Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Snippets 18

This is another snippet from the same story as last week. It takes place some nine years after last week's scene. But this was the first scene I ever wrote for this story and it is in the omniscient POV. Since most of the rest of the novel is to be told in Vivian's POV this will have to be rewritten. Though another option would be to let it stand as prologue.

Brooding Instinct

They found her beneath the tree where she'd fallen. Rather, young Kirk found her. On a visit to the drinking fountain during Sunday morning's song-service, he made an unsanctioned detour past the side door to gaze wistfully at the yard beyond. That is when he saw the foot snared in the apple tree's rope swing.

Beneath that slowly swinging foot, arms flung wide above her head, she lay in an abandoned sprawl. She clutched with one hand a scarlet apple sans one snowy bite. Bulging eyes stared unseeing at the sky. For the first time that morning ten year old Kirk's voice joined with those raised in praise inside.

Through the fire-doors and the double-paned insulating windows shut against the bite of an early fall morning, they heard him and fell silent. They streamed out of the Meeting Hall and flowed around the rock-still Kirk, many holding hands to ears against his scream and when they saw her, hands flew against eyes and mouths and heaving breasts. With gasps and murmurs they encircled her.

"Vivian! Vivian! It's my Vivian!" A woman broke from the circle and threw herself down beside the plum-faced body. "Help her"

"Only our Lord can help her now." Brother Curtis intoned.

"Let us pray." Brother Joel commanded. Heads obediently bowed as he began. "Dear Lord we beseech you to look upon us with Mercy as we face this trial. We commit into your hands our Sister Beth in this, her hour of great need. Your Will is often a great mystery to us but we trust in Your Wisdom and Your Loving-Kindness towards us. With grateful hearts we remember Your Gift of Salvation bought for us with the Blood of Your Only Begotten Son. For this and for Your Daily Blessings we thank and praise you. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

"Amen." a chorus answered.

Those who had kept their eyes closed, opened them upon a miracle but the few who watched witnessed the saving of Vivian Christopher.

They saw a stalwart Kirk, having transmuted his scream into a preternatural serenity, pull from his mother Valerie's embrace and approach sister Beth who was alternately pushing on her daughter's chest and puffing into her mouth.

"That's not the right way, Grandma." he whispered, untangling Vivian's foot from the swing. "Besides, she's choking on the apple and you can't get air in 'til you get it out. Here, help me roll her over."

He handed Vivian's floppy arm across to her mother, who took it and pulled as he shoved against the shoulder. With Vivian now face down with one arm trapped beneath her and her cheek resting against the apple still clutched in that hand, he straddled her.

Vivian's mother took the apple from her daughter's hand as Kirk slipped his arms around her ribs and lifting her into a kneeling position, placed a fist below her breast bone and gave three sharp squeezes.

The bite of apple shot out and Kirk lay the still lifeless Vivian, her face a reflection of the storm cloud rolling over the churchyard, on her back, tilted her head, pinched her nose and blew into her mouth as though it were a balloon--once, twice, three times.

Then he lay his ear to her chest. He frowned, "Here, Grandma, you do like I did when I say." With one fist inside the other and elbows locked he leaned heavily against Vivian's chest, counting five. "Now." he said. "Three times."

On the third repetition of their joint efforts Vivian sucked in a lungful of air and her chest began to rise on its own. The blue slowly faded from her face until it matched the pale wound on the apple now clutched in her mother's hand.


For those of you who've seen both last week's snippet and the previous week's from, A Tale of a Wail, you will note yet another mention of Curtis. He is only my second attempt at drawing a villain. The first being Brandon in Making Rag Doll Babies and Million Dollar Maybes. You need all three snippets to get the full sense of his sociopathic tendencies. I don't like working with villains. I resist writing the scenes they appear in. That is one of the biggest obstacles to my finishing the novels I start.

The following would be spoilers if there was much hope of this ever hitting the shelves. But you all have earned the right to a peek inside the plot.

Kirk is presented in this snippet as the son of Valerie and the Grandson of Sister Beth, mother of Vivian. In last week's snippet Valerie was presented as Vivian's older, married sister who had suffered several miscarriages. And last week, fifteen-year-old Vivian was climbing this same apple tree in the middle of the night for a secret rendezvous with her twenty-five-year old cousin, Curtis. That was the night Kirk was conceived. Kirk is then given to Valerie to raise.

I'm not sure yet who all is aware of this. In one scenario Vivian goes into premature labor on the same night Valerie is having another miscarriage and Curtis switches the live baby with the dead one. Now he could be the only one who knows this, or he could have persuaded Vivian it was the best thing, or he could have been in collusion with Valerie's husband or Vivian and Valerie's father--Brother Joel in the above snippet and lead Elder of the Assembly. I like the options in approximately that order. I'm sure neither Beth nor Kirk are aware. I know that Vivian left home after graduating from high-school when Kirk was nearing three and that this is her first visit back.


Sorry this is getting posted so late. You can blame NaNo for it again. Though this week it isn't because I was swinging from sentence to sentence like Tarzan among the vines but rather because I fell to the jungle floor and wandered into a quagmire. I'm stalled out at 6622 since Monday. I should have hit 15K by midnight tonight. It's not hopeless yet. But closing in on it.

2 tell me a story:

Anonymous,  11/10/2007 5:48 PM  

You have a very distinctive "voice." I'm sure I've told you that before. I wouldn't sell the story short. A respected editor once said, "Don't make my decision on what's publishable or not publishable for me. I can do that."

Ann 11/10/2007 9:36 PM  

Very interesting, good luck with Nano. *cheers you on, still looking for pompoms* :)

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