Best ever inbox today, but for now I'll keep that to myself... !
Meanwhile, still editing the ms. into past tense, just came across the following passage. Must have done it late at night, because I only half remember writing it:
"I pulled down the red leather box and rinsed my shoulder with rubbing alcohol. The stinging went deep, all the way into the bones of my arms. Finally, I slid my shoulder under the tap. The cold faucet pressed uncomfortably into my skin as the water dredged icily through the ragged marks, carrying threads of blood down the sides of my arm.
There had always been a portion of me that loved pain. Pain was shelter. It focused my mind, bringing me clarity; a quiet that tilted through me like ice. Pain was my drug, and I watched myself now, waiting for the old feeling in me to rise up and take its taste. But the rush never came. I was numb.
I greased the cuts with long snail trails of Neosporin, and then, walking back to bed, I saw the frostwork of old scars on my thighs peeking up curiously at me from beneath the hem of my sleep-shirt. Who was I becoming?"
Dark & lovely, that's how I like it.
P.Z. West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is a Library Journal Self-e Selection, winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
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