Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
Posts: 2
Joined: July 12th, 2010, 8:29 pm

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Taggie01 » July 12th, 2010, 8:36 pm

A Thousand Glass Flowers
Adult fantasy/magic realism

Thumping shattered her dreams and the dog growled from the bed. Underneath her fingers, she could feel the hackles on his spine. ‘Hush Phaeton,’ she whispered. ‘He can’t hurt me.’

'Lalita Khatoun.’ The voice boomed from the other side of the door. ‘Bestir yourself, my angel niece. We have much to do before the Grand Vizier graces the shop.'

We[/i]have much to do you think, Uncle? [/i] She swung her legs to the floor, the dog arching his back and stretching. Outside she heard Uncle Kurdeesh walk away, his bulk and his bloated ego making the floor tremble. ‘Today is the day, Phaeton,’ she continued whispering – more to herself than the dog as she washed then smoothed a brush through her hair, coiling the dark tresses into a loop at the nape of her neck, strengthening her spirit for the time ahead. A quick glance at her face in the mirror revealed eyes bright with expectation and pink lips trembling with nerves. Grabbing a scarf that matched her kurta, she looped it carefully around her neck, noticing the dark shadow of an ultramarine stain on her fingers from her last illumination. For the thousandth time she wished her guardian Uncle and Aunt were here, not the floor trembler who lurked like an ugly stain on her life.

‘Come dog,’ she bent to smooth her stained fingers over Phaeton’s head as if the equanimity of her voice and action would settle her. Lifting the heavy iron bar across her door to walk down the stairs to the small emporium, her thought centered only on this day of chances. Perhaps the Grand Vizier would commission her.

Posts: 1
Joined: July 12th, 2010, 8:42 pm

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Alex.M » July 12th, 2010, 8:52 pm

Title: If I Walk In Darkness
Genre: Suspense
Words: 248

Halifax, May 13

12:23 p.m.

Alone in his office, Lieutenant Allan Stanton scrutinized the Ident photo, as if the clues lay beside the ravaged body it depicted. Discouraged, he felt all hope of solving this case slip away.

“What have I overlooked, Mary?” he whispered softly.

In the picture, Mary Driscow lay supine on the forest floor, arms spread out from her sides. Tight curls of strawberry-blonde hair surrounded her swollen face. Her emerald eyes were dilated and fixed wide in a look of terror; the whites were reddened by scleral hemorrhages. Her lips were parted, drooping at the corners into a slight frown. A ligature mark encircled her neck, the two ends crisscrossing just below the chin.

A female jogger found the body near Shore Road in Point Pleasant Park on a crisp October morning seven months ago. Mary had been raped and murdered.

Allan set the picture atop other crime scene and autopsy photos heaped on his desk, one glossy indecency after another. Resting his forehead on clasped hands, he shut his eyes.

So where does this leave me now? he wondered.

He felt caught in a crosscurrent of emotions: sadness when he visualized Mary in her final moments; hatred for the murderer who had subjected her to such a horrible death; sorrow for her parent’s irreplaceable loss and shame at his own inability to close the case.

Frustrated, he stood and walked to the window. The sounds of urban traffic came through the glass.

Posts: 4
Joined: December 8th, 2009, 7:56 am

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by kcamp300 » July 12th, 2010, 8:58 pm

By: Kate C
Title: Adrift in the Sound
Genre: Literary Fiction
Words: 300

She rounded the child’s jaw line in with charcoal pencil, shaded the contours with a pinkish tone and ignored her finger cramps. A weaker person would already have put the pastels away, but Lizette kept sketching, unaware of the nervous tics that tugged at her face, the soft chirps that gathered in the back of her throat and soundlessly fluttered her lips. The child squirmed before her in the canvas folding chair, disturbed the light around his face and caused her to reconsider the contours of her drawing. She’d lost contact with her body and surroundings, so intent on her work that she floated in the clatter and rumble of Pike’s Place Market.

The drawing complete, she handed it to the little boy, who bowed his blonde head and studied the image, looked up at his expectant parents. They clapped and said it was a wonderful likeness, pressed their son to tell Lizette “thank you,” which he offered in modest embarrassment. They paid her five dollars, said she was a regular Picasso and rolled the sketch up, draped their arms warmly around the child, said “let’s go home.”

