Nod-Off
J.A. Waters
(2 reviews)
Nod-Off is a completed novella that was written for the Summer Writing Project of 2015. Golfball ... Show More
Genres:
American Gothic, Cross-Genre, Horror, Paranormal, Sci Fi, Slipstream, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Tags:
weird, punk, drugs, rock, violence, nihilism, lost, wandering, horror, thriller, strange, magic

An EPILOGUE Is Just A Long-Winded THE END

I rub the back of my neck and let out a yawn that lingers in the cool air. I watch my breath mist away as a little white cloud. It fades as it floats out over the edge of our apartment’s balcony. The world is asleep below, blanketed in crisp white and sheets of ice. The street’s perfect smoothness is broken only by a winding set of pawprints heading down its center.
 
Sasha wraps her arms around my waist, “Wow. I can’t believe we slept through that…”
 
My neck is warmed by her quick little kisses. I smile as she burrows her face into my shoulder, “I think this is the first time I’ve seen snow in real life. It makes this place pretty serene.”
 
Hugging me tight, she shivers and sends a tremor of the motion through me. She lets me go and heads back inside, “But it’s just as cold as I remember.”
 
“Good thing we don’t have anywhere to be.” I turn just in time to watch her long legs disappear around the doorway, just covered by the long shirt she’d slept in.
 
She calls from inside as the sink creaks on, “Just as long as the web’s still working. I’ve got a couple of projects to submit today.”
 
It’s my turn to wrap myself around her from behind.
 
Her body wriggles back against me, “Hey there, is that a threat or a promise?”
 
I chuckle, pick her up, and carry her over to the bed as she fakes a flailing attempt to get away, “Work can wait a while longer…”
 
She grins as I toss her backwards onto the bed. Her smile is transformed wider by the time her shirt slips off her head. Her tight brown curls fan out around her head and she props herself up on an elbow, “I can’t.”
 
We crash together as if our years together were only moments of time. We crash together like the first time we met. That had been after a vibrant conversation at the DMV of all places. Lunch and a sweaty tangle of dissipating frustration had made the day better. Continuing to share beds had made the year better. Sharing everything else made life whole. Memories gather together and waltz through my head. They make my passion sweeter.
 
Sasha pulls me tight to her chest and we huddle into the deep warmth of our contentment. Our fingers slip together. Mine seem all the paler against hers. I squeeze her hand and enjoy a gust that buffets my back. The balcony door is still open but the chill feels good.
 
I kiss her forehead, “You’re beautiful.”
 
Her dimples deepen, “You’re beautiful.”
 
We kiss and enjoy the taste.
 
We shower together and enjoy more play.
 
She walks upstairs to use her “walk-in-closet,” a spare room that has become a dressing room. I hear her rummaging around and the boards above creak.
 
I make coffee and start getting together eggs and toast and juice. There’s a song on my lips. As breakfast cooks I flip on the television and turn to the news. It plays in the background and I hum during commercial breaks.
 
Sasha calls from upstairs, “Gonna bring down my bin of reference folders. You want anything from storage?” The stairs into the attic squeal and I hear them smack down into place against the floor above.
 
“No thanks!” I start setting the table with our food. Taking a seat, I sip on coffee and glance at the TV.
 
‘Knox, Ramm and Oxford are having quite the birthday bash for their founder’s daughter today! Valerie Knox has just turned 35 and is taking over as CEO of her father’s company! The law firm, locally known as the KROW, has also announced a new app development team for personalized law support from smartphones.’
 
I cough up coffee as Valerie walks in front of a podium. She has her hair buzzed close and gives a smiling wave. She’s dressed in a dark business dress the same tone as her skin. She’s wearing dangling diamonds from her ears and a glimmering red necklace. The cameras flash like mad and she leans down to speak.
 
I would like to thank everyone for coming out to this lovely occasion. It was such a pleasant surprise to see such a wonderful turnout.’
 
