National Novel Writing Month: An excerpt


The following is an excerpt from my story for National Novel Writing Month, Status Update, and I hope it illuminates to some extent, the mentality of my main character, Harper and whatnot. These excerpts will likely be a regular feature this month every few days or so.

A couple, a raven-haired girl with small jean shorts and a red top that barely covers her stomach and a tall guy with square shoulders and a square head with a square hat on, come up the stairs and sit in the row in front of me. Aside from us three, there are only three other individuals in the theater. They lift up the armrest between them and scoot closer together. The guy puts his meat hook of an arm around the girl and I notice he has a Superman tattoo on his bicep and the girl snuggles her head in on his massive, square chest. She looks up at him, he looks down at her and they exchange a few quick kisses, the smacking of lips-on-lips is similar to the noise of someone trying to eat caramel when it gets stuck to their teeth. I ignore them, as a preview for another new horror movie begins. A bunch of blood and guts and stereotypically good-looking female leads and creepy, loud music and then the next preview starts and the two lovers in front of me are still smacking, smacking away.

The start of the horror film before the title sequence is a girl, stripping down to nothing and with a sensual gait toward a bedroom. She opens the door, presumably expecting her lover to be strewn across the bed naked with a raging hard on and a smile. Instead, she finds him strewn across the bed naked and bloody and his head is no longer attached to his shoulders. His head has been placed at the foot of the bed on top of one of those old timey chests. She predictably screams in horror and flees from the bedroom into the waiting arms of a hooded figure. His long knife slides into her throat, coming out the back of her neck and then he severs her head, too, left to right, right to left. Unrealistic, as it would take much more effort to sever a head through all the tendons and muscles in the neck. Alas. The title sequence follows with thunderous, ominous music and the smacking, smacking away persists.

I start to envision a new story in my head. The spark in my brain is like a heroin injection; my synapses firing off in rapid succession. I’m envisioning a scenario wherein a brother and sister walk to a nearby convenience store from their house, nothing too extravagant. It’s a cool, breezy summer night, the stars populating the night sky to luminous effect and the two enjoy the smell and sounds of the night life: the greasy local diner with its smell of onions and pepper and jalapenos and laughter from inside, a crew of construction workers working late into the night with the help of an overhead light, with a crane, elevating a heavy piece of metal toward some unknown destination; one worker operating the crane, his lit cigarette casting small flickers of light over his bearded, rough features and a mother and a daughter, hand-in-hand, walking toward the ice cream place, the girl’s hair seems to hang behind her head in majestic fashion as they slide through the door.

In the convenience store, the brother, unimposing, short, slim shoulders and tight waist, goes off to the candy aisle looking for some chocolate. The sister, taller than the brother with long legs, long arms and even longer hair, goes to the freezers to look for a case of beer, probably something mass produced and with little alcohol content, maybe something fruity and full of sugar; she’s not sure yet, she’s just browsing. Her brother doesn’t notice the man in the black jacket, black jeans and black hat walk in through the door with a chime to alert his presence and a shotgun to alert anyone to his motivation. The sister doesn’t notice either.

3 thoughts

  1. Its definitely got the Brett Milam signature, as in its very descriptive. I’m not sure yet who the guy is with the detailed imagination but I want to know more about him. Keep the excerpts coming and keep writing, I think you’re onto something here.


    1. Thanks for reading and yeah, I just realized it is still kinda vague on Harper. May post a very brief follow-up just to allow a window into his over-thinking, manic mind…


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