I’ve been working on my suspense novel, SEVEN DUDES, for a little over two months, but really, this story has been at the back of my brain for the last 11 years. It’s gone through many, many reiterations in my head and in my journal, and I decided this year I needed to write it.
To keep myself motivated to write, revise some, and then move on, I’m going to start posting one chapter per week.
How many chapters will I post? In honor of the title, I’m committed to posting the first seven chapters.
Keep in mind this is the first draft and everything is still in flux. Here goes!
A novel by Peg Cheng, Draft 1
Chapter 1: Doc
He was running and pulling his mother’s hand. He pumped his legs as hard as he could but it felt like he was moving through a trough of hardening cement. The harder he tried, the slower he became. He was only fifteen but still, he should have been able to run faster.
Damn legs. Run. Run!
The hand holding his mother’s hand was sweaty and it started to slip. Suddenly, her hand was jerked out of his. He looked back and a man wearing a plaid shirt had grabbed his mother from behind. “No!” he screamed and started back for her.
She called to him, “Don’t stop, Doc! Go!”
Then the Plaid Man covered her mouth with his hand and pulled her back into the darkness. Doc ran in slow-motion towards her departing figure, screaming, “Mom!”
He jerked up in bed, both arms outstretched. His eyelids flew open.
Light was just starting to peek through the drapes on the windows. Doc rubbed his eyes. He touched his face and felt the sweat pouring from his brow and the rough stubble of his beard. He fell back onto his pillow.
He wasn’t fifteen. He was thirty.
Mom wasn’t lost. Mom was dead.
Peg Cheng is the author of The Contenders, a middle-grade novel centered on the question, can enemies become friends? She is currently writing another novel that is a re-imagining of the Snow White fairy tale set in 1980s Seattle. Peg is also the founder of Prelaw Guru, a law school application consulting company, and the author of The No B.S. Guides for prelaw students.
Photo of Martin Starr by Larry Busacca, Getty Images