Author Notes / Featured Posts

Author Notes: Read the Prologue to my Work in Progress

Happy May 1st everyone. I hope Spring has been treating you well and you are taking time to smell the flowers. As for me, I am still in hibernation working on this novel. Luckily, I haven’t had any major challenges lately to tell you about so I haven’t posted an update in quite some time. Thankfully the writing has been going smoothly except for a hold up here and there, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging any longer with no news. So I thought I’d give you a taste of the story to hold you over until my next major writing crisis.

After reading through and trying to find a part I felt was good enough to let you read, (because I am still editing) and a part that would give you a good feel for the story without telling too much, I finally decided to share with you the prologue. I hope you enjoy the read. Please note that, in the end, when the book is complete, this may or may not be included OR may have changes made because as I mentioned, we are still in the ‘spit shine’ and editing process.

*Special thanks to the brilliant Rebecca T. Dickson for her guidance.

I give this to you with shaking hands and a fluttering heart…

highway

Prologue

Blue lights flashed in the rearview mirror of Lou Latkowski’s Ford station wagon. ‘Son-of-a-bitch’ he muttered then pulled onto the shoulder of Highway 128. He watched as a New Mexico state trooper approached while covering his bald head with a Smokey the Bear hat. With his chest pushed forward, the trooper tugged on the belt around his butterball waist. Lou gripped the steering wheel tight in his hands as he considered shifting into drive and taking off, knowing what would become of his life if he were forced to return home. And the thought of it sent him into panic mode.

He wiped his sweating palms on the top of his pants, rubbing them against his thighs. The trooper leaned down with one hand resting on his gun holster and the other on the edge of the door, perching himself inside Lou’s open window.

“Where you going, Lou?” he said.

“Away. I’m going away,” Lou said, as he placed his hands back on the wheel and stared out the windshield into the open nothing ahead of him. The road, stretched out beneath a twilight sky and setting sun, welcomed him and he wanted nothing more than to drive straight into it and never look back. But deep down, he knew it had nothing to offer. No matter where he traveled. He would still be the same broken old man.

“Well, Lou. I’m afraid you’re going to have to hold off on your trip. Your sister wants you to come back. She’s worried about you.”

“Yeah, I know what she wants,” Lou said.

His sister, Glenda, came to his trailer an hour before and announced he was moving into a nursing facility in downtown Albuquerque. His trailer park, more than twenty miles away, made it hard for her to care for him every day. And he refused to cooperate with the home health nurses she hired to come to his home, not answering the door and peeking from behind his curtains as they stood knocking. He would not suffer the humiliation of having strange women wipe his chin or his ass. And now the threat of ‘organized community living’ as his sister would call it, was just another thread of respect plucked away.

Lou broke his back while helping to load long drill pipes into metal racks on an oil rig. He was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time when a chain broke. A heavy metal pipe caught him in the back and forced him to the ground where it landed on top of him. He never fully recovered. The injuries left him with poor motor skills in his dominant right hand, which affected his ability to bathe or even hold a fork. And his body would go into spurts of uncontrollable twitching. With the loss of his independence, he became severely depressed.

While his sister was in his bedroom packing his bags, he slipped out. She ran to the door in time to see him spinning dust out of the trailer park, heading down the highway. Her response was to call Clint, an old friend from high school who worked at the dispatch office. She explained Lou was distraught about moving into a nursing home and had a history of self-harm. Mostly threats, but he was capable of anything.

Clint sent out a ‘be-on-the-lookout’ page to the local departments. A New Mexico State Trooper, Allen Fouts, happened to be patrolling that stretch of highway.

When Trooper Fouts attempted to open the door, Lou became combative.

“You’re not taking me back there,” Lou said, flailing back and forth in his seat and swatting at the officer’s chest. Then he quickly reached for the gear shifter behind the steering wheel.

“Okay, okay, Lou. You don’t have to go anywhere you don’t want to, all right?” Fouts said as he slowly stepped back and removed his hand from the door.

Lou began to sob and dropped his hands into his lap. While Lou’s head was down, Fouts slowly reached in and removed the keys from the ignition.

Lou sat still and quiet and for a moment, he thought of going back.

“Lou, I’m going to step back here to my car for just a minute, but I’ll be right back and we’ll talk about this, okay buddy?”

Lou raised his head and nodded in agreement. The trooper retreated to his car, where Lou heard him on his radio.

“Central dispatch, 309. I’m going to need mobile crisis backup at mile marker 51. Subject is combative.”

That was it. They had him. He had nowhere to go and, in a few moments, he’d be taken against his will. Just like last time: Strapped to a bed with people hovering above him saying how everything will be all right. Then they’d dope him up so he’d stay quiet. He told Glenda his plans that time. But not now. He knew better.

