Summer Excerpt – Theme “Wine” #1

July 17, 2016 at 8:12 pm (horror, writing) (, , , , , , )

image4Today was a busy one, to say the least.  It included a morning trip to Issigeac for their market and basket fair,  a trip to a writer demo where I picked up a couple of books from local authors/illustrators, an afternoon pub stop to down a couple of Irish ciders (because I can’t drink regular beer.  We did have wine with our lovely supper at le Bastide.  I enjoyed pate foie gras, magret de canard (duck) – the local specialty and a tasty creme brulee.  I’m going to have to diet when I get home, and no alcohol for at least a week.

No more Sangria for me when I get back either.  My sister has spoiled me with it during late nights on the terrace.

So here is my first “wine” excerpt, from my short story, “The Storyteller’s Affliction” – yet to be published anywhere in full:

“As she tore her still beating heart from her chest, the pain was like a thousand teeth, biting into her flesh…”

No, no, no. The editor wouldn’t accept that; she knew it. She started again. Once more the whispers were there.

“It pulsated, scarlet and oozing, in the grip of her hand. The physical agony was as terrible as one would expect, ripping one’s heart from one’s chest, but her grief was suddenly gone.”

Natalie felt sick to her stomach. Every time she tried to write the scene without gore and pain, the whispers interfered. Hours later, she still had nothing presentable. She had written the same few passages several dozen times, each more suitable for some morbid gothic horror novel than a soulfully sad children’s book with a happy hopeful ending. It was nothing like what the editor had asked for.

Refusing to give up and admit defeat, she considered how she might better fight her affliction. Its constant presence had a soul-sucking effect, draining all of the positive energy from her. She had never sunk so low, teetering on the edge of depression herself for the first time in her life. She needed to tone down the imagery it was feeding her, to soften the impact. Once again, she considered Amortravail’s solutions. She never drank when she wrote because it numbed her mind and lessened her creativity, but that would actually improve her current situation, and she did keep wine and spirits in the house.

In the weeks that followed, her attic became a mental battlefield, and her primary weapon was a bottle of amber liquid. Those days and nights blurred together, with Natalie hardly eating or sleeping as she struggled to overcome the man-bird’s influence and write the book that she wanted, rather than the one it would have her create.

I did manage to finish up a short story while I was here, so I have a couple of submissions to make when I get home.

One day left and then I hit the road to head home.  I am looking forward to being reunited with my hubby, kids and garden.  I will miss my family here and France in general, though.  More later 🙂


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