NaNoWriMo Excerpt #2

Clothes Line

So, this has been a long time coming, but I’ve finally set aside enough time to pull another excerpt from my work for NaNoWriMo.  I can’t believe we’re two weeks in already; the time seems to have been flying by.  A quick little update; I’m 26,994 words along and loving being past the half way point.  The word count seems a lot less intimidating when you’re on the downhill side.

Now for a little set-up for this excerpt.  Since the last excerpt Clint and the three girls have made it to Chester, OH where Christal’s parents live and a small group of people are trying to survive.  The three girls are helping complete menial tasks to pitch in around town, and Clint is recovering from an injury, Leah is still dealing with the trauma of what she went thru in her own way.  The Coachway and The Admiral are hotels on opposite sides of the street.

This is still all first draft writing so please excuse any grammatical errors.

—————

The girls were almost finished taking yesterday’s laundry down from the clothes line before they would head in to fold it, and then pick-up today’s laundry to be hung.  “So, why haven’t you been to visit him today?” Christal asked.

Zoey looked around as if there was someone else that was supposed to be answering that question before finally replying, “Who?”.

Christal rolled her eyes and sighed heavily, “Clint you ditz, you spent all that time sitting by his bedside waitin’ on him to wake up, and now that he’s awake you don’t bother goin’ to see him.”

“I’ll see him tonight.” Zoey replied as if it were no big deal.

This time Christal closed her eyes for a second and took a deep breath before continuing, “I know you’ll see him tonight, we’ll all see him tonight…what I’m askin’ is why didn’t you go see him this morning.”

“And all I’m asking is why would I go see him this morning?” Zoey doubted her attempt to feign confusion was working, but she was not about to tell her friends that she had kissed Clint yesterday…she would never hear the end of it if she did.  “He’s fine, let him rest.”  she stated as she continued pulling laundry down off the line and placing it in the basket at her feet.

Christal and Leah looked at each other and just shook their heads at what they were hearing.  “What?” Zoey asked, seeing the two of them there silently passing judgement on her.

Christal’s shoulders sunk as she confronted her friend, “So you’re really going to stand here and pretend like you don’t like him?”

“Oh my god this isn’t happening.” Zoey said as she yanked the last shirt from the line, picked up her basket, and headed off around the corner of The Coachway for the lobby of The Admiral where the girls usually folded the laundry on one of the folding tables set up in the lobby.  Zoey wanted out of the cold morning air, and even more she wanted out of this conversation.  She hoped that the subject would be changed by the time they got across the street.  As they rounded the back corner of the building, and the intersection came into view her hopes were quickly diminished; Clint was standing there in the intersection watching the sheriff walking away.

“Clint!” Christal called out as she headed over to where he was standing.  Leah had taken off in a full charge as soon as she saw him, and was already almost half way there.

Zoey had frozen when she spotted him there, and now trailed slowly behind her two friends.  She wasn’t expecting to have to confront him again yet; she thought she could put it off until at least that afternoon, and give herself more time to figure out how to handle what would surely be an awkward conversation.  She still didn’t know why she even kissed him in the first place.  Zoey told herself that it definitely wasn’t because she had some school girl crush on him just because he saved her life.  In fact, she thought he was a bossy, chauvinist, with no respect for human life, that he lived by some archaic code, had a broken moral compass that contained neither right nor wrong it only had a middle where everything was justifiable, and just because he was laying there with those big blue-gray eyes of his, that never showed any fear or doubt, staring back up at her like he could see right down to her soul…and there it was she was thinking about his eyes again.  Why couldn’t she get his eyes out of her head; they had been all she could think about all morning, and now here he was.

“What were you and the sheriff up too?” Christal asked as she reached the middle of the intersection. Leah was just releasing him from a hug.

“He was giving me the grand tour.” Clint replied as he glanced over at Zoey slowly approaching; he still didn’t know what to fully make of the conversation he just had with the sheriff.

“And what in the world are you wearing?”  Christa asked, putting a hand in front of her face to try to hide the laugh.

Clint looked down at himself and remembered what he was wearing.  He felt as though he looked ridiculous in the oversized clothes, and now Zoey would see him like this, “I had to find some dry clothes on the way back…I didn’t have a lot of times to shop for sizes.” he jokingly told Christal.  “What are you girls up to this morning?”

Leah grabbed her basket of laundry and held it out in front of herself at Clint, she screwed up her face, stuck out her tongue and rasped loudly.

‘This is new.’ Clint thought of Leah’s behaviour as he took a step back in surprise.

“Calm down girlfriend.” Christal told her guiding Leah to lower the basket of clothes out of Clint’s face.  “Nobody likes to do chores, but everybody has to pitch in.” Turning back to Clint she continued, “We help with the laundry pretty much every morning now, and every night we help get dinner ready and then with the clean up afterwards.”

Leah rolled her eyes, and shook her head as she heard the chores explained.

“And guess who among us likes doing their chores least of all?” Christal asked nodding in Leah’s direction as if Clint needed the clue.

Leah quickly stuck her tongue out at Christa, but before she could go any further Christal interrupted her, “Don’t you dare rasp me.” she said sternly to Leah.  The two girls tried to hold an intense stare with each other, but it only took a few seconds before they were both laughing.

Clint could do nothing but stand there watching, he was happy to see the two in such good spirits.  Christal picked up her basket of laundry, “We have to go finish this stuff up, but we’ll see you later at dinner right?”

“Of course.”

“Good, I want you to meet Eric…I mean you already met him, but I want you to meet him under better circumstances…oh, you know what I mean.”

“I’ll be there.” Clint said with a chuckle.

The two girls headed off with their baskets just as Zoey finally reached the intersection.

“Hi.”  Clint said to her.

“Hey.” Zoey replied.

“So…” Clint started.

“It didn’t mean anything, lets not make a big deal out of it.” Zoey quickly blurted out hoping that he would just drop it. Even now he looked so confident she thought. She couldn’t handle looking up into his calm blue eyes any longer, and turned to watch Christal and Leah as they entered The Admiral, she continued to stare off into the distance as she waited for his response.

Thank God she looked away, Clint thought. He wasn’t able to think of anything the whole time he had been standing there and looking down into her deep chestnut eyes other than the way her lips had felt pressed against his. Now that she had turned to look off into the distance he felt like he could think again.  “You mean when you jumped on top of me, and kissed me; that’s what didn’t mean anything?” Clint asked her playfully.

“That’s not what happened.” Zoey protested as she whipped her head back around, the anger he saw in her eyes was betrayed by the blushing that was filling her cheeks.  She could feel her face reddening and wished she could make herself disappear.

“So what did happen?”  Clint asked, his voice calmer and more sincere this time; for some reason he was beginning to feel a little built guilty as he watched her there looking somewhat embarassed and uncomfortable.

Zoey stared long and hard at the ground searching for an answer that was nowhere to be found.  “I was just happy that you were okay,” she stammered, “and it was thank you for saving my life…and besides you were kissing me back just as much…but it was a mistake so lets just let it go.” almost pleading at the end.  She looked up from the pavement and into his eyes one last time; he looked confused now, and somewhat let down that she hadn’t admitted more.  Zoey picked up her basket full of laundry and headed off towards The Admiral.  She called back over her shoulder as she went, “Those clothes are way to big for you.  You look silly.”

—————

I hope you enjoyed it, and that it wasn’t too out of context.  I’ll try to get another excerpt up next week.  Until then; to anyone else taking part in NaNoWriMo, have fun noveling.  And to everyone else get out there and support all the great work these writers are doing to keep you entertained.

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