Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sample Sunday: Thirsty

Since Drew has been talking a little more I thought today I'd throw up a sample and let you get to know him. This sample Drew is talking with Clay. Clay and his brother Mackie are foster parents, only they take in difficult kids. Keep in mind as you read, Drew doesn't know he's a vampire. He was found alone in the basement of a house with his brother upstairs dead. Hopefully as you read you will start piecing together why Drew is clueless. I should also mentioned Drew's story is a sequel to Being Human. Enjoy.

Footsteps thumped above, moving across the floor. Slowly the door opened, the creak stretching into eternity. Dark figures stood in the doorway, blinding light shining around them and casting their faces in shadows. But it didn’t matter, I could still see and there was nothing to see. Their faces were smooth, cream-colored masks. They moved down the steps together. Noises came from the void faces and one reached for me. Claws protruded from each finger, curling to rip through my flesh.

Panic rose in my chest, a desperate need to flee. But my only means of escape was the door behind the figures. If I wanted to survive I had to fight. I dropped into a crouch, coiling my body up, preparing to fight. A slight sliver of relief ran through me at the movement in my mouth. I pulled my teeth back, the breath hissing through my teeth.

“Drew, relax.”

Clay’s voice cut through the memory. My hands ached as I released my grip on the seat of my chair. I shook with each breath I pulled in,  feeling calm trickle into me. “Just a memory.

Clay sat across from me, pen and paper in hand, one leg crossed over the other. “That’s right,” he assured me. “Just a memory. Now I want you to go back. To before you went to the basement. What happened?”

“I was with my brother. There was a storm and he was scared. He wanted me to comfort him.”

“Okay.” Clay replied, not asking me to elaborate. We both knew what happened and had discussed it. “Try going back farther. What happened before you went into your brother’s room? Where you in your bedroom or downstairs watching TV? Do you remember seeing your parents? What happened?”

I closed my eyes, searching my mind. A tall black wall loomed before me, cutting through my memories. I searched along the wall, trying to find a way through, to see something in the void. My silence told Clay where I was at.

“Alright.”

“I’m sorry.”

Clay sighed, setting his pen and paper aside. “Don’t apologize. You do that too much for things that aren’t your fault. I don’t know the extent of what happened to you, we’ve barely hit the tip and your lost memories make it difficult for a diagnosis. We have to work with what we have, not worry about what we don’t. Do you understand?”

I nodded.

“I think that’s enough for today. Why don’t we grab a late dinner and you can head up to bed.” Clay ushered me into the kitchen. He rummaged through the cupboards, picking a couple microwavable soups.

“Can I have a drink too?”

“It worries me the way you drink those.” Clay pulled a bottle full of clear red liquid from a six pack.

A flare of possessiveness bolted through me and I barely repressed the urge to bare my teeth like a dog. Instead, I snatched the bottle, locking my lips around the mouth and drank deeply. The taste was too sweet, something I wasn’t fond of but I couldn’t help myself when it came to the sports drink. It was one of the few things I enjoyed, drinking the contents in a matter of seconds. Afterwards I felt better, energized and refreshed.

“Now eat some soup, all of it.” Clay wrestled the empty bottle from me, forcing the soup into my hand.

The large chunks of meat and vegetables stuck in my throat as I forced the soup down. I saved the broth for last, enjoying it despite the salty taste. There was something about the action of sucking and swallowing. I couldn’t get enough of the actions, feeling a liquid run down my throat. It calmed me, eased the ache I always felt in my gums.

“Slow down or you’ll choke.” Clay sighed.

“Thirsty.”

“Aren’t you always.” Clay rolled his eyes. “Come on, upstairs. Lights out in an hour.”

Clay didn’t escort me to my room, trusting me to behave. I paused at the doorway to the living room. Mackie stood with another woman, a little boy held tightly in his arms. The woman’s gaze darkened when she saw me, the voice whispering behind her eyes.

Dropping my gaze, I hurried upstairs and to my room before Jeremy saw me. I pushed the door shut, trying not to think of the whispers in the woman’s eyes. I didn’t know what caused the voice or why I heard it when I stared in people’s eyes. All I knew was it told the truth about me.

My room was simple and dark. Dark, blue curtains to block out the sun I feared. The blankets I shoved on the floor from my nightly tossing and turning matched. The walls and carpet were a lighter shade of blue but still dark. Mackie let us design our own rooms, wanting to encourage us to express ourselves. He initially frowned at my color scheme but didn’t protest. A small desk and chair were near the bed, a closet full of clothes and a dresser with more. Piles of books were stacked on a bookshelf, most of them history books. I had a fascination with history, envious of all who lived it.

I selected a book, sinking onto my bed as I flipped through the pages. My hand lingered on a chapter that always perked my interest. A depression that happened a hundred years ago. The way the author described the time made me wonder.

In the early twenty first centuries, a depression gripped the nation. Many families found themselves victims to monsters. Cold, blood sucking monsters that destroyed whole families overnight. Various texts often talk of these monsters, an analogy for the tough times even the best-off families fell victim to.

“Monsters.” I murmured.

“Drew?” Mackie leaned against the doorway. “How did your session go?”

I shrugged. “Okay.”

“Clay said you ate a decent dinner for once.”

“I didn’t like the vegetables and meat.”

“Still, it’s more than you usually eat.” Mackie noted. He wandered in, settling into the chair next to me and glancing at my book. “History again?”

“I like it. Maybe someone wrote mine in and book and I’ll find it one day.”

Mackie chuckled. “I don’t think you’ll find anything relevant to your history in books that covered periods that happened a hundred or more years ago.”

“They said monsters destroyed families.” I stared at a drawing of a family cowering before a dark figure. “Why do you think they used that word?”

Mackie took the book from me frowning. “Depressions are tough times. A lot of people struggled to cope. They needed a way to deal with it, give it a face.”

“Am I a monster?”

“Why would you be a monster, Drew?”

I shrugged. “I dunno, because I killed my brother. I get mad easily and then hurt people. Some people might think that makes me a monster.”

“Then they are wrong.” Mackie darkly replied.

2 comments:

  1. Good passage; the characters, atmosphere, and descriptive aspects work very well here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. What I've got on that story I've rewritten about three times.

    ReplyDelete