February. I love this month of my birth. Thanks to my dearly departed parents for giving me the creative talents and health to survive all the years of my sweet and sometimes, not so sweet, life.
This week is the last snippet from Reconstructing Charlie, a story written two years ago and continues to haunt me. Here’s an intro to the scene. Picture this, dear readers.
Dear old Dad lies deceased in the kitchen, struck down from a tire iron wielded by fifteen year old Charlie. Mom is busy packing an old suitcase with Charlie’s clothes. Where is she going with her terrible secret? Mom pulled a box out from a drawer in her small desk and opened it. Fancy stationery paper, the old fashioned kind with the scent of flowers. Taking a deep breath, Mom wrote in her perfect handwriting. Charlie always believed Mom had a lot of secrets. Now she got a peek at some just before she was leaving. Not fair and felt like her little sisters when they stamped their feet against the world. She didn’t want to leave. Mom said, “Don’t let her turn you away. She’s my older sister. She hated your father.” Charlie never saw her cry before and when tears fell, Mom brushed them away. Panic set in and Charlie said, “What if she’s not there?” Mom almost laughed. “She’ll be there.”
Excerpt in eight:
Wrapped in a towel, I watched Mom empty my clothes into her suitcase and I couldn’t move for a minute; he’s dead in the house and she packed my clothes for what? I went into action and pried up the board in the closet, removed my money, and secured it into a money belt I’d bought in a second hand shop.
Unfastening a gold locket on a long chain Mom wore around her neck, she said, “Hold up your hair, my girl” and we stood face to face, her hazel eyes looking into mine. I heard a tiny click when the clasp was in place around my neck then she kissed the locket and let it slide under my shirt.
“What’s in the locket, Mom?”
“Two sisters, my dear Charlie, one wise, one foolish, yes, I have a sister, your aunt Eleanor, Mrs. Stuart Alfred 1125 Lake Shore Drive Chicago, it’s on this envelope, so listen hard; money and education are most important and one more thing, precious girl, don’t let boys catch your scent, keep clean because that’s something I forgot.”
She wrote a letter and slid it into an envelope and handed it to me, “Don’t lose this, Charlie, it’s your passport to a new life.”
“Charlie,” Mom looked in my eyes so deep as if she was taking a picture, “Don’t call, I’ll call you when I have something to say; now hurry, it’s not too late to catch the bus.”
for more snippets from talented writers:
I’ve opened a new FB page and need LIKES, my friends. In appreciation of your support all year, I’m opening a promo op to you from any Tuesday to Friday where you can post a pic plus blurb and links. No comments or critique. This has nothing to do with WEWRIWA. It’s just my way of giving back to our community of writers.