I am not exactly known for my happy and cheerful stories. This year is no different. My novel begins with a harried divorcee, Donna Carroll, sitting in a diner. She's back in her small home town, trying to recover from a public, humiliating divorce. Suddenly, a man stabs a waitress for bringing him too much ice. In the aftermath, Donna learns that this is not a one-of-a-kind incident - people have slowly been acting just bonkers. Donna learns about a woman, Matilda, who burned her house down with her husband in it. The following excerpt is from the site of the burned down house. Donna just showed up to investigate:
Donna got out of her car and walked around the yard. She saw tire tracks
from the fire trucks, next to an old, beat up station wagon. She peered into
the car, but only saw trash from too many trips to McDonald’s drive thru,
a dirty picnic blanket, and a water bottle filled with dirty water. A noxious
smell emanated from the car and Donna backed away, glad the car windows
were closed. Treading carefully, she walked over the blackened ground. Coals crunched
under her shoes as little puffs of black dust arose with each foot step. She
smelled smoke, only the smell slightly changed as she walked. I wonder if
the smells correlate with different burned objects. I wonder if one of the
smells is burned Milo.
The thought drove Donna to hold her breath as she rushed out to get to
grass. There, she wiped her hands over her clothes and stomped her feet
to remove all the imagined pieced of Milo Gives that clung to her. Just then,
she heard a car driving up. Ye gods, who would want to come here?