NaNoWriMo – Day 16

One of the most fun aspects of National Novel Writing Month is you don’t do it alone. The instigators of NaNoWriMo encourage writers to meet during the month of November and write together in libraries and coffee shops and book stores, both to have the camaraderie and to showcase the fact you’re writers, writing.

The country is divided into regions, and my region, Shenandoah Valley Wrimos, is quite active. We’ve had some great on-line write-ins, but the best was today’s face-to-face meet-up at Panera in Harrisonburg, VA. Fellow Shenandoah Valley Wrimos Allison Garcia, Rebekah Postupak, Susan Warren Utley, Margaret Locke, and myself did word sprints (there were prizes), had some great food, and talked writing, writing, and more writing. I only got around 700 words done, but the company made the event.

Back home, I added around 2,900 more words for today’s total of 3,630 and one more chapter written and finished–Chapter 28, The Bad Guy. Here’s an excerpt–and a warning here, for it refers to someone planning a rape and murder.

Burkholder threaded his way amid the makeshift tent city, his boots quiet in the sand. When he reached the tent he wanted, he saw the light still on inside. He took up a spot where he could watch without being seen or challenged by any patrol. Even if he were, his ID and passes were in order. He was one of the construction workers, and he couldn’t sleep, just going for a walk. 

Burkholder had been a sniper first in Delta Force, then discovered he liked close quarter killing better. There was something incredibly powerful about being able to look someone in the eye when you took his or her life. The eyes reflected such a panoply of emotions at that moment—denial, fear, bargaining, anger, acceptance, almost as if in those scant nanoseconds the victims went through all the stages of grief for the life Burkholder would end. Unlike some of his colleagues in Delta and now in Security Solutions, he had no qualms about the killing of women. Women were the best, the way they struggled, the way they seemed to offer him their bodies in exchange for their lives. He would take their lives and their bodies, too, sometimes as they were dying, sometimes after.

With Fisher, he wanted her alive when he had her, wanted her to feel her failure intensely as she died, his hands around her throat, his penis in her. He wished he had the time to tie and gag her, to make the rape last a while, but he’d have to be satisfied with a brief intensity, which could be just as satisfying in its own way. Too bad, too, he couldn’t have the light on to see her eyes, to see her realize she’d been conquered. For him, that was a powerful aphrodisiac, better than Viagra.

Her silhouette showed him she sat on her cot, writing—her report, no doubt on Dostun’s prisoners—but he could have infinite patience. He wouldn’t smoke, so there’d be no evidence with his DNA on it. His boots were like thousands of others in the immediate area, and he was careful not to touch anything. He saw the light go out and still he waited, for her to sleep deeply and soundly.

Some five hours after his satellite phone conversation with the Vice President, Burkholder tugged on a pair of leather gloves. Most of official Washington, DC, would be finding its way home through rush hour, but just after midnight here in Kabul, he looked forward to a different kind of rush.

(c)2013 by Phyllis Anne Duncan