Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This is the first draft--rough--rough--of my latest WIP. Louise, Rowan's friend, just arrived at Rowan's home and finds her in the massively overgrown garden. They are talking about the bittersweet vines. Louise has asked if Rowan is pulling them out.
Rowan squirmed out from behind the plants and stood watching as her friend struggled with something in her vehicle.
“No. I’m keeping it. Just trimming it once the berries come out.” She walked down the path toward the driveway. “What are you doing?”
“Come here. I need help.” Louise was cutting some rope with a small knife, which was attached to her keychain. “Meet Marcello. I thought he’d be perfect for your front yard, by the overgrown pond.”
Rowan helped slide Marcello, a six-foot resin statue, out of the back and stood him up on the ground.
“Wow, he’s great. I love him. Where did you find him?” Rowan asked as she walked around the statue.
“A yard sale. He’s a Roman god. Oh and there’s one more.” Louise went to the front and grabbed a snarling gargoyle.
“Louise, they’re great. Thanks. What do I owe you?”
Louise handed Rowan the smaller statue. “Nothing, it’s part of your housewarming presents.”
“You’re the best.” Rowan led the way to the inner portion of her front yard. They placed Marcello down by the eight-foot wide pond.
“Yeah, so you say.”
“You are. You run the hair salon, you’re a wife, a great friend and teacher.”
Louise smiled and Rowan noticed her chest puff out a bit. “Yes, but hubby manages the salon. Go on.”
Rowan continued with her accolades. “You’re an excellent High Priestess, which reminds me, are we meeting at your place tonight. I forgot.”
“Yup. To discuss Samhain.”
“Right, it’s only two days from now,” Rowan answered as she stared at Marcello. “I want to perform the ritual, if that’s okay. Invoking the spirits. After all, I’m a third year initiate.”
“Cool, one less thing for me to do. I checked your schedule and you’re booked from Thursday through Saturday this week. You’re a magician with those scissors. Rowan Scissorhands.”
Rowan eyed her best friend. “You priming me for something. An extra day at the salon?”
“No, I told you that you can take as much time as you need until you get settled here. Of course everyone at Magie misses you, but we’ll get along.”
“It could take years before I get settled here.”
Louise shook her head of platinum hair, styled in the trendiest bob, and sighed. “The inside is nearly done. It’s just the outside.” She waved her hand to encompass the view of the Muentseresque house.
“Yeah, just the outside.” Rowan laughed.
“Where are you going to put Marvin?”
“This little ugly gargoyle?”
“He’s got a name, too?”
“I just named him. He feels like a Marvin.”
“Just plop him on the top of the steps.”
Louise placed the smaller statue on the top step and whirled around. “Well, Ro, I gotta jet. I have a four o’clock. I’ll see you later.”
The two hugged. Rowan’s insides warmed upon initial contact with Louise. Her friend had that calming effect on her. Rowan remained in the garden, kneeled, and began to weed the area around Marcello.
Welcome to my home. She gazed up toward the sky and could have sworn she saw a smile play upon the statue’s lips. Crazy. All this Halloween stuff is getting to me.
At that moment Rowan’s cat, Bast, rubbed against her. “Shit.” Rowan jerked forward, and fell face first into the murky pond.

“That was disgusting,” Rowan said to her black cat as she sat in front of the roaring fire. “Don’t sneak up on me anymore. I think I actually swallowed some of that water. Gods only know what little creatures are brewing in there.” She gagged. “I think I’m going to puke.”
Her cat simply stared at her mistress. Rowan knew what Bast was thinking. I can’t help it of you’re a klutz.
Rowan was working on her incantation. It was a spell to help spirits cross into the light. She jotted down notes in her tattered leather-bound journal while waiting for her hair to dry and dinner to cook.
She lit her special Samhain incense to get the musty smell out of the living room and tossed a handful into the fire. She loved the fact that this house had a fireplace in the living room and her bedroom, which was right above her on the second floor.
“Spirits captured in the night, fear no more, I bring you light.
Loved ones wait to bring you home, go to them, no longer roam.
The veil between our worlds is thin, you’re new experience can now begin.” She paused. “So mote it be!”
The fire in the fireplace crackled, the flames leapt higher as she tossed another handful of incense. The scents of sandalwood, frankincense and myrrh filled the air. Normally she would love the compelling fragrance, but somehow mingling with her roasting chicken it lost its soothing nature.
She heard a crash from outside, and then a splash and a ribbet but paid no mind. There were a lot of noises coming from within and without of this old house on a daily basis. Rowan figured this was just another one. Perhaps it was the last croaking of the frog that lived in the muddy water.
She peeked out the window while heading into the kitchen. It was dark, too dark to see anything. The automatic timer on her lights clicked on and suddenly her windows glowed with amber and purple lights.
When she opened the oven and peeked inside, she realized dinner was not going to be ready in time so she shut the oven off and fed Bast. “Sorry, we’ll have some chicken later,” she informed her familiar. “I’m off to Lou’s house.” Closing the glass doors on the fireplace she breathed in deep the singular smell of the incense and let out a sigh.
She grabbed her big black bag and headed out the backdoor. “Later, Bast.”

