In May of 2009, I moved my primary blog to www.levimontgomery.com.
I did this primarily to gain additional options that I did not have available to me here, and I’m fairly pleased with the result, except for one thing. I had been assured that my posts would continue to show up in the listing at wordpress.com, and that turns out not to be the case. So I’ve been wondering what to do with this blog, sitting here idle.
I’ve signed up for an Author Page at Amazon’s Author Central, which claims to have a blogging capability, but it is rather, um, let’s say rudimentary. They do offer the ability to import an RSS feed, though, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one blog, so to speak.
I’m going to resurrect this blog, and feed it to Amazon.
Assuming this test works, of course. I’ve gotten away from the original goal of my blogging, at my main blog. That is, I’ve moved away from blogging solely about the things that make me a writer, and gotten into technology, and social networking, and all kinds of things. But I don’t want to abandon any of that. So this blog, hereby renamed “The Write Ramblings,” will serve to act as a glimpse into the more creative side of me.
I will post excerpts from my books, both published and in progress, as well as short stories and even occasional responses to the “writing prompts” that can be found in so many places around the internet. I would welcome the chance to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to leave your questions and comments.
With no further ado, then, the opening scene of my novel-in-progress, Blood Bonds:
“Dare me!” Davey commands, the brown bottle shard poised in midair. His grubby palm shakes only a bit under the threat of its hovering edge. “Dare me, you chicken!”
“No way! I’m not daring you anything! You’ll do it. You’ll do it, and then you’ll say it was because I dared you, and then I’ll get in trouble. If you’re gonna do, just do it. You’re the chicken.”
“I’m no chicken!” Davey shouts. “You’re the chicken! You’re too chicken to dare me to do it!” He brings the edge a little lower, but his other hand drops by almost as much. “I’ll do it if you do it,” he says.
Denny just shakes his head and turns away. Only because he’s bored. Only because he’s moving on, not because the sick fascination of that razor edge is making him queasy.
The late spring wind shifts suddenly, and all the trees on the edge of the bluff above them roll their leaves over and back again in a long soft sigh. Denny looks up, wary, looking for crows startled from the branches, but there are none, and he paces slowly up the coils of a rotten bedspring, his arms waving like seaweed.
“You’re gonna do it, just do it,” he says again. “Don’t try to blame me.” He steps up onto the side of a toppled rusty freezer and turns back toward Davey. From here, you can’t see the wickedness of that shard, the perfect curve where a thin slice like the edge of an obsidian arrowhead reaches so eagerly for Davey’s skin. From here, he can look. From here, he can breathe.
“Bet you could make arrowheads out of beer-bottle glass,” he says.
“We should both do it,” Davey says, lowering his hands to his sides.
“You’re supposed to wrap it up, like in leather or something, all but one edge, and then you push on the edge with something hard. Bet you could push with a sharp rock.”
“Chicken. Bawk! Bawk! B-daw-w-w-k!”
“You got any leather?”
“No, you got any guts?”
Denny drops to the ground again, kicking at the gravel, searching for the right rock to use to make arrowheads out of bottle glass. There’s plenty of glass here. As soon as he saw the strange bellied curve of that shard, he thought of arrowheads. Not Davey, though. Nothing so tame for Davey.
“No, really,” Davey insists. “I’ll cut my hand, and you cut yours. Ok?”
“Why?” Denny asks, not thinking. “We going to become blood brothers?” As soon as the words are said, he feels a certainty drain through him like ice water. Exactly the wrong thing to ever say to Davey.
“Yes!” Davey says, stepping closer, pushing his sudden advantage. “We should! We should make up a vow and promise to be blood brothers forever. Till death do us part.”
“That’s weddings, stupid. I’m not gonna marry you. I’m not even going to make any stupid blood brothers vows. That’s only in books and movies.” He’s still kicking the gravel around, but he’s stopped looking for the perfect rock. That moment’s gone. He’s just kicking the gravel to not be looking at Davey.
