March 20 Sample Sunday

I have included a bit of my novella.  It’s untitled still and unedited.  I would love any feedback you have to offer!  Please leave comments.

 

Excerpt from Untitled Cherish Prequel

The scent of cherry blossoms wafted in from the open window as I lie in bed awake.   The morning was dawning, and Rebecca and I had a busy day planned of picking wild flowers.  Eagerness danced over my skin as I watched my sister sleep.  The child in me wanted to wake her to hasten the start of our day, but even at twelve, I knew a quiet sleep mustn’t be disturbed, especially for Rebecca.

Rebecca often spoke of her dreams.  She was sparing with the details to “protect maturing minds,” she would tell me, but I knew they connected her to events yet to pass.  Sometimes, her dreams frightened her, others offered peace.  But for a fortnight or more, her accounts have been darker and her eyes vacant when she spoke about what was seen.  That morning, Rebecca’s features were serene and her breathing came easily.  I watched my sister for seconds or hours.  The passage of time eluded me.

I felt safe in her quietness and allowed my mind to wander about the day to come.  Rebecca was ten years my senior and our time together was uncommon.  Not from want, rather she had responsibilities which required tending.  A day together to frolic mindlessly was an extravagance to be treasured.  A special day not to be ruined.

With a sharp breath gasping for air, my mind was yanked from my musing.  Rebecca’s body had gone rigid and her fingers were tangled in her bed linens.  Her breathing was ragged and uneven.  The tension in her muscles was visible, and she began to quiver.  I threw myself from my bed to hers to try to raise her from the terror that had shattered my perfect morning.

“Sister,” I called to her.  “Sister, please wake up.”  Rebecca’s sleep was deep, and I was unable to wake her.  I wished for a mother or a father to whom I could beg for help, but had neither.  Hugging my knees to my chest while tears fell freely, I continued to call to her.

Abruptly, Rebecca’s body lurched from the bed as she shot awoke with a start.  Her breathing was deep and unsteady.  With her fingers intertwined still in the linens, her knuckles were white and her muscles tense.  I tried to find my sister beneath the sheen of sweat that covered her horrified expression, but her vacant eyes and deathly pallor bore no resemblance to the beautiful, fun-loving sister I watched sleep only moments ago.

And then, Rebecca returned to me.

She blinked her eyes.  Once.  Twice.  Concern washed away her fear and her eyes turned soft when then found me.  “Hannah,” she spoke softly reaching out to me.  When I was close enough, she pulled me into a hug tracing circles on my back.  “It’s okay, Hannah.”  Her soothing tones did little to comfort my uneasy spirit but my tears ceased falling.

“You scared me” I declared through sobbing breaths.

“Silly, Hannah.  Worry not.  It’s a beautiful day, and there is much for us to do.”  Desperately wanting to believe her words, I smiled in response.  Rebecca’s expression was as forced as mine, but we both pretended not to notice.  We sat silently on the edge of the mattress as she arranged a neat plait down my back.  Taking my hand, she led me into the kitchen.  “Let us make a wonderful breakfast for such a great morning.  Go fetch us some fresh eggs.”

“Sister,” my voice was hesitant, but I would no longer ignore the fear in her eyes.  “You dreamed again.  A frightening dream.  I see it in your eyes.”

“Save your fear for a more worthy cause, little one.  Today is a day for strength and courage.  Run along and fetch what I requested.”  Carefully, she placed an encouraging kiss on my forehead and led me to the back door.  I stole a glance over my shoulder; sensing things weren’t as she said they would be.  Rebecca wiped a tear from her cheek as she returned to the house.

I was quick to bring back the eggs, afraid that when I returned, my sister would be gone.  To my surprise and relief, Rebecca waited for me in the kitchen.  She still had the false smile that I continued to pretend I didn’t notice.  We ate an enjoyable breakfast hardly speaking a word.

As I cleared the table, she spoke to me again, “Run ahead to the field of flowers, Hannah.  I will join you if I can.”

I heard the if in her statement.  Understanding wasn’t lost on me, even so young.   I knew what the dream had foretold in that moment.  Rebecca would not be joining me in the fields.  She would be leaving me today forever.

Steeling myself for the day to come, I hugged Rebecca and placed a kiss on her cheek before leaving.  Showing her my strength would help her face the dreaded events the day would bring.  She watched me walk away.  I turned to her and waved.  “I love you, Rebecca,” I whispered to the openness around me knowing the words would be unheard.

I waited in the field as the sun made it ascent into the heavens.  A gentle breeze danced with the tall grasses and wild flowers as clouds of soft cotton floated in the sky.  Sounds from the village rode the winds to find me in the field.  Chaos and fear were chased by resonating celebration and joy.  Sounds contradicting the emotions warring within me, for I knew the disorder was caused by speculations about Rebecca’s witchcraft. The excitement celebrated her death.

While in the fields of flowers, I matured beyond my years and returned to my empty home as young lady.  Rebecca prepared me for the day when I would be on my own.  I knew my responsibilities and my role.  There was no room for despair or fear.   I tended to my household chores and retired before the sun set.

Rest upon my pillow laid an envelope and a single azure morning-glory blossom.

 

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Published in: on 03.20.2011 at 12:54 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I found myself reading very fast, which is usually a sign that I can’t wait to find out what happens. Very mysterious too, I like that. 🙂 Can’t wait to read more.

    • Thanks Julie! I hope to update weekly, so feel free to check back for more anytime!

  2. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading your snippit.

    • I am glad you enjoyed it. Check back weekly for more!

  3. I like it. Imagine starting after the first paragraph and the tone of the scene changes completely.

    • Thank you for your comment. I certain see what you are saying and may work a bit more on the wording to better convey my intentions. I appreciate the feedback and hope you will check back weekly to provide more input!


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