WeWriWa—Halloween divination


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. Since it’s October, I’m showcasing Halloween snippets.

This concludes Chapter 83, “Halloween Happiness,” of my WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. It takes place over Halloween 1950. This week’s snippet comes about eleven pages after last week’s, when successful local pinup model Lyudmila Kotova (née Vishinskaya) met her future second husband at a Halloween party in Minneapolis.

He introduced himself as Anton Dubov, a photographer and agent who was born in Russia in 1917 and later lived in Berlin and Paris. Anton escaped to England after the Nazi invasion and served with the French Free Forces, and after the war was invited to work for a New York photography studio. Since boyhood, he’s been documenting his life, unfolding history, and the places he’s lived through the art of photography.

Anton gave Lyudmila a ride home in his luxury car and walked her up to her apartment. Lyudmila let him look around and made two mugs of hot cider. All the while, Anton tries to tell her to stop living her life by a set in stone checklist created by other people and just follow her heart.

This has been slightly tweaked to fit ten lines.

“Have a good night, Mrs. Kotova, and think about everything I said. You can’t make a long-lasting, successful, memorable career out of conformity.”

After Anton leaves, Lyudmila locks the door and pulls the business card out of her cleavage. She sets it on the kitchen table so she won’t forget, wishing it were already tomorrow at 1:00.

As Lyudmila removes her Halloween costume, she imagines Anton watching her and touching her. If only she and Raisa had waited just a little bit more, they would’ve found much better husbands, and Raisa’s twins would have the right father.

There’s no one to play divination games with, and Lyudmila knows they’re a mixture of superstitious nonsense and wishful thinking, but it’s worth a shot to try a few of the tricks for dreaming of a future spouse. Lyudmila turns her blue nightgown inside-out, rubs lemon peel on her forehead, and puts a mirror and apple under her pillow. She may dream of Anton anyway, but the odds are now increased.

Lyudmila goes to sleep with a smile on her face, hoping her Halloween happiness parlays into something even bigger and better.

11 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Halloween divination

  1. No, a conformist career is not sustainable.

    Especially not for this person.

    And “the right father” for Raisa’s twins?!

    Watched Pavarotti this afternoon. Pavarotti kept a bent nail inside his pocket just in case.

    And I hope her Halloween happiness does turn into something bigger and better.

    [perhaps in the next 20 chapters or so?]

    Eleven pages is a long time to have us wait for snippets as it stands!

    And some divinations involve flipping through books randomly and finding their passages…

    Okay, the mirror says “I am your [indistinguishable word – six letters] Forever.”


    • Raisa’s husband has become increasingly abusive, and has nothing but contempt for his daughters. Shortly after the twins were born, Raisa met and started falling in love with a young widower who lives in the building. She wishes he could’ve been her husband and her twins’ blood father.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, no!

        Living and being born in contempt – that is hard and corrosive.

        That young widower – does he know the twins and Raisa?

        Or is it unrequited on his part?

        Does he also have wishes in that direction for kids? Does he already have kids from a previous relationship?


        • Yes, the young widower, Filaret (who was born a count), is very close friends with Raisa, and eventually reveals he loves her. His wife was killed during one of the German bombings of Leningrad, and they had no children.

          Liked by 1 person

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