This is an excerpt from the first draft of my novel (which does not yet have a title). Enjoy.
The man on the opposite side of the compartment had resumed his reading and the woman was still sleeping peacefully away. Livy settled back, breathing deeply for the first time since she and Elizabeth said their good-by’s. How nice, she thought. How sweet. I rather like it here.
Livy’s eyes began to close and soon she was inches away from sleep, eagerly awaiting. In the final moments before she drifted away, she remembered something. It was really important, and it was really urgent, but it slipped from her head before she could properly remember it.
In her dream, her mother was sitting in her tangerine convertible. Her lips were painted so beautifully—she must have spent hours before the mirror to get them just right—and they smiled brightly as Livy approached the vehicle. A pair of large sunglasses rested gently on her nose and cloaked any and all evidence of her eyes. Livy frowned when she couldn’t see them.
“Mama, I can’t see your eyes,” she said, opening the passenger door and climbing into the seat.
Her mother shrugged. “They’re working fine for me!”
“But I want to see them,” Livy said. “I haven’t for such a long time.”
Her mother sighed and looked down at the floor of the car. She stayed there for a long while, her right foot dancing off and on the gas pedal but never pushing it down.
“I don’t have any idea where I’m taking this car,” her mother realized, her lips falling open in shock as she turned to Livy.
“Don’t you have a map?” Livy asked.
Her mother shook her head. “I was hoping…You would.”
“Nope,” Livy said. She bit her lip. “I’m afraid we’re both in trouble.”
Her mother’s lips curved into a delicious grin and she threw her head back in laughter. “Oh, you funny girl!” she cried. She reached a hand out to pinch Livy’s shoulder hard.
“Ow!” Livy cried, and her mother withdrew her hand, returning it to the steering wheel.
“Well, I hope you’re ready for a scrumptious adventure,” her mother said. “Ready?”
Livy nodded vigorously, and her mother stomped on the gas pedal with what looked like incredible force. The convertible careened forward with a nauseating screech, and soon they were driving up the driveway with enough speed to make the nearby trees look like blurs of green in Livy’s periphery.
“Stop!” Livy screamed. They were drawing closer and closer to the house with every second. “Stop the car! We’re gonna crash!”
Livy looked frantically over at her mother, who was wielding the steering wheel with a malicious smile and paying no heed to her daughter’s concerned words. Livy turned back to the ever-approaching house, her heart pounding and eyes watering. “No! Stop! Stop the car! Mama, stop the car! Stop!”
Livy gasped as she opened her eyes, lifting her head from the train seat. Clair was looking down at her with an expression of worry and Fabian was still reading his newspaper. “Are you alright?” he asked.
Livy blinked slowly, sitting up. “Y—Yes, I’m fine,” she said. Her heart was still beating rapidly in her chest. “Just a nightmare.”
Clair nodded and turned back to look at the sleeping woman. Livy turned away and looked out the window, watching the fields of grey stone and silver water rush past. So much for the trees.
Before she could stop herself she was crying again, her fingers running over the spot on her shoulder where her mother had so harshly pinched her in her dream.