It has been just over a year since I (Carson) began what I would later dub The Cast Diaries. And now, a year later I am happy to announce the nearing completion of this novelette. At just over 16k words I’ve deemed it ready for editing and–with any luck–publishing. As a memento to the occasion I have chosen to release a small portion of the draft which at this point will not appear in the finished book. I’ve also included a short 3-minute promo HERE, so grab your popcorn, turn down the lights and get excited for The Cast Diaries.
She awoke; the piercing sunlight coming through the window intensified by her pounding headache. She rolled over. Where was she? This wasn’t her bed, it was too warm and comfortable—too welcoming. Nor was this her room. The light-coloured walls not her walls, the thick carpet far too clean to be hers. Her vision was foggy. She tried to think back; it hurt to think. She vaguely remembered something, or someone. Had she been at a party? How had she gotten here? It reminded her vaguely of some other time, but she couldn’t remember, not with the pounding in her head.
She floundered in the deep bed for a time, unused to the soft mattress, but finally found herself slouched on the edge, bare feet on the floor. She was in nothing but lingerie, her clothes neatly folded on a chair not far from the bed—her clean clothes? They were in fact still soft and warm from drying. She got up and staggered toward the chair—not more than two steps, but she felt as though she were on a ship in the midst of a storm; the floor kept pitching this way and that, and her sense of balance was muddled. She dressed with care, but also difficulty; the fog in her head was only beginning to roll away. There was a mirror on the nightstand next to the bed and she couldn’t help but look.
“Girl you are a mess,” she declared to herself. She ran her fingers through her knotted, dirty hair. This was all like a dream. Her face was pale and sported a bruise to her right temple. She had no memory of being hit. Finally somewhat satisfied, she turned away from the mirror and looked about the room. Save a dresser, a closet, and what else she had already seen, the room was bare. She now noticed the door across the room from her, standing ajar a space. She stumbled toward it, finally regaining her balance, and looked through. Opening the door fully, she found herself at the end of a short hallway, and it was now that she noticed the aromas drifting toward her. They easily overpowered the scent of alcohol in her hair that she had just begun to notice with growing disgust.
The hallway was dimmer than the bedroom had been, but it was not dark. Two doors on the left led first into a bathroom and then another bedroom. There were pictures hanging on the walls, she noticed. In fact the whole place had been arranged and furnished with a grand sense of décor, and the house seamed altogether inviting. Her bare feet sunk into the carpet, and made not a sound as she made her way down the hallway.
Coming to the end of the hallway she found herself looking into a small kitchen typical of an apartment of this size. The smell was originating from here and she found the source; a scrumptious dish of what looked like bacon and eggs set out on the island. She noticed this even before she noticed the girl tending to a frying pan on the stove, having not noticed the awakened visitor. For several moments the two remained this way, the first paused at the entrance from the hall, the second busily about breakfast. But finally the moment was broken and the second of the two turned from her work, pan in hand, and with little visible surprise, acknowledged her standing in the doorway with a cheery ‘Good morning.’ There is nothing like a ‘Good morning’ given with bacon and eggs.
The first was somewhat taken aback in surprise. “Come, sit down and eat, don’t just stand there looking hungry!” the cook invited her guest warmly into her realm. “I’m Amanda.”
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