(Author’s note: I probably shouldn’t do this, but what follows are 222 words out of the 101,200 of my novel, now through five comprehensive edits. It’s a snapshot of one brief moment in the journey.)
A car pulls away, we move up a spot. The customs person laughs, flirting with the blonde driver. She flew past me five miles back, and from a cursory glance looked attractive…but would you mind hurrying it up? A minute passes before the customs officer motions her onward, placing me next in the queue. Minutes seem like hours in my anxiety. The car departs, the green light signals, and the officer waves an encouraging hand out the drive up window, an unnecessary signal for me to move forward.
My throat swallows, the nothingness inside of it still feeling like a cube of pumice. My persona transforms, ready to act. At the window, his impassive look brightens into a wide smile when he looks up at me. What a horndog. Down boy, your sex interests me not.
“Your name, please.”
“Where are you from, Ms Ouellette?”
“Francestown, a small town in southern New Hampshire.”
May I see your passport please?” He gets Melanie’s passport and I get guilt, along with countering self-pressure to ignore how many laws this false identification breaks. Senses warn, necessitating a sly peek from cornered eyes. Horndog needs a thorough fucking, because this line mires in molasses each time a breathing woman hits the window, and not because of issues with passport information he fails to examine.