Monday, August 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesday is here again!

Here is more from my new wip. I'm happy to say that I love my story even more than I did before. Here is the scene setup. William who is white is falling for the house slave but no one must now. He wants to take her away and has asked his parents if he could buy her and also take his sister. Here is the aftermath:

“What are you doing in here, William?” Samuel said. William wheeled over to his mother and looked at her face before saying anything.
“I heard some of what you were saying. All my life I have dealt with the bickering and fighting. I can tell when you two fight because ma wears heavy makeup. I have lived with the fact that my farther beats my mother and that everyone knows it. I heard them whisper about it when I was a child. That is the reason why I left home as soon as I could. I got tired of it and so did Lucas and Josiah. I have been gone so many years and I come home to see that nothing has changed. Do you two ever stop to think how you affected all of us children? Poor Ava still lives here and has to deal with it. I want to let you know that I’m leaving home again when I heal and I hope that is sooner than later. When I leave, I am taking Ava with me. You two can argue as loud as you want and ma won’t have to hide her face from her children.” William took a breath and looked at his father’s shocked face and read the pain in his mother’s eyes. He took a deep breath and tried to prepare his self for what he was about to say. William was afraid of his father and he wanted nothing more than to please him but he had to say what he had to say.
“I want to take Elizabeth with me also. She is Ava’s best friend and I would hate to separate them. I will buy her from you if that is what it takes.” William stopped talking, his eyes never leaving his father’s. A sob escaped Sara and she fainted against the pillows. William did not go to her and neither did Samuel. The two men, one standing and one sitting, looked ready for a battle. The tension in the room was so thick that William felt like he was smothering. He knew asking for Elizabeth was going to cause all kind of arguments but he was ready to do what he had to do. Things were changing inside him and he had to go with the flow. Samuel looked at his son a little longer and then begun to laugh.
“Are you kidding me? This must be some kind of stupid joke or something. This is a joke right?” Samuel asked. William slowly shook his head and looked down at the ground. He hadn’t come home to take anything from his parents but he hadn’t expected to feel the way he felt about Elizabeth. He had almost forgotten her until he came home. Things were changing inside of him and he had no idea where these changes came from. He didn’t want to believe it had something to do with his new feelings for Elizabeth.
“This has to be some kind of sick prank and I don’t think it is funny at all! Who do you think you are to come to my house and try to break my family up! I think that you have lost your mind and that you may want to go back to your room.” Samuel said. His voice has grown quiet and the color had drained from his face.
“I did not come here to hurt or to take anyone. Ava is having a hard time here and she wouldn’t mind being with me. She has not received a letter from that young guy in the army and she is beginning to think he died. She is not happy here and she will be with me and Elizabeth.” William said. He had found his backbone again and he sat staring up at his father with dark eyes. Samuel told Sara to go across the hall to her room so he could talk in private to his son. She walked over to her son and kissed his cheek.
“I love you and I never will stop but you can’t take my only daughter from me. Once she is gone, I will have no one. Why would you want to take that from me?” She asked. William was not prepared for his mother to say anything and he was slightly taken aback. He always had a weakness for his mother but he has grown tired of her antics. She always felt the need to speak out against her father and to embarrass him in front of people. She could always cry and get her way but not anymore. He was going to leave the house and he was taking both girls with him and no one was going to stop him. She went to caress his face but he pulled his face away and that sent her crying from the room. He hated to hurt his mother but he was doing what he felt was the right thing to do. Samuel said nothing until the door shut behind him and only then did the color return to his face and William knew he was in for a rough ride. He wished he could stand and face his father like a man but he was going to have to do it from his wheelchair. Elizabeth had been helping him and he could now stand for a few moments that wasn’t going to help him now. He needed a miracle and he didn’t believe in them anymore.
“Is it that your mother was right after all? Have you fallen for that nigger wench?” Samuel asked. The tension in the room kicked up another notch but William held his ground against his father. William knew better to say what he was going to say so he changed his mind. He shouldn’t have brought it up until he was able to walk again. There was nothing much he could do if his father tried to hurt him and so he lied.
“I have not fallen for her. I have someone and she would love to have these girls come and live with us. Elizabeth can be Ava’s servant. Don’t you see what is happening with this war? The south doesn’t stand a chance and when the North wins, things are going to change. Things you aren’t going to like. They will win and the slaves will have to be released. It is only a matter of time. The confederate army is so poor and so many men are out there fighting and starving. I know that you don’t want to think such thoughts but I’ve seen what is happening out there. I fought and almost lost my life with many of those other boys and men. People are being asked to donate their clothes, homes, and everything in it to support the southern cause. These are our belongings and we shouldn’t have to give them up.” William took a deep breath and carefully looked at his father. Samuel’s face had been red but the color was slowly draining from it. He raked his fingers down his face and sat down in a chair. He looked deflated and William thought his father might cry. Samuel heaved a long sigh and his shoulders slumped.
“Please don’t tell Ava or your mother about that little part yet. I know those girls aren’t going to want to part with their things. All those fine dresses and curtains. Your mother takes such pride in them. Hearing that they have to give up their things is going to break their heart but it is something that must be done to help our cause.” Samuel said. His voice was quiet and defeated.
“It may be your cause and it was once my cause, but it is not anymore. Look what our own southern people are doing! Our neighbors just tried to kill us.” William steeled his self.
“When I leave, I am taking both of those girls with me and no one is going to stop me. All these people are going to lose everything when the north wins and you all will be left with nothing. You would have given your all your stuff to the army and they are going to lose anyways.” William turned away and left without another word. He pretended not to hear the low growl that Samuel let out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (new wip) Strong Language

Okay folks. Here is a sample of the new novel I'm working on. What is happening in this sample is that a slave plantation is being attacked and things get bad. This is my first attempt at a YA with no fantasy elements and I'm finding it fun. Still trying to get the speech of the 1860's down though.

