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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sweet Sample of My Accidental Novel

This story, "Middle Awash in Talent," which I've excerpted before, has asserted itself as possibly a novel as I've been working on it in the hours when I should be doing something else.

This is an unusual excerpt, because I'm putting it out here knowing that it has to be utterly changed. When I write magical realism, I frequently don't know when I've pushed the limits of belief too far, and my writing group has reigned me in for this scene. Emily is in the back of a police cruiser with her sister Beth, who's lost control of her telekinetic powers for a moment and seriously hurt Carlos (who happens to be Emily's love interest). I have to get Beth to the hospital to save Carlos with her healing powers, and in this version, the officers very reasonably agree. I love the police officers with their Rhode Island accents being so accommodating. Are they believable? Nope. They're going back through the mill.

The whole story is pretty sweet, but the instance of random violence makes it at least PG-13.

* * *

“I thought the deal was, you wouldn’t talk about Carlos and I wouldn’t mention your powers.” 
“Emily, I think it’d be great if you talked about my powers now. I’m so sorry about what I did to Carlos! I think if they let me go to the hospital, I can help him.”
I considered the strength of her telekinesis and thought about the surgical gash across her stomach, which she’d made a non-issue so quickly. “You can heal others as easily as yourself?”
“I think so. Otherwise, he might die, Emily. Die. I know you don’t want that.”
She was right. A dead true love would be far too melodramatic for someone like me. Keeping my eye always on her, I rapped gently against the mesh. “Officer?”
The one who wasn’t driving turned his head toward me skeptically.
“Remember how I said she had healing abilities? She says she can help the man she unintentionally harmed. Surely, that would lessen her guilt, and otherwise, I’m afraid he might be a goner.” I smiled, pleading, but wasn’t sure if he could see me at all through the mesh and with the unstable light as we passed under street lamps, north and south on College Hill according to the colonial street plan.
They conferred in low Rhode Island tones. All I heard was something about “a wicked good tetanus shot.” And quite a bit of chuckling. I’d known it was a shot in the dark, but just as I was opening my mouth to tell Beth it hadn’t worked, the driver said, “So I guess you want a ride to Rhode Island Hospital?”
Beth’s mouth gaped open and then clamped shut as she nodded her head vigorously.
“Yes, please,” I said.
“We figure extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” said the passenger-side cop as we sped past the police station and over the river.
“Indeed,” I said.
Apparently that was too much encouragement, as he kept talking about how much he knew about telekinesis and the history of the Providence Police Department with telekinetics ever since their kind had been revealed in the 1870’s. “Providence has a really good school for them, did you know? Is that why your sister’s here?”
“Mmm, yes, sure.” It was a relief to stop thinking about those concentration camps for talented people as we arrived at the hospital’s emergency entrance.

* * * 
Do you think I should work on this for NaNoWriMo, or my historical novel? Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it and I will stop by all your sweet samples.