Monday, April 20, 2009

Insomnia - new WIP

I wasn't sure what to post today and I haven't gotten through enough Miss Snark for another post from her blog yet (not to worry, another is coming soon enough ;) I decided to post an excerpt from the beginning of my new WIP. This is my first time writing in first person POV so if you have any input or tips, I would love to have them.

Enjoy!

Chapter 1: Trapped

Most people don’t know it, but they always make an appearance in their own dreams. They can’t always see themselves and sometimes feel like they’re only watching. But it doesn’t matter, they’re always there.

And I can always see them.

Another day, another dream—I leaned back against the wall, popped my neck to one side and closed my eyes. I hadn’t seen much, but I knew the long wall opposite me was covered, ceiling to floor, with shelves and shelves of books. That alone was enough to tell me that this probably wouldn’t be a dream I’d want to witness. Most dreams that began in public places were same old, same old—showing up naked to school, the office, the mall, you name it. This time it was the Beavercreek City Library. Come on! If I have to watch your dreams the least you could do is have some creativity, people!

Sighing, I smoothed my tense muscles and tried to get as much rest as was possible in someone else’s dream. The dreamer was a janitor at the library. Even though I hadn’t seen him in the dream yet, I knew it would be him. I was there late last night. After all this time, I should’ve known better than to meet his eyes as I’d walked out the door. I didn’t even know him. It hadn’t been my first mistake, and I was sure it wouldn’t be my last. I tried to be careful about whom I made eye contact with before sleeping, but I also refused to let these stupid visions rule my life.

The janitor’s voice invaded my thoughts. “No! This—isn’t—” Followed by a sharp gasp in the background and the screeching sound of a table moving along the vinyl floor. He was probably trying to hide behind it, poor old man. The next thing I heard was like fabric flapping in the wind.

Slightly odd, as there was no wind in the library, but it didn’t matter. Nothing was impossible in a dream. I’d learned that a long time ago.

“Aha! I’m no simple janitor! You won’t get away with this Clothespin Boy!”

Uh, okay, that’s new. I opened my eyes just a crack, but they flew open the rest of the way when I caught sight of the janitor standing on a table, clothed in black spandex with a red cape. I cracked up when I saw his rippling muscles beneath the shiny black material. The taut biceps were quite enhanced from earlier in the evening.

Way to go, Gramps!

His gray hair was streaked with midnight black and he raised one arm to point toward the back of the library. The pose reminded me of a comic book cover. I had to gasp in oxygen between my spasms of laughter.

When my finally eyes stopped watering, I focused my gaze toward the opposite end of the room. A broad staircase led toward a massive stained glass window portraying a field of yellow flowers. As the stairs reached the window there was a platform with two smaller staircases leading off from either side to the upper floor.

Frozen on his way up the stairs was a scrawny teenager clad completely in blue with a mask over his eyes. As though in slow motion, he spun to face the janitor. A nasty grin split his face. He raised the janitor’s uniform in the air and began ripping it to shreds. The pieces of blue denim fluttered gracefully to the floor. As one piece fell, I made out the name PAUL scrawled in red stitching. Through several missing teeth, the teen cackled, ripping another piece free from the uniform.

“This is your last warning, you delinquent. Leave my clothes alone! Clean up your mess—And do it now!” Paul bellowed across the room as he hopped lithely to the next table.

Oh, seriously? This is awesome! I’ve got to watch this janitor’s dreams more often! I rolled on the floor, clutching my stomach. It was a good thing he couldn’t hear me, because I’d hate to interrupt his little Superman fantasy.

Clothespin Boy, as Paul had called him, skipped backward up the stairs. His juvenile voice cracking as he crowed. More tufts of blue fabric flew about the room. With each rip, Paul jumped one table closer. Finally, he bounded onto the stairs next to the teenage boy. In one motion he snatched the uniform from the youth’s hands and used it to bind him to the railing. Applause erupted from around the room.

A woman with flowing black hair, rushed down the upper right stairs to the janitor. It took me a second to recognize her and I felt my jaw click as my mouth fell open. It was old Ms. Pinch, the librarian.

“Oh, Paul, you’re my hero!” She reached out and pulled him to her, throwing her arms around his neck.

The voice was a husky imitation that sounded nothing like Ms. Pinch’s normal angry whispers. She always got after me for turning my pages too noisily. “Parker! I expect you to keep it down, young man!” I snorted and shook my head.