Lizette felt a wave of loneliness as she watched them disappear into the crowd, felt the loss of her efforts and fall’s chill air. Her toes ached inside her boots. Frigid gusts off Elliott Bay rattled the market’s produce stalls and gripped her exposed collar bones. She shivered, tried to stand, tottered and caught herself on a metal post. The market spun around her.

Seattle’s rain slick streets reflected the garish colors of the downtown’s neon signs, burning brighter in the gathering dusk. She read the topless joint’s marquee on the corner, its dazzling whiteness flashed: “Wearing Nothing But a Smile,” and frowned at the cheap come on, glanced around the dingy market and gathered herself.

Posts: 2
Joined: July 12th, 2010, 9:09 pm

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by CourtneyF » July 12th, 2010, 9:17 pm

Title: To Die For
Genre: Mystery
Words: 312


Leah Chaloupek shivered as the night breeze swept into her room through the open window, carrying with it the hard-driving rain that had been falling in torrents for over an hour. She tossed in her sleep and moaned as several drops of rain met her sweat soaked skin.

“Martin!” She gasped and lurched into a sitting position. Her hands trembled as she threw the quilt off of her body and crawled out of bed. She’d dreamed her cousin dead, surrounded by a pool of his own blood. The sight was an awful repetition of the all-too-real bodies she’d seen only hours before: her best friends, Reb and Scarlet, lying dead in their new suburban home.

Martin would be next. The thought sent her stomach tumbling. She rushed the last few steps into the bathroom, knelt beside the toilet, and vomited.

Why had Martin come to her? Why couldn’t he have gone to the police? She’d been powerless to stop the first two deaths, what made him think she could help this time?

Leah stood, shaking, afraid to leave the toilet—she knew she’d need it again.

Martin said he’d found a note—threatening his life. The same kind of note Reb and Scarlet had found exactly twenty-four hours before they died. He’d sobbed and asked for help.

She closed her eyes and sat on the edge of the bathtub. Why couldn’t he have kept it to himself? She didn’t need anything else to worry about, any more guilt to deal with. It was too big, had been going on for way too long. Her friends, Scarlet, Reb, Martin, they were all just footnotes in a larger game. So was she.

She didn’t bother to explain it to Martin, though. She’d just hugged, comforted, lied. Anything to get him to leave. She had enough to worry about. She’d found a note too.

Posts: 10
Joined: February 17th, 2010, 8:16 pm

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by katya152 » July 12th, 2010, 9:56 pm

Title: A Hole in the Neighborhood
Genre: Romantic Suspense

I hid out in the kitchen, covered in bad perfume from all the hugging. I wouldn’t watch while they slurped their coffee and dropped crumbs on my mother’s Turkish rug. It was pristine after all these years. Dad vacuumed it every week, in case she came back. She never did. I would vacuum it as soon as everyone left me alone in the house. Alone with enough King Ranch chicken to last until Christmas. And alone with his picture, the one with his hat pushed back on his head, smiling ear to ear. The sun behind him darkens his face a bit. The pastor suggested I choose another one. Maybe he was right.

I was almost there. I felt the tears collecting behind my eyes until I heard a voice beyond the far side of the kitchen, in the hall. It was an urgent whisper with sharp consonants that carried across the room and tickled the back of my throat. I walked toward the hall on my toes and tucked my hair behind my ear so I could hear. I couldn’t make out the words, not until I reached the door frame. Or I’ll cut your throat, it said.

I drew a quick breath when I saw them. He had her pinned against the pantry door, his hand on her neck. Her eyes were wide and bulging and watery mascara was smeared across her cheeks. She struggled against him and clawed at his hand closing around her throat. When she cut her eyes to me standing in the doorway, he let go.

Posts: 1
Joined: July 12th, 2010, 10:51 pm

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by sabbygirl99 » July 12th, 2010, 10:57 pm

Title = Worn Grooves
Genre = women's fiction

Wrinkling her nose, she began to place the half rotten mango back in the vendors basket. As she was turning to the vendor to complain, the corner of her eye caught the glare of sunlight. Wondering how sunlight had made it so far into the dim recesses of the bazaar, she looked up to find the source. At that very moment, a section of the canvas roof of one of the stalls flapped free of its restraints and sunlight thrust in boisterously once again. For a minute, a spotlight shone in the bazaar. Straight onto a lady all dressed in white. Vendors were squawking all around her as they tried to repair the stall. Bilquis’ hand hovered in mid-air as she started open mouthed at the apparition. This must be what it felt like when your heart finally stopped beating, she thought. It made sense that life should end here and now and she prepared herself for it.

