Here is the latest snippet from my novel-in-progress, THE ROCKY ORCHARD.
“Lula,” Mazie said. Lula held her hands on Mazie’s upper arms and squeezed. A shudder ran through Mazie’s body and left her trembling. Her lip quivered and she said “Lula” again, as if testing the sound of her own voice. “What just happened? What in the world just happened to me?”
“You were telling me about your dream. It must have been very powerful, especially for such a young child,” Lula said.
“But I was really there. I felt the same exact things that I felt at the time. When I had that dream in the first place,” Mazie’s breathing became uneven again.
Lula ran a gentle hand down the length of Mazie’s hair and brushed Mazie’s cheek with her fingers. Mazie felt the tension drain from her body, and she inhaled a great breath, feeling the mountain air rush into her lungs. “Your memories are quite vivid, dear. And that particular dream was so frightening. You must have been so scared, so confused.” Lula squeezed Mazie’s hand and asked, “Did you ever tell anyone about it?”
Mazie let out a small chuckle and said, “No. No way.” She thought for a moment and added, “I might have gone into my parents’ room. I used to do that when I was still little. If I was really scared about something, I would get up and wander into their bedroom and crawl under the covers beside my mother. They would never wake up or anything, but I would lie there for a while. I used to watch the little patterns and swirls that your eyeballs see sometimes when it’s dark and still. They were strangely comforting; in fact, I would crawl into their bed and wait for the patterns to show up. After a while my mother would stir and say, ‘OK, Mazie, that’s long enough. Go back to your own room now.’ But that was OK, really. My parents’ bed always smelled really strongly of the two of them, all intermingled, and between the smell and their heavy breathing and the little floating dots, I felt OK again.”
Lula smiled but said nothing.
“You must think I was the strangest little kid, Lula. Well, I told you I was. Now you can see for yourself.”
“Not so far, dear. Not so far.”