Author of Dark Fiction
Help! I’ve been infected by the “looked” virus!
This is in response to a challenge from talented and all-around-cool horror writer, Stephanie Wytovich. The challenge is to find the first instance of the work “looked” in your work-in-progress and post it, along with the paragraph before and after.
This is an excerpt from my work in progress, Poisonous Garden. The premise is: Written from the point of view of a person of undeterminable gender—Poisonous Garden is a love story between Palmer, an introverted artist, and the free-spirited but mysterious Jackie who disappears abruptly just after their love reaches an intense peak.
It’s finished except for the editing.
Excerpt from Poisonous Garden:
As we climbed the staircase, I had the familiar closing-in feeling. A dragon hung from the ceiling above the staircase, threatening to swoop down. On the approach to the large dance floor, people started to look strange. Little heads and big bodies. My heart sped up and my breathing became labored.
I concentrated on holding onto Jackie’s hand. She pulled me right onto the dance floor and I became surrounded by a whirling vortex of devils, witches and vampires. I thought I was going to pass out, so I immediately put in my earplugs. That made me feel insulated from the crowd, somewhat. I’d never danced before so I didn’t know what to do, but I matched their movements and in the crush of bodies I worked through the fear. Mostly I looked into Jackie’s eyes and she pulled me through.
Doran and Tim were dancing next to us. Tim with his white-guy awkwardness. Doran just into himself doing little moves. I was okay for a while, then as more people crushed in on us it got hard to breathe again. “Jackie,” I shouted over the din of music. “I need to go outside.”