Happy Wednesday! It’s been quite a week, in a good way. I have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks, but for now, I’m going to enjoy popping around to read all the great WIP snippets.
As for mine, I’m very sad to say goodbye to Phin and Company, but it’s time to move on. If I don’t, I’ll just keep finding things to fix. In the interest of not obsessing, I’m going to pick up my next story starting in April. Which means I’d better get a move on writing it!
Last week when I took a poll, most people wanted to see Phin squirm, so here it is. In this scene, Alex and the others have brought Phin to a weekend arts festival. They’re at a private party for one of Eunice’s friends. Despite his people-reading skills, I’ve always seen Phin as an introvert; this party is his (and my!) idea of hell. Also, several people have been giving Phin alcoholic punch but telling him it’s “not strong,” and misfortune ensues. I may or may not have been present for the real-life situation on which this is based. My advice: Do not drink the punch unless you know exactly what’s in it.
My WIP math: 3/26/14 = 3+2+6+1+4 = 16 paragraphs, a nice long section in honor of my last post from this novel.
Phin relaxed and finished the second drink then tried again to find any of the people he’d come with. It shouldn’t have been hard, as it wasn’t crowded. For some reason, he seemed to be getting further away from the center of the house where he assumed the others had ended up. Before he could accomplish his mission, another guest handed him a cup of something similar to his previous two. Phin protested, “I really don’t drink.”
The man, who looked like he might have been trying to relive his parents’ hippie adolescence, dismissed him. “Nah, there’s nothing in this one. It’s the one with the blackberries you want to watch out for.”
Just as he was about to move on, the man grabbed his arm. “Where’re you going, babe?” He leered and leaned in a little too close for Phin’s comfort.
Phin had had enough and deemed the man an ass. “Oh, fuck off, will you? I’m here with someone else.” He shook himself free and tried to disappear, not checking to see if The Ass was following him.
On his way through the crowd—which seemed to have grown exponentially since Phin’s last attempt—at least three more people offered him a drink. Someone finally just shoved something at him, and Phin had to take it in order not to slop liquid all over himself. He frowned and looked for a place to get rid of it. What was wrong with people at this party? He couldn’t find a table, so he sipped some off the top to keep it from sloshing over the side while he weaved among people. At one point, he thought he spotted The Ass and quickly ducked behind someone to hide. Unfortunately, his legs didn’t seem to be working properly, and he bashed his shoulder into the wall.
“Ow,” he said loudly enough that a couple of people turned to look at him, puzzled frowns on their faces.
By the time Phin reached Alex, he knew he needed to get out of there. Whatever he’d been drinking was already causing him to feel fuzzy. He hadn’t had nearly enough to eat, and he wasn’t much of a drinker—intoxication tended to mess with his ability to manipulate situations in his favor. This was definitely not pleasant.
“I’m really not feeling great,” he managed. “And a pretend hippie who apparently finds me hot might or might not be looking for me.” The hand holding his cup shook, and Alex took it from him. “What the hell is in that punch?” Phin rubbed his face.
Alex’s eyebrows shot up. “I don’t know.”
The Ass, who obviously had been looking for Phin, appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Phin groaned, and Alex shot him a look of confusion before addressing the other man. “Oh, hey, Dave.” He leaned in, and they exchanged a quick, chaste peck on the cheek.
Phin felt slightly nauseated at the sight. “Wait, you know The Ass?” He hadn’t meant to say that; his private nickname for the man just slipped out. “Shit. Sorry.”
Dave laughed. “Nice. Alex, tell me this isn’t your date for the night.”
Alex glanced over at Phin. “Sort of, yes.”
“You might want to get him out of here before he does something stupid.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. Speaking of that, I think I’ve reached my limit for the night. Would you mind telling Renee thank you for us? We’ll see ourselves out.”
Later, Phin couldn’t recall how he’d gotten back to the townhouse. The details were blurry, in part because he spent the entire car ride trying not to throw up.
And there you have it. You’ll just have to wait to read the whole thing now if you want to see these characters again.