted musical instruments. “It would have been here by now.”

“Mom was never around. Always running from one job to the other. My dad. Well, he walked when I was just five.” The small bell above the door jangled and we both turned to look, catching sight of a fur coat and pair of heels in the arms of a dark suit before they disappeared into the foggy night. “Anyway, least I think I was five. Can’t seem to really recall much.”

She turned her eyes back to mine at last with a hazy glimmer in their edges, “Sometimes its better to forget.”

“Can you remember anything from when you were that young?” If she was finally responding to my statements I wasn’t going to let the conversation end so quickly.

From across the room a spoon clinked as it grazed the edges of the porcelin cup, sending soft echoes into the chaos above our heads. It mixed into the voices and the smoke and the sound of saucers touching teacups like some first, hesitant kiss. I knew she was listening, straining so hard to hear the song that groaned from the old radio.

“Do you like music?” I ventured, the slow rising nervousness in her cold hands somehow seeping like a shadow across the table. “We should ask them to turn it up.”

Her hands reappeared as they shot out to grab my sleeve, to stop me from standing. All I had done was move my chair back. She knew I wouldn’t really get up. She knew I only wanted her to talk. To bring her hands back.

“My mother had a disease.” She said softly, words spilling across those crimson fields and bleeding out her chest, “My father was my only friend. No one else could understand. I couldn’t stop it. He couldn’t. No one could. She just sat there and got thin.”

I could see these were old memories. Forgotten? No, put away. Locked in the asylem that had been her only comfort. I had read her file after all. I knew what to expect as she sat there across the table from me, waiting for the drop. These were her deamons. The things that she would never let surface. I enjoyed seeing them surface like dead fish on a pond. I felt guilty for not feeling guilty at all.

“Hey, listen. It’s okay. You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want.” Her hand was still clenched into my jacket sleeve, fingers burrowing deep into the thin fabric. I placed my hand over hers again.

Her grip weakend. “If you want we can just go.”

The thin line of white teeth appeared over that bottom crimson lip again, as she hesitated, fingers loosening bit by bit....

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