E is for Excerpt


I’m always talking about my writing here, but I rarely let anyone read any of it. So today I’m putting my words where my mouth is and offering you a short excerpt. It's rough, and definitely a WIP, but I hope you enjoy it. BTW…the first car I ever owned was a 1966 Green Chevy Van.






“I don’t see a decent size town for at least a hundred miles,” Cami said, peering over the top of the map. “I guess you’ll just have to pull over if you’ve gotta go that badly.”

Ted stared out across the barren country-side on either side of the interstate. Not a tree or bush in sight, nothing even a mangy dog would consider lifting his leg next to.

“I guess I’ll hold it for a while longer.”

Cami started folding up the map. “Suit yourself. Maybe somebody should’ve gone when we ate lunch, like I suggested.”

Ted let her not-so-subtle dig just hang there, refusing to take the bait and retaliate. He knew she was right, but admitting it went against every guy rule there was, and besides, it would only serve to egg her on. It didn’t matter though; the playful smile he caught out of the corner of his eye told him she was satisfied her point had been made.

“Come to think of it, reach back there and get me that empty Gatorade bottle.”

“I will do no such thing,” she replied, half-laughing as she slapped his arm with the partially folded map.

At least the dull pressure from his bladder might help keep him awake, he thought. They had been warned the I-80 drive across Nebraska could challenge one’s consciousness, especially after a meal, but this bordered on the brutal. Miles and miles of pure nothingness. Ted wondered how long it would be before his arms felt heavy and that overwhelming lethargic feeling overcame him. He was starting to second-guess Cami’s offer to take over driving for a while, but she was so damn insistent on going just a couple miles an hour over the speed limit, even out here where state troopers were few and far between.

The Eagles tune playing on the radio wasn’t helping matters, so Ted hit the seek button to find something more up-tempo. Just as a gospel choir began blaring from the speakers his attention was drawn to something out of place on the road a half mile ahead. As the car drew closer he could make out something resembling a rolled up sheet, or small blanket, its whiteness a stark contrast against the black asphalt. There was nothing else nearby, no cars or trucks, no hitch-hikers, just the apparent bundle of linen in the road.

Ted figured the bedding roll wasn't big, maybe the size of a loaf of bread, but there was something about it that told him to ignore the radio and pay closer attention. It was resting in the center of the right hand lane and though he was sure running over it wouldn't pose much of a risk, it could possibly get caught in the under carriage so he'd better play it safe. He checked the rearview mirror before moving over, but he knew the caravan of semi's they had passed recently were the only other vehicles on the road, and they were still a few miles back.

"Ted, what's that in the road?" Cami asked as she returned the map back to the glove compartment.

Ted didn't bother to answer because the fast approaching road hazard, now fifty yards away, was causing an uncomfortable feeling to flood over him. Why was something as light-weight as a sheet remaining stationary like that, despite the insistent wind blowing outside? And why did it resemble a shape so familiar, but so out of context with these surroundings. He flipped down the turn signal and started pulling into the left-hand lane.

Suddenly an icy chill ran down his spine when the surface of the sheet unexpectedly seemed to ripple and flex. Something was moving inside. They were right on top of it now, about to speed by on the left side, when Ted thought he spotted something else lying on the ground next to the sheet. No! It couldn’t be!

Cami must have seen it at the same time. "TED, THAT'S A PACIFIER!" she screamed.

Instinctively, Ted stood on the brakes. The screeching tires were deafening, seeming to last an eternity, drowning out the sound of Ted's breath being forced from his body as the seat-belt yanked him back before colliding with the dashboard. He tried to keep the car pointed straight, but despite his best efforts it pulled to the left, off the shoulder and into the center medium.

No sooner had the car jerked to a halt he heard the passenger door fly open. In the rear-view mirror he watched in horror as Cami sprinted unfazed towards the semi-trailers thundering down on them, and the baby blanket.



*************************************************

Were you aware I was holding a contest during the Challenge?  No?  You can read all about it HERE.

61 comments

  1. Loved the excerpt! Now I'm want the rest of the book

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sends shivers down a mother's back!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wowzers! Excellent stuff. I want to read more too! Great atmosphere and I felt my nerves jangling.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As a mother, I would had bolted out of that car as fast as Cami had. Great piece.

    Loved the line about nothing even a dog would lift his leg too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is so good, Don! The tense build-up was awesome. I want to know what happens next!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is so good! I love this stuff!
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests
    #warriorminion

    ReplyDelete
  7. Scary scene indeed. Great writing DL.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My heart is pounding!!! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Why are you uneasy about sharing your w.i.p. it's good, very good. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love how well you portrayed the emotions here. And so true to what a man would do and what a woman would do. Very well done.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Riveting excerpt, I too would like to read the rest of this story. I must admit though it sounds familiar. Methinks you posted this somewhere before.

    ReplyDelete
  12. it's sucked me in... if i am reading this correctly...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes, I want to read more, please.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Whoah Nelly -- you really raised the stakes there! Nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ooh what a passage, I really want to know what happens next!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I remember reading that passage before - very intense!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great expert. I would definitely read more! Oh an I've driven across NE and SD and MT... I know the agony of being miles and miles away from anything which really pulled me into your setting.
    Simply Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  18. I remember that passage :) But you're still leaving us hanging!!! Sigh. Also, a 1966 Green Chevy Van? Hmmmmm, I wouldn't have pictured it :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Holy crap, DL! That's awesome. I hate that I can't read anymore!

