I've been sitting here editing pages from THANKSGIVING (the novel I'm working on) and thought I'd share the first couple of pages.... Just a little tease and perhaps a little inspiration for contributions to the Starving Artist Fund so I can finish it ;-)
November 26, 2009
Rita was at a complete loss. Thanksgiving had always been her favorite day of the year and with three short syllables her daughter had driven a stake through its heart and killed the holiday forever.
It was raining sideways in New York and the wind whipped between the buildings. Rain and sleet mixed with the hot tears streaming down Rita’s face. She knew where she was going and she was determined to get there before she lost her anger, but she wasn’t exactly sure what she would do when she got there.
The adrenaline racing through her body was making her dizzy. Stopping to catch her breath beneath an awning at 181st Street, Rita realized she had run out of the house with her handbag but without her coat. There wasn’t a cab in sight. Despite her hated of traveling underground, taking the subway was her only option. The subway would be faster than a cab in this weather anyway.
Rita ran across the street and ducked into the subway station. She slid a crisp holiday twenty into the vending machine to buy a MetroCard then went into the bowels of the city to wait for the next train.
After a miserable fifteen-minute wait, she stepped on to the A Train and collapsed in a heap, her body shuddering against the cold plastic seat. Catching her reflection in the train windows, Rita was shocked: her clothing was nearly transparent and her mane of red curly hair was a stringy mess.
Taking a compact from her handbag she examined herself in the small mirror and saw that, with the exception of the mascara streaming down her face, her makeup was virtually gone.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said to herself. “Nothing matters.”
Rita sobbed the entire twenty-minute subway ride to Columbus Circle.
Too angry to wait for the next train, she emerged from under ground determined to walk the final twelve blocks. Rita nearly ran up Broadway, lungs stinging from the cold. Manolo Blaniks weren’t the best shoes for running around in the freezing rain, but for the last twenty-five years she had never worn the right shoes for walking around the city.
Passing Lincoln Center, Rita saw men at work on the unlit Christmas tree and was struck by its dark beauty. Realizing how beautiful New York would be over the holidays, she burst into tears again, her body heaving with each sob. Strangers passed cautiously and she clutched her handbag in front of her now transparent blouse. She was still looking back at the strangers when she stepped out on to 65th Street.
Rita didn’t see the yellow cab that hit her and knocked her off her feet. She didn’t feel it when her head hit the pavement. The last thing Rita saw was the golden statue on top of the Church of Latter Day Saints across the street. It was as close as she had ever been to God.