Highway to Hell (Including a snippet and some rejections!)

Thank you AC/DC for capturing the feelings of me having to keep a schedule and bring my kids back to the world of homework, Home and School meetings, Clarinet practice, purple shirt day, book fairs, and basically anything to separate me from my time and money.

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I have gotten about 3-4 emails already asking for my time, and spent about an hour yesterday online figuring out how to get my clearances because I need to prove to them I am not a child molester like the Subway guy. And thanks Jared, for tainting Subway for me. I loved their 5 dollar footlongs, and now, well. Ew.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my school. The ladies are nice to me, despite my deep seeded book writing skills, my sarcastic responses to bake sales and the more important fact that I refuse to run for any office. I think they trust me when I tell them that I will not only ruin the structure of the schools volunteer program, but single-handedly curse throughout any important meetings due to stress. I don’t do well in controlled situations. I know me, and whats more important, they do too.

So, some updates today. I will give out a snippet today as well. It’s been a while. I have had a lot of rejections these past weeks. “It’s just not what we are looking for right now” is the biggest one. I am actually appreciating the niceness going into the “I don’t like your book” emails they send. One even sent me a link to agents taking open submissions. That’s something right? One told me not to give up. I’ll take it. It’s better than “You’re a shitty writer, fucktard. Don’t quit your day job, asshole.”

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So how goes it in the writing world? Well, the kids are back at school, so I am back at it, full, black Columbian coffee type strength. Currently, I am formatting things in the way I have been reading they need it to be presented before I can send anyone a full manuscript. So far I just have query letters out with the first three chapters. But if I want to submit to Harlequin say, or Siren, I need to have a full manuscript prepared.

Being a new writer is hard, but, it’s just like being a new mom you know? You will get shit on, for sure, and sometimes the book will even keep you up at 4am screaming at you. It will make you want to cry and laugh with joy all in a span of a few moments. At the end of the day though, you’re just proud you made it through the day without getting completely shit faced, going to the hospital, or crying alone in a dark corner with a guy named Leroy.

Once this mad bastard is formatted, I will print it and then read it again, correcting it with massive amounts of highlighter. I’m looking forward to that, only for the simple fact that I will get to use all the pretty colors they have and color little inappropriate doodles in the margins. Pubic hair is surprisingly easy to draw.

So without further ado, here is the snippet I promised. Enjoy.

Love and Cheers.

Mandy

Disclaimer: All material is subject to copyright. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the authors imagination of are used factitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, alive or dead, is entirely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorizes, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

He starts talking to no one in particular as he continues to look around the room and delicately touch things. “My first 11 years were spent in a small cottage in Ireland. We had about six acres. We had a kitchen space like this and it always smelled of fresh grass and lemon. My mum was a wonderful cook. She painted trees on the walls. She wanted to be surrounded in nature. Ireland barely has any trees. Most of them were burned long ago, during times of retaliation and war.” He sounds wistful. He’s transported to a place I think when he was happiest. I decide to go for broke, standing in my kitchen, waiting to bury my dead cat. “She sounds like she made a lovely home for you.” I smile, wondering if that will be that. “She did. She was a wonderful woman. Really, very talented. You remind me of her a little.” I’m stunned here. “Wow, Declan. What a nice thing to say.” He looks at me, casual, hands in his pockets and shrugs. “It’s the truth. There is something about you Mag, and maybe that’s it. You remind me of a time where life was less complicated and….happy.” My brows furrow. “Are you not happy?”

“I am today. I was yesterday. My life, is, complicated Maggie.” Uh oh. That can’t be good. Complicated means kids. A wife maybe? There is no ring, no line where a ring was. Maybe he’s not a ring wearing guy. “You’re not married are you, Declan?” He pauses, thinking about what to say. He sighs. “I was. She’s no longer with us.” Well knock me over with a feather. He’s a widower. Shit, that’s, heavy. Beats out my baby daddy being a flighty tool. “Wow. I’m so sorry to hear it. When did she pass away?” I can tell he’s struggling, his jaw tensing. He does not want to talk about it, but for some reason, he does. “Three years ago next month. Come, let’s go get that box.” And just like that, the discussion is over.

CH 16.

