Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Blogfest: Sharing a Scene From my Work-in-Progress!

I wasn't going to do this, but heck, why not? 
My Authors Incognito friends are participating in a blogfest today, hosted by Jordan McCollum. The writers involved share a scene from a work-in-progress or another scene they have where two characters meet who will end up falling in love. Mine is from my waiting-to-be-edited book Dream Date. I'm not completely done editing this portion yet (or any of it, for that matter), but Valentine's Day is for throwing caution to the breeze, right?
This scene takes place right after Natalie turns off the light and tries to go to sleep. A face flashes before her, of a guy she's never met--and the whole thing scared and startled her. She finally falls asleep, and this follows.
Dream Date
by Rebecca Blevins

As I opened my eyes I blinked repeatedly, surprised at how vivid everything was.  I stood, back to the wall, in a giant, domed room. Rainbow colors shone everywhere, so bright they hurt my eyes.  Everything looked intense, felt intense, as if every aspect of the room blazed with purpose.  I felt I had been living in a giant haze all my life, and suddenly the mist had been burned away.  The sun hung from the center of the room, turning like a fiery disco ball. Maybe that was why.
The sun was far smaller than I thought it should be, pulsating rays giving off a scorching heat. I was amazed that the clouds could survive the temperature, but there they were, hanging all wispy and motionless. I blew at one and it lazily swirled about, not dissipating. Growing braver, I stuck my arm into the middle of the cloud and waved my hand around, spreading it into new designs.  The chilly mist was shockingly cool and felt fantastic in contrast to the warmth of the room.  As soon as I stopped stirring the cloud and removed my arm, it slowly pulled together and reformed, almost as if it were alive.  I was both intrigued and a little sickened. If it was alive...well...I had just had my arm all in its insides—and they were now drying on me.
Shuddering, I turned my attention to the rest of the room.  The heat was definitely increasing.  I had to find the way out.
I looked down and discovered I was standing on a rectangular block of cement floor. Yellow, to be exact.  You could set a full-size bed on it without any room left over.  There was about eight feet of straight-down emptiness on each side of the block, ending in more concrete at the bottom.  Around the room there were identically sized, different colored rectangles in front of what appeared to be Van Gogh paintings. There appeared to be no doors.
How fitting that the paintings are Van Gogh's, because this place is insane.
The only way to view the other paintings at close range was to step on a circular, moving sidewalk made of large, brightly colored bricks. The sidewalk reminded me of smooth, giant Legos—or Candyland game squares, shaped like rectangles. To look at the other paintings you had to step onto the sidewalk, then get off at the brightly colored block in front of the painting you wanted to view.
A man in a charcoal grey suit stood across the room, so still that I hadn't noticed him at first. He seemed to be studying what appeared to be “Starry Night”, hands clasped behind his back, oblivious to my being there. Even at this distance, I could tell he was tall. His self-assured air caused me to pause for a moment before disturbing him—he was obviously absorbed in the painting—but I didn't know how to get out of the room, and I knew I'd go crazy in the pulsing sunlight before long.
I stepped onto an orange block of the moving sidewalk and nearly fell, crying out as I caught myself. Not only was it a lot faster than it looked, but I was wearing ridiculously high purple heels! As I steadied myself, I noticed I was wearing a beautiful, pearly-colored, shimmering cocktail dress. The gown was not quite knee-length, and while perfect for an event at a museum, not quite the thing for hopping onto moving sidewalks. Not falling down became an even higher priority; flashing my underwear while twisting an ankle was not an attractive option with the well-dressed man in full view.
I balanced precariously on the orange block as the paintings came past faster, and I neared the man, who was watching me approach. He must have heard me yell. So much for not looking stupid. If I fall...well...I hope I'm at least wearing underwear.
“Step on the blue brick and it'll stop!” he called, obviously anxious. The tension in his voice did nothing for my frame of mind—I was already freaking out a little as I was trying to balance. Glancing up, I realized I had already sailed past him.
“Ok!” I yelled back. I didn't think about whether I should trust him or not. After all, did I really have a choice? The sidewalk was moving faster by the second, and I didn't want to stop to take off my ridiculous shoes in case the next go-round hurled me against the walls—or more likely, into the holes in the floor. Not the most comfortable way to die. The blue brick was two bricks away. I carefully made my way across the orange block I was on, but as I stepped onto the red—my purple heel caught.
Great. I'm gonna die after all.
I dropped down, unbuckled my idiot shoe, and began to crawl toward the blue block on hands and knees, no longer caring about the spectacle I was making of myself.
I heard a yell. Looking up as the crazy sidewalk gave a lurch, I saw the guy standing just ahead, in a wide football player's stance, arms reaching toward me. Struck by the desire to get off the galloping deathtrap as soon as possible I forgot about decorum, my short dress, and the fact that I was wearing one high-heeled shoe. I stood up, balancing like I was a drunk surfer on a tipping surfboard, knees shaking and hands trembling. Just before I reached him, he yelled “NOW!”
I jumped.
We collided, and the force made him stagger backwards into the painting. We fell hard. My knee hurt where it hit the floor, but I was more worried about my rescuer.
I scrambled off of his firm, strong body (I would have to have been dead not to notice—ok, I would have noticed even if I were dead) and prayed he was alive. He looked up at me, sandy brown hair all messed up, gray-blue eyes worried. “Are you ok?” he asked.
“Yes, thanks to you.” I sighed with relief—and then it hit me. He's the guy I saw when I was falling asleep! Wait—I'm dreaming. How can I know that? I know I'm dreaming in a dream? That's never happened before! Cool! I wonder if I can fly.
I jumped up in the air (which wasn't easy, considering I was still wearing one shoe) and flapped my arms a little. Nothing happened. I didn't want to fling myself completely parallel to the ground to see if that would work. The twinging of my knee discouraged reckless experimentation.
Even dreaming, I was a wuss.
I sat back down and unbuckled the useless shoe from my foot, then chucked it over the edge of the block we were sitting on.
“That shoe looked great on you, but I don't blame you for sending it to shoe hell.” He smiled at me.
I melted.
He gingerly rolled over onto his side. “By the way, flying doesn't work. I tried it before you got here.” Groaning a little, he put his right hand to the back of his head. When he took it away, a smear of blood shone wetly. He must have whacked himself pretty hard on the picture frame.
I moved over slightly and knelt next to him. “I'm ok, but you certainly aren't.” I wracked my brain, trying to think of what to do. Even though this was a dream, I didn't want him to die or anything. I couldn't take his coat off—that was the only thing protecting him from the cold floor.
He pulled himself up to a sitting position against the wall. “I'm glad you aren't hurt. I'm Adam.” He extended his bloody hand toward me, catching me off guard. I stared at the red smears, not sure what to say.
“Whoops, sorry about that.” He extended his left hand, wincing slightly.

