NaNoWriMo keeps on truckin’

I can’t believe it’s already been a week of writing this novel. Too much exposition. Too much dialogue. TOO MUCH FUN!

Since I’m otherwise pretty much neglecting my blog, I figured I’d drop a sample of the novel in case anyone wanted to follow along. Cheers!

* * * * *

Idly watching the landscape pass, Maggie began to hum to herself. She wondered what she was supposed to be waiting for. Easing on down the road, left foot up, right foot down… after a few turns she found herself staring more into the distance than noticing what was in front of her. The colors sort of blurred together, shadows lengthening and merging. She probably wasn’t allowed to be here at this hour, but no one had stopped her when she came in, and no one was looking for her now. She was alone among the dunes. Her hazel eyes opened and closed lazily; could she fall asleep while walking, she wondered?

Suddenly, it was in front of her: a huge gate. No, two gates. One was black and twisted, like it was made out of the antlers of some wild animals. The other was smooth and glistening, gleaming faintly, a pearly white that could have been the same smooth material as piano keys. To the side of each gate was a creature that couldn’t possibly exist. One one side, a sphinx, on the other something with the head of a person and a body like a lion but with a scorpion stinger for a tail.

“Greetings, traveler,” the sphinx said. It’s voice was as smooth as the white gate it guarded.

“Hullo, girly,” the other said. Sounds like Tom Waits, Maggie thought, all gravelly and deep.

Maggie couldn’t bring herself to speak and the creature rasped out a sound that she realized was a chuckle.

“Cat got your tongue?” it asked.

“No,” she snapped. “You’re just weird looking is all.”

“Feisty,” the sphinx purred. “I love it. And speaking the true tongue, too. What a rare treat.”

Whatever that meant, Maggie thought. “I need to get through, I think,” she said. “Which way will take me to the Otherworld?”

The man-lion laughed again. “All roads lead to Rome, girly. But one is the real and the other is a dream.”

“Which do you want?” the sphinx asked. “One way lies peril, the other pleasure. One way is harsh while the other is sweet.”

“Sounds like crap to me,” Maggie said. “If this was going to be easy then I wouldn’t have needed so much help.”

“Ah, but dreams can be terribly helpful,” the sphinx said.

“Windows to the soul,” the man-lion added.

Maggie crossed her arms. “That’s eyes, not dreams. Which gate is which?”

Now they both laughed. “That’s for us to know, and you to find out,” said the man-lion.

Maggie stared at them. Obviously the white one was prettier, so that probably led to the better place. She could just see through the bars of the black gate, and it looked like a scary forest behind. But would anything really be that obvious?

“I can’t stay with what I know is real,” she said slowly. “I’ll just end up back in the park, won’t I?”

They said nothing, but exchanged a glance. The sphinx licked her paw and the man-lion stared at her.

“I suck at metaphors,” Maggie muttered. “Why can’t you just tell me what to do?”

“That’s not how life works, girly.” The man-lion winked, his enormous face nearly level with hers.

“Make your choice, or turn back if you desire,” the sphinx added.

“Fine.” Maggie stepped forward, hesitated, then went for the beautiful white door.

“Are you certain?” the man-lion asked.

“I’m looking for a cold-ass bitch who kidnaps men to marry her,” Maggie replied. “Why would she be hanging out behind an ugly door like that?”

“Why indeed,” the sphinx murmured, opening the gate for Maggie.

“I’m betting that I’m supposed to not judge a book by its cover,” she continued. “You want me to think that the other one is the tough road, but that would be the really easy option, wouldn’t it?”

“You’ll find out, won’t you,” the man-lion rasped, as a sudden wind sucked Maggie through the white gate. It slammed behind her, and she found herself in the depths of a forest in near blackness.

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