Unfortunately, I looked up just in time to see Ms. Pinch draw her hero’s lips close and the rest of the room faded to black. The moment my area of the room darkened, I was jerked over to a new spot on the stairs with an excellent view of their old, withered lips attacking each other.

I whistled and muttered. “Right then, this is definitely something I don’t want to remember.” After slamming my eyelids shut against the unwelcome view, I tried to get comfortable against the wall.

My hands pressed into my ears, and I listened for a long moment to the thrumming inside my head. Sometimes I used to wonder if it was my actual heartbeat I was hearing or if it was some part of the dream that even the dreamer wasn’t aware of. After much debate—after all, I’d been sharing other peoples’ dreams for about five years now—I came to a conclusion. It must be mine. The dreamers didn’t even know I was here. Why would they bother giving me a heartbeat?

Besides, I liked it better this way. It felt like the only thing I had any control of in here. If I breathed quickly or got excited, it would speed up, if I relaxed, the gentle cadence would slow. My heartbeat was my link to reality.

The slow rhythm rocked me and I hummed the melody for a new tune I’d been trying to get down on my guitar. My best lyrics and songs usually came to life during these visions that I didn’t want to be a part of. Might as well work on the music, there was nothing else to do but wait for Paul to end the dream I was trapped in.

16 comments:

  1. The fact that she becomes trapped in these dreams is intriquing to me. I would want to keep reading to see what future dreams she gets trapped in. Seems like this story has the potential for some interesting twists. Good luck with it.

    Oh and btw I love first person. It's my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay so based on Crystal's comment I think somehow you need to make it clear that the narrator is a guy. That way readers aren't confused later. But you already know I love this concept. 1st POV is my fav too. :)Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was really pulled into this, and I think you've done a great job on the voice.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jenn - Thanks! :D

    Crystal - I'm glad you like the story and the writing! :D Thanks! The MC is a boy, so I guess I need to make that more obvious, LOL. ;)

    Karen - Yeah, I guess there is only one line that says Parker is a boy--

    “Parker! I expect you to keep it down, young man!” I snorted and shook my head.--

    So I need to think of a way to clarify a little further :)

    Angela - Thanks so much! I appreciate your feedback! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Jenn, I loved it. I hope you don't mind, I did a fast crit. You write with skill and humor and I'd read on to find out what happens. Clothespin boy, brilliant.

    much rest as was possible in someone else’s dream. Need the was?


    flowing black hair, rushed down need the comma?

    “Parker! I expect you to keep it down, young man!” This is my first clue the character is male.

    I tried to get comfortable against the wall. But he was jerked over to the stairs.

    My best lyrics and songs usually came to life during these visions that I didn’t want to be a part of. Might as well work on the music, there was nothing else to do but wait for Paul to end the dream I was trapped in. I’m not against ending a sentence with a preposition, but two in a row kinda echoes.

    I gues I'll find out in a bit if the HTML is accepted.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome! Thanks so much :) Yeah, this is still in 1st draft stage, so I'll add in those edits. You're wonderful! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this scene and what a great concept for a book. I can't wait to see what else happens!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interesting. Yeah, I had no idea the MC was a boy, either. And have you read WAKE by Lisa McMann? If not, you should. Her MC gets trapped in dreams too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Eeeh! you know I love this! so glad you posted it! Jenni

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's so much fun to read work from other writers. I was definitely intrigued by the story, never read anything like it. I'd love to read more. I want to know why your MC dreams and what the main conflict of the story is.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Still loving it. Hurry and finish. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great and hooky opening, lady! I'd try to stay in the present as much as possible to draw the reader into the action with immediacy.

    PS Great premise too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Most people don’t know it, but they always make an appearance in their own dreams. They can’t always see themselves and sometimes feel like they’re only watching. But it doesn’t matter, they’re always there.

    And I can always see them."

    OMG I LOVE THIS BEGINNING!!! I am rushing by and don't have time to read it all (dang it dang it dang it!) ...but, this beginning grabbed my arse .... whatever you do with what follows, this beginning captured my attention....so hold onto it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. So the real question is...does Paul appear in Ms. Pinch's dreams? I have to know.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks so much for all the feedback guys! You are all awesome! :)

    I haven't read Wake yet ElanaJ, but from what I've heard, my plot is much different.

    Jessie - LOLOL I believe he does, although most likely not in black spandex. ;) You crack me up! Romantic at heart maybe?

    ReplyDelete