I’m going to do something I rarely do today which is to drop a chunk of the current unfinished book here onto the blog. I’m finding it odd to write with zero feedback, something I’ve never really done. I tend to write in sections and I used to send those sections out to readers as I went. The whole 26 Stories thing sort of cured me of that but I still find myself wanting to drop the occasional scene onto friends and I figured why not do it for my internet friends as well?
So the following passage is part of Kyo’s workout routine. The notion that Kyo was going to sit around being just a normal tester seemed utterly preposterous and out of character to me. And, sure enough, when I checked in on him at the start of the book it turns out he hadn’t been idle. The guy doesn’t particularly like the idea of not being able to fight back. This snippet doesn’t exactly explain the extent of things but it’s a fun little scene and we get some Matthew as well.
Please note: THIS IS NOT EDITED. Partly because I never edit my fiction as I go and partly because I always enjoy sharing with fellow writers out there how my particular method works, and a good way to do that is to show your rough drafts. So this is straight from my fingertips, typos and all:
Kyo was standing in the midmorning sun, his shirt off, a thick layer of medical tape wrapped around his torso. Looped over the tape and his chest was a rope which stretched out behind him. The other end of the rope was cleated to the aft of a small motorboat. Under his feet was the deep blue of the Indian Ocean five-hundred miles off the western coast of Australia.
The radio on the boat was on, blasting out some peppy music as the current struggled to drag the boat westward against Kyo, whose feet were dug into the water like it was a plot of damp earth, his whole body trembling, flexed and sweating as he struggled to maintain the boat in a fixed position while the current fought to yank it towards the western horizon.
A repetitive beeping noise sounded amidst the wind ripping over the water and the music blaring from the boat and Kyo took a deep breath, then hooked his hands under the rope and pulled it off his chest, carefully pulling it up over his head and turning around. He pulled the boat towards him with steady arm over arm motions, the current causing the rear standing deck of the boat to churn crazily against the water.
When the boat was close enough Kyo climbed on board, located his watch, the source of the beeping, shut it off and took a quick breather sitting on one of the plasti-leather seats as he dug a bottle of water out of a side pocket.
There was another bleeping noise and Kyo turned to see his phone vibrating along the top of the dashboard. He rolled his neck on his shoulders, eyes closed, mouth open as he continued breathing deeply, and reached a hand out to grab it. He looked at the number, his face composing in thought while his chest continued to breath heavily. After a good thirty seconds of thought he seemed to come to a decision in his mind, flipped the phone open, typed out a text message, then tossed it back onto the dashboard.
He took another drink of water, the thin plastic bottle crinkling as his hand squeezed it gently.
“Kyo,” he heard a familiar voice say, “I-what the–” the voice tried to shout before it was cut off in a loud splash.
Kyo shook his head, his face amazed and amused. “Fucking moron,” he said to himself, then stood up and walked over to the edge of the boat, hooked a heel against one of the seat, leaned way over and grabbed Matthew up out of the water.
“Where the hell are we!” Matthew shouted spitting out sea water as Kyo dropped him into the boat.
“Do you even look at someone’s number before you go visit them?” Kyo asked, disappearing into the little hold and coming back out with a towel. He tossed it at Matthew.
“Not really, no,” Matthew said, catching the towel, he was applying it vigorously to one drenched arm of his tuxedo jacket when he stopped. He deliberated, then took the towel off his arm, his head bobbing as if to psyche himself up. “No,” he said, and tossed the towel back in Kyo’s direction. “No…I have no body…I have no body…” he started repeating this to himself over and over again staring with concentration at his sleeve.
Kyo watched, eyebrows raised in sardonic anticipation.
The cuff of Matthew’s jacket began to dry off, the fabric no longer clinging and heavy against his skin, a marked difference from the rest of his suit. He pursed his lips, his eyes screwing up in awkward forced concentration before he collapsed inwardly and swore. “Just give me the towel,” he said, reaching a hand out, his face refusing to look over at Kyo’s.
Kyo tossed the towel back. “You’re over thinking it,” he said, then took another drink of water and went back into the hold.
“Kyo,” Matthew said, toweling himself off as best he could, “what are you doing out here?”
“Working out,” Kyo said, coming up out of the hold with a massively thick length of chain in each hand.
Matthew stared at Kyo, his face frozen unable to figure out how to react to what he was seeing. The song on the radio ended. Another song started. Matthew turned towards one of the speakers, an unbelieving little grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. “And…you work out while listening to Avril Lavigne?”
“It’s a mix,” Kyo said, voice gravelly, chains thunking metallic across the thinly carpeted floor as he walked past Matthew.