Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Day of All Days

It's my birthday!!! Another year has passed. I could probably say something poetic about this, but I really want to get to my post of the day.

Like I promised, here's an excerpt from the book I've been working on, The Not-So Meet Cute. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: this is my work, so please don't use it as your own. If you do, I'll have to send ninjas and men with tire irons after you. Seriously.

Oh, and I appreciate criticism. Tell me the truth, I can handle it (I think)!

Now, which excerpt should I post? Deedle deedle dum...

Aha! Here's something! I'll give you the background first: Piper is the narrator and she is a mind reader (anything in italics is internal thought). Her boyfriend, Simon, is psychic, but he was taken away from her by a secret government agency. In this passage, Piper never directly uses Simon's name; it's always "him", "he", or "his". The two men in this scene are basically inconsequential, but they help show how Piper also gets caught. Click here for the passage that led up to this, if you need to. If anything in this passage needs explanation, please let me know in the comments.

I hope you enjoy this!!! Maybe next time I'll post a kissing scene instead...

I awoke to a loud noise, almost falling off his bed in the process. I didn’t have time to wonder when I fell asleep, because I immediately heard voices…and thoughts, of people I didn’t recognize.

“That was easier than I thought it’d be,” I heard a man’s voice echo from the entrance of the house. I love knocking down doors!”

Rookie,” another, older man thought. “C’mon, Todd, let’s start cataloging.”

Todd, the younger man, started walking towards the kitchen. I tiptoed, back against the wall, down the hallway. Who were those men and what were they doing in his old house?

I heard Todd whistle. “Whoa, what a mess. What are we looking for in here anyways?” His heavy footsteps rocked back and forth on the hardwood floor. Listening closer, I could hear him shuffling through the pictures on the table. It would help if they even told us what we were doing in these people’s houses.”

However, the older man knew exactly what he was doing. We can start in here, I guess, and then move on as necessary.” Sighing, he said, “Alright, kid, take this chart and check these things off if you see them.”

“Fine,” Todd took it from him. I was now halfway down the stairs. I didn’t dare breathe, fearing that the old stairs might creak if I even so much as exhaled.

“How long you been doin’ this, George?” Todd asked his supervisor.

“Hmm?” I could hear George scratching with a pen on his clipboard.

“I mean, you’re pretty experienced, right?”

“Sure, sure,” George coughed. “Just check things off the list.”

“Oh, I am,” Todd assured him. “It’s just, I mean, who are we even working for? The pay’s good, but I don’t want to be involved with anything…” he trailed off, and then whispered, “anything illegal. My girlfriend would kill me. She told me to get a real job, or she’d leave me.”

I was at the bottom of the stairs, but I didn’t have any plans to get out of the house. I decided to stay until I found out what those guys were doing. My cell phone was in my pocket, and I was ready to call the police if I got any more freaked out about the situation. But then again, how could I explain what I was doing in the house?

The men continued through the kitchen, occasionally commenting to each other about something or other. Their thoughts didn’t give away anything that I might’ve found useful. I sat at the bottom of the stairs, biting my lip to stop myself from saying anything. Well, from screaming, actually.

Seems like the organization will hire anyone these days,” George became disgusted with Todd in the living room. They just tell you to do something but never tell you why you’re doing it. I wonder how Leona’s doing these days.” My ears pricked up at Leona’s name, and a shiver ran down my spine. Things have tightened up ever since she became chief.”

Leona? Chief? Of what? My mind swarmed, pulling a cloud of confusion over my eyes. Too late, I noticed the men were moving out of the living room. And heading towards the stairs. I heard their imminent footsteps and quickly decided to ascend the stairs. I leapt gingerly from step to step like a cat, but forgot one thing.

The creaky step gave way under my weight, causing a loud, splintery noise. I glared angrily at it for betraying my presence.

“Did you hear something?” George asked Todd, although his mind had already reached the conclusion that he had.

I bit my lip harder, and continued in vain towards the second level of the house.

