Another productive week is behind me; I thought I’d take break from writing and share a bit of my novel with all the bloggers who have shared their wonderful thoughts and works with me these past couple of weeks.
It’s the first page of my novel as it stands now, but as with life in general, it’s subject to change. 🙂
Note: The name of the novel isn’t set in stone yet (it’s also not Sharing is Caring. That’s just the title of the post).
I also started a Pinterest board for my main character, Aaron, as per the How to Use Pinterest as A Writer post.
Aaron couldn’t decide how sorry he felt for the kid.
It looked like a boy, a bag of bones, naked and crying his eyes out on the doorstep of a rundown house. Cradling his scabby knees, the kid kept his head down, and with each sob his frame rattled. He’d probably been roaming the streets alone for days, trying to find his parents or his lost dog, Oatmeal. That sounded like the name of a kid’s dog.
Behind a rotted wooden fence, Aaron watched the street glow orange under the setting sun; shadows morphed into long, black fingers reaching out over the asphalt, and he checked for any shapes that didn’t belong. Overhead, pregnant clouds crept in from behind the kid.
Whimpering. Filthy. Starving. An imaginary pet. A solid seven on the sympathy scale (tens were reserved for maimed kids with weak, hopeful smiles).
Aaron sighed, walked across the street and up the crumbled cement walkway, and sat next to the kid.
It would’ve been an odd sight to anyone who passed by. From under a cream fedora, Aaron’s hair flowed like a river of gold, and though he tried every day to keep his beard trimmed and clean, it was like fighting against a current without a paddle—or an electric shaver. A maroon trenchcoat wrapped around his body like a second skin; tucked inside were a mint green tie, a dress shirt and slacks, which gave the impression he’d dived straight to the bottom of a donation bin to dress himself. A pair of brown leather shoes, which he was dangerously proud of, rounded out the cobbled package.
Towering over the scrawny kid and covered in an always-present layer of dirt, Aaron could pass for a hermit who’d come off his mountain to rejoin society. Or a dapper homeless man.
“Hey, you alright?” he asked. The kid didn’t acknowledge Aaron’s presence in any way, not a nod or a sniffle. Rude little twerp.
“What’s your name?” Still nothing. “You don’t say. Mine’s Aaron, pleased to meet you.” He looked up at the door behind them. The green paint had flaked almost completely off, but he could still make out the faded outline where the house numbers used to be. “233 Ruby St. The Jacobsons used to live here,” he told the kid. “They had these two giant dogs, Great Danes; ran around and took lots of shi—uh, poops—on everybody’s lawn.”
Those lawns, once covered with emerald grass and flower beds, now kept gardens of melted tires and rotting corpses, the kind that couldn’t get up anymore, but Aaron still steered clear of most bodies he came across; no such thing as being too careful.
“You hungry?” He dug into his faded canvas backpack and whipped out a can of tuna (in oil of course); when Aaron held it out, the kid sunk his head lower and kept on crying. He was probably nine or ten, but most of his hair had fallen out; strands crisscrossed over his scalp like black spider webs.
“It’s ok; it’s free, no strings attached.” He pulled out a rusty can opener from a coat pocket, sawed through the metal, and put it on the ground near the kid’s feet. “People are like that these days, eh? They don’t like to share unless you can give them a lot more as a thank you, like you owe them something special. The Merchants especially; it’s a nightmare dealing with them. Ever met one?”