Writing Again

Close to 11pm on a Sunday night. Clearly the best time to start writing again. Screw it. I’ve never been a morning person. So this is me resuming an earlier project. One that, to my annoyance, was too long to be used for a fiction assignment and too short to be used for my dissertation. I mean I loved those projects, but this is something else: the first short story that might actually be good enough to send out. Reading my earlier submissions, it’s obvious why no one in their right mind would touch them. This one will be different.

Here’s the first little chunk…

She grips my ankle, dragging me down. The dim circle of light above me shrinks, obscured by mud and weeds. Tangled in wet clothes, I try to twist out of her grasp. It’s so damned cold. I cry out but water rushes into my mouth. Then we hit the bottom and her face is before me. Beautiful. I twist again and fall, cracking my head on a rock.

“Alfie! Wake up for God’s sake!”

I wake. But my body still panics. I lash out, catching Karen on the side of the mouth. She screams and I scream. Cold sweat plasters the sheets to my body. My head cracks against the headboard for the second time and I lie still. I hear moaning and then a sob. Tearing at the sheets, I stand up. It’s freezing. Karen stares up at me, her eyes filled with hurt. She nurses her jaw and blood trickles from the corner of her mouth.

“Shit Alfie. I think you split my gum.”

I’m next to her in an instant, trying to both hug her and dab at the blood. The words “I’m sorry” never felt more useless. I say them anyway, over and over. She shrinks away at first but I drag her close and hold on until her shudders subside. We sit there as dawn breaks, shivering in my cold sweat. I can’t let her go.