Lou dropped his head when the trooper returned to his cruiser. It was easy to reach beneath the seat unnoticed and remove the forty-five caliber revolver. He held it in his lap, tracing the length of the barrel with his finger.

Life inside a cage was not worth living, and freedom was only a squeeze away. As one tear surfaced in the corner of his eye and slowly crawled down his cheek, he raised the gun to his left temple and fired. 

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57 thoughts on “Author Notes: Read the Prologue to my Work in Progress

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  7. Kellie, there is a brutal honesty to your approach with writing the above, a human aspect which captures the moments in how life beyond our control can frame our condition within us. I can not wait to read of the moments before and after, when, where, and how they avail themselves through your writing and edits, to being published.

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      • Getting it out there is the first step! It can be scary, but you know that it’s all a part of the process!

        Wahoo!! Excited to see what’s next!

        I’ve thought about sharing my first few pages, but ultimately I’m wayy too superstitious! Takes GUTS to post!

        • Oh I understand. I was hesitant as well. But there is so much more to this story that I am not giving. Worst case would be they steal it and create a new story off my prologue…but it won’t be my story :)

          I am so happy you like it and I can’t wait to finish and share the rest with the world.

          If you ever share yours, let me know. Give me a link so I can read :)

          Best,
          Kellie

  9. Poor old Lou. Your writing really made me feel for his plight. I hope you keep going and publish the story. It sounds like a story that needs to be told. I like you writing tone here too. It has a ‘latter day western’ feel to it.

      • I don’t doubt you for a minute. Happy to keep popping by to read you. I’m starting a new novel today (scrapped the last one but ok with that) so I might get you over here to read mine in a few weeks time :) Keep going, you’re nearly there! xx

  10. Kellie, I appreciate your courage. To stand up and announce that you are working on a story is in itself guts. And then, you go ahead and give us a wonderful sneak peek! Whoa! Loved reading the snippets. If these nuggets won you such applause, what will the book bring you, I wonder! All the best, Kellie, keep going at it!

  11. I really like this, Kellie, but can I brak out of the mold and play the devil’s advocate? The prologue leaves me wondering why you killed the lead character–or at least he seems to be–in the prologue. I’m wondering if it shoud say, “he pulled the trigger”, rather than he fired. Saying “fired” says to me the gun went off, and if he ain’t dead, Lou’s a vegetable. On the other hand, I wonder if this is a story where chapter one goes back to a time before–the beginning of Lou’s troubles.
    I hope you don’t mind these comments/questions!

  12. Whoa – I did not see that end coming. Very good beginning – I’ve lived in New Mexico and worked with people like Lou. Excellent writing, great characterization and description. I don’t read much fiction but this was enthralling.

    • But this is not the ‘end’ so to speak ;) I am so glad you liked the prologue and thank you for the feedback. I hope when it is finished, you will have the chance to read the whole story and love the rest just the same :) xox

  13. You drew me in, kept me going, made me feel his pain. You are doing great Kellie. Keep it up. I want to find out what happens to Lou, his sister. Where the story goes from this point forward. :)

  14. You keep on writing, and don’t you stop. This is good – you made me feel for Lou, and want to know what happens next. Go Go Go! Don’t let self doubt creep in! Congrats on all you’ve written so far.

  15. Ok I am Lou and I want to know what you are going to do to me in this story!!!! WOW Kellie you certainly know how to keep me on pins and needlesor is that just my legs? LOL This is wonderful cannot wait to read the novel, you have made it so alive and real. Hurry! LY

  16. Kellie, well done! You drew me in right away and I connected with Lou right away – when you live with disability it’s easy to empathize with a character who is losing their own independence and their control on their own life. I’m curious to know the rest of the story …. Thanks so much for the peek! :)

  17. Wow! Ok well if that’s the prologue it would definitely make me want to read the book. Lou is alive and vivid in my mind, at least he was until the final sentence that is! I hope he misses or Trooper Fouts manages to thwart his attempt! Looking forward to the finished book! :)

    • That is great to hear. I truly want the characters to be ‘alive’ and rich in your image of them. At least that is one mission accomplished! :)

      Did you feel for him at all? Did you connect with him and how he was feeling?

      Thanks so much for the read and your feedback. I can’t wait to finish either! :)

    • That’s what I was secretly hoping for…to lure you in ;) haha. Glad it worked!

      I was just re-reading this and there are a couple parts I can see that need work and are a bit confusing. A line or two here and there will definitely be re-written. But for the most part, I like it too. So happy you did as well.
      Thanks for the read1

    • Once I finally got the bones together and started filling in the story, it became real for me. I can’t believe how I have managed to almost write an entire book from one short 200 word piece of prose. I am so excited about finishing it up, but I still have a lot of work yet to do.
      Thanks so much for the read. :)

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