2008-03-26

Finish the Sentence #4

Whoops - I'm off on my days this week, as I usually do these Finish the Sentence thingies on Tuesdays.

Oh well.

Here's this week's Finish the Sentence. It's another Connie Willis one, from her book, Passage. The basic premise here is a female psychologist specializing in near-death experiences. In this sentence, she's sitting next to a patient named Carl in a hospital (I'm not sure at this point if the psychologist is related to Carl in some way or not; I'll get around to reading this at some point, but not right now).

But she sat on, watching the monitors, with their shifting lines, shifting numbers, watching the almost imperceptible rise and fall of Carl's sunken chest,[...] from page 14, Passage, by Connie Willis

Although I didn't work on my WIP yesterday, I did do this exercise:

But she sat on, watching the monitors, with their shifting lines, shifting numbers, watching the almost imperceptible rise and fall of Carl's sunken chest, when she thought she heard a rumble.

She looked up, gazed at the door, at the windows, back at Carl. Where'd that come from? She went silent, listening, listening. There it was again, this time louder. Still, it was a soft whump, as if someone had thrown a snowball at the window.

Must play in the major leagues, she thought, to hit the windows up here on the fifth floor. She sprang to her feet, pulling down on the metal blinds. But she didn't see any leftover snow clumped against the window.

Am I losing my mind? she wondered. When she heard the whump for a third time, it came from the bed.

Mind reading wasn't her specialty, so she wasn't sure if maybe the sound she'd heard was in her own mind. But she wasn't going to wait any longer; she sat down, closed her eyes, and concentrated on Carl.

It was murky, unsettled, swirling; then the fog in Carl's mind lifted. Lights, what she took for car lights flashed and were gone. She could almost feel the leather under Carl's fingers as he gripped the wheel; panting, her heart hammering, something headed straight at her--

She screamed. Or she thought she did. Her eyes flew open, her right hand on her chest, trying to get hold of her breath. She swallowed twice before her breath resumed its normal pace.

My God, she thought. Is that what poor Carl went through to get to this hospital bed?

Okay, another not so bad (and about 1,200 words to boot; yeah, me!). Some things would need to be worked on if I wanted to work this into some sort of story.

Have at it, if you wish.

~Nancy Beck

2 comments:

Liz Brooker said...

I don't see your words for yesterday, Nancy. You'll get a mention on the Wall of Shame if you're not careful!
Liz

Nancy Beck said...

Actually, I went to the site and typed it in - even saw it listed there yesterday.

I hope there's not some sort of glitch, because I know I finally uploaded my word count (only took a few days, lol).