This is cheating. I kept this on hand in case I didn’t have a blog written, so since you’re reading it, I must have run out of articles. This is the first page of an unfinished novel I started a few years ago. A chapter down the path I came to a rape scene, and couldn’t get it. The first draft was too erotic, and I couldn’t combine the violence and sexuality in a believable way so I left the project.
Sophia turned the key. The click of the lock was more felt than heard, but in her state of excitement it sounded like a rifle shot. She slid through the doorway, trying to move so smoothly that even the air would not be disturbed. The lamp just inside would not cooperate, it crashed to the floor, shattering, stained glass that would never refract its gentle tones to a lover’s closed eyes again spilled across the floor like the blood that had been spilled earlier. Silence might be desired, but if anyone was in the house they certainly heard that.
She sat on the bed, her hand over her mouth as if that were the source of the disturbance, as if there was a way to pull back the noise. No sound, no steps, no indication of reaction. How many minutes had it been, five? More like one, better to wait a touch longer before moving again. She thought of Stewart, waiting for her, sleeping without an inkling of where she was, what she had done. He would have to be told, but not now, not soon.
It was safe now. She rose, sliding her feet to avoid the glass, making a slight rustling noise. There was no way to hide the fact that someone had been here, that opportunity passed about an hour ago. Her mission now was to hide who had been here. Part of that would be to hide why she had been here. She removed the desk drawer, setting it on the bed. Taped to the back of the drawer was another key, a key to another lock, part of a chain of secrets. She took the key and placed it in her pocket. Two more stops and she could leave, back to Stewart, never to see this house again.
She moved slowly, silence the better habit, reinforcing her attention to detail. She closed the door, locking it, placing that key in her breast pocket. The thought of Stewart’s lips on her breast, echoed in her touch, made her pause. The memory of Michael’s touch shook her back to reality. Sophia made her way down the hall, down the steps, into the library. The key from the bedroom drawer fit a small wooden box. She opened the box, knowing what was there but needing to confirm. The words on the paper more than she could bear to read, she recognized the signatures, there should be a disc, there, nothing else of importance, but she would take it all anyway. She placed the keys in the box and closed it.
She walked out the back door, the box under her arm. The sky still dark, one more stop before Stewart’s bed.
That’s where it sits, Sophia is the heroine, victim of Michael’s abuse from which she may have recovered. Stewart is her lover who knows nothing about the past incident. Keys and locks are recurring symbols, and it appears that Michael may be dead downstairs, having interrupted her break in, in which she was recovering the evidence that he was using against her (or maybe was going to use against Stewart) in a blackmail scheme.
I’ve done this a number of times, I’ll get a fabulous first page, a hook that will get the reader to turn the page and continue, but I just don’t get the story to work. That appears to be changing. I’m still not interested in trying to write a rape scene, but my imagination should allow me to get around that roadblock.
Ah, the rationale. We have a guest, so rather than writing we’re entertaining. Today is a trip to Philly for cheesecake and some sightseeing, I think tomorrow’s subject may be our guest, a charming woman from Japan.