Monday, March 5, 2012

The Unanswerable

Don't forget to check out my March Giveaway!  Ends March 31st!

A new excerpt from a new project The Unanswerable.  I really really need to stop coming up with new projects and focus on my old ones.  This may be the last excerpt from this for awhile, but hey, it's fun stuff.  Also, my idea for a cover is below as well.  Fun times :)  I love designing, it's a really good way to pass the time.

Here's a project update (you can look at my WIP bar on the left hand side too!):
  • Rioss - just passed the 43k mark.  Working towards 70k, then onto editing and possibly book two.  Though, I might pause on book two and go back to it a bit later.
  • Ruhe - I really need to finish editing this piece.  Someone kick me in the butt until I get this done, please?  This is on the back-burner, as I focus on Soul Therapy.
  • Soul Therapy - currently in two contests.  Waiting for the finalist announcement on Brenda Drake's blog, and waiting for the Amazon Breakout Novel Contest quarter finalist list.  Still need to do some serious editing here too, but it's still written.
  • The Unanswerable - new project, post-apocalyptic story.  See below for cover concept and an excerpt!  Just started the brainstorming process.  Possibly an adult novel.
  • Kingdom of Obsession - put on hold
  • Good Criminal Heart- put on hold
  • 2042 - put on hold

Dark clouds rolled across the sky in the abandoned town. The windows were boarded up in the small convenience store that we took shelter in, but the windows were shattered. It was going to be a long night.

Alisha came up behind me, running her fingers along my back. She nestled herself into the crook in my shoulder. “What’s going to happen?”

I sighed and looked at her. Her eyes refracted the darkness of the sky, I could see the clouds rolling over her eyes. A lightning bolt shot down from the sky in the direction we had come from. We had gotten out just in time. Thunder shook the air and a cold gust of wind picked up.

“We go inside, for now. We wait.” I turned and walked in the door. We had found a lot of supplies from an Army Surplus store only a few blocks away. Most people had taken all they could carry. We were probably the last of the crowd heading south. We hadn’t seen anyone yet, but since there were no cars and no food left, we had to assume we weren’t the only survivors.

She shut the door and locked the latch. The whole place smelled of rotten wood. The whole town was like this, but the convenience store had the most solid roof. We weren’t far from the city, far from the explosions. That’s why almost everything was destroyed. Everything had collapsed.

Alisha settled down on her sleeping bag and hugged her knees, burying her face in her hands. She sobbed slightly. I squeezed my eyes shut. If I ignored her for long enough, she would get over it. She would come out of it.

But as another wave of thunder ran over us, shaking the whole building, her wailing only increased. I sighed. Verity would have my head if she knew I was letting a girl cry like this. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t… for her.

I sat down next to Alisha, and she immediately curled her body into mine. As tears rolled down her face, the rain started to pound the side of the store. Little sprays of water got inside the cracks in the boarded up windows and shot onto the floor.

“I just can’t believe they are all gone… my mum…” I didn’t want her to continue. I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted to grieve just as much as Alisha did, but we had to get out, we had to survive. I couldn’t stop to think about her, not yet. “My dad, Adam…” She took several shaky breaths before letting another wave of hysteria creep into her. She shook and pounded on my chest with her fist. “Why us? Why me? Why you? Why now?!”

I grabbed her wrists and pulled her face close to mine. I could smell the salt of her tears, I could taste the cherry gloss that she had applied to her lips. “Stop asking. It is us, it is me and you, and there is no other reason. You understand?”

She nodded a little, her dark brown hair fell into her face. She sat up and looked down at the floor, refusing to look at me again. I leaned my head against the wall with a thud.

“I don’t want to blame you, Alisha… but I do.” I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to look at her, because I needed to say this. I needed to tell her otherwise it was going to eat me up. “If I didn’t help you… I might have been able-“

Her hand touched my cheek. I opened my eyes, and she was an inch from my face. “I’m sorry, Matthew. I’m so so sorry.” Tears welled in the corner of her eyes. “I was so scared… and…” She sat back on her heels. “I’m grateful you did. I don’t mean to seem like I’m not. I’m still scared.” She shook her head.

I took her hand and grit my teeth. It was easier than crying, to feel my teeth pressed so hard against each other that they might shatter out of my skull. I loosened my jaw for a moment and said, “It’s us now, okay? It’s just us, and we both have to learn to live with that. No more whys. I can’t deal with any more whys.”

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