WeWriWa—Intercepted by Urma

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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.

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 an early March release. The new title will be revealed then.

Chapter 2, “Happy Birthday, Tina,” starts when best friends Cinnimin and Sparky (real name Katherine), who live together, are about to head out to their friend Quintina’s birthday party. Then new houseguest Urma Smart sees them and delays them on their way.

An eruv is a fence, wall, or other enclosure enabling people to carry objects and push strollers in the public domain on the Sabbath. I used to live within the eruv of Albany, NY.

Saturday after lunch with her family, Sparky put on her new Mary Janes and got ready to head out to Quintina Holiday’s residence. Since there was no eruv or other type of continuous, unbroken fence, Cinni carried both of their birthday presents for Tina.

“Where are you going without Samantha?” Urma demanded.

“One of our best friends is having a birthday party,” Cinni said. “She lives behind our house. Sam wasn’t invited. No one there will know her.”

“So? You should take Samantha. She needs playmates, however secular.”

The ten lines end there. A few more to finish the scene follow.

Cinni looked at Sam, wearing a navy blue sailor suit dress, matching giant hairbow, and black button-up boots, her long blonde hair combed straighter than a pin. “I don’t think she’ll be very popular at the party. No one there dresses like the Amish.”

“Amish?” Urma’s voice took on a sharp, ugly, accusatory edge. “Is that what you think we are? I’ll have you know we’re proper Christians, and wouldn’t dream of joining heretical groups like that! We’re such good Christians, we’ve had three baptisms! How dare you accuse us of heresy!”

WeWriWa—Pondering the future

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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.

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 now know these interlopers are Urma and Samantha Smart from Washington, D.C., who’ll be living in their household until further notice. Urma has lost no time in showing some very ugly true colors, though Sam is a more unknown entity for the moment.

Urma just ordered Sam to come with her, leaving Cinni and Sparky alone to ponder the strange scene they just witnessed.

“What just happened?” Cinni asked. “We’ve got three new houseguests all of a sudden, and they think they’re better than us? I don’t wanna know what exactly their religion is like, if it’s even worse than normal Methodism.”

“I hope they move out soon,” Sparky agreed. “If they’re born Americans, they can find work and a new house easier than my parents.”

“Maybe I can help Samantha become a real American girl, just like I helped you. Her mother might be mad, but she’ll have to get used to it. No one can be that set in her ways so young already.”

“What if they’re both as bad as they seem?”

The nine lines end here. A few more follow to finish the chapter.

Cinni grabbed a rolling pin and attacked a slab of chocolate dough with renewed vigor. “If they are, we’ve just become trapped in a nightmare. I ain’t looking forward to living with people who hate us before they even got to know us.”

WeWriWa—Rooming arrangements

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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.

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, has begun showing her very ugly true colors as an intolerant fundamentalist.

Cinni’s father just came in and explained the Smarts lost their apartment to arson and need a place to stay till they find a new home.

Cinni pulled a piece of peach rock candy out of her left pocket and tossed it into her mouth. “I’m sorry they lost their apartment. They must really want a fresh start if they came all the way here ’steada staying in the D.C. area.”

“There’s too much godlessness and sin in the capital,” Urma said. “Perhaps a smaller city will be more conducive to living a perfect fundamentalist Methodist life. Samantha in particular doesn’t need any temptations, as strong as she is in her testimony.”

“Where will we be rooming, Sir?” Samantha asked Mr. Filliard. “I’m used to having a bedroom all to myself, and good Christians shouldn’t have to share a home with heathens. It’s bad enough my father isn’t religious enough.”

“You’ll be in the attic with Cinnimin and Sparky,” Mr. Filliard said.

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

“There’s also a private bathroom across the hall. Their bedroom is much larger than my own master suite, since it takes up almost the entire attic. I bet you’ll really like it.” He turned to Urma. “You and Mortez will be on the second floor, in a small bedroom my children’s nanny used to use. I won’t insult you by asking you to use the maid’s room on the first floor. When my family had a maid, she lived here in the guesthouse with our cook. That room is an extra closet now. I feel sorry for maids forced to use such small rooms.”

*********************

Though the Filliards went from riches to rags after the Stock Market crashed, and took quite awhile to chase the wolf from the door, they were able to retain their rather large house thanks to selling almost all their possessions. A few well-off friends also helped with money.

Despite the size of the house, it wasn’t considered a mansion even when the Filliards were rich. It was built and used as an upper-middle-class house for much of its long history.

WeWriWa—Finally an explanation

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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.

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.”

WeWriWa—Conversation grows tense

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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.

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 just asked what kind of name Sparky is for a human being.

“My real name’s Katherine,” Sparky said. “There’s a very long, interesting story behind my nickname. My name used to be Katharina, but my parents changed it when we moved to America last year.”

Urma crossed her arms even tighter and looked at Sparky more closely. “Where might you be from? Not all immigrants are created equal. Quotas were created for a reason.”

“A nasty, racist reason,” Cinni said.

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

“A lot of good people are being held up in dangerous situations because they dared to be born outside Western Europe. Everyone in this country is an immigrant, even the Indians. It ain’t nice to keep good people out based on fear of the unknown.”

Urma glowered at her.

“I was born in Germany, and then lived in The Netherlands,” Sparky said. “Now I’m as American as anyone who was born here, even if I do some things a bit differently.”