I thought I’d share a passage from Dreaming Wide Awake. Poor Gus Chase is dreaming again…
She places the apples into the plastic bag. Her smile is white, and straight. Healthy teeth. She’s a happy girl. He notes the little curl of hair as it rounds her ears, her delicate hands and slender fingers, as she rings-up the goods. He is thinking, Not at all like the digits of an athlete. Not at all rough, as you might expect. He smiles and they lock eyes. When she touches her nose, he takes hold of her wrist and twists it violently to the left, pulling her close. Her eyes widen. Her pupils explode in gaps of fear. His skin tingles from her smell, forever linking that scent with her contorted expression. He feels her warm breath on his face and involuntarily closes his eyes and he takes her in; frozen memories of sharp images locked forever in the soft part of his brain. Clutching tight the blade, he neatly slits her throat. He lets go and she grabs the wound with both hands, but can do nothing to stop the bleeding. He takes a step back to observe his masterpiece. Her head falls sideways onto her shoulder, her perfect teeth clutched in grimace, the gaping wound spurting a fountain of red.
I’m next at the checkout. The girl looms helplessly in front of me, her wound spraying blood onto my face and hands. I cover my head with my shopping bag, but my face is bathed in blood, welling in my eyes. Through a lens of deep red she dances like a cut chicken, grabbing my collar and pulling me close, her head dangling loosely, the wound gurgling. Slowly it moves into the shape of a mouth, aspirating breath and blood as it tries to form words, her mouth-wound, widening and closing, like a gaping fish’s mouth when pulled from the deep. But she can make no sound.