Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Excerpt 2

Mid week 3. 40,331 words. 12 days and less than 10,000 words to go.

“Caleb, Caleb, Caleb.” He heard his name from across the playground. He was three years old, his hair like warm honey hung down to his shoulders.

He came sprinting from the swings and tripped over his untied shoelace. Colliding with the ground he let out a brief cry. He looked up, tears brimming at the corner of his eyes, and saw the woman who called his name come running toward him. Reaching him, she scooped him up into her arms and hugged him tight to her chest. The tears he was holding back came spilling out of his eyes like a cloud that had too much rain.

She carried him over to a bench, put him down, and looked at him, wiping his hair out of his face. “Are you hurt baby?” she asked, her voice soothing like a warm glass of milk.

He sniffled, nodded, and pointed down at his knee. He was wearing a pair of shorts with trucks on them and his knee had a small gash from which blood was seeping out. She knelt down in front of him and put her mouth to the bloody knee. The pain that surged through it vanished at the touch of her warm lips. “All better now?” He nodded again. “I love you baby.”

“I love you too mommy.” His voice came out small and fragile.

She gathered him back into her arms and carried him off. Resting his head on her chest he could hear her heart beating like the rhythm to a lullaby.


As she walked her heart beat changed. No longer a lullaby but a quick beat that sounded of impatience. The arms were no longer warm and safe, but tight and restricting around his body. He trembled at her touch, but did not move, impeded by fear. “Mommy.” He murmured.

“I’m your mommy now.” The woman holding him said. Her voice was harsh and coarse like sandpaper.

She took him far away and brought him to a room with white walls and a small bed with a blue comforter. He asked her where his car bed was, but she ignored his question and left the room.

He lay there in the cold room staring at the ceiling. His old room had stars on the ceiling and a truck nitelite to light up the room in the dark. The only light in this room came from the moon which was a mere sliver that shone through the small window. He tried to shut his eyes but they would not close. He laid there until the sun came up, but he never cried.


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