Below is an excerpt from the first draft of my debut novel. Still working out the novel title, but this is from the first-person POV of my protagonist, Sonny. Let me know what you think!
“I woke up in the afternoon with a sad Hank Williams song playin’ in my head. Loaded pistol in my old, tired hands. There was half a bottle of whiskey on the floor beside me. I spent that whole damn day in a bed of misery. Shootin’ holes in the wall and cryin’ out to a God I don’t know that I believed in. He didn’t answer. By the time the sun went down, I was stumblin’ around my front yard like a newborn foal. Howlin’ at the wind and whisperin’ to the moon. Or maybe it was the other way around.
But without warning, a sharp pain shot through my heart and my knees buckled. Fallin’ to the ground I felt like blood was pourin’ from my chest, coverin’ me in a sea of warmth. Somethin’s not right. It was like wearin’ a coat in the heat of summer. My vision went blurry and a wretched sound escaped my lungs. Like an old wounded dog.
“Help me,” I screamed. My voice echoed through the night like a ghost. It floated through hay fields and pine trees. Down long forgotten dirt roads. Loud enough to rouse the closest neighbor to turn on their front porch light. But only for a second. I called out again. My pleas for help little more than a whisper the second time around. No one heard. And no one came to save me. Couldn’t save me if they tried.
A second wave of torture exploded inside me like a bomb goin’ off. And pain fell from my eyes the way water falls from a faucet only half turned on. Drip. Drip. Drip. My stomach turned inside out and I was sick all over. But there was nothin’ in my gut but whiskey and regret. Called out a final time. In silence. Please God. Help. He didn’t answer.
With one last thought of her, I looked up at those Oklahoma skies. Felt my eyelids slowly fall shut. Everything went black. And then the gates of hell opened up. And invited me inside.
–Lamanda Beesley Conrad