(1) Novel X… Begins Here
Am experimenting with a lazy yet paradoxically disciplined way of writing a novel… by writing snippets weekly. It’s lazy because it doesn’t even have a title yet and I can write as long as I wish for each part. It requires discipline because I’ll have to keep up with it. It is as mysterious for me as it is for you because I’m not sure where it will lead! However, I will make sure that it is worth the ride, as much for me the writer and you the reader. Your comments on your hopes and expectations are welcomed too, to inspire shaping of the story. Here begins the first instalment…
Novel X: Chapter 1: Crossroads
Zeph woke up semi-sober and half-slumped over the bench. Out of habit, he felt his left trouser pocket for his phone to check the time. To his aghast, it wasn’t there, that one device that he is scarcely away from. Maybe he was pickpocketed or robbed in his confused state earlier? The problem was he couldn’t recall how he got there in the first place. Did his friends dump him there after spiking his drink as a practical joke?
‘Pretty funny’, he thought, because no phone means no sense of time or space, no GPS or way to enquire for directions. He squinted his defocused eyes to look around for signs of the pranksters, almost expecting them to spring out from some bushes with yells of ‘Gotcha now, sucker!’ But there was no one around. The moon was barely visible, set against a deep bluish sky. He wasn’t sure if it was dawn or dusk.
Suddenly, things didn’t even seem potentially funny any more. He struggled to get on his feet to make sense of it all. He was sitting on a bus-stop bench. It wasn’t a typical one. Looks makeshift. Somewhat antiquated, while on the brink of being modern. Or it could be one of those neo-classic designs. It still resembled a bus-stop bench though, because it was there at the cross-junction of straight double-lane roads which he could see no end to.
It’s just random-looking trees beside the roads with no signs of civilisation or even litter, other than the roads and bench looking deliberate. Doesn’t look like some walk in a park. Then again, where he was needn’t be a bus-stop, as there wasn’t a bus sign. ‘This is it!’, he thought, with a lingering tinge of fear alternating with excitement. There is such a place, after all, right in the middle of nowhere – at least, so it seems. The line ‘I love the feeling of being slightly lost’ from Saint Etienne’s song ‘Finisterre’ came to mind. He wasn’t sure he was loving it though, because he wasn’t sure if he was only ‘slightly lost’.
Stay tuned for what happens next… Will he walk away, or wait for a bus?