Another excerpt from my current WIP, Hold Me Now. This is from chapter 9, starting from about 3/4th’s into the chapter and going all the way to the end. I chose this particular excerpt because it was an especially emotional part that I personally was really proud of.
Note: this is an unedited rough draft.
Sunday afternoon Gail decided to go out and take pictures in the city. Haley was working anyway so it was the perfect time to do it. She would have just been moping around the apartment otherwise.
The quiet mechanical sounds of her camera as she took each picture gave her a sense of peace. Life was a series of fleeting moments that often flew away too fast for anyone to notice them at all. She had a chance to capture those moments, or at least pieces of them. That thought always kept her going and moving forward with her photography.
As she was walking through the city near the shopping center, a siren caught her attention and she turned to see an ambulance rushing down the street, followed by a couple of police cars. Her gaze followed the direction of the vehicles and she noticed a large crowd was gathering around. Gail quickly made her way to the crowd, wondering what was going on, though she knew it must not be anything good with that ambulance stopping there.
The crowd was huge and loud by the time she got to it, and she could barely see or hear anything of what was going on. She pushed her way through just enough to see someone being loaded into the ambulance on a stretcher. The crowd was pushed back as the ambulance drove off, and everyone sounded confused and panicked.
“She jumped,” Gail heard someone say. “All the way from up there! I can’t believe there’s even a chance she’s still alive. I doubt she’s gonna make it to the hospital.”
Gail’s heart skipped a beat when she heard them saying that. She started finding it difficult to breathe and wanted to get as far away from everyone as possible, but now they were all around her, pushing and jostling her. Her stomach was twisting and she felt like she was going to be sick.
Then the crowd moved away enough for her to see the stain on the ground that was unmistakably blood. Gail sucked in a breath and shoved her way out of the crowd as fast as she could, stumbling away before making it to the side of a building. She couldn’t breathe, and she felt like she was going to puke. Her whole body was shaking uncontrollably and she felt a cold sweat on her forehead.
“Gail. Gail! Gail, come on, get a grip, look at me!”
The voice was distant and for a moment she wasn’t even sure it was real, but then she felt hands gripping her shoulders and snapped her attention forward. Cecil was crouching over her, a worried expression on his face. She realized she was on the ground, her back against the wall of the building.
“Gail, are you alright? You look like you’re about to pass out.”
“I… I… no, I can’t…” Gail shuddered and buried her face in her hands, wanting to push Cecil away but not even able to make herself touch him. Her chest heaved out a shaky breath and all of a sudden sobs were wracking her whole body.
Cecil looked alarmed and gripped Gail’s shoulders a little tighter. “Hey, hey, it’s gonna be okay. Come on, I’m gonna take you back to your car so no one will see you like this.”
It barely registered with her when they were standing in front of her car. She wasn’t sure if he had walked them all the way there while she was unaware, or if he had somehow just transported them there in the blink of an eye. Cecil opened the back door of the car for her and helped her inside so she could lay across the back seat.
Gail shuddered and curled up tighter, unable to stop her sobbing now that it had started. Cecil wasn’t touching her anymore. She didn’t see him at all, but it didn’t matter. She was away from the street, away from the bloodstain. Away from that moment.