Health detox is going well, so far.
Manuscript detox...going slow. Quite slow, but I'm working on it. Thought I'd share a bit from my MMC's introductory scene:
A blast of cold air hit him in the face as he pushed open the door to outside, and a small flurry of snow swirled up at his feet in response to the change in air pressure. It was a good thing he had found the jacket, as the temperatures were only plummeting more each day. Blessed March. The transit station would be crowded with the homeless tonight, seeking shelter from the cold and worse.
He opened the heavy padlock binding the doors of his small outbuilding together with a chain as thick as his arm and let it all fall to the ground. The string hanging from the naked light bulb brushed against his face as he walked into the dark space. He tugged on the string. Nothing.
“Shit,” he muttered. The wind must have blown apart his cable splice again. The light cast from the streetlight was just enough to illuminate the doors and cast everything inside the space into even darker shadow.
He unsnapped the holster and wrapped his fingers around the gun's grip, then inched into the darkness, one hand groping blindly in front of him. His breath sounded harsh, like his lungs were screaming his presence for all to see, and his boots kept crunching gravel no matter how softly he laid down his foot. Damn worthless body.
His fingers touched metal, and he relaxed incrementally. Like caressing a lover, he ran his hands down the smooth surface to orient himself with its position, then swung his leg over and settled into the cold leather seat.
He inserted the key.
Something behind him crashed, and he rolled off the the bike, shoulder and leg absorbing the gravel's impact. Before he even fully landed, he squeezed off two rounds into the corner, muzzle flash clouding his vision with yellow floaters.
Holding his breath, he strained to hear any cries or whimpers, but only silence pervaded over the blood rushing in his head and gunshot ringing his ears.
Great. Overreaction much? He pushed himself back up, wincing at the dull throb that started in his left side.
With the motorcycle safely out of the darkness, he quickly chained the building back up, then got astride the machine and started the ignition. As it roared to life, exhaust vaporized in the freezing air. He checked the front-mounted automatic rifle while the engine warmed up, counted rounds and looked in the side pouch for backup rounds. There was no being too careful.
Settling on his helmet, Payette flipped down the face shield and wheeled the bike onto the street, then throttled up and shot forward. Several inches of snow already blanketed the street. He'd have to keep an eye on the weather, or he could find himself trapped at the station. With Sabine.
Maybe not such a bad thing after all.
Hunching behind the small windshield, he pushed his speed as high as he dared, eager to be through the city at night. Even with his precautions, things could happen.
The residential zone disappeared in a blink, and the four-lane commuter road began shrinking rapidly. He was entering the city limits now, coming in from the southwest side. Already he could see the faint orange glow from a remnant camp, the camp he was going to have to drive straight through. The automatic rifle glistened under the streetlights, primed and ready for action, but his stomach still clenched as the glow crept up higher on the horizon.
He drove through this particular remnant camp on a regular basis, but rarely at night. During the day they kept to the shadows, nothing but flashes of teeth and flesh in an alley or through a sewer grate. At night, they blossomed. They ravaged. They ruled.
This camp had at least three or four dozen inhabitants, and the cold weather drove them even further past the brink of madness.
The commuter road disappeared suddenly, funneling into a narrow two-way lane. Buildings bloomed up out of nowhere, looming silent monoliths casting ragged shadows from their burnt-out husks in the combined luminescence from the heavy, round moon and the increasingly bright fire light.
Payette throttled back on his speed to a more manageable level for city driving. There were no limits, of course; their police department had its hands full without worrying about the few individuals who were wealthy enough to have personal transportation. No limits, but this section of the city had been heavily affected by the riots so many years ago, and the decay had made its way into the streets. Some of the more poorly constructed buildings were crumbling, depositing large chunks of concrete on the sidewalks and roads, the steel frames twisting towards the sky like the gnarled fingers of a dying behemoth. Large cracks and ruts pitted the roads, and in some places, the asphalt was completely missing. Weeds that had adapted to the frigid temperatures had taken over, covering everything in a thick, coarse coat of brown and dark green.
Don't forget to check out my contest! Ends tomorrow.