“No. It’s an old house. You probably didn’t hear anything,” Todd yawned.

“Oh, but I did,” he growled lustily. I closed his bedroom door behind me, praying that it wouldn’t tattle on me. “Let’s go upstairs now.”

I practically jumped into the closet. Boxes and clothes hangers jabbed into my body. I heard the door to the room open, and saw them survey the landscape in their heads.

“I think the noise came from in here,” George stepped in.

I swore under my breath, heartbeat accelerating and growing louder. I was sure they could hear it, that is, if they hadn’t heard my intense breathing already. They were only feet from the closet.

My legs were cramping but I wouldn’t let myself move them. Not a centimeter. I did, however, lift my hand to brush hair out of my face. My hand ran over something slippery and cold, giving me a feeling of revulsion. It was all I could do not to cry out.

Out of the corner of my eye, I looked down at the foreign object. Although it was dark in the closet, I could tell it was a photograph. I calmed down. Looking closer, I couldn’t make out what it was a picture of. I figured that I had knocked down a box when I climbed hastily into the cramped space.

The dustiness of the closet tickled my nose. The men were still on the other side of the door, which I knew would soon be opened. I wished hard to disappear, to be back in my own room feeling sorry for myself. Why did I go to his old house?

Next, two things happened simultaneously.

George said, “Go ahead and check the closet.”

And I, against my will, sneezed.

“Aha!” George shouted in triumph when he lunged toward the closet door and opened it swiftly.

I sat there, bewildered and wiping my nose, staring straight up at him.

“What do we have here?” Todd looked inquisitively over George’s shoulder.

“That’s a good question,” George bared his teeth.

Suddenly formulating a plan, I stood up quickly. “I should be asking you the same thing.” I pulled out my cell phone. “I’m going to call the police.”

My only escape plan was quickly snatched out of my hands, and I was pulled out of the closet.

“Check the closet, Todd. I’ll take care of her,” George gripped my shoulder tightly.

Psh. Order me around in front of the girl, huh?” Todd began looking through the closet.

I turned my head to the door behind me, which was wide open. Escape route.

George snapped my head back toward him. “Who are you? I have the right to arrest you for breaking and entering.”

“How? Who are you?” I demanded haughtily.

“I’m here under orders of the government, young lady,” he hissed. And dealing with teenage girls is not part of my job description. What are you doing here?”

“I’m watering the plants,” I attempted weakly.

“Look here,” Todd interrupted us. He held a set of pictures. The ones I had knocked over. Three sets of eyes scanned over them.

A boy and a girl. Skiing. Me and him, kissing, smiling, laughing, falling in the snow…

He had hid the pictures of us.

Not very well.

I stomped on George’s foot, eliciting a yelp, and ran for the door. But I was outnumbered, and both men soon had me pinned to the floor.

As I screamed and tried to wriggle free, George pulled something out of his jacket pocket. I couldn’t see what it was, but soon I covered my mouth and nose.

“For special occasions,” was the explanation I heard.

And then everything went black.


Davin Malasarn said...

Happy Birthday, Mariah! I hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful year! I don't have time to read this whole thing at work, but I read the beginning, and I like it. Thanks for posting!

Lady Glamis said...

Happy Birthday!!!! Like Davin, I don't have time to read your excerpt yet. Hope your day is wonderful! (If I forget to read your excerpt, a gentle nudge is fine. I forget everything lately).

Mariah Irvin said...

Thanks! Sorry, I realized how long this post was after I posted it. Oops!

sraasch said...

Happy Birthday!! Woohoo!!

This excerpt is really great! Tense, I love Piper, and the mind-reading is so natural. Hooked, absolutely!

Kiersten said...

Whoohoohoo! Happy birthday!

Also, I loved this. The ending?


I'm not sure why there are periods between all of those letters. But I am sure that I loved this ; )

Soñador said...

What are you talking about "I don't know if this is good"? It's great. Happy Birthday, have fun being legal.