Snippet Sunday: Green-Eyes in the Mirror
Today’s excerpt comes from an old project, written in rounds by my amazing best friend and I: Posthumous. This project is not one we ever completed, but it was fun nonetheless. Below you’ll find the opening, by yours truly.
– – – – – – – – – – –
Chapter One: Trapped
White. Everywhere, white. Misty. Glowing.
Warmth. Joy. A man’s smile.
His eyes are green. Can’t see them. Just remember.
Gold glistens. Pale and cool. Around my finger.
Diamonds in a line. Champagne flows.
Music. So much music. Laughter and dancing.
Tin cans clinking. Open road.
Evening stars, sunset.
Reach over the backseat. Luggage.
Combs in my hair. White tulle everywhere.
Smiling at him. Green eyes. He has green eyes. What’s his name?
Lights glare. Can’t see! Too bright.
And I’m flying. Like a bird.
Bleeding. Red dots on white silk. Hurts.
Hurts so much. Blurry again. Hazy, red.
Black fenders. Crunched chrome.
Where is he? Green eyes.
Light. So much light.
With a gasp, she sat straight up in bed. Uneasily, she wiped her hand across her eyes, her chest. She dripped with perspiration; cold sweat brought on by the most horrific dream. It still flashed there, behind her eyes. The distant, diaphanous fingers touching lightly here, there, like butterfly kisses upon her churning mind. Slowly, she reclined on the pillows and let her arms fall across her breasts. Like a corpse in repose, she closed her eyes and sunk into the feather-filled depths of the bed.
With the nightmare burnt to cinders and dashed from her mind, she found herself curiously thoughtless. A vast, empty nothingness filled her head and she opened her eyes as a frown formed upon her lips. Concentration furrowed her brow, then a low, dull panic as the void expanded, leaving her nameless, soulless… a shell.
Green eyes. Light. Blinding me. So bright.
She sat upright again, throwing the think silken sheet from her body. A haze was descending now, flooding her senses. Memories came and went in a pulsating dance. Delirium. Pictures and scents and sensations. Nausea swept through her and she grit her teeth as her fingers clenched the bedclothes.
She froze, the sound of her own voice alien in her ears. Eyes widened, unseeingly tracing around the room. It was white. So very white. The sheets, the walls. Tears swam before her eyes and the world went blurry again. Warm wetness slipped down her cheeks. She could taste the saltiness of her sorrow.
She said it again, her voice breaking, her stomach heaving; she wretched, but her stomach was empty and the spasms fruitless. She clung to the sheets, the room began spinning. Everything was white. The floor. The ceiling. Tears fell faster now and she doubled over, vomiting bile into the back of her throat. Her fingers trembled as she let go of the sheets and pressed her hands to her face. Blocking out the light; blocking out the white.
Her voice caught on the syllable. She gurgled and strained, leaning forward as if to expel the word by force. And then she did.
An audible click reverberated through her skull. The simple sound of a key into a lock, the closing of a door. Click.
And then silence. With a shakey intake of breath, she dropped her hands, sitting upright again. Her palms cupped one other loosely, discarded into her lap limply. Tears dried upon her cheeks and she blinked others away as she turned her head slowly, seeking the source of that single, simple click.
“H-hello?” She managed, shifting her legs as if to climb out of the bed. She set her foot upon the floor; first one, then the other. They supported her, though she wobbled briefly, and she took a deep breath.
One step further; left foot forward, and then the right.
A second click echoed across her brain.
A whirlwind caught her, swirling through the room like chaos incarnate. Books and papers and sheets and clothes, all tossed to the cyclone as it pummeled her. She opened her mouth to scream, but in the thundering storm, she heard nothing but the wind. Hair lashed her face like a bullwhip, tearing fine lines in her flesh. Blood seeped like teardrops, smeared across her cheeks by the force of the tornado. Pain seared her, sundering her limbs from her body as the storm raged around her. Darkness replaced the white; darkness pressed in and everything else scattered before it.
She stumbled, and hit her knees, catching her weight on her wrists. Her hands flew to her face, feeling hysterically for cuts or contusions. There were none. The room came into focus, filled with clear, warm light. Nothing out of place. The bedclothes rumpled, but not torn; the bookshelf filled, the papers on the desk untouched.
“But I-” she frowned, pushing herself to her feet. They were bare, nails painted in a soft petal pink, and her pants pooled around the ankle. Her pajamas were cotton, loose in the leg and too long in the arms. Dark blue with pale stripes, masculine, in fact. She chuckled inwardly and hugged them close. They must be Orin’s. Mmm… married at last. She turned to the bed, looking for him. Puzzled because it was not her bed; because it was empty.
