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, now entitled Movements in the Symphony of 1939. It was released in e-book format on March second, with a paperback edition to follow within a few months. The paperback edition will have a different cover.
Best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine) were forced to take new houseguest Samantha to their friend Quintina’s birthday party. Tina is unsure about this stranger who came without a present, but let her stay. Now it’s about to become crystal-clear just how committed Sam is to fundamentalism, despite her equal fear of her mother.
Quintina was strongly based on a friend of mine. Though I’ve not seen her since 1992, I’ve never stopped thinking about her.
Sam took a seat in the living room and looked around at the dingy surroundings. The bookshelves were falling apart and stacked with a number of books missing spines; the carpets were very dirty and looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in months; the furniture was just as beat-up as the bookshelves; there was no artwork on the walls; the curtains were turning yellow from age and black from dirt; the windows were caked in dirt; and shoes, jackets, coats, handbags, and hats had been carelessly tossed in a pile off to the side of the door, instead of being stacked and hung up. The dog didn’t even wear a collar, though his fur was pure white instead of dirty like the curtains, carpets, and windows.
“See that gorgeous dreamboat over there?” Cinni whispered, trying to make normal conversation. “That’s Tina’s oldest brother, John. He’s eighteen, and I think all of us girls have a crush on him. He’s far too old for us, of course, and we’re far too young to date anyone, but it ain’t against the law to fancy a handsome older man. He knows we all have a crush on him, and it makes him feel like such a big man about town. Whoever eventually marries him will be such a lucky lady.”
“You think impure thoughts about an adult man?” Sam asked, barely bothering to keep her voice to a polite stage whisper.
The ten lines end here. A few more to complete the scene follow.
“I never had impure thoughts about boys in my own grade, let alone an adult man!”
Cinni remained silent about her crush on thirteen-year-old Barry. If this were what Sam thought of having a fantasy crush on a much-older, completely unattainable man of the same religion and nationality, there was no telling how she’d react to hearing of Cinni’s crush on an older boy of another religion and ethnic origin.