Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: 4 Letter Word

Firstly, I went to my first live crit / writers' group last night and it was great. A very eclectic mix of people and even ran into someone who I (sort of) used to work with! Small world. I'm looking forward to the next meeting!

Moving on, as I haven't written much recently and I am going to be on an airplane this morning, in San Jose for the day (meetings), and yet still home in time for dinner - the kidlets don't even have to know I'm gone! - I thought I'd post a little tidbit of my recently completed wip: 4 Letter Word. Haven't done a Teaser Tuesday before, so hope you guys like (or hate) - strong feelings are good :).


* * *

Under the awning of the front porch I realize I didn’t drive. Staring out into the buckets of rain the sky is pouring almost makes me go back inside.
To Caleb.
My fingers throb at me.
“Shit,” I mutter as I pull the hood of my sweatshirt over my head and step into the torrent. Could this day get any worse?
Within the first minute the sheets of rain have soaked through my clothes. It is only five blocks home—walking isn’t so bad when the sky’s not falling—but today it feels endless. I know I’ll have pneumonia or something by the time I make it to my house.
A couple cars pass by slowing to ogle the weird girl walking through the downpour, drenched to the bone, but no one stops. This isn’t surprising. No one in this neighborhood would offer me a lift home in my current condition. My soaking wetness would ruin the interior of their fancy cars. It’s unfortunate that I would cast my mother in league with these same people.
Halfway down the third block a car pulls up beside me.
I walk faster, uncertainty and fear exploding inside.
I’m about to break out in a sprint when I feel a hand on my shoulder. Spinning on my heel, I almost deck Stephen. If he didn’t catch my fist in the palm of his hand.
He grins. “Ninja speed,” he says loud enough so I can hear. The rain’s roar drowns out all other noise.
I drop my fist. “Sorry,” I answer.
“What are you doing?”
“Obviously I’m walking home!” The edge in my voice makes him take a step back and I feel immediately guilty for taking out my anger on him. “I just—”
“Get in!”
“What?” I’m surprised by the offer. I know how much he loves his car.
“Get in!” he yells, already opening the passenger side door and chasing his sister into the back seat. “Reagan! Get in the damn car!”
I don’t know what to say, but I know I’m very cold and very wet. I don’t give myself a chance to think twice and am settled into the passenger seat of the car before he says anything else. My teeth chatter as Stephen turns up the heat and points the vents at me.
“So you make it a habit to walk alone in the dark on stormy nights?” he asks with a grin.
I haven’t ever noticed how nice his smile is before now. Even if he’s being kind of a jerk to me, he still did stop to give me a ride. And now he’s probably as wet as I am from his brief stint outside the car. “Shut up,” I reply. “Thanks for the ride though.”
Stephen shrugs and starts driving.
“Hi Reagan,” a quiet voice behind me says.
I turn to see Hannah smiling at me. “Hi Hannah.”
“How come you were walking in this weather?”
With a sigh I mutter, “It’s a long story. A long, stupid story.”

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