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Teaser for you
The Case of Billy B.
Well, you get movie trailers, so I thought I'd give a book teaser, the first three chapters of the first draft. Comments and critique are welcome, as after all, this is just a draft.
The Case of Billy B. By Cindy Vine
Louis MacNeice - Prayer before Birth
I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me.
I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.
I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.
I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
my life when they murder by means of my
hands, my death when they live me.
I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.
I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God
come near me.
I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
one face, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my entirety, would
blow me like thistledown hither and
thither or hither and thither
like water held in the
hands would spill me.
Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
Otherwise kill me.
Chapter 1 - Billy
Darkness. No light filtering in, just a heavy blackness so that you have to feel your way around. Nothing to do, just closed up in this confined space. It smells kind of musty. The noise is continuous. Whoever said it was silent in the dark? It’s like some sort of sound chamber where you can test out different music systems and check for the sound quality. The noises and sounds come from all over, penetrating my thoughts, preventing me from sleep. Ticks, beats, gurgles, wooshing. Life in surround sound.
And then I hear it, the noise I dread the most. Arguing, shouting, fighting. Muffled sounds still loud enough to enter my space and invade my ears. I am protected in my sound chamber. I know that I am safe, but still I feel my heart beats faster as the muffled sounds escalate outside my sanctum. My muscles tense, I am ready to hit back and defend myself if attacked.
Footsteps, I hear a door slam and a car start up in the drive. My world is shaken as the sobbing starts. I wish I could offer some comfort, but I don’t know how, trapped as I am in this dark cave of mine. I reach out, but I can't touch them. There is a barrier keeping me locked in my space. Pulling on the cord will not release me. I have tried that before. A momentary feeling of panic before I brace myself for what I know is going to come. I close my eyes and push my feet against the wall to stop myself from being thrown around my chamber, as the punches start.
Chapter 2 - Carly
“Why? Why? Why?” Carly shouts as she punches her swollen belly. “Why did I fall pregnant?” Carly turns sideways and looks at herself in the hall mirror. “My figure, gone! Friggin gone!” Carly gives her rounded belly another punch before collapsing to the ground in a heap.
There’s nothing she can do. The baby was planned. It’s not like it was an accident or something. They met at a twenty first-birthday party and didn’t wait long before slipping away from the rest of the party and heading off into the bushes. Sex, should have just stayed as sex, but no, she had to go the whole hog and get married. Luckily, the bastard was away most of the time, fighting for God and America and who knows who else. She could continue stripping, making extra cash, no worries. Then he came back from Kuwait and wanted a baby.
Carly wiped her tear-streaked face on the sleeve of her over-sized sweatshirt. She could have said no. She should have said no. She should have told him about the others. Hell, life as an army bride was lonely. She was too young to be alone. But, now he was back, and she was pregnant. He expected her to be a one-man woman. But the excitement, the mad adrenalin rush when you slept with another man in your husband’s bed, was too mind-blowingly awesome to ever stop. And now, some of her regular lovers were put off by the pregnancy. “Damn!” she punched her belly one last time before getting up to her feet and walking across the hall to the little bathroom where she washed the tears off her face.
“Maybe I must just stop with the others until this thing is out,” mumbled Carly subconsciously running her fingers through her hair as she stared at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. She noticed that her face seemed to be getting rounder, and there was just the slightest hint of a double-chin appearing. “He wants this damn thing, he can have it, then I can have my life back again. That’s all I am, a fucking incubator!” Carly turned around when she heard the front door slam. Obviously, he had only driven to the bottom of the driveway and then back again. Carly sighed. It was always like this. Every day there was a row about something. Her drinking alcohol when pregnant, her flirting with his friends, her not bothering to cook for him, the house always being a mess, when she thought about it, the list was endless. The marriage was obviously not going the way he had planned either. "Well tough, it's not like I'm having a fun time either!" Carly washed her tear-streaked face and took one last look at herself in the mirror. "Hmm, must I meet you with my sad depressed face, my fake smile or my 'I don't give a fuck about you or what you think' face?"
“Carly! Carly!” Chris called frantically as he bumped into the side table next to the front door, “I’m sorry I shouted and got so mad. I just want us to be a family. I know you didn’t cheat on me. Jeez, I’m just a jealous bastard. I’m sorry, okay?” Chris held out his arms for Carly as she stood in the doorway of the bathroom. She didn't walk over to him straight away, decided to make him sweat a little bit. Carly folded her arms across her breasts and tried to look nonchalant. Her heart was beating so hard when she saw the agonised look of pain on Chris's face. He always made her feel guilty with that look.
Carly walked over to Chris, a tight smile on her face, and lay her head on his strong chest. If only you knew, she thought to herself, feeling Chris go hard as she rubbed herself against him. Men are just so predictable. An accidental feel in the groin area, and they forget what they were arguing about. Sex is quite a useful tool, Carly gave a grim little smile. She'd learnt all the different ways that sex could be used to get what you want. It could be used as a distraction, for revenge, for power, to allay guilt and to persuade someone to give you something that you want. Of course, sex could be for enjoyment as well. Some say it's all to do with love. Carly didn't believe that for a minute. Then there was sex for procreation purposes. Carly unfolded her arms and rubbed her belly.
