In 2013, I joined the NaNoWriMo NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project to challenge myself as a writer. I knew I'd fail the challenge, but decided to go through with it in order to attempt to make writing more of a routine no matter how busy I was. The rules were simple. In the month of November, the contestant was to write and post as much writing as possible, the end goal being 50,000 words. November is actually the worst month possible for me to do this in (or April), but I didn't have a choice in the matter. So as I graded papers and then lengthy research papers (not to mention taking care of the wild toddler son), I squeezed in writing where I could. I ended up with over 8,000 words. Not near the almost impossible goal they set for me, but I was proud nevertheless.
This excerpt from my NaNoWriMo project is the prologue to Purgatory, a YA paranormal romance novel surrounding two teens whose lives intertwine in the limbo of afterlife where they struggle to resolve unfinished business, guided by William, a ghost child who long ago forgot his identity. In their new situation they learn to rely on each other and that salvation may actually be found in each other.
Let me know what you think. It's pretty dark, mind. I may finish it or completely scrap it.
The church bells tolled announcing nine pm. Her parents might notice her missing soon, but then again, probably not. Her mother was most likely drunk and her father still working in his home office. Not that it mattered much; at least she told herself that. She had planned this for a long time, and was ready, so why was it so hard to follow through with it? As always she second guessed herself, faltered in her flimsy convictions. She was on the precipice, literally staring off into the sea from the cliff’s top. The wind whipped her midnight hair around her which obscured her view, but that was a good thing. The drop off was a few hundred feet. She shivered trying not to think about how cold it was in the water below. The New England winters were something she hated, one of the many things. In fact, she was here because she hated everything about herself and the world. Everything except HIM. And he had no idea she existed, and he never would. She didn’t want him to feel bad about this, to ever know that her heart panged her beyond expressible words. If only she could talk to him, tell him how she felt. But now he was as lofty as a god, the popularity wagon had just scooped him up and he was going on a date with HER, the one lead henchmen of the popularity clique, the girl that ruined her life on a daily basis. She was in the letter, she was to blame, and she would learn and hopefully feel guilty about driving another girl to her death.
Yes, that was what she was here for—to die. She felt her jacket pocket; her letter was still snug in a Ziploc bag, as well as her cell phone. They’d see it all, all that those girls and even a few guys had done: the hazing, bullying, lying, stalking, harassing, and the relentless texts messages from various numbers making fun of her. It was beyond what one person could endure. She knew her father was too busy to care, but once they found her body he would see to it justice was done. He would care when it was too late, and her mother would lose herself down a whiskey bottle but that was nothing new. She just felt bad for her brother, but he was off at college starting a new life; he had protected her her entire life up to this point. She saw that now. She was too fragile out in the cold, wild world. She was supposed to cling on two more years and start afresh in college according to the school counselor, but it was too far and it wasn’t a dream. College was another nightmare that would follow this. This life was hell, which was where she was headed according to her faith.
It didn’t matter now. The love of her life, her soul mate—she was so sure—was on a date with her enemy. She was packing it up and Hell would be better than where she was at in life right now. All she had to do was lean forward, embrace the wind and let gravity guide her down…
The screeching of tires broke her from her morbid conviction. Some reckless driver was taking the turn too quick. Didn’t the idiot know about black ice? The car was careening out of control and was coming right for her. It was a blue jeep, the same blue jeep HE had just bought with his years of lifeguarding money. He had only gotten his license a couple weeks ago and wasn’t experienced on the ice. This was typical of the sick, twisted thing called fate. She wanted to commit suicide, yet she wouldn’t even be given that chance. She would be accidentally killed by the very person she loved most.
However, the car slammed violently into the guardrail and then flipped over only once onto its hood. The rail had done its job and the crashed car was now immobile, and she was still safe on the cliff’s edge. She took a step towards the car in hopes to save him, somehow help. Perhaps serendipity had given her some luck and threw them together in this situation so that she could finally talk to him. No, that wasn’t her typical luck. Her other foot slipped over the edge of the cliff and she fell down smacking her head on the crags. She felt gravity pull on her legs as the world began swirl around her, and in that instant before she lost consciousness, she saw his face in the overturned car. His eyes met hers, and then all faded to black.