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.


Steven Cordero said...

Yery powerful scene. There is definately an emotional resonance. Well done.

Gretchen said...

You have some really great moments in here, like the two men ignoring their wife/mother's fainting fit because they are so ready to fight. Be careful of repetition - like when William takes two deep breaths in the same pause.

Also, you might want to break up that long speech by William right at the beginning. It's quite a monologue and could use some pacing to make it easier on the eyes.

bryngreenwood said...

That's some cold-hearted action--neither of them going to his mother when she faints. Hmmm...and the machinations of "I'm taking Ava" (oh and her servant) is interesting, since it's really, "I'm taking Ava so I'll have an excuse to take Elizabeth."

Watch out for those modern turns of phrase in your dialog, though. The whole "this must be a stupid joke or something" is very 20th Century.

houndrat said...

Some powerful stuff going on here! I liked the tension, and I particularly liked this imagery:

The tension in the room was so thick that William felt like he was smothering.

I agree with breaking up the first chunk of dialogue, though--it makes it challenging to read in such a big block. Oh, and putting spaces between paragraphs next time would help our readers' eyes! :)

Kari Stewart said...

I agree with Bryn, there were a few phrases that jarred me out. "Go with the flow" and "fallen for" being the two that jumped out at me.

I do like the fact that he's thought out "oh, I have to take Ava to have an excuse to take Elizabeth". That was proper thinking for the time.

sue laybourn said...

Like the others, I think there's some great stuff here and it's clear, from the way the writing is flowing, that you're really enjoying this. This, as I've learned, does lead to niggles.
You need to break up the paragraphs a bit more, take a pause for breath!
I also have to agree about the modern dialogue slipping in here.
Having said that, your passion for this story is really shining through. There's some great stuff here!

inkwench said...

Like others have said, be careful of some modern phrasing slipping in. But this is a great scene - very powerful and it reveals a lot of personality. Sounds like you've got a fascinating story developing!