Sunday, November 20, 2016

Write What You Know: Part 13

This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.

Write What You Know, Part 13
By Stephanie Thompson,  1,521 words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12

“So what do you do when you’re not hitting on piano players?”

“Oh, does this look like my profession?”

She laughed with a mouthful gin and tonic, almost spitting all over the polished surface of the piano.

“No, I mean. . .”

“No, it’s okay, I get it and I. . . Well, I travel a lot, spend a lot of time in hotels, visiting exotic locales the LAX Marriot lobby.”

The piano player laughed again. She liked her laugh but wanted to hear what her screams were.

“And I flirt with beautiful strangers all over the world. I guess it is sort of my profession.”

Cassandra had been making her laugh all evening. It was easier after several gin and tonics, it took no effort at all. It was only now, after the restaurant was virtually empty, with only a few stragglers at the bar, and a few waiters stacking chairs on tables, that they had real chance to talk. Not that she was interested in talking.

“Well, that sounds like a lot of fun and pretty stress free. I would love to be able to travel like that.”

She finished off her drink. “Let’s say we travel out of here, maybe? I’ve been in this hotel a very long time.”

“Well, I am kind of hungry and this place is shutting down. I usually go to this diner when I get off. My treat, since you got the drinks.”

She hid her disappointment behind a smile. “Sure.”

She shouldn’t have been surprised. It was always harder to get women on their own, at least when she wanted to go back to their place. If she could have brought the piano player (she couldn’t remember her name already) to her hotel room she would have but there was no way she could do all the things she wanted to do to her in her shared hotel room.

“I’ll meet you in the lobby in 15 minutes, let me change out of this monkey suit.”

The piano player kissed Cassandra on the cheek. Her soft lips brought a heat to her face that burned through her flesh. Oh how she yearned to see blood bubble over those sweet lips.

“I can’t wait,” she said.

“Ah, well,” he said.

What in the actual hell was going on? Why was he playing along? Why didn’t he put his foot down and so ‘now here missy?’ (What the absolute fuck? “Now here missy?” Was he trying to scold Shirley Temple because she wouldn’t stop tap dancing on the steps of town hall? What was wrong with him?)

“I’ll make sure I call ahead next time,” he ended the litany of horrible lines at the door with a chuckle.

It wasn’t until the heavy door banged shut that he found himself back to his normal self. When it was too late for him to do anything about it. I mean, he could have knocked on the door and said “Now wait here just a minute” (cue canned laugh track)(seriously what?)(maybe he wasn’t back to his normal self) but he could . . . Knock on the door, nothing was stopping him, except embarrassment. How could he knock on the door and start over again? What was he suppose to say? Should he do some kind of Columbo impression and pretend like he meant to look like a bumbling idiot the whole time? “Just one more thing. . .”

She watched Detective Ryan oscillate in front of the door through the peephole.

He’s not going to knock on our door again.

Let’s talk about whatever it was you did to get police attention. And maybe a little bit of warning before they show up next time.

I didn’t do a damn anything. I’ve been with you this whole time.

That’s never stopped you before.

I can’t believe he’s still standing there. What do you think he’s doing?

Trying to figure out what the hell just happened and whether he is going to knock on the door or just try again later, just like us?

Maybe he’s going to ask us out?

And I’m the one who watches too much tv?

Shut up, I think he’s going to knock.

She changed out of the tux and into jeans and a hoodie and she still looked perfect. Cassandra switched her heels for flats since they were walking. They held hands while she talked about what it was like to work in various piano bars around town. Cassandra kissed her under street light a block away from the diner. A real kiss, a deep kiss on those still soft and honey kissed lips while standing on her tip toes and imagining the taste of her blood.


He stood for too long in the hallway, that was certain. And he was still scolding himself all the way home. He didn’t even go back to the office (I’m really tired of saying precinct, srsly). He’d start again tomorrow with a fresh start at Ms. Christie Fields with a phone call inviting her (inviting? Try demanding!) presence for official questioning. Official, he liked that. It wasn’t something put off or confused  by haunting eyes or slightly wild hair. Official always knew what to say (You have the right to remain silence) and what questions needed answers (How exactly did you cell phone end up in the murder scene?) and official knew how to end an interview with authority (don’t leave town) and doesn’t let itself get kicked to the curb like a party guest who doesn’t know the party’s over.


This time, when there was a knock on the door, Christie was balls deep in some new novel material. Not an ‘NRaged novel. Nothing featuring Nikki. Something completely different and new. Something that starts with a knock on the door. Something experimental, bending form and function.

A knock on the door and someone answers it. Always the same door, always the same someone, but always something different on the other side. She’d gotten through two knocks already just rough sketches, rough drafts, maybe not a novel, maybe a collection of short stories but the stories, the characters did all feel connected already.

She was just starting the third one. The third knock on the door. She’d just written There was a knock on the door. when there was a knock on the door.
She looked through the peephole because, to be honest, she wasn’t sure the knock was real. How could it ever happen that she would write There was a knock on the door and there was actually a knock on the door? Especially in a town  where you only knew one person. The one person on the other side of the door.

“The problem with the advice “Live everyday like it’s the last” is that, 99% of time, it isn’t. There’s always another day and another day and another and more likely than not, you’re going to be there for it. If it was my last day, I wouldn’t give a shit about paying my electric bill but because I’m not dead or dying, I pay my goddamn electric bill. Live everyday like it’s your last is a fairytale. Well it is for most people. For you, it’s the truth. So… I hope you had fun.”
She brushed her thumb across her lips, while they were still soft. One last kiss, of sorts. It smeared in the blood. Such a lovely, lovely red color.


Safe at home behind three locked doors, Wes still felt like someone was watching him over his shoulder. Stalking him. Waiting to pounce. He looked. He looked so many times now it was practically a compulsion.

Sip his beer, quick look over his shoulder.

Flip the channel, look over his other shoulder.

Check his cell phone, sip his beer, look over both shoulders.

The problem was there was a whole lot of apartment behind him and his couch and not much in front of him. It was like he could feel the darkness like he’d never felt it before. He felt the darkness and whatever was back there waiting for him.

He finished the night watching tv from the kitchen with all the lights on. No more darkness to watch him or for him to watch.

Fuck yeah, bitches!

“Stella, I thought I’d see you again.”

“Why aren’t you answering your phone? I’ve been calling and texting for ages.”

“I can’t find it. I lost it somewhere. You should ask that really bitchy marketing intern, she’s been after me like a babysitter since I got here.” She opened the door wider. “Would you like to come in?”

She came in, gave a cursory glance to room, barely lit by the light of Christie’s laptop screen. The look of disgust was obvious but quick. “Listen, I’m sorry our professional relationship, our friendship, has gotten so strained, distant as of late. I haven’t been giving you the full respect and attention you deserve. I see that now, after our lunch.”

Damn right you haven’t.

“But I can work on that. We can work on it together. Let’s just rethink breaking your contract with the publisher.”

There's more to read in Part 14. Thanks for stopping by!