I've always intended, since before Equilibrium was even done, to write a book about what happens to awakened (as in superpowered) folk who get mixed up with sleeper (as in non-superpowered) witch hunter fanatics. The problem is that this is an experience -- as Hansen from Equilibrium knows -- that leads to some serious psychological scars on a family. Not to mention on the person themselves, if they survive the experience.
And Jody Aguirre, the hero of this book, does.
Now, this is serious raw first draft stuff, y'all -- absolutely no one else has seen this, not even my first readers, because the book isn't finished yet. So I apologize for what a mess it is, but here's the way it starts...
[To anyone seeing this on a feed, such as at goodreads or via email: the formatting doesn't transfer, I know. Please click through using the link at the bottom of the post to see it at the blog. Sorry!]
When I woke up, I mean really woke up, I had no idea what day it was. Only that, if the little window overhead wasn't a filthy liar, it was getting to be evening. My mouth tasted like a sewer, my arms and legs were heavy, and I still had on the pajamas I'd been wearing when they took us. Place stank like rust and chicken shit--or, fuck, maybe that was just me. Either way, I had a little Sherlock Holmes moment, figuring that must mean we were still near Harrisonburg.
I rolled my head to the right, spotted the brown stain on the cement across the little room--cell, whatever--and my empty stomach clenched. A nightmare vision of a slick, dark red puddle filled my head, and I shoved it away, packed it up, trying to focus. The rest of the room was in black and white. The walls were gray cinder-block, the floors about the same, and they'd thrown in a couple of charcoal-colored blankets.
Their concern for our comfort was fucking touching.
But there was no "our" anything. No "us", no "we", just "me". That's what that stain meant.
I thought I should cry. I wondered if I already had. I couldn't remember what'd happened, exactly; the stupor had been too heavy. Just some shouting, a flash of cold, and a gunshot. I remembered someone, a woman, red-headed, with breath like a dragon, in my face. Telling me I was a witchy little orphan now.
I pushed myself to sitting, aching. Track marks all over the inside of my elbows, more like a witchy little junkie. My head swam, but I gritted my teeth and waited until it passed. A dull throbbing in my brain to match the one in my arms. My middle hurt here and there; I pulled up my shirt and spotted a bruise or two, but nothing major. They hadn't been gentle, but if they'd wanted me dead, I'd be dead.
Avoiding the other side of the room--the bloodstain they'd left, probably just to fuck with me--I concentrated hard. Dug into myself, looking for the source. A huge emptiness in my middle froze, hardened, and then came to life.
My eyes started to burn, but it was just relief.
I flexed my hands, pushed the feeling outward, slowed the air. Little clouds of frozen moisture collected at my fingertips. Sluggish, and my head hurt like hell, but it got easier as my brain came back online.
I know, you're not supposed to start a book with the protag waking up. It's old hat. Welllll so far I've not been that successful convincing Jody to do anything he doesn't want, so what can I say. He'll have to make up for it elsewhere.
Have I mentioned that this book will be angsty? Yeah, I'm usually a pretty light touch with that kind of thing, but as this bit shows, I'm screwed on that one this time.
And now you know what a Katey Braindump looks like. And what my editor has to deal with. Bless you, Raven, for all you endure. Will this book ever get a title? Will it make it to my editor whole? Will I ever get over the angst it causes and just finish writing it?
I hope so. Poor kid, I can't just leave him like that :/