Beneath The DarknessPull


Well, I’ve been tagged.

First by Jen Stayrook, then by Harley May. I HAVE BEEN DOUBLE-TEAMED. They crept up behind me, then jumped out with their laser guns and marbles and baby ocelots, shouting LOL TAG YOU ARE IT ANNE RILEY LOL.

(Good heavens, people. It is only 8:09 am and I’m already talking about baby ocelots. This does not bode well for the rest of the day.)

Okay. Now I will attempt to tell you what is happening in language that you can understand and LO, WE SHALL ALL DANCE WITH MERRIMENT.

There’s this little thing going around the Internets where you do this:

  1. Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy down the next seven lines/sentences as they are–no cheating
  4. Tag 7 other authors

And this is what I have been tagged to do. TWICE. (Double-teamed, remember? Remember the marbles and the ocelots?)

But then I thought, “Wait, though. I have THREE current manuscripts. Which one do I pick?”

I have PULL, which is done and currently dodging bullets in the Query Trenches.

I have BENEATH THE DARKNESS, which is pretty close to being a completed first draft.

And now I have UNTITLED WORK OF GENIUS, which is a YA contemporary and is basically in pieces on my hard drive.


So how about I do the little excerpt thingy for ALL THREE OF THEM? MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I don’t know why that warranted a diabolical laugh. It just did.


Okay, here we go. Giddy up.

From page 7 of PULL:

His fingers fumble over the stack of cash and he drops a couple five-pound notes on the sidewalk. His hands are too full to pick them up, so I do it for him, and when he takes them from me I notice he’s shaking.

“Dad,” I say, worried.

“I know. Don’t say anything to your mum, okay? She’s got enough on her mind.” He gives up trying to get the bills in order and jams everything back into his wallet.


“It’s very bad, Gabriela.” His eyes are tinted with worry. “We do not know who killed her, but we also don’t know how they got into her house. Nothing was broken, no locks were forced.”

“Are you helping with the investigation?”

Papi is a town councilman, which means he does whatever needs to be done, whenever someone asks him to do it. The vague wording of his job description allows him to be constantly overworked. I’ve been trying to get him to resign for months.

And finally, from page 7 of something that resembles the first draft of UNTITLED WORK OF GENIUS: 

“What? No!” I swipe at her elbow but she’s just out of reach. “Melissa! Let’s just stay in our room and pretend we can’t hear her!”

She throws a wry look over her shoulder. “No way. I want to see who she’s yelling at.”

“Fine. Knock yourself out.”

I trudge into our bedroom and fall onto the bed. The mattress is covered in light blue plastic and crinkles beneath my weight. It also sticks to my arms when I try to sit up.

“Ugh,” I say, peeling myself off of it. I sure hope there’s a mattress pad in Rosa’s dryer. And sheets. And . . . pillows? Do people put pillows through the wash?

AND NOW, I must tag SEVEN unsuspecting writers:

Alexandra Shostak Crystal Harris Dana Elmendorf Jamey Stegmaier Jodi Burrus Mia Hayson and Trisha Leigh, YOU ARE MY VICTIMS.

And no pressure, y’all. If you don’t want to do it or you already did it or somebody already tagged you or you think I smell bad, whatevs, it’s cool if you just ignore this.

Happy Sunday!


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