A Short Story Excerpt

I haven’t posted much fiction lately, mostly because I’ve been in a writing stupor, blind to everything except the absolute horrors going on in my manuscript. Don’t be alarmed – these things are AMAZING.

A while back I was taking a writing class, but then work came between the two of us and we had to part ways. I started writing a short story for said class, it’s pretty good, if I may say so, but it’s also unfinished. So I’m going to post the couples pages, get some comments and some encouragement to finish. It doesn’t have a title yet…so yeah.

            Cord crushed the cigarette in his fist, watching as the flecks of tobacco spilled from his fingers. He’d promised himself he’d quit, hell, he’d promised a lot of things over the past few years. With a sigh, he fished the crumpled pack out of his pocket. The first drag brought everything into focus. Reaching once again into his pocket, he retrieved the business card and train ticket.

“Hey, you can’t smoke here,” a passing man said, face contorted with righteous disgust.

Cord looked up, catching the signs changing, informing him that his train was running on time. “Fuck off,” he muttered, but the man was already out of earshot. Cord dropped his cigarette anyway, smashed the embers with his boot and headed for the platform, hitching his backpack on his shoulder. The woman there stamped his ticket without looking at him. She didn’t ask for ID, probably didn’t care that the name on the little stub wasn’t his. He didn’t thank her, just snatched up the ticket and strode into the belly of the station, pulling his leather jacket tight around his shoulders. That was New York for you; nobody really gave a shit anyway.

The train ride was long and boring and Cord found himself dozing against the window as the train rumbled past cities and long stretches of what passed for countryside. The woman in the next seat roused him when they reached the last stop. He felt like shit when he couldn’t muster a smile of thanks. He supposed he’d spent too long in the city, watching his life slide by in a steel-colored lull.

Cord palmed the business card as he stepped into the snap of brisk autumn air. It was colder here without the long fingers of buildings to block the wind. Good, he thought, scanning the station, which was much smaller and dingier than the one in the city. He read the tiny words printed on the card for the millionth time.

Congratulations, you have been chosen to attend a weekend of secret festivities.

            Secret festivities, he scoffed. It was the quote that caught his attention.

“If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.”

            He’d found the card and train ticket on his brother’s dresser while stealing money for cigarettes. It was probably some self-help seminar that would leave him cross-eyed with boredom, but he figured, what the hell? Couldn’t be any worse than spending the weekend at home while Mom drank herself into a pathetic stupor. So he’d pocketed the card, ticket, and thirty dollars, and left his cellphone in their place.

Anger burned hot inside of him as though he’d swallowed the flame of the devil himself. He didn’t give a fuck about his family. They could rot in the tiny shithole apartment for all he cared. Besides, if the “secret festivities” sucked, he figured he’d just escape and spend the weekend lost in the unfamiliar town.

He hailed a cab out front and gave the driver the address from the back of the card. Thirty minutes later, they arrived in front of a lonely gated driveway that disappeared into a dark thick of woods. He paid the driver, skimping on the tip, and watched as the taxi pulled away.

Cord looked around, tamping down a frisson fear. He was from fucking New York City; a house in the woods was nothing. He crossed to the intercom next to the gate and depressed the button.

A tinny, disembodied voice answered. “Name?”

“Co—Aaron Adams.” He almost forgot to give his brother’s name.

The black gate swung inward, creaking. Without looking back, Cord slung his bag over his shoulder and went inside.

There it is! Now I’m off to manuscript land once again.

All the best,

Kacey

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