Catching up with the Dark Crescent Coven members always gave Rowan a feeling of belonging. They were, in fact, her only family. The only family she connected to. Her mother and father moved to California ten years ago. Rowan was on the opposite coast in a little town on Long Island where she grew up.
She slammed her car door shut and headed to the safe haven of home. I really need to invest in some solar powered lights. The house was dark outside and looked especially creepy. Rowan loved it. It was like every haunted house she’d ever seen on Halloween decorations, including the nearly bare branches grasping up toward the night sky. Their skeletal fingers tried to pluck the few stars that peeked out between the clouds.
Home sweet home. She skipped up the steps, passing a pumpkin she’d purchased a week ago, not yet carved.
A brisk wind scattered dried leaves across her porch as she fumbled for her front door key. She cursed when she noticed her house key latched itself through wide opening of her car key. Damn. She shook the keys loose, finally able to unlock the door. The rusty hinges let out a mournful groan.
“Honey, I’m home,” she said to Bast.
“I’m up here, darling.” She heard a deep masculine voice answer.
She dropped her bag, grabbed her athame, and crept up the stairs.


sue laybourn said...

I think this shows great promise as a story. You've got me interested and.....what a way to end a teaser!!grrrrrrrrr!!!
You'd better post more of this!

Sarah said...

This is lovely! I can see and smell everything - really makes me miss Halloween across the pond. Really enjoyable read!

You might want to think about indenting your paragraphs - right now the formatting's a little crowded. xx

Anonymous said...

Ooh, what a mean way to end it on us! ;-) I'd say this definitely has potential - I'd read on!

Ella said...

I couldn't get the formatting to cooperate. Mercury retro in action.


houndrat said...

Yes, definitely indenting would help my poor old tired eyes, lol. I think there's a lot of promise here. Since it's rough, I don't think it's as tight as the other snippets of yours I read, but that's to be expected. I was a tad confused at the very beginning about the first line of dialogue, I think, but then everything made sense.
Have fun with this!

sunna said...

Oh, definitely keep going! Very vivid description.

C R Ward said...

Wow! If I could write rough drafts like this I'd be rich and famous. :-)

Please post more. Or better yet, finish the whole thing and I can buy the book!

Rose Pressey said...

Definitely keep going. Great start.

Jy'lenn said...

I'm hooked! I'd keep reading to find out if the frog turned into a handsome prince or if the cat is a hunky guy in disguise! lol I know, I'm bad. ;-)

parametric said...

Cool! She summoned him with the spell, right? Or de-petrified him from the statue?

(I don't recognise Marcello as a Roman God - is Louise making it up?)

Gretchen said...

The idea definitely has merit and worth exploring further! Be careful with a borderline "As you know Bob" moment I saw where the one friend lists what the other does by way of relating that info to the reader. I didn't even think you needed it.

Ella said...

Thanks Gretchen. Yeah, the original owner of the statue named him Marcello. Louise bought him at a yard sale. I deleted that part from the ms.

Karen Duvall said...

That was really long and I admit to not reading the whole thing (still have a bunch more teasers to get through), but I liked what I read. Nice start! Your descriptions are spot-on.

Stephanie said...

I really like this! The characters are awesome; I hope you post more next week!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of a Roman god named Marcello. ;o) I was a little confused about the order of events, though. She comes home twice? Once just to get her stuff, then goes off to Lou's house, and then comes home again? The fact that there's no action related in that interim makes her second return home a little hard to process for me. I had to re-read to be sure I understood.