Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday* and Greeneville, Tennessee, USA. My father’s family settled in Greene County in the early 19th century. Yeah, we’ve been here a while, but why am I showing you a picture of Greeneville and Greene County when Cleaning House is mainly set one county east in Washington County? Greeneville comes up frequently in conversation during Cleaning House, so it’s nice to have your bearings straight. Here’s a general map to help you along.
This week’s WIPpet math is as follows: 2/7/2018
2+1, 8, 7-2-1 That’s 384 words from Cleaning House, which is due to be released in August.
Oh, and in a chat twitter last night, I may have let a few minor spoilers slip about Cleaning House, but there’s still plenty of good stuff to come. Sorry, Amy. I think you’re the only one there that’ll be reading this post. *gives weak grin and moves on*
The Setup: We’re skipping ahead a bit, and you’re finally going to meet Aubrey in person when he picks Cent up at the Greeneville bus station.
“Cent? Cent! You see me?” Aubrey flailed his arms like he’d stepped in a yellowjacket’s nest, pulling her aside to hug her as soon as she stepped away from the bus. He was broader in the shoulder than she remembered and taller but still not as tall as she was. “You made it in one piece.”
“And you’re wearing a man bun!” She reached behind his head to tweak the twist of wavy, dark-brown hair.
“I hafta for work. You’ve changed too.” He ruffled her asymmetrical cut and lifted the right side to inspect her head. “Shaved? Your mama’s gonna love that.” Aubrey was darker skinned than her because his mother was mixed Filipino and African American, the daughter of a Korean War soldier and the love he’d found overseas. Aubrey’s eyes were warm brown and slightly slanted, more so when he raised his brows. An exotic mix that made him appealing to most everyone, but he’d only been interested in men since he’d come out to Cent when he was thirteen.
“I’m not overly concerned with what Mama thinks.” Betty had shaved Cent’s hair the night before she’d left. “Let me send someone a text to let her know I’m here.” It was six in the morning, her usual work time at the bodega. But it was an hour later here, right? She checked her phone for the change. Yep, seven. She was back in the Eastern time zone. “Hi, cuz. Good to see you.” She pointed to his rubber-ducky-covered scrub top. “You still working in pediatrics?”
“I like kids. What can I say? I managed to get off a little early to get here, but I had to come straight from the hospital. Can’t you smell the Purell?” He grabbed her second bag when she pulled it from the platform.
“I smell something, alright. Can we get coffee?”
“Drinking coffee now are we?” Aubrey wrinkled his nose.
“By the gallon.” Cent turned toward the parking lot. “Which one’s yours.”
“The red Camry.” He flashed the car’s lights to show its location.
“No more pickup?”
“Ick no. I never got the smell of Uncle Kinnon’s tobacco spit out of the upholstery.” He tossed both her bags into the trunk. “Aunt Tess was driving it until recently, and now she’s saving it for you.”
Read more #WIPpet Wednesday posts from Cleaning House HERE.
*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.