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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"I swear, she exists"--(Adult upmarket literary thriller WIP, first words)

No one ever said I was too fat to be a secret agent, but I know they've thought it before. "You're rounding out a little, Jordan," they say, or "you've really filled out since I saw you last, Jordan"--"what do you do for your health?"  

Now, as I squeeze my hips through the airport's ventilation shafts, I'm tempted to agree with them.

Only tempted--I pause my wriggling to huff through my teeth into the handkerchief tied around my face. I'm not winded; I'm trying not to get dust under my hanky. Dust makes my nostrils berserk. 

The last thing I need right now is a sneeze.

I slide forward again, scraping my waist against the sharp metal joints. Dear God, To Whom It May Concern, just keep my pants from catching on something. I can't think of anything much worse than jumping into combat without pants.

Well, that rat's nest up ahead is pretty terrifying. I extend my knife, clutching my flashlight closer against my breast. I can feel my heart-beat against my hand--that scene in 1984 gives me visions of rabid rats eating my face off. Right now I'm a slow giant peg bound on all sides by tight metal squares; it's home field advantage for the rodent. 
Please let there be no one home, please please--

No such luck.

It hisses, crouched down stiff like a feline under its pile of junk. Its naked tail stands straight out; it reeks of rotten meat and piss from airport bathroom stalls. Red eyes and white teeth shimmer under my flashlight.

"Shoo!" I hiss. I'm squirming like a beached whale to get my flashlight-hand covering my face. I inch forward. He doesn't give ground.

I slam the flashlight at him; he lunges for my wrist. 

The knife squicks into his spine just behind his head. He doesn't even thrash.

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