Novel Excerpt

Posted: December 5, 2011 in Novel Excerpt, Personal

This is the opening sentence of my attempt to write a novel. Working title is “The Assistant”. Feedback is appreciated.

Jane7344 stood in front of the stove staring through billowing steam through the small window near the stove and fought the urge to plunge her face into it’s roiling depths.  Mary5182 noticed her standing still, wondering what she was thinking that made her face glow like that. The old woman assumed it was the steam making the girl flush. She looked like she might actually float away, her hair curling in the humidity, silken black curlicues against perfect cafe au lait skin . Irritated by the lack of her industriousness 5182 grabbed her arm with a hard claw, all the more roughly for her not liking the girl. This was a grudge years in the making.  She shook 7344 telling her to pay attention and get to work.

Later after 7344 had already departed this world to attend upon the Lord, 5182 recalled this moment and shuddered as she related everything she knew about the victim to the Chief Inspector, Elder Graham, and his mousy assistant. What had he called her, the small, quiet woman who waited on him so quietly and efficiently? The old woman would not even have noticed her had the Inspector not introduced her. At least the woman, 5182 thought, had the decency of blushing. Imagine an Inspector introducing a crippled woman of no account to her, the maitresse of the President’s Estate!

Gaia12. Yes that’s right, an evil pagan name to be sure. So bad an omen that of all the females born in New Luminos over the last 500 years there had only been 11 named as such. Perhaps her parents were simply ignorant thought 5182, to weigh a child down with such a name. And not just any child but one with a club foot. It was common practice in New Luminos to give a deformed child back to the Lord. Although not everyone could pay the price required by the Brothers to perform such a ceremony, so deformities still cropped up. Better to have given the poor child a respectable, even venerated name like her own, Mary.

Anyway the girl looked harmless enough and Mary5182 was more interested in sussing out what had happened to 7344, and under her very own nose. The maitresse knew very well that everything would have been recorded and from every possible angle. There had been two cameras in Jane7344’s small spare room instead of the usual single camera in the other attendants’ rooms. The maitresse’s interview was more about what might have happened elsewhere on the grounds. However, she didn’t think that she would get away with what happened in the room. There would be questions about the way she had smiled while staring down at Jane7344’s lifeless body.

  1. Ooh, sounds good! It gave me a feel of part of Cloud Atlas, maybe because of the numbers and the names. I think you have succeeded in capturing interest, both for the story of Mary5182 and Jane7344 and the story of Gaia12. My only question here is where is the questioning by the Inspector taking place? Is it taking place at the President’s Estate at a time when they wouldn’t have looked at the recordings from the cameras yet? Or is she in custody somewhere? The first sentence of your second paragraph made me think quite a bit of time had passed since Jane7344 died, but then I thought it must not have since she was being questioned about the incident. I was just a little confused as to place and time. But, really, I can’t wait for more! 🙂

    • drangedinaz says:

      Thank you so much for the feedback. I have changed the names since that post and added some more posts. It has been so long since I have written on it, I need to review it to check out timelines and update old stuff witHt he new names.

  2. Oh my gosh–this was 2011! That’s what I get for reading blogs without my glasses on!!

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