This is a spin-off from my incomplete entry for NaNoWriMo 2011. I haven't christened it yet but the characters are starting to take shape. Max, a mind reader with no other psychic powers is attracted to a woman who seems to be hiding a deep sorrow within herself. She is Ann-Marie, and she is haunted by ghosts, and by Max, as she struggles to move on from a past that does not seem to want to set her free. Their story is one of sorrow and rediscovering happiness. Because this is a stag entry for S
While riding around town under the beating sun, Max came by a motel across the highway. He would not have stopped near the nondescript building if he hadn't been alarmed by a loud squeal of rubber. He brought his Harley to a sudden halt by the side of the road just in time for a navy blue sedan to swing past him. It was like the fury of hell was chasing the driver. He would not have thought about it if he hadn't heard, or read, the driver's mind.
The rage and the anxiety rushing through that mind was one that nearly induced a headache, and Max could not just leave it at that. There was something about the voice that reminded him of someone. A woman. He just couldn't place it. He revved his bike up and began to follow the fast-moving vehicle. They raced down the hill slope, across the valley and towards the lake.
The anger was not ebbing away. In fact, it was sharper and more vibrant than Max had ever heard in anyone. But curiously, it was tinged on the edges by a deep sadness. As if the person was going through a trauma so intense that they couldn't help but hide the pain even under swathes of rage. Max continued to jog his memory about the voice but just couldn't seem to remember who the lady was.
Just as suddenly as the car had come into sight, it disappeared. Max was dumbstruck at the sheer audacity of the woman when he realized that she had swung her car around a steep bend and was fast speeding towards the lake front. Max accelerated and followed her from a distance. It was all he could do to keep track of her.
The car stopped at the very edge of the clearing and Max could see the shimmering water of the lake reflecting on the hood of the vehicle. He stalled his Harley near a grove of trees so he could watch what the woman intended to do without giving up his presence. As he swung off the bike, prepared to take action if the woman proved to be a threat to herself, he felt the first twinge of pain in his abdomen. 'Not right now, please. Not right now', he whispered to himself as he braced himself beside a thick oak and held onto his aching muscles.
The car had been still for five minutes and there had been no movement from either the woman or the vehicle. Max strained himself to read her mind and urged himself to concentrate over his now escalating pain. All he could grasp was mindless sobs and expletives and something about a guy named Pierre who had apparently tried to kiss her.
"For Lord's sake, if this is a lover's spat...I just might have to kill myself."
Gently shifting himself so that he rested against the oak more comfortably, Max felt his own anxiety abate. He relaxed at the thought that this could just be a regular disagreement but something continue to nag him. Maybe it was the voice.
And just then he recognized her. He heard her contemplating suicide and berating herself that she hadn't been able to go through with it a week back and that was when it all came crashing back. This was the woman he had spooked the other night. But what was she doing here?
He concentrated on her fast tumbling thoughts as he shushed his own brain and numbed it against the pain.
"He shouldn't have done it."
"Why was I raped?"