Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys! She may be less physically present for a bit, but she’s still our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway.
Before I get on with the WIPpetty (it’s a word; I just made it up!) business of the day, I have an announcement:
This is the 1000th post on this blog! And here we are, all here together! How cool is that? Because now, I can invite you over to my 999 party for fun and refreshments and the chance to meet some new friends, and say hi to older ones. C’mon over and party with me!
Today’s WIPpet is brought to you by CampNaNoWriMo…
I’m sharing, from Generations (name may change); the second novel in my Kifo Island Chronicles series-in-the-making. The Kifo Island stories takes place at a resort that’s a little like hospice meets Fantasy Island…
Can Kifo Island help three generations of a wounded makeshift family coexist despite the forces and secrets that tear them apart, or will time run out for the dying grandmother, the abusive stepfather, and the brilliant, traumatized little girl caught in the middle?
- Today is April 22, 2015 – Earth Day, in America.
- I‘m giving you the first 22 sentences, plus one to remind us that we all share one world (and because the last sentence rounds things out).
Today we meet Gladys, an elderly woman with Parkinson’s Disease; Howard, her grandson; and Iris, Howard’s young stepdaughter. Gladys is in her kitchen, with a window cracked open, when she hears Howard and Iris arriving by car.
Disclaimer for language and possible triggers…I want this story to offer a positive message; but not to shy away from the topic of child abuse and its impacts. If you’re especially sensitive to fictional mistreatment of children, please don’t read this, because someone is not going to be very nice to a child, right from the start.
“And listen here, you little bastard brat. You will answer me when I speak to you – and you will call me Father Howie, and nothing else. Got that?”
There were times when Gladys Marieta wished that her hearing had gone the way of her agility. But, then again, her not hearing wouldn’t stop the verbal blows that her grandson lobbed at the huddled little lump of a girl who stared at him with wide and stunned eyes.
There was no sound from the child. There never was. Gladys wished that she could reach into Iris’s mind, and tell her that if she could just bring herself to answer, things would be all right.
“I expect you to do as you’re told – and that means that you will answer me. Say it, brat. ‘Yes, Father Howie, I hear you.’” A car door slammed, and Gladys took as deep a breath as she could manage, in a futile attempt to prepare herself for the onslaught to come. She was thankful, at least, that she had had enough warning to take her medication – she shouldn’t be especially shaky. For some reason, Howard was always edgier, and far less pleasant, when her Parkinson’s was very evident.
There wasn’t a peep from the girl; she slipped out of the car, dark head bowed and shoulders hunched; and Gladys, watching them come, wished that she could still run outside, scoop the girl into her arms, and whirl her around in a dance, the way she had Howard, when Estella would dump him with her.
Then, she could whisper that as long as he was here with her, everything would be all right. There would be enough to eat, enough to do, enough hugs and kisses and laughter –
But she’d been wrong back then. It had been enough when he was here, but not enough to hold him through the long months and years of boarding and prep schools. And there was even less to give to this motherless little waif who had the manner of a puppy who’s been kicked its entire life.
She couldn’t make it all right that Iris had lost her mama- her ‘hahaoya’, whom she still called out for in the night. Those pitiful whimpered cries were the only time Gladys had ever heard the child speak; the only reason she knew Iris could speak.
If only she would speak to her stepfather, say the words he demanded…
Looking for cheerier WIPpet Snippets? Well, hop onto the little blue froggy; assorted genres, styles, lengths and moods of WIPpet lily-pads to choose from! =D