Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. I’ve been sharing excerpts from a hiatused WIP with the working title Malchen and Pali, part of an interconnected series that’s a spin-off of sorts from my Atlantic City books. All my European-born characters have some sort of ultimate connection to my Atlantic City characters, starting with Katherine “Sparky” Brandt’s old friends Isaiah, Lazarus, and Amalia (Malchen) von Hinderburg.
It’s Halloween 1952, and Pali Weiss has proposed to 19-year-old Malchen. She responds by saying that she loves him but can’t marry him, since she can’t have children. Pali wants to know just why she’s so convinced of her infertility when they’ve never even been intimate and she’s never been to a doctor. Painted into a corner, she tells him the brutal truth about why she can’t give him all those little Weisses he’s so eager to have. He knows she received a medically unnecessary surgery as a girl, but not what exactly it entailed.
“That Polish doctor who saved my life told me the Nazi butchers had ripped out my womb and at least one ovary. He wasn’t sure if both were taken out, but I was under such a large amount of radiation that even if one had remained intact, it would probably never function. Even if it were still there, he was right about its uselessness. I’ve never menstruated. Even on the odd chance that it ever starts to work, if it’s even there at all, there would be nowhere for a baby to grow. I am a dead end, and you don’t deserve to have your family line end with you. You’re a good-looking guy, and can easily find anyone else, someone who can have children. It is a sin for a man to marry a woman he knows to be barren.”