It is astounding how swiftly authors can get on the stick when you insinuate that their writing is unreadable.
Here’s Chapter 1 from Living Dead(heads), freshly second draft…
“Claudia, I have to work late,” I lied, and it made me sick to my stomach.
“Oh, really? Any idea how long?” the green-eyed inquisitor asked.
This time, at least, I did not need to lie. “I’m not sure. It shouldn’t be too long.”
“Okay. I’ll see you soon then, honey. I love you.”
I returned the sentiment and thought for sure I’d hurl. I disconnected, threw my phone to the passenger seat, and hit the gas.
A few moments later, I eased into the drive-thru lane at Road Swill’s biggest competitor. After a two-car wait, my eyes frantically scanned the overwhelming menu. Road Swill’s was simple and to the point, and it sure as hell didn’t have sizes in Italian sounding words. This was goddamn stupid, and when the crackly voice on the speaker asked what I wanted, I said, “Latte, medium.” She translated my emphasized word into pseudo-Italian as though I were a moron, not a rebelling traitor trying to make a point.
It didn’t take long to make it to the window where a gaudy cup was presented to me. As I waited for my change, I glanced at my watch: four-thirty five.
With fifteen minutes to kill, I took a spot in the parking lot, cut the engine, and lit a cigarette. A rolled down the window halfway, and January rushed in as though welcome. I was nervous, frickin’ nervous. Pacing would have helped, but that was close to impossible in a car’s front seat.
Now don’t go thinking I was simply being my wussy self. You would have been nervous, too. At least, I hope you would have been. It was not everyday you loitered in a parking lot until it was time to go murder someone. Seriously, that was exactly what I had to do and why the hell I had lied to Claudia. Seeing myself as neither murder nor liar, I was in way the hell over my head. And to shove my head under even further, Alison was my intended victim. Alison! Jesus, I’d rather murder myself than even say an unkind word to her, but here I was.