So, I’ve been puttering around on and off with this novel for a few years. I was on a roll with it when I got into a car accident last summer, and then I just kind of stopped…I had a hand injury that made it hard to type more than a little bit.
I’m trying desperately to get off my ass and finish it now that my hand is better and I’ve run out of excuses, so mostly as encouragement to myself (and a kick in the ass), I’m publishing the first chapter here. Thoughts? Keep going? Burn it to the fucking ground? I’m around 50,000 words into it, give or take:
The House of Nobles
Lexi snatches the crimson envelope out of my hand as I try to hide it from her.
“You applied?” she asks with a smirk.
“When did this come? Why haven’t you opened it?” Lexi shakes it in front of my face.
“A couple weeks ago, I guess,” I shrug.
“What the fuck? It’s time to find out.” Before I can protest, she rips the top from the envelope. The tear is long and jagged, the crimson envelope looks like a bloody mouth.
Lexi lets the envelope float to the floor as she unfolds the thick cream colored pages. She reads for a moment, then looks at me dramatically over the tops of her glasses as she reads aloud:
Your application has been accepted. Please report to the Prospect selection, date and time noted below. Enclosed is your transportation ticket, waivers, and rules and regulations. Please bring all completed paperwork with you on your selection day.
Head of the Academy,
The House of Nobles
Lexi rifles through the pages and holds up a printed ticket edged in that same deep crimson.
“That’s only two days from now, Val!”
I snatch the ticket and the sheaf of papers from Lexi and throw them on the table.
“Do you even know why you want to do this?” Lexi asks me.
“I…I’ve always wanted to be a Noble,” I stutter. It’s all I can think of to say, my mind suddenly seems blank. They’ve accepted me, that’s all that matters. I can go if I want.
Lexi looks at me, eyebrow cocked, hands on her hips. “Val, a few years ago you always wanted to be a veterinarian. Before that you wanted to be a singer.” She puts her arm around my shoulder, squeezing me with a little side hug. “Sweetie, let’s be honest. You’re sort of pretty and all, but you really aren’t Noble material.”
“It’s not about being pretty, it’s about being dedicated to something, bigger than yourself,” I argue, pushing her away.
“Oh, I see. Did you take that right from the brochure?” Lexi asks sarcastically.
“Does it matter? I can’t take this anymore, this nothingness of a life. I’m sick of it all Lex, I need something else,” I fight back tears. I can’t make her understand. Lexi has a good life, an interesting job, everything comes easy to her while I can never catch a break. She’s gorgeous, people stop and stare at her long blond waves and shining blue eyes. I feel like a study in brown. Brown hair, brown eyes. Nothing sparkles or shines. Not even a dimple.
I’m tired of everything. Sitting in the same beige cubicle, answering the same beige plastic phone, listening to the same complaints. I’m tired of trudging home under murky gray skies, watching the world flicker by one channel at a time. I’m tired of the unceasing chatter. I don’t care what movie star fucked who, or what new weapon is being developed in what might as well be a galaxy far, far away.
“What about Ryan? What does he think about all this?” she asks, folding her arms.
Ryan. Shit. Continue reading