I figure posting a little bit of what I’m working on keeps me honest (read–keeps me writing every day, more or less). So I’m trying this whole Tuesday teaser thing with my WIP (I’m working on a couple–a new adult horror/suspense thingy, and a YA pre-apocalyptic sci-fi). The passage I’ve posted below is from the sci-fi, and it’s going to change a lot in the next month or so (my first drafts are–ahem–messy).
In the days following Yaz’s disappearance we’d had the police in. One of the officers, a woman with hair worn pulled back in a bun, would talk to me at the oilcloth covered table over instant coffee. I knew her theory—that Yaz had run away. It didn’t matter how many times I said that she hadn’t been carrying a bag, that her clothes were right where she’d left them, that her cell phone had somehow inexplicably ended up at the side of the highway leading out of town. All their questions centered around a certain set of facts and contained a certain amount of presumption. We were poor. We lived in a trailer park. Our father didn’t work, but he drank plenty. Why would she stay?
Why would she stay?
So I’d sit with the female officer, looking into eyes shadowed by the brim of her hat.
“Did she have a boyfriend?”
“No one she was seeing steadily.”
“Right, okay. But was there anyone?”
“No.” If there had been she hadn’t told me. I sometimes wondered if my being gay had something to do with it—she thought I’d pass judgment or something. But none of that mattered now.
“Okay. Was there anyone in the past? Someone who she might have broken off with?”
She’d tap her pencil on the table, as if thinking. “Friends? Anyone?”
I’d rattled off a few names. She’d written them down, even when I told her I’d called all of them and they were completely clued out.
Finally, “How did you and Yaz get along?”
That was the one question that made the tears start. I’d wiped them away and sat on my hands, not wanting the woman to reach out and pat my shoulder or touch my hand, any one of those gestures of faux sympathy. “We got along. I mean, sometimes we’d fight, but we got along.”
I’d put up flyers. Run off dozens of sheets with my sister’s birthday photo, her pretty face and overdone eyes smiling out of the frame. I’d posted them up on every lamppost, the walls of every bus kiosk, the windows of the grocery, right next to pictures of runaway dogs and cats. One day it rained, and I’d gone outside to see that most of them had turned to pulp, peeling off walls and windows and posts like dead skin.