After selecting a nice box for Spencer, I kneel down and kiss him on his furry head a last time. “Thanks buddy, for always being there for me. For being good to my boys. I’ll never forget you. Rest easy, my friend.” Aww gush me. I’ve started crying again, and Declan comes behind me to squeeze my shoulders. I gingerly lift him up with his favorite bed and lay him in the felt lined box I made for him. I cover him with a small sheet from the boys closet, something of theirs to leave him with and a photo of me with him when he was a kitten. I know, I know, I’m sappy, but I love animals. I love him. I cover the box and Declan helps me, well, really he does most of it, digs a hole behind the shed in the backyard. There are random patches of wildflowers, where he used to go to chew on blades of grass.

Once he is buried I make my way into my room, Declan meandering behind me so I can clean and sanitize the floors and frankly, clean the whole room up. I’m flustered and I’m feeling low, not knowing what I’m going to say to my kids when they get home. I’ve texted mom in the mean time with my where bouts and she politely tells me they are having fun and to leave them alone. No doubt she’s spending money in an arcade at another attempt to spoil them rotten. Declan, meanwhile, he busies himself in my kitchen, making us an impromptu stew for lunch. He grabs meat chunks, veggies, and spices, not even bothering to ask me where they are as he just rifles through to find everything himself. My room is nice and clean, smelling good again, and as I make my way out the door he’s there, in the hallway, hands on his hips, leaning against the wall looking at me with a smirk. “What?” I say, wondering what’s on his mind. “You look sexy as hell in my cloths woman. That’s what.” I look down, realizing I still haven’t changed from my walk of shame outfit. “Ill just go change” I mutter as I start to turn back into the bedroom. He Stops me with two hard as steel band hands around my hips. “Oh no you don’t Mag.” He whispers in my ear, so close goosebumps run all over my flesh. “You, my lady, will stay in my cloths all day. You will smell me on you and whenever you do, you will think about what I can do to you, and what my cock looks like covered in your come.”

I close my eyes, instantly growing wet and hot between my legs. He starts pulling my hand toward the kitchen. NO! “Come, now Maggie. I’ll feed you, then, I’ll fuck you.” Damn it! “Can’t we reverse that little scenario?” But no, his wordless pull is the end of the discussion as I am dragged into my wonderfully smelling kitchen. Stew, crusty bread, butter and iced tea lay on my table. Complete with sliced lemons. “Wow” is all I can manage. He went all out. He pulls my chair out for me. I sit dutifully as he takes his place at the opposite end of the table. I start to doll out food when he slaps my hand away. He stares me straight in the eyes, Blazing green to shit brown. “When’s the last time someone took care of you?” It’s a warning more than a question and I put my hand down. “Sorry, force of habit.” He looks at me as he starts spooning out strew in my bowl. He puts the spoon down and lightly tugs at my chin. “No Maggie. Don’t apologize, ever.” I nod, not knowing what else to do.

Replete and completely impressed with his cooking prowess again, I get up and start to clean. Thank goodness he doesn’t stop me this time. I would have given him a load of shit. Instead he helps. “Thank you. That was delicious. Yet again. Your going to spoil me with all your fancy cooking. How will I ever go back to boxed Macaroni and Cheese?” He laughs a low chuckle. It’s sexy as hell. I steal this opportunity before the mind-blowing orgasms begin to find out more about this man in front of me. “So, do you go to Ireland often?” He eyes me suspiciously. He knows what I am doing. But he obliges. “Yes, I do. My uncles live in Belfast. My wife is buried there as is my mother.” No mention of a father. Do I dare? Well, he asked about my ex husband. “No dad?” His brow furrows. “I have a da, yes. But he’s, well, no one knows where he is. So I couldn’t tell you if he’s alive or dead.” Oh. Revelations galore today. “Oh, did he run off on you and your mom?” He cocks his head and narrows his eyes. “Something like that. It’s old news Mag, not worth discussing.” I cock my head now. “Yes it is. He was your dad. I don’t know what I would do without mine.” A little bold on my part, but I have never been one to tone it down.

“It’s a part of my life I don’t talk about much Mag. There are things I will never be able to discuss, you need to know that now, so whatever your next question is, unless it’s what position you’re going to let me fuck you in, you can let it go.” Okay, now I’m a little irritated. I let him have it.

“No Declan, I won’t let it go. I’m a mom. Do you get that? I don’t randomly fuck strangers. You have made it clear to me that this is not what that is, and I believe you, because I feel it too, whatever this is, but you can’t go through life not wanting to discuss things because they are shit to talk about. I don’t particularly want to fuck a stranger and that’s right what you are right now, a stranger.” He blinks. I continue.

