WeWriWa—A New Year


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. In the spirit of the New Year, I’m using a snippet from my alternative history, as 1922 is replaced by 1923. This is from Part II, some years prior to the excerpts I’ve been sharing from. Aleksey has been living in Belleville, Paris to attend the Sorbonne, and his sister Mariya and brother-in-law Igor have come to visit for the holidays since they don’t have any sick or very young children like the rest of Aleksey’s sisters and brothers-in-law.

Modern forensic evidence seems to suggest Mariya was almost certainly a hemophilia carrier, as opposed to just strong speculation for the other three, but since she wanted a big family so badly, I was nice and gave her three daughters before two sick boys and another girl. At the time of this scene, she has only two children, 3-year-old Isidora and 21-month-old Nina. From everything I’ve read, she was a really sweet, gentle-hearted person, and didn’t deserve to immediately have incurably sick children.

This has been slightly edited to fit the sentence limit.


1923 dawned on a cold, snowy night with lots of stars and an almost full Moon.  Though Belleville wasn’t a neighborhood known for an active night life and merry carousers up past midnight, the holiday was a special exception.  There were still lights on in nearby houses, and fireworks could be seen from the windows.  Most of the fireworks came from amateur locals, but some of the fireworks from nearby Montmartre could still be seen up in the dark night sky.  Inside the warm townhouse, Nina and Isidora lay sleeping on the Persian rug in the living room while the adults, the servants included, drank champagne and sparkling white wine.  A large bowl of papilottes sat on the coffeetable, with numerous colorful wrappers scattered about, and ample dried fruits left over from the thirteen desserts feast.


“Let’s hope you don’t hurt yourself during this new year, Your Majesty,” Dr. Merkulov said. “I expect to see you walking by March, and we don’t want you to immediately end up in that damned wheelchair all over again.”

“I hate being in a wheelchair even more than I hate wearing calipers.  Why would I hurt myself on purpose?”



19 comments on “WeWriWa—A New Year

  1. Wonderful scene-setting, Carrie-Anne! I can picture the adults clustered around the windows, oohing and aahing at the fireworks. Did the doctor mean that Aleksey might hurt himself on purpose? I took it more as a wish that nothing would happen by accident.


  2. Kim Magennis says:

    I agree with Marcia. The scene you paint is full of life and fills the senses. Nicely done!


  3. A warm, poignant scene. The joys of family and holidays with that awful illness shadowing everything. I’m glad you gave Mariya a few healthy children first. That’s the nice part of being a writer-you can offer justice when real life provided none.


  4. Literary license is indeed a wonderful thing and I’m glad you used it here to give her some healthy children. And you painted a wonderfully vivid scene. Great snippet!


  5. Great snippet–I can picture the fireworks and I feel sorry for Mariya being in the wheelchair (my mom has been in one for a few years).


  6. I loved the scene and I always enjoy your insights into the actual history vs. the changes you’ve made, and why. One of my favorite stops today!


  7. Jenna Jaxon says:

    Excellent description of the setting. It really puts me in the scene. I’m not well read in the disease, but were male children of carriers always victims? It’s a fascinating subject.


    • Carrie-Anne says:

      A carrier won’t necessarily have only hemophilic sons, though the odds are still good there will be at least one son with the disease. Several of the other carriers in royal houses had more than one hemophilic son.


  8. Alexis Duran says:

    Very lovely scene, and poignant as well. I can relate to Aleksey’s defensiveness.


  9. The kids zonked on the rug are a nice touch–I can remember really, truly wanting to stay up with the adults… but it never quite worked that way.
    It has to be so frustrating when people blame you for your illness. Run over the doc’s toes with your wheelchair! That’ll teach him! 😉


  10. I like how you search for the truth and turn it around to make things better.


  11. siobhanmuir says:

    It’s fun to take historical people and make a story with them. Great snippet, Carrie-Anne. 🙂


  12. Ed Hoornaert says:

    The excellent description of the holiday festivities is immediately balanced by the realities of his physical problems. Very poignant.


  13. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Always love reading your tidbits of history and then giving your spin to the story. Great scene.


  14. P.T. Wyant says:

    Great scene setting with the fireworks and the children sleeping on the rug. Thirteen desserts? How do you get an invitation to that?!


  15. Such vivid scenes! Well written and interesting snippet.


  16. jessicahanna says:

    Carrie-Anne, I love your writing. Always so beautifully alive. Very nice.


  17. It feels very cozy in this scene, nicely done on the descriptions.


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