You mess up and you keep on going! I wanted to have my newest novel, tentatively titled Identity, completed by the end of 2017 and sadly I missed that date. I didn’t let that discourage me though and I rallied, and managed to finish it by January 14th! It’s currently in the safe hands of my writing group beta readers, and I’m awaiting their critiques. Next stop: professional editing, then querying!
It’s been about a year since I started, and I need to buckle down on these long wait times I’m seeing with my books, but for now, I can enjoy the satisfying feeling of a finished product while I turn around and start working on book 3 of Anomalies. In the meantime, enjoy a clip:
Red water. She didn’t remember much detail in the moments; she didn’t remember if her mother’s hands were shaking, she didn’t know if her mother had looked stricken or ashamed when her delicate daughter had spoken, when she realized she’d been caught literally red-handed.
All she remembered was red water, running down the sink’s drain and staining the porcelain.
“Mother?” The small, almost frail ten year old hovered in the doorway of her mother and father’s bathroom. She’d been unable to sleep, and heard her parents come home from their weekly night out with their friends, and she’d slipped out of bed to tiptoe in her bare feet to her parent’s room, hoping they’d be willing to tuck her back in and perhaps read her a story. Her father’s low, resonating baritone always made her feel safer, and sleep usually came quickly when he read her stories.
But her father was asleep, or at least it seemed that way. He wasn’t under the covers, he was sprawled across the bed, face down, and though his chest was moving steadily, he hadn’t stirred as Liana tapped his leg. So she’d turned to the bathroom, where water was running, and she’d been about to call for her but paused in the doorway at the sight of her mother in the mirror, washing her arms.
Her mother turned around, and there was more red, red staining her dress and her hands and her forearms, and the small girl took a frightened step back.
“Liana, darling, you startled me.”
“What happened?” Liana squeaked out, looking back to the barely moving body on the bed. “Is father alright?” It was always father and mother, never mom, mama; rarely daddy, always the formal. Adrienne was less careful, but Liana had always been overly proper, just as her mother was.
“Yes, darling, he’s fine.”
Her mother didn’t look hurt, but still, it was the only option left, yes? “Are you alright?”
Her mother came over and bent down to Liana’s level, careful not to hug her while covered in blood. “Yes, sweetheart, I’m perfectly alright. A friend of mother’s had a terrible accident, we had to rush her to the hospital, but she’s going to be alright as well. I was hoping to clean up before you or your sister had woken.”
“I couldn’t sleep.”
Her mother’s face crinkled in concern, but there was something off about it; it didn’t look as warm as she usually did. But her friend was hurt, she was probably distracted. “Poor dear. Mother needs to clean up, let’s you go back to your room, and I’ll try to wake your father. Count sheep, that helped me when I was a child.” She carefully leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Liana’s forehead. “Hurry now, darling.” She said nodding toward the door in a figurative nudge.
She knew her father wouldn’t come, knew her mother wouldn’t wake him; they were empty words on too-perceptive child ears, but still, she nodded and turned to go back to her room, the hallway seeming darker and longer than usual. She lingered outside the door, debating going back inside, but then her father’s voice rose, and her heart lifted, thinking her mother had shaken him awake after all. “What?”
“Liana saw me.”
Suddenly he sounded much more awake. “She what?”
“She walked in. I told her a friend of ours had an accident.”
The soft laughter from behind her parent’s door was unfamiliar to her, a darker sound than the playful laughter her mother usually offered her as her father deadpanned, “An accident.”
“Yes.” Her mother trilled, and Liana moved to the side of the door and leaned against the wall, listening to her parents. “She believed me, that’s all that matters.”