“You claim to know all of these things about me, however you came to obtain them and I didn’t question it, even though in any right mind I should have. I have you in my home Declan. This is sacred to me. I need to know what I bring in here needs to be fucking sane and right. My kids sleep 20 feet away. You buried my cat for Christ’s sake. Do you get that?”

He runs his hand through his hair.

“Yes, I get that. I do.” He says as he looks me in the eyes. His head cocks to the side and purses his lips. Bowing his head as he has resigned to something.

He pulls my hand gently over the couch, the cream-colored couch he was going to fuck me on not ninety minutes ago. Instead I’m set to have a serious conversation with a stranger I’ve already fucked a few times over and shared two meals with, and quite possibly, fallen in love with already. My head is spinning. What the fuck am I doing? We sit and he puts his hand in my hand.

“You know me better than most Maggie. In this short period of time I have grabbed your attention. After a year of wanting to grab your attention that is. I’m no saint. Over the past couple years, I’ve fucked and used several women for pleasure, drank myself into dark corners of seedy bars and gotten into a few good brawls, all to forget my former life. My mother’s death, my father’s disappearance and my pregnant wife’s murder are all a part of that life. I want a new one. Desperately, and I want you a part of that new one.” I go white, but I don’t dare speak. “I do go to Ireland. About once every three months. I still own land and a home, and I visit with family and a few blokes. But in reality I go to find him.”

“Your father?” I blurt out. He takes my lips in his fingers and closes them sarcastically. “Shut up Maggie.” I nod.

“I go there to find the bastard that killed my wife and unborn son. My wife was 24 weeks pregnant when she was shot point-blank in the temple. She was innocent, beautiful. Just like you.” Just like me. I pale. Oh no. I can’t be this person. I don’t want to be the woman who looks like his dead wife so he can live out some kind of healing scenario. Do I?

“You remind me of her, it’s true, your beauty, diligence, elegance, and your humor. But you’re different. You’re stronger, more resilient. My wife, she had problems, hardships. She couldn’t handle life, had a lot of depression issues. She tried to kill herself once, only to get rushed to the hospital where then, was when we found out she was pregnant. She claimed she wanted to get better for the sake of the baby and me. But I think having a baby, would have made things harder for her. When I found her, dead in a pool of blood, all I felt was guilt; guilt for not believing that the baby would be a good change instead of a negative one.” I am stark still. I can’t breathe. “I wanted him, Mag, I did. I just didn’t think she was ready for him. I think the men who killed her are the same responsible for my father’s disappearance.”

“Oh.” Is all I can manage.

“Maggie, my family, we are wonderful, loving, sweet, fun, amazing people. We are well-known around Belfast and not in a good way. There are some rumors.” He sighs before completing the next part. “Rumor’s that my family is involved in the IRA.”

“Oh.” “Yes Ma’am. Oh.” “Are they true?” I blink, at least I try. “True?” He asks. “The rumors.” I say, blatantly.  “The less you know the better about rumors.” End of. I change directions. “Your mom? Was she a product of, the, well, um…”

“Irish Mafia? No. She had ovarian cancer. Stage 4. She died in her bed.”

“Shit.” I mumble. Shaking my head in disbelief after all this man has been through. “I’m sorry about your mom. About everything.” I don’t know what else to say. I feel even though, wierded out by some of his admissions, that he deserves to be happy. I deserve to be happy.

He squeezes my hand harder. “No. My life has brought me here. I’m wealthy, successful, and I’m good at what I do. I have control, as much as I can possibly have. It’s the only thing that keeps me going. It was anyway, until I saw you.” “Why?” I mumble. “Why wait so long to come to me?”

“I resisted for many reasons. Mainly for the sake of you and your family. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to pursue you, not wanting to drag you into this life. My life. But over time, you came to be a drug. Buying your photographs kept me connected to you. To the feeling I had when I saw you. Everything felt better and I daydreamed about making love to you. You were, what you would call, my happy place. My unattainable fantasy.”

“I would hardly be unattainable any longer, now would I?” I snort.

He smiles. “No. You may be attainable my dear Mag, but you are still my fantasy.” He continues. “What I had with my wife was great. But it was hard. She was sick and I spent years trying to help her, to save her. When she tried to take her own life I knew. I knew I had failed her.”

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