It has been a hard three months especially after Sept 19th, and I decided that I needed to pick a character and start writing. Since it was Nanowrimo, I picked up a character I had been thinking about for a few days. She is a troll-human hybrid so she doesn’t have connections in either community. Plus her husband dies. Yea– sounds a little like my situation? Well, very different because she is ripped out of her community and in the process she is on a journey to find herself.
Every new beginning is the end of another new beginning– from Closing Time.
Here is an excerpt:
Scrip, scape, scrip, scrape.
I held the shovel in my hands, blisters cracking and bleeding, as I scraped the last of the soil from the bottom of the grave. Wiping my eyes with the back of my hand, I left a swathe of dirt across my face. Sweat trickled down my face into my eyes. I had been digging this grave for several hours. No one had bothered to jump in and dig with me. I knew I was hated in this community, but they had been careful to hide their animosity until the death of my husband, my John. The vultures peering down at me, the ones who wouldn’t help me dig his grave, were ghosts to me.
The dust crept into my mouth and I needed, no yearned, for a drink of water. They just stared at me, pointing to the last of the dirt in the corners as if this grave needed to be perfect. If I had been one of them, I might have been grave goods at John’s feet. Right now, my heart was so dead that I wouldn’t have put up a fight. My hair stuck to the back of my neck. I lifted up from my neck as I leaned on the shovel. No breeze reached me here six feet down.
John had always liked my hair. He had said that it was all the colors of autumn—red, yellow, and brown. It wasn’t a natural color and I didn’t dye my hair. It came from the legacy of being a troll-human hybrid. It wasn’t talked of much, but when the dimensional gates opened, when the scientists had used the Large Hadron Collider, searching for the “god” particle, the collider had put so much stress on the dimensions that it had ripped open the world. Two worlds collided —the trolls’ home, Jorden, with Earth. The clash between the two societies had been brutal. Worlds pillaged and women raped. I was a product of such a troll-human interaction. Just by my existence I was hated by both societies.
A hand reached down into the grave and gave me a boost out. I blinked when the sun hit my eyes. From its slant it was late afternoon. I could smell the sour sweat of fear on many of the townsfolk. The mayor, his face stern, took the shovel from my hand and pushed me toward my house. The mayor’s black hair spiked around his face, his skin was swarthy different from the other townfolk, and his feet ground the dirt like a conqueror. In a small town that didn’t like the new or strange, he was strange. For an instant his countenance wavered and I thought I saw something else behind the mask of his face.
“Xandra,” his voice pulled me back. I felt my body pull to attention, and I faced him. It would be bad. He was the only person since John’s death to talk to me. The townsfolk had dragged me here, put a shovel in my hand, and forced me to dig. “You have lost the name Peel. By morning, if you are still in this town you will be killed as a creature of darkness.”