Death did not oblige however. And her heart soon restarted itself. In that moment, the mango had slipped from her hand and fell to the ground taking several of it’s brethren with it. At this, the vendor - a stick of a boy - launched into a litany of curses as he ran around gathering the rolling fruit. After getting back to his perch behind the cart, he had arranged his face into the perfect scowl. But Bilquis had already walked away.

Following the lady in white, she turned the corner and was heading back towards the stores that sold towels and other household goods.

“Where are we going, aunty?” She had forgotten that Raju was with her.

She slowed her pace and tried to look non-chalant as she fingered the wares in the store closest to her. Men’s watches.

“Um – beta – I need to – “ she broke off not knowing what to say next. Her mind was reeling. Could it really be her? The gait was unmistakable. The way her shoulders hunched and moved up and down as she walked. Just like him. Exactly like him. Her blood ran cold. The enormity of her discovery paralyzed her mind and body. Involuntarily, her mind went back to that night – 20 years ago now. No, 21 years ago, in fact. The bazaar stalls began to fade into a fog. She struggled against it but her mind insisted. She would remember it all, every detail.

“Aunty…?” Impatience had crept into his voice.

“Yes, beta, sorry.” And then, inspired, she said, “Why don’t you wait for me in front of Ahmed’s Mithai? I need some things from the other side. I won’t be very long at all. Take this basket with you too so that I don’t have to carry it. It’s quite heavy and you’re so strong.” She spoke quickly ignoring his confused and petulant looks. Would he never leave? Finally, once she was sure that he was on his way and would not turn around to check, she headed towards the towels.

Her eyes kept scanning the narrow hallways as she marched. Her breath became shallow and she bit her bottom lip nervously, convinced that all was lost. Or, worse, she had imagined the whole thing. It was not until she was almost within arms reach of the woman that she saw her. She had been hidden by one of the columns. Instinctively, she turned away and stepped into the store opposite. She went as far into the store as possible without losing sight of her target. This was really not very far at all. And the owner of the stall was looking at her expectantly as there was no-one else to serve.

She gave a nervous smile, adjusted the chador to cover her head more thoroughly and pretended to be interested in the rattiest towels kept on the corner shelves. It afforded her the clearest view.

Lady In White was haggling with the store owner over what appeared to Bilquis as some place mats. She heard the man’s voice as he pretended to be surprised and offended at the price that was being offered. Lady in White pursed her lips and pretended to start losing interest. The charade continued with the store owner calling the lady his sister, claiming he could never cheat his sister. And that since she was being so adamant, and she was so much like a sister to him, he was willing to go a little lower. The lady responded, not without some humor, that he must not love his sister very much. A few moments more of haggling and the lady had her place mats. She stepped out of the store and without looking in Bilquis’ direction, began to head towards the main exit.

Bilquis was unsure of what her plan was. The only thing she knew for sure was that she could not let this woman out of her site until she had formed one. Although they were about 40 yards apart, they weaved through the crowd in synchronicity. The woman made a path for Bilquis through the sea of vendors and customers. And again her mind began to wander….all the way back to 1947.

It all began with the riots. No, if she was to take a full and honest account, it began with her sister’s pending nuptials.

Posts: 4
Joined: June 18th, 2010, 11:21 pm

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by DarinKennedy » July 12th, 2010, 11:16 pm

Title: Pawn's Gambit
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 254

Steven Bauer clutched his stomach as a wave of pain ripped through him like a dull knife. Beads of sweat broke out on his forehead as an acid taste filled his mouth.

“You don’t look so good.” Backlit by the enormous aquarium that loomed behind her, the bartender handed him a damp rag. “Are you going to be all right?”

“I think so.” Steven took the cloth and wiped his brow. “Though I’d better hold off on that next drink.”

“Probably a good idea.” She adjusted the tag on her chest, her name stenciled beneath a gold and black logo that read “Corners.” “If you need anything, my name’s Alicia.”

