Letting The Harpy Out of the Bag! First Excerpt From My New Book
TODAY’S BREW: The Double Extra Magic Monster Size Dunkin Donuts cup.
While letting The Animal rest awhile in its first draft completion and getting ready for the release of Running Home, I have been hard at work on a new novel, working title of The Harpy. I’m having a lot of fun with this, and think it’s time to share a bit of it with you guys, who have been here with me since I committed myself to getting published.
Here it is! The first excerpt from my new work in progress, The Harpy! I hope you enjoy it!
(From the chapter, I Swallowed a Hell Splinter):
There was nothing here that made me want to open up and spill all my bright and shinies all over the floor. The psychiatrist’s office became more depressing every time I entered it.
“So, Charity, how are we feeling this week?”
“Well, Psychiatrist, if I were feeling good I wouldn’t be here. But I most certainly am feeling myself.”
His little beard and moustache twitched with cynicism. “I can appreciate that. Charity, I’d like to remind you again that you can, of course, call me Dr. Mortimer.”
“Okay, Psychiatrist. I’d like to remind you that you can feel free to begin to call me ‘Patient’ or ‘Lunatic #854’ or what have you.”
He laughed, making the buttons on his tweed vest shimmy and threaten to pop off. “I think you like me more than you let on, Charity.”
“I would also like to remind you that if you don’t say ‘Charity’ in every sentence, I will still remember my name and assume that you probably still do also.”
He pretended to ignore this and brushed imaginary lint off his pants. Should I really be paying someone with such an obvious tick to map the contours of my complex nightmare brain?
“I’d very much like to hear more about your memories of the abuse, Charity.” Still calling me by name. It made me feel like nothing I said mattered to him. And of course, it didn’t.
“I don’t love talking about ‘the abuse,’” I said, using air quotes. “But I wouldn’t mind telling you that I quit my job.”
Genuine surprise. “Did you? How are you going to survive, Charity?”
“I always survive. That is not a question.”
“Fair enough. Why did you quit your job then?”
“Wait, I forgot my name for a minute because you didn’t say it. I quit because I fucking hate doing what a fat ass letch like Roger tells me to do. I can see him staring at me, at all the girls, he’s all fucking sweaty, too, and I just know he’s waiting for me to tell him it’s okay to stare or grope me or whatever.”
“But you’ve dealt with that feeling for him for almost six months. Why the sudden change?”
“It isn’t sudden. But I do feel like now if I were to meet him in a dark alley that I would claw his eyes out and eat them, sucking on them like bloody little lollipops, hoping I could remember through the taste to kick him as he screamed in agony on the filthy ground. So, that’s a change.”
He looked at me, totally blank.
“No, that was not for shock value. That was what I envisioned when I told him off. To answer your next question, no it does not worry me, and yes, of course it should.”
He smiled, like this shit was something he heard all the time, and I got pissed. I could feel fire in my veins, electricity in my eyes, claws itching to protrude from my fingertips. My lips peeled back over my teeth in a snarl that I didn’t try to hold back.
Well, where’s your smartass smile now, Dr. Mortimer?
“Do you—“ He wiped his forehead with a douchebag handkerchief, “do you feel this sort of anger often, Charity?”
“That time I did forget my name, but just for a minute.” My turn to smile.
“Would you say you enjoy that feeling you just had?”
“The last time I felt that happy was when my mother told me she was done with heroin the first time. Blissful. I remember looking in the mirror, not recognizing the smile on my face because I had never seen it before. This feels like that, like I could never be happier than when that rage takes the sunlight away.”
He cringed, but I give him credit, he continued to ask questions.
“Charity, do you want to be happy if it means this is what happens to you?” Sweat dripped down the side of his head.
I leaned forward and his eyes moved from my fishnets to my breasts. “This feeling is the only thing that matters, and what’s happening to me isn’t real. Isn’t that what you told me, Psychiatrist?”
Sitting up straighter, he ignored my chest again, and played Psychiatrist. “I believe that you think you are becoming a monster at night that ravages men and eats their entrails. I believe that to you it is very real.”
It was fun to watch him try not to be afraid, trying not to believe what was right in front of him. It was fun when I killed them in their beds, in bars, in their cars. It was fun to see when a terrible man no longer believed that he was the most terrible thing there was.
This guy was a good guy, who wanted to help me but couldn’t. And it’s why I hated being just a person during the day, the same old Charity who controlled fucking nothing. I felt the heat flow out of me slowly, relaxing my limbs as it went. My eyes didn’t burn. My heart did.
“You won’t believe what you’ve just seen in front of you?”
That actually put him more at ease. “Charity, a person can make all kinds of things happen if they believe it to be true. Success, failure, growth, physical changes.” He motioned to my body, and I leaned back to let him take it all in. “It is what we want most that we make come alive.” He breathed deep. I could see the worry in his face, and I knew he was afraid to see me like that again if he said the wrong thing. “It is our innermost demons that we give voice to when we think we can destroy them.”
I looked away, staring at the shelves of books. “Did you make that up yourself? About the demons?”
Chuckling, he said, “Yes, I suppose I did.”
“It was beautiful.”
“That struck a chord with you?”
I stood up, finishing this session myself, taking the reigns. “I liked it. Except I am the demon. And I want to let myself burn.”