This week’s excerpt for Sweet Saturday Samples is the conclusion of Chapter 45 of Adicia’s story, “Bartered Like a Piece of Meat.” Ricky is horrified to learn all the heartbreaking, revolting details of why Mrs. Troy went to prison and how Adicia was coerced into doing the unthinkable to keep Mrs. Troy from returning to prison seven years later. Even though she doesn’t love him, Adicia feels a glimmer of hope when he tells her what she’s been dreaming of being told by a man her whole life.

***

“Can I have something to eat?” Adicia asks. “Talking about this upsets me.  I only have till September to figure out an escape, and it stresses me out having to dredge up the past in addition to thinking about how to get out of here in time.”

“Can we take a tour of your house after we eat?” Justine asks.

“Of course,” Ricky says.

“You’re a nice guy,” Adicia says. “I’m glad you’re our neighbor and that you don’t think I’m trash because of what happened.”

“You’ve got a really sweet heart,” he smiles. “I like and accept you just as you are.  Just the way you are now.”

“You really do? I never thought anyone from the outside world would ever like me, let alone like me for me.”

“Well, I’m telling you now that I do like you just the way you are.  And even though I’ve only known you since January, I feel really connected to you already.  I promise I’ll try to help you so you don’t have to be bartered away like a piece of meat for the second time in your life.  It’s not conditional upon you being my girlfriend. Besides, you’re a fellow lefty.  There aren’t that many of us, so we have to stick together and help each other out.”

“I don’t know if I believe in God, but I think you must be my guardian angel.  Not many poor girls get a rich friend to help them out.”

“Ricky likes you just like the Boy loves the Velveteen Rabbit just like he is,” Justine says. “It’s a really special thing when you’re Real, since that means someone accepts you just the way you are, no matter what you look like or what you’ve been through.”

Adicia’s heart races as she remembers the scene near the end of The Velveteen Rabbit, when the Rabbit is lying in the pile of toys and bedding waiting to be burned, a tear falling from his eye.  She hopes she too is able to be rescued in time, the same way the Rabbit was turned into a real rabbit before he was thrown into the bonfire.

12 thoughts on “Sweet Saturday Samples

    1. Thanks for commenting! The Velveteen Rabbit was definitely one of the big inspirations for the book’s themes and influences when I finally took it out of hiatus after 16.5 years and began again from scratch and memory.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Since the book was inspired by The Four Seasons’ song “Rag Doll,” I tried to loosely base some of the book around the lyrics, and I would’ve been remiss if I’d left out that particular part.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! There are definitely a lot of twists and turns even after she escapes, since the best happy endings are never handed to someone on a silver platter.

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    1. Definitely! Since the story was inspired by the song “Rag Doll,” I tried to loosely based some of it around the lyrics. Only unlike the song, I wanted to make sure I gave that poor young girl a happy ending and that she and the rich boy who loves her just the way she is could be together.

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