Years ago, I wrote a story about a guy called Bellamy, who was killing himself one pint at a time, and ended up in a fantastic land where a young queen needs him to rescue her from herself. There was only one person I showed it to, and as per usual, the only comment I received had nothing to do with the story.
I ran across the thing that initially sparked inspiration for this story, and I started thinking that it might be nice to re-read it. Or fix it. Or finish it. I got about five chapters way back when, and I know it can’t have been very good. But I still miss it. Maybe it’s just because it’s on my mind now, and I don’t want to get up from my keyboard to do something useful (or useless). Maybe I can give it another go. At least a scene or two.
However, it would call for a lot of changes. The three main characters will be the same, ish. Bellamy never really worked as Irish, or Welsh, whatever he was supposed to be (see, I don’t even recall), and the title is stupid. White Garden is a decent working title, although I like the title I used for a chapter, They Call It a Flat Because of What It Does to You. In fact, I think all of the characters need to be renamed and retooled to the same degree, except maybe the queen. Or maybe it was a princess.
My biggest problem is that I didn’t really keep a lot of notes, although I remember writing them. Maybe they got lost or thrown away, I don’t know. I looked around my files for anything related to this story, and honestly, I was lucky to find out what anybody’s name was. I think the queen was called Marleyna, as a joke. (anybody read John Norman? and seen the movies?)
Anyway, I wanted to rewrite either the first chapter (which would take too long) or the first scene where the dork meets the queen. Which sounds like the name of a really, really awful fanfiction.
Nose pressed against the curve of the sink, Lucas reached up to turn off the water. His brain pulsed like a floodlight flickering on and off. He couldn’t even remember what he’d had to drink at the after party, let alone how much of it he had had.
Somehow, all he could remember were those stupid hors d’oeuvres that looked like puke on crackers.
He pushed himself away from the sink and hit his face on the bathroom door. Cursing in Tagalog, he stumbled back and sought the knob.
It took a few tries, but eventually he had the door open. But as soon as he managed it, his stomach heaved, and he had to retreat to the toilet. This time, he left the door open.
A few moments later, he made it out into the hallway, using both hands to navigate. He felt like a pinball in a machine that had not been designed with a tilt.
Although his chair would have been safer, he found himself sitting on the brick windowsill. Lucas’s apartment was nicer than he deserved. A loft, with wide spaces and so many windows that it almost made him nervous. His last employer had set him up there, and kept up the rent, ‘just in case’.
Rain slapped a dull sonata against the glass, rising in tempo with the changes in the wind. Lightning flashed in the distance. Lucas pressed his face against the glass, relaxing his jaw so that his mouth hung open.
Then a face stared back at him, and he nearly bit his nose.
He jerked back. As his butt smacked against the hardwood floor, he struggled not to wince. He had to keep his eyes on the face.
It was a girl’s face. Not a little girl, but not a woman either. Framed with long, thick red hair that made her narrow eyebrows look like angry slashes of dark paint. She moved her small mouth as though speaking, but all Lucas heard was the buzz of his refrigerator under the layer of storm noises.
He crawled up to the sill and touched the window. The girl pouted, and then her face vanished.
Lucas pushed himself up to a position almost like standing, and buried his fingers in his dark brown hair. For a moment, he wished that he could swear never to drink again. But Mama Peyton had raised an honest boy.