Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's Almost Over

I'm sure you're sick of reading about this process, but it's almost over, I promise. Just two more days of NaNo'ing to go. It's not likely that I'll make 50K, but I have surpassed my original goal. I wrote just over 3,000 words tonight at my final write-in and I plan to write late into the night on Friday, so there's still hope. For now, I'm sitting on 36,583 words.

And now, for your reading pleasure, excerpt number two:

He must have fallen asleep, because when he opened his eyes it was dark in the living room. He could see light coming from the kitchen and the noise of someone rustling through drawers. “Sara?” he called softly, hoping not to wake her if she wasn’t the one in the kitchen. When he didn’t get a response other than more sounds of drawers opening and closing, he said, a little louder this time, “Sara?” Still no answer.

He lifted his leg from the pillows and swung it over the edge of the couch, sitting up awkwardly and reaching for his crutches. “Mom?” he called. This time he heard sniffling and the movement stopped.

“It’s me.” Sara’s voice was strained and thick. She had obviously been crying for some time.

“We can order out,” he said, assuming that the drawer searching and clanging meant Sara was trying to cook something. “All the menus are on the refrigerator.”

“Yeah, that’s fine,” she said, and the sounds started again.

Steve pushed himself up and onto the crutches, sliding each pad under and arm and moving gingerly toward the source of light and sound. When he crossed the threshold of the kitchen he saw what the noise had been. Sara was standing amid piles of drawer contents strewn on the counters, in the sink and on the floor. All of the drawers and cabinets were in progressive states of disarray, some open completely, some only slightly, others appearing not to have been disassembled yet.
“What are you looking for?” he asked in disbelief, looking around at the mess she’d created.

“I can’t find his silver spoon. The one my mom gave him. It’s an heirloom. I can’t find it.” She looked around her wildly, apparently not seeing the mess she’d made and only seeing the absence of the spoon.

He hadn’t seen the spoon for months, since Sam had graduated to solid foods. “I think you put it away in his room, in that keepsake box we got at the shower. Remember?”

Sara looked at him with fire in her eyes. “Of course I remember!” she spat. She stormed out of the kitchen and Steve heard her climb the stairs. He stood there, continuing to survey the kitchen. He would have to call his mother and ask her to come help straighten up tomorrow.

Sara returned a few minutes later, holding the spoon in her fist, triumphant. “I found it,” she said breathlessly. Then without warning she wrapped her arms around Steve and buried her face in his chest. He propped his left crutch against the refrigerator and put his free arm around her shoulders. She melted against him and it took all his strength to hold her up. “I found it,” she breathed again.

After a while, she straightened up and looked into Steve’s face. “Let’s go to bed.” Her eyes were wet, and she looked at him with a pleading in her eyes that he couldn’t bear.

“OK,” he said. “But you’ll have to help me up the stairs. I’m an invalid, remember?”

Sara actually broke into a tiny smile. “I think I can do that.” Steve used the crutches to get to the stairs and Sara followed him up them, steadying him when he wobbled. When he got to their room, he sat down on the bed and dropped his crutches to the floor. Sara sat next to him and put her hand on his knee. They made love with a passion he had never experienced, with Sara or anyone else. And when they were finished, she rolled over and rested her head on his chest. He couldn’t have loved her more in that moment. Despite his pain and sadness for their loss, he was so grateful to have her there, beside him, for better or worse.

Well, that's a bit longer than I expected. Again, remember this is a VERY rough draft--no edits, no re-reads, just writing.

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