There’s blood everywhere. How could so much blood be coming from such small cuts? One hand covers one wrist, trying to stop the life that gushes out of me in a barely noticeable rhythm, but this just leaves the other one unattended. My efforts are useless. I’m weakening by the second, each moment limping by as slowly as I seem to be moving now. But it doesn’t matter how fast I’m moving. I’m still moving. Am I moving?
And I realize then…I did this to myself.
His laugh is a private echo in my ears as my eyes fly open, wet. Instinct carries my left arm up to wipe the tears away, but horror at the thought that it might come back smeared with blood pins it back to my side. I can’t be sure if it’s the sensation of tears sliding down the side of my face and into my hair, or the time it takes to happen, but after a few seconds I’m awake and aware that it was just a nightmare.
The lack of real, physical danger does nothing to quell the feeling of fear left behind. This will drive me mad—if it hasn’t already. I assumed that those I’d been before had just been weak willed in their dealings with Noel, but am beginning to think that the fear of what would happen if they didn’t give in to his request had eventually made them all bat shit crazy enough to do whatever he asked. I wonder if it will ever end, and I can’t stop crying.
It was your job to make me post. Why didn’t you do your job? Yes, you…right there. I’m pointing at you.
Lots going on lately, but I’m finally settling back into life and feeling ready to write again. There was just no room in my brain for the muse for a few months. Then a couple of weeks ago, I dusted off her little chaise lounge (because muses love a chaise lounge, you know), made her an enticing meal of chocolate covered strawberries and champagne, and we got down to…well, let’s just leave it at this: look forward to a new WIP Wednesday post this coming week :)
Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!
– Clark Griswold
Christmas Vacation (1989)
Because J.M. Blackman said so.
Today’s snippet comes from Chapter three of my WIP. This is our first glimpse at one of Grace’s past lives, a wistful English girl named Elizabeth Bailey living in 1962 London. Her chapter takes place over the course of several days in December, when Londoners suffered through a sulphurous cloud of pollution over the city.
I stand in the kitchen securing my mask. It is crude and plain, but its beauty is in its usefulness. I wonder how it will fare against the smog, how I will fare against the smog, but decide that an asthma attack is the least of my worries tonight.
The wind is like a thousand knives when I open the garden door, my nightgown providing little in the way of warmth. The ground, as I had predicted, is a block of ice beneath my feet, and the crunch of the snow seems so loud. The cold slices across my face. I can just barely see the outline of the shed beyond the tree, on the far end of the garden. I will make it this time.
I run. By the time I reach the latched shed door, I am breathing hard. My mask slipped to my neck at some point during the trip. I end up ripping the straps from the body of it and dropping it in the snow in my rush to get out of the wind and smog and into the shed.
Inside, I know just where it is.
I know, I know, I just did this Next Big Thing…thing, wherein I beat you over the head with details about something I’ve spewn (I don’t really care if it’s not a word) from the dark and often puzzling confines of my brain. Well, if you’re in the market for a reason to wear a stylish “I survived Ashley Heckman’s NEXT Next Big Thing” t shirt, it’s your lucky day!
You can all blame the spewer (again, I don’t care if the word doesn’t exist) of awesome, Ms. J. M. Blackman this time, who tagged me with a blurb that made me want to internet sex her like a one night cyber-stand. Our paths just recently crossed, but I can already tell she’s going to end up needing a restraining order against me.
Anyway, the rules, because we live in a society:
- FOLLOW THIS FORMAT.
- ANSWER THE 10 QUESTIONS BELOW.
- SPREAD THE FUN AND TAG
5MORE AWESOME PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE.
Note: I’m a rebel, yo.
- IT’S ALSO NICE TO LINK BACK TO THE PERSON. SHARING IS CARING, Y’ALL.
1. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF YOUR BOOK / WIP?
It doesn’t have one *whines*
I fail at titles, so the working one for this story is any reasonable variation of “that Grace thing.”
2. WHERE DID THE IDEA OF THIS BOOK COME FROM?
I literally tweeted one day about wanting to write something about ghosts and reincarnation. I also drew inspiration (more so than usual) from Anne Rice’s book The Witching Hour, which includes a seductive spirit attaching himself to the female descendents of an ancient family of witches.