“I should be okay in a minute.” He took a breath and the pain began to pass. “Question. If a woman keeps you waiting for forty minutes, she’s trying to tell you something, right?”

She flashed him a winsome smile. “Stick around, if you feel up to it. It’s Retro Night and we’re packed. Eyes like yours, you shouldn’t have any problem.”

“Thanks.” Steven slipped her a ten. Five years earlier, he would’ve asked what time she was getting off, but with thirty less than a year away, he felt a bit guilty checking out someone who was at best a few years out of high school. And it was more than that.

The eighteen months since the accident had tested Steven in every way imaginable. Though eager to get on with his life, a part of him still mourned for what he had lost.

Posts: 2
Joined: June 15th, 2010, 12:10 pm

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by bdwood » July 13th, 2010, 12:07 am

Title: Reality

The man fiddled with his robe, trying not to succumb to the overwhelming pain ripping through his head. He took a breath, steadying himself, as his Master’s voice faded from his brain. Even after all these years, it was impossible to get used to the pure violation. It felt like a hot nail, jagged and rusty as it twisted in his mind, in his soul. Lately, though, it was becoming something more. His Master’s powers were growing. The time was near.

He turned back to his prisoner, wiping the sweat from his brow. Messages from his Master were never pleasant, but watching his captive struggle brought a smile back to his face.

His knife went back to work. This prisoner was tough, and the blade was starting to dull, a product of the copious amount of work he’d asked of it the last few days. With this type of prisoner, there was no blood, which made the cleanup easier; but if he was totally honest with himself, he liked the blood. Even if it meant a little more work after the fun was over.

More than anything, though, he liked the fear. He wasn’t new at this, and he loved to look his captors in the eyes. He swore he could almost feel the fear roll off of them when they realized this was end; especially when they realized it wouldn’t be quick. He didn’t mind the screaming, either. It was such a reward when their spirit broke.

Sadly, maddeningly, he had come to the conclusion that this prisoner would never break. Could never break. It irked him to no end. He had been at this for hours, and not one peep had escaped those grotesque lips. Not one damn noise. It made him question his skills—something he never did.

And those eyes. It was impossible to find even a trace of fear in those fathomless black depths. Finally, he gave up, making his decision.

“It is time to end this.” The Bloodletter may not have been scared, yet still he struggled, apparently finding some value in his existence here at its end. It mattered not, though. No one, nothing, could break the magic holding this prisoner. His Master was making him more powerful every day. Darkness was feeding him. The Bloodletter was a bug compared to that black river of power, no more significant than a spider crawling on the floor.

His knife plunged deep. The game had grown old. The Bloodletter didn’t die quickly. They never did. The annoying twitching took over thirty minutes to stop.

He walked to window and looked out. As much as he loathed this place, and the constant act he was forced to put on, he had to admit that he loved the way the Academy looked under the light of the moons.

He couldn’t wait to watch it burn. Soon. Soon. His Master had promised.

Posts: 1
Joined: July 13th, 2010, 12:11 am

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by lilliamr » July 13th, 2010, 12:23 am

Title: My Shelf Life
Genre: YA
(236 words)

Two things hit me as I stepped out of the car at the unforgivable hour of seven in the morning. One: I'm way overdressed for the Bronx. And two: It stinks. And I'm not talking about the pungent smell of day-old cooked grease mixed with nauseating cigarette smoke but my whole freaking situation.

"Let's go," my father said, nudging me in.

I stared at the latest store specials plastered on the window, searching for some cryptic message of hope, a sign that would let me know that my summer was not a complete disaster. The sign read "20lb bag of Vitarroz for $8.99, Libby's Corned Beef 2 for $5, Platanos for 59 cents." I should've known better. Platanos are just a fancy word for bananas. And right now, my life was just plain platanos.

Unlike my girlfriends Serena and Michelle who were having fun in an exotic eco-chic sleepaway trip and European fashion camp, I'm stuck working as a cashier girl at my father's supermarket. An "internship" is how my parents put it. They said I was too young to follow my friends so they dressed up my penance with promises of entrepreneurial insights that no other 14-year-old would receive. Out went my prospects to snag a foreign-speaking summer cutie to hold hands with and swap long passionate kisses. In went overweight stock boys with dirty minds and matching dirty tongues.