“It looks as if there are some union soldiers fighting. The city is being attacked and we are to move underground into the tunnels. The masta is helping the others to get ready. I was told to wake you and pack as much stuff as I can. Things have gotten louder. Take a minute to listen while I get this stuff packed up.” Elizabeth said. She turned back to her duties and did it with as much speed as she could. William sat still and listened and he couldn’t understand how he had been sleeping through it all. The sounds of guns and cannons filled the city. If he really sat still, he could hear the faint sounds of people screaming. It sounded like it was coming from no more than a mile away.
“Are they heading this way and how did they get into the city?” William muttered. Elizabeth shrugged her soldiers.
“I guess that could be why the masta wants everyone underground.” Elizabeth said. She paused and looked back at William.
“The masta says that some of the slave owners are killing their slaves to avoid having to let them go if the North wins. He also says it is not safe outside and he will not let me go get my family. They are all alone out there were slave owners can come and kill them. I am not going below ground without them.” Elizabeth said. She begun throwing the rest of William’s things in a bag. He wheeled his way over to her and grabbed her arm. He could hear his father yelling for them and the cries of his mother.
“You have to go down. It is much too dangerous to stay up here. Maybe Tom or someone could go out there and bring them back or maybe they could hide!” William said. Elizabeth chuckled and turned on him.
“Are you serious? Tom wouldn’t help a nigger if his life counted on it. He hates us and could care less if they died. No one thinks about my people and I will not leave them out to die. There is nowhere for them to hide and they cannot run. They will be caught and killed right away. I have to stay with them.” Elizabeth said. Samuel came bursting in the door at that moment.
“Under ground now! I can hear them getting closer and I saw houses going up in flames in the distance. Someone is out for blood.” He grabbed the handles of William’s chair and pushed him to the trapdoor. There was a maze of tunnels below the house and no one but the people living in the house knew about it. Elizabeth ran ahead and threw the bags down in the tunnel. The screams of her people outside made her quicken her pace. They were asking for help and she was going to do whatever she could to help them. Next, she made sure that the masta and everyone had whatever they needed. Samuel called her name but Elizabeth headed out the back door. She sprinted to the slave homes to check on everyone. Most of the people were crying but the males just looked scared. The fires were getting closer and Elizabeth knew she had to hide her people.
“Is everyone well?” Elizabeth yelled over the noise. No one answered and she had to whistle to get everyone’s attention. Everyone said they were well and she tried to come up with a plan. Elizabeth ran outside to try and find a place that would be safe but time was running out. She could hear feet running up the drive and she began to panic. She turned around to see Tom Clayton standing in front of her.
“Bring them under ground!” Tom yelled. Elizabeth looked at him a minute longer and then told the slaves the new plan. Elizabeth waited until the last one was in the house before heading in.
“Where do you think you’re going? I got a plan for you, my dear.” Tom said. Elizabeth struggled against his embrace and she almost fainted when she saw the first group of white men come around the back of the house. She tried to back up but Tom had a firm grip of around her.
“You’re not going anywhere. They want to hang them a nigger and I’m going to help them out.” Tom said. He laughed and Elizabeth spat in his face. Tom’s laughter stopped and his hand connected with her face before she could brace herself. She tried again to pull away as the angry mob of men crept toward her.
“Don’t burn the house, take the nigger wench and do as you wish.” Tom ordered. The big man in front grabbed Elizabeth and she tried to scream but he put his beefy hand over her mouth and began dragging her off. Elizabeth bit him and tried to get to the house. She reached for the door knob, missed, and fell down. A sweaty hand clamped around her ankle and she knew it was over.
“Get your hands off me!” Elizabeth screamed as she kicked at the hand around her ankle. She heard the voice say something but she couldn’t make it out above the pounding in her ears.
“Get that darkie and hang him up!” Tom said. Elizabeth looked around and saw her friend, Joe struggling with one of the men. She had to help him because he was old and there was only one of him. The guy let go of her ankle to pursue Joe and Elizabeth seized on the change. She grabbed a log from the garden and smashed Tom over the head. Blood quickly started to run down his face. He spun around and came toward her with a nasty smile. Blood had fallen around his eyes and stained his teeth. Elizabeth backed up and tried running, Tom gave chase. Elizabeth tripped over a rock and went down. Tom was on her in a second. He started ripping at her clothes and the only thing she could do was beg through the tears, stinging her eyes. Tom refused to listen and his rough hands kept tearing at her clothes. The next thing Elizabeth knew, Tom was flying through the air. Samuel picked her up and took her to the house.
“Head below and do not let anyone come up!” Samuel roared. Elizabeth nodded her head and went below. Mistress Sara was shaking and crying while William tried his best to console her. Ava looked at her mother with blank frightened eyes. Elizabeth ran to her and wrapped her long arms around her best friend. Ava said nothing but she lay her head on Elizabeth’s shoulder. The angry shouts of men could be heard and that was when Elizabeth realized that most of the slave men were missing. She jumped up and looked around. All the women and children were there but none of the men.
“Where are they?” Elizabeth asked Joe. He looked up at her with tears running down his cheek.
“They outside with the masta, helpin to fight that angry mob of white men.” Joe said. Elizabeth collapsed to the floor. She couldn’t loose anyone else after what had recently happened to her. She didn’t want against her master but she had to make sure her family and friends were as safe as they could be. She looked around at the people she cared for the most. Sara was watching her with puzzled eyes but not William. His intense gaze told her that he knew what she was up to and not to think about it.