The Outline of Her Childhood: #SoCS for April 8, 2017

Why, hey there!

You’re here just in time for a bit of an historic event– this is the first day I’m posting to my blog from my brand-new Lenovo Yoga. It’s smaller and lighter than my first Yoga, which I bought three years ago. That will become my Accomplice’s once I’ve gotten my immense number of files all sorted and/or moved over to this compact but powerful little machine. His current Acer netbook, which doesn’t have a touchscreen, will be perfect for Lise, who doesn’t want one, and mostly will use it to browse the Internet and for the viewing and creation of videos. Of course, that’s another round of clearing and sorting…it’s likely to be closer to the end of the month than the beginning, by the time I’ve got everyone settled in this computer-swap chain.

I love this new machine already. It’s fast! Not only that, but, since it’s an updated version of what I had, it’s taken almost no time at all to adjust to the keyboard, which is nearly identical, with the same amount of space between keys, and a very similar feel (and even a bit more “clack” to their sound, which I honestly kind of love, because it reminds me of my childhood pecking at my father’s old manual typewriter).

Okay, enough of that. We’re here for a reason, after all, and it’s not my rhapsodizing about my new little think box. It’s Saturday, and that means it’s time for Linda G. Hill’s weekly edition of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. It’s been a few weeks since I posted this ultra short piece.  I haven’t even gotten back to answer the comments on that one,..but I will. Really.


Now’s the time when I say thank you to my readers, and try to explain why I’ve been so absent. You see, April is a CampNaNoWriMo month, and I’m current drafting The Last House, a prequel for my Kifo Island series. So, today, I’m going to share a snippet I wrote just yesterday – it’s fresh and rough, and likely bears little resemblance to its eventually revised and polished form, which maybe makes it a perfect #SoCS piece.

This week’s prompt is give/given/giving: begin the post with one of these words, with bonus points for ending with one, as well.

The Outline of Her Childhood

Giving people hell seemed to be a big part of Drea’s personality. Maybe it was a defense mechanism. Tim wanted to understand this tendency in a woman who was so sweet in so many other ways. But he hadn’t lived the kind of life Drea had. Even though his parents weren’t together now, and had never been particularly affectionate with one another, he’d had them both when he was a kid. He’d known that he had one brother and one sister, and that they had the same parents he did. When he thought about “home” and childhood, those thoughts centered on the single house where he’d grown up, and the things they had done: camping, Little League, Scouts, making bad clubs that turned into bad bands when they got a little older. A few scrapes, and scary moments, but nothing major.

No, his real troubles hadn’t started until he was an adult, and got pneumonia for the second time in a year, and landed in the hospital, where a young, pretty respiratory therapist he had a crush on had handed him his nebulizer, and, when he took it from her, noticed the “clubbing” of his fingers – something he’d never really even paid attention to. She said that could happen when the fingertips don’t get enough oxygen for a long period of time, and she recommended he be tested for a disease called cystic fibrosis.

Tim had known almost nothing about the genetic inheritance that had been a part of him since the moment of his conception. It had been slowly killing him ever since, and he hadn’t even known. He’d had a normal, reasonably happy American boyhood, filled with small adventures, the droning of school and homework, and the freedom of long upstate New York summer days with nothing at all to do.

Drea hadn’t had that kind of life. She didn’t talk much about it; all Tim knew was that her mother didn’t even know who her father was; she’d been an addict, and sold herself to anyone who could give her her next fix. At some point, Drea had been removed from her mother’s care, and made a ward of the state. She’d been bounced around from one foster home to another – too many, she said, to keep track of, and she only stayed in touch with two or three that had lasted more than a month or two, and where the people had been decent to her. But every time that happened, she said, her mother would try to get custody back, doing just enough to please the courts, and back to her Drea would go.

That was the outline of her childhood, and Tim didn’t know if she would ever fill in the details, or even if he wanted her to. It was clearly painful; maybe it was better forgotten as much as it ever could be. It was maybe enough to know that she hadn’t had the advantages that he had been given.

And that’s it – a little teaser to pass the time.

If you’d like to wade deeper into the Stream of Consciousness waters, you can find this week’s posts at this link or by clicking the icon above. If you’d like to take a dive into the waters, and post your own stream-of-consciousness piece, the rules are here.