Novel Snippet: Headless Dude In The Morning (from DTD)

Got 1201 words this morning, and a scene that I just cannot keep to myself.

This was not a planned part of the scene, which I also love. I was just looking for a nice place to end it, playing with the physics of my world, when I tripped over a Muse Bomb I planted last week and hadn’t really considered, and it blew up for me into the snippet below.

What you need to know: Aleksa Kralj is in the police station, where she is reporting three men who broke into her apartment intending to kill her, and the man who jumped out of her closet to kill all three of them. She has been in the police station for a very long time, telling and retelling her story to a detective who does not seem to be buying it.

She has just discovered that her building has hidden security cameras in the hallways. And now she is about to hear WHY the detective isn’t happy with her description of events.

 

NOTICE: This material is copyrighted, unchecked raw first draft, probably buggy. Please don’t post typos or corrections (I do my edits at the end of the first draft of the project and will never see them when it’s time). Do not quote or repost anywhere or in any format. Thanks.

 

It might have been that she’d been awake more than twenty-four hours straight, it might have been that she needed food or a drink…or it might have been a premonition that what she was about to hear next was going to be the reason she didn’t get any sleep for the next twenty-four hours. But Aleksa’s stomach flipped, and she thought for a moment she was going to throw up.

“You all right?”

“Tired,” she said. “Just tired. What sort of problem, Detective Hammond?”

“Only minutes after you and Mr. Fox left your apartment, the video monitor shows a short, bright flash of light through the broken door. For about three minutes after that, we have nothing. Then the man you describe as Derok, wearing a camel coat with no bloodstains on it, a dark silk shirt, jeans, and dark running shoes, and carrying a large black bag full of all the materials you and Mr. Fox did not take with you—since those items were not found at the scene—came racing out of your apartment, turned in the opposite direction the two of you had taken when fleeing, used the stairs, and fled the building.”

“He…what?”

“The man you describe as Derok was not dead, and not headless. There were no bodies in your apartment. There was no blood in your apartment. All the wreckage you described was there, but not the gladius. Two sets of men’s clothes were on the floor more or less where you described men who had been wearing them, but though it looked very much like someone wore those close, and did not take them off, no one, living or dead, was wearing them when we found them.”

“Then…there was no head in the hall?”

Detective Hammond rubbed his eyes with his thumbs. “Oh, I wish that were true. That would have made sense. But, well…we found the head in the hall. And we found the blood spatters from the second half—and only the second half—of its journey there on the ceiling, the floor, and the walls. When we type-matched the blood we swabbed from your face with the blood from the head in the hall, we got a a match. DNA testing takes a while, but we’ll get that back, too, eventually. I’m sure, in the way we can usually be sure about bad news, that it, too, will match. In the meantime, though—”

He shrugged.

The room spun slowly around Aleksa, and only settled when she leaned her elbows on the table and remembered to inhale. “Derok…ran out of my apartment. Alive. Unharmed. After taking what remained of my research notes.” She tried to make the pieces fit, but some were suddenly missing. And one was conspicuously extra.

She looked into Detective Hammond’s eyes, hoping for reassurance, or perhaps a sign that he was joking. She didn’t find any help there.

“Where are the bodies? And whose is the head in the hallway? Does it look like Derok’s? Long blond hair, blue eyes…”

Detective Hammond met her gaze with weary frustration. “Looks just like him. And just like the man who ran from your apartment after you left to come here. And now, Dr. Kralj,” he said, “you understand my problem.”

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

28 comments… add one
  • daniel Mar 9, 2010 @ 4:43

    watch tenses: – 1st para> ‘didnt’ — should be ‘wouldnt’… otherwise: it got me hooked…

  • Sam Aug 18, 2009 @ 13:30

    Sounds really good to me.

  • Vanessa Wells Aug 6, 2009 @ 17:23

    um….when did you say it was going to hit book stores?….I NEED this book.

  • megan Jun 15, 2009 @ 20:10

    yep

  • JWRR Jun 14, 2009 @ 12:12

    This just totally inspired me to get back to writing my wip; Thanks a lot. DW I’m not planning on using your ideas. Thanks a bunch.

