January 16, 2012

ZZ Top And A Running Scene

Here's a little ZZ Top called "Legs," to go with a scene I've written from my Work-In-Progress. I like the song for the scene, even if the video doesn't exactly go with it. But all in good fun! And I'm feelin' in need of some fun today.

So to set the scene: A young adult sort-of-paranormal-romance-mystery novel, if you call talking to ghosts "paranormal." The main protagonist is psychic and can speak to ghosts and she's agreed to help find the murderer of her friend's dad. This is a scene where two of the protagonists are walking through a riverside park at night and discover they're being followed.

A Scene From:
Givin' Up The Ghost

  We walked through the lamp-lit park, along a meandering pathway, the illuminating yellow glow casting halos upon the wet pavement. Halfway through the park I felt tingling on the back of my skull.

  I took a deep breath. “Badger, don’t turn around, but I think we’re being followed,” I whispered.

  He glanced my way. “How do you know, did you see someone?”

  “Nope.” I shrugged. “Just one of those crazy feelings I get.” I waited for him to laugh or make fun. He didn’t.

  “Okay.” He linked his arm through mine. “Do you trust me?”

  I surprised myself by nodding my head - no hesitation.

  “Then just follow my lead, okay?”

  He took hold of my good hand and I came to a stop, facing him under the halo of a street lamp. He put his arms around me. “We’re just a pair of young lovers out for a walk, right?”

  Quick to understand the game plan, I put my hands on his chest and looked up into his face. “Right. Now what?” I stepped closer and ran my hands up over his shoulders and around his neck.

  “I’m going to kiss you.” Badger leaned in for the kiss, turning me slightly, while sweeping his eyes across the park in the direction we had just come from. His lips were soft against mine. Not too soft, but just-right soft. He lifted his head and looked down into my face.

  “Well?” I whispered.

  “Nice. Very nice.” He smiled.

  I laughed softly. I’m glad it was dark so he couldn’t see my face going red yet again. “Thanks. But I meant...”

  “Oh! Right. Two of them. Near the entrance. And doing a pretty bad job of hiding behind a tree,” he answered.

  I took the opportunity to peak down the path without averting my head. “It’s starting to rain again. If I’m not mistaken, it’s about to pour buckets, so we can give them the slip by pretending to run from the rain.”

  “Yeah,” he whispered. “But that would take all the fun out of what we’re doing now.”

  I laughed again lightly, feeling his heartbeat beneath my palms.

  “Seriously, though,” I said.

  “Did you know your eyes are the color of indigo?” he said, his eyes searching mine, for...something.

  “Focus,” I reminded him.

  “Oh. Right. Running it is, then.”

  “Do you think you can keep up?” I teased.

  “That sounds like a challenge,” he said, kissing my parted lips gently.

  I grinned up at him and hoped he couldn’t read the expression underneath. My very first kiss. Okay, not a real kiss, but for a fake one, it was really good.

  A crack of thunder and lightning, followed by torrential rain came right on cue. I gently pushed away from Badger and took a few steps back, turning with a playful swagger, and a catch-me-if-you-can smile thrown back over my shoulder. I threw my long mane of wet hair back and crooked a finger at him playfully, inviting him to chase me, totally into the game now. And then I turned and ran for all I was worth, Badger on my heels.

  We dashed across the sodden grass, through bushes and trees, toward a park exit. I sprinted toward a slit between buildings which lead into a rundown historic area.

  The alleys here were narrow and dark. As we raced through the twisting passageways, the buildings grew closer together, nearly touching overhead as they leaned toward each other. The corridors became almost cave-like; dark and damp, as we ran further and further, and ever downward into the maze of passages. I hoped that we would be able to find our way out again. I hadn’t seen anyone, but saw muted light coming through some of the windows. The further down we ran, the more I noticed the odors; cooking smells mingled with rotting garbage, and the faint odor of urine.

  It was impossible to tell how close our pursuers were at this point, between the sound of our own harsh breathing and the mist and fog distorting the sounds which bounced off the stone walls.

  The ground beneath us was cobbled and slick from rain, and we struggled to stay on our feet, using the stone walls to keep our balance. I hurtled around a corner and ducked into a dark stairwell, dragging Badger behind me. We tumbled further up the stairs, breathless, into the shadows. I hoped that we hadn’t trapped ourselves. We tried to control our heavy breathing as we peered into the alley below for the two men.

  There was a crashing noise, as if someone had run into a garbage bin and sent it rolling down hill. Then we saw the two men below passing by the stairwell, and heard their raspy breath, chests heaving, a voice saying, “We lost them.”

  Still we waited. The only sound in the dark stairwell was our heavy breathing, when out of the shadows above us, a voice said, “Are you two going to sit in the dark all night, or are you going to come inside?”



Michelle said...

I liked it a lot, Gwen. Lots of nice details to show and not tell what they were seeing and smelling.

Yes, I don't know the whole premise of the novel, but I like the title.


Author of Concilium, available July 2012
Concilium: The Departure, November 2012
PODs, available June 2013

Lady Gwen said...

Thanks Michelle, I appreciate your input! I never know how much setting/senses, etc. to put in a scene but I'm learning!

Sarah Pearson said...

I saved this post until I had time to read it, and I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed it, hope I get to read more sometime :-)

Also, love the name Badger :-)

Lady Gwen said...

Thank you, Sarah! I really had a lot of fun putting music to the scene and I want to do it some more. Actually, I was visiting Michelle's site (see above comment) and saw that she made a playlist for her book that's coming out in July and now I want to do a playlist for my book, too!