Like I said, platanos.

Posts: 2
Joined: July 13th, 2010, 12:22 am

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Perridox » July 13th, 2010, 12:26 am

Title: Family, Genius, Species
Genre: Literary Fiction
WC: 237

Later, he would call it a “personal re-alignment,” “the best bad thing” that ever happened to him and so on. But at the moment Zorro fell from his third floor balcony, the only word that came to him was “Shit!” That jagged little explicative sliced the air behind him like a badly deployed parachute as he whooshed to earth in a tangle of limbs, long hair and black denim.

Until then, it had been an ordinary morning, Zorro out in the early sun, sipping his habitual can of cola, his legs stuck between the slats of the wobbly railing. He leaned forward as his girlfriend’s daughter Dawn slouched into view. She was a good two blocks away, but unmistakable in her salad bowl haircut and new-grown love handles. Poor kid, he thought, and then the wood gave way. He had the sensation of tremendous space, the world gone leaf green and blue, an exhausted yellow which Zorro knew even as he was falling, to be the flakey paint of his sadly neglected building.

When he hit the weedy patch beside Mr. Wineski’s porch, he was utterly, positively dead, shimmying up that infamous tunnel on his last long exhale. And there was the stereotypically bright light looming above him, a supersized star sucking gravity. He waited for the lift, the sense of utter peace. But nothing happened. Nothing at all. And for a very, very, very long time.

Thanks so much,

Posts: 2
Joined: July 13th, 2010, 1:01 am

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by svramey » July 13th, 2010, 1:05 am

Title: Venus Flytrap
Genre: Paranormal
WC: 236

Fort Myers, Florida, Autumn 1976

When Mom had a stroke, I heard her calling in my mind as loudly as if she had actually spoken. I rushed downstairs to find her sprawled on the carpet, already beyond consciousness. She never came back. Dead at forty-three, the same age as Dad when his plane was shot down over Cambodia four years earlier.

I could easily have gone around the bend. Instead, I became a health nut, taking karate classes, jogging four miles each morning, swimming laps at the YMCA, lifting weights. I quit smoking even socially and seldom ate meat. Physically, I'd never been in better shape. Emotionally? I was coping.

To tell the truth, I was scared. I'd had a premonition of Dad's death--a lucid dream of SAM missiles taking out a B-52--and Mom had called to me telepathically before her fall. What other surprises awaited in that dark place down deep? I didn't want to know, not then at any rate.


Mom died in St. Petersburg. Almost a year later, I found myself in Fort Myers, racking billiard balls with a sense of revelation, rolling the plastic triangle across worn green felt as if its exact placement was crucial. The triangle, I decided, represented karate, the discipline required to hold the pieces of myself together. The balls were my pieces, some striped, some solid-colored, with one black eight square in the center.

Ruth Hansen
Posts: 2
Joined: July 13th, 2010, 3:04 am

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by Ruth Hansen » July 13th, 2010, 3:12 am

Title: Sane Enough to Know She's Crazy
Genre: Women's Fiction
Word Count: 250

Her mind had never been so clouded, or so clear. “You can’t do this,” she told herself. Yet, as she approached the train station, Carrie wasn’t sure whether or not she would finally give in to him. He had been trying to convince her for so long. She came close more times than she would like to admit. The man offered no options and accepted no excuses. He wasn’t asking. More frequent and more demanding, his attacks diminished reason. He justified his plan with the harsh claim, “They don’t need you anymore.” As much as she didn’t want to believe it, tonight this was Carrie’s truth.

She pulled her car to the side of the road. With the push of a button, hazard lights flashed in defiance of the dark. Another husband-taught habit guided her foot to the emergency brake. The safety belt clicked open, imposing the freedom to step out. She closed her eyes. The train should be leaving the station soon. It wouldn’t take long to reach this spot. She sat in the soft grass beside the track, trying to absorb the quiet night around her. His promise threatened relief. The din of her battling emotions played background to the fantasy of his plan:

She stood on the tracks facing the train. Without fear, she boldly stared into the light. Her darkness was illuminated by the great locomotive racing toward her. Soon her body would be struck with a moment of exquisite pain. Her mind would be released.

Thank you for this opportunity!


