Hey all you lovely people! It’s Sunday, guess what that means? It’s Snippet Sunday time! WOOHOO! Who else is excited?
I want to thank everyone, again. The response to this whole adventure has been overwhelmingly awesome, better than I could have hoped actually. I can’t wait to see what you guys do for this week’s snippets. Let me know what you do down in the comments below.
How to participate in Snippet Sunday:
- You share a snippet of your current work in progress or whatever else you are working on. A scene, dialogue, a whole chapter, a poem – anything goes.
- Link your Snippet Sunday back here, and we can watch the world burn in our amazingness together
- Ta da! Snippet Sunday complete
This week I’m going to share a scene out of my short story. I haven’t completed the story yet, but I hope to do so soon. So, without further ado, I bring you a scene from “This Is Not A Pipe”
Too many people. That was all I could think about. Too many people, not enough space. Too much movement, not enough calm. Too much… just…too much and also not enough.
My fingers twitch an uneven rhythm against my thigh. The roar in my head smothers the jagged taps and steady beating of pounding feet followed with whirling buzzes. I can’t stop moving just like the rushing crowd – I can’t keep still and I can’t focus.
I was never this nervous before. Two tours prior to this one and I had never been this uneasy. I am out of sorts, my heart flutters in my chest and butterflies seemed too tame a word for how my stomach violently jolts. My skin is cold, at least I think it is cold. I can’t quite tell. Cold, not cold… too much, not enough. I am happy, I know I am happy – and I know happy is not an adequate word to describe what I feel running through my veins. I am so happy it is making me sick. I am content, I am uneasy. I am all things and also nothing.
It is infuriating to not know. I prefer the knowing, the categorization. It is easier to say I am one thing when I am only slightly the one, rather than be all things and nothing more. It is easier to know. I wish I knew a lot of things. I wish I knew why I couldn’t sit still. I wish I knew why there was so many people when there should not have been any. I wish I knew why I hadn’t heard from him in weeks.
Schrodinger’s Cat: that is what this is. He had to be alive, I would have been victim to an unwelcome visit if that weren’t the case. But I would also know. Maybe he was hurt – that would explain why he had not called me and the lack of letters. I checked the mailbox every day and there was nothing new.
But I would know that, wouldn’t I? You knew, when someone you loved was hurt or gone. You were supposed to know. There was supposed to be this gaping hole in your chest that was unexplainable even though you knew the answer already – at least, that was what the books always told me. Maybe there was something wrong with me and he is fine.
I love him, I would know. I should know.
I don’t know.
There is nothing worse than not knowing something everyone thinks you should.
A tan flash passes through my peripheral vision and I turn. I see them, coming down the escalator while still in formation though off duty and off base. I see them, but I don’t see him. Not yet.
I stand, clinging tightly to my purse strap that hands over my left shoulder. I am sweating now and my hand slides over the leather as though it were made of butter. There.
I recognize the curve of his scalp first, then the broad slope of his shoulders. He might be in utilities like everyone else, but all I see is him – he has never shone brighter.
I do not realize I am running until I am already there and the crowd parts before me. They know, they all wait for their own reunions – mine is nothing special. Not to them.
It is like running head first into a brick wall, but the wall is warm and gives beneath my weight. Arms snake around my waist and suddenly I am flying. I cling, he holds – we are one though we are also two.
I bury my head down into his shoulder, into musk and cedar, and he walks forward with me still in his arms. I do not complain, we have no need for words – not yet, anyway. All I need is him, all I have is him. He feels different in my arms, but still I hold. I know that’s what happens. You change, the world doesn’t change with you.
I only know when he stops because there is a light squeeze accompanying the loss of movement and followed by a cool breeze. My blouse provides no resistance and I shiver.
My feet hit the ground and only then do I look up. He looks the same, but feels different. His eyes are the same light hazel, his downy curls invisible after the razor, his skin smooth. A soft smile curls his lips, revealing the single dimple in his right cheek. I kiss it and he holds me against him. This – this is familiar.
This is not our first time. The first time, I cried. He cried. We couldn’t be more than five feet from each other without losing it. But now, it is saying hello to an old friend. It is bringing a piece of your soul back into being simply due to proximity. Nothing else is needed.
“Where’d you park, Love?” He asks. I love that voice – that half asleep, gravelly voice you hear in those precious seconds after waking up. I missed that voice, I missed him. I always miss him.
“You’re still on the wrong side of the street.” A whisper lost in the coarse fabric my cheek rests against.
There is a chuckle, a low, husky laugh and then we are moving once more. I forget how easy it is to float when he’s not here. But now I fly, I hover. I am weightless and he is everything.
The air changes as we enter the parking garage, the dryness morphing into a damp chill that gives way to gooseflesh.
“Where to?” He asks me again, his grip tightening before I am released. I do not let go, I will never let go – not anymore. I won’t have to again and I will hold myself to that.
Instead of answering, I reach into my bag for the keys while he patiently waits, watching. I find them and click. A beep echoes off to the left.
There are no words, just movement. Always movement. I can’t wait for it all to be still, I need it to be still. I can’t focus on him, on this, if everything else takes over. He leads our small party to the car and has the keys out of my hands and the trunk open – I still haven’t processed that he is here, standing less than a foot in front of me. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I can reach out and touch him – that if I reach, he’ll be there. Solid. Real.
It is silent and I realize he is staring at me much in the same way I am staring at him. I am memorizing his face even though I know it more than I know my own. I see the little things and I keep them as my own. I see the little chip in his front left tooth, I see a reddened pimple on the underside of his chin. I see him. All I see is him and I want nothing else.
“Will you drive, Bryn? I’m exhausted.” He holds out the keys and I take them. The metal is cool against my skin despite both of us holding them.
I go to get into the car, a silver Prius, and a hand reaches out and opens the door. I freeze, glancing up over my shoulder to see him standing there – smiling, an expectant look on his face. I feel an answering smile mold my face into the expected image, but inside I am screaming. Jensen never did that, he never opened the door for me. He was perfect, but he didn’t do things like that. He never had.
He clears his throat and I blink in surprise, feeling fire in my face as I duck into the car. The door shuts behind me and the passenger side opens before I can count to ten. A Prius isn’t very big, and he has long legs that make up for his thicker torso. I’ve always loved his legs, too.
The car is silent as I start it, and then we are moving. Still moving, always moving. I want it to stop.
I look over at him after I back out of the spot. “Did they put you in manners class this time, Jensen?” I tease as I drive.
He doesn’t answer.
“Jensen?” I repeat. “You haven’t fallen asleep on me already, have you?”
I look at him again. His eyes are closed.
That’s all folks. Sound off you Snippet Sunday posts in the comments below.