Sunday, May 12, 2013

Draft One - When We Reach the Sunset - Prologue


I've started some mild work on book three. 

Whaat?? 

Yeah, I know, I should really work on those query letters, go over a few more drafts of Reaching Home, and do some editing before I work on the plot for my third novel, but I decided it's time for editing and me to break up for a while. We'll get back together in a few weeks. 

My third book is called When We Reach the Sunset, and it's a historical fiction novel. I started work on it when I was twelve, and I still love the plot. So... I'm rewriting it, doing a lot of research (poor librarians... you should see the pile of books I have waiting for me), and hopefully I'll finish it up in a few months. I'm really excited about this one, guys. 

Here is a preview. I'll probably use something similar to this for my prologue, but keep in mind, it's only my first draft. 

What's your opinion? Does it sound interesting to you? Where would you take this plot?

  
                                                                      ***

“How dare you?” The sober head of a nine-year-old schoolgirl peeped over the white-washed fence. Her face was bright red from the awe and terror of the situation, and her cheeks and eyes were pinched into a plump, teary sort of ball.
I wanted to laugh, but waited for the cue from Ezekiel. He stood in the center of the crowd of boys, acting as leader and ringmaster. Nobody minded. He had sandy hair and eyes the color of the midday sky, and his height was climbing well for a fourteen-year-old. His mighty fine looks were complimented by his mighty fine leadership skills, and those complimented by mighty fine manners… but only when grown-ups were around.
Ezekiel clutched his belly and let out a hoot that could probably be heard by the King of England himself, if’n his court were quiet enough to listen. That I doubted. I let out a holler too, and slapped one of the older boys on the back. He slapped me right on back good naturedly, and golly, I jest about fell over.
“It’s not funny!” the girl shrieked, now fully bawling. She reached up to wipe her eyes, but must have lost her grip in the process, because that wrinkled potato of a face disappeared from sight and we heard a kind of clatter on the other side of the fence.
We all whooped for a while longer, slapped our knees, and even let ourselves fall to the ground in heaps of laughter. When finally we calmed down, Ezekiel and Caleb added the final touches to mustache and beard they’d so tastefully smeared over the china doll’s chin with black ink. We’d already cracked her head, leavin’ a gash of broken china that ran down her forehead and eyebrow. That would teach Hazel to slam a door in my face.
There was a squeak from Hazel’s end of the fence, and Ezekiel tossed her doll over the boards . It probably broke both its legs on the way over. “There you go,” he called with a dry cackle. “If you know what’s right for you, you’ll run the next time we come near you.”
Muffled sobs traveled to our ears, and we heard the girl shift her position. Her face peeped over the top of the fence again, weepy and pitiful. “My momma gave me this dolly,” she choked. “I’m gonna tell teacher on you.”
“You tell teacher, and you’ll see this and nothing more afterward.” He stepped up to her, threateningly and flashed a strong fist in her face. She choked again and fell to the ground.
My momma gave me this dolly.
A pang of regret pierced my soul. When I teased, I was accepted by the guys. I was popular. Ezekiel’s best friend had to live up to his image, didn’t he? And if anyone saw me hang back, he might drop our friendship. I might be shunned.
I’d never regretted my actions before.
My momma gave me this dolly.
Hazel’s momma died three years ago after the birth of her ninth son. The family was wallowing in debts and poverty, and there was no hope for a new doll. The boys laughed around me. I tried to laugh too, but I couldn’t find the voice. My fingers shook, and I sat down on a nearby barrel, letting the scene pass like a blur around me.
But they laughed. If I expected to have friends, I had to follow.
So I followed.
I buried the regretful emotion deep inside my heart and resolved not to pull it out again. Then I laughed.  
It was one of the worst decisions I ever made. 

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