Thanks for all the kind comments on my last post! I am back after a long, long week...
My NaNo is a mess. Honestly, I spent last weekend laying on my couch watching Real Housewives of Orange County and missing my cat. There's a line in Shards of Glass where someone tells me MC that grief is something that you can multitask. But I found it pretty time consuming, despite having written that snarky little quote.
So my NaNo is about 10k behind. Oh, and I can’t pick what tense I’m writing in – which is not something that normally happens in my writing. So this rough draft is far more hideous than normal for me, but hey… check out the first page:
Despite all the drunken promises we’ve made to always be there for each other, it is days before I find out that Riley has lost his legs.
I was on watch, in the early hours of the morning. I returned from midrats, the neither-breakfast-nor-dinner meal served from 11pm to 1am for those of us who worked overnight. The night sky over Fallujah had been strangely light, hung with a blood-red moon of the type I’d never seen stateside. I punched in the combo on the door, went from the marble passageway to the cement floor of the converted kitchen that was our offices.
Jacks was sitting in one of the chairs around the conference table, leaning back with his boots propped up on the pile of assault pack, flak and Kevlar. He rocked forward when he saw me, his feet thudding into the floor. There was a quick flicker of emotions across his face – happiness to see me, I thought, and surprise, and relief, and misery all at once.
“Jacks,” I said. I looked at the assistant watch-o, the Gunny, then back at Jacks. “What are you doing here?”
“I had to tell you in person,” he said. The emotions had settled. Jack’s mouth was turned down. There were dark smudges beneath his eyes to match the smudged look of his chin. It wasn’t like him not to shave, to be out of regs.
Gunny Richard said, “You can go, ma’am. I’ve got this the rest of the night.”
“Oh, no,” I said. “No.”
Jacks slid an arm around my shoulders, pulled me into a hug. I should have hugged him when I saw him. “Riley is alive, Bodie. I’m sorry. I should have gotten that out right away.”
I wrapped my fingers around the edge of his desert-patterned sleeve and dragged him behind me from the room. Back out into the marble hallway. “We’ll have privacy in here,” I said, opening up the door to the General’s conference room. It had spare plywood walls, but thickly leathered desk chairs and a very new VTC system. I turn around once I’m in, and Jacks shuts the door behind him.
“What brought you all the way to Fallujah?” I said.
“Riley’s convoy was hit by a vehicle-born IED.” He spoke quickly. Ripping the band-aid off. “I don’t have a lot of details. But I know he has a concussion, and that his legs were pinned – they already got him back to the states. So he’s going to be okay.”
I reach back and feel for the smooth arm of one of the desk chairs, sit carefully.
Poetry: "Track Twenty Four" by Alicia Cook
28 minutes ago