Here’s an exterior shot of where today’s scene is taking place:
That’s Mercy Hospital in Dubuque, Iowa. In my book, Kelley has just tracked down the strange old man named Archie in a room in the hospital’s ER, along with a skinny Chinese kid nicknamed Jimbo. They’re three of my main characters, meeting for the first time, so it’s a fun scene to assemble.
I worry that there’s too much standing around (or sitting, in Archie’s case) and talking, but that can be fixed later. Plus, dialogue is fun to read.
Here’s a snippet:
“Nice ringtone,” she said to Jimbo, afraid to look at the old guy, much less get too close to him. “I’m Kelley Strickland, by the way.”
“Um,” the skinny kid said, “thanks, Kelley. Nice dragon.”
Kelley gave Jimbo a blank look for a moment, then she remembered Alexander perched on her shoulder. She’d been so focused on finding these two survivors of Harvey’s that she’d forgotten all about him there on her shoulder. He was still as a statue and light as a feather, but he was holding onto her with determination.
Who knows what people walking by me must’ve thought, Kelley wondered, with me wandering around with a toy dragon on my shoulder, for crying out loud. She was surprised to realize that she didn’t really care that much what the strangers thought. Not with all that was going on right now.
The old man named Archie watched her with the hint of a smile under his long mustache and above his furry beard. He bowed his head slightly toward her in a way that made Kelley think of knights or priests, even with his street-stained clothes and striped blue hospital gown.
“We meet again,” he said in his surprisingly deep voice. “For the first time.”
Okay, back to it. Just had to stop and share a bit. First impressions are heck, aren’t they?