Posts: 1
Joined: July 13th, 2010, 4:42 am

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by morphine_moniza » July 13th, 2010, 4:44 am

Title: The Serpent Stone
Genre: YA fantasy
word: 253

Morgan shivered as she crouched behind a tuft of grass, her eyes trained on a rabbit burrow. She had placed some cabbage leaves in front of the burrow but they were starting to wilt. Morgan shredded a few more leaves and scattered them before her, trying to ignore the goosebumps on her arms. She was wearing a thin tunic and the chilly wind cut right through the coarse wool. A fresh gust of wind blew her hair across her face. Morgan brushed the mass of frizzy black curls away from her eyes. She had to get back home soon. Her grandmother expected her back before the full moon appeared. It was already past noon and it looked like it was going to rain.

There was a rustling sound from the shrubbery to her left. Morgan stiffened and held her breath. More rustling, and then a very small rabbit hopped out of the bush. It was just a baby but Morgan didn’t mind. A grown rabbit would leave behind a burrow full of helpless babies. The rabbit rested on its haunches and sniffed the air before taking a tentative hop towards the pile of wilting cabbage leaves. Morgan began to creep towards it as the rabbit nibbled at a leaf. It pricked up its ears and stared at her. Morgan was careful not to blink as she crawled nearer.

When she was close enough, she grabbed it around its belly in one quick, practised motion. The sudden movement broke the rabbit’s spell of terror.

Posts: 1
Joined: July 13th, 2010, 6:33 am

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by william » July 13th, 2010, 6:43 am

TITLE: The Saint
GENRE: Women's Fiction
WORDS: 247

A girl and her dog run along the shore. She is in white, the dog is black. Her name is Danni, he is called Racer. The runner is a force of nature. All in the small resort town know her. She impresses the senses, and raises heads, the tallest girl in Birch Harbor. She moves with lengthy strides, arms swinging and long black hair that didn’t care, flipping gracefully.

She and Racer enjoy the wind in their faces. The run is not for exercise. An ample four hour dose of that will be forthcoming later in the morning. She is a tennis instructor. He retrieves the balls. They are on a mission to teach the seagulls, two miles away on the sand, who owns the beach; a black dog.

The girl and dog run by the town in a few minutes. It is only a block long, or to the moon, shining down, a block square. Breathing easily, they reached the northern end of the waterfront. Something is amiss. There are no seagulls on the beach to chase off. The girl sits on a bench. Her black Labrador doesn’t seem upset. He has his eyes on a pretty Lab sitting a few benches away next to a man. She stroked him and said, “Racer, she’s a beauty, don’t you think?”

Danni heard the man say, “Racer, her name is Aida, after Verdi’s Egyptian Queen, and tell your lovely mistress that my name is John, after the saint.”

Posts: 1
Joined: July 13th, 2010, 7:09 am

Re: Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Post by jimdempsey » July 13th, 2010, 7:13 am

Title: Foolish Notions
Genre: crime thriller
250 words

It’s Manhattan. Early in the morning. Daylight. Sunlight even. Very unusual. He’s just sideswiped a little boy. A ten-year-old. Clapped his head against a pebble-dashed wall. No, it’s not pebble-dashed. It’s worse. It has that jaggy, white grit cemented to the surface. The boy’s head was already dripping red. God knows what had happened, what Manhattan had already done. Whatever it was he isn’t finished. He twists to face a second boy. He swoops his foot, and cracks the lad in the nuts. The boy’s upper-half snaps forward, hands clutching his crotch. His pained face falls into the perfect spot for a volley shot. And Manhattan steps back into a kicker’s stance, ready for the up-and-under ... just as our bus pulls away. The bloke behind me sprays a puff of disgust through his lower teeth, spraying my neck with a nightshift full of coffee breath. The old dear in front gawks back, tutting spittle onto the tempered glass. The horoscope page of her paper hadn’t prepared her for this.

I rest my head against my hand, and block the view out the window. I close my eyes and pretend to sleep, projecting the scene into some negative space. It’s not happening if I don’t see it. Although I’m sure it won’t be that bad. Manhattan’s hardly a killer. He’ll give the boys a few bruises. And if he ends up breaking something he’ll take them to get help. There’s a doctor’s surgery nearby. No need to worry. Not really.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests