‘Beat’ excerpt

An excerpt from ‘Beat’:

Dan’s hands were deep inside Adam, wired to his spine and pulling gently up and down, up and down, lifting him up from the bed and down again, rhythmically, like a pulse. Adam called to the earth. Tendrils of him, of his skin and his flesh, coiled down through the bed, under the floor and sunk deep into the ground. He cooled off in the dark soil. He fanned his fingers through the moist earth and laid his legs against the black loam. He curled into a ball and breathed in the damp closeness.

He was curled on his father’s lap, his shoulders resting on the hardness of his belly, his ear pressed to his father’s chest, covered in thick down. His blood pumped to the rhythm of his father’s heart. His father stroked his hair as he watched the news on TV. And then he was peeled off him like a Band-Aid, ripped from his lap and carried, screaming, to the bath by his mother.

“No Mamma! I wanna stay with Pa!”

“You can’t Adam, you have to have a bath.” She yanked the clothes from his body. “You have to have a bath!”

“I wanna stay with Pa!” and he wriggled free of her and ran down the hallway back to the family room and threw his tiny naked body on his Pa and clung on tightly. He lifted his tear streaked face up to him, “Pa? Can I stay here and watch TV with you?”

His mother came screaming down the passageway, her arms outstretched as if to catch him. “You don’t have anything on! Get up! Get up Adam, now!” and she was pulling him by the arm, dragging him down his father’s legs and onto the floor. She hauled him to the bathroom and lowered his bucking body down into the hot water. Adam screamed.

“For Christ sake Claire, stop it! It’s too hot for the boy!” His father stood in the doorway, his face crumpled like paper.

“Get out!” Claire, on her knees, stretched her arm out as far as it would go and slammed the door shut. She turned back and plunged her hands into the hot water and held Adam down as she scrubbed at his skin with a hard coconut fibre brush until he was red. When Adam woke up the next morning his father was gone. And now he was coming. He was five, in the bath and screaming for his Pa, and now, thirty years later, he was coming. Adam could see his face. He was in a car and he wasn’t far away. He was coming.

© Simonne Michelle-Wells


Filed under Art, Fiction, Love, My Book, Writing

14 responses to “‘Beat’ excerpt

  1. Compelling, the beginning is strange and surreal and draws the reader into the complex web of relationships showing tremendous technical skill . Very cool writing,


  2. Melana

    Mon –

    Well done!

    Intriguing. No prelim. The journey begins with the first sentence. The past, the future, and the reality beyond the veil, all weaved into present time with artistic deftness.

    It’s exciting to know there’s more to come…

    lana xx


  3. venus00

    I can never get enough of your stories. They pull me in immediately and I don’t want to stop. More please!


  4. Doktor Holocaust

    I like this. it reminds me a bit of my own youth, in which my father’s mellowness was all that stood between me and my mother’s wrath.


  5. kaylee

    Wow love it 🙂


  6. romi41

    This was fantastic! A rush of emotions and a story unto itself…THAT is what I call one heck of an excerpt 🙂 (and poor little Adam in that scene, heart-wrenching!!)


  7. Thanks Paul, tis surely a good compliment, coming from you 🙂

    Hi Lana, the Lovely 🙂 Sorry about the no prelim, I did wonder if I should provide some back story! This excerpt is actually taken from towards the end of the book. Dan is a doctor who’s working on Adam and Adam is going back in his mind to his childhood.

    Venus, what can I say? I love your comments, you’re are the reader that every writer craves…

    Dok, interesting comment my friend xx PS that’s quite a new avatar!

    Thank you dearest Kaylee.

    Romi – I love ya, what can I say?!


  8. Melana

    Sweet Mon –

    I didn’t have any problem with there being ‘no prelim’, just making an observation; should have been clearer! No back story necessary. It was all it needed to be. Very powerful!

    lana xx


  9. Ken Kiser



  10. i was confused at first, and the powerful images and tone forced me to hold on until the story was/is told…

    does that make sense?

    i like it. certainly is delightfully disturbing.


  11. I’m very literal Lana, it runs in the family and drives everybody slowly nuts! He he he. Sorry ’bout that 🙂
    Thanks Ken.
    Makes sense Theo! Glad you were suitably disturbed!


  12. Dawn

    Literal? Really? Goodness I wonder where you get that from. Wonderful juxtaposition between the man in the bed, the earth and the little boy.


  13. I’ll be rushing for my copy, Simonne. You are truly a master of the written word.


  14. Thanks Brad, that really does mean a lot coming from you.


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