Who’s been waiting to read an excerpt from my book??? Wait no more! Here is what I have come up with for the very first page.
If you care to share any portion of this excerpt I ask that you send that person to this site to read it as oppose to copying it and sharing via any method. This excerpt may change as I re-write, and re-write, and re-write some more. I would appreciate the final draft being spread around instead of this original attempt.
Thank you for your consideration and understanding.
He looks frightened lying in that hospital bed. His wild eyes are darting back and forth seeming to be searching for something. He knows why he is here. He understands what’s going to happen. The ventilator has been disconnected and although he is fully conscious, he can not speak clearly or with much force. His eyes are the only body part he has complete control of.
As far as hospital rooms go, this one is pretty nice. Cheerful yellow and cream, not the drab supposedly calming blues and greens I am used to seeing. It’s a rather large private ICU room with a state of the art hospital bed in the center, a few chairs scattered around the perimeter and the required wires, monitors and bells and whistles mounted on the wall. It is clean, cheerful, and sparse… the exact opposite of the room he has been in for the past four years.
From my vantage point pressed against the wall I look around at all of his friends and family that have gathered to watch him take his last breath. The machinery had been disconnected for a few hours now. “How long does this take”, is the question we all have been silently asking ourselves. We are running out of things to talk about. Prayers for his soul have been said singly and in unison. We have sung through the verse of every hymn and silly song we can pull from the far reaches of our minds. We are all becoming uncomfortable, and hungry… afraid to leave the room to pee in case we miss the big moment. There is nothing left to do but wait.
Earlier in the day nurses and doctors would come in to check his vitals and ask if we needed anything. Now they leave us alone. I know where to find them if needed. They are tracking his vitals from the monitors at the main desk just outside the door. I don’t even have to leave the room, I just have to look out the door and catch their eye… they will magically appear.
I am afraid to go near him. No, not afraid… just keeping my distance. His sisters, brother, children and other friends are here to be with him. I am just another face in the crowd. I will be here to the end. When the others have gone home, I will be here. When it really matters, I will be here… just as I have always been. Yes, I will have my time alone with him when it is all over.
Complaining he is hot, we pack him in ice. His blankets are removed with only a sheet to cover his withered body. Without his glasses his eyes look smaller than normal, surrounded by his slack, pale skin billowing out on the pillow. His high round cheeks are flushed pink from his heat. Excess fluid swells his ankles and feet, and his sausage fingers look ready to burst. He can’t lift his hands and shake the fluid down as he has been paralyzed for the past six years, so his sisters, Helen Lee and Judy each take a hand and massage them. We are eager to do everything humanly possible to make him comfortable and keep us busy at the same time. This moment is all about him. A king, presiding over his court.
He calls us over to his bedside one by one to horsely whisper his last words, as privately as possible in a room crowed with loved ones. He saves me for last. The room falls silent. I lean over his body placing my ear near his mouth so I can understand the loving words my husband of 27 years wants me to hear before he is no longer with us.
“Sue the bastards! Make sure they can’t do this to anyone else… ever!”
I step away from him and retreat to my corner confused. Not… “I will love you forever”. Not, “Take care of yourself and the kids”… or, “I will wait for you on the other side.” Not even a kiss. No… in a moment of time where you think you know what to expect… I have been thrown a curve ball.
So… what do you think? Would you want to continue reading a book that started off that way? Does this beginning surprise you? Are you intrigued to know how we got there or what happens next?
If you are an editor or in the book biz do you have any suggestions?
Should I continue writing?
I personally read each comment and would love to hear Your Two Cents!
Thanks for reading,