Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fell the Angels

Author's Note: This is the prologue of a much larger piece...much larger. I hesitate to even share this, because this is the beginning of what I will hope to become my novel. I'm sharing this today in the Flicker of Inspiration Link Up - These Shoes Were Made for Talking. It's probably a stretch, but I started about a dozen stories about shoes and wasn't happy with a one of them. This story starts with a strong image of boots, so it's what I'm sharing. Forgive me for leaving everyone hanging. Hopefully, one day you can read this in its entirety in book form. Thank you all for reading and your lovely support of my writing. You've help me to overcome some pretty nasty self-doubt...and I really appreciate your kind support. 

Fell the Angels

They’re coming. I can hear their boots, dyed red by our clay – our clay, on the floor overhead. Mama’s arms have tightened around me, and the beating of her heart echoes off the boards around us. I fear they may hear that frantic heartbeat that speaks so loudly of our dread, but I dare not breathe a word to Mama. She could no more stop her pounding heart than the Yankees can; this is the thought that keeps me going. No one will beat my Mama. No one can. Her spirit’s as strong and wild as the coal black colt Daddy rode off to war. No Yankee can break it.

That spirit has been what’s kept us going for months. God bless her. If I step away and look at us from above, I see a tiny woman with stick-thin arms holding a whisper of a girl.

The urge to scream rises up in me so suddenly that I gasp. Mama’s arms tighten like a vise. I can nearly feel her bones rub against mine. Nearly hear the crunch. I wish I could see her calm gray eyes. I wish I could drink her strength through them and burst out of this tiny room and kill every damn Yankee out there. But I can’t. My back is against her breast. Her arms bound tight around me. Her eyes bore into the back of my head, and I must derive my strength from only the memory of them.

In the days and months to come, I will derive most of my strength from only memories. Memories will define my purpose, will keep me living. And a memory is where I’ll begin.


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