Ok peeps, here is a little teaser for you. This is the very first draft of Chapter 1 of my new novel, Hell A. Keep in mind, it will be (hopefully), quite different by the time I’m ready to submit. For one, I have to figure out a better way to introduce my protag than the visual dump I have going on right now. But again, this is just a little tease for what I’m working on now. I will give you say…three chapters and then you will just have to wait until it hits the shelves before you can find out what sick and twisted things I come up with for them.
Enjoy…Hell AChapter 1
At six four, two hundred and forty pounds, Johnny Durant was a formidable man. His body was a rock, forged by years spent toiling on his farm. His dark locks surrounded a cherubic face that seemed out of place on his massive frame, a face that spent much of the last six years clouded with pain. He inherited his farm when he was just nineteen years old. His parents where killed by a drunk driver while they were driving home from a cattle auction. They were the only family he ever.
They only happiness he could find came from the company of his high school sweetheart, Jenna Brooks. She had been there to comfort him through the dark times and smile at his accomplishments. That was about to change.
“Johnny, I have to go,” Jenna sobbed as she folded another shirt and placed it in her suitcase.
“Please don’t do this, baby,” he whispered behind her. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
“Yes…it does. I can’t be here anymore.”
“But, I love you,” he insisted, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
“I love you too, but it isn’t enough,” she replied softly as she gripped his fingers.
“It has to be. If we love each other, nothing else should matter.”
“You are such an idealist, Johnny. Love only conquers all in the fairy tales.” She shook her head slowly. “This is the real world.”
“What’s worse, being an idealist or a dreamer?” Johnny glared down at her.
“What…you want to take potshots at me now?” She turned to face him, lips curled in anger.
“I’m just saying, you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth,” he replied, not letting his eyes meet hers.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“You speak of the real world and yet here you go off chasing a dream.”
“Yes, it is a dream, but it’s one I can make real. I already have a couple of gigs lined up.”
“Why do you have to go to California?” Johnny threw his hands up in exasperation as he spoke. “There are a lot of singers that have done just fine working in Oklahoma.”
“That may be true but they all live in one of the big cities. We live out here in the middle of nowhere. I could move to Tulsa or I could move to L.A.” She shrugged. “If I’m going to have to move either way, I might as well go where the better opportunities are.”
“Then let me come with you.” He caressed her face.
“Are you serious?” Her hand covered his on her cheek. “What about your farm?”
“I’ll sell it.” He shrugged. “None of this means anything, if I have no one to share it with.”
“I can’t let you do that. What happens if I don’t--?”
“Stop right there.” He placed a finger on her lips. “You said it yourself; you already have a few gigs lined up. Once people out there here your voice, it won’t take long for you to make all your dreams come true.”
“Oh, Johnny,” she sighed, turning away from him. “This place is all you have left of your parents. Please, don’t throw it away for my dreams. Hell, we aren’t even married.”
“Then let’s just put it all on the line,” he said before kneeling on one knee. “Will you marry me?”
“Now? Now you ask me to marry you?” She couldn’t help but laugh.
“I’m serious. I should have made an honest woman of you years ago.”
He watched her anxiously as she chewed on her bottom lip. It was a nervous habit and just one of the countless nuances that endeared her to him. She began to shake her head slowly, gaining momentum as her conviction mounted. She took a deep breath. As he watched her chest rise, he knew she was about to deliver her deathblow.
“It isn’t right, Johnny.” She gently urged him back to his feet. “Not like this. If you’re really willing to come with me--”
“I would follow you anywhere, baby…even Hell A. You make me whole. Without you…I’m nothing.”
“Alright, but let’s be sensible about this. It’s expensive enough for one person to get by, let alone two.”
“I still have a big chunk of my inheritance just sitting in the savings account. It should be enough to keep us afloat for months.”
“I can’t let you do that.”
“I can work--”
“Doing what? They don’t have a big need for farmers there and that’s all you know how to do.”
“I could learn to do anything, once I put my mind to it.”
“I’m sure you can. Look, give me six months to get established. After that, I should be able to support us while you learn a new trade.”
“Six months? My God, but that’s a long time, Jenna.”
“I’ll call you every day,” she said before kissing his hand. “And surely after six months I’ll have a pretty good feel for whether I’m gonna be able to make it as a singer or not.”
“And if you can’t?”
“Then you’ll be damn happy you didn’t sell your farm.” She laughed. “And we can be an old married couple watching our children grow up running through the same fields you did.”
“Would that be so bad?”
“No and even if I can launch a stellar music career, that might still be in our future.”
“You know, having a place out in the sticks like this might be the only way to have any privacy once you’re famous.”
“Does that mean you’re ok with this?” She smiled up at him.
“No,” he replied, shaking his head. “But it means I’m willing to support you in anything you want to do.”
She threw her arms around him, burying her face in his chest. He gripped her as tightly as he dared, wishing he didn’t have to let her go.
“God, I love you,” she said, slowly pulling herself from his embrace.
“I love you too.” ###
His face was stoic as he watched her taillights disappear among the trees that lined his drive. He stood there for nearly an hour, waiting, hoping, and finally praying he would hold her in his arms again soon.