In January, I started sharing 6 lines with an amazing group every Sunday. It’s been a wonderful way to get to know other authors and their voices. To celebrate the birthday of my debut novel, I grouped the posts I’ve made for Ashes, including the one set to go this Sunday.
Opening Six Lines:
Raw thirst dominated Lyle’s fantasy. Cracked ribs, battered leg, ankle bruised by the shackle, three broken fingers, deep slashes along inner thighs, and bone jutting through muscle in the left arm—it all lay crushed under the need for water. Images of shimmering droplets danced behind his crusted eyelids.
How long did it take for a male in his prime to die? The metal rod had been staked deep into the desert soil of Las Vegas. Lyle no longer struggled against the chain, tried to shelter his skin from the searing heat, or screamed for a soul with a shred of human compassion to help him.
Meet Myles Logan:
But Myles wasn’t mentally deficient, just so giving of himself and his belongings. A stranger would admire his shirt, and he’d take it off and hand it to him. An adult woman of any age would eye him. He’d grab her shopping bags and walk her home, chattering about her life with her. Pimps, crackheads, thugs, anyone with a spark of decency watched out for him. Threaten any stranger who’d ask Myles for some loose change, but then not move on after he’d emptied his wallet with a smile.
Meet Lyle Logan:
Set up: Vegas sheriff is driving. In the backseat, Myles' lover holds Lyle forcible on his lap. Suspected of fratricide, out of whack without his twin, Lyle thinks he's headed to jail.
Lyle squirmed under Renold’s thick arm, unwilling to stop the crap pouring from his mouth. “You should find a real fairy to give you a lap dance. Why didn’t Sheriff Dickwad handcuff me and have you ride up front? He’s hoping we’ll make out back here? Pervert sheriff belongs in a porn theater. I belong behind bars. You belong behind a guy’s butt that’s not mine. This is your gay weekend getaway, right?”
Lyle Wonders if He’s Hallucinating:
A dying buzzard? More like a deathly ill, midget flamingo. The creature that landed in front of Lyle appeared deader than Myles.
Three feet tall at most, a foot of height added by its scrawny neck, the bird angled its head as if it were blind, wobbling on decrepit legs. Two feathers—faded crimson and gold—clung to its hairless, grey form. It looked like it should be hanging from the fist of a voodoo queen.
Chatter Between Lyle and Myles’ Lover:
“Whacked as Logan sounds, Des, I’m pulling rank. Ignore us, fetch ice cream, and I swear, someday I’ll spill it.” The cop’s lips twitched, attention back on Lyle. “So there’s a pathetic microscopic amount of grey matter, an area of doesn’t matter, and a lot of inactive matter inside your skull?”
“Yes. I can give you the pie chart analysis if you’d like.”
“Just tell me what’s stewing in the dark matter.”
A few lines of dialogue between Renold (human) and Bennu (non human).
"Unlike you, I’m extraordinarily unique. Thousands of years have shown me that cannibalistic seagulls, tool using crows, parrots counting for a cracker, there’s not a feathered being as self-centered as the non-feathered—or as violent.”
“Now I’m selfish, stupid, and vicious?”
Bennu’s next inhale proved it correct on all three characteristics. Renold had forcibly relaxed his hands, but his scent steadily showed increasing aggression. He no longer smelled deliciously protective, but dark and dangerous as a cornered panther.
Thank you to everyone at Muse for sharing this day with me!