Here is the draft opening two scenes in my NaNoWriMo novel:
Wed Jan 20 9:05PM
Robert Andrews trudged through the cold night, heavy bags in hand, heading toward the parking lot where his equally cold car awaited. It was game night at his favorite comic book store so he stayed to watch the players for a couple of hours after paying for his books.
Construction near the store meant that the car was even further than usual. Robert hated parking in the far lot. The few operating street lights never seemed to actually help one actually see, but rather highlighted the disrepair of the adjoining buildings.
He rested his shopping bags on the ground for a moment to fish the car keys from his coat pocket. But before keys could meet the door lock ….. WHAM! …. Rob found himself on the ground, glasses thrown from his face. The next breath caused his ribs to complain bitterly.
“What is THIS?” … Rob grabbed his glasses in reflex and turned toward the voice.
“I SAID, what is THIS?” … A young brute of a man had fists full of crumpled comic books. The rest of the books were scattered on the icy pavement.
“How am I supposed to get any money for THIS?”. Rob thought to himself that he himself had just spent quite a few dollars on the 3 weeks worth of comics lying at the thug’s feet.
The light bespectacled Robert was no challenge for the bigger man to pluck from the ground and heft against an SUV. Robert’s feet almost dangled as his attacker's eyes burned.
“Gimme all your money!” the thief demanded.
“I’d really rather not” was the meek reply.
“What DID you say?”
“Sorry, I’ll speak up … I’d really rather not. For that matter, I must insist that you back off. If you do, then I’ll let you go in peace. Otherwise, I can’t promise anything.” Robert said in a shockingly calm voice.
“....” After a long pause, the brute blinked. Shock gave way to anger and frustration.
A fist drew back. The small man grew heavy and feet dropped to the pavement. Rob’s expression changed to one of defiance. The mugger just wanted to end it.
Fist met face … and the fist lost. The big man snatched his hand back in pain. Obscenities flew. Robert brushed off and walked calmly toward his attacker.
A fist drew back slightly. The young man shrunk back involuntary. The punch to the chest stunned and dropped the criminal to the ground.
“Now we are even. Please, let’s not do this again.” In the dark, the predator fled his intended prey.
Rob leaned back against his car and rested for a moment ... a cracked rib mended and bruised tissue healed. Bending down, he picked up the remains of his purchases and got into his car.
Wed Jan 20, 9:45PM
In his small apartment, Robert laid out the comic books on the table. All were damaged, but most were readable. “Darn it! Why did he have to destroy the new ‘Power Team #1’? Now I have to avoid the Internet until I can get another copy.” Robert sighed. He made a short list of the comic books he was going to go back for tomorrow, this time during lunch to avoid another potential altercation. This was all distraction and Rob knew it.
Robert Andrews walked into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror for long moments. A lined face with graying hair looked back at him. He was just a 50-ish IT guy with a failed marriage, a poor diet, and a daughter he only saw every other weekend. Why did he have these … powers he couldn’t explain? Sure they just saved him a load of pain less than an hour before; but he was a peaceful person. He really didn’t feel good about hitting someone, even in self-defense. Or was it defending himself, he wondered, if in less than a second he could … he had no words for what he could do ... DID do. He needed someone to talk to someone. The whole thing was crazy wasn’t it … or maybe he was.
Regardless he needed to confide in someone. Perhaps even if he were crazy, it would be better to know that than not, right? Jason … perhaps Jason could handle it. His cousin wasn’t just family but a life-long friend. Tomorrow he’d call Jason and schedule a meeting to talk about … everything. But now it was time to get some sleep.
Robert unfolded the couch into a semblance of a bed, put a pile with the day’s mail and about a third of the comics beside him. He didn’t remember falling asleep, just walking up at 3AM with the television playing some infomercial. He hit the mute button on the remote and rolled back over to sleep for a few more hours.