Inspired by a new writing acquaintance, I’m uploading the first chapter of my NaNoWriMo novel. I’m planning to leave the work to brew by itself over December, then come back for editing in the new year. So here it is, warts and all!
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry – Colosians 3:5
Giggling girls ran by in a group, some wearing cat’s ears, some in leggins with bunny tails attached, bouncing like tennis balls perched on their bums. These weren’t right. Couples passed by, holding hands, laughing. No.
xxxxTo his left, a girl jumped from behind a screen, shouting and flailing her arms.
xxxx‘Boo!’ The boy jumped, turned, frowning, then his face broke into a smile.
xxxx‘I was wondering where you’d gone,’ he heard the boy say. He put his arm around the girl and they walked off, towards the Fright House, where they joined the queue, arm in arm.
xxxxA girl walked in front, blocking his vision. She was tall, dark, with long hair parted in the middle and a pair of devil horns on her head. She was perfect.
xxxx‘Oh, c’mon please!’ she called to a group of teenagers stood close by.
xxxxShe waved to her friends, tugged at them and pouted but they were unwilling to follow her. One girl shook her head, clutched the hand of the girl next to her and turned away.
xxxxThe dark girl with the horns rolled her eyes, then flounced away, to stand behind the young couple in line for the Freight House.
xxxxHe moved to stand behind her, close enough to smell her perfume – rose and vanilla – but not too close. Never too close.
xxxxThe devil’s horns glittered before his eyes, red and vibrant, as they entered the dark tunnel.
‘C’mon, c’mon,’ Daisy was saying, dragging Elissa by the hand and pulling her through the crowd.
xxxx‘Hold on,’ her mother said, trying to keep the glove from slipping off her hand as her daughter tugged them towards the ghost train. ‘You need to finish your toffee apple first anyway.’ Elissa scowled, but she was laughing at the sticky mess around Daisy’s lips, the tiny glass-like shards of toffee covering her chin and falling into her scarf.
xxxx‘I’m nearly done, c’mon, let’s get in the queue!’
xxxxElissa allowed herself to be guided through the throng of people towards the long line for a ghost train that lasted no more than 20 seconds.
xxxxWhile they waited, they watched the ferris wheel take nervous children up and around.
xxxx‘I bet they get a great view up there, Mum. You could see the whole farm!’
xxxx‘Probably, but I’m not so sure I like the looks of those rickety old bolts,’ Elissa said.
xxxx‘Ugh, whatever Mum.’ They edged closer to the front of the queue, shuffling in the damp grass.
xxxx‘Don’t you whatever Mum me, Daisy Olivia,’ Elissa began, but Daisy was already dragging her welly-clad feet forward, her face lit up by the green light of the ghost train.
xxxxThe whole place smelled of mulled wine, cinnamon and candy floss. It was dark and there was a definite nip in the air that promised winter was well on its way. Elissa pulled her coat tighter around her shouldered, then bent to fuss with Daisy’s, straightening it out and tightening her scarf around the small neck.
xxxx‘Ugh, Mum, you’re strangling me!’ she protested, emitting exaggerated coughing, spluttering nosies. Elissa chuckled to herself, then ruffled her daughter’s hair as they drew nearer to the front of the queue.
xxxx‘You’re up,’ a man said, smiling at Daisy as they climbed in to the front carriage. Elissa paid him and buckled herself in, checking Daisy’s belt first.
xxxx‘Here we go!’ the girl squealed excitedly. Elissa squeezed her daughter’s hand, enveloping the small gloved bundle.
xxxxThe carriage jolted forward, then began its journey. Daisy was giggling as the car hit the dark doors, parting them and extending an invite into the haunted house built for children. The walls were painted with glow-in-the-dark cartoon spiders, ghosts and witches. The cart moved slowly around the corner, and a spider sprung from the ceiling, startling Elissa, who jumped. Daisy screamed and clutched at her mother, then let go and started laughing hysterically.
xxxxThe ride finished with a plummet through smoke, which stuck in Elissa’s throat and made her cough. A loud ‘barp,’ like a car horn, sounded as they came to a halt, again in front of the man who had smiled at Daisy and taken the money.
xxxx‘Thank you,’ Elissa said, as he held out his hand to help her step out of the cart. She turned to help Daisy, but the man was already lifting her with ease. He set her down on the grass and ruffled her hair, which she frowned at.
xxxx‘Enjoy your night, little one,’ he winked.