Friday, July 20, 2012


This is the totally rewritten first chapter of The Sea Witch, originally this was a total of 550 words. 

His head throbbed as he woke up from another long night of drinking. Through bleary eyes he looked around the room and spotted the time. 7:12 AM appeared in glowing red letters on the alarm clock.

Minutes before, he had been peacefully dreaming in the king sized bed. Then he had noticed the papers on his night stand now that he was waking up.

Picking them up to see what they were, the words shouted at him. “Divorce Decree”, was impersonally printed in large letters across the top of the pages he was holding in his hands. As his anger once again began to consume him blindly, his hands began to shake. “You Bitch!” he swore.

Now, he looked around the room and could see everything Karen owned was missing. Then his anger subsided a moment as he finally remembered her driving away yesterday with a cast on her arm and all of her things in the van. He guessed he couldn’t blame her really. It was because of him her arm was broken and all of those times she had blackened eyes. He hated what he had become and he was sure she did too.

For months they had been fighting, although sometimes it would escalate into shouting and things would get thrown around. More than once, the police were called by the nosey neighbors who were concerned. Red and blue flashing lights on top of the cruisers became a quite familiar sight at their house.

Almost the entire relationship had been stormy for the 10 years that they had been together. At the beginning were most of the good moments, but those had become few and far between more recently. As a last resort, they had gone to marriage counseling but it didn’t work. Of course, you need to work at it to make it work. Timothy had given up trying to make it work for a while now.

There wasn’t much he could do now about her leaving, she was already gone. This time, it looked like it was for good.

Getting up from the bed he went over to the dresser. Looking at the angry reflection staring back, his rage began to increase again. How he hated that bastard!

Dropping the papers, he drew back and slammed his fist into the mirror. As it shattered, the pieces cascaded down. "I can't believe she did this to me!" Yet, down deep he didn't really fault her for leaving like she did. He would have left himself if the truth be told.

With a little of the rage expended, he came back to his senses. Seeing the remains of the mirror he regretted having broken it. Chuckling at the irony, he said, "I guess I've given myself seven more years of bad luck". In the partially empty room, the sounds reverberated.

Picking up the papers again he went to the bed and sat down a moment. He needed to think about what he was going to do now. Most of all, he needed another drink.

Getting up from the bed he went to the liquor cabinet in the living room. Pulling out the bottle of whiskey, he looked at it and frowned. Maybe, just maybe, that was part of the problem. The thought flitted in and out of his mind momentarily.

The fact that Karen was gone became his next thought. "Oh, to hell with her, I don't need her anyway!" Anger welled up and he hit the top of the liquor cabinet, "good to be rid of her". Emotions were beginning to twist around within his gut.

Doing his best to put all of that out of his mind he turned his attention back to the bottle. Once again, the thought that the alcohol might be a part of the problem entered his mind. He tried once more to put that thought out of his head unsuccessfully. "I'm taking a drink!" he said emphatically as the idea lodged in his thoughts firmly.

While standing there a vision of her driving off in the van the previous day with all of her things filled his head. On her left arm was a cast as she did her best to steer the van. For some reason, the cast brought back a further memory of why she was wearing it. Pushing her down the stairs probably wasn't the wisest choice.

He closed his eyes and shuddered as he tried to shake off the image. "What the hell is wrong with me!" he yelled as he hit the cabinet with his free hand. With his exclamation the visions ceased a moment and he could once again see the bottle.

Breathing a relieved sigh he turned and began to make his way to one of the easy chairs. Now, he caught sight of the dent in the wall from where her head had connected when he had shoved her into it. Slowly, he shook his head side to side as he tried to get rid of the image. The image faded and was next replaced with an image of the words, "divorce decree" in large letters.

With those words in the forefront of his mind he realized he had a real problem. How he had treated Karen was something he might be responsible for. There wasn't anything she had done to deserve it. "What an idiot I've been!" He began to feel something he couldn't remember feeling before.

Something that was painful began to well up from within and he felt like he was ripping inside. Whatever it was, he didn't like it but he couldn't stop it. It was taking over.

Not able to stand any longer, he fell to his knees. On reaching the floor his grip on the bottle released and rolled a short distance away, whiskey sloshing inside. At the corner of his eye a small tear began to form which he wiped away with his hand.

Being something new to him he looked at the teardrop on his hand a moment. Then he wiped his hand on his pants as he shook his head once more. Anger at the bottle welled up from deep within and he grimaced at the bottle laying there. His black eyes were smoldered in hatred at it. Now, he wanted to pick it up and throw it as hard as he could, hoping it would shatter.

All of the images flooded back in and a painful upwelling came from deep within. Tears began to release themselves from his eyes as he started to wail. Years of self-inflicted pain and misery began to release in this single moment.

After the raging flood from within began to subside he sat there a few minutes with his eyes still closed. He felt weak and empty inside. For the first time in a long time he didn't really want a drink.

Timothy realized what he had lost with Karen leaving like she did. Maybe it was time to make a real change in his life. Just maybe it was time to do something different than he had done before.

Living in this house wouldn't be a viable option for him, he had to leave. There was no way that he could live with those memories. Time to think about where he wanted to go and he didn't really know where that was.

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