    Well done, sir. Well done!

    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  20. Excellent setting and 'SetUp' to draw us ALL (every comment) into this Excerpt. MORE...WE WANT MORE!!!! It's not hard to figure....MORE is BETTER!
    Well done!!!
    Sue~CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dang, DL... And I just laid down Simon for his nap. (With his pacifier)
    Well written. "Stood on the brakes" is an effective description.
    There have been several band trips to Alabama or Florida or South Carolina or South Georgia (or even in stopped traffic outside of Atlanta on I285) where one of us has absolutely used an empty Gatorade bottle.

    TMI? :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. That's fantastic! I want to keep reading!

    ReplyDelete
  23. No!!! It can't stop there. More. I want more. NOW! (Okay, patience isn't my strong suit.)

    DL, please stop by my blog when you get a chance. I left something for you there.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for sharing your work, DL! :) Wish you all the best with your WIP!

    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yikes! It started out so light-hearted, and then BAM! Great work, though. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. You can't leave us hanging - we need more installments!

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

    ReplyDelete
  27. Excerpt? Now I need to read more to find out what happens!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Whoa, this excerpt was awesome! Thanks for sharing a bit of your writing!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm impressed, DL! If the rest is this riveting, you shouldn't have any trouble getting published.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Yeah, so when will that be finished and available? :-)

    Lyre at Lyre's Musings

    ReplyDelete
  31. So you get a thumbs up from me. Hope you will share more of the story nothing like leaving us hanging and begging for more.
    Nicely done cliff hanger you got going.
    Hope you have a great A-Z glad I stopped by you make it into my favorite file cause I want to hear more of this story.

    Margot at A Devotional Mosaic and Spark My Creativity

    ReplyDelete
  32. So glad you shared this! It's awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Catching up on comments for the big ole entry!

    Popped by from the AtoZ Challenge.

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oooh, that gave me a real sucked in breath moment. Nice build up, and now I'm left wanting more, too.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You did NOT just rev up the tension like that on me and leave me on the edge of my seat.
    I'm teetering!!

    That was such a wonderful excerpt. You set the calm stage with some playful banter, slowly hitched up the tension then hit a heart-wrenching crescendo.

    Well played!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Awesome excerpt, very intriguing and suspenseful. I was hooked. I began to suspect that a baby was wrapped up inside the sheet, when I read that it was the size of a loaf of bread and a chill surged through me. Good writing. I want to read more. A 66 Van, huh? So, you were one of the guys, my mom warned me to stay away from, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Somehow I knew it was a baby, before you go to that point, but it was still great. Now I want to know where that baby came from, and why it's in the middle of the road.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great page-turner excerpt! You have me intrigued.
    Kathy @ Swagger Writers

    ReplyDelete
  39. Where's the rest of the story??

    ReplyDelete
  40. Wow, what an exciting excerpt! That was a very clever way of reeling us in. ;)

    The A to Z blog said in the latest post to add a link to your own A to Z blog in the comments, so here's mine: kristenhead.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow, scary. Now I want to read the rest of the book. When will it be done?

    ReplyDelete
  42. That's where you leave me???? Gah! I'm dying!

    ReplyDelete
  43. It is very good. It reminds me the story of ghosts that are heard about some roads here. YOu can see things that are not supposed to be there. Mostly people. A baby is freaking, though.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Great excerpt, polished and professional.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Wow! Great excerpt. Mr. Bashful, why don't you post more of your writing, eh? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  46. Great excerpt - great E day post! :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Wow! You got me hooked! When do we get to read the rest? Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Ooooo, a baby blanket and pacifier, that doesn't sound good. But DL, it's not true that you don't share you writing. You do it all the time, it's called your blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. I hope all three make it out alright! Where did that baby come from?

    Chontali Kirk
    chontalikirk.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. Great excerpt, but gee, way to leave us hanging!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh jeezzzzz! And you're just going to leave us like that! What torture!! I do a Weekend Writing Warriors and snippet Sunday blog hop. It's only 8 sentences on Sunday but I find it keeps me motivated for editing.

    ReplyDelete
  52. This is a great excerpt- it has the the right amount of suspense, characterization, and plot. I think most readers could understand needing to use the bathroom when they're out on the road, so that's a great way to make the main character relatable. The climax and the realization of what's at stake hits us hard, and we're left with questions and a need to know what happens next.

    Thanks for sharing! I myself don't share my writing excerpts very often online either.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hopefully you will be posting part 2??
    That was a great excerpt, I was thinking something other-wordly, totally surprised by pacifier:)
    doreenmcgettigan.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Yikes! A mother's road-trip nightmare! Can't wait for the rest. I am hooked, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  55. That sounds like a conversation that I would have with my fiance. "Pass me that bottle, back there." "Hell, no!"
    I think it could be because I am reading a Sci-Fi novel right now, but when I read 'pacifier' I did not think of the ones related to tiny humans. I thought, "Pacifier? Sounds shiny and mysterious; I wonder what powers it has?" Great WIP; I'm sure it'll be a great novel.

    Cheers from Brandy at http://brandysbustlings.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete

 

Archives

Blog Blitz

Design by: The Blog Decorator