Saturday, December 5, 2009

Advice on The Begining of My Novel

Hello All,
I finally completed the chapter I discussed in my last post. Although writing about an event that takes place at a White House cocktail party was quite tedious, I'm proud of the end result. When I sat down to begin the next chapter this morning, the procrastination bug bit me and I spent some time reading my prologue. Needless to say, I'm not happy with it. In contrast, my husband, who reads everything that isn't nailed down, but is not a writer, said he liked it.
Since the beginning is one of the most important parts of a book, I decided to post it and get your opinion.  I know that posting my prologue is premature, since my novel is not complete, but I have a running bet with my husband about the type of comments it will evoke. Please understand, I have not edited the text for grammar etc., what I would like to know is: Does the beginning paragraph grab your interest…would you want to read on?  I'm pretty thick skinned, so please be honest.  For those of you who may be concerned about copyright infringement etc., I only plan to leave the prologue up for a short time, then I will delete it...Sooo here goes nothing.

     Midnight rounds had just begun at Thomas Memorial Hospital in Charleston, West Virginia. Inside the cardiac wing nurses scrambled to administer medications, while doctors checked and updated patient records. Little did the hospital staff know that during those chaotic moments, a strange man dressed in green scrubs had casually strolled past the nurse’s station, toward the patient rooms. He silently noted the door numbers, four hundred nineteen, and four hundred and twenty. When the stranger reached room four-hundred and twenty-four, the door was open. He quickly went inside and closed it behind him.

     There was a figure under the covers, and by the way the September moonlight strained through the window, the stranger could see it was a man. He walked to the foot of the bed and read the chart; Jorge Mendoza was the patient’s name. His chest heaved shallowly under each uneven breath; tubes hung from the metal stand beside the bed and ran into the patient’s nose and arms. Echoing throughout the empty room was the steady and consistent beat of a heart monitor suspended just above Jorge’s head board.

     The stranger made his way to the right side of the bed, then, he placed his hand over the patient’s nose and mouth. Jorge jolted awake and writhed and twisted beneath the stranger’s deadly hold. His right eye scanned the room while the other drooped closed from the result of a recent stroke. As he looked up, Jorge met the menacing blue gaze of the man who stood over him. The man’s thick blonde hair was buzzed in a military style, and he was uncommonly tall, at least six foot five, with wide and well developed shoulders

     “Don’t scream or I’ll kill you. “ The stranger warned. “Blink if you understand?”
      Jorge closed and opened his eye.

    “Now we can talk,“ the stranger said as he lifted his hand away.

     Jorge gasped greedily for air. He knew his minutes were numbered, the stranger intended to harm him. There was no doubt about it.

    “I know who sent you,” Jorge whispered.

     Ignoring Jorge’s comment, the visitor retrieved a needle from his pocket and walked to the Intravenous therapy bag. “All the more reason to kill you, the man said coldly as he injected the substance from the needle into a tube above the bag.
    “This will only take a moment, then it will be over.”      Jorge wanted to scream, to call someone in to stop the man, but he knew it was futile. He would be dead before hospital staff could get to the room. 
    The stranger walked back to the patient's bedside. “I have a message for you. It was sent directly from the one you tried to destroy.” The man said.    Jorge whispered, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.”

    The stranger placed his hand over Jorge’s mouth, “The message is …His secret will die with you.” Suddenly, a bright light flashed before the stranger and a tall olive skinned angel with dark wavy hair and sprawling white wings, appeared at the opposite side of the bed.

    The stranger’s steely eyes narrowed, “Harut, it’s been a long time.”

    The angel rubbed his hand over Jorge’s forehead, then he glowered at the stranger, “Abbaddon, I will kill you for this!”

    ”Not before the appointed time my brother. That is, unless you want to break some more rules.”

     The angel’s dark eyes narrowed, “Look at yourself, you walk around in sheep’s clothing pretending you are a man… you hypocrite! You have become the very thing you hate…The very thing you fell from grace over!”

    “We are at war, and my side will win, tonight proves that.” Abaddon grinned. “ I may be in sheep’s clothing, but this disguise got me close enough to kill your human.”

    “This is not over!” The angel promised.

    Abbaddon smiled. “It is for your human.” Then he turned and quickly exited the room.

    The heart monitor skipped a beat, and Jorge’s breathing quickened. He was dying and there was nothing that could be done to stop it. Soledad my beloved daughter he thought, now she will have to carry my cross.

   The angel’s brown eyes were fierce, but tender as he stared at the patient. “I told you my friend, it was not for you to stop. I can’t help you now. “

   A tear fell from Jorge’s eye. “I had to try, “he coughed. “I failed you , I’ve failed us all,” he uttered through his last breath. Then, the line on the monitor went flat and the sound of emergency buzzers overtook the silence.