Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes a bit after last week’s, from Chapter 55, “The Streets of the Future,” of my WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. This chapter, which closes Part I (to be published as Volume I), is mostly set over Orthodox Christmas 1950.
Twenty-year-old Bogdana Sheltsova, who survived two horrific, life-altering events six weeks apart, is now living with her aunt Fyodora in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. She didn’t expect her friend Achilles to visit with roses and a necklace after their awkward last encounter in the underground clinic where Achilles assists.
They retired to another room speaking privately, and though Bogdana agreed to be his girlfriend, she’s still not entirely convinced Achilles could really want someone as supposedly damaged as herself. She just removed her wig to let him see her real hair, which is slowly growing back from being shaved, and Achilles said it’s surprisingly cute.
Achilles rubs her shoulders. “Why don’t you stand up so I can hug you? I’ve wanted to do that for so long, but didn’t want to frighten you or violate doctor-patient boundaries. Do you feel safe doing that? I’ll understand if you’re still too afraid of having such close contact with men.”
“I’m always safe with my Achilles, my modern-day Greek hero.” Bogdana slowly stands up.
The moment Achilles’s arms encircle her, she freezes and begins gasping for breath. She closes her eyes and tries to raise her arms to push him away, but her entire body is immobilized. The ringing in her ears is deafening.