WeWriWa—Joyless Christmas

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, as 14-year-old Aleksey is anything but happy on his first Orthodox Christmas as an orphan. His uncle, Grand Duke Mikhail, the Regent, comes by to try to cheer him up and urges him to regain his health, but to no avail.

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“You look paler than you should,” Mikhaíl observed as he stepped into the room. “I specifically told the servants to bring you in those treats, so you’d have something to tide your appetite over with until the big feast.  You need to eat as much as possible if you want to recover all your strength.  Those months of captivity took such a big toll on your health, and everyone is very concerned about you.”

“I’m not hungry, Dyadya Mísha.  All the treats in the world won’t bring back my parents.” His deep blue-grey eyes became even deeper and larger, the way they always had when he bore sadness, pain, and suffering. “I wanted to become a man so badly, but not so badly it meant being forced into it before I was ready.”

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19 comments on “WeWriWa—Joyless Christmas

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    Must have been weird to grow up in that environment.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Wrote By Rote

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  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Alternate history about the Romanovs–that strikes me as full of great possibilities. How old is Aleksey, though? The picture makes him seem much younger than that final line of his.

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  3. I feel so bad for him. Great writing to pull at the emotions like that.

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  4. Wonderful, Carrie-Anne. Great, continued emotion. I know the pic is of a much younger boy, but I think it drove the point home of the last sentence. We do dress up little boys as tiny men. Good 8!

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  5. Great eight and wonderful insight – – – I could just see those little eyes, big and missing his parents. Wise beyond his years knowing he is still too little despite what the world wants of him.

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  6. Tragedy does make a young person grow up rather too soon.

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  7. Sarah W says:

    He has great insight for a teenager—though, of course, you’ve made it clear that he’s had to be mature for his years.

    I love this story so much, Carrie-Anne! It’s the perfect fit for your talents.

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  8. Elainecsc2013 says:

    You’d move on because you have to, but I doubt you’d ever get over something like he endured. In the true version of history, he couldn’t walk and was carried by his father to the basement room to die. I will never understand how people could have done such a horrible thing.

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  9. Alexis Duran says:

    Another poignant scene. The description of his eyes, although lovely, did make me wonder who’s point of view we’re in.

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    • Carrie-Anne says:

      I use the classical third-person omniscient. I know it’s not a POV many modern people are still familiar with, but it’s just what I grew up reading and naturally began writing in myself.

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  10. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    So much pressure for a teen to have to grow up so quickly. I could feel his sadness for the loss of his parents and the need to put all childish thoughts behind him and be the man people expect him to be. Well done.

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  11. Aw, poor boy! It would be especially hard to get through the holidays after such a tragedy.

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  12. chellecordero says:

    very poignant scene. And a wonderful and compelling fictionalized bit of history.

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  13. Great snippet!! Poor Aleksy, this christmas will be the hardest one for him to go through without his parents, no matter how many presents or treats he gets!

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  14. shanjeniah says:

    It would be horrific to grow up after that brutality. In your history, did all of his sisters die, as well? Is Aleksey Tsar, now? So many questions (luckily, I know where to find you to get in-person answers!).

    Fantastic eight!

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    • Carrie-Anne says:

      The White Army came just in time to save the five children, Dr. Botkin, and the maid Demidova, but not the Tsar and Tsaritsa or their cook and valet. Aleksey is Tsar, but since he’s underage, his also-rescued uncle, Grand Duke Mikhail, is serving as Regent.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Quite a touching snippet. I’m so drawn into this alternate history you’re creating because the reality is just so sad and tragic…another excellent excerpt this week.

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