July 22, 2015

"You know what happens to liars."

Each week, lovely Alana checks in to see how I'm progressing. And I'm delighted to say that, yes, I'm progressing. This isn't the easiest novel of my life. In fact, writing this book may be my most confusing experience yet. One reason? I actually have forgotten parts. So that when I re-read the passages, I think: Who wrote this?

In my search this week for missing papers, I actually found a draft of this story that's about twenty years old. So I guess this one's been circling for awhile. When that paper resurfaces, I'll take a picture.

Previous posts:

I don't want to fight
Still Not Flinching
Objects in Motion
Pack Your Trunk
So new it doesn't have a name
I don't wear plots
Blue and Green

“How do you see the people?” he asks. “How do you know their stories?”

I don’t have a response for this, although similar questions keep me up at night. But I try my best. Not answering is not an option. It’s like a crack in the wall. A fissure. I can watch them. I know what they’re thinking. They show me what they want me to see. Sometimes the process takes longer than I’d like. Sometimes they lead me places I don’t know anything about. But I trust that they do.

“You talk about them like they’re real.”

They are real. I simply write down what happens. However much they allow me. Whatever glimpse they give.

“You’re making that up,” he says. “You know what happens to liars.”

After the show, she waited for him by the back door of the theater. She knew instinctively which car was his, a beat-up sedan that had once been white but was now a sort of dirty gray. She knew it was his by the duct tape on the bumper, by the decals in the window. She wanted him to fuck her in the backseat. She didn’t care if there were crumpled newspapers in the footwells. She didn’t care if the car smelled musty—because she knew it would. All she wanted was to feel his weight on top of hers. 

Somehow, she thought, that might make everything all right.

And nothing had been right for a long time.

He walked out of the rear of the theater with his head down. He seemed to be lost in thought, so focused that he didn’t notice her standing there. She didn’t want to spook him, didn’t want to make him jump.

She waited until he had walked by her, and then she made the gravel in the alley glow.


“Write me a story,” he says. I don’t know when he first spoke the words. I have no recollection of how I got here, of whether I was ever somewhere else. I live in the room and I wait for his instructions. Sometimes he lets me move forward on one story for what feels like weeks—maybe even months. There is no time here. There are no actual days.

Sometimes he pulls me to something else. Craving a different storyline, a different form of entertainment.

“Write me a story,” he says, and the magician and his new assistant fade from the foreground. I sit up straighter, and I feel my heart go at the anticipation.

“A ghost story,” he says, which surprises me. I look at him, startled.

“What? Don’t think you can do it?”

I know I can. The ghost is already there. He’s sitting on the corner of my bed. 


Tomorrow, I'm going to try to hit you with a new dirty etymology. While you're waiting, why not check out one of Sommer Marsden's latest? Haunted is racking up the five-stars. Support your indie authors—for $1.99!



Alana Noel Voth said...

I can't wait to hold this book in my hands. XO.

Miz Angell said...

Pass the popcorn....*perching on edge of the seat* Am eagerly awaiting the rest of it. :D