A new year … a new story

In the early part of December, I picked back up a novel of mine that I’ve been working on for a while now. I call it my Court and Ronnie story for lack of a better title, and I managed to get it within a hair’s breadth of 60k when it stalled on me. Again.

So I switched gears, and started a completely new short story. I knew where I wanted it to go, and the opening scenes flowed easily enough. I’m calling it “Cash and Carrie.” But then I came down with a sinus infection during the week of Christmas and, once again, another story fizzled out.

When the holidays were over (and I began taking antibiotics for the infection), I wanted to get back to writing but wasn’t really feeling either of the two stories. So, against my better judgment, I started something new.

Now, I hate starting a new story before I finish one I’ve been working on because, in the past, I used to do that a lot. I was the queen of unfinished prose before I started buckling down and forcing myself to see a story from start to finish. But the problem is that sometimes a story just isn’t ready to be told yet, and there’s nothing more draining to a writer than trying to eke words out of something that isn’t ready to be written.

And sometimes, switching gears is just what you need to jump start your creative flow.

I’m calling this new story “The V in V-Day,” but I might shorten it to just “V-Day.” I don’t know yet; we’ll see. But as you can probably guess from the title alone, this is a new Vic and Matt story set on Valentine’s Day. And the neat thing, at least to me, is that when I write Vic and Matt, it’s almost like writing fan fiction. The characters are so familiar to me, their lives so real, all I have to do is close my eyes and I’m immediately in their story all over again.

So in the four days I’ve been working on this new story, I’ve written more than I anticipated. The story just started flowing the moment I sat down to write. With luck, I’ll be finished by the end of this month, and the story will be ready for you to read in its entirety by February 14th!

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek …

The V in V-Day, excerpt
Copyright © 2014 J.M. Snyder

On the bus, with the door firmly shut to keep out any potential fares, Vic stretched out on the long seat directly behind the driver’s perch. He had his sandwich and the bag of chips on one side, his drink on the other, and a newspaper he’d picked up at the garage after he clocked in that morning. Now he opened the paper, unwrapped the sandwich, and settled in for a relaxing lunch break before he had to battle the rush-hour traffic.

Just as he took his first bite of the sandwich, though, someone knocked on the door to the bus.

“Out of service. Read the sign,” Vic growled. He didn’t say it loud; there was no way his voice could carry outside. But he pushed the words out mentally, as well, aiming the thought for whoever it was bothering him.

For a moment, silence. He took another bite of the sandwich and turned to the sports page to check the scores when the knock came again.

He wasn’t quite as nice now. Chewing slowly, he shoved one thought outside the bus. ::Go the fuck away!::

Usually that would have sufficed. Most fares would have stumbled back, confused and maybe a little scared, for no real reason they could really put into words. It wasn’t every day they heard someone else’s thoughts inside their head, and Vic knew from experience that it took some getting used to. In the years since he’d developed his telepathic ability, he’d learned to tune out everyone but the person who mattered most to him in the whole world.

Matt. The man whose love gave Vic superhuman powers.

Telepathy was one of them, super-strength another. Those were constant reminders Vic lived with that reminded him of Matt’s love, because he got them from Matt whenever they made love. Something in Matt’s semen gave Vic abilities that weren’t normal. The other powers fluctuated, changing from one day to the next depending on … well, mostly their sexual position. Missionary style brought with it one power, standing up another, in the shower a third. In the years since they’d been together, Vic had gone through a variety of powers that would be the envy of any comic book aficionado.

Sure, he could stop the powers from happening to him. They could use condoms, or abstain from sex. But Vic had grown so used to hearing Matty’s thoughts and feeling his lover’s emotions inside him whenever they were together that he didn’t want to put an end to the telepathy they shared. And no matter how strong Vic might be, he wasn’t strong enough to resist his young, sexy, virile lover. He’d deal with the all the other powers — pleasant or not — as long as he had Matt.

Some of the powers were crappy. Sometimes his skin changed color, or his bones dissolved, or he disappeared, and he had no control over his own body. Those days he had to call in sick to work — no way would he be able to hide something like that. But some powers were easier to contain, like freezing touch, or heat-ray vision, or flying. And some were stupid, little things that wouldn’t really be powers at all except other people couldn’t do them.

Today’s power fell into that last category. Since awaking, Vic had been able to speed-read. Nothing all that great, really; nothing that would show up in a comic book any time soon. But he was scanning signs all along the road as he drove the city bus, reading the words in a blur. Actually, it wasn’t even really reading — he just looked at a block of text and knew instantly what it said. The sports section of the paper was section D, and he reached that page in the time it took him to eat less than half his sandwich. In the time it took the jerk outside his bus to knock twice …

The knock came a third time. ::Go away!:: Vic shouted mentally.

It would’ve scared off even the toughest punk. Visually Vic was a daunting specimen of a man, buff and brawny and covered with tattoos. Piercings in his eyebrow and both ears. Bald head above angry eyes. A devilish goatee that just looked wicked. He could intimate most anyone just by glaring at them. When he told someone to go away, people listened.

Except the asshole outside his bus.

The next knock was punctuated with a woman’s voice. “Vic! I know you’re in there!”

Taking another bite of his sandwich, Vic groaned. He recognized the voice, all right. Kendra Jones was an officer with the Richmond Police, and the only person besides Matt who knew of Vic’s super powers. In the time they’d known each other, they’d sort of become friends, and Kendra’s cell number was the only contact in Vic’s phone that didn’t belong to Matt or the bus service. Many times, Vic had had to ask for Kendra’s help, and vice versa.

But that didn’t mean he was glad to see her.