Thursday, February 10, 2011

Excerpt - Blink of an I

Well, it's been about a year and a half since I posted anything over here.  I totally meant to keep up with this, but life has a tendency to get in the way.  This being the year of change for me, though, I think I'll try again.  So, in honor of that, I'm posting the beginning of a book I finished a couple years ago.

To make the posting of this a little more poignant, the other day my teenage nephew asked if he could read one of my books.  I offered my most recent, and asked him what he liked to read.  His answer: "Anything, but I'm kinda picky about my literature."  No pressure there, eh?  Since my most recent finished project is more commercial, I sent him the manuscript I call "Blink of an I" - a dystopian that skirts the line between YA and adult.  This is what I'm offering you today...

The twisted hulk stretched into the air above her like a man straining to grasp the hand of a loved one being pulled away. On the opposite side of the strait, Mary could almost make out another someone reaching through the fog.

Or maybe she was only remembering that it was there. Every chance she got, she trekked the many blocks to stand on this strip of land between the ocean and the bay to wait. Unsure of what she was waiting for, and yet still waiting. On sunny days, she could see across the thick belt of water where a twin husk reached toward the city. The two corroded towers between rose from the waves—silent guardians of a past she would never know.

Her fingers traced, yet again, the strange symbols rising off the brass plate at the base. They probably told what the expanse was for, but their meaning was lost to her. Below her the surf crashed against the rocks, and silently slithered back into the bay, whispering secrets in a language she wished to understand.

Turning her back to the mystery, she cast her eyes across the bay toward the hills and wondered if the upper castes who lived there knew what any of it meant. Surely someone up there had been taught these things. At some point someone thought this structure was important enough to build. It ought to be important enough for someone to remember, even after all the years that must’ve passed.

But if anyone still understood, she knew they would never tell someone like her. She was nothing to them.

Trailing her fingers through the rust, she tried to let go of the pain struggling against her station always brought. In this place, her caste level didn’t matter. The structure behind her didn’t care if she was a lowly Indigo or a lofty Red. After her years in the foundling home, she found structures were better company anyway. The wasted creation above never pointed and laughed at her questionable parentage. It never shunned her because her jumper was a coarser cloth or a poorer color. The warped and corroded metal simply stood, making her feel that maybe once upon a time people didn’t care about such things either. Clearly if men could build such mysterious monuments, they wouldn’t have had time to dwell on origins and castes.

Her gaze drifted partway along the coast and a few blocks in. Nestled inside the grid of streets was her other favorite place in the city. Nothing more than sandy brick and dusty windows, without any outstanding characteristics to draw anyone’s attention, the building—whatever was within—was still prominent amongst the surrounding derelicts surrounding. Like its brethren, it was worn with age. Unlike them, it wore age proudly. Though there was a cracked window pane here and a crumbling brick there, those minor details did nothing to associate the structure with the stolid sentinels around it. None of the others would ever rise to the grandeur it must’ve once been wrapped in.

She never saw a pair of bright eyes peek from between the heavy draperies, but each time she watched, she was sure they were there. Somehow she just knew there was a warm body tucked away, secure behind their folds. She couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Maybe tomorrow she would visit. Perhaps then she would summon the courage to quench her curiosity.

If there was time. Between work and sleep, there was never enough time.

I hope you enjoyed that.  As always, feel free to comment, but this isn't posted for critique or review.  It's just an offering for those who stop by.  =o)


  1. Very nice :) Raised some interesting questions in my mind!

  2. Wow, I can really feel the mystery of that place! Your description is beautiful.

  3. You are a really skilled writer! This is a great excerpt.