Unmoving: Chapter One

Unmoving by Kisa Whipkey

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The suitcase lay open on the bed, waiting to hungrily devour the clothes shoved into it. I could tell by the tension in her back and the way she crumpled the innocent fabric that she was furious. She’d hoped for the impossible, and now that she’d realized I wasn’t going to deliver, disappointment reigned.

I watched, unconcerned, sprawled on the oversized, leather couch. Finally, she paused, some poor thing made from a shiny, yellow material twisted into a knot in her hand.

“I can’t believe you have nothing to say, Derek. I’m really leaving! Or don’t you understand that?”

And there it was; the last frustrated attempt to make me feel bad. I smirked. As expected, she’d chosen to throw that barb without turning around. Women were so predictable sometimes.

“Don’t go, then,” I answered, but even I could hear how unconvincing I sounded.

With a guttural snarl of exasperation, she threw the yellow fabric into the suitcase and furiously zipped it shut. I flinched at the sound, flashing for a split second on another very similar to it — the sound of a seat belt retracting. I shook my head and tried to focus on the angry woman in my apartment. She stood with her hand on the doorknob, glaring at me from across the room.

“Goodbye, Derek. You heartless son of a bitch,” she spat, yanking the door open with obvious intent. “Enjoy your loneliness. It’s the only thing that’ll ever love you!”

The resounding clap as the wood violently met its frame shuddered through me, and I knew what was about to happen. In an effort to avoid the oncoming storm of remembrance, I stared at the flurry of peeling white paint her exit had sent drifting to the floor. But that only made it worse.

Images I’d tried so hard to forget crushed me like an avalanche. I saw snow swirling in the darkness; heard the squeal of tires trying to find traction, the snap and whipping sound of the seat belt; smelled the sickening mix of burning rubber and dirty slush. Screams pierced the memory like a relentless soundtrack, echoes of terror I could never outrun.

I braced myself and waited for it to pass, for the tightness in my chest to diminish and the invisible stranglehold on my throat to ease. Every time I felt the wave of adrenaline crash over me, I wondered if this is what it felt like to drown.

Analytical thoughts would keep me from completely hyperventilating into oblivion, so I surveyed my overpriced studio apartment with a critical eye, detailing all the things that would never be fixed as my breathing slowly returned to normal. The water stain in the corner of the ceiling, the dripping faucet on rusted pipes, the cracked floorboard, the peeling paint on the door and windowsills; all the things that went with a “charming,” older apartment in one of Portland’s trendiest neighborhoods.

My gaze landed on a streak of sunlight shimmering against the decrepit hardwood and I felt the memories retreat like vampires fleeing the light. It was one of those rare, beautiful days that only happened once every three months, and I would be stupid to waste it.

Grabbing my sketchbook and jacket, I quickly followed in Sheila’s footsteps, putting distance between myself and my memories. I closed the door firmly as I left, making sure the warped wood squeezed into its frame, refusing to think about how many more snowy paint chips would litter the entryway on my return.

A Symphony of Synchronicity
Unmoving: Chapter Two
About

Kisa Whipkey is a dark fantasy author, a martial arts demo team expert, and a complete sucker for Cadbury Mini-eggs. She's also the Editorial Director for YA/NA publisher, REUTS Publications. She developed a passion for storytelling at a young age and has pursued that love through animation, writing, video game design and demo teams until finally finding her home in editing. She believes in good storytelling, regardless of medium, and applauds anything featuring a snarky lead character, a complicated narrative structure, and brilliant/uncommon analogies. Currently, she lives in the soggy Pacific Northwest with her husband and plethora of electronics. Her personal blog--featuring sarcastic commentary on all things storytelling--is located at www.kisawhipkey.com. Or connect with her via Twitter: @kisawhipkey. And, of course, to learn more about REUTS Publications, please visit www.reuts.com.

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4 comments on “Unmoving: Chapter One
  1. Kathy Palm says:

    Nice. A callous guy that I don’t like, but there is something else there… something I need to know. 🙂

    • KWhipkey says:

      Fantastic feedback, Kathy. Thank you! You pegged this first chapter perfectly–you’re not supposed to like Derek. At least, not yet. But I was hoping that I’d shown just enough to intrigue readers into staying and discovering the motivations behind his jerk-ish behavior. There will be lots of clues along the way, so keep an eye out as you read. Maybe you’ll figure it out before I do the big reveal. 😉

  2. Susan Nystoriak says:

    Hello!

    I absolutely love the premise of this serial. I hope you won’t mind this comparison, but from your description, it has a “Cloud Atlas” feel to it; everything is connected. This is right up my alley! I look forward to more. 🙂

    • KWhipkey says:

      Thanks, Susan! And no, I don’t mind that comparison at all. I haven’t read “Cloud Atlas” yet, but that aspect of it’s plot is what intrigued me too. It’s on my TBR list, for sure. I love stories that are complicated webs of narrative clues, so I’m hoping I can do the concept justice. 😉

      Thanks so much for reading!

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