WeWriWa—Diana and Pamela’s first Christmas

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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.

Since it’s December, I’ve switched to Christmas-themed excerpts (even though my own winter holiday is Chanukah). This week, the snippet comes from Chapter 90, “Cruel Christmas,” from A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University, the fourth book about my Russian-born characters. It’s set during January 1951.

Diana (Dee-AHN-ah) and Pamela (Pah-MEL-ah) Zotova, newly turned eight months old, are staying with Lyuba and Ivan’s family in St. Paul while their mother Raisa and aunt Lyudmila, Raisa’s twin sister, are hospitalized. Raisa and Lyudmila realized too late they chose terrible husbands just to escape small town life and move to Minneapolis. They recently found much better future second husbands, but they first have to figure a way out of their unhappy current marriages.

Diana and Pamela smile big smiles at Irina as she unwraps the presents Raisa and Lyudmila got them, which Filaret delivered on Saturday. From their mother, they have a brightly-colored ring-stacking toy and stacking cups. Their aunt got them toy drums and rattles with cat heads at either end.  Diana’s rattle depicts Siamese cats, and Pamela’s has red tabbies. Out of fear of Gustav’s wrath, Filaret set up a savings account for them in lieu of physical presents.

“They’re so cute,” Tamara says. “Can we keep them? I want little sisters. Everyone else in our family has younger siblings.”

“They’re Raya’s babies, not ours,” Lyuba says gently.

The ten lines end here. A few more to complete the scene follow.

“She’ll be very sad if we don’t give them back.”

“They won’t be happy to go home,” Sonyechka says. “Gustav is a very bad person. He doesn’t treat Raya or his babies very nicely.”

“That’s not our affair to meddle in,” Ivan says. “If Raya’s the good, sweet person we remember her as, she’ll come to her senses eventually and leave that mudak. If I’ve read the situation with the count correctly, Raya has her second husband waiting in the wings.”

“Speaking of future husbands, why doesn’t Toma open her gift from Marek?” Sonyechka holds up a jade green package.

Author: Carrie-Anne

Writer of historical fiction sagas and series, with elements of women's fiction, romance, and Bildungsroman. Born in the wrong generation on several fronts.

4 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Diana and Pamela’s first Christmas”

  1. Well, if she has the second husband on the string, I wonder what’s keeping her from divorcing hubby #1? Divorce was possible in the 50s, although there was still a bit of stigma attached to it. But if she’s in an abusive relationship, lets hope she gets out of it soon. Great snippet! Tweeted.

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