Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WIP Wedesday: Split Decision

My WIP kinda-sorta young adult novel (as yet untitled but set in my fictional town of Springdale, just a hop down the road from Broughton's Hollow of The House Eaters) split in two last night. For a moment, I thought it was going triplicate.

I've shifted POV to 3rd person and will run two parallel story lines. Both Andy and his sister Phoebe (yes, her parents named her Phoebe after Holden Caulfield's sister in Catcher in the Rye) will have chapters. Phoebe was just too strong to hold back. You go, Feebs.

From her first chapter:

Phoebe Ellison hated mirrors, and mirrors shared the sentiment.

She stood before a mirror in one of the less traveled ladies restrooms in Springdale High, exchanging a glare with the reflection. Tiny white lines on her forearms reached from the glass and shouted in her ears. Phoebe ran a finger across her skin, wondering if it was her imagination or the truth she felt in those little, rigid scars.

Muffled voices sounded in the hall. Phoebe’s hands worked without thought—her left turned the hot water tap, and her right reached for the soap dispenser. The bathroom door crashed open. Haley Garret and her entourage brushed behind her, close enough Phoebe could smell Haley’s perfume.

If she only had a match, they would all go up in flames.

“Lookie here,” Haley said. She positioned her well-tanned face over Phoebe’s shoulder in the mirror. “A piece of fresh meat.”

Phoebe’s neck bristled. She could leave—walk out now and not look back.

“Whatcha doing, fresh meat?”

Haley’s clones giggled.

“Washing my hands.” Steam began to rise in the basin, distorting the faces in the mirror. “Going back to class.”

“Right.” Haley pushed her shoulder into Phoebe’s back as she turned. “Don’t be late, fresh meat.”

The giggling trio slipped out of the door. Water vapor condensed on the mirror, blurring it to a white haze. The steam began to tease Phoebe’s dark hair. She smelled fire—felt it burn her nose. Smoke and ash. Voices crying. The voices always blended into a memory of her parents’ final cries. How old had she been, four…five? Pain radiated through Phoebe’s forearm, to her shoulder, across her back, and into her lips. Sweet pain. When she pulled back her hand, the hot water had seared a red mark on her skin.

She wanted to smash the mirror. She wanted to crush it into a million pieces and grind the pieces beneath her sneakers. Her right hand balled into a fist. Maybe she’d cut her knuckles on the shards. There’d be blood. Phoebe fought the smile at the thought, and the bell rang, forcing her out of the bathroom, right hand clutched over the left to hide the burn.

Tomorrow, I have a story up at Every Day Fiction. Bracing myself for impact. Enjoy Wednesday.


Jamie Eyberg said...

No one but other writers can understand when a story gets out of our hands and the characters take over. Have fun with it.

Brendan P. Myers said...

Heh. Wondering if "meat" in this instance is only an expression. Can't wait to find out . . .

Katey said...

I love when they let you know they will not be stopped, and you will give them their own point of view, or your life will be miserable. Because really, they can do that. :D

I'm already intrigued by her. I love nothing so much as a good female character who isn't the same old-- and man, she isn't.

Tyhitia Green said...

What? That's all we get? I'm waiting for more. **taps foot** Great job as always, Aaron. ;-)

Aaron Polson said...

True, Jamie. True.

Brendan - Ah, wishful thinking.

Katey - I hope not. Feebs has a long way to go, but she's made me a believer.

Tyhitia - Kind of a tease, I know. ;)

Kara McElhinny said...

This is great Aaron! Thanks for sharing. I think it's the bees knees when a story takes a surprise twist. It makes writing exciting and helps you know that even though you're in the pilot seat the charater's still have their own ideas. :D

Can't wait to read the story!

Elana Johnson said...

Excellent! Glad you listened to Phoebe. :)

Danielle Birch said...

An intriguing character indeed. Looking forward to reading more about her.