This is my opening of my new work in progress, In the Dark. What do you think? Does this work as an opening? I’m glad I could write tonight, and been able to work on a chapter.
My husband isn’t dead, I only spoke to him hours ago.
Well, spoke isn’t the right word, more like screamed at him out of the window. I’m not even sure why I got angry. Jealousy? Frustration at not being able to do the job I once loved? I’m still not sure. Now, I just will him to call me, so I can shout at him some more.
I allow my guide dog, Merlin, to lead me into a maze of never ending corridors. I’m not alone. Richard is with me. Not only an old friend of Graham’s, but his editor in chief. If anyone knows why he went out in the middle of the night, then he will.
I want to scream at him, but I’ve lost the will to speak. He has given up telling me I shouldn’t keep my hopes alive, listening to Graham’s last message Sorry. I will explain when I get back I promise, love you xxx.
Merlin, my guide dog’s, harness, goes slack, but he easily keeps up with my pace. Richard mumbles something to the policeman. They are too far away for me to hear clearly. I don’t want to hear what they’re saying.
Graham, dead, it’s incredulous.
Richard’s heavy footsteps catch me up, and he touches my shoulder. I shy away from him. There is no need for comfort or kindness. When we get into that sterile room it will be another person’s responsibility to grieve, Not mine. Just you wait and see.
I sense Merlin slowing down to a stop and for the first time today, I don’t want to go any further. Even from a few metres away, I can hear the doors swish open and close. I’m still sure the answers to my prayers are in that room.
But what if they’re all right? I stop, half wanting Richard to go in, but no. My blindness has never stopped me, and it won’t now. Whatever is behind those doors . . . I’m surprisingly calm, apart from my brain feeling like it is squeezed in a vice.
‘Sarah, are you okay?’ the policewoman asks. ‘We can do this later, it doesn’t have to be right now.’
‘No, I just want this over and done with,’ I say, and feel for the braille on the button. It emits a small beep, before doors click open. I am felled by a sweet, sickly texture on my tongue. As my throat constricts, saliva gets stuck, but I don’t cough. Merlin’s lead goes taut, and my body is inside before I have a chance to change my mind.
‘I can do this if you want,’ Richard says.
It is almost like he believes this is Graham, and he is doing me a service to identify the body. I may not have eyes, but my ears, and other senses work perfectly well. If this is . . . No. Why am I thinking like this? It can’t be my husband. Things like this only ever happen in movies. ‘I know you mean well, but no.’
‘I don’t see how this is going to work,’ Constable Woods whispers.
Why is that idiot still here? He has flaunted my blindness at every turn. Doing nothing but annoy me since he arrived at my home, every word he speaks grates on my nerves. ‘I’ll have you know I am perfectly capable of identifying the body or does that cheap aftershave you throw over yourself cloud your brain!’