Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I've been doing a lot of writing lately, so I thought I would share a little bit of my novel, Missing Since Tuesday with you. So far I'm about 20,000 words in and I'm reluctant to share what it is about for fear of someone stealing my idea. But I will tell you that it's set in Wellington, New Zealand, and it involves time travel, World War Two, 2010, love, murder and betrayal.
So here goes... hope you like and look forward to reading your feedback.
As she stood in the hallway watching her brother’s hands weave frantically over the papers strewn across his desk, lit by a single desk light in the otherwise pitch-black room, Sophia worried for her brother as she always had.
Predictably, he had drawn into himself when Maria died, not speaking unless spoken to and going through life with his eyes half shut, staring at the ground as if he was waiting for it to swallow him whole. Since their granddad had died, she worried for him even more. He had not gone deeper into the chasm of depression as she had expected; he had opened his eyes and stopped staring at the ground. But he wasn’t happy. He was frantic. Awake until ridiculous hours of the morning and constantly going for drives, he almost looked as if he had a new sense of purpose, and she worried what it might be.
“I know you’re there Soph, come in if you want.” His voice startled her out of her thoughts and she went in and sat on his bed behind him.
She let him work for a little while, still watching his hands fly over the photocopied papers, grabbing the ones he wanted and scrawling notes readable only to himself.
“So what’s up little brother?” She finally asked.
He finished up a sentence and turned to face her. “What do you mean, what’s up?” He asked in a voice she thought could almost be accusatory.
“I mean how are you doing?” She said cautiously. “It’s been a hard year for you and I just wanted to check in and see how you’re coping.”
“Coping? Why wouldn’t I be coping?” He challenged, his voice rising slightly as he shifted awkwardly in his seat.
She put her hand on his knee in an attempt to assure him she wasn’t accusing him of anything and he quickly pulled away.
“Duncan, I’m not going to go all Dr Phil on you, I’m just worried about you okay? I just want you to know that I’m here if you need to talk.”
He was not sitting still and it was starting to irritate her. He was drumming his fingers on his legs and constantly flicking his eyes back to the pile of papers. He flicked them back to her and, with a start; she saw the thin red veins of his eyeballs stark under a cover of glass.
“Oh my God,” she mumbled. “Duncan, are you high?” She demanded, and he leapt off his chair and walked to the other side of the room away from her, and sat on the floor, putting his head in his hands.
“Duncan, answer me. Are you high?” She asked again, getting off the bed and edging towards him.
She reached him and when he didn’t answer, put a firm hand on his arm.
“Duncan!” She said fiercely. “What the hell did you take?”
“Nothing, I’m fine!” He yelled, and stood up, rounding on her and pushing her towards the door. She resisted and rounded back on him. “NO! You’re not fine!” She yelled.
“Just talk to me!” She pleaded in a quieter voice.
His red eyes seemed redder as he continued to push her out the door. “I don’t want to fucking talk about it! Get out!” He screamed, and pushed her out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
Sophia stood in the center of the hallway, shell-shocked until her mother came towards her, yawning groggily and passing a hand through her short tousled hair.
“What the hell’s going on?” She asked, wanting to be angry but too tired to care.
“Nothing, Duncan’s just in a bad mood,” she replied, trying her best to stop the tears that were brewing falling down her face. “Mum, is it alright if I stay the night? I really can’t be bothered driving home,” she lied.
“Of course,” her mother replied with a yawn and toddled back to bed.
Sophia went to her old room and took the duvet off her bed. She went back to the hallway and sat down by Duncan’s door, wrapping herself in the big, warm feather-down. She kept her ears trained on the sounds coming from inside the room and heard the continuous shuffling of paper, and in the silence of the night, she could faintly hear the scratching of his pen, a soothing sound that caused her to doze. She came suddenly awake when she heard the sound of the chair creaking and the covers of his bed being thrown back.
She willed herself to stay awake and when enough time had passed for her to think him asleep, she reluctantly crawled out of the warm solace of the duvet and crept into his room. She kneeled beside his bed until she could be sure he was breathing normally and wasn’t in any danger to himself, and eventually got up, trudging back to her room, in which the digital alarm clock glared at her with a stark 3.00am.
She collapsed on the bed still rolled up in the duvet, and slept fitfully, getting up twice more to check on Duncan.
*Copyright Sarah Hardie 2011