A few years ago I began working on a story. I wrote about 20K words, but I haven't spent any time on it in quite a while. I really think I need to blow off the digital dust and begin working on it. Here's a portion of the first chapter. It's pretty raw, but I'd love to hear what you think about it. Enjoy!
Malcolm Day Morris, A Portion...
Betts welcomed the sun. It made her realize she was running too fast. The thoughts of William caused her lose control and push herself beyond her normal running pace, something she did not like doing. As the sound of the train disappeared into the east, an uneasy silence replaced the mechanical noise from the diesel engines and semi-empty train cars rumbling over the tracks. Betts instantly looked around, certain of another’s presence though none could be seen. Many of her friends and her brother on more than one occasion, counseled Betts to stop running alone so early in the morning. They cited statistics of single women being killed or worse in the greater Washington D.C. area and were obviously concerned for her safety. Truth be told, her brother was more interested in avoiding bad family PR if a member of the clan were to become a victim of a grizzly death. The thought of an unfortunate accident crossed Betts’s mind more than once, but her love of this place allowed her to dismiss these fears.
Except at times like these. In the past year of running on this trail something brought these fears to Betts’s mind. A car horn, or another runner passing the other way sparked a nervousness inside. But on this morning, things were different. There wasn’t fear in the air, but something else, something urgent...there was a need for action.
The tears in Betts’s eye stopped flowing as her iris focused to the morning sun. She looked around, first behind, then ahead on the path. She saw nothing. The silence continued. Strange...Betts thought, for the George Washington, the road she drove not 20 minutes earlier, lay just beyond the trees and she heard nothing, no cars, trucks, nothing. It was so quiet, so quiet that Betts actually heard the river as it bubbled by. Once again Betts looked at the water, the brightness of the sun now reflecting more light than before.
At first, and as she told a precious few of the incident after, Betts thought she saw something in the water, something floating atop the golden surface. When she looked again it disappeared in the sunlight. However, a moment passed and the object re-appeared.
Betts left the path and approached the water’s edge. What she saw caused her to laugh. Someone’s picnic basket had somehow become waterborne and was floating down the Potomac River.
The scene fascinated Betts and her critical, inquisitive mind sprang to action. How in the world did this basket end up here? Who would be having a picnic in this weather, she thought. Spring and picnic weather had not yet come to the eastern seaboard. Very strange, indeed…
The large basket look unused, new, the lacquer wooden interweaving slats still held a sheen that glistened in the morning sun. Betts began walking the direction in which she had just come, keeping pace with the small craft, letting her mind try to answer the questions the basket presented.
Quietly, the silence of Betts’s world ended. The sound she heard was soft, barely audible to the Washington socialite, so soft, in fact, Betts wondered if she heard anything at all. The sound came again, this time louder and more distinct, loud enough to let Betts know from where the sound came. The ramifications of the sound struck Betts with a sense of dreadfulness and terror that almost paralyzed her. Betts heard the sound of a baby crying and it came from the basket on the water.
*Picture used without permission from: http://www.dchamberlinarchitect.com/page-travel-us-washington%20dc.htm