Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.
This year’s Halloween excerpts come from the currently-numbered Chapter 122, “Heterogenous Halloween,” of A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University, in 1951. The chapter’s third section opens as sisters Mireena, Milena, and Ilme set out for trick-or-treating with their kids in Marble Hill, the only Manhattan neighborhood on the North American mainland.
Milena (Mireena’s identical twin) finally married her longtime crush Vahur in January and adopted his children from his first marriage. Her stepchildren Tarmo and Meri are ten and seven, and her nieces are both a year and a half old.
Mireena, Milena, and Ilme are married to three brothers, so their children are double-cousins. They also all live on the same street, right next door to one another. Marble Hill is the only place in Manhattan where detached houses are the norm.
Milena, now in her fortieth week of pregnancy, sets off up the sidewalk with Tarmo and Meri by the hands. This year, she made Meri a bumblebee costume, a green dinosaur for Tarmo, and a gumball machine for herself. She barely fits behind the sewing machine anymore, and had to sit on her side. The sooner this baby comes earthside, the better. Milena wishes someone really could insert a nickel into her costume and cause the giant gumball to come cascading out.
Ilme and Milena come up behind them, holding Endla and Siiri by the hands. They’re each in matching mother-daughter costumes, French milkmaids and Rosie the Riveter, respectively. Endla and Siiri look around with wide eyes at all the bigger children in costumes.
“I can’t wait till mine is old enough for her first Halloween costume,” Milena says.
The nine lines end here. A few more follow.
“Though I’m glad she’s still baking. I’d hate to be housebound or in the clinic on such a fun holiday.”
“Are you afraid you’ll go into labor while we’re trick-or-treating?” Meri asks.
“Dr. Bellamy explained the difference between false and real contractions. None of the contractions I’ve felt over the last month were genuine. They’re just a dress rehearsal for the big show.”
“First-time mothers tend to go overdue,” Ilme says. “It’s not so common for a woman with a normal pregnancy to launch at exactly forty weeks.”