Sunday, February 23, 2014

Madison's Avenue - Deleted Excerpt

Today's muse:

As many of you know, I am writing my first novel (working title: Madison's Avenue).

A few months ago, I finished the first draft and I am now editing. I deleted Chapter One and most of Chapter Two.

Since it is no longer in the book, not even incorporated into back story, I thought I would tease my faithful followers with an excerpt.

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Madison's Avenue (deleted excerpt)

“She’s asking for you, Miss Fields.”

Madison didn’t look up, but continued to stare down at her coffee. At least that’s what the vending machine said it was. It tasted more like dishwater. Looked like it, too.

It was a far cry from her usual vanilla latte.

A thin scum of artificial creamer floated on the gray liquid, creating an impenetrable barrier, as if it were protecting the coffee from consumption. No need to worry about that, she thought with a snort.

“Miss Fields?”

Madison turned her head. A young woman in pink scrubs, her hair tied back in a swinging golden tail, smiled in encouragement.

“You should go see her.” The nurse gestured to the room behind her. The young woman walked away, her rubber-soled shoes making a soft shooshing sound on the terrazzo floor.

Madison scrubbed her hands over her face, pushed manicured fingers through her wild mane and let the dark curls fall back around her shoulders. She sucked in a deep breath, let it out in a rush, and practiced a smile.

It felt fake. Nana would see right through it. She always did. It wasn’t easy to pull one over on the old broad.

Madison smiled then; something she hadn’t done for many days now. Old broad, she thought. Nana would appreciate that, would even laugh. God it would be great to hear her laugh again.

Madison walked over to her grandmother’s room, hesitated outside the door. She brushed her hands over her tailored suit, smoothed away non-existent wrinkles.

It was amazing how much things had changed in just a few weeks.

“Game face,” she muttered and pushed through the door, forced her lips to curve in what she hoped was a convincing smile.

The frail woman that lay in the bed was not the one she remembered; definitely not the one that had raised her. Regina Fields was a strong, formidable woman who lived life with a passion that left many half her age weary just watching; miles away from the thin facsimile who was losing a vicious battle against cancer.

“There’s nothing more we can do,” the doctor had said when Madison sat with him in his office. “It’s aggressive and has spread beyond what we can control. All we can do is make her comfortable.”

She had stared over the doctor’s head, at the framed diplomas that covered the walls. All those degrees, and there was nothing he could do.

“How long?” She remembered her voice had sounded tinny.

“A few months.”

A few months. Well, Madison thought, as she stepped into her grandmother’s room, he was right about that.