Bryant Sullivan is the actor who’s reading A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE for audiobook.
Okay, I began the first rough draft of this book back in 1968. I’ve done three or four major rewrites and any number of revisions, polishes, and tweaks. I know the material, is what I’m saying. And I listened to Bryant Sullivan read this scene and, as Dog is my witness, I teared up.
This Made Me Cry
excerpt from A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE
by Marian Allen
I turned to face her. “I guess you came in here to remind me of whatever it is we’re supposed to do tonight, you and me and Mary and Eleanor. Well, I’m not coming, do you get that? Are you listening? Am I getting through to you, Corrie?”
She closed her eyes again and two tears broke loose and quivered down her bloodless cheeks.
I melted. “Corrie, please. Please. I’m Mitch Franklin. I keep hoping you’ll remember that from one hour to the next. Aren’t you ever going to?” When she didn’t answer, I flapped a hand in disgust. “Ah, I give up.”
“No, Mitch, no!” She threw herself against me with a force that almost sent both of us out the window. “Don’t! Don’t! Oh, you don’t know!” Her hick accent thickened, a sure sign of genuine distress. “It was awful when he died. I thought all I wanted in the world was for him to come back.” Her voice trembled, and she had double fist-fulls of my t-shirt. “But when I saw him usin’ you, makin’ his words come out of your mouth, it made me sick. It scared me. He’s got so much power!”
“Corrie,” I said, de-fisting my shirt, “he hasn’t been using me. He hasn’t got any power. Albert Alaister is dead. Dead.”
Corrie shuddered. “You poor lamb. You don’t even realize it.”
“Oh, for crying out loud!”
I held her gently for a minute while she tried to control her shudders. Poor Corrie. Poor, poor little Corrie.
“Mitch?” She stopped crying, but her voice was still tense. “You won’t give up, will you? If you give up, he’ll just take over somebody else. Grant — Grant Marsch is coming tomorrow. I’m so scared! What if Albert decides to take Grant instead of you? Grant might like it. He might help him. Please don’t give up!” Her voice dropped to a whisper, as if she thought Albert was in the next room rather than inside my personal body. “I’ll help you. If he wins, he’ll punish me, but he’ll punish me anyway, so I really got nothing to lose.”
I was surprised and moved. Even if all this was hogwash — which, of course, it was — Corrie believed it, and her offer was the bravest thing I’d ever heard.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character is unable to persuade another character of something.