Sunday, May 23, 2010

H/H is in mortal danger: describing fear

My heroine Erin has just facilitated a mediation where Quintos lost his chance at a million dollar settlement. He wants revenge.
Have I shown (adequately) her fear in this scene?

Erin walked around the church toward her car.
Up ahead someone started an old, blue pickup with round, yellowed headlights. The vehicle approached, and she stepped closer to the church building to allow it to pass. It swerved and blocked her path. The door opened and a bottle crashed onto the uneven pavement.
She reached in her pocket for her car key and gripped it between her knuckles.
“Don’t you know there is no salvation for a woman like you?”
He shuffled forward until he was even with the hood of his truck. “Si, Erin Foster. I have watched how you strut around. I ask SeƱor Professor after the play if he thought you could be a role mother to my Belinita. If at your age you would like a big man like me.” He thumped his chest and swayed on his feet. “But now I think you are not worth the same as dirt. You ruined her chances for a good life.”
“That’s not true. Belina has a host of opportunities. Other girls have…”
“No! She is ruined, and you showed no respect. In my country, such an insult must be avenged.” He hopped back in with surprising nimbleness, revved the engine, and flipped on a second, blinding pair of lights. The truck rolled forward and bumped her. “Run, puta,” he shouted. “Run or you will die.”
She spun around and ran, faster and faster, stealing glances over her shoulder to see how close he was coming, straining to see the back corner of the building.
Laughing like a mad hyena, he bumped her again.
She stumbled. Her precious envelope slipped out of her hands. She regained her footing and rounded the building. Sprinted for the rectory gate, trying to remember if she’d pulled it shut. If the latch locked.
With both hands, she shook the gate. Prayed it would open.
He gunned the engine.
If she screamed, no one could save her.
The churchyard! She peered frantically into the dark. Started to set up the correct footing to hurdle the shoulder-high fence.
Quintos slammed into her.
She flew through the air, and stretched out her arms to break her fall. The bones in her wrists shattered a split-second before her head smashed into the jagged asphalt. The truck ran over her and crashed into the fence, shattering glass and crushing metal.
Quintos opened his door and leaned out. “I got you. I got you good.” Grinding gears, he spun tires in reverse until the truck wrenched free.
She choked on smoking rubber as he sped off into the night.
Blood pooled around her face, then flowed like lava toward the twisted spires of the fence. She hugged the blacktop for it scant warmth, willing her mind to disengage from her broken body.
Off in the distance, several dogs barked fitfully.
She’d always believed her dying wish would be to go to heaven. She was surprised she longed to kiss Per one more time.


  1. Wow, Ana!

    Fabulous excerpt. You have my heart pounding.

    Exellent job. I was right there in the scene.

  2. Good job, Ana. Very intense!!

  3. Great scene, and yes, you definitely showed the fear. Well done!