Being a good writer means knowing how to edit: taking what you’ve written and stripping out the dulling distractions so your ideas shine. It’s not always easy, but it is necessary.
—Michelle W., Kill Your Darlings, The Daily Post
It has been more than three months since I started this story of Tom, Dick and Harry and for some reason or another I have been unable to finish it. Today I decided to “Kill my darlings” and start over. The following passage is the only part that like and so I will start fresh from here. Any thoughts or input that you might care to share will be gratefully accepted.
“Oh my God! Help me, HELP meeeee! Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Harry awoke with a start, sweat from his forehead ran into his eyes and mixed with the tears that went hand-in-hand with the dream. He looked at the clock on the nightstand beside the bed. It was 2:15 AM, the dream was an hour early tonight.
His breaths were short and close together. Harry turned and put his feet on the cool terrazzo floor of his South Florida home. One more glance at the clock confirmed that another minute had passed. Going back to sleep again was not in the cards tonight.
In measured moves, Harry got off the bed without disturbing his sleeping wife, Emily. Walking through the dark house, Harry stopped and picked up a pack of cigarettes and a lighter off of the credenza in the living room.
Entering the kitchen he lit the first of too many smokes. Harry filled a coffee-maker with water and fresh grounds and pushed the “on” button. He would need the caffeine boost just to get to the 8 AM starting time of his work day. Last night’s bottle of rum didn’t do a thing to help him sleep through the night.
As the smell of cigarette smoke and fresh coffee brewing filled the kitchen, Harry replayed that day in his head—as if facing it head-on would make the dream go away. Three months had passed and time had not diminished the intensity of the nightly terror.
The coffee was ready to drink at 2:35 AM and Harry poured his first cup of the day.
Maybe I’ll get to sleep early tonight, he thought. Harry’s gaze moved to the dark flowing script of the fresh tattoo on the inside of his right wrist—Kari. Harry had a second thought, Gin. Tonight I’m going to drink gin.