Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Writing

This is from the novel I have out on submission, Dissection. It's when my main character, Syd first gets to the teen psyche ward. I'm going to explain one thing. The sound effect SNAP! Sometimes counselors will give cutters a rubberband, the thick kind that go around produce, to wear around their wrists, and instead of cutting, they snap the band.

So here is an excerpt from Dissection. Tell me what you think.



   As Astrid showed me to my room, I asked, “How long do I have to be here, anyway?”
   “Seventy-two hours minimum. The rest depends on you. When you can be trusted not to hurt yourself, and are weaned off of your rubber band bracelet,” she gestured to my wrist, “you should be able to leave.”
   I walked into the room and recognized a bag sitting on the bed—my purple duffel bag from home. I tore through it just to look at familiar things. None of my newer clothes were there, the ones I’d purchased when I wanted to be “new Syd”, which was fine with me because I hated “new Syd”.  I began unpacking my stuff and putting it into the closet and chest of drawers in my room. When I reached the bottom, I found a package of gummy worms. Someone had taken the time to pick only the red ones out and pack them up for me. Someone knew me well. I wondered who it was.
   “We have a hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron, and shavers, but they’re locked up and may only be used under supervision. So if you need them, let the staff know. I’m going to leave you to get settled,” Astrid said. “I’ll come to check on you in a little while.”
   A “little while” meant exactly fifteen minutes. As a cutter, I was on what they called “Extra Vigilance” observation. This meant that someone was checking up on me every fifteen minutes, like clockwork, which annoyed the hell out of me. It also meant I could go outside, but only if a staff member went with me.
   I surveyed the room. My parents had brought things to make it feel more like home. There were family photos taped to the wall, my favorite astrology book. On the bed sat a stuffed dog I’d never seen before. There was a card next to it. I opened it up and it said, I didn’t want you to miss Chewy too much. Love, Bryce. Stupid, sweet brother. I wondered if he was still dating that backstabbing bitch, Haley. I wonder if she helped him pick out the stupid dog. It made me want to rip its head off. Instead, SNAP!
   On the dresser sat a package of plastic glow-in-the-dark stars, another card sat beside it. This one said, Wasn’t sure if you’d be able to see the sky from your room~Zach. P.S. Hope you like the gummies. Wow. The gummies and the stars. It made me smile, then made me feel horrible for how I’d treated him the last few months.
   Astrid popped in, scaring the hell out of me. I nearly jumped out of my shoes. “How we doing in here?”
   “Fine.” I continued to put my things away.
   “Take a few minutes. I’ll come back in a little bit and grab you for lunch.” Fab.
   I lay on my bed and stared at the stark white ceiling, regretting every decision I’d made the last few months, David, Lacy, Zach. The E, the pot, the cutting. Being friends with Grim. I felt like I’d been sucked into a vacuous void, floating in darkness, like Cassiopeia, not in control of my limbs—just spinning deeper and deeper into the vortex.
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John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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