Welcome to Writing Wednesday. My Wednesday shares have become shorter and serialized, and they’re coming from my current WIP (work in progress), Striking Balance. You’ll be able to find all the ones that pertain to Striking Balance under the Categories drop down to your right.
Striking Balance is a Queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy story set within my Appalachian Elementals series. It’s a freestanding tale, so you don’t need to have read the other stories within the series to delve into this one.
This is installment forty-two, “Die Schürze,” and it immediately follows where last week’s installment, “Ruined” ended. The main character in Striking Balance is Benjamin (Nub) Schnell, the possessor of secrets twice his size and seeming age. He’s been working for nearly a decade on the same small farm as his friend, Conall Baldwin, who acts as the farm’s manager. This story begins during the American Revolutionary War years, 1779 to be precise, in the Nolichucky river basin of Northeast Tennessee.
The section in orange comes from my last Writing Wednesday and the part in blue begins this week’s entry.
I am in Conall’s apartment, in the blessed shadows, but the door and the window are open to allow a cross breeze. Master Gow’s embroidered coat hangs over the window to dull the sunlight.
“That locket is all ye have left of her ‘tisn’t it?” I moan when Ceardach pats my arm. “Rest.” He tells me Master Gow’s recount, that I broke my knife in the fight, that Ewin had been witless drunk and intent on killing when he attacked me, that I had waged a hard battle against a man twice my size, but he had managed a cheater’s blow that left me face down. Master Gow says he has driven Ewin from the farm, that he told him he earned his blood loss and says that Ewin shan’t be returning.
This is not what I recollect, but so much of it eludes me that I accept what I am told and am glad when I fall into a dreamless sleep despite my concerns.
Morning, 10 May
I see three knives, a belly blade, a belt knife much better than the one Ewin stole, and a long trade knife, all sheathed in good leather, sitting pretty as you please on the woodcut Conall uses as a bedside table. Alexandria says all three are mine.
“’Twas th’ least Ewin could do given he broke both yer head an’ yer blade.” She places Mutti’s locket, the leather cord replaced by one of the fine deer hide lanyards Conall made last winter, into my hand then leaves my side, but I hear her humming by the hearth. ‘Tis a song Mutti once sang as she worked, and I suddenly miss her enough to bawl.
I am a small child again, frightened by what I cannot control, and I wish nothing more than to hide in the die Schürze meiner Mutter, to feel her stroke my hair and tell me that all is well. I squeeze the locket tight as my tears begin to fall, but I shan’t allow myself anything more. While I long for her comforting embrace, that part of my existence has long since passed.
die Schürze meiner Mutter – my mother’s apron
Oh, Ben, I just want to hug you right now, but I don’t think you’d accept it.
Just so you know, I’ll be winding down my posts for Striking Balance in the near future to begin sharing from my new WIP, Wandering House, the third novel in the main Appalachian Elementals series.
Until next week…