I haven't had much time to work on a blog post so I thought I'd put up a scene from a work in progress called "Where it Wanders," which will be a horror/thriller. This scene introduces a major character. Hope you enjoy.
WHERE IT WANDERS
In a service road motel, near the I-10/I-35 merge in San Antonio, Layne Gabriel snapped awake. Listening intently, he heard only the groaning whisper of the cheap window heating unit and a faint snick of breathing from his most recent bed companion. But he knew there had been another sound here a moment ago. A sound, or maybe an absence of sound. The air tingled with it.
Sliding from the worn and rumpled sheets, he padded naked to the small motel table where his laptop stood open and on. The screen was black and it took him a moment to discern the message he’d been left. In places the normal flat slate of the computer face had grown depth, had taken on three dimensional form. He made out a phrase in the black on black. It said: “Ozark Mountains.” There was nothing else.
Layne shrugged, padded to the bathroom to do his business and then dressed in jeans and a navy blue T-shirt with faded white letters across the front that read “Hell Dog.” He turned off his laptop and packed it away in its weatherproof carrying case, then moved over to study the woman in the bed. She slept on, the sleep of the exhausted, with her short bottle-blond hair ratted around her head from where his hands had tangled during sex.
He leaned a little closer and sniffed her, and the combination of scents and sights brought a slice of poem driving hard into his awareness.
For the whiskey-breathed.
For the faint-beating heart.
Sweat-stained in the memory of love.
He smiled. The woman hadn’t been a very good lay but at least she’d been enthusiastic. That was worth something, he decided. He’d leave her a gift.
He turned away, slipped on his motorcycle jacket, lowered the laptop into his saddle bags, and quietly left the room. He had slept away the afternoon and evening. It was dark outside, the moon sailing black waters above him. He figured it for about 11:00 o’clock.
His bike waited, purple in the shadows, and he strapped the bags on it, then unlocked his full-face helmet and slid it over his head after tying up his hair. The night was chilly, and though he had a high tolerance for cold, he slipped on a pair of leather gloves. He didn’t want his hands to stiffen up on the ride.
Straddling the bike, he punched the starter and listened to the low growl of the modified Honda Magna 750 engine, the sound so different from the raw-throated chuckle of a Harley. The woman was probably waking up to the sound now, and he pulled from the motel’s parking lot and onto the street before she could come looking. He didn’t want to see her as he left; that might change his mind about giving her his gift.
He chuckled to himself as he thrust his boots up on the highway pegs and leaned back into the customized seat. Of course, the woman probably wouldn’t even realize he’d left her anything. But he’d left her alive, hadn’t he?
The road unfolded in a silver ribbon as he headed north in the wind.