Two years ago I published everything I wrote on Nano on a separate website. I don't know if I will do the same this year but this is what I have written today on the first day...already a thousand words short of my daily quota. Responses welcome.
Melissa ran her gloved fingers across the serrated edge of his carving knife and gazed out of the kitchen window. Her eyes focused on the shiny privet hedge separating the terraced gardens. Rain glistened on the small dark leaves. There had been a brief but heavy shower and the hedge sparkled as if someone had turned up the colour function of the outside world and saturated the leaves with thick browns and greens. A tiny bird hopped between the hedge’s tight branches. Melissa wanted to strangle it. It momentarily disappeared from view then rose above the gardens and dipped behind the rooftops. Melissa drum-rolled the blade on the pristine worktop before letting it drop idly out of her hand and skitter across the melamine. Her wristwatch corresponded with the kitchen clock exactly. Melissa knew Lionel could be expected back from the school run within ten minutes accompanied by another victim of his do-goodery. She lifted the carving knife and stabbed downwards at the kidneys lying on the chopping board. The handle fell straight over and landed in the bloody mess she had carefully transported from the butcher. There was already a spattering of blood on the fingers of her gloves. They would further stain if she lifted the knife for a second attempt but what kind of a threat would her break in be if she only left a bag of food on the surface? Pursing her lips and narrowing her eyes she extricated the handle from the slippery mounds and slammed the blade down so that the point stuck into the wood beneath and stood upright through the kidneys. Then she peeled off the bloodied gloves and hurriedly stuffed them into her pockets and headed for the back door. Stepping into the garden she pulled on an identical pair of gloves and eased the door quietly shut. Her hands were especially raw today and exacerbated by the autumn chill in the air. She winced in anticipation of the washing she would have to give them when she got back home and pulled back her fifth pair of latex gloves of the day. Right now she had to concentrate on getting away from Marcham Grove unnoticed. She decided the best way to be unseen was to walk across the square as if she had every right to be there. Melissa’s boots picked up pace as Lionel’s house shrunk behind her. There were two buses before she could get safely behind a closed door and draw the bolt between her and the outside world. Only when she was on the second bus did she allow herself to assess her afternoon. The kidneys had gone well, she reflected. Lionel would have encountered the guts in his kitchen by now and she longed to know how he had reacted. She rolled the possibilities through her mind like a film reel, imagining multiple permutations of his bewilderment, disgust and fear. From what she knew of him, she favoured the possibility that he would sweep the horror of entrails into the bin and keep his revulsion a private matter. Perhaps he would think about it during the evening and get a chill down his spine realising that someone had been in his house. It would be something she was forcing them to share. The thought warmed her. She anticipated it would be mid evening before Lionel noticed something pungent coming from the kitchen. However, it could be days before he located the prawns that she had rolled up inside the kitchen blinds. The bus lurched noisily to a halt rousing Melissa from her thoughts. She pulled her scarf over her ears and mouth before descending from the bus and searching for her house keys.
119 Empire Road was part of a foreboding block of flats that would have been elegant in the middle of the last century but the grime had been left to accumulate on every surface not fought over by a grim community of pigeons. Melissa lived in a suite that cleared the height of the trees and gave her a panorama of the park from the dining room table. She invariably sat at the table late every afternoon with a tisane and box of crackers, staring out of the window. As dusk drew in she studied the various shades of autumn turn from copper and gold to russet and maroon. She toyed with the idea of ringing Lionel but left her thoughts of confrontation and exposure to the realms of fantasy.