Teaser Tuesday #6

Confession: Umm I’ve barely written anything this week. It’s bad. In my defense, it is halfway through the semester by now and I’ve had some big midterm projects to work on (in fact, I should be working on some of them right now … arrgh). I’ve also just felt really uninspired lately. My spring break starts on Friday, and hopefully over next week I can get some more writing done. For now, here is this week’s short snippet from I Chose the Monster.

———–

He closes the door behind him and walks out onto the balcony, rubbing his eyes. When he sees me, he stops in his tracks. “Oh … hey, Nina.”

“Hey.”

“How long have you been up?”

“I don’t know. Just a few minutes, I guess.”

Gavin walks over and stands next to me, placing his hands on the balcony railing. “Did you sleep at all?”

“Yeah, a few hours. I slept pretty soundly, actually.”

“Good, good.” He scratches the back of his neck. “I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep at all, but I think I slept a little. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like I can’t even tell anymore.”

I know what he means. Part of me feels like this is all one long dream, and it doesn’t matter whether I’m awake or asleep.

“I think I need to get out of here,” Gavin says.

“What?”

“I mean, get out for a while. Do some hunting.”

“Really? Right now?” I’ve spoken before I can stop myself, but now I fall silent again. I just find it hard to believe that he’d want to go out hunting at a time like this, considering we lost two people last night, probably not even twenty-four hours ago.

“I know, I know,” he sighs. “I know it sounds crazy, but … I feel like it’s what I need right now. All these thoughts are driving me crazy, and I just … need to do something.”

Teaser Tuesday #5

My first teaser of the month! Hooray! I’ve been aiming to write 645 words per day––which I know seems random, but I’m aiming for a total of 20,000 words this month. I’ve also been trying to write earlier in the day rather than later. I did meet my goal for the first two days of the month, but today and yesterday I didn’t get anything done––partly out of business, and partly out of laziness. Hopefully I will catch up tomorrow!

So, I haven’t written a ton this week, and what I have written isn’t extremely thrilling (although I’m about to get to a good part!), so here is just a very short snippet. Enjoy! I hope to have another post up within the next few days.

———-

I don’t feel like going back to sleep, so I quietly ease the door open and step out onto the balcony. It’s so quiet out here. No cars, no shouting, no music playing, nothing. I fold my arms on the balcony railing and rest my chin on top of them. With my eyes closed, I try to bring the city back to life in my mind––full of lights and vibrance, full of activity and laughter. I try to imagine it as anything other than the empty shell it’s become.

But I feel like I’m already starting to forget the way things were. I’m forgetting what it was like just to walk down a crowded sidewalk in the middle of the day, to admire the shiny displays in the windows, to look both ways before crossing the street. I never even thought I would miss things like that.

Teaser Tuesday #4

Teaser Tuesday is upon us again! Wow … has it really been a week already? Well, here’s another little excerpt from I Chose the Monster. Also, hopefully I will have another post up very soon. Happy Tuesday!

———–

Juliet’s voice cuts calmly through his. “It’s not your fault.”

“But it is.” He stands up straight, gripping the rail, still not looking at either of us. “I was too caught up in … I don’t know. Fighting. Trying to survive. I should’ve been looking out for him, for everyone.”

“We’re all just trying to survive,” Juliet says, after a moment of silence. “Don’t blame yourself for wanting to stay alive.”

Gavin says nothing. Somehow, I doubt that Juliet will be able to get through to him. And she probably knows that. But what else is there to say?

“I said I’d keep us all alive,” he says at last, his voice so quiet I can barely hear what he’s saying. “I kept promising them …”

“And you really thought you could keep that promise forever?” Juliet cuts him off. “It’s impossible. Either the Morts get us first or the disease does. We can only do so much.”

“No,” Gavin says. Now he lets go of the railing, takes a step away from it and turns to face us. “I can’t––I can’t think like that.”

Juliet shrugs, crosses her arms. “That’s the way it is.”

“But I …” Gavin stops, shakes his head. “I need it to be … more. I need there to be some kind of reason for all of this. Maybe it’s stupid, but …” At that he trails off, looking off into the distance again.

Juliet keeps staring at him. “It’s not stupid,” she says.

The sincerity in her voice surprises me––not that I expected her to be cruel or anything, I just didn’t expect her to say anything at all, I guess.

“I think that’s what we’re all trying to do,” she goes on, although now she’s looking away from Gavin again. “Find some kind of reason. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here.”

Teaser Tuesday #3

Oops, I almost forgot about Teaser Tuesday. (And I realize it completely slipped my mind last week, silly me.) I admit, I still have been slacking off on my writing recently, but I’m trying to make more of an effort to set aside a “writing time” for every day. (I also keep writing too late at night and getting too tired to get anything done, uggh.)

Anyway, I’ll shut up now and post today’s teaser from I Chose the Monster. This is a little emotional moment between Nina and Juliet (the two main characters). Enjoy, and let me know what you think! (Censored a bit for language and for a minor spoiler):

———-

Now that I’m standing closer, I can see she has her forehead leaned against the bars, and her face is deathly pale in the morning light.

My heart plunges into my stomach. “Juliet?” I fall on my knees next to her, put a hand on her shoulder …

She’s saying something, I realize. Whispering something I can’t hear. “What? Juliet, what is it? Are you all right?”

“I thought she was you,” she says, her voice clearer now.

“You … what?” I move closer to her, so I’m sitting right next to her. “What are you talking about?”

