A small spot for me to publish random thoughts that might help other writers find that tiny voice echoing feebly inside their heads.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Excerpt from My NaNoWriMo Novel 2012 - He Thought He Saw
whispered in the trees and dried leaves clattered in its wake. An owl
hooted. The hairs on the back of his neck stood at attention. The
full moon seemed to follow him as he walked down the road alone. The
wind became voices. The leaves, the dry rattle of old bones. The
sighing grew louder and Brian was able to pick out words. At least,
he thought they were words, but in a language he couldn't understand.
his pace, he glanced over his shoulder. Wispy figures gathered in the
tree line around the swamp road, moving slowly and steadily toward
him. Brian tried to convince himself it was only his imagination, but
it felt far too real.
of the figures approached at a slow, loping run. Brian could hear the
heavy, measured footfalls as it lumbered toward him. He completely
lost his cool. Roaring loudly, he ran at the figure, dodging away
when it grabbed at him. Chilling wind passed as the figure drifted
away, dissipating as it headed to the woods on the other side of the
ran along the center of the road, frightened by his encounter with
the wraith. More of them gathered in the swampy woodland, but no
others were bold enough to approach him. Hearing a twig snap to his
left, Brian put on a burst of speed. With a cry of fear, he felt a
shove at his back and tripped over his own feet. As he fell, he saw
the wraiths grow bolder. They moved in unison, swooping toward him.
Terrified, Brian lay on his belly, unsure how to combat them.
solid form burst out of the bushes. A large dog stood over Brian,
growling and barking. It took a moment for him to realize that the
wraiths halted. Some tried to go a step or two further, but the dog
renewed its attack. One by one the ghosts dispersed, melting into the
fog once more.
let his breath out slowly. The animal stood over him, but moved aside
as he sat up. It was the biggest dog Brian had ever seen, broad
through the chest with powerful legs and a ridge of hair down his
spine. It looked silver in the moonlight.
Brian reached slowly toward it, hand out, palm up. The beast's tongue
flicked out, licking his cheek. Her warm breath convinced the boy
that the dog was alive and real. She slurped him again, butting his
hand so he'd pet her. Laughing, he complied.
did you come from, girl?" Predictably, he got no reply. "Never
mind, I'm just glad you're here."
got up, dusting himself off. Leaves stuck to his body, mud caked
every inch of him. Twigs and more leaves adorned his closely cropped
hair. Getting his bearings, he headed toward home once more. The dog
walked with him, her head under his hand. Her tongue lolled and she
looked as if she were laughing at his appearance.
take a header into a mud puddle and see how good you look."
dog barked gleefully. She dashed ahead, sniffed and snorted, before
trotting back to his side. She stayed with him until they reached his
home. With a yip, she left him, drifting into the woods. The front
door fell shut with a comforting bump behind him. Heaving a sigh of
relief, Brian locked and bolted the door. He leaned against it,
panting. His hands shook and he felt light headed. His heart thumped
so hard in his chest, he could hear it in his ears.
slowly made his way upstairs, wishing his mother were home. Being
home alone had never bothered him before, but he felt vulnerable,
isolated. Brian hadn't realized quite how dirty he was until he saw
himself in the bathroom mirror. He stripped off his filthy clothing
and dropped it on the bottom of the shower. He hoped he could get
some of the trash off it before putting it in the laundry.
water ran black as he washed himself and his clothing. He picked up
twigs and leaves as he bathed. Afterward, he scooped up handfuls of
debris, dropping it in the garbage. His clothing, he placed in the
sink to drain as he dressed. As he lugged the basket of wet clothing
downstairs to the basement, he saw what a mess he'd left when he'd
come in. The white curtain over the front window was caked with dirt.
A muddy trail led up his mother's clean, wooden steps.
descended to the basement quickly and tried not to think about his
experience in the woods. It still scared him, even though he was safe
in his home. He'd never particularly liked the basement and his
recent scare made it worse. He threw his clothing into the washer,
added soap and took the stairs to the kitchen two at a time.
up his mess kept his mind off what had happened. Strange things had
been happening to him for weeks, getting weirder and spookier by the
minute. At first, he'd passed it off as stress. It was apparent that
his stress level had very little to do with the events of the night
He'd been coming home from a friend's house after a Halloween party.
lived on the other side of the tiny, Mississippi town. The quickest
way home was to cut through the woods that skirted the swamp. Brian
had taken that route on foot or on his bike a million times with no
problem. So why was tonight different? Because, tonight something had
changed. He couldn't put a finger on it, would never have been able
to explain it in words, but he knew it as surely as he knew his own