I reread Patricia last night and decided I really disliked parts of it. Specifically the first page or two. I don’t exactly know what I was thinking when I started writing it. I think that because the “introduction” of the story was the part I knew the best (the scene with Patricia and Charlie in the bathroom was the first Bloodletting thing I wrote ever, way back when I was a teenager). For some reason, the first few pages had this like folksy, “here’s an old story” quality to it, like Waylon Jennings narrating an episode of The Dukes of Hazard. ‘Round about this time, the Duke boys were getting into some trouble with vampires!”
I wasn’t happy with it. I think I’ve become a better writer since I started writing Bloodletting, and it shows in that first story. Then I figured, hey, this is self publishing! The wild west of writing! THERE’S NO RULES. I do what I want!
So I rewrote that shit. Mostly just the first half a page or so. I took out all the overly familiar, self aware narration and wrote it more like an actual story. I made a few minor changes here and there, as well as cleaning up some grammar issues and the odd clunky bit of writing.
The first half of the first page of Patricia (Book 0) goes like this now:
Patricia’s teeth were chattering uncontrollably. It happened every time she took X. Chattering teeth was one of the less fun side effects of the otherwise enjoyable drug. She had a lot of experience with Ecstasy and knew that by the time she got to the club, the chattering will have mellowed to a low, mostly imperceptible rumble in the back of her mouth.
The Aston Martin let out an electronic yelp, like a dog in a shock collar, when she pressed the ‘unlock’ button on the plastic fob hanging from her keyring. She slid into the car, pulled down the zipper on her boot and slipped it off. Sitting against the dark gray leather of the seat, the red bottom of the boot looked like a blood soaked weapon, and that made her smile. She liked the boots quite a lot. They were black, leather, made in Italy, designed by Christian Louboutin and cost her well over twelve-hundred dollars. That said, she never quite mastered the art of driving in heals, so the right boot was in its place on the passengers seat. All of her right high-heals had ridden shotgun at some point or another.
This would be the last night that Patricia’s Shaefer’s black suede Louboutin boot would get to ride in the passenger seat of the Aston Martin, because Patricia Shaefer was going to die in just under an hour and a half. It would be an ugly, ungraceful death and entirely unexpected.
While certainly a case could be made that all human life is precious, it’s also accurate to say that the number of people who would truly mourn her death was limited to a very select few. By nearly all accounts, she was a vile, occasionally cruel woman who was arrogant, condescending and treated retail workers and cleaning staff like human garbage. Perhaps she didn’t deserve to go out quite as harshly as she did, but honestly, not many tears would be shed for the loss of Patricia Schaefer.
The night all of this happened, Patricia was 26 years old and living in Laurel Canyon, in a house far too large for a single woman. The building itself was more of a novelty than a practical home, though she was fond of it. For a year or so in the late sixties it belonged to Peter Tork of The Monkees and at the time was notorious for hosting legendary parties. Patricia had no personal nostalgia or connection with the history of the house, but she did appreciate its location and aesthetic. The area had a diverse and distinctly Los Angeles history that appealed to her. Alice Cooper, Frank Zappa and Jim Morrison all owned houses in Laurel Canyon at one point or another. The Wonderland Murders happened not more than fifteen minutes away.
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