And what is it? I've picked five lines (passages, actually) from my work-in-progress, Drivers. (It's about a suicide-mission driver who falls in love and changes his mind about dying.) They make me laugh, smile, or cry each time I read them. (I hope they don't make y'all cry.)
So, uh, here they are, out of context and without any introduction:
“Ash.” Zephyr’s breath touches my chin, she’s that close. “Thanks for saving my life today.”
“Do you mean that?”
“I—” Her voice chokes off. Her head doesn’t move, but I feel it pulling, straining against a spider-silk strand of something between us, so fragile. Don’t break it, Zephyr.
“I mean it.”TWO
Time stops in the middle of a heartbeat. In the air between Zephyr’s hands and my feet, a perfect universe has formed to contain me. I don’t dare breathe, and scarcely dare to think for fear of screwing this up. That’s what I do with everything—screw it up. I flunk classes, scare girls away, alienate family, get fired, wreck cars, lose phones, and how am I supposed to respond to this? What’s my line, the one that will bind us together in blissful happiness at the end of this movie? I don’t know. I never know.THREE
“It’s trading one kind of pain for another. A small cut, or even a large one, is a distraction. It’s not real damage. It’s not like burning alive. No, we’re looking for quick, clean deaths, aren’t we? I’ve no doubt there are things that would make you run into a burning building, but depression isn’t one of them.”FOUR
She pulls back, still grinning. “I love you, Ash Palmer.”
“I love you too, Zephyr…oh, crap.”
“I’ll let you call me the Wicked Wind of the West, but I draw the line at Zephyr O’Crap.”
“I can’t remember your last name. Something Greek.”FIVE
Words shred my voice. Tattered ribbons, like life itself. Unraveling as I drive. And all around, the world is scorched, littered with ruins. Bodies. Death and pain left by her passing.
Just like me.