Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cats, Violins, and Letters

Quick piece I wrote that is part of a novel I've been working on... you like? It's still pretty rough:

    I sat on the porch railing with my violin like I always do. I lifted my bow to the strings and began playing “Greensleeves”, like I always do. And, like always, a curse word rang out from the open door of the kitchen of the next door restaurant.
    I smiled wryly, continuing to serenade the cook. He hates it when I play my violin outside, which is the entire reason I do it. I’m contrary like that. And there's nothing he can do about it.
    “Claire!” came my grandmother’s voice. “Quit harassing Michael. Get in here and finish peeling the potatoes.”
    “In a minute, Mercedes!” I yelled. Meanwhile, I continued to draw the bow across the strings, smiling at the swearing in the background which created a sort of... harmony. Michael hates it when he hears me play. And not because it’s bad-- I’m actually first chair in the high school’s orchestra-- it’s because Michael says all the noise I make scares away his business.
    I say Michael scares away all his business. I mean, a gruff, bald, biker-man with pictures of demons tattooed on his arm isn’t likely to draw in families with little kids. And families with little kids is pretty much the only customers you’re going to get in a town like Jessimon.
    Oh, and another thing Michael doesn’t like: cats.
   Which is why I now have three.
    “Good girl, Topaz,” I murmured, rubbing the slinky black cat fondly under the chin. I’d trained Topaz since kittenhood to catch rodents and birds and lay them at the exits of Michael’s restaurant. My cat had just completed another dirty deed. “Now wait for it. Three… two… one…”
    A man’s scream pierced the air.
    “What the devil!” Michael bellowed. “That d--ned cat of yours! When I get my hands on that--”
    I smiled to myself, patting the feline once more.
.    “Claire!” screeched my grandmother. “I mean it!”
    “Okay, Mercedes, I’ll be in in a minute!”
    But first, I said to myself, to put another Letter in the Tree.
    I stretched my legs slowly towards the ground and lowered myself down. Clomping briskly down the steps, I felt in my pocket for the Letter.
    It was a small, square piece of paper, eight inches by eight inches, folded in half twice. I smiled with satisfaction as I read over my words, which I had written carefully in a sprawling, spidery script.
    I made my way through the hemlocks on the other side of the road. Mr. Strauser is fine with kids playing in the part of his property that’s covered in trees. As long as you stay out of his fields, he won’t shoot you.
    We used to play here, Isaac and me. We were little kids. We didn’t get along with the children our own age-- they were all stupid--  and yet we were still knee-high to all the kids who had brains that didn’t revolve around the latest episode of Spongebob Squarepants.
     All we had was each other.
    We used to leave each other letters in the Letter Tree. But now Isaac’s gone. His mom died in a car wreck and his father killed himself not long after. He got sent away to a foster home when we were twelve. They didn't even let him say goodbye.
    So I just fill up the Letter Tree. Some tiny, foolish part of me keeps thinking maybe-- with some miracle-- he’ll answer someday.


  1. Haha I love this:)
    Such resentment between Claire and Michael!
    Do keep us updated with your novel xx
    The Journeys of My Beating Heart

  2. Great post! Your writing is really good, and I'd love to read this book.(-: You should publish it, it's super interesting.
    Good Luck,


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Rebecca :)