Alright, so I’m a little under par wordcount-wise, but that’s okay. I’m actually liking my story so far. 😀
I’m going to do what my friend did and post some mini-excerpts, along with a bigger one. So here goes!
“Sitting once again on Xavier’s bed, Jared strummed the chords to the song’s chorus, finger-picked the melody, and sang the lyrics in his smooth, clear voice. Xavier leaned back and laid his head on the pillow as his eyelids drooped. He was tired, but he was afraid to sleep. It had to happen eventually, though, he knew.”
“”Xavier’s worried eyes followed him as he moved toward the door. “Dad?”
“Can you… can you play my song? Please?”
Jared pinched the bridge of his nose. He really didn’t feel like doing anything except descending to the basement, crawling into his uncomfortable cot, and sleeping for a few days. “Maybe tomorrow, B-Bud.””
“Snatching his sweatshirt off its hook again, he pulled it on as Xavier led the way out the door, his light frame bouncing a little. Jared envied his energy and happiness. It had been a long time since Jared had felt that happy, or even just normal, not depressed or sad. The bad mood hadn’t started when the marital problems began; it had started long before that. On that dark, dark night when he was sixteen…”
“The round, squat doctor pushed his wire-framed glasses up on his nose as he pushed the button to call the elevator. Jared looked down at his balding head and wondered if there was anything at all inside it.”
And here’s the longer one:
“Jared didn’t even try to eat his food. His stomach was in turmoil. Every time he thought he might be able to take a bite of the unhealthy-looking mush on his plate, he glanced at Xavier and felt like throwing up again. If he had only been able to get the words out to warn him…
And then the realization struck.
It was all Jared’s fault.
His jaw went slack and he stared blankly into space as he turned the fact over and over in his head. He hadn’t stopped Xavier. He hadn’t been able to shout at him. He hadn’t been holding Xavier’s hand like he should have. If he had, Xavier wouldn’t have run in front of that speeding car…
Not for the first time, the room spun violently and Jared’s stomach lurched. The tears he thought he’d defeated made his vision swim and threatened to make him a weakling in front of Kira.
Glancing up from her food, Kira saw Jared’s face and apparently the look on it concerned her, because she raised an eyebrow. “What?” she asked in a half-caring voice.
“K-Kira…” His breathing quickened. What would she do? She would hate him forever, that was what she would do. But he couldn’t not tell her. She had to know that it was all his fault their son was possibly dying. How could he possibly not let her know? He couldn’t…
“Spit it out, Jared.”
He drew a deep, shuddering breath. “M-m-my fault-t…”
She cast an incredulous glare.
Jared tried to continue. “I w-wasn’t-t-t hold-d-d-ing his hand.” He looked down at the floor as a lump arose in his throat. Tears choked his voice. “I c-c-c-couldn’t-t st-t-op him. He want-ted t-t-to race. He ran-n.”
Kira’s brow furrowed as she tried to take this in. Jared couldn’t hold back a sob; he buried his face in his hands.
“No… No…” Kira shook her head, as if arguing the fact could change it. “Jared, how could you?!” She stood and shouted at him. “You… you idiot! You know he’s impulsive! You know you need to hold onto him, especially on that busy street! What were you possibly thinking?!”
“I don’t-t-t-” Jared gave up, just concentrating on breathing. He didn’t know why or how he could have been such a fool. He looked up at Kira’s face; she was crying, tears of anger and despair.
She looked as if she was going to say something, then shut her mouth and gave her head a shake. Dropping back down onto the chair, she burst into tears.
Jared didn’t know what to do. His first instinct was to try and comfort her, but he knew she wouldn’t appreciate that. She was too angry.
Her sobs quieted. “Just go away, Jared. Just leave.”
“I will,” he agreed, standing. Trying to keep his face straight, and trying to avoid people – which wasn’t too hard at midnight – he made his way through the halls and down the stairs. Elevators were too slow.
He ran full tilt from the hospital doors to the parking garage and up the stairs to the second level, where his truck waited. It took him several tries, but he managed to get his key into the lock and turn it. Jumping in, he slammed the door shut, locked the doors, and then sat still, shivering, staring out over the railing that kept people and cars from falling over the edge to the pavement below. He watched the dark clouds roll across the sky, only occasionally catching a glimpse of the moon. What if Xavier’s eyes never opened, and he never got to see the moon again? What if he – what if he died?”
I hope you enjoyed them. I might have more up soon; we’ll see. 😉