Yesterday I passed 15k on the novel. I’m starting chapter 7 soon and hoping to get close to 20 today but my mind is a bit sluggish.
Here’s how chapter 6 ends.
Three and a half excruciating hours later there was a knock at her door. Lee sat up straight as an arrow and waited. There was another knock.
“Hello?” came a muffled male voice from the other side. “Lee, it’s me.”
Things had never been personal with them before. Small-talk and nice nothings, that was all. Someone she could sneak a look at in secret and feel content. That was enough. She was suddenly starting to regret the impulse of inviting him into her home. Into her life.
She opened the door and saw him turn from the middle of the stairs to look up at her. “Sorry, I was just…” she trailed off, unable to think of a suitable yet modest excuse. “Come on up. Please.” He came back up the stairs and she stepped aside to let him in. “Would you like something to drink? I don’t have anything but wrinkly apples and stale bread to eat, though, so I can’t offer anything.” He gave her a slight smile as he shook his head.
“No thank you,” he said, then seemed to change his mind. “Actually, I suppose a glass of water would be nice.”
Lee headed into her little kitchen and drew up some cold water in a tall glass for him. As she came back out she was surprised to see how much he dwarfed her already small loft. He wasn’t wide, but he was tall and had to bend his neck slightly in order to not bump the ceiling and there was something about his presence, the air around him, that took up a lot of space. “Maybe you should sit,” she suggested and he chuckled at that, sitting comfortably on her soft sofa. She gave him the glass and excused her lack of a proper desk or table which he seemed to completely ignore.
“I’m glad you decided to contact me,” he said after taking a sip of water. “I’m afraid my approach the other night was all wrong and I apologize for that. I couldn’t think of another way to make you listen.”
She shrugged. “I suppose there might not have been another way,” she admitted. “I honestly don’t know exactly what you were trying to tell me. Or why, for that matter. But it stuck with me and since we spoke last things have been a little… strange.”
His brow furrowed, creating a slight crease on his pale, otherwise smooth face. “Strange?”
Lee nodded and slowly began to tell him of the events from the past day. As she spoke she started to wonder if maybe she was just making too much of things.
When she was finished recounting, she shrugged. “Maybe I’m overreacting. It seems a bit silly now, actually. I’m sorry I’ve dragged you here for no reason.” She looked over at him and saw that he was studying her closely. Then he craned his neck to look out the window behind them. It was getting late, and the city sparkled with light.
“You say you were followed?” he asked finally.
“Yes. Well no, I don’t know if I was. It just felt as though I was being watched. Not that strange considering the scene I caused at University.”
He stood up, a fluid and oddly elegant gesture. “You should pack. We need to leave as soon as possible.”
“What?” Lee said and stood as well. “What are you talking about?”
“They’re coming for you.”
This is a slightly edited version of what appears in the story. It contains some references to things that would only seem odd and out of place when all you read is this little passage. I haven’t edited the prose, though, it’s NOT ALLOWED! I have to scream that at myself more often lately as I keep coming up with problems I want to fix and passages to tweak.
The stakes are higher for me as a writer now, or so it feels. This is when the story gets thicker and the characters start to feel the weight of it. It’s difficult to write, as I’ve lamented before.
So, are you feeling curious?
I know it lacks description, again. I really need to find an appropriate passage with a few more words in it one of these days.