Friday Excerpt: Stuck in the Middle

Friday Excerpt: Stuck in the Middle

This week’s theme for Romantic Friday Writers is really interesting! I’m going to quote directly from their page:

 This prompt is about the others in the romance couple’s lives during the break-up. Inlaws, best friends, siblings and other immediate family – including the kids – the parents.  Anyone who has connected with the couple and is expected to choose sideswhen the relationship ends.  What we want to see is how “the others” feel or is changed by the ending relationship, and what they see as the strengths/weaknesses of the couple.  We want to live the romance through a second party. (This is also not a love triangle.)

This section is still very much in rough draft form, but this is the novel that I’m currently polishing. Word count: 300


In the afternoon after work Talia was sitting out back behind her apartment building, breathing in the warm air and letting the sun bake her face. Then she heard someone behind her. Immediately her mind jumped to Trent. He was the first person she thought of, even though she hadn’t seen him in two months. She spun around, ready to yell at him for waiting so long.

But it wasn’t Trent standing behind her, it was his brother, Reece.

Chapter 22

Reece stepped forward and even his ghost body limped, but there was no trace of a winse on his face.  He still looked serious as ever and Talia felt annoyance at hsi dour expression. He seemed like he was avoiding looking at her. Suddenly alarm rose in her and she sprang from her chair to face him.

“Where is Trent?” she demanded.

“He’s okay,” Reece said in a not very convincing tone.

Talia raised an eyebrow. “What aren’t you telling me? What did you come for?”

Reece sighed and said, “The device is deadly. With prolonged use.”

“Excuse me?”

“I came,” Reece said, running fingers through his hair, “Because Trent’s body is starting to fall apart.”

“Why didn’t you say something sooner? Oh my God!”

“He wants to talk to you,” Reece said. “How would you feel about coming back with me?”

“Yes, definitely,” Talia said.

“It’s dangerous for you too.”

“I know.”

“You both are out of your minds,” Reece muttered. He walked closer and began to adjust the device. Soon Talia felt the cold air blowing in and her eyes were forced closed.


  1. Francine Howarth
    Jun 29, 2012

    What device? I’m hooked now. My brain’s on overload! Grrrrrr. 😉


  2. L'Aussie
    Jun 29, 2012

    Ruth, this was very cruel. I have all sorts of questions running through my mind which is exactly what there should be. I’m intrigued to know what a body falling apart is about. Hopefully there’ll be more excerpts so we can keep up with your developing story.

    And in case you didn’t come back and check the replies to your comments at RFW, congratulations on starting your own publishing company. I wish you every success with your ‘wounded heroes.’


  3. Heather Murphy
    Jun 30, 2012

    I have no idea what’s going on but I want to know more!

    • RuthMadison
      Jun 30, 2012

      I may have made my excerpt too brief! Sorry everyone is confused!

  4. Donna Hole
    Jul 1, 2012

    Oh my; not your typical break-up here. So much story left untold to make the reader want more of the story. I like how you put in the paranormal aspects: Reece’s “ghost” body limped, and “the device is deadly, with long term use.” Way cool.

    Reece seems “stuck in the middle” as a liaison between other worlds – between life and death, or even competitive spy agencies. I’m intrigued to know what the “device” is, and what situation she will find Trent in when she materializes at his location.

    A well developed excerpt both for the RFW challenge theme, and as a transition within the novel. Good choice Ruth.

    Thanks for participating in this weeks RFW challenge Ruth.


  5. Kiru Taye
    Jul 1, 2012

    Hi Ruth, it’s good to see you back at RFW. Your snippet leaves me with intriguing questions and I’d love to know more. Well done.

    • RuthMadison
      Jul 2, 2012

      Thanks. I’m really glad to be back.

  6. Linda Katmarian
    Jul 1, 2012

    I think we need to know just a tiny bit more about the device so this short piece can have its full impact on the reader. We need to understand the weight of the dilemma. Thanks for sharing. Intriguing.

    • RuthMadison
      Jul 2, 2012

      You’re right. As you can see from the chapter break, this section is pretty late in the plot!

  7. Andy
    Jul 2, 2012

    Welcome back to RFW.
    Not too sure what’s going on here. Are they robots, are they ghosts back from the dead, have they traveled back in time or gone forward in time? Lots of intrigue.

    Wishing you all the best with your publishing company!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…

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