She slowly lifts her head, opens her eyes. Her hands slip from the bars and fall onto her lap.

“It––It was dark. I saw her die, I saw it kill her … and I thought …” She stops.

“You thought …” It’s all piecing together now, and it’s making my skin feel cold. “Juliet … Oh, my God.”

She doesn’t sit up or even look at me. I still have my hand on her shoulder and I can feel her shaking. “I didn’t realize until I was trying to pull her away, until it was too late.”

There’s a sudden lump in my throat. I drop my hand from her shoulder, and turn away so I’m facing the row of black metal bars in front of us. “It wasn’t your fault,” I say at last. I don’t know what else to say.

“I felt relieved,” Juliet says, as if she didn’t hear me. “When I realized it was her, and not you. How f***ing sick is that?” She sits up very suddenly, turning to look at me. Her eyes are ablaze, filled with some kind of expectation like she wants me to give her an answer. But I don’t know what to say.

“What kind of person does that make me?” she says, when I just stare at her. As abruptly as she looked at me, she looks away again, out to the sunrise-painted sky. “I mean, I … I’m not saying I was glad she wad dead, because of course I’m not. It’s horrible. I was just … Damn it.” She rubs the heel of one hand against one eye and then the other. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. I wasn’t supposed to …”

Juliet falls silent again, as she stares fiercely out at the dawn.

“You weren’t supposed to what?” I ask.

I hear her take in a deep breath and let it out again.

“I wasn’t supposed to start caring about you.”

Teaser … Thursday (Teaser Tuesday #2)

Hello lovely followers! I realized I completely forgot to post a new teaser on Tuesday. I just got back to my college campus on Monday and my classes started yesterday, so everything has been pretty crazy. But, here is another little excerpt from I Chose the Monster (even though it’s two days late). Enjoy!

“So … Nina.” He kind of squints at me as he says it, like maybe he’s not entirely sure if that’s my name. “Tell me about yourself.”

“Oh,” is all I can manage to say. I didn’t expect this command to come out of nowhere, and now I don’t know how to answer. Tell him about myself? “Well uh … I’m not sure where to begin. What do you want to know?”

He shrugs, taking a few paces until he reaches the lamp post. He puts a hand against it. “I don’t know. Anything.”

“Anything?” I let out another awkward laugh, wrapping my arms around myself. “Um, okay. Well. I’m sixteen. I … am an only child. Both my parents are alive––as far as I know, anyway. They’re in a safe area.”

I stop, because I know if I continue talking I’m just going to get to the painful stuff.

Gavin has his hand wrapped around the lamp post, and is circling around it slowly. “Is that it?”
“I don’t know.” I rub a hand against my arm, bite my lip. I find that I actually do want to keep talking. It’s been hard to keep it all inside, and just to have someone to spill it all out to––even if it’s someone I don’t know very well––feels like a big relief. Besides, what is there to lose? I’m sure I’m not the only one with a painful story.

“I mean, no. That’s not it. I …” I hold back for a second, not sure how to explain it, how to put it all into words. “I was supposed to go with them,” I say, at last. “I didn’t find out I was infected until I was already there. We had to do blood tests, and … I didn’t pass.”

Gavin stops circling around the lamp post, and faces me. “And then they sent you out here?”

“Yeah.”

“Damn.” He scratches the back of his neck. “I’m sorry. That’s awful.”

I just nod, because I don’t trust myself to speak. I’d probably just end up crying. Even now, a lump is swelling in my throat and I can feel the threat of tears stinging at my eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Gavin says again. “I didn’t mean to, you know, bring up anything too painful.”

“It’s okay.” I hastily wipe the back of my hand across my eyes. “It’s kind of hard to avoid, for all of us. Remembering the painful stuff, I mean.”

Teaser Tuesday #1

This is something I used to do on my old blog. (And by “used to do” I mean I did it like three times and then stopped because I sucked at updating … but hopefully that won’t happen this time!) Basically I’ll just be posting a short “teaser” from my WIP once a week (on Tuesdays) and … that’s it. Pretty simple!

So, without further ado, here is this week’s snippet from I Chose the Monster:

 

“Ha!” I hear a voice say behind me, out of nowhere––a liquid cry of triumph. Someone clutches at the back of my shirt so roughly that their fingernails scrape my skin.

I bite back a scream as I turn my head to see my attacker. My eyes fall on the horrible mask of a face––dark skin wrinkling at the corners of black eyes, mouth stretched into a menacing grin. The Mort is much taller than I am, and as she stares down at me I suddenly feel as small as an insect. I try to wrench myself away, at the same time the creature pushes me …

We’re on the ground, her hands at my throat, nails scraping at the skin on the back of my neck. Dark spots fly across my vision and I don’t know what’s happening or what I’m doing––just that I’m screaming, kicking and struggling with all the force I have in my body.

The woman is frail enough that I’m finally able to push her off me and roll to my hands and knees. As I look up again, I see her in an animalistic crouching position, glaring back at me with bloodthirsty eyes. She cries out in rage as she pounces for me––and I don’t have enough time to defend myself before the weight of her body slams into mine and her hands are clutching for my throat again. The force of the impact pushes me backwards, and the back of my head cracks against something hard––a gravestone, probably. Stars burst in my eyes and for a horrible moment my mind seems to be torn from my body … my limbs are numb … I can’t move …

 

[Insert suspenseful music here: DUNH DUNH DUNHHH.]