Friday, July 20, 2012

The Apartment

Together, challenges no. 27 and 30 have me working on the beginnings of a novel. This is very exciting because I'm the only advertising copywriter to ever dream of and work on writing a novel.

Anyway, this is a snippet from one of the chapters of The Apartment. I realize it gives nothing away in terms of what the story is about, but these are the days of teeny tiny attention spans and paragraph skimming, so I wanted to keep it short:

An epic lump was in the process of invading his throat. It made him feel powerless, yet he made no effort to squelch it. Next came the alarmingly rapid heartbeat, followed by the deepest pit to ever grace his stomach.

But before the lump and the beat and the pit came the girl. Through the front door.

She was wearing pants.

Morris stood by the window in the main room of the apartment, his back to the door, observing the lipstick red color of the leaves on the tree that stood guard for the building, a fine display of the season that turned the living room window into nothing short of a giant photograph. He loved the window dearly. It was the first thing that met his eyes upon entering the apartment, and the last view he took in before retiring each night. What he loved most about the window was its honesty. What he saw through it was reality. Sure, it fogged at times, blurring the truth. But he couldn't blame the window for that.

He looked beyond the red leaves and into an apartment across the street. A scrawny boy of eight or nine was playing with a wooden train set, forcing two cars to collide over and over and over again. Three doors down sat a plump orange cat, completely still except for the tip of its tail, which undulated on top of the window sill. The cat appeared to be looking right at Morris, as if their dual voyeuristic activity created some sort of camaraderie, though he could only speculate that this was the case. The difference between them was that the cat was not drinking whiskey.

With one thumb hooked and resting on his suspenders, the other caressed the rim of an almost-empty whiskey glass, its contents settling warmly in his stomach and taking the appropriate edge off. He was waiting. He was nervous. He was also slightly drunk.

Morris was not an avid drinker, but in the midst of the right occasion it was always whiskey and always in the privacy of the apartment. Speakeasies were too full of fluffy conversation and overpriced bottom-shelf liquor, and he could get the good stuff from a generous cousin with Irish ties. He indulged himself in one last swig just as the wind picked up, separating a handful of leaves from the tree and giving Morris a shiver despite the fact that the window was closed.

Don't worry, the albino ninjas holding lasers and riding robotic centaurs come in right after this. I didn't want to give the WHOLE thing away. 

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