Well, we’re nearing the middle of November, and I’m happy to say that I’m ‘write’ on track with my novel writing goals for NaNoWriMo. I’m currently sitting at 23,488 words (almost halfway through the challenge), and I have some decent meat going on the bones of these stories. I figured I’d share another small excerpt from my novel with you guys. This piece comes from a short story tentatively called Tamriel – and for those of you who are fans of my Black Earth series, you’ll recognize that name as the mysterious woman who entices Daisy in the Dark Garden in the series. This is part of her backstory when she was once human…
Saturday night. Lights. Drinks. A cab ride home. Repeat Sunday night.
On Monday morning, Tamriel woke with a headache and an upset stomach. There wasn’t much to the explanation she gave her boss as to why she was late. She simply said she had partied too hard.
It was the same pattern each weekend. Her boss continued to let her work because frankly, no other women wanted to waitress in the Darklight district. The customers who stepped foot into the Ease Cafe weren’t gentlemen of any sort of caliber. They were lowlifes. They were the seedy underbelly of Templeton Crier, the city in which Tamriel had lived her entire life.
And she was the only female willing to serve them. Which is why her boss let her stay. Which is why she kept her job. Which is why she partied every weekend.
Tamriel’s ambitions weren’t anything to write home about. At one point in her life, she had wanted to become a magazine editor, but that dream had long since passed by her harbor and sailed off to some far off island she would never be able to find. Instead, she was stuck in Templeton Crier, serving the dirt of the earth while she struggled to make ends meet. She was two months late on rent. But she did favors for her super, which is why she stayed in her apartment building. She was also late – weeks late – on her electric bill. Her friend, Miles Kroger, did her a favor and tapped her wiring into the wiring of her neighbor’s place. Now her neighbor paid for her electricity. It was a win/win situation all the way around.
Or so she thought.
Tamriel wasn’t one to do things ethically or legally or decently. She did what she had to to survive. To function in a world where the rich became richer and the poor sat at her table and bored her to tears about how many cans they had to recycle in order to afford their meal.
Her tips were non-existent.
Tamriel went home each night to an empty apartment. She watched an episode of I Love Lucy and ate a box of Michelina’s Wheels and Cheese. Then she went to bed, either alone or with some sorry sap who had agreed to pay her cell phone bill. Otherwise, she kept all of her partying until the weekend, and then she blew her paycheck (which she always received on Fridays) on drinks, lights, and cab fare.
Her life was nothing to write home about.
And she had no home to write about life to.
Her parents had kicked her out years earlier when she refused to abide by the rules of their house.
Rules, Tamriel figured, were Man’s way of restricting a life, choking the very breath from someone who was just trying to live.
Her parents thought differently.
Her brother was the same story, only he fought to impose his rules on her in her own life, not under his own roof. He didn’t care for her drinking habits and had attempted once to drag her to a clinic for help. That was the last time he did that, and that was the last time she saw her brother.
To her, he was an enemy. Someone who didn’t accept her for who she was. Who she could become.
Tamriel now lived her life the way she wanted. With no outside interference, she was happy and content. Only she wasn’t.
It was a Friday night after she cashed her check that she went home and sat in her empty, lonely apartment and stared at the television, debating on whether or not she wanted to watch an episode of “I Love Lucy” or toss the television out the window of her fourteenth-floor apartment. Depression had set in, offset by desperation. She suddenly realized, after looking at her paycheck, at the deadbeat scum in her bed, and her rundown apartment in the not-so-good part of town, that she had accomplished nothing in her life.
Beyond that, she served nothings. So what was a nothing that served nothings?