Writer in Motion: Week 3 (CP-edit)
I can't believe that I did it at literally the last hour, nearing the last minute. Ha! I struggled at first and if you saw my livestream you know that it took me two hours and bouncing ideas around to come to a solution that I felt would work. Many thanks to Thalia Ishvari as well as Erin Fulmer and all the other folks in the chat, including the critique partner (CP)** that gave me this suggest.
I'd also ask you to note that... I didn't actually use the solution. Well, I did use the solution. Just not the way I thought I would, and I'm mad I didn't record this process. Here's what happened:
First I tried to write a new opening with some lines from Owen's POV. That worked really well! Then I didn't like it because I felt the emotion was wrong. Not for Owen, that emotion was right. But this is Maddie's story still, no matter how much I try to make it Owen's. So it needed to open with her emotions. Her vibes. So I kept the "new" opening for Owen but it's the second POV, still, and I just poked about Maddie's original opening and did a little cut/paste until it worked out.
I'm now at exactly 1,000 words and even if it isn't the best thousand words on the internet, I kinda like it =)
**Hey, CP, if you're out there and you don't mind me naming you and linking to your profile, lemme know and I'll update the post!
Half Past Chai (or, Too Thoughtful for a Haunting)
You've been gone three years now, and I still dream about you. It's annoying, really. I'll go to bed with something stupid on my mind and there you'll be, giving me that sage advice I used to roll my eyes at.
Ugh. But I can't stay mad. If you were still around, I wouldn't be walking in alone to kill a vampire. Of course, I have no idea if the silver cross and stake will work given that I'm Hindu, but it's the thought that counts, right?
Fuck. I’d rather it was a soucouyant. Easier to pelt some rice at it than try to stab it with this silly stick.
I see you standing outside the vampire’s lair and it’s almost like old times. Almost. The scepticism on your face as you eye the cross has me praying to something – anything – that you’ll put it on your belt instead back in the car.
Sigh. But the world reminds me once again: there’s a price for everything. You keep the cross but shove your jacket in the back seat.
Maddie, only you would think that fighting a vampire in shirtsleeves is a good idea.
The thing I hate most about these dreams is the way you always leave me. Right when I'm getting used to seeing you again. Right when it's time to start rolling my eyes, when I’m about to punch you in the shoulder. You turn into smoke, and I pass through you like the figment you are. Then reality grips my heart and throat.
I’d prefer it if you were a ghost. The unrest of a haunting is easy. But you're too thoughtful for a haunting, and I hate you for it.
I know you hate it, but smoke and mirrors are part of my job, now. Did you know you had a guardian angel? That poor bastard had his work cut out. When I died, he retired. I'm that poor bastard now and yes, I bend the rules because subtle hints are lost on you the way a grain of sand gets lost in a desert. Hell, you’re like a desert. Vast and arid and total hell, with so little to give. But when I found an oasis in you, it was downright magical.
I wish I hadn't died. I did a better job of keeping you safe in life.
Inside is precisely what you'd expect a vampire lair to be like. You know, if the vampire were an unwashed bum. It's humid but the air is thick and sticky with something more than Caribbean heat. I take a deep breath.
Blood. No surprise there. And magic. That's why they called me, after all. What's that other thing? Cardamom, definitely. Cinnamon? Maybe. Mmm, cloves... is this asshole drinking chai?
When you smell the chai, I know you're in trouble. Double trouble, because the vampire is neither unwashed nor a bum. She's just your type. You're going to walk in there and bam! Mesmerized. And I don't mean by vamp hypnosis because we both know you're immune but Jesus Christ, Maddie, you're such a sucker for a cute brunette.
The vampire in the other room is precisely my type. The fangs might be a bit of a turn… shit, nevermind. The fangs are hot.
She looks up from her fragrant, probably blood-magical chai and – damnit Owen, this is why I need you around. Of course I say yes when she invites me to sit and have a cup.
Maddie, I swear to my undead God that if I were alive I would slap you. I always knew you were reckless when it comes to a pretty face but you are literally having tea with the thing you were hired to kill!
I don't know what the Hell I was thinking, sitting for some chai with a frickin' vampire. It was, obviously, the worst move one could make. Vampires, as you would know, are cobra-fast. I am not quite that fast, but I am prepared so, ha!
When she flings herself across the table, my shield engages. The tattoo on my forearm glows red and the magic sizzles on impact, giving her a burn worthy of an aloes meme.
I'm not prepared when her nails break through and claw my arm. That bitch. So rude!
Shit, Maddie. I realise too late what sitting at the table means, and now I don’t know how the fuck to get you out of this.
My chair tumbles back and I roll away, but the air is thickening. Her blood ritual – fuck, obviously the damn tea! – is complete and I’m just realizing how seriously fucked I am because now she has access to my obeah. Vamps on spirit magic are worse than vamps on steroids.
It’s fine. I always figure it out.
Then again, I always had you with me.
Maddie, you are so damn lucky I love you, you crazy, crazy woman. To save you, I can’t bend the rules. I have to break them. But hey, that's what best friends are for, right?
The smoke that passes between me and hot vamp-lady is man-shaped. I brace myself but it doesn't turn on me. No, it whips out a stick? A sword? Something long and possibly pointy, and it tries to hit her with it. Vamp lady is smooth but the smoke moves like liquid.
God, help me. It moves like you. It twists when it crouches, like you. It lunges and parries like you. It does an absolutely unnecessary back flip off the table, just like you would.
It stabs her through the heart, like you taught me.
When she falls, the smoke turns solid. A familiar shape in jeans and a hoodie like the one I gave you on your last birthday. There's a face in there that I can’t quite see. I reach to pull the hood down, but it doesn’t matter. All that's inside is smoke.