Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rage and a Glass of Orange Juice

For the third time since she sat down for breakfast, Nami felt a flash of vertigo, the kind where your brain (or inner ear) screams that you’re falling, but your feet are planted firmly on the ground. Her hand slapped the table in a phantom reflex.

Her husband Sury raised an eyebrow.

Well, she didn’t see it rise, not exactly, but she knew what he was doing by the way his shoulders stiffened in her peripheral vision.

“Are you alright?” he said. His voice was accusatory, not kind.

“I don’t know,” she said.

Truth was, ever since she awoke, she had a fleeting sense that the Earth was wobbly. Like a log rolling out from under her feet. Earlier, she managed to knock into the wall and drop her toothbrush into the trash can.

She had depositions today with a name-partner in her law firm. Stacks of documents sat tabbed and arranged all over the table. Her take home work tended to annoy the shit out of Sury. Actually, everything up to and including her breathing tended to annoy Sury. It wasn’t her fault that his job was less important.

Some nausea welled up. More Earth tilting.

She took a big gulp of tea and absolutely refused to acknowledge it.

“Can you….” He motioned to her paperwork.

“No!” Nami said. “I can’t move it! You have plenty of room to sit!”

“Well, don’t blame me if I spill something on it.”

She waved his attitude away. Time was running out for her to cram. Time was always running out.

He chattered the chair over to a corner and shook his newspaper open much more loudly than he had to.

Her glare caught one of the headlines. Two missing ships in the Arctic Ocean. Disappeared without a trace.

She stood and began assembling her documents. If she didn’t seriously get moving, she would miss her train.

She caught Sury’s juice with the edge of one of her stacks. His glass sloshed over and shot a wave of orange toward her notes.

“No!” Nami screamed.

The panic and rage that flashed out of her was answered by a loud, sizzling pop.

A hot orange cloud hovered over the table. It smelled like hot laundry.

Sury’s newspaper tipped down. He gaped at the smoky haze.

The juice was gone. More than evaporated. Not even a drop remained on the table.

She couldn’t stop to contemplate what had happened or form the words to speak. As the weird mist of what had been juice tickled her cheeks, she stormed off hugging the papers.

For the first time that morning, the Earth seemed solid beneath her feet.

(Despite being super busy with my career, I've been feeling a little wistful about working on my novel. This excerpt is a scene near the beginning of EARTHTIDE that I decided to write today to dip my toes back in the water. Thanks for indulging me!)


Shadow said...

hooked, i am. would love to read more!

the walking man said...

It is an engaging excerpt. Hope you have more coming.

Lee said...

Nice you are working on your novel again. I love the line - she waved his attitude away. Love, love ,love your writing!

Erratic Thoughts said...

I want more of it :)
Nice extract...Loved it!

Seré Prince Halverson said...

I'm glad to hear you're dipping back into your novel, Jason! This is compelling. And as always, your vivid imagination and attention to language and detail bring the scene to life.

I know the ideal is to be able to dive in completely, but since that's not possible for you right now, taking a scene like this at a time also piles up the pages. I hope you'll keep going.

Anonymous said...

Shadow, thanks!

Walking Man, glad to hear that you found it engaging! I hope to get some traction going. Maybe I need new tires....

Spacedlaw, much appreciated!

Lee, I seriously, seriously appreciate that. It very much helps to feel like there are folks who would want to read my work. :)

Sere, truer words were never spoken. I would love to dive in. With both feet. But I also have an amazing opportunity in my non-writing life. I'll do my best to walk both roads. Thanks for all of your understanding of the writing path!

Anonymous said...

Erratic Thoughts, how did you sneek past me? That's what I get for writing comments late. Thank you for the feedback!!

SzélsőFa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SzélsőFa said...

i was eager to read into another great episode of Nami's life, but once i started to realize she feeled vertigo i had to stop reading. I'm really sorry and i will return and read it once again quite soon, but at the moment it all brought up unwanted memories.
don't feel sorry for that.
it just means that the writing is great.
as per usual, but that is needles to say. :P
'll be back.

SzélsőFa said...

that is, of course, *needlesS*

Anonymous said...

Szelsofa, sorry that was a painful memory. I definitely have seen how much your accident has affected you.