Okay readers, here is something new. A fellow author has started a novel or a novella. He isn’t yet sure exactly how long this story is going to be, hence the novel or novella battle. Please read the bare bones beginning draft and give your thoughts. FYI…he wanted me to let everyone know that he is going to add more conversation between the characters in the beginning. What do you think? Is the writing decent? Does the story keep you guessing as to what is going to happen? So far he is toying with the idea of naming it, “Ghost Cabin.”
“The constant thumping sound of the branch flopping against the outside wall of the cabin was just about to drive him mad. Edward could feel his anxiety rise several notches with each thump. Grabbing the wool throw blanket strewn across the back of the sofa, he wrapped it around himself as he stirred the fire that seemed to be growing smaller by the moment.
He walked over to the furnace that seemed to have died a very slow and painful death earlier in the day. It had sputtered about three times as if it were beginning to have problems breathing. Within 5 minutes of the initial set-in, it had trembled, groaned and finally shuttered its last breath before ceasing altogether.
Of course it would choose to transition from this life on the coldest day of the season thus far. He’d had doubts on staying however the roads were a mess from the steadily and increasing snowfall. Peering out his window only reinforced to him that his idea to stay had been the correct one.
The cabin seemed to creak and fight the wind to remain standing with each gust. He was doubtful that the old oak tree next to the cabin would make it through the night. Each gust of wind that blew the branches into the cabin seemed to also uproot it from its firmly planted spot.
This trip of seclusion was supposed to offer him time away from the world in which to finish his third novel. He had unsuccessfully had many false starts from his home in the city, where he had completed his first two. Looking back, he realized those times were more peaceful times. His wife and friends had shown more consideration for his writing endeavors then, especially on the first book and he knew why.
He knew they had viewed him as merely a “starving artist” type and had decided to humor him. They had looked at him as if he had three heads when he announced that he would be leaving his law practice to pursue his passion for writing. Although supportive to his face, his wife, Janice had mocked him behind his back and he knew it.
He had been a journalism major when they had met at the university, while she had given the impression she was going to major in psychology. In reality, her main focus in attending the university was to find a husband and not just any husband. She intended to find one she found to be spineless, someone that could be molded into the type of husband she felt she was entitled to.
After immense pressure from Janice and her father, he had begrudgingly taken the LSAT and had been accepted into law school after graduating from the journalism program. He had found that he really did enjoy practicing law his first two years out of school. He had made more money than he had ever thought possible and he enjoyed the research portion of the job. He also learned that his ambitious, journalistic drive had really helped him to excel in law and before long the partners had their eyes on him.
Five years later just as he was about to actually make partner, he began to realize that he had veered from his original path. He also realized that the more he talked about leaving law, the more distant Janice seemed to grow. Begrudgingly once more in order to please her, he decided to take a law job at a corporation, one that allowed him plenty of time at home in the evenings in which to write.
He realized that as long as Janice was able to keep her country club membership and her glitzy jewels that she left him alone. He desired to divorce her more than anything, but she had threatened, on more than one occasion that should he ever leave, she would take their 5 year old daughter, Betsy and he’d never see her again. As a lawyer he knew that the law would not be on Janice’s side however, he also knew that when Janice threatened him with something, she always followed through.
Finally as luck would have it, the corporation he worked for folded and he was laid off. His friends had seemed mortified treating him as if it were the end of the world but inside, he was glowing. In his mind, this was one of the best things he could have ever hoped for.
Without warning, another stroke of luck happened at just about the same time. Janice’s evil, conniving father, Walter died of a heart attack and left Janice his fortune. This not only got the old geezer out of his and Janice’s affairs, it also got Janice off his back since he was no longer expected to keep her in the lifestyle in which she was accustomed.
He was able to stay home and write during the day, while Janice flounced away on the tennis court and probably delved in many illicit extramarital affairs, which he didn’t give a damn about. His sexual attraction to her had quickly died during their second year of marriage when she had not only Botox treatment to her lips, but had her breasts enlarged about four sizes too large for her small frame.