“Are you sure if we have sex now, we won’t hurt the baby?” Chris whispered in Carly’s ear, as if he was afraid the baby might hear his question.
“Maybe we shouldn’t,” whispered Carly back, thinking that she hadn’t had time to shower yet after an early morning visit from the marine next door when Chris was at the gym working out. “I read somewhere that if we have sex this far into the pregnancy, the baby will get brain damage. Something about the penis pressing against the baby’s soft skull or something.” Carly smirked, pleased with her creative lie. She quickly wiped the smirk off her face when she saw a flicker of disappointment quickly replaced with a smile of understanding from Chris.
“It’s okay, Carly,” said Chris. “I’ll just take a cold shower. Friends? Do you forgive me?” He stared at Carly for a minute, waiting to see whether or not she’d changed her mind. But Carly was already heading into the kitchen to get herself a beer from the fridge. The cold liquid would be sure to cure all woes, and make her feel better for conning Chris again. God, he was so bloody gullible, and so eager to please. Pathetic really, thought Carly as she held the cold beer can against her cheek.
“You shouldn’t be drinking alcohol. It’s not good for the baby,” muttered Chris over his shoulder as he headed off to the shower.
Carly opened her beer and gave the finger to Chris’s retreating back. “Frigging righteous bastard,” she sneered as Chris shut the bathroom door behind him. “Who died and made him God? Just because he helped make a baby doesn’t give him the right to control my life. Bastard.” Carly took a sip of the beer and enjoyed the cool sensation of the golden brown liquid going down her throat. The truth was, she was tired of being married, tired of being an army wife and tired of being pregnant. “When this thing is out, I’m gone,” she muttered taking a noisy slurp from the bottle of beer.
Chapter 3 - Chris
Okay, I'm shallow. I am attracted to girls with long slim legs, big breasts and who are stunningly attractive. I'm not going to say that it's the eyes, the lovely smile or the award-winning personality that does it for me. For me, it's always been the outside package. Man, I just want all the other guys to be jealous and look up to me and see what I've got that they haven't got. I was the one good enough to score such a hot-looking chick. Out of all the available men at that wedding, and believe you me there were a lot, Carly chose me. It was a military wedding so there were squadrons of good-looking fresh-faced young guys walking around with their bottles of beer getting slowly plastered. A walking man-menu for a delectable female to choose from. Granted, I do work out and I do believe that I am not too shabby myself. You might think that I'm full of myself, but I am just stating the facts. There were not many women at the wedding, not many hot ones at all, and Carly - well, she stood out from the rest. I think I fell in love the minute she caught my eye and smiled and flicked her long hair over her shoulder. I knew then, at that moment, that Carly was The One.
I think I started to feel myself start getting a hard on while I was just walking towards her, before any words had even been exchanged. I knew that I wanted her more than anything. And when she did speak, the tone and timbre of her voice twisted my heart in knots. God, she was so sexy. I knew for sure, that I would love her and she'd cause me pain, but I still wanted her, if that makes any sense. It was like, I had no control of myself, and I can't remember much else about that wedding. I introduced myself, she said her name was Caroline but everybody called her Carly. She made the flowers in the garden seem more beautiful, the sun shine brighter and the sky appear bluer. Talking to Carly helped me blot out the harsh realities of life as a professional soldier. We flirted. We laughed. We went behind some bushes and coupled madly like rutting dogs. It was great. I wanted to get married before my next posting. All my friends were getting married and I didn't want to be left behind. It just seemed the right thing to do at the time and I wanted to make sure that Carly belonged to me. I saw the way the other guys looked at her, and I knew that when I went away again, she'll have been snapped up by somebody else.
We got married and life was good. We made the decision to have a baby and start a family. Then I got posted to Panama and I sensed that things had changed between us. I'm not sure if she was bored without me, but sometimes I didn't hear from her for days. I was stuck in Panama and completely helpless as there was no way I could get hold of her. You know how you panic and expect the worst? Well, I imagined she'd been murdered by an intruder and was lying in a pile of dry blood slowly decomposing while I was on deployment in Panama. Eventually, I managed to contact her friend who told me that Carly had gone away for a weekend with another friend. God, why doesn't she let me know these things.
I can feel myself becoming more and more paranoid. Who is her other friend? Why doesn't she let me know where she is and where she's going? What is she hiding from me? When I speak to her on the phone I try and analyse every little nuance, any little clue that she might be up to no good. God, I am becoming so supicious, I hate myself for that. But, I love Carly and I'm so looking forward to becoming a dad. You hear all these horror stories about miscarriages and I'm terrified she'll lose the baby. I just wish that she'd stop drinking, be more careful and be a little more excited about the pregnancy. This is the worst part of being deployed. You have no control over your loved ones back home. So even though you're married and have friends, the anxiety makes you feel as if you are the loneliest person in the world.