 I put my left hand in his but didn't shake it. I figured I'd hurt him enough already. “I'm Natalie”.
He didn't let go; his mind appeared to be somewhere else entirely. I didn't mind. “How did you know what to do?” I asked.
“What?  To rescue you?  Ran into the same problem myself and figured it out before I became wall putty.”  Adam went back to whatever he was thinking about.  He had fine, strong, long fingers, a doctor's hand. No—a musician's.
I was thoroughly enjoying how my hand felt in his, delicate and protected, though his grasp became a little clammy. Adam was one of the most gorgeous guys I had ever seen. Not perfect—his nose was slightly crooked, forehead a little high, but they added character. I studied the painting, trying not to stare at him. “Do you play the piano?” I asked absentmindedly.
“On occasion.” His voice was strained.
That doesn't sound good.  I looked at him immediately.
Adam began looking a little faint. Perspiration beaded on his forehead, and he turned pale, a human ivory candle.
A small knot of worry grew in my stomach with each passing second.
I did the only thing I could think of: I loosened his tie, and began undoing the first few buttons of his white shirt. “I think maybe you should lie back down—”
“Natalie, do you like birds?” A silly grin decorated his handsome face. I had a sinking feeling that the blow to his head had done more than make him bleed.
He grabbed my arm and I stopped unbuttoning, which was a good thing because I had forgotten I was doing it. That would have gotten embarrassing fast. He stared at the ceiling. “Is that a dove?” I looked up. No bird in sight. Watching his face for signs of trauma, I admitted to being mesmerized by his amazing eyes, the squareness of his chin, the slight shadowing of his clean-shaven jaw.
He waved his unoccupied arm nonsensically at the air above me. “Get away! No! I said NO!”  Then to me: “He's going to sit on your beautiful dress and ruin it!” Adam brushed at my shoulder as if shooing away a pigeon while mumbling something about doves and their bathroom habits.
“What bird?” I asked, hoping he was suffering from a mild concussion; otherwise I was stuck here with a lunatic.
“That one!” He pointed to the air, grinning crazily—then passed out.


Kimberly said...

Gah! You cannot stop there! I must know more!

RaShelle said...

Wonderful. Great stuff. =D

C. K. Bryant said...

Great scene, but Kimberly is right. I want more.

Rebecca Shelley said...

Very surreal and romantic. Thanks for sharing this scene.

Debbie Davis said...

very wonderful, I love it!! purple shoes and all! =0)

Gail said...

Alright now I'm mad at you. It is sick and wrong to stop right there. Honestly. :o)

Jordan McCollum said...

Very surreal! Feels almost like Alice in Wonderland surreal!

Thanks for participating!

Andrew Rosenberg said...

Very strange but interesting.
It's like they're in Lego Land.
I like weird stuff like that.

Anonymous said...

This was great! While it was clearly a dream it was easy to identify with Natalie and Adam. I particularly liked the "drunk surfer on a tipping surfboard" image! LOL.

Carol Garvin

Joyce DiPastena said...

Oh my goodness, what a wonderfully surreal scene! I definitely want to know more about what in the world is going on here! Simply wonderful!

Angie said...

Nice vivid details. I like the surreal dreamworld. I sure hope he's okay!

kbrebes said...

I hope he's okay, too. Wow. You really put us in a new dimension! I feel a little "spinny" myself!

Debbie Davis said...

I am giving you the Stylish blogger award! come and claim it!!! =0)