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Today I’ll be sharing with you for the first time a snippet from the first of two (maybe three) books in a series that has yet to be named. Right now the first book is called Age of Worry. Without further ado, here is the first half of the first chapter. Feedback is always welcome!
With nervous energy, she rubbed her hands along the pilled fibers of the old couch. The evening’s festivities were winding down and the conversational hum from the crowded living room meant it was time for dessert. A cherry-cheeked woman separated from the cluster of family members and asked “Claire, would you like to cut your cake?”. The nervous girl looked up with wide eyes and rather than answer, burst into tears.
Her small frame shivered as she stood to enter the kitchen. She approached the island in the middle of the kitchenette and stared down at the cake. It was white all over with black blobs of icing around the edges. A photo of her as a small child adorned the top with the words “We’ll miss you, Duckie.” Her nickname was not something she had expected to see. The tears flowed once again from her eyes. As she picked up the knife to cut the cake, her friends and family filtered into the kitchen around the island. They clasped hands and formed a circle save for the cherry-cheeked woman and a tall man with glasses and brown hair. They stood on either side of her as the congregation began to hum a single note. From behind her, she could hear her parents clear their throats and swallow their tears. They began:
“Today is the day that you die
Pass on from this world to the next
We’ll miss you in time, and here’s why;
Allow us to share our respects.”
As the chorus hummed the single note, her mother said “Duckie, I’ll miss the way you smile. Your whole face lights up and the world is made right again.” Her father was next “Claire, you’re such a beautiful young woman and I’m so proud of your accomplishments.” The rest of the room continued to give her compliments and share how proud they were of her. All the while, Claire’s face remained expressionless. Once the song was over and everyone in attendance had said their peace, Claire cut the cake and served the slices.
After dessert was had and party guests began to leave, the real worry set in for Claire. “Are you ready, love?” asked her mother. Claire nodded subtly and gave goodbye hugs and kisses to her parents.
As the clock on the wall chimed 5 o’clock, Claire looked down at her wrist. The green date and time that had been a reminder of this day her entire life began to glow red. At this moment, there was also a knock at the front door. Claire; too scared to cry, too scared to shake, seemed to float to the entrance. A large man stood outside. His shoulders taking up the entire width of the door frame. He wore a plain black suit, sunglasses, and had a buzzed haircut. “Claire McIntyre?” he said. His voice was deep and there was something innately ominous about it. “Yes” she replied in a feeble voice. “Would you kindly come with me please” Claire took one last look at her parents and turned to leave with the thug.
Last Week’s Story: Writing Prompt: Revolution
Next Week’s Story: The Retreat
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