As some of you may know, I took part in a little challenge a little while back. It was my own personal NaNoWriMo. I wanted to write a novel (loosely defined) in a month. And I kind of did. It’s almost finished and on the verge of being sent to one of my harshest critics. So here’s an excerpt from ‘title pending’. Feedback encouraged, please be kind!
Ray glared up at the grey plaster ceiling. That irritating ray of morning sun had once again come in through the gap at the top of the curtains to shine in his eyes. He could have been in any cheap guest house anywhere in the world but this one was the one he’d chosen year after year. He scrunched his eyes closed. He hated the spider web cracks on the ceiling, he had spent so long staring at them that he could trace their paths without looking. He was frustrated, restless, bored and lonely. It was debilitating in a slow, quiet way. He tried not to think about it but this restless, angry energy was the only thing that got him out of bed each morning. He’d rise from the same bed, in the same room, he reserved at the same time every year. His knees creaked as his stood up. He grabbed his grey slacks from a pile of clothes on the floor and rooted around in a drawer for his brown, wool jumper. He shuffled to the window, the air had a chilly bite to it but Ray pulled it open anyway. The light streamed in, the street below was already bustling, and the lake, as ever, was calm and pensive. He went to the bathroom and splashed water on his face, avoiding his gaze in the mirror. Morning ritual complete, he left his room and went down the hallway to the balcony. As always, Mya was waiting with his tea. “Good morning, Mr Ray.” She could set her watch to his arrival. 7.30am. Ray was usually a coffee man, but here it was always tea. He hated the taste of the 3-in-1 coffee Mya served up to the other guests. It tasted like soap. He sipped his tea from the chipped cup and looked down on to the street below. The market would be in full swing already, it was just the late-comers rushing down to the canal now. Ray and his thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of some young German girls. Brushing sleep out of their eyes, they slumped at a table next to the railing. Always attentive, Mya bustled over to learn their drink of choice. Ray was not in the mood for Europeans. He found them inscrutable and exhausting. These two were no different by the looks of it. The girls perked up over 3-in-1 and nattered away. One was seemingly taking inventory of what was in her day pack. “You hire bicycle today?” Mya asked them, simultaneously delivering their toast and confirming Ray’ suspicions. It was in the guidebook, you see. “In TripAdvisor we trust,” Ray thought to himself, accepting his own toast.