Saturday, November 13, 2004

Across the Great Divide

If I did my math correctly, the halfway point in my 50,000 word odyssey is somewhere in this excerpt. There are at least two sections of the book that come before this that haven't been written yet, so the final 25,000th word is likely not here, but since some of the sections after this point have already been written, who knows.

Caution: There's some semi-gratuitous Name-in-vain taking at the end of this excerpt that may not be in the final book or appropriate for all readers. It'll probably in the movie though - it's that kind of moment.

The EMTs were struggling with getting the body bag zipped up over the bicycle helmet. They tried several times, turning her head to the side, pulling up the sides of the bag, MAYBE SOMETHING ELSE, but with no success. Finally, one of them unbuckled the chin strap and removed the helmet, setting it on the hood of the car.

“It looks like she’s sleeping, doesn’t it?” The man in the suit had walked up behind them.

One of the EMTs asked the man in the suit who he was in language appropriate to the situation, but which the Reverend himself wouldn’t have used in his revival meetings – or anywhere else, for that matter.

“Excuse me for intruding. I’m Reverend Herbert Gantt.” He gestured over his shoulder to the half-erected tent behind him. “Would you mind if I prayed over the girl, before you zipped her up in that ... thing?”

“Last rites?”

“I hope not,” Gantt said in a whisper. He turned back to the students on the sidewalk and called out, “Does anyone know this girl’s name?”

Several kids answered, “Maya” or “Maya Daniels.”

Beside the CRUISER Sheriff Woo and the girl’s mother stood in STUNNED (SHOCKED?) silence. Although he couldn’t see much, even Ed Jackman raised his head and turned it toward the sound of Gantt’s voice.

The EMTs stepped back as Gantt raised his hands above Maya’s EXPOSED head. “In the Bible it says in the last days miracles will be performed (check it to get it right), that people will be healed and even raised from the dead. I believe that to be true. Maya Daniels, I command you to rise up, alive, in the name of the Lord –“

The girl’s eyes opened.

“Jeeee-susss Christ!” one of the EMTs shouted.

Maya’s eyes FLICKED back and forth, the opened sides of the body bag cutting off her view of anything but the upside-down face of a man in a dark suit smiling down on her.

(daily word count: 2,487 words; total word count: 26,447 words; words remaining: 23,553)