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.
This year’s Halloween-themed excerpts come from the eighth book in my Saga of the Sewards series (formerly known as Max’s House). It needs a great deal of editing, rewriting, and revision, along with a new title, so I’m doing preliminary edits and fleshing it out as I go this month.
It’s now near the end of Halloween night, and Mr. Seward’s stepdaughters and younger children have finally come home from trick-or-treating. He’s very displeased, to say the least, when he learns about what happened without his knowledge or permission.
“It’s eleven-thirty!” Mr. Seward raged. “Where have you been all night? It never took that long to trick-or-treat before!”
“We were at the older kids’ party at school a lot of that time,” Harold said.
“Gene ran off, and we searched everywhere!” Cora Ann yelled. “When his mother dropped him off at the party, neither of them apologized for scaring us so much.”
“Mommy gave me really good candy and cocoa,” Gene said. “I got bored of trick-or-treating, and it was cold, so I decided to visit her.”
“That was illegal!” Mr. Seward shouted, shaking his fist in the air. “Clara knows damn well I have full custody and that she’s not allowed to see you again unless it’s by accident in public!”
The ten lines end here. A few more follow to complete the scene.
Gene peeled the paper off of a candybar and began eating it. “I don’t care if you tan my hide for visiting Mommy. We had a lot of fun, and I’ll visit her again whenever I feel like it. She missed her favorite child.”
“Clara said many times she had no interest in motherhood, and made no attempt to even pretend to care in all those years before our divorce. Even her spoiling of you was constantly interrupted by her many trips abroad with her much-younger lovers. I refuse to believe she’s had a radical change of heart after so much time.”
“I’m sleepy, Daddy,” Amy whimpered.
“Who are you?” Mr. Seward asked. “Did you follow my kids home?” He took a double-take. “Four strange kids followed you home!”
“What?” Adeladie asked. “Who? There are only ten of us, not fourteen.”
“My God!” he went on. “Where are the other four quints? Did somebody steal them? Who’s the only quint here?”
“All the quints are here. Take off their costumes if you don’t believe me.”
Mr. Seward yanked the sheet off the ghost to reveal Andrew. Peggy was underneath the seal costume, Paula was under the peanut, and Amy was under the marshmallow.
“Quints, that was terrible, dressing in different costumes! You are not individuals! I’ll have some serious words with Elaine when she comes home, since she was the one who bought you these costumes instead of all five clown outfits.” His jaw clenched as he pointed at the staircase. “Go on up to bed, all of you. Thanks to Gene’s stunt, it’s well past all your bedtimes.”