Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rivers Underneath

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Set up: After Emma and Gabriel almost kiss, he becomes really distant. Feeling rejected, she agrees to go out with Patrick, even though he gives her the creeps. Gabriel finds Emma at her job to explain why he's been acting so strange and to warn her about Patrick.


Emma pushed the creaking cart of book out of the elevator and braced herself to hold it steady as it went over a bump under the threadbare carpet. Alone in the oppressive silence of the third floor, she paused to slip on her headphone.

The weak light from the overhead fixtures did little to dispel the shadows haunting the library after dusk. Most of the staff avoided the back stacks after nightfall, but Emma doggedly pushed the cart toward the last rows. She squinted, trying to read the spine of a thin volume.


She startled and knocked several books askew. “Gabe! I didn’t hear you.” She pulled off her headphones.

“Are you alright?” he asked, reaching out to steady her. His fingers wrapped around the same spot that stung from Patrick’s cold touch. Warmth spread through her body, melting the ice in her veins. She shuddered as the cold left her.

“Yeah, fine.” She stared at him.

“I’m sorry about,” he hesitated. “About everything.”

She turned away. “You don’t need to be sorry.” She moved a couple books on the cart.


The catch in his voice made her look up. His eyes caught hers and she leaned toward him. They stood alone in the darkened corner of the library, hidden among towering shelves of ancient texts on Latin and Greek.

He touched her face, a tender, cautious gesture. “You look scared,” he said.

“I am.”

“I’m so sorry.” He leaned his head against hers.

She placed her hand against his chest. The heat from his body radiated through every inch of hers. The rest of the world faded until there was nothing but the two of them, wrapped up together in an insulated, isolated moment, and she felt a dizzying need for more.

She dropped her hand and pulled away.


SwiftScribbler said...

As a librarian, I am instantly drawn to this scene--I like emma already ;-).

There were just a couple typos and a couple sentences I thought could be stronger:

1.Instead of "cart of book," I recommend the shorter "book cart". If you want to keep "cart of" then it needs to be books instead of book.

2. She paused to slip on her headphones (plural).

3. "she started" instead of "she startled." Also, in this section, you say she "knocked several books askew." Books on the shelf or books on the cart? A minor thing, but I am having difficulty picturing it. Consider putting something more specific, like "She started, shaking the cart so several books toppled over," except waaaay better :).

4. Instead of "she moved a couple books on the cart" consider something more specific "she shifted a couple" or "she straightened"--it makes it easier to picture.

I really liked it. I hope some of my comments help!

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

Oi, I am so bad a proof reading! Thanks for catching those. Glad you liked it despite my sloppiness ;)

ilima said...

I liked this scene a lot. I think a few adverbs and adjectives could be removed to make it tighter, but I can definitely feel the tension and anticipation of the characters. Good job.

Jani said...

Great job. This scene definitely sparked my curiosity so I want to know more about the situration. If you apply what the others mentioned it'll be even better. But still, well done.

S P Mount said...

I really enjoyed the descriptiveness and the exposition with the word choice and I think you managed to convey the emotion of the MCs very nicely here. Well done and good luck with it.