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.
I’m now sharing snippets from the book formerly known as The Very Next, the chronological second of my Atlantic City books, set from March 1939 to the dawn of 1940. It underwent a radical rewrite in 2015, and I recently completed the fourth and final version. I plan on a late February or early March release. The new title will be revealed then.
Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) were baking cookies when two strangers entered the kitchen. They introduced themselves as Urma and Samantha Smart from Washington, D.C., and said they were directed to Cinni’s house and her father. Urma, the mother, just started showing her very ugly true colors.
Copyright Dr. Bernd Gross
Samantha stepped forward and eyed the three large cooling cookie sheets stuffed to the gills with treats, temptingly advertising chocolate, apricot, raspberry, strawberry, and apple fillings. “May I have some cookies? I’ve never seen cookies like this before, but they look so delicious.”
“They’re called hamantaschen,” Sparky explained. “These cookies are supposed to look like the three-cornered hat worn by Haman, the villain in the Book of Esther. The holiday of Purim is coming up, so we’re making them to celebrate.”
“I’ve never heard of that holiday,” Urma said.
“It’s a Jewish holiday, Ma’am.”
Both visitors shrieked as Mr. Filliard came into the room from the other side.
“Who are these people?” Cinni asked her belovèd father.
The ten lines end here. A few more to complete the scene follow.
“They introduced themselves, but didn’t tell us what they’re doing here or why they want to see you.” She refrained from asking the more impolite question, why someone who didn’t even look thirty had a child who appeared the same age as herself and Sparky. Later on, if the Smarts remained in town, she could suss out the details of that dirty laundry.
Mr. Filliard sank into a chair and rubbed his temples. “I hate to bring in new longterm houseguests without telling you well in advance, but this was very last-minute. I’m friends with Urma’s husband Mortez, and when he told me they lost their apartment to arson and were looking for a more permanent home in another city anyway, I felt it was my duty to give them a place to stay. I can’t say no to a friend.”