As per usual, I’ve been struck with inspiration for a new novel at a time when I have a plate that’s already filled to overflowing. I’ve made some notes and will probably steal an hour here and there wherever possible to keep working on it in the months to come. It’s a crime drama, something I’ve never attempted before, but who can argue with the muse? Here’s the opening scene.
The tableau of the dead girl lying on her side in the bed of the truck was beautiful.
Loosely curled into a fetal position, her head resting on her backpack and her glorious, sable mane fanned out behind her on the irregular oval of dark red that could just as easily have been a satin sheet as blood, the girl bore a countenance of peaceful, contented sleep. The clear, pale skin of her face took on a translucence in the dawning light, and a silvery film of mist clung to the cardigan and skirt of her immaculate school uniform. Her small purse, cell phone, iPod and car keys, the totems and talismans of her life, were arrayed before her in a deliberate semicircle, and as the sun rose in earnest the shadow cast by her shoulder imbued the scene with the impression of a carefully constructed sundial. Maroon gapes ran from her wrists nearly to the inner bend of each elbow, the one on her right arm shorter and more jagged than that on her left. A box cutter lay directly in front of her abdomen, seeming to point to the 4 o’clock marker of her iPod. Her name was Lily.