I’ve taken a bit of a break from Writing Wednesday but now I’m back with a plan. I’m finishing the current chapter I’m sharing from Striking Balance and then I’m moving to a new WIP so enjoy the weeks that remain.
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-three, “No Slouch About,” and it immediately follows where last week’s installment, “Die Schürze” 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 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.
Afternoon, 10 May
“’Tis precisely what happened.” Master Gow sits, his left leg over his right, packing his pipe with sweet tobacco. He has ceased calling me lad or boy and so has everyone else aside from Conall but neither have they called me lass or girl, which I fear shall soon happen.
“Thank ye, sir, for coming to my assistance during my moment of need.” I have told him this a dozen times or more over the last day. Thin soup agrees with me, as does spring water, weak catmint tea, and beer as long as I do not sit up too long, but so much remains unsaid that I cannot fathom how to approach the subject, or if I should at all. My work breeches rest at the foot of the bed, neatly folded. “Thank ye ever so much.”
“That’s what friends are supposed tae do.” Master Gow slips his tobacco pouch back into his pocket, and his normally hard expression softens. “Ye had a hard life ‘til ye came into mah employ, didn’t ye?”
“Yessir.” So begins my end, I am quite certain of this, and my stomach knots as my hand rises to squeeze Mutti’s locket beneath my shirt.
“Ah can but imagine.” He peers out the window to where the mountain rises a distance behind the cabin. “Nae one is permitted tae abuse those under mah protection,” he says slowly. “An’ ye are under mah protection. Do ye understand?”
So is this the beginning of Nub’s end as he fears?
Until next week…