Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!

Hey, folks.  It's been a long, long, long while since I regaled you all with a Tease.  So, I figured.  Hey! Why not?  :)  Do you all remember SHUT UP?  Yeah, me neither...er...up until a little minute ago when the urge to write sneaked up behind me and smacked me in the back of the head.  Not very nice of Gwen and Anna, but what are ya gonna do, right?  Exactly.  So, here is a little excerpt from this on-again, off-again WiP that is toying with my emotions, the limey bastard.

Enjoy!

I don’t remember leaving the cafeteria. The run through the halls and out the front door is little more than a blur. Fumbling for my keys until the car door finally cooperates is a dream I can vaguely recall, slipping through my fingers like tiny grains of sand.


But, it’s not a dream, and I am huddled behind the wheel, my fingers gripping the ignition as my car groans and stutters before dying a slow torturous death. I don’t know how long I’ve been staring at the red battery light on my dashboard when the passenger door swings open, cold air slashing through the interior, cutting into my skin with steel fingers.

“Are you okay?” Wes sighs and then shakes his head. “Nevermind. Stupid question.”

He leans over, his fingers sliding over mine, and turns the key. He listens to the car’s engine whine and protest such abuse for several seconds. Then, his hand leaves mine, and he snakes down between my legs, reaching for the hood release. He can’t help but notice the way I cringe at his closeness. How I flatten myself against the door to keep our limbs from colliding. But, he doesn’t mention it, doesn’t look like it bothers him in the least.

It’s a knife to my gut, one slammed in hard and fast, and then twisted cruelly. He hops back out of the car as I sit there, bleeding for him and all that will never be again.

Several minutes pass. He tinkers with this and that under the hood, calling out commands for me to try it again every so often. After the fifth time of trying it again ends with the same result, he slams the hood closed, climbs into the car, taps out a text on his phone, and then turns to face me.

“Where were you going?” He pauses for a beat, waiting on an answer that will never come.

I can’t open my mouth, can’t look at him. I can’t even pry my fingers off the steering wheel. Just the thought of letting go makes my hands clench around it harder in a grip so tight my knuckles turn white. Pressure builds in my chest, making my ribs ache with the strain of keeping everything in. The words are piling up inside me, trying to squeeze out through any crack or crevice they might be lucky enough to find.

“Home?” he presses.

Why can’t I just speak already? Just open my mouth and answer the damned question? How can it all of a sudden be so difficult?

“I’ll take you home,” he announces with a short nod, like tacking on that sharp jerk of his head will make whatever he says somehow more believable. Maybe, it does. “Jake and I will come back later. See if we can get old Myrtle here running.” He grins over my car’s name and lifts his shoulders in a half-shrug. “If she’s still being temperamental, we’ll tow her back to my place and get under her. We both know how she likes being on top.”

This startles a laugh out of me, loud, scary and half-hysterical. A maniacal shriek better suited to rubber rooms, psych wards, and slasher flicks. Not here, in this place, in this car, with this boy.

He sucks in a deep breath, blows it back out, long and low. The windshield in front of him fogs. My fingers itch with the urge to reach out and etch a message in the condensation. It might very well be the only way I’ll ever communicate with anyone again. Instead, they curl into the leather of the steering wheel, nails digging in even further as if this grip I have on Myrtle is the only thing keeping me alive, keeping me sane.

I don’t know when he slid over, but suddenly, he’s right there, his leg pressing against mine, knee to hip. Heat rolls off him, pouring over my frozen flesh, sinking in until I no longer feel the cold air nipping at my face. His arm snakes around my shoulders, his chest flush against my back as he leans into me. And then, his hands curl over top of mine.

“It’s okay, Gwen. Just let go.”

With knowledge gleaned from years of babysitting his younger brothers and sisters, Wes can disarm anyone in less than five seconds. Now is no different. I used to think that the best way to loosen a tenacious grip was to pry the person’s fingers apart, but Wes taught me otherwise. In this moment, his considerable expertise in this area easily overwhelms me. His hands squeeze over my own, not too hard but enough to have my fingers crumbling beneath his sure grip. The steering wheel squeaks out a pained sigh, grateful to Wes for helping free it from the prison of my fingers.

He grimaces as he rubs his hands over mine. “Come on. Let’s get going.”

The faster he can get me into his car, the sooner he can be done with me. Of course. I shouldn’t be upset about that. After all, I was the one who dropped him. So, how can it hurt so much to be here next to him but not really be able to reach out and touch him?

I’m sorry. Sorry I dragged you through this whole mess. Sorry I hurt you. I’m sorry you’re such a nice guy that you’re still willing to help me even after everything I’ve done. The apology whispers through my mind, drops down to my tongue, and slices it to ribbons, rendering me mute.

I’m just so sorry.

I don’t open my mouth. I don’t say or do anything to entice him into further conversation. Following him to his car and climbing in beside him is already more than I can bear. The heater clicks on almost as soon as the engine revs. Cold air. Then, cool which is soon followed by warm and then a hot, hot swirl slithers over my face.

He reaches out, flicking the vents towards me and lowering the volume on the radio. I wish he’d leave it at the ear-splitting pulse he usually enjoys. Then, we wouldn’t be suffocating on the acrid smoke of unsaid words.

Well, that's it.  What do we think?  Should I continue to play hide and seek with this WiP, or just let it wander away?