NaNoWriMo preparation

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I’ve been preparing for this year’s NaNoWriMo, hoping that College work doesn’t interfere with it this year.

So far, I’ve decided the novel I’m writing: it’ll be the one I started last year. It’s called Sightless and it’s about a psychic woman who was blinded by choice and is mentally connected to a man who serves as her eyes.

Here’s an excerpt of last year’s NaNoWriMo:

It was a hot day in the middle of summer and the smell of oranges hung freshly on the air. The garden was brimming with children playing around, happy in their innocence while their parents kept an eye on them from afar.

Reid’s attention flicked form one figure to another. The strawberry blonde girl with her doll, the dark boy with his action figure and the older girls eating ice-cream; he saw a mother handing her child hard candy and a father examining his daughter’s bruised knee.

His gaze moved from person to person and only stopped when, finally, he saw her, feeding the ducks in the lake. He knew she’d seen him too, because her face instantly turned towards him.

Reid approached her in a nonchalant stride. He stopped in front of her and put his hands in his pockets to better assume a laid-back posture.

“Aisling May?” Reid asked.

The woman nodded and brushed back a curly lock of blue-black hair from her face. There was something exquisite in the way she moved, Reid observed. And something in the way she looked at him with those dark eyes of hers.

It was a strange thing, how one Psychic could recognize another. It was usually a subtle, small brush at one’s mind, something purposely done so that only people with a certain degree of awareness could muster. In this case however, it was not so. This woman’s otherworldly force was too primal to be contained in such a gentle manner.

“Yes,” she replied. “And you would be Reid Ashe.”

Reid nodded. “I was told you want to become one of us. I want to know why.”

Aisling shrugged, which caused a strap of the frilly lime green top to fall down her shoulder. She put it back up before she spoke to him again. “Why not?”

“I do not know anything about you, but from the way you carry yourself, I know you’re not stupid. You probably have a degree and, I’m assuming, a whole life full of tempting prospects. To join us, you’d be letting everything you have now go to waste and I want to know why.”

She smiled at him and the psychic threads around her reverberated. Her tone was amused. “Why would you care?”

“In case you do join us, there is a large chance you and I will be working very closely together,” said Reid.

“You’d be my Seer?”

“Yes.”

Her shoulders fell slightly and Reid could swear that, for a moment, the birds in the trees stopped chirping and the children in playground stopped laughing. “What if you don’t agree with my reasons?” Aisling May’s voice was as grave as the air around them. “Will you forbid me from joining you?”

“That is not in my power to do,” Reid softly said. “But I do swear that if I don’t like them, I will do everything I can to stop you from doing so.”

She harrumphed and pivoted on her toes to turn to the lake. She broke down some more of the bread and threw it to the ducks, watching calmly as they swam towards it and ate it. A small breeze rose in the air, playing with Aisling’s black curls and lifting the hem of her knee length yellow skirt.

Reid could not understand what exactly, but there definitely was something else about this woman that made him unable to draw his eyes from her… It was a powerful attraction, yes, but not in the physical sense.

“I could lie to you,” said she, and her voice made him think, in this hot summer day which smelled like oranges, of rain hitting the hard stone floor. “I could say that I want to help the world because I’m certain you’d never refuse my entry if I were to say so. But I know better and I know that lying isn’t the correct way to start a working relationship, so I will tell you the truth.

“I am well aware that most people who become Sightless are the scourges of society who possessed enough affinity to the Otherworld and were given the choice to either do it or die. So why would I do it on my own free will?”

She turned back to him, her jaw set with grim determination. “It is actually very simple, Reid Ashe. This world is filled with misery and pain and yes, I do want to help it. I want to fight the creatures of the Otherworld which have invaded us when the psyche was discovered and make it a better place for everyone else including myself. But that is not my real reason.

“The world is ugly, Reid Ashe, and is filled with ugly things. And if I do not want to see them anymore… why not give it a purpose?”

Reid frowned. She did not seem to be lying and yet… “You’re hiding something.”

“I am,” Aisling conceded. “But can you expect me to tell you everything when we’ve just met?”

“No. But I still haven’t understood why you want to join us.”