“No, really,” Davey says, “we promise to, like, never leave each other in the lurch, and never take each other’s woman, and stuff like that, and then we cut our hands and rub the blood together, and then we’re blood brothers for life.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ve seen all the same stupid movies you’ve seen.” He turns toward Davey, counting off on his fingers. “Ok, first? We’re eleven. We don’t have any women. And second? The lurch? Where is that? I’ve never been anyplace called the lurch, so you already can’t leave me there, and last? You gonna go home with blood all over your hands, and say oh, yeah, we found this sharp piece of glass, and we cut ourselves, and became blood brothers, but it’s ok, we don’t need stitches or anything like that because we’re blood brothers now, and we’re going to sew each other up with straightened fish hooks and fishing line?” Done counting, his hands wave once, dismissively, then jam themselves into the safety of the pockets on his jeans. He begins to scuff through the gravel again.
Davey spits on the ground at his feet. “Oh come on! Don’t be such a chicken! It’ll be like a paper cut. It’ll heal up long before we get home. You’re just scared.”
“I’m not scared, Davey – I’m just smart, that’s all. Smart enough to not cut myself up for some stupid vow. We’ve known each other all our lives already, and we’ve never done any of those things. We don’t need a vow. We’re like brothers already.” He’s been watching his feet sort through the gravel, still hoping for that perfect rock he’s not looking for any more, but now he turns back to Davey.
“Look. You don’t want to do it either. You’re smarter than that, and you know it. Cutting yourself doesn’t make any sense. Hey,” swooping down suddenly. “This one’s good. A nice big fat back to push on, and a sharp tip right here. Where’s a good piece of glass?”
“So, are we going to do this or not?” Davey asks. “’Cause why am I carrying this stupid piece of glass around, if we’re not?”
Denny stares at him for a moment. He’s known Davey all his life. He can see further in than Davey thinks he can.
“Ok, yeah. Sure. I’ll do it if you do, ok?” and it looks like he’s given in, quite suddenly. He tosses the rock back on the ground, stands and watches Davey think. “Cut your hand, and I’ll cut mine,” he says to the first faint doubt. Davey lowers his hands again, slowly, not looking back at him. His eyes, down among the weeds and junk, flick swiftly toward him, but they stop short and drop down again. He looks at the edge of the shard a moment, looks away.
“I swear, Davey,” Denny says, pushing it. “Cross my heart and hope to die, I’ll cut my hand, if you cut yours.” He watches as Davey lifts his hand and stares at the dirt grained into the palm of it.
“Deep. As deep as you do. Deep and bloody, I promise. I’ll cut as bad as you do, ok? If you go first,” Denny says, and Davey suddenly tosses the glass in a long glittering arc high into the pile of junk and trash at the base of the bluff.
“Think I’d cut myself?” he scoffs. “No way! I was just testing you. You almost flunked, too, but you didn’t. Blood brothers is a stupid thing, anyway. Spit brothers, that’s cool. Not blood.”
“What’s a spit brother?”
“Spit in your hand, like this,” Davey says. He spits into the palm of his hand and holds it out to Denny. Denny spits into his hand, feeling a wave of revulsion, but nothing compared to the dread of having to cut himself. The two boys clasp their spitty hands together. Denny’d thought it would be like a handshake, but Davey holds on.
“We have to vow,” he says. “Put your other hand up like this. I vow…”
“I vow…” Denny says, holding his left hand up.
“…to be spit brothers forever…”
“…to be spit brothers forever…”
“…to never leave my spit brother in the lurch…”
“…to never leave my spit brother in the lurch, which I don’t even know where it is…”
“Hey, come on! This is serious. Don’t mess with it. I vow never to take his woman…”
“…I vow never to take his woman, which he doesn’t have…”
“…or his liquor…”
“…which he also doesn’t have…”
“Just say it!”
“…or his liquor…”
“…or his horse…”
“Come on, you’re messing this all up! Or his horse.”
“Whatever. I vow I won’t take your horse, either. Or your kangaroo. Or your giraffe, or your hippo, or your crocodile. Are we done vowing now? Can I have my hand back now?”
“So help me God.”
“So help me God. Ok, good. Let’s go.” Scrubbing his hand on his jeans, Denny leads the way up the narrow rain gully that serves as a path to the dead-end street above them.
“I would have,” Davey says, as they pass the guard rail at the top. “I would’ve done it.”
“I know,” Denny says, his hands in his pockets, his fists closed up tight. He watches the crows lift from their accustomed perches above the pile to scatter like thrown paper through the bright spring sky, a dust devil of black paper settling back to Earth below the bluff.