The attic stairs pound as Sasha runs down. I hear the boards groan as she thumps into the living room, “No!”
 
As always, a special thank you goes out to my closest friends. No matter where they are, I know they fully support me and we will see each other soon. Thank you.’
 
We both stare at the television and watch the woman grin. She stares at the screen and tilts her head. She winks.
 
END
Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 8/8/2015 8:12:26 PM
  • Kathleen Waters commented on :
    8/26/2015 7:02:14 PM
    Terrific descriptions, not a cliche in the entire work. And not just adjectives...leaves the reader wanting more Brian/Sasha adventures. Wouldn't they make a great investigative team, XFiles-style?
    • J.A. Waters Well dang, thank you for the lovely comment! I certainly try to keep things as original as my mind can, so it's good to hear it retained its own flavor! Brian and Sasha adventures would be fun, but I think after a while they'd just get better at running! Thank you again!
      8/31/2015 9:53:13 PM
  • Theresa Brown commented on :
    8/27/2015 3:49:30 PM
    great work to read that leaves you with a good feeling!
    • J.A. Waters I definitely wanted to try to keep a feeling of hope in there. It was fun to write and I'm glad the overall result was a good one! Thanks mum!
      8/31/2015 9:52:00 PM
  • Royal Brown commented on :
    8/29/2015 1:54:14 PM
    Reminds me of Jax , Good story.
    • J.A. Waters Thank you! I'm totally excited that you read it and that it was enjoyable! It was a fun story to write and that feeling of Jax definitely stuck with me.
      8/31/2015 9:51:18 PM
  • Kathy Joy commented on :
    8/31/2015 6:50:52 AM
    I'd never really heard of the slipstream genre, but now - sign me up! Sasha and Brian are an awesome pair! And Valeria is such a creepy but powerful antagonist! I really ... Show More
    • Kathy Joy Oh and I forgot to mention I love you chapter titles! They're really fun - especially the last one!
      8/31/2015 6:51:59 AM
    • J.A. Waters Haha, you're not the only one to mention the X-Files, but that would be pretty cool to do. I actually like it more that Sasha and Brian are really just normal folks that had a temporary run in with weird. I almost feel like having them get used to it would ruin some of the charm. And yeah, those chapter titles were entertaining to come up with! Thanks Kathy!
      8/31/2015 9:50:33 PM
  • Laura Morrison commented on :
    8/31/2015 9:39:18 PM
    Oh no! I was so afraid something like that would happen!! But still, I'm glad I checked back in to see if an epilogue had been added :o) I really loved this story.
    • J.A. Waters Well super shucks and gosh I'm glad it was such a fun read for you. And thank you for checking back in, haha, I couldn't resist leaving that final hint at things.... Thanks again Laura!
      8/31/2015 9:48:51 PM
  • Theresa Brown commented on :
    8/27/2015 3:48:49 PM
    great work to read that leaves you with a good feeling!
  • Dean Moses commented on :
    8/14/2015 7:06:45 AM
    That was a scary ending. If there were a scale that I could rate how creepy the ending was, it would be like Carrie sitting by her mother’s grave and a hand grabbing her ... Show More
    • J.A. Waters Awesome, awesome comment Dean. I'm so glad the ending gave that last bit of a shock and it's so lovely to hear that the relationship between Brian and Sasha was such a highlight throughout the story. It was really fun writing that kind of connection between two people and I'm glad they come off as real and strengthening each other. Thank you so much for the lovely comments, the great review, and for reading through to the end.
      8/14/2015 7:16:56 PM
  • Ryan Watt commented on :
    8/3/2015 11:16:32 PM
    After reading the first chapter ages ago, I felt some kind of mental block regarding the story. You're a talented writer, so I couldn't figure out what about this story ... Show More
