Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. For the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing from the opening of my old/new WIP, an alternative history called And Aleksey Lived. It’s built on the premise (which almost happened in real life) of the Russian Imperial Family being rescued and 13-year-old Aleksey defying the odds by surviving into adulthood to become the Tsar.
Though Aleksey was frequently plagued by hemophilia attacks as a little boy, he actually became stronger and healthier as he got older, with more time between attacks. He grew up to look a lot healthier than some of his invalid cousins in Spain and Prussia. While in captivity, he had two serious injuries, which might not have happened had he not been under those bestial living conditions. As a result of the second injury, he couldn’t walk for the last 78 days of his life, though he’d slowly been getting better.
This has been tweaked a bit to fit 8 lines.
“I couldn’t walk even if I were calm, since I hurt my knee a few months ago, and I haven’t walked since. It’s gotten a little better recently, but I still can’t walk yet. My father had to carry me down the stairs.” His voice broke as he thought of his belovèd father carrying him down those stairs only perhaps a few hours ago, when his parents had still been full of life, no idea their lives were about to be snatched from them like they didn’t matter.
“You broke your knee?”
“That’s a long, private story.”
The soldier looked around the blood-stained, bullet-riddled room at the physically unharmed survivors, who were all still violently shaking. “If you insist this isn’t an ordinary injury, I won’t pry into Your Majesty’s personal business, but now that you’re free, you’ll soon have access to excellent doctors, and you’ll be walking again in no time.”
This actually isn’t the first time I’ve written a hemophiliac character. My Atlantic City character Kit’s firstborn child Philip (born 1958) also has hemophilia, as does Kit’s third child Malvina (born 1960). Women can have the disease too, though it’s very rare. In the early Eighties, town villain Urma Smart tricks Philip into believing he caught AIDS from a blood transfusion, and later intensifies her sick scheme by pretending Philip’s wife Vanilla and their fifth child Livia also caught AIDS. Things aren’t pretty when her lies are finally discovered.
Eventually, Philip’s firstborn child Karyn will have three sons who all have hemophilia. Given how inheritance works, all six of Philip’s daughters are automatic hemophilia carriers, but only Karyn is unlucky enough to pass it on to her future children.