If her smile had been like rain, her laughter now was like a storm. “Oh, Reid Ashe, can’t you see?” She took a step towards him, then another, until they were only a mere inch apart and Reid could see that the upper part of her cheeks was dotted with light, playful freckles and that her eyes were not a common dark shade of brown, but true black.

His psyche was reacting even more strongly towards her now, for she seemed to have built threads around his mind, ensnaring it. To have a psyche so powerful at this stage… no wonder the General had insisted on him to come meet her.

“All I wish…” Abruptly, the stormy feeling vanished and Aisling May’s smile was sad rather than derisive. “Is to never see again.”

It was the truth.

“You are certain,” he stated. “I do not know how come you can be as you are, Aisling May, but I do know you are determined and that you did not lie.” He took his right hand out of the pocket and extended it to her. “It’s good enough for me.”

Aisling’s resolute demeanor wavered slightly as apparently, she had not expected such a gesture from him. Her hand was soft in his as they shook them. “We will pick you up tomorrow at seven in the morning. I should warn you that should you decide to back out, your behavior will not be tolerated.” He tightened the hold on her hand. “Understood?”

“I will not back out,” she said, assertive. “I will be ready at seven.”

Reid let go of her hand and inclined his head forward. “Enjoy your last seeing day, then, Aisling May.”

She smiled dryly. “I will see you tomorrow, Reid Ashe.” She said nothing else and, when her back was again to him and Reid saw it as his cue to leave. Once he was far away enough that she could no longer hear the sound of his footsteps, Aisling sighed the tension away. Even though the day was hot, she felt a chilling breeze blowing by, giving her goose bumps. She hugged herself for warmth, but it was no good.

Aisling heard footsteps again, coming closer and closer; at first, she thought it was Reid who had come back for some extra questioning, but his presence had had more of warmth to it than this one – not to mention this pull was much stronger.

Aisling had felt this very particular pull before. She frowned and looked over her shoulder to see a middle-aged woman with graying hair, swathed in a long, red shawl.

“Fancy seeing you here,” Aisling said, “Miss Denise Larkspur.”

The woman was now standing next to her, leaning forward over the railing, speechless. This woman had always been of the silent, meditative kind; everything Denise did had a quietness about it that was almost distressing. And that humming noise Aisling heard whenever she was around…

“You are joining them,” Denise’s voice was soft, like velvet. “And once they take a hold of you, they will never let go.”

A sigh. “I know.”

The humming kept on growing, louder and louder. Aisling closed her eyes for a moment and only opened them when Denise was speaking again. “You will belong to them,” she stated.

“I know.”

Aisling closed her eyes for another moment. There was so much noise, so much noise!

“You will be blind,” she heard Denise say.

Aisling looked up at the sky and noticed night was already falling. The garden was empty. Somehow, that humming had caused her to lose track of time. From the corner of her eye, Aisling looked at Denise, now with her lips pursed as though waiting a reply before saying something else.

“It’s what I want…” Aisling bit down her lower lip. “To never see this world through these eyes again… That is all I want.”

Denise snorted in a very unladylike way. She buried her left hand in the deep folds of her dress and pulled something out. She extended a very long, well-kept card towards Aisling and waited for her to accept it.

Justice.

“A devil haunts you and, to never see him again, you wish to be blinded. But I warn you, Aisling May… There will be consequences and, under the moonlight, judgment will be brought down upon us.” Denise inhaled deeply and pulled the shawl tighter against herself. “I have seen what will become of you, Aisling May, if you become one of them.”

Aisling shook her head in mockery. “I highly doubt that is accurate.”

Swiftly, Denise grabbed Aisling’s arm so fiercely the younger woman yelped. “You know it is accurate – and you know you will destroy yourself.”

Angrily, Aisling yanked her arm away. “It is not for you to care.” She tried to give the card back to the other woman so what she could go home, but Denise wouldn’t accept it. “Keep it,” she said. “Because soon you will be like her… You too will be blind.”

And with that last angry hiss, Denise Larkspur left Aisling May alone and confused, standing in front of a dark lake. She had seen it, as clear as day, that Aisling May’s blindness would end the world as they knew it.

 

 

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