Monday, October 10, 2011

Stupidly Timed Eye Problems

At this moment in time, I've got around seventeen works in progress. So what I thought I'd do is post snippets from a few of them, and hope that it doesn't look like one big story I mashed together. Just so it makes some sort of sense, Doubled is about twins who fall for the same woman, Sheltered is about a girl who's been raised in a strict and oppressive environment and finds herself freed by the time she spends with a punkish sort of bad boy and Love Letters (not going to be its real title) is about a wife who discovers her husband once had an affair with a man.


“Can I take the blindfold off?”

Lord only knew why she was asking. Most of her just wanted to rip the blasted thing away and have done with it. If seventeen of the frat brothers they didn’t have were stood around watching, well, so be it. She’d have the memory of a lovely year with two guys who’d at least seemed protective and caring and good.

“No, no, not yet,” one of them said, but this time she knew for sure that it was Tobias. The tone of his voice was too gentle, too full of an imploring sort of persuasion. Sebastian would have just said don’t.

Though he didn’t have to say a word for her to know it was him, when a sudden hand went around her wrist. It reminded her too much of the roof, when he’d held her so softly like that—as though sensible of how long his fingers were and how huge his palm was, and how she might flit away if he didn’t touch her just right.

It felt like someone had struck a gong inside her. It felt as though her body was reverberating. He had just one fingertip over the inside of her wrist, over her pulse, and the very edge of his thumb on some tender part of the back of her hand, and it was…she didn’t know what it was.

Though she knew it got worse when he put his other hand on her face.

He did it in exactly the same way—soft, so soft. Just a hint of his fingertips against the curve of her jaw and then his thumb stroking over her cheek, while inside the gong struck harder and the sound sung through her veins, heady and too much. What in God’s name was he doing? Was she supposed to guess based on the way he touched someone?

He had to know that she couldn’t really judge something like that. She knew what Sebastian’s hand felt like, but she didn’t know anything about Tobias. She had no basis for comparison, and even if she’d possessed one it wouldn’t have mattered.

She couldn’t think clearly enough to employ it. One of them was touching her, and after a long, long torturous moment in which she couldn’t think or speak or do anything at all, she felt this same person lean down and press his mouth to hers.


“Close your eyes, this time,” he said, and though a piece of her wondered why he might request something like that, most of her thought that piece was an idiot.

So she just closed them, and after an interminable amount of time felt him move towards her. Slow, slow, and like that word. What was it, again? Sensuous, she thought, as he drew close. Everything had been cloaked in sensuousness, to the point where details seemed fuzzy and languid.

Like the cuff of his sleeve stroking over the back of her hand, or the feel of his breath stirring against her lips. Her lips had grown seventy-thousand nerve endings between yesterday and right now, and they seemed to buzz whenever he moved.

The buzzing got louder when he put a hand in her hair.

He did it in the exact way she’d seen people on TV do it—like they needed to pin another person in place before they could…do whatever. Only Van wasn’t going to do whatever, was he? He just needed to hold her there so he could breathe the hot smoke into her lungs, like giving someone the kiss of life only backwards.

And if his mouth sort of skimmed hers when he did so, well, what did that matter? He likely didn’t mean it. It was just an accident, just an accident, and then his lower lip brushed over her upper lip and every single molecule in her body froze in place.

He had touched her. She couldn’t get around it—the seventy-thousand nerve endings told her the truth of the matter. Everything tingled in that general area, and the tingles got stronger and more insistent when he did it again.

Once could have been an accident. Twice was purposeful, full of meaning—like a real kiss, only so gentle and barely there she couldn’t quite count it as such. She had to frantically think of other words to call it, as he repeated the slight contact over and over.

Kish, she thought, but unfortunately he chose that exact moment to remove the H and replace it with a second S.

Love Letters

She flicked open the first one—casually, as though it didn’t really matter—and there was her husband’s name, at the top.

Dylan, with a comma after it. No—hey, Dylan. No—dear Dylan. Just one slashing word, and then a great outpouring of other words that she couldn’t quite process, at first.

You said that I didn’t act like this was something real—like something where people hold hands and kiss and write love letters to each other, instead of just playing a stupid game that makes you fly three thousand miles rather than talk about it.

So here’s me, writing an actual love letter to you.

Well, it’s kind of a love letter. Mostly it’s just me thinking about your mouth on my body, while I let my hand drift down to all the places I wish you were touching. Because I do actually wish it, you know. I want you, even though I never say I want you.

I know you think I’m just messing around with you, but I’ve never driven myself half as crazy over anyone else. Not even Marti Klein of the amazing tits, or Jessica Bateman, of the legs that won’t quit.

I think of you, and my cock gets hard immediately. I think of you, and—

She stopped reading, mid-sentence. Backtracked a little, just a little, to the one word that hadn’t initially caught her eye, but absolutely caught it once she’d thought about it for half a second.

Cock. Cock, cock, cock. He’d said cock. He had said cock. As in—an appendage that only a man could have. Which meant only one thing. Well, it meant only one thing if she discounted stuff like “this letter has been written by a hermaphrodite” or “years ago, Dylan was involved with a pre-op transsexual”, but still the fact remained.

Back in college, her husband had been sexually involved with a man.

MAN I feel raw after posting those. It's weird. I don't think I've ever posted works in progress like that, before. Usually my work has gone through the safety net of editors, before it emerges on the other side, semi-readable.

And now I can't stop thinking that excerpt A and B are too alike - though I suppose they're both about first kisses, so maybe I can be excused. Or not. I dunno. GAH, why did I have to have eye problems LAST week? I should have had them this week, and gotten away with not handing in my homework when I needed it the most.


  1. Seventeen WIPs, Charlotte? Seventeen?

    Yikes, I thought I was juggling with four ongoing at this time. I'm such a wimp. :-)

    And while the excerpts may feel raw to you, they read great to me! Excerpts A and B are NOT too alike.

  2. Oh, and I hope your eye problems get better very soon.

  3. Charlotte - Raw! Yeah, that about sums it up. Nice stuff though.

  4. Ooh, I love the way you kiss, CMVS. (Also the way you kish.)

    Spamword: unackeyed

    I think they're trying to say how unhackneyed your writing is.

  5. Holy Crap! I have to know what happens to Dylan and his wife!!!

    Write faster! LOL

  6. I can't wait for this. Any of this! If this is what your work is like before editing...well, I'm totally torn between awe and envy.

  7. Craig - Well, okay. Maybe seventeen is a slight exaggeration. It's more like seven, and now it's back down to four. And thanks! My eye thing was just a bit of strain, according to the optician.

    Kathleen - yeah, it's hard putting your stuff out there. But good to just go for it sometimes!

    Jeremy - LOL! I love it when the spam filters does that. And thanks!

    Collins - you know, I was just saying how much I'd love for someone to ask me to write faster, as though they can't wait for the next bit. I love you, now.

    Lisabet - from your mouth to God's ears. I just subbed them to my editor, and am convinced she won't like them. ARGH. But thanks - that comment made my day!

  8. Charlotte, you have the knack of implying a whole plot in a brief scene. We all want to read more!


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