  • Sherri Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:11

    Hook…Line…and Sinker…

    I want it!

  • Ed Jun 11, 2009 @ 0:45

    Doppelgangers of time?

  • Elizabeth Barrette Jun 10, 2009 @ 22:14

    This looks like a novel I would enjoy reading. Violations of biological laws usually get my attention! Thank you for sharing.

  • Victoria Jun 10, 2009 @ 19:19

    There are no words to describe how this snippet made me feel. Your writing is so beautiful Holly! And creepy.

  • Glynis Smy Jun 10, 2009 @ 13:42

    whoops …descriptive 🙂

  • Glynis Smy Jun 10, 2009 @ 13:42

    What a treat! I can see why you wanted to share it! So decriptive 🙂

  • Wandering Author Jun 10, 2009 @ 11:29

    When you’re ready to send this book out, count up the comments on this post. That’s how many copies of the book you’ve presold – or probably a few more, as I know I’ll want to buy a few extra copies for people I know. 😀

    Seriously, I can’t imagine any reader getting a peek at that scene who wouldn’t need to own the book it comes from, as soon as possible. That could be the little excerpt they put in the front of the book, or sometimes on the back cover, to grab anyone picking it up out of curiosity.

    First draft and all, that is a compelling scene! This actually has me thinking about possibilities for generating publicity – assuming I can ever come up with a scene at least half as intriguing. I know the moment I hear the book is out, I’ll be at my local Barnes & Noble, handing over cash to order a copy if they don’t have one in the store (which, considering their awful selection, is, sadly, all too likely). Get enough people to read this, and I could imagine lines like those when a new Harry Potter book was due out…

  • Amy Jun 10, 2009 @ 10:34

    Dang it! You hooked me!

    [grumble, grumble] two years [grumble, grumble].

  • Heather Jun 10, 2009 @ 10:02

    Ah, that was pretty mean. I want to know what happens next. I was reading and expecting more. I think you know if it’s good or not by our responses. I hope you get to use that scene in your finished piece. It has all the ingredients for keeping us reading. 😉

  • Ann J Jun 10, 2009 @ 6:38

    *low whistle* That is… well, wow. Can’t wait for the book!

  • Belle Jun 10, 2009 @ 1:08

    I’m hooked! What a great scene – I really want to know what happens!

  • sallie Jun 9, 2009 @ 15:02

    Whoooooa! OK, now I have to wait to buy this … two years??? WHINE! If I can survive a year between my other fav novelist, i can survive this … Thanks for the read. it is kewl. looking forward to the finished product … already

  • Jeannette Jun 9, 2009 @ 14:20

    Such talent!!! What a teaser, can’t wait for completion. Thanks so much for taking the time to post.

    Take care and keep up the great work!

  • Langknow Jun 9, 2009 @ 14:20

    Dam it, I just imagined this in my head, and it’s really cool, can’t wait for the book….

  • Meg Jun 9, 2009 @ 8:01

    Very interesting snippet. Has me hooked!

  • MarFisk Jun 9, 2009 @ 1:40

    Oh, eep. That does pose a tickler for them, especially since I’ll hazard a guess that they both thought physics was…well…law :D. Can’t wait for the rest.

  • PolarBear Jun 8, 2009 @ 22:37

    Detective Hammond is having a crummy night, too.

  • Rob Charron Jun 8, 2009 @ 22:20

    Hi 🙂
    That is a FANTASTIC Post. It’s inspirational to read a first draft by a novelist I so admire. I love the scene you’ve written.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Love From Canada
    xoxo

  • Craig A. Eddy Jun 8, 2009 @ 21:56

    Next????

    >pantpantpanttrousertrousertrouser<

  • Anthea Jun 8, 2009 @ 21:18

    Niiiiice!

  • Jamie D. Jun 8, 2009 @ 11:25

    Wow. Freaky stuff – excellent!

  • CJ Jun 8, 2009 @ 11:24

    Woweee!!
    That just gone done and tickled my curiosity!

  • Craig Jun 8, 2009 @ 10:23

    You shouldn’t have done that. Now I want the rest of the story and everything before it.

    Also, give your Muse a big, fat kiss.

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