He knew Janice viewed him as a failure and didn’t believe he would ever have any of his writing published. Anytime he even so much as mentioned any part of his story, she would simply shake her head, with a look of pity in her eyes.
He loved thinking back to the day he was contacted by his agent, advising him that a major publishing house wanted to publish his first novel and had offered him an enormous advance. In fact, they enjoyed his first book so much, that they wanted to go ahead and contract with him to create a trilogy. Oh Janice had decided to pay him attention then.
He’d heard her arguing with someone over the phone several times after the offer of the contract. She had seemed suspiciously secret of the caller and hadn’t shown any interest whatsoever in sharing any of it with him. In fact, she would re-enter the room very calm and collected, as if nothing had happened. He assumed it was an affair that Janice dumped as soon as she found out that Edward, her loser of a husband was going to gain some fame. She would undoubtedly want her chance to bask in the limelight, right by his side, the caring, loving, ever faithful author’s wife.
He’d grown tired of listening to her gloating to her friends over the phone and her attempts to act as if she were his own personal publicist. By happenstance he had found an online ad from a cabin owner, seeking a responsible person to rent and take care of his cabin during the winter months. He knew that he was that responsible person who could do just that. Ignoring the protests from Janice, he had gladly packed his laptop computer, some clothes and books and made a hasty retreat.
He’d been quite happy at the cabin until tonight. Of course he hadn’t thought about leaving to head back to the city and Janice. He did miss Betsy, but the one thing he could say about Janice without conviction was that she was a good mother and one could tell without question that Betsy adored her mother.
Instead of heading home, he’d thought about heading into town and finding a nice, cozy motel room in which to sleep until the storm passed.
He knew he’d need to attempt to retrieve more firewood during the daylight hours. The difficult part would be to find dry wood due to the snow. Everything would more than likely be completely drenched and would take a long while to dry out sufficiently enough to spark.
Stepping into the bathroom of the cabin, he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. He looked better than he had in weeks. The stress seemed to be gone. The cabin had been good medicine for him. People often commented on how he looked younger than his 40 years. Lines on his face were virtually nonexistent. His green eyes seemed to have a bit of sparkle back in them.
He’d started to do morning pushups, pull-ups and sit-ups after getting out of bed in the mornings and it was starting to pay off. Although he’d only been doing it for a short while, his chest seemed to be shaping up a bit and his stomach was shrinking a bit.
No one would have ever considered him overweight. He knew that, but he had noticed that it started to become a bit more difficult in keeping the flat stomach that he used to have. He assumed some of the reason was stress but the biggest factor was more than likely his diet and lack of regular exercise.
He had never considered himself one to turn heads with his looks, but he also knew he wasn’t unattractive. He still had a decent amount of brown hair for his age and although it had thinned, he was still able to rub some gel into it during his daily, morning routine. He’d started graying ever so slightly at the temples, but he felt it gave him a distinguished look, especially in the author photo that was placed on his book jackets.
He realized that the cabin wasn’t the full dose of the medicine that was helping him, but rather also being away from Janice. He knew that he would need to change some things when he returned back to the city, primarily that he needed to leave Janice for his own sanity if nothing else. He started fantasizing about the day he would drive away from her when he heard a loud popping noise outside of the bathroom window. Peering back the curtain, he didn’t find anything out of the ordinary.
He shut off the light in order to get a better look without the reflection of the bathroom shining back on him through the glass of the window. He saw what appeared to be smoke wafting by the window. Nervously and with a sudden fear that the cabin was on fire, he opened the window to get a better look and to find if he could smell smoke.
The smoke that had been there just seconds before seemed to have vanished. He realized that it was probably just snow caught up in one of the strong wind gusts, giving it a smoke-like appearance.”
Thanks to all! (Evin – http://www.mrgurupublishing.com)