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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Throwback Thursday: My First Fiction Ever


On select Thursdays, I like to share a throwback to past writing, trailers, or randomness.

I wrote non-fiction for  years before one day it suddenly dawned on me: what would be really cool would be to write stories! After devouring every book I could on the subject, I made my first attempts. I wasn't successful right out the gate. My first fiction was a short story that has never been published, titled A Novel Murder.

The story tells of an author suffering writer's block. He finds inspiration in a dangerous source--a serial killer operating in his area who has made contact with him. 

Here's an excerpt from A Novel Murder. Warning: the portion of this excerpt in italics contains graphic horror.


Taylor flopped around in his bed that night, turning over and over like a bird on a spit. The wine he’d indulged in hadn’t relaxed him at all. Ideas for the book, coupled with images of Linda, kept up a steady slide show in his mind.
He punched at the sides of his pillow until satisfied with its contours. Outside, the rain’s cascade became urgent. Lightning flashed with bluish-white radiance, just long enough for Taylor to catch a glimpse of something that shot his bleary eyes wide.
A shadowy figure was bent over the computer desk.
The glimpse vanished with the flash of light. Taylor sat bolt upright and tried to stare through the darkness, his heart pounding a lump up into his throat. Had someone been standing there?
He reached for the flashlight on the night stand and let the beam fall where the apparition had been. The spot was vacant. Keeping the light trained on the area, Taylor crept over to the nearest light switch. Taking in a deep breath to draw courage, he flipped it on. Nothing. He moved toward the center of the room. Something grazed his shoulder from behind. He jumped and spun around. The fly that had landed on him buzzed off in alarm.
“Damn flies,” he muttered. “Grown man, wetting himself over an insect.”
Taylor turned back to the desk and chair next to it. “The chair!” He spoke aloud as it dawned on him. “That’s what I saw, for Christ sakes. One night talking murder plots and I get spooked by a damn chair. I should be writing brochures for a travel agency.”
Annoyed at his foolishness, Taylor started back to bed when he realized the computer screen was on. Had he left it that way? Reaching to shut it off, he noticed something different about the words. His stomach turned itself inside out.
The girl screamed as the glittering blade slashed out of the darkness. Searing pain heralded the rending of flesh from bone. Wrenching away with a desperate reserve of strength, she began to half-run, half-limp down the alley. Terrified bits of sobs escaped her throat.
A cruel weight slammed her into the ground, stealing breath from her lungs that might have afforded a final scream as the knife plunged again.
She laid still, her left arm and head tilted at unnatural angles. The eyes stared through wet ringlets of dishwater blonde. The knife slashed out in one final motion, claiming a chunk of hair.
Taylor dropped the flashlight, turning to face the room. Someone had been here.

They might still be here.
*
Yes, I started off fancying myself as a horror/mystery/thriller author, but even in this very first story, a thread of romance trailed throughout. (Note the mention of "Linda" at the beginning.) The story was submitted to several publications, but never picked up, and by that time, I realized that I wanted to focus on romance and let this piece sit in the slush pile. As my first baby, however, every now and then it's fun to look it over to see how my writing style and voice have changed over time.

What do you think?

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