Monday, August 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

I haven't been writing too much lately. Maybe it's just writer's block, maybe laziness, maybe I'm just not as confident in my writing as I used to be; hence the lack of teaser last week. However, the past few days I've been working on a story that is in the very, very rough stage - I'm not even sure what the plot is going to be quite yet. Tentatively titled Touchstone, it centers on a shy girl named Georgia Blue who becomes an unlikely hero when she witnesses a rock-climber falling from a stepp wall and carts him to safety.

This scene takes place a day after the accident, when Georgia visits the boy she saved in the hospital.

"The hospital was like all hospitals: cold, sterile, and blue. The door to his room was dark wood, with the numbers ‘264’ stenciled onto it neatly. My mom opened the door for me and I realized that I didn’t know his name, only his blood under my fingernails and his bright shirt climbing the cliff.

There was a woman sitting next to his bed reading a magazine and she looked up when we came in. She was stunningly beautiful and not even in a cliché type of way: bright brown eyes, straight black hair, and skin just dark enough for me to know that she was Native American. But she looked tired; the purple under her eyes matched mine.

She stood up and smiled, keeping her eyes on me. “Are you Georgia Blue?”

I gulped, lingering in the doorway. “Yeah.”

She broke out in smile, revealing crooked white teeth. “I’m Tabitha. Um, I guess you’ve met Nick?”

I pressed my finger to my lips, creeping slowly into the room. “Is he gonna be okay?” I whispered. He looked so peaceful, lying on the bed. There were tiny cuts in his cheeks, the largest of them sewn up with stitches right across his jaw line.

“They think so,” Tabitha said. “They’re saying he might not walk again, but I know Nick. He’s gonna make himself walk again.” She smiled again, like she was thinking about what he might say.

“Um, are you his wife?” I asked, but he didn’t look old enough to be married. He looked only a few years older than me, maybe just out of high school. But everyone looks younger when they sleep.

She shook her head and held up her left hand. There was a silver ring with a tiny stone in it. “His fiancĂ©e,” she said happily, wistfully.

“Congrats,” I said and turned to look for my mom. But she wasn’t standing at the door anymore. Maybe she wanted to give me some privacy.

“Georgia?” Tabitha said. She was staring at her feet when I looked back at her, like she was nervous. “Thank you. So much. If you hadn’t been there…” She swallowed, a huge, audible gulp. “Thank you so much.”

I was unready for her to step forward and throw her arms around me, but she did. Her body was tiny against mine; not skinny, just petite. And then the enormity of the situation hit me, through the visions of gore I’d been having all night: I’d saved his life. This man would be dead without me and Tabitha would be sobbing at his funeral and they’d never get married and have beautiful Native American children. I wanted to cry, suddenly, but I just returned her hug awkwardly.

She pulled back, her eyes bright. “I’m actually gonna go get some lunch, okay? He’s been kind of talking a little bit, so I think he might wake up soon. Are you gonna stay here?”

“Sure.” I sat down on the couch next to the bed and picked up her magazine. It was an outdoors magazine, filled with pictures of canyons and cliff and advertising: “Top 10 Perfect Hiking Trails”. Tabitha paused at the door and I could feel her eyes on me, but I didn’t look up to see if she was smiling. I’m sure she was.

The moment she left, Nick started to groan. Not loudly, but low and guttural. I shifted uncomfortably because it sounded sexual but then he stopped, turned over, and opened his eyes.

They were blue and I realized I hadn’t seen them before. He said, very lucidly, “Who are you?”

I hated when people asked me that question because my answer always rhymed. “Georgia Blue. I, um, I helped you when you fell.”

“What?” he said and then his eyes closed and he was out again."

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