    • J.A. Waters What's funny is I purposely tried making the first chapter a little plain? I mean, I didn't want it to reveal much and thought it might be fun to make it seem almost normal. And some of the things I was going for in Nod-Off seemed like they might "not-be-for-everyone," especially as it is a bit more foul-mouthed then I usually go for. Seriously though, it was exciting to read your comment because I love hearing how the ideas on the relationships came across and liked that this seemed to have a lot of different psychological aspects to it that I think were only possible from the immediate first-person perspective. Thank you for reading through and commenting, I definitely appreciate your support. And why Golfball? Well, he does show up somewhere else in the universe.
      8/6/2015 7:17:47 AM
    • J.A. Waters What's funny is I purposely tried making the first chapter a little plain? I mean, I didn't want it to reveal much and thought it might be fun to make it seem almost normal. And some of the things I was going for in Nod-Off seemed like they might "not-be-for-everyone," especially as it is a bit more foul-mouthed then I usually go for. Seriously though, it was exciting to read your comment because I love hearing how the ideas on the relationships came across and liked that this seemed to have a lot of different psychological aspects to it that I think were only possible from the immediate first-person perspective. Thank you for reading through and commenting, I definitely appreciate your support. And why Golfball? Well, he does show up somewhere else in the universe.
      8/6/2015 7:18:08 AM
  • Robert Tucker commented on :
    7/30/2015 9:15:25 PM
    This ending is the most interesting and suggests there might be a sequel.
    • J.A. Waters I would like to, but honestly it's not a top priority and there are many other projects I have to work on. Again, thank you so much for enjoying the ride, and for reading my story! I really appreciate your time and thoughts!
      8/6/2015 7:10:52 AM
  • M. Howalt commented on :
    7/24/2015 11:17:32 AM
    Oh, that beginning. I've said it before, but you write their relationship so, so well and so comfortably. I'll admit that I had some fears about it in the beginning ... Show More
    • J.A. Waters Brian and Sasha's relationship was really fun to write. It was just enjoyable having that sweet almost-sappiness in how they interact, so I'm glad it fit so well for the story. But what a lovely comment altogether, I'm really glad you got those themes out of this story and that it continued to feel real throughout. I certainly tried to think how a normal person might react to off-the-wall stuff, so glad it seems to have worked! Thank you again, M!
      7/25/2015 12:27:09 PM
  • Andre Clemons commented on :
    7/24/2015 9:05:25 PM
    Wow. That epilogue was just...I mean, I'm sitting here after that ending, with my head aching, going, "What. The. #=&$."
    • J.A. Waters Yeah, I know, I can't believe they moved so far north that they get enough snow to cover the streets. Makes my head hurt too. What the ef right, leaving sunny Florida for that? Thanks for reading, sir! Totally glad you enjoyed this story!
      7/25/2015 11:48:55 AM
  • kara coryell commented on :
    7/25/2015 1:07:03 AM
    It's probably rude to ask, so soon, but...sequel?
    • J.A. Waters Haha, not rude at all. Inspiring and motivational really. Thank you very much. I have a rough outline, but don't currently have any plans to return to Sasha and Brian's story very soon.
      7/25/2015 11:43:00 AM
  • Dean Moses gave
    8/14/2015 7:15:30 AM
    I truly enjoyed this serial. From the amazing action sequences to the heart felt scenes between Sasha and Brian. I think my favorite thing about your story is how real it ... Show More
    • J.A. Waters I mentioned it once already, but thank you so much for this review! Your complex and in-depth comments have been a joy to read and I'm always flabbergasted by the attention paid to words I've written. Thank you again, Dean!
      8/31/2015 9:55:24 PM
  • A S gave
    8/31/2015 12:26:11 AM
    This was a great read. The prose is spot-on. It's one of those super-punked out, wonderfully well-written stories that grab you by the seat of your pants and drag you ... Show More
    • J.A. Waters Super cool review Allison! This was such a blast to write and I had a great time thinking up ways to really push my limits with expression and action. Thank you so much for reading and the kind words!
      8/31/2015 9:54:26 PM