“Where…?” She began stupidly, turning again in a circle.
An unfamiliar face peeked into the door at that moment. The woman smiled. Her teeth white and smiling, her lips thick and painted red.
“Jules, you planning on sleeping through the big day?”
She blinked furiously, looking down at her hands in confusion. The nails were buffed, gleaming and tipped in white. There was no ring. She lifted her hand, palm facing in, questioningly.
“Where’s my ring?”
The woman lifted a brow curiously. “You feelin’ alright, Jules? You don’t look so good. Nervous, huh?”
“Where’s my ring? My wedding ring. Where’s Orin?”
She stepped into the room and made to put a heavy, comfortingly soft arm around her shoulders. “Its natural to be nervous, Jules. It must’ve been some heavy nightmare though, to leave you trippin’ like this.”
“Who is Jules? Who are you?
“You’re Jules, sweetie,” the woman said guardedly as the younger one shoved away her affectionate advances. “Julienne Yeager. I’ve called you Jules since you were knee-high-”
“No! No, my name is Amara. Amara Morrigan. I- I just got married.”
The woman shook her head. “Girl, don’t tell me you were high last night! I told them girls to give you a safe night out!” She threw her hands up, exasperated. “I’ll get you a glass of cold water. You just sit your behind down. You’ll be right as rain soon.”
“But I’m… I’m not…” Amara trailed off, confused. She could hear the woman talking to herself, berating someone named Charise as she stalked down the hallway. Her heels made a clacking sound on the hardwood floors.
“I’m… not Julienne.” Amara whispered to herself weakly, shifting herself to the padded chair that sat before an antique dressing table. “I’m Amara. I am. Orin…where’s…”
Her voice trailed on even after she froze in fascinated horror at the mirror before her. A stranger looked back at her. Creamy chocolate skin and wide brown eyes rimmed with green, but dark as night toward the pupil. She raised a hand to her face then looked down at it, clattering out of the chair. It was brown, the nails freshly painted in a brilliant lavendar, smooth and unveined, but- not her own.
“No! This can’t be- I-”
Amara stumbled backward, bumping into the bed and turning around in a helpless circle. She dove for the edge of the vanity, gripping it tightly as she stared into the wild, crazed eyes of someone she had never before seen.
“This isn’t real. I am Amara Marie Morrigan. My fiancé- no, husband, his name is Orin. Orin Luciano. I-”
The denial caught in her throat and her entire body shuddered involuntarily. A frightened, distant voice spoke within her and rose up, filling the strange voids that seemed to permeate her body. It whispered, it wrapped itself around her. Its fear and sorrow were strangling.
I am Jules, the voice spoke gently to her, slipping inside her very mind. I don’t know why you came here, I’m so scared. So scared. Please, Amara, please. Let me go!
“Let you go?” She asked outloud, “Let you go?!”
You’re hurting me. You have to get out! This is my body! My life! The voice’s anger tempered its fear but it screeched, raging against her. Get out of me! Get out! Leave me alone!
“I don’t know- I don’t know how. I don’t-” Amara cried, slumping against the bed. “I don’t understand what’s… I want Orin…”
The same older woman, with her cropped salt and pepper hair and thick red lips returned with a glass and a frown firmly stamped on her face.
“Oh no, honey, no. You ain’t gonna mess this one up. That boy is too fine a man and your mama paid too much for this wedding for you to ruin it now. C’mon, Jules, take a drink, here have one of Rona’s pills. You’ll be fine. We’ll get you showered, dressed. Its your wedding day, babygirl, you don’t wanna keep Tyler waiting, do you?”
Amara stood, ready to defy the strange woman and opened her mouth to protest. In that instant, she felt the other presence surge forward and she was forced into the backseat.
“Aunt Gin!” Jules sobbed, throwing herself into her aunt’s warm, broad bosom. She held the girl a moment, stroking her back until she contained herself, but was distubed by the crazed expression in her eyes when she forced a smile and nodded.
“I’m ready now, Aunt Gin. Dunno what came over me.”
“That’s my girl,” Gin chuckled a little wearily and headed for the door. “We’ve got breffast downstairs, if you’re hungry. C’mon down.”
Amara felt the head bob in a nod, the lips softening into a more easy smile, but could not alter them. She saw through Julienne’s eyes as the girl assumed full control of the body, felt the water she splashed on her lovely face, heard the jovial banter of cousins and friends in the kitchen below. She was helpless, she was powerless.
She was trapped.
– – – – – – – – – – –
And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? Are in interested to see what direction my co-writer took when he wrote the next bit? Which direction would YOU have taken it? Do you want to take a crack at writing a new chapter two? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!
Love & Rainbows,