Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’ve been sharing from my alternative history, And Aleksey Lived, which releases 17 July, on my primary protagonist’s real-life 100th death anniversary.
This week’s snippet comes a bit after last week’s, when soon-to-be-Empress Arkadiya began looking at fashion books and magazines with her future sister-in-law Tatyana, to get ideas for her wedding gown. Tatyana has explained each style of neckline and sleeve, and Arkadiya has said she’d prefer not to show her arms. Though the engagement photographs printed all over the world showed the burn scars on her arms, she wants to pretend everyone has forgotten about that.
Arkadiya also references the limp in her right leg, and the additional burn scars on her stomach and abdomen. She laments how she’ll be such a blemished bride.
Tatyana put her hand on Arkadiya’s left arm. “Everyone in this world who’s lived outside of a glass bubble has scars of some sort, be they physical, emotional, or mental. Many people who appear physically unblemished are deeply scarred where no one can see it. After what my siblings and I escaped, and what we saw, our hearts, souls, and minds have been riddled by scars we can never get rid of. These scars make us who we are, and tell stories of survival. Hiding them and pretending to be perfect gives a false impression. There’s no shame in having an imperfect body or state of mind. That’s one of the reasons Sunbeam likes you so much, because you’re not perfect, and have known suffering on a personal level just like he has.”