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 decided to switch back to A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University, the fourth novel with my Russian characters, because the subject of Chapter 41, “A Modern-Day Greek Tragedy,” is now very timely and relevant. It’s September 1949, and 20-year-old Bogdana knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that she became pregnant when her 35-year-old secret boyfriend, his nephew, and their roommate assaulted her six weeks ago. Without a job, and afraid to ask her parents for mystery money, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Bogdana began bleeding profusely after using a sharpened piece of hanger, and she’s unable to extract it. She called the cab company and asked for her friend Achilles, the only person who knows her secret besides the radical Dr. Scholl and uncommonly liberal priest Father Spiridon. Achilles is a med student and very young widower with a toddler daughter.
Bogdana struggles to lock her door in her kneeling position. The keys slip out of her hand after she’s finally accomplished this, and she barely remembers to retrieve them and put them back into her handbag. She crawls to the curb at the sight of the approaching cab, the pain growing stronger and more unbearable every second. Her insides feel on fire, and the blood still hasn’t stopped. It’s all over the sidewalk, in a trail leading back to her apartment.
The moment Achilles pulls to a stop, Bogdana slumps over and passes out. Achilles pushes his door open and runs to her side.
“Bogdana, can you hear me?”
She remains slumped over, her legs covered in blood. Achilles goes into the trunk for his emergency medical bags, whose contents include a Kelly pad.
The ten lines end here. A few more follow to finish the scene.
He unfurls the rubber sheet across the backseat, picks Bogdana up, sets her on the sheet, and speeds to Dr. Scholl. Time is of such essence, he damns the consequences of being seen going directly to the clinic.
Achilles squeezes into a parallel spot about ten feet away from the clinic, barely missing nicking the other cars, and takes Bogdana out of the backseat. He closes the doors with his hips and runs towards the clinic without locking up.
“Is Dr. Scholl in?” he shouts as he runs inside. “There’s a very serious emergency. I think she tried to give herself an abortion.”
The receptionist turns white at the sight of the unconscious Bogdana in Achilles’s arms. She picks up the phone and repeats the information.
“You can go right down to the basement. He just finished with another patient.”