11/15/2023 NaNoWriMo 2023, DIG TWO GRAVES: 1538/21376.

Doing this in chunks is definitely working better now. I’m still several thousand words in the hole, but it’s better than it was.

I stepped into the room, and closed my eyes. Not so that I’d be blind, but so that I could see. Everything I needed, I saw in the first breath. I just needed to think about it real hard.

Common room. Fireplace, still lit but the wood’s coals. No windows, no rug on the floor, doorway to the left. Low bench in front of the fireplace, two more benches along the walls, the one by the doorway knocked down. Two men standing. Two women, three men kneeling on the ground. Dead body by the knocked down bench, still bleeding from the head.

First man. Older. Mean-looking. Got a shotgun in left hand, smells like it was fired. One barrel, or two? Can’t tell. Knife at the top of one boot, and a revolver on his right side. Left-handed. Smells like he’s excited.

Second man. No, he’s a kid. Too damned young for this showdown. Got his own revolver, gripped too hard in his right hand, hasn’t been fired lately. Is it even loaded? Can’t tell. Looking everywhere except at the floor, or the first man. Pissed himself just a little, just now. Smells like he’s afraid, too.

Kneeling people. All but one’s scared out of their wits. Gonna run the second they get a chance. One guy’s drunk and angry, and in a killing mood. He’ll go for the first man.

…All right.

I opened my eyes.